A photograph is a beautiful way to capture a memory! Don’t we all love to open old family albums during the festive season – reminiscing the bygone family members, their wonderful picnics, and their brilliant smiles? From the good old nostalgic 35mm film to a point-and-shoot device to the advanced machinery of a DSLR, photography has evolved both as an art and a technique.
For a lover of the art of photography, a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera or a DSLR is an ultimate device today that can transform your photographic journey from taking a picture to creating an experience! Here’s a quick guide to help you buy your first DSLR device:
Figure out the purpose:
Digital photography is all about the use of light. A normal point-and-shoot cam can create a brilliant photograph and so can a mobile device, especially on a bright sunny day. Compare this to the photographs taken in low-light conditions like the house party, or photos taken in the night, and you will notice that they come out as grainy, zoomed out, and a little noisy.
So, when it comes to low-light conditions, landscape photography, high-motion sports photography, travel photography, and wedding photography, the results by a Digital SLR are incomparable. So, if you are someone who wants to take his/her photography skill up the notch, or from just a hobby to trying it professionally, it is the next natural step for you!
The sensor is what differentiates this camera from earlier films-based single-lens reflex cameras. The digital imaging sensor comes in different sizes; full-frame, medium format, microsensors, APS-H and so on. The full frame’s dimension is comparable to the original 35mm film’s dimensions – 35mm X 24mm. It is of course the most expensive of all. An APS-C sensor, which is of 3/4th size, is ideal for entry-level devices.
A wide range in interchangeable lenses:
This feature is perhaps the biggest plus point of buying the digital camera. A Digital Single Lens Reflex camera generally comes with a standard ‘kit lens’ (approximately 18-55mm zoom lens). Based on the specific purpose, for example bird photography, or wedding photography, one can choose from a variety of interchangeable lenses. For instance, Canon and Nikon feature several EF and DX lenses to pick. The said lenses can be costlier and one should choose as per level in photography – amateur or professional.
- Prime vs zoom lens:
Which one is best for you? With a zoom lens, you get the option of clicking a picture with varying numbers of focal lengths (zooming). Travel photographers use zoom lenses as they take versatile pictures. It might not be good for low-light conditions. A prime lens camera comes with no zooming option. So, the camera works faster than the zoom option. Prime lens allows you to take pictures of portraits, events and nature. Due to large apertures, dim light photos can come out great.
- Lenses come with different focal ranges as well. For instance, ultra-wide-angle lenses come in the 14mm-24mm range and are generally used to take pictures of architecture and interiors. Wide-angle lenses come in the 24mm-35mm range, and are useful for landscape photography. The telephoto lense’s range is around 105-300 mm, and is ideal for sports and wildlife photography.
Variety of Modes:
The DSLR cameras come with a range of different modes; action, landscape, portrait, aperture, shutter priority, food, and so on. Entry-level photographers can choose as per their specific interest or purpose of buying.
Beginners can start with auto and intelligent modes, learn from the same, and subsequently move on to specific modes like aperture and shutter priority. For example, in the aperture mode, the aperture value is fixed, and other features can be experimented with. So, one can learn by experimenting with different values and comparing the results.
Some of these cameras come with superb editing features. You can apply the filters on the screen itself. This saves the extra effort that is required in editing them in software or apps.
The three big companies that have more or less captured the market when it comes to digital cameras are – Canon, Nikon and Sony. Believe it or not, but all the three companies create equally brilliant machines, and the same can be trusted to buy interchangeable lenses from. Other significant companies that are selling the camera worldwide are Olympus and Pentax. The only thing to watch out is to not opt for a professional full-frame machine if you are not a professional. It is always better to try out an entry-level device.
Almost anyone can purchase an affordable DSLR today. But that doesn’t mean that everyone should! The camera creates stunning pictures, but it requires a bit of effort to move from the auto mode to the manual mode. So, a definite purpose means you can invest the time that is required to understand the functionality and techniques of the device. Once you have mastered them, there is no limit to possibilities that this super-device can bring to you!