Introduction

This guide demonstrates how to select the appropriate camera equipment for taking your guide photos.

High quality photographs will make your how-to guides stand out and will enable your readers to follow procedures more easily. This guide will walk you through picking out the right camera equipment to create high quality guide images with a basic point-and-shoot camera.

The most important piece of hardware when taking photographs is, of course, the camera. Any point-and-shoot camera with at least 6 megapixels will capture images with sufficient resolution.
  • The most important piece of hardware when taking photographs is, of course, the camera. Any point-and-shoot camera with at least 6 megapixels will capture images with sufficient resolution.

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Nearly every digital camera manufactured today is boxed up already set on an Auto function. Any camera received in such a setting should be switched off of Auto immediately, but to which setting?
  • Nearly every digital camera manufactured today is boxed up already set on an Auto function. Any camera received in such a setting should be switched off of Auto immediately, but to which setting?

  • Aperture priority (denoted by an A or Av, depending on your camera's manufacturer) provides the best workflow when shooting photographs for guides. Additionally, you should set the ISO to the lowest possible value.

    • "Aperture priority" means that you select the camera's aperture and it automatically adjusts the shutter speed in order to achieve the correct exposure. If you find your images are coming out too dark or too bright, you may adjust the exposure compensation (EV).

  • If your camera doesn't have an aperture priority mode, you'll probably want to use its pre-programmed macro mode (usually denoted by a flower icon).

  • For a full explanation of the different camera settings and when you should change them, check out iFixit's Camera Operating Instructions article.

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Every hand-held camera is prone to shakes and vibrations that cause blurry photos. Keep your images sharp by using a tripod.
  • Every hand-held camera is prone to shakes and vibrations that cause blurry photos. Keep your images sharp by using a tripod.

  • Selecting the right tripod ultimately boils down to how you plan to use your camera.

    • Most of the tripod's height should come from its legs, rather than the center column. Raising the center column makes the tripod less sturdy and should only be used for quick, temporary height adjustments.

    • If all of your photos are going to be shot with the camera sitting perfectly horizontal, then a standard 3-way panning head is more than adequate. If your photography requires funky angles, though, look into a ball head-type tripod.

    • Make sure that your tripod is rated to hold however much weight you're going to be mounting on top of it.

    • The weight of the tripod itself may be a factor if your work requires you to move around a lot or trek through the great outdoors. You may find that a tripod made with lightweight materials, such as carbon fiber, best suits your needs.

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When it comes to cameras, even the slightest nudge can take a perfect composition and turn it into a blurry mess. Even pressing the shutter button can cause the camera to shake. Use a remote shutter release or your camera's self-timer to keep yourself from jostling the equipment.
  • When it comes to cameras, even the slightest nudge can take a perfect composition and turn it into a blurry mess. Even pressing the shutter button can cause the camera to shake. Use a remote shutter release or your camera's self-timer to keep yourself from jostling the equipment.

  • Timer functions are also useful when you are working alone and need both of your hands in the shot.

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Even with inexpensive equipment, you can take high quality photographs that will make your guides stand out. The soldering picture here was taken with the camera setup shown. All of the hardware together costs less than $200, and the resulting images look great!
  • Even with inexpensive equipment, you can take high quality photographs that will make your guides stand out.

  • The soldering picture here was taken with the camera setup shown. All of the hardware together costs less than $200, and the resulting images look great!

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Dozuki System

Member since: 09/24/2009

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