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Additional Article Information: =============================== 1165 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line Distribution Date and Time: Fri Feb 24 01:42:48 EST 2006 Written By: Ron Knowlton Copyright: 2006 Contact Email: mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] Article URL: http://www.helpyousucceed.com/godigital.html Ron Knowlton's Picture URL: http://www.helpyousucceed.com/mypic.jpg For more free-reprint articles by this Author, please visit: http://www.helpyousucceed.com/articles.html --------------------------------------------------------------------- Why You Should Take a Digital Camera on The Next Family Vacation Copyright © 2006 Ron Knowlton Help You Succeed http://www.helpyousucceed.com Remember how it used to be ... Carrying that big bulky camera on a family vacation - with it bobbing and bouncing from the strap around your neck. And then the nightmare panic attacks ... realizing that you didn't have enough film ... and the frantic search for a store ... any store that had the film needed. You could walk or drive for miles away from the tourist sites to find that store ... Then pulling everyone together and getting them posed for that shot ... just the right shot ... And adjusting all of the settings on the camera ... And finally pushing the button and hoping ... Well, here's some good news - your life just got a lot easier! A Camera That Weighs Less Than an Apple I was used to peering over a large lens and hearing the sound of a loud metalic click as I shot each picture ... then either grabbing that knob and winding the film advance to get to the next shot ... or listening to the loud whirr of my power winder ... So when I first picked up a digital camera, it was indeed a change. Here was a camera that weighed about as much as an apple and fit into the palm of my hand. That Little "TV Screen" The biggest adjustment was that little 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch screen. Instead of looking through a small square viewfinder the size of a cherry, I could now stand back and view the image on a small screen - almost like a mini tv screen. This made it very easy to take pictures almost without being noticed. I could click away without everyone turning around and gawking at the photographer. And there's even a setting to turn the camera noises off! I could get those great candid shots without everyone hearing the clank clank clank of the shutter. I Can Erase a Bad Photo Another feature I really love about a digital camera is that I can immediately get rid of an image that I don't want. That's because the image I just shot appears briefly on the little viewing screen. If I don't like the picture, I can just press a button and delete it. Then I can try again for the right picture - the one I really want! It used to be ... I had to wait a week ... and then it would hit me ... the realization that that picture of the mountain waterfall was too dark as I was flipping through the prints I just brought back from the photo processor. Now, the image shows up in that little 2 1/2 inch screen. I just delete the image of the dark waterfall. Then I carefully aim and shoot and maybe get the right shot on my second try, or maybe even on the third try! It's Lightweight - Take It On a Long Hike! On a long hike, I often hesitated to take along my big bulky camera. It didn't feel all that heavy when I started the hike, but by the time I reached my destination, that camera felt almost like I was carrying a huge boulder. Now I can take both my digital camera and my digital camcorder along if I want to. Both fit nicely into a small fanny pack and both together weigh about as much as the water bottle I attach to the outside of the pack. I don't feel weighed down at all anymore by bulky camera equipment! The Convenience Of Instant Email Pictures One of the greatest features of a digital camera - is that as soon as I get home (or often to my hotel room) I can email the pictures immediately to family and friends. They can all view them soon after I shot them and enjoy them! I used to have to wait a week to get those prints back! How To Email the Pictures To email the pictures to family and friends I use a free program called "Picassa". I downloaded it right from the Google.com web site. You can download it by clicking on the "more" link on the Google site. Then under "Google Tools" you'll find the "Picassa" link - and you can download it for free from there. Setup's pretty easy and you're on your way. View the Pictures On Your Computer Screen With a digital camera, you can upload the pictures from your camera - usually using a cable that hooks into the USB port on your computer - right into the Picassa program and then view them on your computer screen. You can then select the photos you want and email them off to friends and family. How Many Megapixels Do You Need? Another question many people have is - should I pay top dollar and get a 7 or an 8 megapixel camera? The answer is no. A 5 megapixel camera should be sufficient for your family travel photos. In fact, 3 megapixel pictures are fine for most people. It's when you want to enlarge those pictures that you need the extra megapixels - for example, when you want a big picture to hang on the wall! Otherwise 3 to 5 megapixels is really all you need. Your images will be reduced to even less when you send them by email over the internet. Here Are a Few Quick Tips: 1) Make sure the batteries are fresh - recharge them (if your camera takes rechargeable batteries)! I always carry a spare battery - you just never know when you'll need it! 2) A small camera case is fine. You really don't need a huge camera bag. A small camera case is also less conspicuous on vacation. I don't like to advertise the fact that I'm a tourist if I can avoid it. I prefer a fanny pack myself. I have easy access to the fanny pack and can quickly zip it back up when not needed. I also keep the pack in front of me - where I can keep an eye on it. 3) Make sure you have plenty of memory! I carry an extra memory card - so there's plenty of room if I decide to take a lot of pictures. 4) And finally, I try to save the pictures in two places. I often bring a laptop on vacation with me. Then I can immediately copy the pictures to my hard drive. I then save them onto a cd as well. I'd sure hate to lose those images that I just took! How would you ever replace those shots on that once in a lifetime vacation trip with the family? Treat those images like gold - make sure you have two copies of each shot - before erasing the images from your memory card. And the reason you erase the images from the memory card is so that you can reuse the card and take more pictures! --------------------------------------------------------------------- Ron Knowlton is a former newspaper reporter/photographer. Go to http://www.photographyschoolbooks.com/ for more great photo "how-to" information. Also read more of Ron's how-to articles at http://www.helpyousucceed.com --- END ARTICLE --- ..................................... 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