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Best Kids Cameras


There is a wide range of cameras that are listed to be the greatest kids camera. The prices of these cameras are pretty reasonable.

The most challenging thing that a parent must deal with when they are attempting for find the most suitable digital camera for their kids is what these kids expect to do with that camera. Several cameras targeted at kids are just slightly more than a toy, so the most proper users should be kids of the preschool ages. Some other models include more advanced offerings, which brings kids a very rudimentary understanding of photography basically and the prices of these models are very reasonable.

If your kid has certain experiences in shooting photos, the following listed models will not be strong enough for their expectations. The listed ones are just basic cameras. If you need to find more cameras with the intermediate or advanced offerings, please see my digital camera gift guide.

The listed digital cameras have been the greatest ones for kids at the beginning level. They are arranged alphabetically.

1. Discovery Kids Camera

2.  Fisher Price Kid-Tough

3.  GE X550

4.  Jazz 3.1MP Shockproof

5.  Kodak EasyShare PlaySport

6.  Olympus SP-100

7.  Nikon Coolpix S80

8.  Olympus VG-160

9.  Pentax Optio RS1500

10.  Samsung DualView DV300F

11.  Samsung Galaxy Camera

12.  Vtech Kidizoom

Best USB Camera Cable for Transferring Photos


Question: How can I get the greatest USB cable for a camera for transmitting images?

There are a lot of standards for transmitting images from a digital camera to a computer, among which are the FireWire and USB. In relatively more advanced cameras, they have the capability to send the images via wireless networks. However, until now, the USB cable has been the most popular device for transmitting images.

Best USB Camera Cable for Transferring Photos

Best USB Camera Cable for Transferring Photos

One important thing that you should not forget while using a USB cable is that some camera models requires the USB cables to work with a mini-USB connector or other kinds of USB connecting devices that don’t follow any standard.  You need to have the proper connector to a USB cable when you buy a digital camera. In case that you want to substitute a USB cable, be careful in buying the correct device which has the right connectors.

For images of the high resolution which are produced by a digital SLR, the transmitting rate of your camera also needs to be high. This high transmitting rate is often found in some of the following devices:  USB 2.0 (with the maximum rate of 60 megabytes per one second), USB 3.0 (with the maximum rate of 625 megabytes per one second) and the FireWire (with the maximum rate of 100 megabytes per one second). The FireWire is often not available in point and shoot cameras.

You can look for a larger number of answers for the common camera questions on the FAQ page link.

Megapixel (MP)


Clarification: megapixel (shortened as MP) is the number of one million pixels. A pixel is a separate component of a digital photo. The resolution amount of a photo will be decided by the number of megapixels, so a digital photo with a higher number of megapixels has the larger resolution.



Now, because a digital camera can create a photo which contains ten million or even a higher number of pixels, “megapixel” is often used for determining the resolution levels.

Commonly, in the specification list of a digital camera, the “MP” is shortened for megapixel.

To define the sizes of photo prints depending of the amount of resolution, please see the print size vs. resolution table.

Shortened as: MP

QuantumFilm – Future of Image Sensors


CMOS and CCD are the two types of camera image sensors that are leading the current market. But these types do not perform well in still photo cameras which are of small sizes, as you commonly find in mobile phones. A new technology announced by InVisage lately – known as QuantumFilm, offering quantum dot image sensors – may bring a new future for the camera image sensors.

QuantumFilm - Future of Image Sensors

QuantumFilm – Future of Image Sensors

The performance of an image sensor in a digital model is not only to calculate the amount of lighting coming into the lens, but also make the lighting conversion into an electrical signal, storing the signal and routing it to the image processor. Clearly, the space as well as the electrical power needs to be large for an image sensor to carry out its tasks.

However, mobile phone usually has image sensor with limited space. The different electronic parts included in a cell phone have blocked portions of the incoming light to the image sensor.

There is a quantum dots layer which has been released by InVisage. This layer can reply the sensor in some certain devices, commonly of small sizes, such as a mobile phone. This technology if called QuantumFilm.

In some devices, quantum dots have been used as semiconductor crystals which help carry out a task, for example, to measure the light. In some others, this technology can enhance the LED lighting color and supports the capability of LCD screens.

The operating way of this layer is different for that of a CMOS or CCD sensor. The quantum dot layer transfers the data on the light amount that is absorbed into an electrical field for the measurement of light.

