Previously known as Questions and Answers: If you have any questions about digital cameras, or would like some information and advice about digital cameras – please ask! Simply email goshwa at hotmail.com or leave a comment below, and I’ll try and be as helpful as possible in answering your question.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Sandisk plus USBWhat Memory Card Should I buy for my Digital Camera?

If you’re wondering what kind of memory card you should buy, SD, SDHC, MicroSD, XD, Compact Flash, Sony Memory Stick, or wondering whether you should buy a SanDisk, Kingston, Integral or Transcend, or what speed and class to buy, or if you’re wondering how you can get a memory card connected to your USB sockets, then have a look at our guide to digital camera memory cards.

What Size Memory Card Should I buy, and how many photos will fit on my card?

Memory card prices are regularly coming down in price, but if you’d like some extra help in deciding what size to buy, and would like to know how many photos you’ll fit on your card, then have a look at this article

I can’t get the photos off my camera, I’ve lost my driver CD, I’ve had to re-install Windows, I’ve lost my camera’s cable, how can I get my photos on my computer now?

One of the simplest and easiest ways of dealing with this problem is to buy a USB multi-card memory card reader, simply make sure it supports your type of memory card, plug it into a USB socket, and away you go. Depending on which version of Windows you have, you may not need to load any drivers. Plus you can move it from PC to PC, and use it with future cameras you have.

Can you help me decide which camera I should buy? Which one is better, camera A, or camera B?

Because everybody’s needs are different, some people may be more interested in one feature over another, I can’t always tell you which camera you should buy. Especially if I haven’t reviewed the camera myself. In order to help you choose, I’ve written this guide on “How to choose a good digital camera – Try before you Buy

I can’t use my SD Memory card, the camera says “Card Locked”, “This memory card is protected”, or “Memory card is protected” – what can I do to unlock the card?

Kingston 512mb SD CardSD (Secure Digital) Memory cards have a small lock on the side (yellow on this card pictured here), if this is pushed into the lock position (as shown), it will let you read and view the images and data on the card but it won’t let you record new pictures / videos or data onto the card. It will also stop you from formatting the card. To fix this, simply take the memory card out of the camera and slide the lock to the unlocked position, if you lay the card down, as shown above, the unlocked position should always be up, on some cards it may not be as clearly visible as on this card. Some Sony Memory Sticks also have a small lock on them.

I have accidentally erased all my pictures off my memory card. Is there anybody who would know if that can be reversed? How can I get the images back?

If you’ve ever accidentally deleted some important photos, then this can help: Free Undelete is a completely free utility to recover deleted files and photos from your PC’s hard drive or from a memory card connected to your computer. If you have a Sony memory stick, then you can use Sony’s free image recovery software, alternatively try ZA Recovery.

Which Ultra Zoom Digital Camera should I buy?

A friend has emailed to ask which ultra zoom digital camera he should buy, he is tempted by the Olympus SP-550 Ultra Zoom… More information on the pros and cons of the different ultra zoom digital cameras can be found here, and you can also look at the Top Digital Cameras Reviewed to see which cameras are rated as the “Best Zoom” camera. It would also be worth trying before you buy especially as ultra zoom cameras often vary greatly in size and handling.

Olympus PEN Pin Hole ModeWhat is vignetting?

Dark corners, normally a sign of poor quality or cheap lens, or perhaps a faulty lens in an otherwise good camera. Generally you don’t want this, especially if you want high image quality from your camera. But isn’t it cool? It depends, if you want to replicate the “lomo” look, then see if your camera has a “Toy Camera” (Ricoh) creative mode or a “Pin Hole” (Olympus) art filter to replicate the effect, or you can recreate it on a computer using Photoshop, or GIMP etc.

What are purple fringing and chromatic aberrations?

Purple fringing is where purple “fringes” appears in photos where there is none in the original scene, and is particularly noticeable around areas of high contrast, such as along the side of the tree where there is a bright sky behind the tree. An example can be seen below, on the left, a small size version of the photo, and on the right, a view at 100% of the top left area showing purple fringing. You can view the full size version here, taken from the Samsung Digimax L55W review. Some more examples can be found here, or you can try and spot it in the “clock tower” photos in the photo gallery.

Chromatic aberration is where coloured fringes appear in photos, and can appear as any colour, but is most noticeable on digital cameras as purple, and you can find it on edges of high contrast. It may appear yellow, red, green, blue or another colour, and is another sign of a poor quality lens. Although saying that, a number of cameras now try and reduce purple fringing using software in the camera. Some examples can be seen here (yellow around the edge of the tail), and here (green and red around the penguin and blades of grass).

B.S.I – Backside Illuminated Sensor / Back-illuminated sensor
Moves the wiring in a sensor to the back, meaning that light entering the sensor does not get blocked by the wiring, this allows the sensor to pick up more light, allowing for better low light performance, and less noise. The technology is used in CMOS sensors.

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