|Q. What are the
advantages to taking digital pictures?
A. Since digital cameras take pictures and store them electronicly without the
need for film or film developnment, the pictures immediately to be used. Digital
pictures can be transmitted over the internet, can be stored on a various media,
and will not degrade as time passes, supposing the media is not damaged.
Q. How are digital pictures captured?
A. The two widely used ways to capture or make digital images are either by
scanning existing pictures from negatives, slides, or prints, or by using a digital
camera to take digital pictures.
Q. Can my pictures shot on film be turned into digital pictures for me to
use on my computer?
A. Yes, you can turn these images into digital images by using a scanner. If you
want to scan negatives or slides you can use a scanner made for scanning negatives
and slides. For scanning prints a simple flatbed scanner will do.
Q. What does digital mean?
A. Digital refers to the binary representation of data as bits and bytes. The
binary representation of data is basically the language computers use to create,
manage, and store information, music, pictures, etc.
Q. What are bits and bytes?
A. A bit (contraction of binary digit) is the smallest unit of information that a
computer can store and process. It consists of an on or off electrical state with
a value of zero or one. There are 8 bits in a byte.
Q. What is a pixel?
A. A pixel (contraction of picture element, spelled pixel) is the smallest
addressable point of a bitmapped screen that can be independently assigned
color and intensity. Digital pictures are made from many pixels of varying color
and intensity, much in the same way a mosaic is made from many different colored
Q. What is a bitmap?
A. A bitmap is a digital representation of a picture in which all the dots or
pixels making up the picture are rendered in a rectangular grid and correspond
to specifically assigned bits in computer memory.
Q. What computers are best for digital imaging?
A. Computers running on Intel Pentium or PowerPC processors are best for
digital imaging. However, you can use a variety digital scanners and cameras with
older computers like 386 and 486-based IBM compatible computers or 68030
and 68040-based Apple Macintosh computers as long there is a sufficient amount
of RAM and disk space.
Q. Is digital photography expensive?
A. The price on digital photography equpnment can be rather costly. It mainly
depends on how serious of a photographer you are. High quality digital cameras
can be extremly expensive, while smaller, and more practial, cameras are rather
cheap and are good for family and personal use. Compared to conventonal
photography, digital photography is still more expensive.
Q. What is resolution?
A. Resolution is the degree of sharpness of an image displayed on a computer
screen or quality of printed output from a laser printer or photo or laser
typesetter expressed in dots per inch (dpi). Resolution can also refer to the
number of bits per pixel. In printing, resolution refers to the space between
dots in a halftone screen and is expressed as lines per inch (lpi).
Q. How does resolution affect quality?
A. Resolution is normaly equated with quality. Uasually, the higher the resolution,
the higher the perceived image quality.
Q. How does resolution affect file size?
A. The higher the resolution of the picture, the greater the size of the file.
However, some image formats, like JPEG, compresses image files so you can have
high-resolution pictures smaller file sizes.
Q. What is meant by compression?
A. Compression is a data storage scheme in which data files are compressed by
algorithms to save disk space.
Q. What are software drivers?
A. Software drivers are files that allow your computer to communicate with a
peripheral device such as a scanner, digital camera, printer, modem, or any other
Q. What is a SCSI and serial port?
A. A SCSI port is a port where you can connect certain devices like scanners,
disk drives, CD-ROM drives, etc. A serial port is more commonly used for
printers, modems, cameras, etc. Cables are used to connect peripherals to the
Q. Does a digital camera use film like other cameras?
A. A digital camera contains a charge-coupled device (CCD) on which the image
is captured. Software within camera looks at the image three times-once each
for red, green, blue-then combines and presents the complete RGB picture on the
Q. Why are digital cameras more costly than traditional cameras?
A. In a sense digital cameras are little computers that can take pictures. They
are packed full of computer memory, microchips, microprocessors, and a CCD
image sensor chip often larger and more expensive than those used in a video
camcorder. However, each new product introduction is decreasing in price and
helping to drive down the cost of digital camera prices.
