Digital Single Lens Reflex or Point-And-Shoot Digital Camera?

There are two main categories of digital cameras. The digital single lens reflex, known as the DSLR, and the point-and-shoot digital camera. Both types of digital cameras have advantages over the other. Both types of digital cameras have disadvantages also. Which type should you buy? The answer to that question depends on what you plan to use the camera for.

The main advantage a film single lens reflex camera had over other types of film cameras, was that you saw through the same lens the photo was taken. This allowed you to see nearly exactly what would be in the final picture. In other types of film cameras, you looked through a lens that was separate from the lens film was exposed through. This meant, occasionally, what you thought was in the picture, was not. However, with a digital point-and-shoot camera, you can see the picture on the preview screen and this is nearly exactly what will be recorded by the camera. So in effect, digital point-and-shoot cameras have already gained the one of main advantages that most film single lens reflex cameras had over film point-and-shoot cameras.

One of the primary advantages of the digital point-and-shoot camera, over a digital single lens reflex, is size. You can get digital point-and-shoot cameras in extremely small sizes now. This makes the digital point-and-shoot camera very convenient. It is ideal for taking on vacation when you don’t want to carry things around or any other time you don’t want to take anything heavy with you. Trust me, I would much rather have had a point-and-shoot digital camera with me, than the DSLR I carried around, last time I went to Disney.

The point-and-shoot camera’s advantage in size also becomes one of the disadvantages. Because the cameras are so small, the flash is usually very close to the lens. This causes redeye to be a serious problem with many small point-and-shoot digital cameras.

The primary disadvantage of point-and-shoot digital cameras is something called lag. Lag comes in several varieties in digital point-and-shoot cameras. The first variety that you may notice is that some digital point-and-shoot cameras take a second or two to turn on. This can be a little bit difficult to get used to, since your film camera always seemed to be ready to take a picture. The next version of lag you may notice is on the preview screen. There is a slight delay between what is actually happening and what you see on the screen. There’s also some lag between the time you press the shutter button and the time the actual photograph is taken. This can make photographing a child playing soccer or any other sport extremely difficult. The final version of lag makes itself known between shots. After taking many digital photos in quick succession, the camera may need to pause while it processes the images.

Lag in point-and-shoot digital cameras is something the manufacturers are working very hard on. The good news is that, in most current digital point-and-shoot cameras, lag is now reduced significantly. While probably not something you want to use for sports photography, a current, quality, point-and-shoot digital camera acts very similar to a film point-and-shoot camera.

The digital single lens reflex really comes into its own in any type of action photography. The digital single lens reflex has comparatively no lag from the time you press the shutter button and when the photographs are taken. Because the viewfinder is optical, you are actually seeing the present and not the slightly delayed past in a preview screen. This does mean, however, that you cannot compose the picture through the preview screen. There been some attempts to do this in the DSLR by camera manufacturers, but none have proven very successful.

The primary disadvantage of the digital single lens reflex camera is size. While some point-and-shoot cameras are nearly as big, there are no truly compact digital single lens reflex cameras. Not much fun to carry around an amusement park. However, the larger size means those DSLR’s that do have a built-in flash, have placed the flash farther from the lens than most point-and-shoot cameras. The disadvantage is, that many digital single lens reflex cameras, particularly professional models, do not have a built-in flash.

The digital single lens reflex is extremely versatile. You can change lenses or add a more powerful flash. Most digital single lens reflexes also allow making manual adjustments much easier than digital point-and-shoot cameras. This is essential to the advanced shooter or professional photographer.

Digital Single Lens Reflex or Point-And-Shoot Digital Camera?

If you think that all you need to do is just push the shutter button on your digital camera and great pictures magically appear; or the more features and options available in the digital camera, the better the digital photos … then prepare to be disappointed. With these thoughts, you’ll get mediocre to average digital photos, and maybe once in awhile a lucky good photographic shot.

The truth is that great photos don’t happen by using great cameras, it’s you. You create great pictures. With a digital camera, you can make your own digital images look professional with a few basic skills and a willingness to do some digital photo retouching now and then.

Here are seven easy tips to help you take better photographs.

