With digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras becoming increasingly cheaper and within the reach of most avid photographers, it’s apparent that upgrading from compact, point-and-shoot cameras should happen sooner rather than later. This is not only to nurture your hobby but also to make the most of the latest technological marvels offered by DSLRs.
With DSLRs, quality soars like the eagle. Which means, if you compare a 10.1 mega pixel compact camera and a DSLR of the same pixels, the quality is far better with a DSLR. That’s because the image sensor that captures the image is large enough to accommodate faster ISO speeds. And that means much less shutter lag and not as much noise (meaning, fewer grainy pictures). In addition, some DSLRs offer advanced built-in features that only help in capturing a better image. Some features include noise reduction, automatic sensor cleaning, in-camera editing, d-lighting for low light conditions and so on.
Flashes, filters & interchangeable lenses
Not many newbies know this, but the reason behind a world-class picture is not so much because of the camera, but the lens that it is fitted with. The costlier the lens, the better image capture it generally affords. And here DSLRs score over compacts, because they allow you to fit any number and variety of lenses. They could range from macro lenses for extreme close-up photography to super wide telephoto lenses for capturing wildlife or 10-20mm lenses to capture architectural and landscape photography. Each lens lends itself to a particular style of photography. What’s more, you could attach filters and external flashes of varying intensities to take your photography to the next level.
Some compacts are so slow that the moment you click one picture and want to shoot another in quick succession, you can’t. The camera takes too long to come back into shooting mode, particularly if you’ve used internal flash. The start-up and shutter lag can also be quite disappointing. Here, DSLRs score in every department. They are meant to be quick in everything, because photography is all about capturing candid moments.
Unlike compacts, whose viewfinder will differ from the actual image shot, DSLRs are all about showing you exactly what you will shoot. Pray how? Their viewfinders are optical and connected to the camera’s image sensor. So what you see through the viewfinder is exactly that you will capture on your image sensor. Neat!
With DSLRs, the ISO range can be humongous, even up to 6400 and more. This works beautifully when you are trying to shoot under low light conditions.
Experimenting along the way
Photography is one field where a professional will still be learning the ropes, by exposing his subjects to different lighting conditions, backgrounds, foregrounds, compositions, image exposure, shutter and ISO speeds and so on. Here is where DSLRs come into the picture with the ‘M’ (manual) mode. In this mode, the photographer has complete control on everything that makes up photography: shutter speed, focal length, ambient and artificial light, ISO speed, and so on.
Most DSLRs don’t go out of fashion for two reasons: They offer the manual mode and the lenses are still interchangeable. So even if there are newer models boasting newer features, it’s the manual mode that the photographer needs the most, not the automatic in-camera features reserved for amateurs and lazybones. Compacts go out of fashion pretty quickly, because they rely on the automatic features that make it such a bestseller.
Amazing field depth
DSLRs boast lenses that offer fantastic depth of field. Which means, you can capture an individual in front of a huge building and yet keep only him in focus and blue the background, however imposing. Similarly, you can keep both the foreground and background in focus to showcase maximum depth of field. This is one feature no compact can ever offer.
~Zahid H Javali