From reel to Digital cameras
Guide to buy a DSLR
Gone are the days of cumbersome reel cameras. The era of digital photography is upon us and we are not complaining. These high-tech digital cameras have bought with them, the stuff of dreams. The realm of photography has been won over by the DSLR's. Just remember, when was the last time you used a reel camera? You can't!
The reason for the immense popularity of digital cameras is due to many reasons. Some of them are:
- No more complex reel loading mechanism. In fact, no reel at all.
- Preview of picture can be had with the inbuilt LCD screen.
- Photos can be shared easily by memory sticks or by E-mail.
- Image manipulation is enhanced by the bundled software.
So you've decided to purchase a digital camera and that too digital SLR, not some point-and-shoot one. When you enter the mall, you are confused by the n number of models and technical jargon. Moreover, the uneducated salesman compounds the problems. Well, this article is going to be your guide.
As a start, it is a good option to narrow down your approach by thinking about. First of all, emphasis should be on DSLR range and not the low-end point and shoot cameras. Then, consideration must be on other practical considerations like size, weight, weatherproof and shockproof body and specialist accessories. This is so because wildlife photographer's DSLR will be different from fashion photographers. Some of the key factors while choosing your DSLR, can be summed as follows:
- Sensor size: In DSLR, megapixels rule and most entry level cameras have more than 18 megapixels. There are three types into which they can be classified. First is, the Full-Frame sensor represents the high-end and professional realm. These have the biggest and brightest viewfinders and no crop factor is further a delight. The second one is APS-C and is the standard format in most cameras. They offer low crop factor and special lenses are needed for better wide-angle results. But these are less expensive and readily available. Lastly, Four-thirds are small size sensors which offer compact bodies. But they produce grainier photos in low-light conditions.
- Speed: Most of the entry level DSLR cameras offer a continuous shooting rate of around 2 to 3 frames per second. However, if money is no concern you can get cameras with up to 5 or even 10 frames per second.
- Image stabilization systems: During photography, there is always an angle for human error. When clicking, camera might shake, which produces blurred images. Image stabilization is achieved by two methods. An optical image stabilization moves the lens independent of the camera and sensor IS moves the sensor. All DSLR's offer good image stability program bundled into the camera.
- Optical zooms: Don't be fooled by large digital zoom like 100x. Check for good optical zoom as only it offers real-time magnification of pictures without blurring them. A good DSLR will have more than 8x optical zoom, which can further be increased by additional lenses.
- LCD screens: LCD screens have evolved immensely and large crisp displays are now common. Some of the models offer very high resolution LCD screens of 2.5 to 3 inch size on the back providing excellent picture preview. However, it does contribute to price increase.
- Accessories: Check out which brands offer what accessories. Common accessories include camera base, spare batteries, memory cards, tripods, and lenses. Compare them and try to negotiate the price.
These should serve as golden rules for prospective digital camera buyers. Finally, enter the shop with your gut feeling or intuition and only buy when you are certain about your choice.
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