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Top 8 Digital Camera Newbie Mistakes to Avoid

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Digital cameras are great! They let you experiment and learn without the hassle and expense of film developing. They give you the freedom to take more pictures--lots more pictures! But they also open up a whole new world of technology and terminology that even proficient film photographers may not be familiar with. Fortunately, you can bypass the confusion by visiting the links in this article to learn about and avoid the most common pitfalls and mistakes many new digital camera owners make.

1. Sending Enormous Files By Email

One of the first things new digital camera owners want to do is start sharing their digital photos with friends and family. Learn how to do it the right way.

2. Not Backing up your Photos

Some people will save film negatives for generations, but when they make the switch to digital, they may never even consider the idea of making a second backup copy of their images.

3. Using the Camera's Digital Zoom Feature

Digital zoom is a marketing gimmick. Don't use it.

4. Using Too Much In-camera Compression to Reduce Memory Use

JPEG compression makes your pictures nice and small so you can fit more on your storage card, but too much compression can damage them beyond repair. Your camera probably offers options to let you choose the best compromise between image quality and file size.

5. Using Lower Resolution to Reduce Memory Use

Your digital photos could be the only document of your life that is passed on to the generations that follow you. Use your camera's highest resolution to preserve that history with as much detail as possible.

6. Using the Camera's Date Stamp Feature

One nice thing about digital cameras is that they automatically embed the date in the EXIF metadata that is stored in the file. You don't need to have the date directly on the image since you can retrieve the date taken information at any time by looking at the file properties. Putting the date directly on the photo is ugly and really detracts from a picture. Please disable this option if your camera offers it. However, do ensure that the date is set properly in your camera settings, especially if the batteries are dead after a long period of not being used.

7. Settling for the Software That Came with the Camera

The bundled software that comes with your camera or scanner may be good enough for basic tasks, but to truly enjoy the full potential of digital photography, you should consider upgrading to a more flexible, mainstream photo editor.

8. Not Taking Time to Learn the Equipment

More than likely you spent hundreds of dollars on your new digital camera and accessories. If you got it home and immediately tossed the user manuals aside, consider picking them up again. A little knowledge of your equipment and general photography can go a long way toward improving your picture-taking skills. The beauty of digital photography is that once you've made the initial investment, there is little additional cost for practice and experimentation.

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