It is nearly one year ago since I bought a DSLR camera. I figure I should finally write up the introduction to this type of camera that I promised back then.
What is a DSLR you ask and why is it such a big deal?
Well, a DSLR (or Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera allows the user control over the process of creating an image (they also happen to have excellent automatic modes, but where’s the fun in that?). It’s possible to control not only how much light enters the camera and how it enters camera, through the use of shutter speed and aperture. Due to a large sensor, it produces much better quality images than a simple point and shoot camera, it’s also faster, and being able to change lenses means I can experiment with macro, wildlife, landscape, sports and people photography (and more).
Of course, it’s never that simple.. the extra quality comes with trade-offs. For starters, it’s expensive; while a second-hand body doesn’t cost that much, having to buy various lenses quickly adds up. And that’s without mentioning the extras, like bags, flashes and filters. DSLRs are also nosier, bigger and heavier than point and shoot cameras. Not so good if like me you prefer to remain inconspicuous! There’s also the potential for dust getting into the camera when changing lenses, so careful maintenance is required otherwise you’ll be spending even more money at the repair shop.
The steep learning curve means that it’s worth getting a few introductory lessons when you first get a DSLR camera. I was helped by my friends at Quattrofoto and found their help and advice much better than if I’d just read a few books. I was also out taking decent photos much quicker too, which after all is the whole point.
Overall, I’ve learned much more with the new camera and had lots of fun!
Some useful links:
- Camera simulator – A computer simulator of a camera. Useful for playing around with various settings and getting instant feedback.
- Digital Photography School – An excellent resource for all levels.
- Cambridge in Colour – Another very useful resource.