January 11, 2011

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera

If you've got one of Canon's amazing video-capable DSLRs, you know you've got a powerful camera. What you may not know is that you can add some incredible features, for free, with an open-source firmware add-on called Magic Lantern. Here's how.

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera Photo remixed from originals by Miss Katrina Beers and Carole Smith

Note: if you've got a point and shoot camera, be sure to check out or guide on turning your point and shoot into a super camera. If you're simply new to DSLR video, you'll want to learn how to record great video with your DSLR.

What is Magic Lantern?

Magic Lantern probably best explained by its creators in the video above, but it is essentially an enhancement that works on top of Canon's firmware to provide great new features to your video-capable Canon DSLR that you'd expect to see on a professional video camera. For example, you have much finer control over audio, can overlay a zebra pattern to see overexposed areas of the frame, add custom crop marks for various aspect ratios (like 2.35:1), set up programmable focus, and more. It's incredibly easy to install (which we'll walk you through in a minute) and will let you do things with a DSLR that have generally only been possible with cameras that may cost more than your yearly wages. To get more information directly from the source, download the firmware; you can check compatibility with your particular Canon DSLR at the Magic Lantern Wiki. Now that you know what it's capable of and where to get it, let's dive into installing and using it.

How to Install Magic Lantern

Magic Lantern works on more than the Canon 5D Mark II, but since that was the first camera it was made for and it's the one that I've got, that's what we're going to use as a model. You should do the necessary research about your camera model and its compatibility before you begin this process. While nobody, to date, has broken their camera with Magic Lantern, it's not beyond the realm of possibility. Just be informed before you start playing with it.

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera

Magic Lantern isn't a firmware upgrade or replacement, but rather software that runs alongside the installed firmware. This means it needs to be compatible with your camera's firmware version. In the 5D Mark II, Magic Lantern is compatible with firmware versions 1.0.7, 1.1.0, 2.0.3, 2.0.4 and 2.0.8, but you need to match up your camera's firmware version with the version of Magic Lantern that supports it. For example, Magic Lantern 0.1.6 only supports 5D Mark II Firmware 1.1.0. Later versions won't work and your camera will freeze up.

If you make a mistake that causes your camera to freeze up, just remove the battery and put it back in. This should solve the problem.

The Magic Lantern download page only has version 0.1.6, 0.1.5, and 0.1.4 available, so if your Canon firmware version is later than 1.1.0 you get the pleasure of trying to figure out where to download the latest version of Magic Lantern. To make things easy on yourself, updated your 5D Mark II to version 2.0.8 (which is the latest as of the time of this writing) and download version 0.1.9 via the Google Groups posting. If you ever want to find other versions of Magic Lantern, the Magic Lantern Google Group is your best place to look.

Once you've download version 0.1.9 (or the version you needed), you'll unzip the download and see these files:

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera

Copy the magiclantern.fir file to the root of your CompactFlash (or, for some of you, SD) card and put it back into the camera. If you've upgraded your firmware on the 5D Mark II before (and chances are you have), this process should seem familiar. So should the next steps.

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera

All you need to do is go into your settings where you upgrade your firmware (if you're using a 5D Mark II, it's the last option under the third yellow wrench as pictured above). That option should just be the version of your firmware. Select it, tell the camera you want to upgrade, and once you confirm it'll seem to reboot. If it's been more than 10 seconds, take your battery out and put it back in because you did something wrong. If the camera is functional again within a few seconds, congratulations! You just loaded up Magic Lantern.

Important note: the Magic Lantern firmware works in conjunction with the installed Canon firmware. It does not change it. In order to use it, you need to load it through the process just described each time the camera boots. It can sometimes be hard to tell when this is, so just remember: reload Magic Lantern using the previously described process if you can't access it when your camera is running. This means you cannot delete the magiclantern.fir file from the root of your CompactFlash card.

How to Use Magic Lantern

The moment you go into Live View mode on your camera you should notice some changes (like audio signal meters along the top of the frame and zebra patterns on overexposed areas), but if you want to start messing around with the settings you need to press the Picture Style button to bring them up. Are you wondering which button that is? Me too. I just pushed a bunch of buttons until I found it, but here's a graphic to save you the trouble (unless you like pushing buttons):

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video Camera

On the 5D Mark II, it's the button below the MENU button. From there you'll have a whole bunch of settings to play with, and you can navigate through your options with your camera's joystick (and select by pressing in on the joystick). Let's take a look at them all from left to right.


Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video CameraThe audio panel was one of the original reasons Magic Lantern was created in the first place: Canon didn't provide any control over audio levels. While better control came with firmware update 2.0.3, you still get much more control from Magic Lantern. You can set the output volume of the camera's audio, increase the gain to make the recorded sounds louder (which you can also do easily in post), and set the gain for the left and right channels viagra in uk of the audio input separately. You can also turn auto gain control (AGC) on or off. Turning it on will make the camera adjust the audio levels automatically based on the loudness of the audio coming into the camera. Finally, you can choose the source of the audio, which is essentially a toggle between the camera's internal microphone and the 1/8" external input source on the side of the camera. By default, Magic Lantern ignores the camera's internal microphone.


Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video CameraThe video section gives you control over the zebra patterns. You can turn them on or off and set the threshold. You can also specify crop marks for different aspect ratios, but you need to create a BMP file and load it onto your CompactFlash card with the firmware. An example is included along with the firmware you downloaded. You can also toggle the histogram and waveform displays on and off from this panel.


Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video CameraBracketing is what you use to take multiple exposures with one shutter press. This is commonly used in HDR photograhy. By default, your camera will takes three exposures: one normal, one under-exposed, and one over-exposed. You can also specify how over- and under-exposed each of those shots will be by selecting a range. Magic Lantern takes this a bit further by letting you specify a much wider range between photos and also take more than three. Currently you can go all the way up to 13. I'm not sure why you'd need that many, but the option is there if you're in the mood.


Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video CameraWhat is probably my favorite part of Magic Lantern is the focusing features. What this feature does is rack focus mechanically. If you don't know, rack focusing is moving the lens' focus from one point of focus to another. Say if you're recording video of a person walking from one point in a room to another. Chances are they're not walking in a straight line and are coming closer to or moving farther away from the camera. You'll need to adjust focus as they walk and this can be difficult to track. The focus panel lets you set a start and end focus point and how long it should take to move from one point to the other. This way you can make the camera perform the rack focus operation for you. How you can do it is hard to explain but much easier to see, so take a look at the video below for detailed instructions:

Debug, Boot, and PTP

Transform Your DSLR into a Supercharged, Professional Video CameraThese last three sections are sections you can ignore. Unless you're participating in the development of Magic Lantern, stay out. Everything you want and need can be found to the left, although if you're curious about things like the temperature of your CMOS image sensor you can poke around in the debug menu for that and other neat information.

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January 10, 2011

Cool things to do with IP Cameras

As technology marches forward, things that once cost boatloads of money or that were only used by businesses, find their way into the mainstream consumer arena for a mere pittance. One of those items is IP cameras. In this Tech Tip, we are going to take a quick look at IP camera features as well as take a look at some of the cool things that can be done with IP cameras.

A quick look at features

IP cameras come in all shapes and sizes – with a variety of features. First, what is an IP camera? Very simply, an IP camera is a camera that is designed to send video images over a network or the Internet using an “Internet Protocol” (IP) – which means that wherever you have a web browser (or sometimes, specialized software) you can watch live, streaming video. Some of the more common features are cameras that feature built-in IR (infrared) lights to see in low light situations, PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) features so that the camera can be remotely moved or zoomed in, weatherproofing for outdoor use, built-in wireless for ease of installation, high resolution lenses, high resolution image sensors and also audio (both one-way and two-way). Some will also have specialized software that allows for extra functions (such as sending e-mail alerts when movement is detected by the camera).

Cool uses

Obviously, one of the number one uses for IP cameras is use as real-time, streaming video surveillance of your home or business. Using an IP camera rather than a standard CCTV analog cameras enables you to keep an eye on your property while at home or away. It is an easy, inexpensive way to have an eye at your front door or driveway, for example. No need to even get up from the computer, simply pop in the web address for your camera and see who’s there. Many people also stream the video feed from IP cameras to their SmartPhones using third party apps (apps are available on all the popular platforms such as iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm and Symbian). Some of these apps also allow for control of the pan, tilt and zoom features that some cameras include.