  1. Set Your Tones
  2. Polarizing Filter
  3. Outdoor Portraits
  4. Macro Mode
  5. Horizon Line
  6. Digital Camera Memory Card Awareness
  7. High Resolution All the Time

Digital Photography Is Becoming More And More Popular Thanks To The Power Of The New Digital Cameras

You have probably noticed — digital photography is becoming more and more popular. It seems that everyone has a digital camera. Digital cameras are even built into some cell phones. Digital cameras, like all the other digital items we see around us, is into the main stream of our society. Like digital movies, digital music and a host of other things, digital photography is here to stay. There are many reasons for the popularity of digital photography.

First, digital pictures are extremely versatile; they can be uploaded to websites for others to view, they can be sent in emails, they can be put into virtual scrapbooks or tangible scrapbooks by printing them out on high resolution printers that are very affordable.

Digital photography can produce pictures that can be viewed on your TV set or your computer monitor.

You can make calendars, personalized cards, coffee mugs, t-shirts and much more with digital pictures.

Most people like the fact that with digital photography you can skip the photo processing and all the expense that goes along with the old technology. You can even convert old photographic negatives into digital photographs! So, you can use your old film camera to produce digital photographs — but the best way is to get into digital photography by purchasing a digital camera.

Digital cameras are loaded with great features also. You will be able to preview pictures as soon as you take them; you can discard a picture you don’t like and retake it! You can crop digital pictures, or enhance them. There are a host of options available to anyone who desires to get creative with their digital photography. Some digital cameras will even act as a video recorder that offers video and sound.

Did I mention that you can take 100’s of pictures with many digital photography storage devices? And these storage devices are reusable!

Digital cameras are cheap these days. Of course it depends on what you buy, You can spend as little as $10 on a digital camera or up to $1,000 or more for digital photography like the pros do it. With the popularity of digital photography, comes the lowering of the price tags!

I fail to see why anyone would want to stick with the old film technology when digital photography has so many more advantages. Go ahead, take the plunge. Get into digital photography and have a great time with it.

Digital Scrapbook Flourishes

A digital scrapbook is an exciting project. With minimal mess, you can gather photos and memories into an electronic scrapbook. From there, you can share individual pages or the entire digital scrapbook via e-mail. You can save the digital scrapbook on CD. You can print your digital scrapbook – as many copies as you desire.

Digital scrapbook flourishes make your work look professional. Well-placed and limited in number, digital scrapbook flourishes can soften sharp corners and add feeling to any page.

Define Digital Scrapbook Flourishes

Digital scrapbook flourishes are decorative touches added to photos on the page of a digital scrapbook project.

As in writing, a flourish is an ornamental embellishment, added to make the page showier. Such embellishments appeared frequently in Victorian writing, but are now reserved for things such as certificates where calligraphy appears.

A digital scrapbook flourish might be a sweeping stem of flowers placed across the corner of a photo. It could be a circular “doodle” of intricately interwoven lines. Sometimes, digital scrapbook flourishes take a free art form, flowing loops of color or black sweeping onto the photo from opposite corners.

Brushes or Rubber Stamps

The forerunners of digital scrapbook flourishes are done with “brushes” in conventional scrapbooking. The term “brushes” can be misleading, however, as no artist’s or painter’s brush is involved These decorative touches are added with rubber stamps in conventional scrapbooking.

Since digital scrapbooking is done solely on the computer, the “brushes” or “rubber stamps” may be previously created designs placed on the electronic page atop the photo. Another way of producing digital scrapbook flourishes is to use a digital brush to doodle or swirl a design onto the finished page.

Advantages of Digital Scrapbook Flourishes

Many advantages can be gained through the use of digital scrapbook flourishes. A page that is other wise little more than a simple photo album page gains interest, and tells a more complete story through the addition of flourishes. How do flourishes accomplish that?

1. Digital scrapbook flourishes give cohesiveness to a page. For example, a page that features two similar photos can look bare if the two photos sit alone on the background. Look at what a digital scrapbook flourish can do. A flourish can sweep between the photos, crossing one corner of each, and tying them together. A flourish can be echoed from one photo to the next. Place identical flourishes across matching corners to show the photos’ relationship. A few small flourishes can flow between the photos, overlapping each photo slightly at one or two spots. All of these, and more, are ways to pull page elements together with digital scrapbook flourishes.

2. Digital scrapbook flourishes can also be used to convey emotion. A photo of a young girl, just home from her first dance, can become wistful and nostalgic if a spray of flowers floats across one corner. A photo of a boy’s first baseball game recalls his excitement when a flourish of a trophy is added.

