Camera digital technology: do you have to understand it to utilize it? Probably not, especially if you're using a consumer digital camera - a point-and-shoot - and you just want to get that holiday trip recorded for posterity.
On the other hand, it is quite useful to have a good grip on camera digital technology to get the best out of that little technological marvel!
For starters, it makes sense to know that the number of pictures you can take on your camera depends on the file format you select, and on your camera's storage capacity.
Camera digital technology generally works with two main formats, the JPG and the RAW file. The latter is for storing as much as possible original data per picture, to be adjusted later on a PC. The RAW format is of particular interest to professionals. RAW pictures often need nearly 10 times as much storage space as JPG files, so a casual photographer will generally choose to use JPG.
However, your camera might give you the option of selecting high quality JPG's or standard quality JPG's - the latter using less space, and mostly giving quite satisfactory results.
The camera will store the picture files on a card. A 256MB card can sometimes store more than 80 images of standard JPG size. If you're willing to spend more, new camera digital technology allows you to buy cards with 10 times more storage capacity.
Another aspect of camera digital technology which is useful to know about, is the way the images are captured. In stead of the film of well, film cameras, digital cameras have a silicon sensor with light-sensitive photosites (pixels) which capture the light information.
These sensors are often less precise than film when it comes to rendering detail in shadows and highlights. Camera digital technology therefore dictates that you should be careful not to "blow" your highlights. If they are not captured in the first place, you can't make any adjustments afterwards in your software processing.
To ensure you capture as much shadow and highlight detail as possible, and in a balanced way, camera digital technology offers you the use of a histogram. This handy tool is a little graph which indicates how the levels of brightness are distributed in an image. Many cameras show a histogram in real time, while you compose your image, giving you the opportunity to make exposure adjustments.
While digital camera lenses are essentially "old technology", it is useful to know that you can get excellent quality pictures from fairly inexpensive consumer cameras. This has once again to do with the sensor used in camera digital technology.
As the sensor in these point-and-shoots have a much smaller surface area than the 35mm film of a film camera, the former can get a much sharper and detailed image than a film camera with the same lens, due to the smaller focal area.
Camera digital technology has the major advantage of offering you stacks of opportunity to experiment with taking first-rate pictures, because you don't have to be concerned with the expenses relating to camera film.