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Introductory camera guide on still photography camera for the common people

Still Photography Camera Guide

Camera Guide

Wooden Box camera of 1860 This camera guide is written in simple layman language about the fundamentals of still photography camera both digital and 35mm film. We hope this camera guide will provide some information and reference for the beginner and casual photographer who is looking for the right camera.

What is still photography?

First, let us answer this question that we know someone is bound to ask "What is still photography?" The word Still here means "not moving or in motion", still photography means pictures that are "still" in contrast to motion pictures or movies. The digital camera and film camera that we mention here are digital still camera or 35mm still camera; the opposite is digital video camera and film movie camera. This defines the subject that will be covered in this camera guide

Camera market

Today's still photography camera market has become very competitive among manufacturers and camera designers. The product life cycle of digital cameras has shortened greatly and choices of brands and models are abundant. This is indeed good for the consumers for they are now spoilt by what are available in the camera market but they also get confused with choices. Where value for money, features and picture quality are concerned it really makes buying a new camera a tough decision.

Shadow of a Legend
Shadow of a Legend.

The current price erosion of digital camera adds to the intense competition and short product life cycle we mentioned above, making life tough for traditional camera manufacturers. To further aggravate the situation, even non traditional camera makers such as consumer product manufacturers, PC and computer accessories manufacturers, mobile phone manufacturers are also competing for the digital camera market.

As a result of this out of the few dozens digital camera manufacturers only a handful are making profits. Two legendary camera manufacturers have already closed down, a few other well-known ones are at risk of facing the same fate. Life is getting tough. The good old days of clean profit from film cameras is now just a sweet memory for most camera manufacturers.

Sadly, this market condition has led to some of these manufacturers putting up confusing advertisements and claims to outsmart each other. Slight advantages on minor features over the competitors are highlighted and many of the more important camera specifications are never mentioned or listed in their advertisements. Instead specifications that have little to do with taking good photos and features that tell you very little about the camera are blown up.

Camera review and test report.

Click to enlarge Palace Of Fine Arts Theatre on Featurepics
Silhouettes Of Palace Of Fine Arts Theatre

Although we can always find out more about the camera that we are interested in by reading camera reviews and camera test reports from newspapers, photo magazines and the world wide web, but if we don't have the basic knowledge of camera fundamentals we may get confused further by these information.

Moreover every human is biased towards some area of their interest and prejudice, so is every writer and camera reviewer. Even editors are often influenced by their advertisers though outwardly they all disclaim that fact.

So how do we read those camera reviews with an open mind? This is where your understanding of the camera fundamentals come in. We sincerely hope this camera guide can provide some help to aid beginners in this area by them gaining some basic understanding of still photography camera.

With our technical background we will share our limited experience and understanding of camera with our readers, and highlighting the important features of still camera that will yield fine end results - a quality photograph. However, no matter how good a camera is, it can only deliver a quality photo to the skill level of the photographer behind it.

An introductory guide

Click to enlarge lighthouse on Featurepics
Guide like a beacon or lighthouse

This camera guide is written as an introduction to camera. It is not written for advanced photography enthusiasts seeking for the next best hi-tech camera to fill their quest. The writing will be centred on the average still photography camera though some passing comments will be made on more advanced cameras when necessary to bring the point across. This camera guide is also not a photography tutorial though you may pick up some photo taking tips here and there.

You will soon notice that we make a lot of reference to 35mm camera in this camera guide. Consumer digital camera in its present form is too diverse in format and does not have a clear standard yet. We find that we may have to put up too many examples just to put our point across. It is easier if we establish a common format standard as a reference point. As such we will use 35mm camera as our reference point until a clear standard emerge in the consumer digital camera market. Moreover this camera guide is about both digital and film camera initially, and 35mm camera is the de facto standard in film camera.

First Step

A wise man from China once said A Journey of a thousand miles start with a single step so for the newbies let our first step begin here.

For the intermediate to advanced photography enthusiasts we would like to share two of our favorite digital photo websites with you. The first one is Steve DigiCams a website with lots of review on digital cameras, photography accessories and digital photo software, info/report on PMA Expo(Photo Marketing Association International), a discusion forum on digital camera, etc.

Click to enlarge on Featurepics
Ready for your first leap like killer whale?

The next one is Camera Labs another digital camera review website with detail testing and video tour demo of the camera on review.

Both of these camera websites are highly recommended. We found them not overly technical yet provide the right amount of factual reviews and less biased than others.

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