Q. Are the pictures stored on the CCD?
A. No, the CCD is analogous to the film in a traditional camera. The CCD is used
to capture the digital picture. Pictures are usually stored in EPROM (Erasable,
PROgrammable Memory) microchips. Some digital cameras use PCMCIA Cards to
store pictures so more memory can be added.
Q. Do I have to know a lot about computers to use a digital camera?
A. No, using a digital camera requiers little computer experience.
The point-and-shoot digital cameras are geared for the average user, and ease
of use is an important part of the package. The professional digital cameras are
aimed at an experienced group of people who already have solid photographic and
computer skills and want features that take advantage of the advanced equipment.
Q. Is there such a thing as "film speed" with digital photography?
A. Digital cameras do have "speed" ratings that are similar in concept to film
speed. Some cameras operate at a fixed speed and some offer flexibility in speeds. What's interesting from a user's point of view is that with some digital cameras you can change speeds from shot to shot to match changing conditions. And, much like film, picture quality is usually better when using slower speed ratings.
Q. How many shots can a digital camera take? Can I erase the ones I
A. Digital cameras vary greatly in storage capacity and that is an important
feature to consider when selecting one. In the computer world, memory is a
commodity and it's no different for digital cameras. Some cameras can only
operate tethered to the computer and have no storage of their own. Some have
in-camera storage only, and some have a combination of in-camera storage
augmented by removable memory cards. In all cases, pictures can be "erased"
after they've served their purpose.
Q. Can I use digital equipment to make copies of old family pictures?
A. The professional digital cameras are excellent for copy work. They operate
at a resolution that is high enough for making sharp copies, and they can
reproduce a wider tonal range than the point-and-shoot digital cameras.
Additionally, the professional cameras can make use of better lenses for copy
work. Some of the point-and-shoot digital cameras do offer accessory close-up
attachments for use in copying pictures.
In addition, you can scan your pictures into your computer using a photo scanner.
Q. In average use, are digital cameras affected by high heat and
A. Heat and humidity can affect almost anything and digital cameras are no
exception. With many image sensor designs, extreme heat can cause "noise"
buildup, causing the picture to look "grainy" especially in the shadow or dark
areas. Digital cameras can be rather delicate.
Q. When I'm taking pictures, does the camera always have to be
connected to a computer?
A. Many digital cameras are designed to be used on location and do not need to
be connected to the computer until you want to download or transmit pictures.
Q. When the battery runs out, what happens to the pictures I've already
A. Pictures are stored safely in the camera's memory even if the battery fails
or while changing the battery. They will not be deleted until you instruct the
camera or software to delete the pictures.
Q. Where do I keep my digital pictures after I have looked at them?
A. Once captured, modified (if necessary), and saved, your pictures are, at this
point, computer files. Just as you need to organize word-processing files or
spreadsheets or database files, now you need to set aside a place for photo files
that you wish to save. You may choose to save them on your computer's hard drive
or you may want to move them to a separate disk or CD-ROM drive.
Q. Are digital pictures "archival"?
A. Once in digital form on your computer's hard drive, your pictures are
essentially a collection of bits and bytes and, in that sense, they are archival and
they cannot fade or degrade. As long as the storage media remains intact and
there is a device that can replay it, the digital pictures will exist as you saved
Q. How much file space does a digital picture take up? How many pictures
can be put on a high density diskette?
A. File size depends a lot on the camera used to take the picture. Using Kodak
digital cameras for reference, a standard-resolution picture from a digital
camera can take up about 116 KB, while a picture file from another can take up
about 18 MB. That's quite a difference and shows the range in this line of
products as well.
Q. Can digital pictures be compressed?
A. Using a software package such as PictureWorks PhotoEnhancer Special Fun Edition Software, Adobe Photoshop software, etc., you can compress pictures as you save them. For example, selecting JPEG compression (highest quality), you can compress a standard-resolution picture from a digital camera from about 225 KB to 50 KB and a high-resolution picture from another digital camera from about 540 KB to 75 KB.
