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Photo Supply Basics and Equipment Needed For Digital Cameras
SUMMARY: Finding the right digital camera can be enough of a hassle without having to think of all the photo supplies and equipment you have to buy with it. For a digital camera novice, there's a lot to figure out. Here is basic rundown of what essential photo supplies and equipment you'll need for your digital camera.
Memory Card - A memory card contains portable flash memory which is where photos are stored. Memory cards are used instead of film. They vary in price depending on how many megabytes can be stored on the card. The more megabytes (MB) the memory card has, the more pictures can be stored. If you only plan on saving 10 pictures at a time, the memory your camera comes with will probably be enough. If not, you'll have to buy an additional memory card with more. Once you're memory card is full or nearly full, you will need to download it onto your computer or portable hard drive (more information on this below.)
Portable Hard Drive - Portable hard drives are so new, most stores don't even carry them yet. But they are definitely up and coming. Portable hard drives are designed to allow active travelers to download memory sticks onto hard drives rather than lugging around a laptop to download memory sticks onto. A portable digital photo storage drive allows photographers to transfer the data from any kind of memory card to the portable device without every having to use a computer or buy a new memory card, which can be expensive.
Ink Jet Printers - Ink Jet printers are different from regular printers in that they print on special photo paper. This means you will never have to send your photos to the lab again. Ink jet printers work by dropping tiny drops of ink onto ink jet paper to make your photos look just as good as if they just came from a professional lab. When buying an ink jet printer, try to get a sales person to show you a print sample or to print one right then and there for you. This will show you the kind of quality you can expect to get from the printer when you get it home. If it does not look good in the store, it won't look good on your wall either.
Ink Jet Paper - If you're shopping for ink jet paper the most important things to keep in mind are brightness and absorption. The smoother the paper, the brighter the print. Smooth paper reflects light off the paper making it looker bright. Images printed on rough paper on the other hand will make the picture appear less crisp and clear than images printed on smooth paper. Another thing to keep in mind is absorption. Paper that absorbs too much ink will look fuzzy. Good inkjet paper is often coated with a waxy film to keep the ink from seeping into the paper.
Ink Cartridges - There's no way around it. If you buy an ink jet printer, eventually you will run out of the ink that comes along with the printer. This is where the ink jet printer companies get your money. The printer seemed inexpensive enough, right? But those cartridges are what keep the manufactures in business. Most manufacturers only make printers that are compatible with their ink cartridges. Therefore, before buying a printer, check out the prices of the ink cartridges. These companies count on people buying their printers and then they have them for life (or at least the life of the printer) since they have to use their cartridges.
Software - To view your photos and manipulate them you'll need software for your computer. Most digital cameras come with basic software you can use to view and crop pictures. But to do anything fancy with those photos you may have to buy more sophisticated software. The software that comes with your digital camera will allow you to download your photos onto you computer, view them, manipulate them a little and then pick and choose the photos you want to print.
Digital Photo Mat Board - Because the standard sizes digital photos appear in are different from traditional photo sizes, REDIMAT sells customized mat board sizes designed just for matting digital photos.
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