If you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot digital camera and want to go pro as a photographer, the next step up the ladder is digital SLR photography.
The SLR stands for “single lens reflex.” This means that the image taken can be seen by the photographer through the lens of the camera. Typically, you look through the viewfinder to snap a photo – which means that the image you see is not exactly the same as the image the camera sees through the lens.
In digital SLR photography, a mirror is placed inside the camera that reflects the lens image into the viewfinder, allowing much greater precision. This technique first hit the digital camera world during the early 1990s.
We’ll discuss the pros and cons of doing digital SLR photography below.
Professional photographers prefer digital SLR photography because the greater precision eliminates common causes of error.
Also, digital SLR camera manufacturers have created a broad number of accessories and interchangeable lenses, like telephoto lenses and strobe flashes. The cameras also provide a full range of manual settings, giving the photographer a high degree of customization that you won’t find anywhere except digital SLR photography.
Finally, these cameras typically use charge-couple devices (CCDs) that capture anywhere from 6 to a mind-boggling 16.7 megapixels per shot. This results in a top-notch level of resolution that allows crystal clear enlargements of photos even to poster size.
But buying a digital SLR camera is a serious commitment, and expense is the number one drawback to digital SLR photography. Professional level cameras can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
The camera may not even come with a lens. Digital SLR cameras put back some of the camera bag clutter that was ditched when making the switch away from 35 mm film cameras in the first place. All those interchangeable lenses and accessories are not only expensive; they’re also bulky to carry around!
Next, spending that much money on the initial camera can have the same disadvantage as buying a top of the line computer. Technological innovations might knock the price down within the year and turn that cutting edge camera into an outdated, pricey piece of equipment that might end up serving as a paperweight on your desk.
Another drawback is that at the exact instant you snap the camera button the mirror must move out of the way of the camera’s shutter – which means that you can’t see the image right at the moment it’s shot. Not a big deal to hobbyists, but for professionals it’s annoying, particularly since the mirror retraction slows down the time between the snap of the button and the actual capture of the image.