3. Finally, a digital scrapbook flourish can simply make a dull page showy. Think of an official royal decree. It would carry as much power on a plain piece of paper, provided it had the proper seal. But a flourish or two makes it showy – gives it importance. Digital scrapbook flourishes can do the same for your electronic page.

The Digital IQ of Prestige Brands in China

An exclusive report from L2 and Labbrand

The massive potential for retail businesses in China is no surprise to anyone-least of all prestige brands. After years of annual double-digit growth, China’s booming economy has left tens of millions of consumers seeking new ways to spend their disposable income. In 2009, China became the world’s second largest luxury market behind Japan, surpassing the United States.

Even though these trends were recognizable at least 20 years ago, many prestige brands are still playing catch-up in this diverse and rapidly changing marketplace. With 384 million internet users-more than the U.S. and Japan combined-much of the competition for customers and brand loyalty will play out online. The investment prestige brands make in their own digital competence could be a deciding factor in their ability to survive and thrive in China, and is likely to become increasingly important as the market matures.

What is Digital IQ and How is it Measured?

In July of 2010, L2, a think tank for prestige brands, partnered with Labbrand to measure and rank the digital competence of one hundred prestige brands in China[1]. The measurement methodology, “Digital IQ,” gives each brand a combined score based on website translation, functionality and content, search engine optimization (SEO), social media performance, and digital marketing efforts

Digital IQ Ranking: China

A Closer Look at the Numbers

These rankings reveal several interesting trends and correlations with other available metrics. For example, the eight fashion brands measured show a strong positive correlation (0.72) between Digital IQ and brand value as reported in BusinessWeek’s annual 100 Best Global Brands report[2]. For the six automotive brands measured in both studies, the correlation is also strongly positive, at 0.61. These correlations do not necessarily mean that increasing Digital IQ guarantees an enhanced brand value. Nevertheless, the strength of these correlations suggests that the relationship between brand value and Digital IQ is not arbitrary . It is possible that valuable brands are more likely to have higher brand awareness, and therefore enjoy higher returns on the same or smaller investments in digital. Alternatively, valuable brands may be more likely to have higher marketing budgets and invest more heavily in digital media.

Prestige brands with the highest Digital IQ scores are breaking away from the pack. In mature markets, measurements of digital competence show prestige brands tightly bunched together-

leaders do not achieve significant separation from brands with average Digital IQ scores. But in China, digital Geniuses are not just in the lead-they’re winning big. For example, the five brands in the Genius category boast a mean Digital IQ more than 25 points higher than that of the next five brands. In comparison, brands ranked six through ten show a mean difference of only 13.2 points compared to those ranked eleven through fifteen. Digital leaders start “breaking away” at an inflection point around Digital IQ 120. Brands at the bottom end of the ranking demonstrate a similar but opposite effect-they lag significantly behind brands with average Digital IQ scores.

Fifty-nine percent of the luxury brands in the study of Digital IQ in China were also measured in a separate study of the Digital IQ of luxury brands in the U.S., dated September 2009. Brands measured in both indices demonstrated a correlation of 0.58 between their Chinese Digital IQ and their U.S. Digital IQ, suggesting that digital competence in one market can be leveraged in another. Beauty brands Lancme, Clarins, and Este Lauder show the greatest positive disparity between Chinese and U.S. Digital IQ. This suggests their recognition of the opportunity to build brands in China through digital media. Meanwhile, champagne brands Veuve Clicquot, Mot & Chandon, and Dom Prignon demonstrate the largest negative disparity-none of them support a Chinese language version of their brand site. Negative disparities may speak to inability or carelessness when translating digital competence from West to East.

A Career in Digital Filmmaking: The Latest Development in the Film Industry

Digital cinematography is the latest revolution in the motion picture industry and, given its many advantages over the traditional use of film, it is here to stay. Major studios and independent filmmakers alike are embracing the newest technology and anyone considering a career in film production needs to become familiar with digital techniques.

What is digital filmmaking?

Digital cinematography captures moving pictures digitally, rather than on film, just like the difference between a digital camera and your old film camera. The idea of digital cinematography was first introduced in the late 1980’s, by Sony and was marketed as “electronic cinematography”. This idea was not successful however, and it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that digital video cameras gained widespread use.

