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  • What Every Digital Photographer Should Know About HDTV

    Posted on October 3rd, 2008 Staff Writer

    It may come as a surprise to some of you that knowing how to use a digital camera is just the beginning. Still, to some, it may be common sense – don’t feel bad if you are of the former, as there is enough technology to force even the most savvy consumer to turn their head 360 degrees. Sure, the digital age is moving faster than ever, but that doesn’t mean that the staff at 42nd Street Photo need a crash course – they know digital like you know your own children.

    So, what about this whole HDTV thing? Obviously, many of us are taking the neccessary steps to ensure we don’t get stuck without our digital converter box for broadcast television, come February 17, 2009. But how many of us know about other areas of compatibility? This one area of which we speak, is of course, the compatibility between your digital photos and your HDTV.

    Wait, you don’t have an HDTV, you say? Well, then you may want to consider it.

    While the purchase of a high definition, flat screen television is not neccessarily a must, there are many advantages to owning one, including a great way to view your digital photos. Many models are now built with SD card slots, and if you’re one of those “always prepared” digital photographers, you more than likely use SD cards as your preferred storage device for images captured with your digital camera of choice. This is good.

    As of now, the highest resolution available for an HDTV is 1920×1080 pixels, and most DSLR cameras can capture better resolution images than that. Furthermore, if you decide to purchase one of the more modestly sized HDTV’s, you will get around a 1280×720 pixel resolution. Either way, there is little to no concern for the images not displaying well on an HDTV.

    Before you begin wondering why the best resoultion HDTV’s have a lower pixel count than many digital cameras, consider the fact that larger images require more memory, so all your images can be taken at (or resized down to) your televisions resolution for the best compatibility. Unless you’re shooting photos for a magazine, newspaper, or other print media, there is no need to capture your images at the highest resolution your camera offers, nor is there a need at present for an HDTV to display as many pixels, since pixels displayed on a screen are displayed differently from pixels printed on paper. SO, what does this mean? It means your images will look better at the same resolution as your HDTV than they will at a larger resolution, and it also means you have a lot more room to store images.

    But, in case you are still hung up the HDTV peak at 1920×1080 resolution, let us educated you as to why. While some would debate this fact (probably those with eagle eyes), that particular resolution is best viewed at a distance from the television equal to, or greater than, twice the height of the screen. If they were to squeeze any more pixels into the screen, there would be no significant difference in the quality you view at that distance. So why pay more for resolution you’re not going to be able to appreciate?

    A lot of times, we need to sit back and enjoy the digital age, instead of pushing for more memory, better resolution, faster processors. Digital is moving fast enough as it is – we don’t need to speed it up, we need to enjoy it, and with an HDTV, you’ll have a whole new way to enjoy your digital photos.

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