In the world of photography, the amount of experience that you’re bringing to the table is and will always be one of your most valuable assets. You can’t just point a camera and snap away and expect brilliant photographs to be captured automatically. You need to be able to think like a photographer and solve problems like a photographer. However, if your experience and ingenuity is the first most valuable weapon in your proverbial arsenal, the equipment that you’re using is a close second. By understanding a little bit more about DSLR cameras, what they are and how they operate, you’ll begin to get a better idea of just how important they will be as you continue to develop.
What is a DSLR Camera?
DSLR is an acronym that stands for “digital single lens reflex camera.” Different companies market these devices in different ways – some use the term “digital SLR” to emphasize that you’re shooting on digital rather than film, for example. Regardless of the manufacturer, the same basic technology is always at work underneath the surface. Whenever you take a picture, light travels past the surface of the lens and into a mirror. The mirror then alternates the signal and sends it onward to the image sensor, where it is eventually recorded for the sake of posterity. In today’s environment, DSLR cameras are by far the most common type of lens-based camera that you are likely to find in the field.
The Advantages of DSLR Cameras
One of the major advantages of DSLR cameras is the fact that the lens system they use is interchangeable. In certain types of cameras, the lens that comes installed on the front of the unit at the time of purchase is the only one that you’re ever able to use. While these are commonly designed to be “all purpose” lenses, the lack of customization means that you’ll never quite have the level of control that you need over your finished product that you would with a DSLR.
Another major advantage of DSLR cameras is the fact that they can shoot in something called RAW mode. RAW mode is a file format that captures an incredible amount of detail with every image that you take thanks to the larger size of the image sensor in a DSLR compared to something like a standard “point and shoot” camera. The major benefit of this is that you can not only blow your pictures up to a much larger size without losing any of that important fine detail, but you also have a tremendous amount of leeway when it comes to editing those photos on a computer when you get back to your studio.
Potential Disadvantages of DSLR Cameras
One of the major potential difficulties that you’ll run into with a DSLR camera, especially if you’re new to the world of photography, involves the level of knowledge required to use them properly in the first place. Experts absolutely love DSLR cameras because of the huge amount of settings that you can adjust and the control that you’re given over every image that you snap. This level of detail also represents a pretty steep learning curve, which means that it will take some time and practice to truly master your DSLR camera before you get out into the field. Once you master it things will be fine, but the time it takes you to do that will vary depending on the person.
Because of the inner workings of DSLR cameras, they also tend to be physically larger than other types of cameras that you are likely to find. If you’re looking for the most compact camera possible, a DSLR will never be it.