Industry acceptance

Today, digital cinematography is being embraced by the film industry. In 2009, Slumdog Millionaire became the first film shot in digital to win an Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Animated feature films have also widely adopted the new techniques to create stunning 3D effects. Digital cinematography certainly has come a long way since its inception in the 1980’s.

What are the benefits of digital filmmaking?

The most obvious advantage of digital cinematography over traditional film is the cost. For moving pictures shot with film, producers need to consider costs such as the film itself, processing the film, transferring the film to video and negative cutting. These expenses can run into the tens of thousands. Digital cinematography eliminates these costs.

Digital cinematography saves time as well as money. Because a director can watch the scene as it is being shot, rather than after it have been developed and processed, reshoots can be avoided. Digital technology also streamlines the transfer between filming and post-production, allowing visual effects to be added while filming in still in progress.

Digital filmmaking offers a number of technical advantages too. For instance, film cameras are large and heavy, imposing restrictions on where the can be mounted. Digital cameras come in a variety of sizes and can be quite compact, offering flexibility in regards to possible shots.

Computer animation

Animation used in films has also received a digital makeover. Most animation studios have moved away from the old stop motion technique, which is an extremely slow process, and towards computer-based graphics.

3D computer graphics have become especially popular for their realistic and engaging visuals. 3D computer animation is used both to enhance live action motion pictures, as in the special effects in Jurassic Park, as well as used to create entire films, such as Toy Story. In 2009, the popular film Avatar incorporated both digital animations and live acting to create the highest grossing film of all time. Clearly the possibilities of this technology are only beginning to be realised.

Switching to digital

Major studios aren’t the only ones moving to digital. Because of the low cost, the digital revolution is also a grassroots movement within the film industry, with independent producers taking advantage of the benefits of digital cinematography.

The biggest obstacle for most filmmakers wanting to make the switch is a lack of proper training. Because film was so widely used in the past, few individuals working in the film industry are familiar with the newest techniques

What Is Digital Marketing? A Guide to Marketing in Today’s Digital World

In the world of business development and branding, going digital is all the buzz. So just what is digital marketing and how can we use it to grow our businesses?

Digital Marketing Defined

Digital marketing is the advertising and promotion of businesses and their brands through digital media channels. Digital media, at the moment, includes websites, social media, radio, television, mobile and even forms of traditionally non-digital media such as billboards and transit signs. Essentially any marketing media that is delivered electronically is considered digital marketing.

This leaves only various forms of person-to-person (P2P) marketing, print advertising and direct marketing outside of the digital marketing umbrella. Even then, print ads, direct mail, print directories, billboards and posters are all starting to connect to their digital counterparts. With items like URL landing pages, QR codes, web banner advertising, online directories and text codes, traditional marketing and advertising almost always has a digital marketing connection.

Why the Focus on Digital Media?

The shift to digital media is being driven by marketing agencies, business owners and consumers alike. The ever-increasing demand to show quantifiable results makes going digital a dream for the digital marketing agency. Most digital media, including websites, social media and mobile advertising is much easier to track than traditional marketing media such as print advertising.

For business owners, many forms of digital advertising are very low cost. Having a web presence, engaging customers in conversations through social media and e-mail marketing are low cost alternatives to print advertising and direct mail. These digital channels are available to businesses of any size, and help to even the playing field for start-ups, small businesses and independent consultants seeking new business.

For consumers, the fast pace of life makes digital advertising a must. When consumers are in need of goods and services, gone are the days of thumbing through a phonebook to find them. Now, we whip out our mobile devices or head to our computers for answers – and we find them fast.

Using Digital Media to Build Your Business and Brand

No matter what size your business is – large or small to medium sized business / enterprise (SMB or SME) – you can effectively market your business through low-cost digital channels. The foundation of your marketing efforts will be your website. Invest wisely in your website, and be sure that it does the following:

  • Adequately represents your business and brand (look and feel, messaging)
  • Adequately speaks to your target audience
  • Can be found by searchers on top search engines
  • Is up-to-date and easily navigable
  • Provides multiple channels for customer communication
  • Connects to other marketing efforts

It is recommended that you work with a professional web design firm that is skilled in web development and search engine optimization. Because your website is the foundation to and from which all other digital channels will lead, it should be considered one of your top business investments.

