Dec 25, 2004

Getting started with your new camera

from Peter Weinberger of the Charlotte Observer

"It's Christmas morning and you just discovered Santa brought the family's first digital camera. You have done research and feel prepared to shoot pictures. Now what do you do? Here are some guidelines to get started.

The instructions

Digital cameras will come with an instruction manual thick as a book. They also will have a quick reference guide to help you get started. The manual will come in handy later, once you are more familiar with the camera.

Setting up the camera

The memory card that comes with the camera will be small and hold few images. If this is all you have, reduce the image setting to normal or basic. This reduces the size of the image, allowing you to shoot more. When inserting the memory card, be sure the camera is turned off.


Digital cameras are power-hungry devices. You can never have enough. If the camera comes with a rechargeable battery, it will have some power in it. Just be prepared to charge soon after using. The best way to preserve battery life is by limiting the use of the camera's rear monitor.

Using the software

Installing the camera's software is easy, and lets you select and import photos on the computer. Then you simply plug the camera in with the connection cord, press a button, and they download automatically. Once the images are in your computer, they are ready for editing, e-mailing or printing.

Making movies

Many digital cameras come with a movie mode for shooting video. It's easy to connect and play the video on the TV. Keep in mind that if your memory card is small, it will limit how much you can shoot."