Q. What can I do with digital pictures?
A. You can do lots of things with the right software...
Q. What is this "alphabet soup" of file formats-JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, PCD?
A. A great number of image formats exist because the competition in the software industry is very intense. Different companies promoted their particular image format. To make sure their product is useful to a greater number of users, manufacturers now commonly enable their imaging applications to use a variety of formats. Each format has a particular advantage.
Q. When/why would one save a picture in JPEG format versus, say, BMP?
A. Some programs, like word processors, require pictures to be of a certain image format if you wish to use them in a document. A format like JPEG is simply a good way to save a high quality picture in a relatively small file; JPEG is truly cross-platform.
Q. What I print out is not the same color as what I see on my screen. Why is that?
A. Computer monitors generally can create and display more colors than an ink-jet printer can for instance. Output that is very different from what is displayed on screen can indicate that a color management system was not available or not used. Color management systems are available to help with this problem. Many are built into operating systems like Microsoft Windows 95 software, Apple Macintosh OS, and Sun Solaris OS. Color management systems help to match what you see on your display with a particular output device by finding a common color gamut (range) in which both can work.
Q. Can I use my digital pictures in word processing or database documents?
A. Yes. Importing digital pictures into newer versions of word processing, drawing, database, or spreadsheet documents is easy and a very popular feature of digital imagery. In fact, the quality of pictures taken with point-and-shoot digital cameras, as well as their ease of use, matches up well with these sort of applications.
Q. Can I add text and graphics to my digital pictures?
A. Adding text and graphics to digital pictures is certainly possible. Software such as PictureWorks PhotoEnhancer Special Fun Edition Software allows you enhance your pictures and easily drop them into personalized templates, including greeting cards, party invitations, certificates, and awards. If you are a computer enthusiast, you can add your own text and graphics using programs such as Adobe Photoshop Software, Corel etc .and then output to the device of your choice.
Q. Can I edit my pictures? What software should I use?
A. One of the great advantages of digital photography is the ability to edit pictures on screen. Part of the attraction is the fact that it's the modern way to retouch pictures, and part of it is because it's so much fun! As time passes, we will see more and more image-editing products enter the market. Often digital equipment comes with the software packages that provide basic image-editing tools.
Q. Can I use the computer to remove "red-eye" from my pictures?
A. You can use your computer along with various image-editing software packages, to remove red-eye from pictures. STORM EASYPHOTO Software, included with the Snapshot Photo Scanner 1, contains a useful tool to remove "red-eye."
Q. Can I adjust the colors in my digital pictures? How do I do that?
A. Controls to adjust the color balance of your pictures are included in most image-editing software packages, such as PictureWorks PhotoEnhancer Special Fun Edition Software, or Adobe Photoshop.
Q. Can I artificially enhance the resolution of my digital pictures?
A. You can enhance a picture after it has been captured, but you cannot improve the actual resolution of the picture. Once the picture has been captured, you can sharpen it; you can increase its file size (although this interpolates pixels and does not increase resolution); you can optimize its tonal balance, remove noise and a host of other modifications, but you cannot improve its true resolution.
Q. Will airport x-ray devices affect the pictures on my digital camera or storage disks?
A. Photographers reflexively shy away from airport x-ray devices, but they will not damage the pictures on your digital camera or storage cards.
Q. Can I send my digital pictures via e-mail over the Internet?
A. Yes! This is another area where digital pictures shine.
Q. Can I make "prints" from my digital pictures?
A. You can obtain prints from digital pictures. Use a computer printer. The quality and cost of the print depends upon the printer and the print media you use. Many of the new color ink-jet printers produce pleasing results, especially if you choose a high quality paper. The highest quality results are produced by a thermal dye sublimation printer.
Q. Is a copy of a digital picture as good as the original?
A. Yes it is. Because the picture actually consists of digital data, copies suffer no quality loss and are identical to the original.
Q. Do digital thermal prints fade over time?
A . A study on the subject has shown that thermal prints begin to fade about 150-200 years after being printed
Q. Can my digital pictures be used with presentation software packages?
A. Yes. Once saved, your pictures can be imported into the majority of presentation packages on the market, for example, Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Persuasion software.
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