Once you have your website complete, the next steps would be to launch regular monthly or bi-monthly e-mail campaigns, and connect with customers via social media. If you are truly on a shoestring budget, these are efforts that can be done in-house (by someone with the proper knowledge) or for a low cost by an outside digital marketing agency. Be sure that all of your efforts lead customers back to your website where they can fully engage with your business, products and services, and choose the channels through which they contact you.

If you’re interested in getting aggressive with search marketing, you can set aside some digital marketing dollars for search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. Many businesses today rely heavily on being found online to gain new customers. A common misconception among business owners is that simply having a website means that customers will find it. Not so. Your site must be built with specific key words and phrases, meta data, page content and linking strategies that will help it reach top search rankings

Digital Pianos – 7 Steps To Acquire One Now

When it comes to purchasing any product, information can be limited. Because of this, you might purchase the wrong item. You might even purchase what you initially wanted but soon become unsatisfied with it. It’s just hard for people to buy something when they don’t have all the necessary information.

So, one day, I decided that I just wanted to help people like Superman except not really. I’ve just been in the piano business for a long time so I can give some basic tips when it comes to purchasing a digital piano. There are literally hundreds of models for digital pianos now so I can understand why some people don’t even know where to start.

I’m sure you’ve searched “digital piano” on Google only to find over 5 million results. You might have even resorted to going to a local store only to find dozens of models. Hey, it’s an improvement but when they have names like P95 or MP6, you’re still as confused as ever. Finally, you probably asked a salesman for advice before you quickly noticed that he’s trying to sell something rather than help you.

Now, with the help of this guide, you’ll know where to start and what you want.

Step One: The Who

Before you purchase anything, you have to first decide who this is for. Is it for yourself? Is it for your wife, who loves pianos? Is it for a 7-year-old child? All these decisions matter when it comes to choosing a digital piano. Before you do anything, take this into consideration. You might even have multiple users for this piano. In that case, you would want to meet the expectations of the most advanced player. For example, with an entry-level digital piano, a beginner won’t mind but an advanced player will. With a higher-end digital piano, both the beginner and the expert will be satisfied. Therefore, it’s important to meet the expectations of the most advanced player.

Everything else will revolve around this first step.

Step Two: The Feel

In my opinion, after deciding who this will be for, the feel of the piano is the next most important part when it comes to purchasing a piano. To clarify, play a note on one end of the acoustic piano. Now play another note on the opposite end. What you’ll notice is that the lower note is a bit heavier than the higher note. What happens is that when you press a key on a piano, you are actually lifting a hammer to hit the string, causing it to vibrate. This makes sound (source: my awesome physics knowledge). The hammers for the lower notes are a bit heavier than the hammers for the higher notes, which explains why those keys feel heavier. In addition, when you press the key too slowly (or lightly), the hammer never reaches the string so you never hear a sound.

With that said, digital pianos emulate this weighted feeling. There are many variations, and the best ones feel like a real acoustic piano while the cheap ones simply don’t. For example, the Yamaha brands have the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) and the GH/GHE (Graded Hammer Effect). The GHS is typically in the entry-level digital pianos. It feels lighter than the GH. Most beginners don’t notice, but the more advanced players tend to prefer the GH action keyboards.

I believe this step to be the most important step in choosing your piano. If you don’t like the feel of it, then you will be continuously bothered by your own digital piano. Sometimes, the keys feel too plastic. You wouldn’t want that now, would you? Some people argue that the sound is more important than the feel. Regardless, everyone will agree that these two aspects are crucial to buying a digital piano. This brings us to our next step…

Step Three: The Sound

The sound of the music is potentially just as important as the feel of the keyboard. It’s important for the digital piano to feel like an actual piano. That should be a given.

All piano companies strive to duplicate the grand piano sound. For example, when you play a key, it will sound different depending on how hard you press it. The most basic digital pianos do not have this feature. These pianos are not velocity-sensitive. The more expensive pianos are velocity sensitive, and it differs from piano to piano. Some digital pianos may only have one velocity layer. Some may have 10 velocity layers. Of course, more layers generally mean more expressivity in your performances. You can truly bring your composition to life because these digital pianos notice all the nuances and subtleties in your performance.

How To Take Digital Photos

Taking digital photos is really exciting ad fun. There’s really nothing to it.