It is estimated by InVisage that the absorbed light amount in a layer of quantum dots is as twice as the amount in a CCD or CMOS image sensor. If this is true, QuantumFilm will be very potential for replacing traditional image sensors in all digital cameras, not just limited to mobile phones. As it is common for any new technology, the price and the availability will eventually decide to the acceptance of users.

To reduce the costs for manufacturing quantum dots, InVisage has cooperated with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to use the current CMOS sensor manufacturing process to support manufacturing quantum dots. It is expected that some sample of this new type of sensor will be available soon in 2011, together with digital cameras as well phone cameras which apply this technology right after. This new technology is very potential and it may significantly change the operating way of digital camera and promised to bring high-resolution, point and shoot cameras into the market.

Flash Unit


The above Speedlite EX320 from Canon is a type of flash unit, which is attached to the camera hotshoe.

For digital photography, flash refers to a type of light with the super strong brightness which is needed for illuminating a shooting scene or freezing objects that are quickly moving. There are two types of flashes, in which the first is the light from the flash unit and the second is the electronic unit that actually creates the light.

Flash Unit in Digital Cameras

Flash Unit in Digital Cameras

The color temperature of a flash of light is about 5500k (short for kelvins). The duration of burst of light ranges from 1/1000th to 1/200th of one second

Modern flash light needs to be powered and the power comes from single use flashbulbs. Originally, flammable powder was used to provide the power! You’ll find some various types of flash. Commonly, there is a built-in flash unit in solid digital cameras. And, at times you can find built-in “pop-up” flashes in DSLR cameras. Usually, the pop-up flash is a little bit weak. Therefore, a hot shoe is often available in all DSLR cameras so that you can attach an exterior flashgun to this hot shoe (this accessory is positioned on the camera top panel).

Photographers at the professional level often use independent flash units, referred as to studio lights. You can power these flashes by battery packs or outlets.

You often find a tube with electronic flash and this tube is full of xenon gas. The electrical arc is generated through the process in which high voltage electricity has been discharged. Then, a short flash of light is emitted by this arc. You will find an instruction number that shows the strength of a specific flashgun.

Camera Tips: Taking Better Portraits



It can be pretty challenging to shoot nice portraits of human beings. If you ask a person to pose, perhaps, the result will be an unnatural smile and the photo is not nice as expected.

But the good news is that I have listed several simple and easy tips below and you can follow these tips to shoot nice portraits of your family or friends. As I have tried them for my photography, these tips prove to be very effective.

Below are the five tips for shooting nicer portraits.

  1. Help them feel comfortable

It seems to be very obvious, right? But it can be very challenging unless you know how to engage with the subject.

Some crazy jokes can be very effective (or it’s nice to make stupid faces for the children) to help the subject feel relaxed. You should not start shooting when making the subject stay in a rigid posing gesture, because this may cause your subjects feel tense. A friendly talk to them will be very nice. Try to drive them smile and shoot a quick shot when they are not paying attention to your shooting action

After a moment, hopefully they are not aware of the presence of your camera!

Camera Tips: Taking Better Portraits

Camera Tips: Taking Better Portraits


  1. Don’t shoot under the harsh light

You should not shoot photos in a day that is overcast, because the direct light from the sun is not good at all.

If your location is a region with the sunshine available all around the year, look for some shadows. You should attempt to shoot photos in which the sun is just allowed to one side of the aimed subjects. By this way, these subjects are not squinted into the sun and the sunlight will strike one side of their faces, which create shadows of the less softness.

If the shooting condition is indoors, it is nice to mix the ambient light externally together with a flashgun to lower the heavy shadows which is produced by the flash. And the shadows can be further lowered by using a Sto-fen on the flashgun.

  1. Change the focusing if needed

To make your focusing on the portraits become more precise, you should select the single point autofocus and then locate this focus point over the subject’s eye.

If you find your subject at one angle, you should have the focus positioned on the closer eyes, as the DOF will extend behind the focal point.

  1. Make sure to have the right focusing

To achieve the very precise focusing on the portrait, turn the camera into the single point autofocus and have this point targeted over the subject’s eye.

If the position of the subject is at an angle, have the focusing point positioned at one eye of the closer distance. This will help extend the depth of field behind the focal point.

  1. Set A Small Depth Of Field

The depth of field of a nice portrait is often small so that the background is blurred to highlight the main subject.

With this setting, it is like getting the subject out of the image and washing out any distracting details. The aperture shall be set to the maximum level in order to make the depth of field small.

