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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Six Reasons to Upgrade to a DSLR

Compact digital cameras are pretty impressive these days and everyone needs a small and lightweight camera to take on outings, to family events, concerts and for everyday photography. Compact cameras do have their limitations though and there will be times when you want more control over your creativity or just a little more power.

For these situations a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera may just be the thing to take your photography above and beyond. Here are some reasons why you should upgrade to a DSLR camera.
 
                
1.         Low Light Performance

DSLRs have a much larger sensor than the majority of compact cameras. The bigger sensors have better light sensitivity and are less prone to noise (digital graininess or colour spots) and therefore create better images in low light. The advanced sensor technology and reduction in noise allow for usable images at much higher ISOs (higher light sensitivity).  Paired with a lens that lets in more light (low aperture), you will be amazed by some of the low light situations that you can shoot in.

2.         Interchangeable Lenses

With a DSLR comes versatility. Because the lenses are interchangeable, the one camera can be used in multiple shooting situations. A wide angle lens has a larger angle of view and can be good for landscapes whilst a telephoto zoom may be your go-to lens for portraiture. With a variety of lenses, one camera can shoot in many different situations with a myriad of effects.

3.         Better Portraits

DSLRs can give better results for portraiture for a number of reasons; their larger sensors provide a more shallow depth of field, blurring the background and separating your subject from the background. This is what creates that pop or the more 3-dimensional effect. There are a series of lenses available that are considered to be ‘portrait lenses’. These lenses generally range between 85mm and 135mm, although there are no hard and fast rules. The lenses in this style can be more flattering as that viewpoint will compress or flatten the features of the face somewhat in comparison to a wide lens that will distort the features.

4.         Speed

Whilst there are exceptions to this in the world of compact cameras, the majority of DSLRs are faster than compact cameras. The overall layout on a DSLR is geared to quick operation with the most used functions being easily accessible at your fingertips. The assortment of dials and buttons fit in with the ergonomic design of the DSLR for quick and easy manual control.

DSLR Lenses use a faster method of focus that can track moving subjects accurately. Combine this with a fast frame rate (quick successive shots) and the DSLR is the obvious choice for sports or actions shooters.
 
As you climb higher up the DSLR ladder you will see higher speeds and designs more suited to the speed conscious shooter.

5.         Control

Even with all of today’s bells and whistles, cameras are still built on a few main functions; aperture, shutter speed, focus and ISO. In essence it is the combination of these that will determine how your photographs will look.  Recent camera advancements make it possible to never have to consider any manual settings at all but manual modes are where the fun lies.

Although daunting initially, being able to creatively control your camera opens a world of shooting possibilities and improves your photography. The beauty of digital is that you can experiment and learn on the fly, reviewing images as you shoot them and seeing what works and what does not.

6.         Large Range of Accessories

Flash units, filters, remotes, bags, cases, cables, microphones, software and more. DSLRs have the largest number of cool accessories by far and these can be used to control the camera, enhance the images as you take them, or in post-production. The possibilities are unlimited and once you get a DSLR you will be on the lookout for the next interesting accessory to boost your kit.
While a DSLR is not essential for good photography it can allow you to get a step closer to achieving your artistic vision. A good DSLR camera will enable you to take control. 
If the idea of a larger camera is off-putting but you still want some extra control and interchangeable lenses, check out the more compact CSC cameras. These cameras, while not quite at the level of a DSLR, are advancing at a fast rate and offer many of the advantages above.  There are shooters out there getting some amazing results with high end compacts, rangefinder styled cameras and CSC cameras. In the end it comes down to personal preference and your requirements; as the saying goes – ‘the best camera is the one that's with you’.
You may find that your photography demands a variety of different cameras for different situation but the DSLR is still the most versatile option for innovative images.
What are your thoughts? Has using a DSLR enhanced your photography? Are you a compact camera boffin? Is CSC your camera of choice? Let us know in the comments below.

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