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Cameras - DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex or Simple Point and Shoot for Me ?
You Need a Better Camera Right ?
So you have decided to buy a new camera? The decision you now have to make is, how deeply do I want to get into this photography caper. lol
If you are not too sure which type of camera to buy, let me see if I can shed some light on the subject of which type of camera is suitable to your needs!
As an 'entry level' photographer there are two options:
- Digital Single Lens Reflex, for short: DSLR.
- Point and shoot.
If money is no object, I think there is a case to argue, to own one of each type.
That's if you are relatively rich of course lol. However if you have advanced to a certain level in your photography you would already have a pretty handy 'point and shoot' camera similar to a Canon Powershot A400, which I have, and found it to be a great little camera.
But we are ready for the next level in our photography, I see you nodding your head so we are on the same page, right?
Now I'm not going to talk specific camera's in this article, I have written a revue on what I think is the best 'entry level' DSLR Camera available today!
You can read my review here: Digital-Photography-Canon-DSLR-500D-Camera
What I would like to talk about here is the difference between DSLR cameras and the plethora of 'point and shoot' cameras that are for sale!
Cross section view of a SLR Camera
Canon DSLR body showing mirror
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR)
Single Lens Reflex are commonly referred to as SLR or Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and are a huge advancement on the point and shoot camera format.
SLR's permit the photographer to see through the viewfinder exactly (almost) the image that will be taken. Be it Film or Digital.
When the image is composed looking through the viewfinder the light reflected from the subject traveling through the lens is deflected by the 'mirror' and is rotated 90 degrees by the pentaprism or pentamirror and into the eye of the photographer.
See the above diagram.
When the 'shutter' release button is operated the mirror is flipped up out of the way of the light and the shutter flies open, according to the operator settings, and the image is recorded on the film or 'Digital cmos sensor'.
Of course all of this is done in the twinkling of an eye. If the DSLR is set to 'Auto' the camera takes care of all of the settings.
- F stop,
- Shutter Speed,
- ISO setting
- Or in the time the photographer has set in his/her manual settings!
Paralax Error or 'Don't Lose Your Head'
There are many advantages of the SLR camera over the 'point and shoot' variety!
In my experience one of the biggest worries when using a Point and Shoot camera is the Parallax Error.
The above diagram gives an indication what causes this to occur.
With the DSLR system there is almost complete elimination of 'Parallax Error'.
In photography what this boils down to is the fact that what you see through the viewfinder is what will be included in the image that you take . Well sort of!
Other advantages of SLR Cameras not necessarily in order of importance:
- The ability to change lenses so that photographs can be taken from Macro (very small) or Zoom right up to capturing a reasonable shot of the Moon, depending on the budget of the Photographer!
- Take video and see what you are actually taking. Although some Point and Shoot Cameras do have good Video capability.
- Control Depth of Field. Very important in some photographs. Depth of field is the area of the photograph that appears to be sharp.
There are 3 distances involving Depth of Field.
- 1)You will notice in some photographs that the image is out of focus at a distance from the camera to the subject
- 2) The distance from the camera that is sharp
- 3) and a distance from the subject to the background.
The depth of field is controllable by the correct settings of the Lenses and shutter speed.
This is a very simple explanation of Depth of Field and I hope you get the idea ?
Depth of Field the Cup is in Focus
© 2010 Peter