  1. Shooting interesting angles

 There are many things to say about this, but below I’d like to list some tips to make your photos become interesting

Don’t shoot the photo of a person straight on to your camera. The photo may become boring. Instead, to make the gestures more impressive, you can ask your subjects to tilt their heads a little bit. Turning sideways to the camera or twisting the upper body back towards the camera lens also helps to make nice photos. The most important here is to shoot the subject at new and interesting curves and angles to help them have the best posing gestures.

As a photographer, try to find the good side of a person and shoot it. This is often quite obvious, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to find it out.

Wide Angle

Wide Angle

Wide Angle

Clarification: Wide-angle shooting refers to the ability of a digital camera or a zoom lens to capture images with a field of view which is larger beyond the vision range of human eyes.

If the 35mm film equivalent measurement (if included in your camera) is smaller 35mm (if , it is known as the wide-angle shooting ability. The nearby-50mm measurement is equivalent to the range of human vision.

Understanding Image Sensors of DSLR Cameras


A digital camera uses an image sensor for capturing the information. To understand the image sensor in the simplest way, its function is equivalent to that of a film piece. When you press the shutter button on your DSLR, you are allowing the light to come into your camera and strike the image sensor to perform the image exposure. This is similar to the way in which an image is under the exposure onto a film piece that you could find in an old 35mm film camera.

What are CMOS and CCD?

There are commonly two kinds of image sensor that you can find in both point and shoot cameras as well as DSLR models, including: CCD and CMOS.

In an image sensor, there are some certain pixels that are used for collecting photons (energy packages of light). Then, the photodiode will convert these photons into an electrical charge which is turned into a digital value through analog to digital converter (AD converter). Through this converter, the camera will carry out the processing task on these values and create the final image.

For CCD (short for Charge Coupled Device) sensors, a circuitry around the sensor is used for converting pixel measurements continuously. CMOS (short for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensors operate in the different way in which pixel measurements will be converted simultaneously and the circuitry is right on the image sensor. Between the two above types, CMOS sensor is more commonly used because its speed is faster and you have to spend less to buy such a sensor.

Image Sensors of DSLR Cameras

Image Sensors of DSLR Cameras

Color Filter Array Sensors

This technology is commonly found in most DSLR cameras in the current market. A color filter array is positioned on the top of the image sensor to record the green, red as well as blue elements of the light that comes into the image sensor.

Therefore, every single pixel just can measure only one color, and the image sensor will base on the surrounding pixels to estimate the remaining two colors. The image quality can be a little bit affected, but you won’t be able to see this in the modern cameras which offer the high amount of resolution.

Foveon Sensors

There are three basic colors that are the most sensitive to your eyes, including green, blue and red. Other colors have been created by a mixing of the basic colors. In the film photography, the various basic colors had the exposure on the equivalent chemical film layer. In the similar way, there are three layers in Foveon sensors in which each layer measures one basic color. The above three sensor layers have been combined to create a mosaic of square tiles to form an image. This technology is pretty new and currently, just Sigma applies this technology only.

Best New Nikon Cameras


Nikon – one of the current leading camera manufacturers – has offered a very interesting combination of advanced DSLR camera models together with point and shoot models with very nice features among its product lines of digital models. This type of cameras has been introduced for the first time since 18 months ago and they are the greatest new cameras from this manufacturer. These cameras are in both the Coolpix point and shoot camera and DSLR product lines.

1.  Nikon Coolpix A

2.  Nikon Coolpix P520

3.  Nikon Coolpix P7700

4.  Nikon Coolpix S9500

5.  Nikon Coolpix S9700

6.  Nikon D610 DSLR

7.  Nikon D3300 DSLR

8.  Nikon D5300 DSLR

9.  Nikon D7000 DSLR

10.  Nikon Df DSLR

11.  Nikon 1 AW1 DIL

12.  Nikon 1 S2 Mirrorless

Best New Panasonic Cameras


The point and shoot digital cameras from Panasonic under the Lumix brand name have a very stylish design. Additionally, there are some advanced cameras from this manufacturer which use interchangeable lens. Some of them are very nice DIL models. These advanced models was introduced for the first time since eighteen months ago, and they have been the greatest models from Panasonic nowadays, including both point and shoot models under the Lumix brand as well as the DIL product line.

1.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH8

2.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 DIL

3.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 DIL

4.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 DIL

5.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 DIL

6.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1

7.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

8.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3

9.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20

10.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1

11.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20

12.  Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS30