When you are ready to take your photography seriously, it is time to consider buying a digital SLR camera. These offer a significant increase in image quality over standard compact and bridge cameras, and have a far superior range of features.
Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras pre-date the digital world, and were widely used before the internet-age, when photographs were produced on film. As technology has developed Digital SLR Cameras have taken over the professional photography world, and with further technological advancements and increased competition between manufacturers, these once expensive cameras are now very much affordable to the amateur photographer.
Choosing the right Digital SLR camera can seem quite daunting, but by carefully considering a camera’s primary features against its intended use, you can make an informed decision and get the camera that is right for you.
One of the most important features of a Digital SLR camera is the ability to change lenses. Most manufacturers offer a full range of lenses, from macro lenses suitable for detailed close-up photos of nature, to long-range telephoto lenses useful in capturing fast-paced sporting events. Always check that the camera you are considering offers the correct type of lens for the shots you require, before making your purchase.
The ISO of a camera represents its sensitivity to light. Higher ISO ranges are more suitable for low-light photography. For night-time photography, you should be looking for a camera with an ISO range above 1600.
A digital camera’s resolution is measured in megapixels. While it is impressive to see a smartphone with a 16 megapixel camera, it is important to note that not all megapixels are created equal. The megapixels used in Digital SLR’s are bigger than those used on a smartphone. They absorb more light, produce sharper colors, and are less prone to distortion. A 16 megapixel Digital SLR will considerably outperform a 16 megapixel cameraphone.
Where Digital cameras excel is in the range of settings offered. Almost every aspect of the image can be manipulated by the user before the photograph is taken, to create more artful shots. Images can then be fed into a computer for further enhancement before the photograph is complete.
As camera technology has changed, the big brands have evolved accordingly, and the same companies that dominated before the digital age, still dominate now. Brands like Canon, Nikon, and Olympus are still very much at the forefront of camera technology, but have now been joined by major electronic developers such as Sony and Panasonic. They each offer reliable solutions for your photographic needs, producing a range of cameras for all budgets, which offer a huge range of technological features and additional hardware. It is important to note that lenses and other pieces of hardware may not be interchangeable between brands.
Finally, there is the cost of the equipment. When considering the cost of a camera it is important to look beyond the price of the base unit itself, and include the cost of any additional lenses, hardware, or software that will be essential to obtaining the shots you need.
Virtually all fully-featured digital SLR cameras from the major manufacturers will deliver exceptional image quality. The choice often comes down to personal preference, but it is important to consider the wider implications of purchasing additional lenses and hardware to meet your personal needs. The costs can be high, but the results can be incredible.
So there you have it. Take a deeper look at each of the topics above when deciding on the best camera for your needs.