What to Look for in a DSLR Camera


What to Look for in a DSLR Camera

The DSLR camera, which stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex, is a camera that uses digital technology to take and store pictures, unlike point-and-shoot cameras that require film. DSLR cameras have become more popular with the advancements in digital technology as well as their decreasing costs and availability.

To make the transition from film to DLSR requires the photographer to know how they operate and the primary differences or advantages they have over the older technology. A DSLR camera will require a newer skill set to operate and maintain. Anyone desirous in obtaining one should know about operational criteria.


Decide what type of pictures you intend to take. If you are already a professional photographer who captures landscapes, still promotional images, animals or other specific photography applications, you will need to research the appropriate DSLR model that is best or recommended in these areas. You might require a smaller compact model for simple shooting of outdoor or family activities with the goal of loading the pictures onto the Internet. You will need to read up on the brochures that explain the certain features and limitations of each model since they will come in low and top-end entry level qualities. Pay particular attention to lens sizes and features since they can adapt your cameras for almost any application. A professional photographer or sales clerk can help you with this decision. Generally, DSLR cameras are larger and heavier than the point-and-shoot types and they might cost a bit more. Give yourself a set budget for the best quality camera you can afford.

Picture Quality and Lens

DSLR cameras have larger image sensors that allow for increased pixel sizes. The larger image sensors collect more photons (light), and this increases the details and definition of a picture. The quality of the image in DSLR cameras significantly surpasses the older film cameras by containing faster ISO speeds which produce less grainy images. They also have lens packages where you can swap out lenses to adapt to any mode of photography, such as very long focal lengths, extreme wide angle or zoom shots. Lens sizes range from 28 mm to 80 mm. With the large variety of lens choices, a DSLR camera can be adapted to any setting, lighting condition and focal length to capture the best image possible. These cameras also have a pentaprism, which uses a series of mirrors to bounce the image from the lens aperture to the viewfinder. This adjusts for the natural offset lens and viewfinder position and allows a true composite representation of the picture with no distortion. These two advanced features allow for superior depth-of-field photography.

Focusing and Aperture

The DSLR camera provides a precise focusing feature unlike the traditional type. The focusing feature can be manually adjusted according to the conditions, lighting and distance or it can be set to autofocus by pushing and holding the shutter release button at the halfway point. Some models have the autofocus feature able to train on a moving object without losing any clarity or definition. The aperture setting can be partially automatic or manually set. The aperture setting is the width or opening of the aperture and controls the depth of the composition in frame. The wider the aperture the faster the shutter speed, but wider lenses will cost a bit more than standard lenses.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed regulates the time the shutter is open to admit light. This is important when trying to freeze an image in motion. Most DSLR cameras contain a shutter speed bulb setting that allows the shutter to remain open as long as the shutter release button is manually held down. This allows a shutter speed of approximately 1/2000 per second in the standard model, with faster speed options in the more expensive models.

Memory Cards

Most DSLR cameras come with a standard size memory card. Memories cards are fitted to the camera and store photos which can then be hooked up to a computer’s USB port and downloaded into personal files. Memory cards are capable of storing complete photo archives, and the larger the memory card, the more storage it can hold. Although DSLR camera packages come with memory cards, they are often inadequate in size. A 1 gigabyte memory card is an optimum choice for holding a large photo inventory. Photos can also be transferred from computer to computer or attached and sent as files.

Options and Value

Added or extra components like flashes, filters and other accessories add to the value and versatility of the camera. Many of the optional components are interchangeable between certain models, making them convenient for the photographer. DSLR cameras hold their resale value as well, since their quality lenses are state-of-the-art crafted pieces that are much sought after by amateur or professional photographers.


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