Monday, February 24, 2014

Types of Cameras: DSLRs and SLRs

Speaking of other options, it is time for SLRs, and DSLRs. You might be asking yourself what is with all the acronyms, but you’ll see a lot of these in photography. First, SLR stands for  Single Lens Reflex, and it uses film. DSLR stands for Digital Lens Reflex, and it is doesn’t use film, and is just a digital version of SLRs. These names refer to how the light enters the camera. First, these are the cameras you see many professionals and serious amateurs with. They have a larger body than most P&S cameras, which means it’s heavier, but it does have interchangeable lenses. SLRs started out fully manual, where photographers had to control all features including focus, but that has changed over time. Many allow the photographer the freedom to also take control of all functions or any combination of functions. SLRs and DSLRs allow for control over a variety of things, like shutter speed, aperture, film speed, and more. These cameras allow the photographer to take images, that are not always possible with a P&S. The photos are also better than others, because the larger size of image sensors in DSLRs, allows for larger pixel sizes, and DSLRs are generally able to be used at a faster ISO which will lead to faster shutter speeds and less grain. Another great thing about these cameras are their ability to change lenses. This opens up a world of possibilities for photographers, many high quality lenses ranging from wide angle to super long focal lengths, make your creative choices almost unlimited. Getting new lenses depends on what’s being photographed and budget. Away from lenses though, there is a large range of other accessories you can get. With the speed of these, DSLR’s are generally pretty fast pieces of machinery when it comes to start up, focusing and shutter lag. Due to the reflex mirror, these cameras work with viewfinders and have a ’ what you see is what you get’ operation. Generally DSLRs offer a wide array of ISO settings which lends itself to their flexibility in shooting in different conditions. While many point and shoots come with the ability to shoot in manual mode, a DSLR is designed in such a way that it is assumed that the photographer using it will want to control their own settings. For more amateur photographers though, they do come with good auto modes. Manual controls are generally built in in such a way that they are at the photographers fingertips as they are shooting, and made more for this camera than the auto controls.
The bad things about SLRs and DSLRs are more based on you. While they are coming down in price, they are generally more expensive than point and shoot digital cameras. You must also consider that you might want to upgrade your lens or you may wish to add more lenses later and that this adds to the cost of a DSLR. Most people see these camera and think about the size. For some people it’s a problem, but other people are going to risk holding the heavy piece for better photos. DSLRs are heavy and sizable and when you add a lens or two to your kit bag you can end up with quite the load! Another thing to consider is that DSLRs are generally more noisy to use than point and shoots This will vary depending upon the lens you use but while point and shoots can be almost silent when taking a shot, a DSLR will generally have a loud noise as the mechanisms inside it do their thing. While DSLRs are designed for manual use this of course means you need to know how to use the tools that they give you. Learning controls are quite difficult, and will take time, patience, and practice. Another problem people have with SLRs and DSLRs is that the do not have a live LCD. In many DSLRs the only way to frame your shot is using the optical viewfinder. Some photographers prefer to use a camera’s LCD for this task, but this is another thing that is almost completely changed. Most DSLRs are getting a ‘Live View’ LCD which enables you to frame your shots without looking through the viewfinder.

In a DSLR world, Natasha