As you are here, I assume you are aware that currently, DSLR cameras are the first choice for most professional photographers. In case you are familiar with the name but don’t know much about them, DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. Difference between DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras is that former record light (and therefore an image) onto an electronic sensor directly while later mentioned relatively advanced technology uses a mirror to bounce the light from a scene through an internal system and into a viewfinder or an electronic sensor, in the case of an open shutter. Furthermore, DSLR cameras offer you switchable lenses, giving you a wide range of choices in regards to focal lengths and quality. DSLR also has an upper hand on shutter and focus speed and overall better image quality.
Now that we are clear on this now let’s get to what to look for when you are going for a purchase
1. Sensor Size matters
DSLR cameras are known for a better and larger sensor. Larger the sensor, the better it is. Yes, the size does matter here. Actually, sensors are the core essence of digital cameras. They are to DSLR cameras what hearts are to us and what light sensitive films were to old fashioned cameras. Do invest in sensor size.
2. ISO performance is important
ISO performance means how sensitive to light your camera is. The more sensitive it is, the better. The most basic DSLR offer ISO capabilities ranging from 100 to 1600, with 100 meaning low sensitivity to light while 1600 meaning high sensitivity to low light. This implies larger the number of ISO capability the better image you will be taking in dark. Top ISO available is as high as3200, 6400, and 12800!
3. Megapixel is not much worth the fuss
Let’s just first bust the megapixel myth. Megapixel does not equal image quality. In fact, megapixel has little to do with the quality of images you are going to capture. Megapixel only counts if you are planning to actually get a print of images. Megapixel will affect the size you will be able to print out the image in without destroying the quality. Don’t buy into megapixels if you are not planning on printing the pictures you take, simple as that.
4. Optical Zoom rather than digital zoom
Never buy into digital zoom that means nothing to image quality. It is a feature of the camera itself rather than the lens. Optical zoom is what you are really looking for. Difference between two is, digital zooming expands the pixels of the photograph you are viewing through your camera LCD panel while in optimal zooming, and motors inside the camera lens actually move in and out to provide you the required magnification. It’s like digital zooming makes you ‘feel’ close to the object while optimal zooming actually takes you closer to the object. So always check what amount of optimal zooming the camera you are purchasing is offering.
5. Cost counts
Lastly, the cash you are throwing in. Of course, you have to stay in budget and be mindful of your pocket. You don’t want to spend more than you can afford. Let’s be real you only want a camera which can help you learn and improve your photography skills. You are going to end up buying another improved camera someday sooner or later. So for the time being buy smartly and go with what you can afford easily. Also, the cost will be affected by the place you chose to buy from, so do your research along that line too. Compare prices of the same article across the stores, online and on the counter. While budgeting does account for the basic accessories (for example memory card, tripod, carrying bag and cleaning kits) you will have to buy.
So, by now you understand what DSLR actually is, and what makes it stand out from regular ‘point and shoot’ cameras. Hopefully, you now have an understanding of the basic feature of DSLR cameras. You are also aware of what to look for and what not to look for.
I hope this article was helpful for you and wish you very good luck with your purchase and learning process of photography.
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