Some other uses include:

  • Using it as a night time “baby cam”
  • Using it as a “nanny cam” (though this aspect is can be somewhat controversial)
  • Using during a home remodel
  • Using it to keep an eye on the backyard pool
  • Using it to keeping an eye on your pets.
  • Some people set them up as “vantage point cameras” (for weather; traffic or even as a surf cam).
    Because IP cameras tend to use better electronics than webcams, they are ideal for such Functions.

The uses are really up to you (obviously within the realms of privacy laws).

When you couple IP cameras with a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or a Network Video Recorder (NVR), you get not only a real time video feed, but the peace of mind that having a home surveillance system with a video log can bring. An example of this was seen in Carlsbad, California (near San Diego) recently where a home burglar not only saw the camera, but conveniently pointed it at his face so that it could be run in the local newspaper. Having a DVR saved the moment for all to see. Often, this type of software or hardware is sold separately viagra for sale from a standalone IP camera (though sometimes, they are offered as part of a surveillance kit).

In Conclusion

IP Cameras come in a wide array of types. From a simple, inexpensive IP camera that only streams live video to high-end, elaborate multi-camera surveillance kits with all the bells and whistles – IP cameras offer just about everything. So if you’re simply looking for a camera to watch your driveway – or a system to keep an eye on your home, IP cameras offer an ideal solution for just about everyone!

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November 4, 2009

Four Free Apps for Editing Your Photos Online

Four Free Apps for Editing Your Photos Online

By Scott Nesbitt – October 4, 2009

You might recall a couple of previous TechTips that covered some free, simple desktop computer photo editing software. But what happens if you're using a netbook that might not have the grunt to run those apps efficiently? Or if you're not using your own computer?

A more than viable alternative is to go online. This TechTip looks at why you'd want to and five of the better Web-based photo editors.

Why go online?

As mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, you might be using a netbook, an older desktop computer or laptop computer, or you could be working on one that's not yours. There's a chance that computer won't have enough hard drive space or memory or a fast enough CPU to handle a decent image editor. And if the computer isn't yours, the owner may frown upon you installing software on it.

Another reason is convenience. About half of my work is done on my netbook. And I try to keep the amount of software on it to a minimum. That means, among other things, no photo editors that might slow the netbook down. But I often need to resize or crop a stock photo for an article, blog post, or presentation. In those cases, an online photo editor comes in handy.

Finally, your photo editing needs are probably modest. You just need some basic functions and effects, which a good online editor packs.

There have to be some drawbacks

Of course there are. The obvious one is that you need a reliable and fast Internet connection to use these editors. If your connection drops, you'll more than likely lose your work.

On top of that, the editor that you choose might not have the feature or function that you need. If it does, that feature or function may not be as easy to use or as powerful as you need it to be.

Sometimes those online editors can be slow, especially when uploading or downloading a photo. While researching this TechTip, I even had one or two hang my Web browser.

Four of the best

There are a large number of photo editors on the Web. Some are good – comparable to a decent desktop editor. Others aren't. Here are four of the best of the crop of Web-based photo editors. They're powerful, flexible, and free. And you don't necessarily have to set up an account to use them.

Note: Most of the editors that this TechTip discusses impose a limit on the size of files you can edit. Depending on the editor, that limit is between two and three megabytes.


Pixlr reminds me of an online version of the popular desktop photo editor called Paint Shop Pro. Of the four editors that this TechTip discusses, Pixlr is the most like a desktop application in appearance.

There are two versions of Pixlr: Editor and Express. Editor is the fully-featured application, while Express it the lite version. Both allow you to upload a file from your computer or open a photo somewhere on the Web for editing.

Remember what I said about Paint Shop Pro? Well, that's Editor. You get the full range of functions that you'd expect from a desktop photo editor, all available from a set of menus.

It's more than just a photo editor, though. You can also create images with it using a set of drawing tools. And in addition to the basic functions for manipulating a photo, Editor packs an array of filters and of photo touch-up tools. You can blur, sharpen, and emboss a photo. You can also make your pic look like an old photo and even add scan lines (like and old TV).

One feature of Pixlr Editor that some photographers might find useful is the ability to add layers. Among other things, layers allow you to seamlessly superimpose one image over another.

Pixlr Express, on the other hand, does away with the menus. You access all of the functions from a sidebar. There aren't all that many functions available, but they're more than enough for basic image editing.

