Friday, July 16, 2010

SLR Basics 1: Why an SLR?

Now for something a little different. This won't really describe anything new or rare as far as online info goes, but I felt like writing a tutorial and so a tutorial you will receive. (In explaining to others, you also explain to yourself.) Perhaps I can rephrase enough in ways that will help a few others "get it". This is a series.

SLRs are bulky and heavy. Their lenses are sold separately and can be prohibitively expensive. They are less forgiving of operator error. In fact, they will likely give worse results than a cheaper automatic camera for an unskilled user. So why bother with them at all?
  • You want to learn more about the technical aspects of photography.
  • You want to take specialized pictures, e.g. stars, small objects, formal portraits.
  • You want to take pictures of moving things.
  • You are willing to carry several pounds of camera to accomplish the above.
  • You are willing to sink hundreds to thousands of dollars to accomplish the above.
If none of these describes you, save yourself a lot of hassle and just buy a compact, preferably with face detection and image stabilizer. It will be easier to use, lighter to carry and is usually cheaper. And to be honest, their images will be perfectly acceptable, especially for common web sizes (1600x1200 and smaller). Seriously. Camera tech is quite amazing at every price level.

Still interested? Because you have a long way to go.

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