A former point-and-shoot photographer can take professional quality pictures with a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera by learning about and experimenting with its complex operations. There are many advantages to making the transition from a point-and-shoot digital camera to a digital SLR camera. These include capturing images “more quickly, more flexibly, and with more creativity” (Busch, Digital 9). Furthermore, taking photos with a digital SLR camera reduces the amount of time that otherwise would be spent editing with photo-editing software to improve the quality of the photos.
Why would one want to switch from a point-and-shoot digital camera to a digital SLR camera? Some of the reasons are: a more accurate viewfinder, a more powerful sensor, less noise in the photos, depth-of-field control, speed, similarity to a regular SLR camera, more lens flexibility, and freedom from image editors (Rowse). Some disadvantages are: expense, size and weight, and complication of use.
What are some of the key features to think about when purchasing a digital SLR camera? Some of the features are: lenses, sensors and image processors, exposure systems, and focusing systems. There are also special features to consider for the individual photographer’s needs (Busch, Digital 61-63).
Lenses are one of the main items to consider when purchasing and using a digital SLR camera. All digital SLR cameras come with a basic general purpose (mid-range or normal) lens, but many people would rather have some specialty lenses, depending on the type of photography in which they are interested. Some of these specialty lenses are: zoom, prime, wide-angle, fish eye, telephoto, and macro. In addition, it is important to get a lens with image stabilization, which compensates for any movement of the camera.
Mid-range and normal lenses (for example, 30-38mm) are the most common and are neither wide nor telephoto. They capture a subject as it is seen with the eyes. A zoom lens allows one to zoom in and out on a subject. It can zoom from wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths without switching lenses. Telephoto lenses (for example, 65-130mm) allow one to capture a smaller area of a scene and magnify it (Sheppard 191-206).
According to award-winning photojournalist David D. Busch, “The sensor captures the image during the exposure, and is the most important component of a dSLR from a digital standpoint” (Busch, Digital 13). The sensor is what determines the resolution of the photo (megapixels). It also determines how grainy (or noisy) the photo looks, whether the colors are accurate, how much detail is captured in shadows and highlights, and the effective magnification of the lens. There are big differences among sensors in digital SLR cameras from different vendors. It is important to compare photos taken with different digital SLR cameras and select a camera that meets one’s expectations (Busch, Digital 62). In general, the more...