A digital SLR camera or a single lens reflex (SLR) camera is one of the most popular cameras amongst photographers today. These cameras not only provide high quality images but the photographer can also largely control how he wants the final product to look like. Hence, people who are extremely fond of clicking pictures have a great time while using a SLR camera. If you have a creative spark in you then you will want to consider one of these at some point. I am using a Canon Rebel right now but the Nikon F6 is next on my horizon of my purchases. These are moving into the 8 mp and up range now so the quality is quite good.
The SLR is not cheap at all. The price historically started at about $5,000 – which is very steep. So, only those who are either professionals or wannabes purchased an SLR for themselves. Nowadays however, in order to make the SLR available to a larger number of photographers, companies such as Canon and Nikon have come up with SLRs falling in the price range of around $1000 without extra lenses.
What is it that attracts people to an SLR ? One of the main reasons is that an SLR produces pictures which are of much higher quality than point-and-shoot cameras. The contrast and color are extremely good since the lenses used in an SLR are of very good quality. It is an old maxim in the photography world that much of the quality in your images comes from the glass you put in front of the camera. The better the glass the better the photo, it worked in the film days and it still works in the digital age. The camera is important but don’t skimp on the lens.
The photographer can change the lenses in an SLR, depending upon the shot that he/she plans to take. For example, a wide angle lens is used to take pictures of landscapes such as animals in the wild while telephoto lenses help to take extremely detailed pictures of small objects. Thus, one can pick and choose according to the environmental needs. Today some of the manufacturers have started building in image stabilization to their lenses. This really helps when taking long focal length images. While it uses additional power it can be extremely useful.
In addition to the above, the creative opportunity available to the photographer is much more in a SLR than a regular camera. This is because of the fact that a SLR has a lower contrast and image sharpening features. Hence, the photographer can do a lot of editing on his own to get the kind of effect that he desires. This can be viewed as a disadvantage as well by those who are not truly photo enthusiasts. So, for you guys, a point-and-shoot camera is the best option as not only is it cheaper but also adjusts things automatically.
Since a SLR is comparitvely more expensive than other digital cameras, it is very important that you get yourself a proper insurance for the camera. Especially if you plan to travel a lot with your SLR, insurance is extremely important. And also make sure that damage protection does form a part of the insurance deal as some insurance policies do not provide it. So, read the fine print before signing on the dotted line!
Kevin Rockwell worked as a network TV cameraman for 20 years shooting news and sports. Now a devoted fan of digital photography and video he works to gather information, tips and news for digital camera users. Oh and he loves to shoot pictures of his kids playing sports.