Recap from Jan 26 – camera basics

Keeping settings on auto is fine for now.

Zoom: use optical but not digital. The digital zoom just makes the pixels bigger, considerably reducing image quality.

ISO: 200 is a good all-purpose setting (but may be too dark for indoors). 400 is fine. Going above that depends on your camera; the less expensive the camera, the sooner you’ll get noise in the image as you raise the ISO.

Image settings (size and resolution): maximize these. The only reason to go to a lesser-size/resolution is to save memory, but you lose image quality.

The only special scene mode worth using is the one for fast-moving subjects, usually labeled sports with an icon something like this:

Canon special scene modes

Canon ISO control

Nikon ISO control

iPhone Hipstamatic images from Afghanistan on front page of NY Times

Discussion and images.

But it happens that Mr. Winter quickly realized — after trying a few shots — that his iPhone would be an effective way to capture the day-to-day trials of the First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division in northern Afghanistan.

“Composing with the iPhone is more casual and less deliberate,” Mr. Winter said. “And the soldiers often take photos of each other with their phones, so they were more comfortable than if I had my regular camera.”

Mr. Winter even found himself taking a few iPhone pictures during firefights while he was shooting video with his single-lens reflex (a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, as long as we’re on the subject). The Hipstamatic app forced him to wait about 10 seconds between photos, so each one had to count.