Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Power of Digital Cameras

These days, digital cameras are relatively cheap. You can get a basic 3.0 megapixel digital camera for less than $100 at many stores. I think that 3.0 megapixels is the lowest you can go and still get decent, printable pictures. If you don't have a digital camera yet, I don't know what you are waiting for! These products are so useful that even if you are dedicated to using film for your photos and snapshots, you should still have a digital camera on hand for use in a variety of situations. Digital cameras are not just for vacation pictures; they are very powerful tools that can be used to make everyday life a bit simpler.

I know several people who have two or more digital cameras. They have a good one that they use for their important photo-taking events like birthdays, Christmas, vacations, etc. Then they have a cheap one that they keep in the glove compartment of their car. This is a great idea that will help you capture unexpected shots that you would otherwise miss. For example, one of my friends got into a fender bender, and used his digital camera to take his own photos of the accident scene. He was able to turn these photos in to his insurance company on the same day. Not having to wait for the police department to send the photos meant that my friend's insurance company paid his claim a lot faster.

Some people have found a digital camera to be very useful on the job, as well. My husband keeps one of our old digital cameras in his desk drawer at work so that he can photograph the results of various mishaps that take place out on the manufacturing floor of his company. A picture is worth a thousand words, so instead of typing up long reports like he used to have to do, my husband now takes several pictures of whatever problem crops up and then just adds a few explanatory captions. This method is easier on everyone involved in the chain of command.

I also have a friend who is in the middle of writing her third book. For her previous two efforts, she spent a lot of time researching locations. She took pictures with her old film camera and also had to record her thoughts and impressions about each place in a spiral notebook. She decided to forget about her old ways and go digital for this new book. Instead of photographing each location and ending up with a bunch of still pictures, she used the movie mode on her camera as she walked around each place. That way she got moving pictures with a soundtrack of her first impressions all on the same medium. It's much easier to watch a movie and listen to her own narrative as the movie plays out than to sort through pictures, try to put them in order, and then try to figure out which of her notes correspond to which pictures.

As you can see, digital cameras are very powerful tools that can be used more often than a few times a year on special occasions. Bring your digital camera long with you when you go about your regular daily routine and see what new things you can discover!

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