Digital Cameras
Digital cameras have advantages for taking pictures for web photo journals.
Page "digitalcameras" last modified: 30Jun99

I believe that digital cameras will help drive the creation of web photo journals. If you are serious about doing web photo journals you may want to consider getting a digital camera.

There are similarities and differences between film cameras and digital cameras for the consumer. The cameras I am talking about cost from $50 - $500 (film) and $200-$1000 (digital).

Some similarities:

   Both types fit in your hands, have a lens, viewfinder, and a flash.
   They have auto-focus and exposure, so you can just point and click.
   They often have a zoom lens, going from mild wide-angle to mild telephoto.

Some differences:

   Digital cameras store their images on electronic cards or disks, which can be reused once the pictures are copied or deemed to be not worthy of keeping.
   Digital cameras let you choose the resolution of the pictures you take. The resolution (number of pixels that make up the image) can determine the amount of memory each picture takes up on the storage card or disk. You can usually choose to take many low-resolution images or fewer high resolution. Cameras like the ones I use can often store over 100 low-res 640x480 images on one memory card.
   Digital cameras usually have display screens that let you (and those around you if you wish) look at the photographs immediately. That way, you get to see if the picture came out as you wanted. The display also gives those around you the fun of instant photography. As users of Polaroid cameras have found out, this fun is appreciated by others at a party or event.
   You can copy the picture directly from the digital camera into your computer very quickly and easily, so you can use them right away and with much less trouble than with film. There is no scanning. Some digital cameras store directly onto floppy disks (very convenient, but limits the number of pictures and battery life). Some memory cards can go into adapters that you can read in your floppy drive. Almost all of the cameras can be connected to your computer by a serial cable (limited in speed by the serial port). Some can be connected with a USB connector (faster). I find the "memory card in the laptop PCMCIA card slot adapter" the quickest and best for my purposes.

I find that these special features of digital cameras can help me get better pictures for my photo journals. I can take a hundred pictures at a time. I can take even more if I'm willing to spend a few minutes copying them to my computer (if I have it available) or if I buy extra memory cards. This lets me take the equivalent of 3 or 4 rolls of 36-exposure film for most any event, no matter how minor at virtually no cost other than batteries. I can also check to see that I got the facial expression or composition that I want and take more pictures if the display screen shows me their eyes were closed or whatever. Professional news photographers have always shot lots of pictures. Taking lots of pictures increases the likelihood that we'll get the pictures that we want, though it doesn't guarantee it...