Digital Single-Lens Reflex Cameras
Step up your photographic capabilities
Mason Resnick -
March 11, 2009
If photography is your passion, there is no doubt: you should own a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. Digital SLRs allow you to experience photography at its best. They are the tool of choice for professional photographers around the world; remember, pros will never settle for second-best. And now, thanks in part to their growing popularity, Digital SLRs are more affordable than ever.
DSLRs can be divided into three groups:
- Beginner DSLRs (AKA: "Step-up" cameras): These are small, lightweight, fairly inexpensive, and offer many of the amateur-friendly features that can be found on point-and-shoot cameras. For those who are graduating from compact cameras, this is often their next purchase (note to more serious photographers: these cameras can also double as relatively low-cost back-up bodies to go with your big rigs.) Price range: $500-1,000.
- Enthusiast cameras: Not quite as small, light, or inexpensive as Beginner DSLRs, Enthusiast DSLRs offer many features found on pro cameras, such as fast burst rates for sports photography and extended shutter speed range. They all offer manual overrides and plenty of sophisticated options. As with their less expensive counterparts, most Enthusiast DSLRs have APS-sized sensors, which are approximately 1/3 smaller than 35mm-sized sensors found on pro cameras. Price range: $1,000-$2500.
- Pro cameras: These are serious cameras designed for people who make a living taking pictures and need rugged, reliable, high-resolution cameras that will deliver the best possible images. Price range: $2,500-the sky's the limit.
What do these cameras have in common?
- Image quality: It's better than what any compact is capable of delivering.
- Low-light performance: See Image quality
- Entree into a system: Any DSLR will allow you to use a wide variety of lenses, flashes and other accessories that allow you to truly expand your creativity.
So, are you ready to get serious? Read on!