Digital photography: Save money
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Old 03-29-2008   #1
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Default Digital photography: Save money

We all know it: digital photography can be very expensive.



Here are some ways I think you can save money while still getting what you need out of the craft. Feel free to pass on your ideas.

Yesterday's memory cards
Skip the "high speed" memory cards. Go shopping for a memory card, and you'll think that you're shopping for CD-ROM drives. You'll see speed ratings such as 4X, 8X, even 52X. These speed ratings attempt to give you some indication of how quickly images can be written to your digital memory cards. The higher speed ratings, of course, correspond to higher prices.

But in practice, the difference in "speed" between an 8X memory card and a 52X memory card will be measured in milliseconds, hardly enough for you to notice.

Rechargable batteries
Purchase only rechargeable batteries. Some camera models on the market today use conventional "AA" batteries. It's not a bad idea to use a camera that takes conventional batteries, since you'll be able to find them anywhere around the world. But digital cameras eat batteries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Therefore, prefer rechargeable NiMH batteries, like those you can find online from distributors such as Thomas Distributing, as well as a good battery recharger. You'll save a tremendous amount of money over purchasing nonrechargeable batteries. DSLR users already know this, of course, since their cameras come with rechargables.

Software
You can also save money by using free or low-cost image editing, viewing, and printing software. IrfanView is a very popular freeware image viewer. For editing images, look first to the software that comes with your camera. Most digital cameras come with software sufficient for performing basic editing chores on digital photographs.

Corel's PaintShop Pro is an image editor that has enough for many people. It's available for well under 100 dollars.

Printing is a task that few programs do as well as the low-cost Qimage.

Developing money-saving habits
Think carefully about whether you really want to develop your own digital photographs. Take into consideration the cost of a photograph printer, paper, ongoing costs of inkjet refills, and the amount of time you'll spend proofing and reprinting photos, and you may decide that letting someone else handle the printing chore makes a lot of sense. AlbertP said something similar here:

http://photocamel.com/forum/printing...e-bureaus.html

Camera upgrade blues
Finally, resist the urge to upgrade your camera when a new model is released. Of course, you should think carefully about your needs before you purchase a digital camera. Once you've decided on a model, however, don't be tempted by the next offering that boasts more megapixels. Digital photograph quality is about far more than how many megapixels make up an image. Most digital cameras rated at three or four megapixels will take pictures that can be printed at sizes larger than most people ever need.

Instead, focus on refining your skills as a photographer--and on improving your photographs on the computer, which is the digital equivalent these days of the darkroom. The skills will allow you to produce better pictures. The latest, greatest camera model won't.

You can drop a ton of money into digital photography. (If you don't believe me, just read this thread:
http://photocamel.com/forum/photogra...otography.html.) Or you can buy yourself a good camera and concentrate on taking pictures. You'll no doubt have more and better memories following the latter course.

Your thoughts on how best to save money?

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Old 03-29-2008   #2
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Default Re: Digital photography: Saving money

EXCELLENT
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Old 03-29-2008   #3
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Default Re: Digital photography: Save money

Bravo. Some nice tips.

I would like to add that many think that because it's digital they can shoot as much as they want. Time is money and the more you shoot the more you spend time in proofing. You can easily confuse the clients with too much choices. Too many choices will minimize sales. There is a reason for getting it right in the camera and for portrait photographers they still need to stay in tune with just because it's digital doesn't mean you can spray and pray.

I purposely shoot with small storage CF cards now. It goes in line with a method of old school film days. The more you shoot, the more you spend at the lab. In this case, the more you shoot the more you confuse your clients and muddy up the process.

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Old 03-29-2008   #4
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Default Re: Digital photography: Save money

Quote:
Originally Posted by J T Smith View Post
I would like to add that many think that because it's digital they can shoot as much as they want. Time is money and the more you shoot the more you spend time in proofing.
Really a good point, JT. Postprocessing can really take the fun out of photography for a lot of folks.
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Old 03-29-2008   #5
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Post Re: Digital photography: Save money

You make some very valid points. Good food for thought.

Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2008   #6
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Default Re: Digital photography: Save money

i think there are two crafts within the art of photography. the first is being visually deft and strong with composition, framing and all the formal fundamentals of photo. the second is printing and post processing. personally, i know quite a few image-makers far more gifted at editing than capturing and vice versa.
-paul


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