As with most other editors, Pixlr Express enables you to crop, rotate, and resize photos. You can also adjust brightness and color, and add some of the same effects that you can add with Pixlr Editor.

If you use the Firefox Web browser, there's an add-on available that opens images on the Web directly in Pixlr – no need to do that at the Pixlr site.


If you're looking for something that's simple, then Change-Images is the online photo editor to go with. It's bare bones, but if you only need the basics then it's a great choice.

Change-Images only supports five functions: resizing, cropping, converting, applying effects, and adding border (called frames) to photos. Each function has its own tab, and each tab has a simple set of controls.

You can only upload photos from your computer to Change-Images. It doesn't integrate with photo sharing sites, and you can't point it to an image on the Web. Still, for what it is, Change-Images does a solid job.

The resize feature has a set of pre-set sizes to which you can shrink a photo. You can choose sizes in pixels or as a percentage of the original file. You can also set a custom size in pixels.

The conversion feature can take photos (and other images) in a number of formats – including popular ones JPEG, TIFF, GIF, and BMP – and convert them to one of nine commonly-used formats. You can also choose the quality of the conversion, from highest to lowest.

There are also 18 image effects available, ranging from generic viagra 50mg rotating a photo to embossing it. You can also change the brightness of a photo or convert it to grayscale.

Overall, Change-Images is quick and easy to use. It's not pretty, but it doesn't have to be.


This is one of the two Flash-based editors mentioned in this TechTip. As such, you'll want to make sure that you have the latest Flash player installed to use it.

Picnik is a simple, but flexible tool. It enables you to upload a photo, or open one from a variety of photo sharing sites including Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Webshots, and even FaceBook and MySpace. You can't, however, point to an image on the Web and edit it.

Picnik packs two sets of functions. The first one, under the Edit tab, allows you to do basic editing. Things like cropping and rotating an image, sharpening it, adjusting the color and removing red eye. Things get interesting, though, when you click the Create tab.

The functions under the Create tab enable you to add a whack of nifty, funky, and downright strange effects. Like what? You can convert a color photo to black and white or sepia. You can soften it, and even turn it into something resembling a pencil sketch.

Some of Picnik's other features include adding text and borders to photos, and stitching a bunch of photos together to create a collage.

A number of the effects are labeled Premium in the interface. If you want to use them, you need to pay a $24.95 annual fee. Unless you need those effects, or if you want to support Picnik's development, the free features are more than  good enough


FotoFlexer bills itself as the most advanced online image editor. I don't know if I'd go that far, but FotoFlexer is easy to use and it does pack a lot of useful features.

FotoFlexer allows you to upload a photo, grab one off the Web, or get a photo from your account on popular photo sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa, or from your MySpace or FaceBook account.

FotoFlexer combines some of the best elements of the other Web-based photo editors  that this TechTip discusses. There are no menus. Instead, functions are grouped under a set of tabs. There are a wide range of these functions – from basic cropping and resizing and rotating to sharpening and removing red eye, to removing blemishes from a photo.

As with Pixlr, you can add layers to a photo that you're editing in FotoFlexer. You can also insert another image (without a layer), add text, and apply over a dozen effects to a photo. If you're so inclined, you can also distort a photo in a number of ways and add animated shapes to your photo. The latter isn't my thing, but obviously there's a market for it …

What I found interesting were the functions under the Geek tab. Among these is one that interfaces with a webcam to capture images. Two other functions that I found interesting are Smart Scissors and Smart Cutout. Both of these enable you to select selections of a photo and pull them out, jagged edges and all – sort of like cutting out portions of a printed photo with scissors. While Smart Scissors and Smart Cutout are more fun than anything else, they can be useful for putting together a digital collage.

Like Picnik, FotoFlexer is Flash based. And, like Picnik, you'll want the latest Flash player installed on your computer before you use the editor.

A final word

If your photo editing needs are simple, or if you just don't want to clutter your hard drive with more software then a Web-based photo editing application is a good way to go. There are a number of them out there, and they're fast and easy to use. Chances are you'll find one with just the features that you need.

