Posted on June 30th, 2009
Here at 42nd Street Photo, there’s a good reason we’re in the business of digital cameras. Photography is a hobby for some and a necessity for others, but for all of us, it’s a way to remember people, places, events, and more. Photography and motion capture may very well be the closest we ever get to time travel, and while it may not make for a really cool science-fiction flick, there is a reason why we as people have coined the term “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
All of us, through our lifetime, will lose someone we love. This could be a grandparent, a parent, or other family member; it could be a friend. Whatever the case, having something physical to remind you of someone is a way to remember certain people and to help us get past the pain we feel from losing them.
Everyone will miss someone at some point as well, and being able to see a picture of someone you care about but can’t see in person is a great way to get through that time as well. The beauty of digital photography, and one of the main reasons 42nd Street Photo is in the business of digital cameras, is the ease of sharing. Film cameras will always be a classic way to share image captures, but for those who simply want to see someone a thousand miles away, digital photography makes it easy to snap a picture and send it to anyone in the world at the speed of light. With digital photography, there is no need to wait and no need to worry if a one-of-a-kind print was lost in the mail.
While every person experiences tough times during which photographs can help, each of us will also share happy times with another. Family gatherings, special events and precious moments are all things we’d like to remember, and with digital photography, saving these memories is simple and cheap. If we at 42nd Street Photo could travel through time, we’d probably go back to when cameras were first invented and give one to every family that didn’t have the technology, because it really is a shame that before these times, many people could not afford to capture the memories that others might take for granted.
We certainly are lucky to be living in a day and age that makes it so easy to get in touch and capture memories with little boxes. We may not be able to go back in time, but with a digital camera, we just might have the next best thing.
Posted on June 18th, 2009
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3, however, is a great suggestion, in our honest opinion. It’s versatile, affordable, and of great quality, both for image and video capture. If you’re an amateur photographer, or a casual one, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 just might be the perfect camera for you and your budget.
The TZ5 model, as a precursor to the ZS3, was a great camera, and highly recommended by friends and family alike. The ZS3, in all it’s glory, has improved upon everything that made the TZ5 great.
With a newer processor, wider and more powerful 12x zoom lense, HD movie mode and improved face detection, image capture is not only easier, but of much higher quality. It has a 3″ LCD screen (460k pixels), 10.1MP resolution, 25-300mm focal length, and stereo sound recording.
It might not be classified as a super-compact POS digital camera, but this Lumix is lightweight and travels very well. And while many who purchase the camera may not do so because of it’s appearance, no one can argue that the ZS3 is a great looking camera.
Posted on June 11th, 2009
It has been the experience of the folks here at 42nd Street Photo that taking pictures is not an art form for everyone, but all of us like taking good pictures, especially of those we love. While photographing your family and friends may not be rocket science, we’ve found that a lot of people are unhappy with the way their portraits and group shots turn out, so we’re here to help with some handy tips that might help.
First off, you need a good digital camera. This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy the best DSLR on the market, it simply means that you should purchase a camera that suits your needs and can do what you need it to do.
The first step is to determine how you want to share your pictures:
- If you know for a fact that you will only be sharing your image captures online, then you don’t need to get a camera with a ton of mega-pixels. Anything over 8.0 is more than you’ll really need for digital sharing through email and to put on your personal websites.
- If you plan on sharing these images on a HD television however, check the resolution of the TV to see how large it goes. It’s best to capture these images at the same size as the TV if you want clean and clear pictures to be displayed correctly.
- If you wish to print your pictures and share them that way, it’s best to go with a larger MP count, at least 12.0 or greater – 14.0 is a great resolution, but for 4×6 or 5×7 printouts, 12MP should do the trick.
The second step is to determine what kind of pictures you will be taking. Do you tend to take a lot of pictures at your families sporting events or special occasions, or do you primarily plan to photograph those that stand still, smile and say “cheese”?
- If you only plan to take portraits, a fancy DSLR with a high shutter speed is not necessary. Simple point-and- shoot cameras go up to a great enough MP count that one of these will work for digital or print sharing purposes.
- If you tend to capture images of others in action, such as dancing at a wedding, playing sports, running, etc., you may want to get a camera with a broader range of features. Many POS cameras will tend to take blurry pictures when action is in the scene, so a higher-end POS or a DSLR with a good shutter speed and aperture is the key to sharper action shots.
The next step is anticipating your shot.
- For still shots, you have all the time in the world to tweak the settings on your digital camera, so unless you are shooting in auto all the time, it is best to read the manual that came with your camera to figure out the best settings for close to medium range portrait shots. Frame the shot however looks best to you, keeping in mind the position of lighting around you. Generally speaking, portraits come out best when the flash is not needed, and the camera is mounted on a tripod, so there is no worry to hold the camera steady. Light should come from behind you (or whoever is taking the picture) but at a slight angle, so the facial features stand out better.
- For action shots, manual settings are best, and a DSLR camera is preferred. The great thing about DSLR’s over most POS cameras is that they snap the picture right away, so that you wont get stuck with nothing but a foot or hand in frame, and miss out on the good stuff. Also, many DSLR’s have better auto settings, if you’re not comfortable with manual mode. Still, you should check out the manual and learn what the settings do, and experiment with different types of action shots in different lighting conditions.
When it comes down to it, practice and experimentation helps a lot to ensure better pictures. If you only take pictures when you want good shots, you may not be satisfied with the results. If you get in the habit of carrying your camera with you everywhere you go, feel free to snap away (since you wont be wasting film!) and if you think of it, mark down in a photo journal what the conditions and settings were, so you can make a reference later if you do or don’t like the way it turned out.
Posted on June 4th, 2009
While the Nikon Coolpix P90 doesn’t have a lot to offer in the features and controls department, it more than makes up for it in the image processing department. In order to explain how well this DSLR camera captures images, we’ll use an analogy consisting of you and your doctor. Generally, when you go to your doctor’s office, you describe your symptoms and a medically licensed expert offers his or her diagnosis. It would be rather silly in this scenario to disagree and diagnose yourself in converse to a professional opinion, which is comparable to wanting more image capture options and features on a camera that already knows how to take a great picture in whatever conditions it faces. That is where the Nikon Coolpix P90 shines.
With a nice feel but not a lot of weight to it, the best feature of the Nikon Coolpix P90just might be the price tag – and this isn’t one of those “it’s okay for the price” sort of cameras, it’s way better than it’s price tag. Super zoom is a feature that one normally is required to shell out big bucks for on most DSLR’s. Many top-of-the-line DSLR’s might struggle to capture clear pictures in bright and low light situations, but here at 42ndStreet Photo, we’ve found that the Coolpix P90 handles all light conditions extremely well.
The LCD screen pivots, which is very nice for those akward angle shots. While it does take amazing pictures, potential buyers should know that this is not a camera for those just starting into the world of photography. It’s relatively easy to use if you know what you’re doing, but an inexperienced user might find themself taking many uninspiring pictures if they don’t want to dedicate the time to learning how it works.
All in all, the Nikon Coolpix P90 is a good camera for anyone who wants to take good pictures, but for those that crave lots of features, this may not be the camera for them.