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Photography as a Hobby: Choosing a Digital Camera

Happy Valentine Day…to everyone…..Since today is Valentine day I have decided to blog on something other than computers…I have 2 options to choose from Nature and Photography, oops I should say 3, I have left out my desire for Cars and Driving. I have chosen to blog on Photography. That’s something which I am trying to work on these days.  

I have started Photography with a Kodak film camera later upgraded to a Yashika Camera, then was pulled into Digital Photography, I have used the first digital cameras from Sony which were 2-3 Mega-Pixels with 16-32 MB Compact Flash cards, later upgraded to a 5 Mega-Pixel Canon with a 512 MB Card. I was never a serious photographer until I bought an Olympus 710 a year ago, the photos I shot using the camera had tempted me to take photography as a hobby. Unfortunately I lost my Olympus 710 in my trip to Singapore and I have replaced with a Olympus 280, which is an 8 Mega-pixel one. I am looking for a DSLR and it’s in my wish list.  

If you are someone like me using a Digital Camera for 1-2 years now, then your next step would be to buy a Digital SLR camera. But, Which One? Would be very hard to answer. There are so many products out there offering a variety of Technologies. In this blog I will try to explain the knowledge I have gained in the last 6 months trying to find out the Digital SLR which fits my budget and passion. 

First question would be what should be the Mega-Pixel rating of my Digital SLR? Few people would say 8 or 10. And most if them would say the latest available in the market. I need your answer to another question to answer the above question. What are you going to do with the photos taken by the Digital SLR? If you want to take photos of ur friends, trips, function and post those photos on the web, e-mail them to friends or order small prints and put them in album, then a 2 mega-pixel cam would be more than enough for your needs. Entry level Digital SLR cameras start at 6 mega-pixels. Therefore if that’s all you want to do with your photos, the mega-pixels rating of your Digital SLR does not need to be a major concern. But, if you want to print large posters, you need a higher mega-pixel rating on your Digital SLR. All entry level SLR’s produce very good quality photos up to a certain size, more pixels gives you more freedom to enlarge even more.  

Which brand should you go with Canon or Nikon? Are you surprised that I have used only 2 names? Are these the only 2 brands that produce Digital SLR’s?  

The answer is pretty simple, these are the most popular brands and have most of the market share, but not all cameras from Nikon and Canon are great. Both the companies have produced some excellent and some ordinary brands. When buying a DSLR you should look for build quality. Observe the number of metal parts and the no of plastic parts in the camera body. Metal parts can be replaced, while plastic parts are not replaceable. So if the plastic part gets damaged you cannot get a replacement, you need to get yourself a new DSLR 2-3 years down the line. Next this is to check the feel of the Camera in your hand. You can feel the quality of build by holding it in your hand. Quality between brands is almost the same for the low end DSLR’s. However if you decide you don’t need a higher end camera, you can check other brands like Sony, Olympus etc. 

What features should I go for?  

Features can vary between the basic things like 6, 8, 10, 12 mega-pixels and Auto Dust Cleaning to advanced features like Live-View etc. To make things even worse each manufacturer gives a different name for the same technology. You need to do some research on the internet before taking the final decision.

I am tempted to give the url of http://www.cameralabs.com which is one of the best site I have found for camera review.  

Check this site when you are buying, also remember that when you buy a DSLR you need to buy a good lens or two to complement your DLSR.

For more blogs of Technology check my current blog at www.sunilsaripalli.com


How to troubleshoot your Mother Board?

Troubleshooting is the process of knowing the issue; determine the reason for that issue, finding a fix for the issue, applying the fix, then checking if the fix has fixed your issue. These are the steps you need to check before you fix any issue and putting everything back to normal. Before starting the process make sure that the issue has not resulted from a change in options in Windows Settings or BIOS or some Virus or Spyware activity.

Your mother board is the backbone or nervous system of your computer, every device in your computer depends on your mother board to ensure optimum functionality. It connects all the devices in a PC and checks that devices are communicating effectively between them. Common sign’s of mother board failure are that the PC won’t boot, doesn’t reach the BIOS test screen, scrambled text during and after the BIOS text screens, unusual system hangs, different combinations of devices not working.

Since all the devices are connected to the motherboard certain devices may not work if the mother board is having issues so be sure to test those devices before throwing then out and buying new devices.  First step would be a inspection of the mother board, to make sure all cables are connected properly, the fans are running at optimal speeds, and that the BIOS battery is working.

If the cables are not connected properly, the mother board may refuse to start. For example in some old mother boards you can connect the IDE Cable in the wrong direction. Ensure that PIN 1 on the mother board matches with the Color Coded Wire on the Hard Disk Cable.

Dying fans are another cause for mother board issues. An old fan would operate at lesser RPM and might not provide sufficient cooling for the CPU, and if the CPU temperature reaches a Particular level the Mother Board would halt the system. Also check for any broken or leaking capacitors and burn spots on the back of the mother board, these can immediately render a motherboard useless.  

Other major reason for Mother Board failure would be an ageing SMPS Units. You can test your power supply in 2 ways. There are software’s like Mother Board Monitor and ASUS PC Probe (works only with ASUS MB) which would give you details about the Voltages being used by the Mother Board or you need to get a spare SMPS and test it by swapping with your current SMPS.

If you can borrow a friends mother board you can try exchanging the motherboard with yours to see if it resolves your issues, if your PC works fine then you need a mother board replacement. If you think the motherboard is faulty and it is still in warranty you should be able to send it back to the manufacturer for a new one. Ensure that when you buy a mother board you should keep all of the packing and the box and warrenty cards, and there would be some labels that will bar the warranty if tampered with make sure you do NOT tamper them.

For more blogs of Technology check my current blog at www.sunilsaripalli.com