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July 28, 2009

Building Your Slides Online

Building Your Slides Online

By Scott Nesbitt – Sunday, March 22, 2009

Over the last couple of years, I've been giving quite a few presentations. While some of those presentations have been solo efforts, I've done most of them with my business partner. And that's when a few wrinkles have crept into our grand plans.

"..these applications enable you to collaborate on your presentation slides without having to worry about whether or not you're stomping on someone else's edits"How? Well, an important (or at least useful) component of a presentation is a slide deck. Before plugging in a digital projector, you need to create your slides. It's easy enough to pass a PowerPoint, Keynote, or OpenOffice.org Impress file around. But it's just as easy to lose track of which file is the latest version. Or just lose the file.

Fortunately, some Web entrepreneurs have made strides in eliminating this problem by developing Web-based tools for creating slides. The four that this TechTip highlights have a number of things in common:

  • They're free
  • They're easy to use
  • You can run your slide show from within the application
  • They support sharing and collaborative editing
  • They pack enough features to make attractive and functional slides


On the surface, 280Slides looks like a stripped-down version of Apple's popular Keynote presentation software. Although 280Slides has a limited number of features in comparison to Keynote (or any other desktop presentation program), you'll be surprised at how quickly and easily you'll be able to create a solid slide deck with it.

Of all the applications that this TechTip discusses, 280Slides has the best import and export capabilities — it can pull in PowerPoint (97 through to 2004, and PowerPoint 2007) files and OpenOffice.org Impress files. It can output those formats as well as a PDF file. The import can be a bit rough. Text can be larger than in your source file, and the positioning of elements like images might be a bit off.


280Slides comes with a limited number of themes and slide layouts (nine and three, respectively). It also has basic text formatting functions — including bullets and numbers — along with the ability to insert images, movies, and basic shapes into slides.

On top of that, you can add presenter notes (also called speaker's notes). These are notes that are attached to a slide deck that a speaker uses as a reference. In case you're wondering, the audience can't see the notes.

On the other hand, the application can be a bit slow. That said, this situation has improved a bit over the last month or two. While you don't need an account to work with 280Slides, you'll need to register (for free) to save your files online.


Empressr bills itself as a free online storytelling tool that allows you to create, manage, and share rich media presentations online. That's a mouthful, but it's pretty close to the truth. And Empressr is a lot easier to use than it sounds.

Slides are called empressrs, and you can start one from scratch, import a PowerPoint file, or upload multiple images to create an empressr.

The slide editor is simple, but packs a number of interesting features. Like what? The ability to create a library of background images and add those images to your slides, for one. You can attach audio files to act as a voice over or soundtrack. And you can specify transitions for slides. Some of the slides that Empressr users have made public use the latter feature to sometimes annoying effect.

In addition to that, Empressr allows you to add shapes, tables, and charts to your slides. The latter two options are missing from most online presentation tools.

There doesn't seem to be a way to export your slides. You can publish your slides on the Empressr site in Flash format. Empressr also generates code that you can use to embed the presentation in a Web site or a blog.


Of the presentation applications that are featured in this TechTip, Preezo is probably the most bare bones of the bunch. That doesn't mean it's not usable, though. Preezo seems to be based on the 80/20 rule — 80% of users take advantage of only 20% of an application's features.

As with any other Web or desktop presentation application, you can start a presentation from scratch or import a PowerPoint file. While writing this TechTip, I wasn't able to get the import to work. The export function, which generates a PowerPoint file, did work though.

As I mentioned a moment ago, Preezo's features are a tad basic. You have the choice of half a dozen slide layouts, along with some basic text formatting functions. On top of that, you can add any of a handful of transitions to your slides. Nothing spectacular, but enough to build a solid slide deck.

Remember how Empressr enables you to create a library of images? Preezo does the same, but takes the feature one step further. You can actually create a library of slides which you can reuse. How is this useful? In the slide decks that I create, I have two stock slides at the end — one which asks if the audience has any questions, and a marketing slide. Instead of continually retyping or copying these slides, I can use the slide library to instantly insert them into a new deck.

And, like Empressr, Preezo enables you to publish your slides on the Preezo site and it generates HTML code that you can use to embed the presentation in a Web site or a blog.

Google Docs

Anyone who knows something about Web applications knows that Google Docs contains a good word processor and spreadsheet. But one component of Google Docs that some people miss is the presentation editor.

