Yes, you can still take pictures with film, but a new generation ”a digital camera ”is available that can record pictures that you store on your computer. Best of all you don't have to take the film to the photo finishing store and wait for the prints to return. Digital cameras open new possibilities for photography. What's more, Apple's iPhoto software, which we will look at in Chapter 12, "Using iPhoto," makes the process of organizing your pictures and getting prints as easy as pie.
Digital cameras and scanners have a lot more in common than digital cameras and film cameras. Film cameras rely on light and chemistry to produce an image. Digital cameras use a device that collects image data much like the scanner does.
However, digital scanners differ from scanners in one important way. Scanners send the data directly to the computer. They don't have any storage media. Cameras have memory. They may have an internal memory and/or a removable memory card, stick, or floppy disk. When you fill up a card and need more memory, you remove the full card and pop in an empty one. Memory cards are intended to be reused. They're not for long- term data storage. So, at some point, you need to get the data off the card or out of the camera and into the computer. There are several ways to do this, depending on the make and model of camera you use, but typically this involves attaching the camera to your computer via a USB connection.
Digital video cameras also require storage media, usually in the form of tapes. However, because of the size of video files, most modern cameras connect via FireWire.
You can also purchase inexpensive video cameras (such as the iREZ Kritter USB and QuickCam), which enable you to record video directly into your computer. They won't replace your camcorder, but they are nice for simple images. And you can use them with a special type of software, videoconferencing, which enables you to send videos via the Internet.