First thing to do is find out how much money you have to invest in the purchase of your digital camera. That’s for those of you who do not have a digital camera already. Maybe you are just now switching from your old school film camera to a digital one. If so, wise decision my friend. Now believe it or not, you can find a great camera for an excellent price. For instance I myself use a Cannon PowerShot A510.

Now once you have gotten that part over with and you now have your digital camera of choice here comes the really fun part. Ready for it? You must read the owner’s manual. Imagine how much fun that’s going to be. Most people skip this step and move right into pointing and shooting. After all that is what we bought it for isn’t it? But you are reading this article so you are not like most people I take it and you will be one of the few intelligent people who actually read the owner’s manual that came with your new digital camera. This will allow you to have right knowledge of the machine you are now trying to connect to your imagination in order to take that magnificent shot. That amazing shot that you will more than likely share with lots of your friends and relatives. You see there are a lot of folk out there who take digital photos and simply are not satisfied with the results and they wonder why. Some make the silly assumption that it’s the digital camera and not them and so they go and get another digital camera of another make and model and possibly a more expensive one with the hopes of improving their shots. And sometimes that shot may come out a little better with a more expensive digital camera but if he or she or even you possibly, would have just simply read the owner’s manual all of that frustration and extra money spent could have been avoided.

OK, now I hope you’ve read the owner’s manual, which is literally the instructions of operations, if so you now have right knowledge of your maximum zoom in zoom out, your flash control, and also your aperture, ISO & shutter speed. Which are just the basics of how to take a wonderful digital photo. Also for your new digital camera that you just gained powerful knowledge of by reading the owner’s manual you’re going to want to further invest in extra memory cards. If you have a 3 megapixel camera, get at least a 256MB card, 512MBs for 4 megapixel models, and 1GB for 6 megapixels and up. Doing this will ensure that you have enough memory storage to go out and shoot multiple digital shots without running out of space to put them all. There is nothing more stressful than to miss a golden opportunity shot because your last shot took up all of your space on your memory card. Also having that extra memory space allows you to take more higher resolution digital photos.

Now if you are like I was when I first started shooting with my digital camera you tend to use the auto focus mode because we figure hey, the digital camera itself should know the better setting better than anyone. Makes sense but digital photography is still an art, and so different shots are going to require different settings. Have you ever noticed that if you leave your digicam on auto all of the time that some of your shots seem a little not so bright and brilliant. I found that if you are shooting outdoors on a sunny day if you switch your digital camera settings from auto to cloudy, kind of backwards I know, you get a digital photo that is more rich in tones. I think it’s because the cloudy setting produces more reds and yellows. I performed this test using a Cannon PowerShot.

As I was reading one of many digital camera magazines that I tend to read quite often, I picked up a cool idea. As you may or may not have knowledge of, the professionals in photography use a polarizing filter when they are taking digital photos of landscapes and photos of the outdoors in general. This filter is used to reduce glare that outdoor pictures always have a lot of. The polarizing filter therefore gives the photographer a richer more saturated digital photo. I myself not being a pro I did a little improvising. The camera is an attachment to my imagination. I’m using my imagination with my eyes open rather than closed. On a nice sunny day I’m protecting my eyes from the glare of the sun with my cool shades on while I let my imagination find THAT shot. And then it hit me. Why don’t I place one of my sunglass lenses over my digital camera lens and see what kind of difference I see in the shots. And guess what. The photo with the sunglasses over my digital camera lens came out better. How about that. Is that cool or what. I myself thought it was very cool because after spending all that money on my new digital camera my budget said no to buying extras for it. I was trying to learn how to take better digital photos in order to get THAT shot that would maybe make enough money to start investing in more accessories for my digital camera. So the sunglasses trick worked out well for me that day. Maybe you should try it yourself and see the results personally.

Now for all of my fellow smokers who have bad nerves which lead to a shaky hand. Or maybe you’re not a smoker and you just have shaky hands. The tripod was invented for us. This little contraption can make the difference of capturing a digital photo and capturing an extraordinary digital photo. Lots of people don’t like to use them because they are big, bulky, and just frustrating. And don’t forget that is another thing to buy. Unfortunately at this writing I haven’t been able to improvise any much more than simply leaning on a stationary object or using a shelf or table, so I had no choice but to find the perfect fit in your pocket, and take it anywhere, place it anywhere tripod. The svelte UltraPod for under twenty bucks. Just Google svelte UltraPod and you’ll see it. This is a necessity if you want to shoot consistent spectacular digital photos.

