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or More Controls?
Pocketable or More
between a camera that is pocketable and
a slightly bigger one but with more controls
can sometimes be a difficult decision. Especially
if this is going to be your first digital
camera. Do you favor the one that you can
comfortably carry all day in your pants
or shirt pocket -- therefore allowing you
to be ready to take more pictures anywhere,
anytime? Or, should you go for the one which
is bigger but has more controls -- and therefore
allowing you to express your creativity
and learn more?
you like the idea of having a camera with
you at all times, a small
pocketable camera (we call them, JeansPocket
Certified) is a decision you will not
regret. If you frequent the many digital
camera forums, you will read about how many
good shots are missed because the photographers
did not feel like lugging their bigger digital
cameras around. And the question is asked,
'What is the point of having a bigger and
better camera if you are not going to have
it with you?' A reasonable question.
attractiveness of a pocketable digital camera
increases when you consider that today's
pocket cameras are not lacking in image
quality. In fact, some of them use the same
image sensor as their bigger counterparts.
The difference is the additional exposure
control flexibility you have with the 'bigger'
More exposure control flexibility means
that you can be more creative, and obtain
better pictures. That is, if you have the
camera with you in the first place. To some
of you, that is not a problem. It goes in
a pouch on your belt or in a purse. Set
it on Programmed Auto and it works like
a point-and-shoot. When you want to learn
and explore photography, switch to Scene
Modes, Aperture-Priority mode or Shutter-Priority
Scene Modes allow you to tell the camera
the type of picture you're taking and the
camera is smart enough to select the settings
most appropriate for that situation.
In Aperture-Priority mode, you select an
aperture to maximize (as for a landscape
where you want everything from foreground
to background to be in focus) or minimize
(as for a portrait where you want only the
subject to be in focus and the background
to be pleasantly out of focus) depth of
field, and let the camera select the appropriate
shutter speed for a correctly exposed shot.
Shutter-Priority mode, you specify a fast
shutter speed to freeze action or a slow
shutter speed to blur action (as in water
flowing), and let the camera select the
most appropriate aperture for a correctly
to Manual Mode, and you are in total creative
control. You select the aperture and shutter
speed, and any other settings you like (ISO,
White Balance, etc.). Though some compact
point-and-shoot digital camera may advertise
a Manual Mode, it may only be a limited
one and may allow you to select only a few
settings, so read the specifications carefully.
The manual settings that are the most important
to have are the aperture and shutter speed.
Which One To Choose?
you are new to digital photography, a small
pocketable digital camera may be the right
choice for you. Even more advanced photographers
seek a small pocketable camera to complement
their more complex (and bigger) cameras.
They might prefer to use their bigger camera
for ceative photography, and use the smaller
one for everyday occasions as well as special
if you are deciding between pocketable and
more controls, maybe the smart way is to
start out with a pocketable first. As you
get better and decide you're ready to move
up (and some of you may decide you're very
satisfied with what you've got so far and
never move up), then acquire one with more
controls (and probably not pocketable anymore).
Keep the pocketable one as a take-along-anywhere
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