Software - The basics

When you buy a digital camera, the box it comes in will contain a whole host of other goodies besides the camera.

Most manufacturers do not only provide (rechargeable) batteries, a charger and all necessary cables for camera to PC connections, but also a range of software to make living with the camera a lot easier.

Software included will enable you to connect your camera to a computer, so images can be downloaded and stored but it usually also includes a browser to view images on screen, arrange them in folders or print them.

It is quite common for other programs to be included such as Panorama software for stitching images, programs for cataloguing them, photo albums or photo manipulation software. The latter usually consist of limited edition versions of larger professional programs, such as Paintshop Pro or Photoshop.

Photoshop Elements, is a firm favorite as it allows a whole range of manipulations and adjustments to be made. Its user interface may take some getting used to, as it is a downsized copy of the full version which is clearly aimed at professional use and does not work with simple to understand pictograms or ready made functions. Among professional users Photoshop is considered to be the very best, although some might argue that cheaper alternatives are available with the same functions and possibilities.