Men's Articles

Megapixels? Enough already!

As the dust settles and the megapixel race comes to an end, consumers are now looking to other features and functions to make their photo taking experience even more enjoyable and effortless. Manufacturers are only too happy to comply.

Faster Processing Power

With the megapixel race fading, manufacturers realise that electronics can make or break a particular model. With so much data to process and move to the memory cards for storage, they are touting their distinct processor technologies as a clear differentiator. The real benefits of this added processing muscle are longer battery life, faster focusing speeds, faster response time between shots, lower digital noise levels and better, more accurate color rendition.

Raw Is Best

Images from digital cameras are stored in various formats. The most common, the JPEG standard, is "lossy" and important color and details are omitted from the final image file. That is why those in the know are saving their images in a format that comes directly from the imaging sensor-the Raw format. No longer limited to the more advanced models, the new spate of mid-range compacts are now equipped to capture images in the Raw format.

Make A Movie

Small, short quirky-looking video clips were all the movies you could shoot on digital cameras a year or so ago. Now, most of the newer ranges are equipped to shoot at VGA quality of 640 by 480 pixels at the full 30 frames per second. The length of these video clips is limited only by the size of your memory card.

More Than Just Pretty Pictures

There are many novel and useful ways to use the digital camera besides photographing people and places.

Here Are Some Suggestions Detailing Personal Items Before A Trip

When travelling, particularly to destinations where you do not speak the native language, take photos of your luggage, important items and documents. Should anything go missing, these shots will be a godsend. Also take pictures of your hotel, maps and street signs. Show these to a friendly local when you need directions. Want to try some local fare? Preload pictures of food, restaurants and shops recommended by your friends from their own previous trips - easier than a lengthy description to the concierge!

On-Site Documentation

The camera is great for on-the-spot documentation. In fact, with the date and time of creation embedded, digital photographs could well be key evidences should a dispute arises. Snap different rooms of the house, for example, to record its condition before you rent or move into it. Ditto when buying a car. If you need to take apart something complex like a desktop computer or home theatre system, take copious photos as you disembowel or disengage the machine, particularly of the connections. You can refer to these photos when you assemble the gadget.

Remembering New Faces

If you need to recall many new faces at the same time in a gathering, for example, take photos of each subject. Disable all sounds. Avoid the flash. Use the camera at its highest sensitivity. Tip: In such a situation, have the camera in hand and switch it on all the time. Learn to shoot blind. If your subject is stiff, disarm him or her by taking a photo of the both of you together. Use voice recording to annotate your photos.

Capturing Kids' Photos

Children grow up quickly. Capture that by taking daily photos of them. Tip: take the photos of the child at the same location, say, by the door, every month or each year so that you can compare his or her physical progress.

Other Miscellaneous Ideas

  • When I see something unusual, funny or wonderful, I shoot it as a creativity bookmark. I have many pictures of food, shopfronts and vehicles because I like them.
  • When decorating your house, compile a digital scrapbook of designs, color combinations and materials that have inspired you. Whip out the images and show them to your interior designer.     
  • Dropped something behind some heavy furniture? Stick your arm behind the sofa with the camera and shoot. A picture of the misplaced object gives you a clearer idea of how to rescue it. Just don't drop the camera as well!
  • Use digital shots to preserve old photos or magazine pages or even documents like passports, certificates and so on. Ditto for serial numbers.
  • Photos can be used for "remote" consultation. When the cone of one of my hi-fi speakers was dislodged, I took a photo of it to the repair shops for advice. No need to lug the heavy speaker all the way there!

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