And that’s basically it guys. Nothing to it but to do it.

Most digital cameras, have lots of functionality already built into them. By reading the owner’s manual and applying a little improvisations and creativity, you will be taking shots that will make people ask you, “What kind of camera do you use when you take your digital photos?” You can tell them what digital camera you used for whatever photo they are asking about, but inside, you’ll know it’s not the camera responsible for those extravagant photos. It’s the imagination of the photographer.

Digital Games And Kids – A Different Perspective

The “Wikipedia problem” which means children turning to internet for readymade answers is the new age phenomenon baffling teachers and mentors globally. There are almost equal numbers of teachers who consider technology to be a solution as much as a problem. While a common belief is that technology is hindering the students’ capacity to think and analyze, there is also a strong opinion in favor of video games and digital gadgets’ ability to engage students and enhance learning by using more than one sensory stimulators. In spite of the growing concern about the students’ deteriorating attention spans, institutions are incorporating them in the process of classroom learning.

Children are inherently inquisitive creatures. They have a curiosity to discover new things and learn by way of discovering and experimenting even before they are subjected to methods of formal education such as reading or writing. Science is a discipline of experiments and discoveries. The National Science Education Standards emphasize that “science education needs to give students three kinds of scientific skills and understandings. Students need to learn the principles and concepts of science, acquire the reasoning and procedural skills of scientists, and understand the nature of science as a particular form of human endeavor. Students therefore need to be able to devise and carry out investigations that test their ideas, and they need to understand why such investigations are uniquely powerful. Studies show that students are much more likely to understand and retain the concepts that they have learned this way “. Hence, it becomes imperative to engage children in science education at an early stage.

Digital games are more capable to gain students’ interests and attention than other conventional means of imparting education in a classroom. However, some educationists also regard them as culprits of exponential decline in the attention span in children. The next sections in this article discuss the involvement of children in games in the tech age, types of games available in the market and the impact of digital gaming as learning aids in classrooms.

Gaming and the New Age Kids

Digital technology has expanded the horizons of video gaming in the modern world. Kids are subjected to far more complex and challenging technological environment than their counterparts were from over half a century back. Involvement of kids in digital gaming is a result of many significant changes in the lifestyle and culture of the modern society. Easy accessibility of technology, dispensable income due to dual income families and lack of infrastructure for outdoor activities in many cities are some major contributors in making screen games an important part of the children’s’ lives. A study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) found that only 20 percent of the census blocks are within half a mile of a block boundary. Also, the effect of peer pressure cannot be undermined in these times of social networking.

The digital gaming market is one of the fastest growing segments of the global entertainment industry. US is witnessing unprecedented penetration of digital games amongst youngsters. In the US, 97% of the teens play some type of game on a regular basis. In India, the gaming market has grown manifold in the last few years. Hence, it is imperative that educationists are continuously contemplating the use of digital gaming as a learning tool in classrooms. Institutions are also employing innovative ways to leverage the digital advantage for enhancing the learning experience at schools.

What are Digital Games?

There is no concrete definition of games as it may vary with an individual’s preference and profession. Games can be defined as a “system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, which result in a quantifiable outcome”. Technology and digitization add new dimensions to games where simulations, interactivity, augmented reality, alternative reality, collective intelligence and sensory stimulators such as sound and visual effects. Digital games are also characterized by their portability and limitless accessibility.

Role-playing games, simulation games and puzzles are some of the most popular digital games. In role-playing games, the player enacts the role of a particular character in a virtual world moving from one level to the other based on the outcome of the earlier level. RPGs can be single player such as the dungeons and dragons from earlier days of gaming or multi-player games such as Diablo III, Xenoblade, Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Mass Effect 3. MMORPG or the Massive Multiple Online Role-Playing Games are an extension of the RPGs where large number of players interacts in an online virtual world. Simulation games create realistic situations in virtual worlds. The outcome will depend on the player’s decision-making and responsiveness and will be closely similar to what may happen in a real world in the same situation. Widely used in training and analysis, simulation games are also popular due to their unpredictable and personalized outcomes. Flight Simulator X, Live for Speed (LFS) and Need for Speed have been extremely popular simulation games for a long time. Puzzles genre of digital games involves problem solving and analysis with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the nature of the game. Crosswords and treasure hunt games are basic forms of puzzle games in both physical and digital form.