This guide will help you to choose the best possible Digital SLR camera for you. We have mentioned several important factor upon which the quality and results of Digital Camera matters.
What is an SLR? (DSLR)
As an SLR or shortened SR-camera refers to a design for a camera or a film camera , at which the subject for consideration by the lens is deflected by a mirror and a focusing screen shown to the eye directly or through a search engine is considered. Basically, between one-eyed is ( English single-lens reflex , SLR ) and twin-lens reflex cameras (English twin-lens reflex , TLR distinction).SLR cameras with digital sensors are usually short as DSLR (English for digital single-lens reflex ) or DSR ( digital SLR ) refers.
The first advantage of a DLSR: DSLRs also allow you to change lenses as opposed to the lens on a point and shoot camera which, while capable of being zoomed, cannot be changed for different specialized lenses.
DSLRs also have a larger digital sensor than point and shoots. With that comes better quality, and lower noise. So even if you find a point and shoot with the same 10 megapixels as a DSLR, the quality will not compare.
You Have a Broad Range of Options
85% of all DSLRs sold are sold by two main brands; Canon and Nikon. There are also fine offerings from other manufactures such as Pentax, Olympus and Sony. All are excellent manufacturers that have been around for years dating back to film cameras (Sony’s was previously under the Minolta/Konica Brands). No one manufacturer is better than another and they all have their strength and weaknesses. You just need to find one that has the strengths in the areas most important to you. Unlike point-and-shoot digital cameras, dSLR give you true control over you photography and images. Just like traditional SLRs, you get the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, control over aperture and shutter speed, and influence over color and light balance. To make maximum advantage of your camera, you should be fully prepared to learn about the use of manual settings and controls.
What to look out for
Like compact digital cameras, digital SLRs capture each image on a sensor, and record it onto a memory card. The more megapixels a camera has, the greater the information it can collect on the sensor. With more information stored, you can print your pictures at larger sizes, without losing image quality.
Having more megapixels (MP) does not make a better image! They only allow your image to have a larger size! But 10MP is sufficient for almost any size print you are likely to make these days.
Built in sensor cleaning
Ideal for multiple-lens users. One of the side effects of being able to change lenses is that with the lens off, the chance of dust or dirt getting on your digital sensor is greatly increased. They appear as fuzzy spots in your images and can be quite annoying. Luckily most cameras now come with self cleaning or dust reduction systems for the sensor to minimize dust, or the need to take the camera into the shop for a cleaning.
Frames Per Second
The number of images the camera can shoot every second. High ‘fps’ rates are useful for photographing action. Frames per Second are how many images your camera is capable of taking in a row with the shutter button held down and in “multi” mode. If you just take a snap here or there, or take a few minutes to compose a great landscape, this will not be at all important to you. But if you shoot sports or wildlife, this will be high on your list to look for to capture fast moving action. 2- 3 FPS would be Normal; 8 FPS would be very fast.
What’s seen through the lens is shown on the LCD screen, offering an easy way to frame shots – particularly from difficult angles – instead of using the viewfinder.
LCD screen size
The size of the camera’s screen (in inches) on which images can be viewed and reviewed. A 3? or larger LCD on the back of your camera is a welcome addition. For reviewing your shots or zooming in to check focus, the larger and higher resolution will make it easier for you with less squinting. It will also help for the display of all the camera’s menus in larger fonts making it easier to read and adjust settings.
High definition movie
Captures movie footage, with each frame made up of 720 lines. Brilliant results when played back on a high definition TV. A number of new DSLRs offer video shooting at High Definition (or near High Definition) quality. Whether that is important to you is a personal decision, but it’s becoming a standard feature on many of the most popular entry level DSLRs.
ISO determines sensitivity of the camera sensor to light. At night or in low light, a high ISO like 1600 helps you capture what you see naturally. It can also reduce the need for flash when photographing indoors.The higher the capability, and the better performance of that capability, the better you can shoot in low light situations. If you always shoot outdoors on nice sunny days, or indoors with flash, this may not be a specification that you need to worry about
Technology that identifies a face in a scene, locks focus on it and adjusts the picture settings accordingly around that person. Delivers in focus, natural-looking people’s pictures.
Full Frame Sensor
A sensor the same size as a 35mm film frame (24mm x 36mm) to give excellent image quality and high ISO performance. Ideal for photographing wide-angle landscapes and large buildings.
Designed to withstand the elements especially rain and snow. Seals around the working parts to keep out dust and moisture.
Displays helpful options and tips on the LCD screen when required to enable photographers to take better pictures without having to refer to a traditional manual.
Reduces blurring causes by camera shake, compensating for movement inside the lens before the image is captured. Also stabilizes the image viewfinder helping to identify the ideal moment to release the shutter.
Correction from camera shake takes place inside the camera, not the lens. As a result, photographers can use a choice of lenses and always benefit from anti-blur technology.
Low Noise Processor
Advanced technology to reduce the grainy appearance of images (or ‘noise’), especially when photographing in low light. Ideal for shooting flash-free or in ambient light.
RAW Recording Mode
A RAW file holds precise image data as captured by the camera sensor without processing it in to a JPEG or other file format. Ideal for those who like using photo editing software.
The shell of the camera is made from a tough, light alloy to help defend technology inside from damage.
Extended Dynamic Range
When faced with extremely dark areas, or those bathed in bright light, our eyes do a better job than a camera of picking out detail and contrast. Digital SLRs with high dynamic range sensors are designed to recognize extra contrast detail.
A digital SLR camera is designed to capture high-quality shots rapidly, and this is where the Autofocus (AF) comes in. AF uses a microcomputer to relay messages to a motor which adjusts the focus faster than it can be turned manually.