Like the other application discussed in this TechTip, Google Docs enables you to start a new slide deck from scratch or upload a PowerPoint file. That file can be a maximum of 10 MB in size. You can also clone an existing presentation, which is useful if you need to create a variation on a theme.

On top of that, there are about 87 slide templates (as of this writing) that you can use to build a slide deck. Most of the templates leave me a bit cold, but there's no reason why you can't modify one to suit your needs.

The options for Google Docs are simple and familiar: text formatting; adding images, video, and a handful of shapes; basic control over text (changing the size, font, and justification); and the ability to arrange objects on the slide. On top of that, you can add speaker's notes to each slide.

As you might have guessed, Google Docs supports Google Gears — you can learn more about Gears here. With Gears, canada viagra online you get the best of both worlds: you can work and collaborate on the Web, but use Google Docs offline as well.

Your download options are limited to PDF, PowerPoint, or text. You can also publish the slides for viewing online.

Sharing the finished product

As I mentioned in the introduction, you can share slide decks from within each of the applications that are discussed in this TechTip. However, you'll probably wind up exporting your slide deck (when possible) to your hard drive to do some final edits and tweaks. Once you've done that, you can share the slides with the wider Web using SlideShare and Scribd.

SlideShare is an online community for sharing presentations. You get your own little corner of SlideShare, called a Slidespace, where you can add and display your slide decks. You can also make your slides private so only select people can see them.

You can upload presentations made with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org Impress, or Keynote; you can also upload PDF files. SlideShare then puts a Flash wrapper around the file to make it viewable on any desktop computer or laptop computer. Well, at least one with a Flash player installed. You can also use some HTML code to add your slide decks on SlideShare to a Web site or blog.

Scribd, on the other hand, has been described as YouTube for documents. The goal of the site is to let people upload original documents, and allow others to comment on them. Scribd allows you to upload a number of different kinds of files — from Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org files, to PDF, Postscript, and text documents. Scribd wraps your documents in iPaper, a Flash-based format for viewing documents on the Web.

As with Slideshare, you can make your slide decks (or any other document) public on the Scribd site. Or Scribd can generate HTML code for you to embed the document on a Web page or in a blog.

Final thoughts

This TechTip only covered a few of the available online slide tools. You can find more here and here. The great thing about these applications is that they enable you to collaborate on your presentation slides without having to worry about whether or not you're stomping on someone else's edits, or if you have the right software installed on your computer.

These tools may not have all the features of your favorite desktop presentation tool, but they can get you going quickly and easily.

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February 28, 2009

Cold Weather Photography

Cold climates pose a serious issue with photographers. However, knowing how to do a few things can completely turn your experience around. Here are a few precautions you should take when heading out in the cold to take some photographs!

Exercise Patience

To avoid condensation and fogging up your lens, it’s best to wait awhile whenever you step into any extreme temperature situation. Take this scenario for example: You're out in the snow and you return to the warm interiors of your wooded home. Instead of going click, click, click the moment you enter your home, it's best to let your camera warm up to the new climate. The best way to do that is to not only leave your camera cap on, but also leave it in the camera bag for awhile. That will not only help your camera adjust to the changed temperature, but it will also greatly decrease the possibility of the lens fogging up and condensing.

Juice It Up

Just as the sensor is important to a camera, the batteries are crucial for your digital photography experience. Therefore, it’s important to carry a few spare batteries wherever you go. Batteries are likely to lose charge faster in colder climates. One way of overcoming that hurdle is to carry spare batteries in your shirt, pants pocket or any place where they're close to your body. The warmer the battery, the better it will perform. Also, don’t panic if your camera says your battery is out of juice. You can make it work again if you warm it up in your hand or put it in your pocket for awhile. If you do it right, you can probably get a few dozen more pictures without any trouble.

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Take Care of Your Hands

Chilly conditions can hurt your hands, so you really need to take good care of them when you're out shooting. Without a steady hand, you risk the chance of bad composition. Even worse, you could develop frost bite in sub-freezing temperatures. Therefore, good, thin, warm gloves that not only keep your hands warm, but also help you operate your camera are a must buy.

Soak It Up

Both rain and snow can damage your camera and ruin your final images. Therefore, it's best to carry a soft, water absorbent cloth to dry off your camera whenever you're out on your photo expeditions. Happy shooting!

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