Choosing a digital SLR camera
- Fri, 30 Sep 2011
Top Tips On What To Look For In A Digital SLR camera
What is a DSLR? The letters 'SLR' stand for 'single lens reflex' and refer to the viewing system, in which light passes through the lens, is bounced off a 45° mirror and into the prism, where it is turned right-way-round for viewing (so the viewer sees what the lens is seeing).
The D in DSLR simply stands for digital. The most distinguishable feature of SLRs (though it isn't unique to them) is that the lenses are interchangeable, enabling the user to fit lenses designed for specific tasks.
Hundreds of lenses are available, along with dozens of specialised accessories such as flashguns, battery packs and remote triggers.
There are other benefits of DSLR ownership, such as better image quality and response times, burst shooting and user control.
Try Before You Buy!
We would never recommend buying any digital camera without holding it first, but this is especially the case with a digital SLR.
If you already have a 35mm model with some lenses, you may want to stick with that brand, but it's also worth at least considering trading in and starting again. Read all the information on this website and narrow down your choice to perhaps two or three, then go somewhere that you can compare them side by side.
It's also worth checking the WDC forums for feedback from existing users.
How much do you want To spend on your digital SLR camera?
Entry-level: Boasting a minimum resolution of six megapixels, entry-level digital SLRs are most suitable for people trading up from point and shoot digital compacts to gain more professional results from their image taking. They often feature scene modes that let users point and shoot to begin with, and move on to more manual and creative controls as confidence grows.
Mid-range: Usually featuring a more robust build quality and features that have trickled down from pro-level digital SLRs, mid-range models are a good budget option for those who are serious about their photography, but don't want to make the bank manager cry. Most suitable for those enthusiasts making the switch from film DSLRs, Canon, Nikon and Pentax converts may even be able to make use of older and existing lens collections.
Professional: The real top dogs when it comes to both image quality with the likes of the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III boasting 21 megapixels and machine gun-like speed of capture (8fps and beyond), professional digital SLRs are also built like a tank to avoid damaging knocks in the heat of the action. For those who shoot for image libraries who demand file sizes upwards of 50MB+, a pro-level digital SLR is often the only option. The downside is a price tag often equivalent to a couple of month's wages, but when you're a pro this can be set against what you'd otherwise pay the tax man.