Size and Weight
Whereas the major design feature of compact cameras is their low weight and pocket-sized dimensions, DSLRs are designed with creative photographic features in mind. Weight is added by the battery, and size and weight by the lens.
Most compact digital cameras connect to your PC through a set of leads to download your photos. It is also possible to remove digital memory cards and put them into a memory card reader or adapter to transfer images to computer, while some digital cameras offer wireless transfer.
Dual card slot
Allows for the use of more than one type of memory card in a camera. Great for separating different shots during a day’s shooting and using cards in a variety of electronic gadgets.
Indicates the type of memory cards that can be causes in the camera. By matching compatibility, cards can be swapped between a camera, laptop or mobile phone.
The number of images each memory card can store is dependant both on its memory size, and the resolution the images were taken at. The higher the resolution, the larger the number of pixels, and the more memory card used by the shot.
To prevent memory cards becoming full too quickly, most digital cameras have an option to vary image resolution between shots, and additional digital memory cards can also be purchased. When a card becomes full you simply remove it from the camera, insert another one and continue shooting.
Once your photographs have been transferred to computer, the memory card can be wiped clean ready to use again.
There are a wide variety of memory cards available for digital SLR cameras including CompactFlash, SD and SDHC, Memory Stick and XD-Picture Cards, so it is worth looking at these before choosing a camera.
Memory card readers can be connected to USB or USB 2.0 ports in the back of your computer. They are available for all memory cards.
PCMCIA adapters are designed for taking SmartMedia and CompactFlash cards and plugging straight into your PCMCIA slot. Ideal for laptop users.
All digital cameras that have an LCD screen (almost all) are heavy on your batteries. If the camera does not come with either its own lithium ion rechargable battery or standard rechargables, we would recommend you purchase some as in the long term it will save you £££’s. More expensive cameras now come supplied with their own lithium ion rechargable battery which give a large number of shots before it needs re-charging. Extra batteries are readily available and can be purchased as required if you plan on being out for a long time and do not have the ability to recharge your battery. It’s always an idea to have a spare when away on holiday!
A major advantage of a digital SLR camera is the ability to choose from a large array of lenses, giving a completely different view to your photography.
Standard zoom – The most flexible lens, keep this on for a camera that’s ready to shoot anytime, anywhere.
Wide angle lens – For striking landscapes a wide-angle lens is a must-have. The shorter the focal length, the more you’ll get in shot.
Telephoto – Essential for wildlife and sports photography – and capturing candid portraits – telephoto lenses come in zooms of 55-200 or 70-300mm, and specialised fixed prime lenses of 300mm and above. As a first-buy, opt for a mid-range zoom.
Macro – Perfect for really close close-ups, a macro lens opens up a whole new world of photography to explore. Their medium focal length makes them excellent for portraits too.
Almost all basic DSLRs come with a built in pop-up flash and they are adequate for snapshots indoors or possibly to fill in a bit outdoors. The problem is that they tend to look “flashy”, are under-powered, and often, despite “red eye reduction” systems, hamper your image quality by red eye. A solution is to get an accessory flash that mounts to the top of your camera. They are more powerful so you can shoot at a greater distance to your subject. They also have the ability to bounce the flash off walls and ceilings so that the images look less flashy. And since the flash mounts higher on top of the camera, it moves the flash out of the plane of the lens and reduces the chances of red eye.
Nikon D7000 (Body Only)
- High Resolution 16.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor
- Body only; lenses sold separately
- High Speed 6 frames per second continuous shooting up to 100 shots
- Breathtaking Full 1080p HD Movies with Full Time Autofocus
- Dynamic ISO range from 100 to 6400
Price: $849.99 – $999.99
Canon EOS Rebel T3i (with 18-55mm IS II lens)
- 12.2 MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor for high image quality and speed.
- ISO 100 – 6400 for shooting from bright to dim light.
- Improved EOS HD Movie mode with expanded recording and with in-camera video editing options.
- High speed, reliable 9-point AF system utilizing a high precision, f/5.6 cross-type center point.
- Enhanced metering with a 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system for accurate metering between exposures.
Price: $549.00 – $799.97
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
- 20.2 MP Exmor”CMOS sensor – extreme low-light shots
- Bright F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 3.6x zoom
- Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control and dual record, 101.6 mm x 58.1 mm x 35.9 mm, 213g (7.5 oz.)
- 3-Inch Xtra Fine LCD display with bright whites & true blacks
- Ultra-slim, sophisticated aluminum body
Price: $589.00 – $649.99
Sony Alpha NEX-7 (with 18-55mm lens)
- Pocket camera with professional-grade performance
- 24.3 MP for superb detail and amazing enlargements
- World’s first OLED electronic viewfinder; 2359K dots
- Up to 10 fps shooting to capture the decisive moment
- APS-C CMOS sensor for DSLR-class imaging
Price: $1,149.99 – $1,348.00
Canon PowerShot SX260 HS (Black)
- 12.1 MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor
- 20x Optical Zoom, 25mm Wide-Angle lens, and Optical Image Stabilization
- 1080 Full HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button
- Smart AUTO with 58 predefined shooting situations with new FACE ID, High-Speed Burst HQ for continuous capture at a maximum of 10 frames
- GPS tracker to record image locations on a map via Canon’s software
- 3-inch LCD display
- 12.1 MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor; 20x Optical Zoom, 25mm Wide-Angle lens, and Optical Image Stabilization
Price: $227.79 – $299.99
The above stated factors should be taken into consideration to get the SLR camera of your dream. Do you know any other factor which is supposed to be important while choosing the SLR camera ? If yes then comment here and let us know about your opinion.