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From the author of Connectivity

Digital Camera Media

Just as you can never have too many batteries, it’s just about impossible for a digital photographer to have too many flash memory cards (see Figure 2). And, for most recent digital point-and-shoot cameras, consumer-level digital SLRs, and many DV camcorders, there’s just one type of card to get: SDHC.

So, what’s to consider? Bigger is better, but faster is also better, especially if the camera is used for video recording. Class 4 SDHC cards are the minimum recommended for video recording by most vendors (the slowest rating is Class 2), but some camera vendors recommend Class 6 or higher for HD recording. If you’re recording HD video with a digital SLR, many user recommend Class 10 cards (http://vimeo.com/forums/topic:22253). You’ll pay more for faster cards, but shooting skip-free video is worth the extra cost. If you’re a digital SLR photographer who is fond of burst mode (camera keeps shooting as long as you hold down the button), Class 4 or faster cards are also worthwhile choices.

Figure 2 Both of these SanDisk cards are rated at class 2, making them too slow for video recording. However, note that most SD cards lack a class rating.

Other Low-Cost Digital Camera Accessories

If you have a new DSLR, a protective UV filter is a must. You can determine the filter size by checking the documentation for the lens included with the camera, or look for a size marking on the front or side of the lens. A lens that uses a 58mm filter, for example, will have a 58ø marking. For best photo results, look for multicoated filters, especially if you want to avoid ghost images from bright light sources. However, most of these filters cost up to $30 or more by themselves.

You can also get a combo filter kit that includes a UV filter and circular polarizer (improves color by removing reflections) for less than $30 from many retailers.

Bounce flash helps produce more natural-looking flash photographs. However, buying a bounce flash for a digltal SLR is expensive. For $30, you can add a Lightscoop (http://www.lightscoop.com), which enables the built-in flash on almost any digital SLR to be bounced for softer, more flattering flash photos.

Like to shoot outdoor portraits, but find the background isn’t out of focus enough? Consider sticking a neutral density (ND) filter in your camera bag. An ND filter absorbs light to make it easier to use wide apertures that blur the background in bright sunlight. Some ND filters include adapter rings so you can use the same filter on a variety of lenses that use 52, 55, or 58mm filters.

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