| Your digital camera will need to have certain capabilities which may
exclude a lot of the cheaper models. If you are not sure what your camera
can do, get the manual. The worst thing about digitals is the very long
delay between when release the shutter and it actually takes a picture.
Some also won't take time exposures, limiting the open shutter time
to just several seconds. Read the manual. Extensive testing will be needed.
Preprogram your settings if your camera allows. My Nikon 950 can and it helps the
set up time quite a bit.
did this shot just to see what it would take to produce daytime lightning
with the digital camera. As good as the Nikon CoolPix 950 is, it still
does not take as sharp of a photo as my 35mm equipment. So for now,
I still prefer film. But I will be switching to digital as soon as the
budget allows for the purchase of a pro grade camera.
will need to be able to lock the focus to infinity, usually shown
by a little mountain symbol or some such thing.
will need to be able to adjust your exposure. Digital acts a lot
like slide film, it hates to be overexposed. Cut the exposure back
by a stop or so.
you set the stop? If so, try for something in the middle
of the range like 8. Does that aperature give you an exposure
time of at least 1/30th or a second or slower? Try to find a combination
that balances longer exposures and moderate stops.
the cameras battery saver function (auto off or sleep mode) to as
long a period as practical.
a batter booster pack or keep spare batteries. I like the metal
hydrides. You will eat through batteries quickly leaving the camera
you are on the tripod and the shot composed, turn off the view screen.
This will save batteries. You should have some indicator lights
that show you what the camera is doing. If you can turn audible
alarms on, that might help.
at as high a resolution as practical. The file save times on the
larger files may be a problem, but so it not having enough digital
data to make a really nice print. Raw files give you the most options
your camera runs a sharpening routine on the files, turn it off.
It's better to do that in post processing when you can see the results
on a big screen. It also may shorten the file save time.
will have to determine if the white balance needs to be used or
not. Auto will probably be OK, but if your shots are too blue or
color shifted, you may need to manual set it. You will need to test
as the small view screen on the camera may not show the color well
there is an electronic remote release made for your camera it may
be worth the investment. Some may create problems if you try to
shoot while the camera is in the middle of another operation like
file saving. Information on this level of camera use is often available
online in discussion groups that deal with specific camera models.
Google has a good digital
resource list here.