You Don't Need To Buy Much

Canon PowerShot A2300 From AmazonCredit: Amazon

In the early days of digital photography, cameras shipped with a small amount of built-in memory. They could also be expanded with an additional memory card. Now practially all manufacturers do not provide any photograph storage at all. While this means that you need to buy an expansion card when you get a new digital camera, it isn't necessarily all bad. There are hardly any extras needed. Many photographers may choose to purchase a lot of accessories but the list of essentials is short.

Photographic History
In the earliest days of film, all manufacturers shipped products without film. Sometimes a small roll would be included as a promotion but generally the purchaser needed to buy film. Practically all film was sold without developing service included. That meant that a photographer would need to buy their equipment and film then pay more money to develop prints. This was deemed acceptable. Many manufacturers sold equipment and film but left film choices and purchase to owners.

Early Digital Photography
The first digital units often shipped with a small amount of memory, perhaps 500 megabytes. This would allow these early devices to hold perhaps 100 photographs before a download to a computer was required. An expansion slot allowed owners to easily double, or more, their memory. Once the equipment was expanded, photographers would be able to shoot hundreds, or thousands, of pictures before downloading them to a storage computer.

Modern Digital Photography
Modern cameras seldom are shipped with any picture storage memory at all. Some very low-end models might but these are rare and are more like toys than serious units. Instead, new devices require that the owner put in a memory card before taking any photographs at all. Luckily, such cards are not at all expensive now. At the low end of the market, 8gb, (gigabyte), units are available for a few dollars. These allow the temporary storage of a large number of photographs. Optionally, owners can purchase 16gb, 32gb or even 64gb memory cards for even more photograph storage. Be sure to check the specifications of your camera, however. You might find that you don't need to purchase to top storage units. If fact, some equipment will not function with the 64gb expansion option. Depending on how many photographs you shoot, you may find a 32gb perfectly acceptable or you can get a second card as a spare.

Saving Your Photographs
Remember that all storage memory in your camera must be considered temporary storage. While the expansion cards are very reliable, you must periodically empty your shots onto a computer for long-term saving. Once there, your shots should be backed up just like any other file on your computer. Protection of these priceless memories is vital since they are generally not replaceable.

Memory Card Classes
Expansion cards come in different classes. The higher the class, the faster the memory will be in operation. New units are usually class 4 or higher. Check your equipment owner's manual to see what class your device needs. If you can use the lowest classes, you will save a little money. The fastest memory is at class 10 now. Even at this speed, these cards are not prohibitely expensive. Generally, the class is only a factor for high definition video shots. For this type of shooting, owners are well advised to obtain the best quality available, class 10.

Memory Card Formats
Memory cards are available in regular and micro formats. The regular size is about half the size of a normal business card. The micro size is about a quarter of the size of the larger ones. Some cameras require the micro size and some require the regular. When you purchase a micro format card, you usually get an adapter in the package as well. This allows the micro card to be used in any device which requires the larger format. While you don't need to buy the micro format if the regular size will work, getting the smaller unit may be handy in the future. Many modern devices now use the smaller format and this trend will likely continue. If you get this format, you will not have to buy an additional unit in the future.

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(price as of Apr 9, 2014)

Other Things To Buy For Your New Digital Camera
Many people find that a good tripod is a useful accessory to buy. These allow the photographer to better stabilize equipment during a photographic shot. While most modern cameras have image stabilization built in, they can't correct everything. This can result in soft, out of focus shots especially during low light or high magnification photography. Photographers should practice with their tripod to ensure that they don't shake the setup during shots.

For those devices that support it, a remote shutter release cable is a handy item. These allow photographers to shot pictures without actually placing fingers on shutter buttons. The result is often a better focused image. Remote shutters are also available as electronic devices for some types of equipment. These require no wire or cable and further reduce the problem of soft focus.

Once you have a number of photographs taken, you may want to consider getting prints made. While most modern photographs are stored on computers and shared digitally on social media sites or via email, there are many people who love to hold printed photographs in hand. Home photo printers are inexpensive and produce very good quality images. There are also large photo shops which will print images for you. These service agencies allow easy transfer to the processing lab. Printed photos can be picked up at a store location or shipped back to the photographer at reasonable costs.

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(price as of Apr 9, 2014)

Using Your New Digital Camera Equipment
Once you buy a new digital camera, you should start to take photographs immediately and get to know your device. Of course, you need to buy some items to allow your unit to start performing perfectly. As you can see, the required extras are not expensive. When you consider the cost of a modern digital camera, and the needed memory, compared to historical costs of film purchase and developing, you will appreciate the savings that modern manufacturers have delivered to the photographic field.

Kingston 8 GB microSDHC Class 4 Flash Memory Card SDC4/8GB
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(price as of Apr 9, 2014)