Digital Cameras

There's a lot of different digital cameras on the market. Read on to determine the features and functions you need.

Photo Terminology

As a PC user you might be under the impression that mastering digital photography is simpler than film photography. In fact, to get the most out of a middle or top of the range digital camera, you need to know exactly the same fundamentals about photography. For those of you who aren't too familiar with photo terminology, here are some quick explanations to help.

Aperture: The aperture of a lens is related to its diameter and is a measure of how much light the lens allows in. Altering the aperture, therefore, is an important means of controlling the exposure recorded within the image. Aperture is measured in f-stops, although, confusingly, the larger the aperture, the smaller the f-stop.

f-stop: A measure of how much light a lens lets in. More precisely, it's the ratio of the diameter to the focal length. So a lens with a true focal length of 20mm, which is 10mm in diameter, has a maximum aperture of f/2. An implication of this is that a zoom lens will have a smaller maximum aperture when it is zoomed in.

Shutter speed: This is the length of time light is allowed into the camera when a photo is taken. Commonly, shutter speed can be varied from 1/1000 second to a few seconds. One of the most important things to note about shutter speed is its effect on movement. With a slow shutter speed, typically, less than 1/60th of a second, a moving object will be portrayed as blurry. Faster shutter speeds allow the user to capture a moving object much more clearly - even droplets of water in a fountain will appear to be frozen in mid-air.

Focal length: The focal length is a property of the lens which dictates the amount by which it magnifies the scene. The zoom control on higher-end cameras is the means by which the focal length is altered. Commonly, the focal length of a digital camera is given as a 35mm equivalent because so many people are familiar with 35mm cameras. The actual focal length will be shorter, because the CCD is smaller than 35mm film.

You should also be aware that changing the focal length affects perspective. A short focal length exaggerates perspective; a long focal length shortens it.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?