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Rob has some clever tips for how to use your digital camera.

For the past five years or so I have had a pocket camera with me every day. I find lots of uses for it, and the rapidly taken, easily accessed photos. Despite the massive collection of physical photos in slide, print and negative form that I have, the ones I can actually use are the ones that are saved on my Flickr account, tagged and parked in sets. Notebook pages, step by step sequences of projects, before and after, student work, whatever I feel like shooting.

The first decent digital camera I had was the Nikon Coolpix 990. Eventually that one died when I got run down by my daughter and her friends on a sledding hill and I needed to replace it. I figured out that my Nikon Coolpix S4 had a setting for making audio recordings, which got me experimenting with podcasting. Before the S4 fully died, I got its’ replacement on the eve of a trip to South Africa and Malawi. When I was trying out my Canon S515, I discovered the great use of making video. It is amazing to me just how useful a $400 camera is. These moderately priced cameras are so much better than my old Nikon N90 slr ever could have dreamed to be. While I miss the interchangeable lenses, I have no regrets about leaving my enormous camera bag stowed away. My recent pocket camera is an HTC Dream, or G1, with a 3 megapixel camera. The images are not perfect, but better than many phone cameras. For me, it has become essential that I have a camera with me all the time.

How do you use your digicam to support your making? What are your tips for how to use your camera? Is it worth lugging around a pricey DSLR, or do you need the smallest, lightest, most simple camera? What is the best model for your uses? What do you do with your photos? Where do you park your photos? What software do you use to edit, store, manage, all the zillions of pictures you take? Join us in the comments, and of course, contribute your photos and video to the MAKE Flickr pool.

Chris Connors

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.


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