What is a DSLR?
A Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera, or DSLR, is the direct upgrade from a point and shoot compact camera. Is its increased costs always worth it? In this day and age, with smartphone camera’s climbing in Mega Pixels, the increased functionality of a DSLR still sets it apart and keeps it as an impressive option.
To decide when or if you should buy one of these camera’s, you need to know the facts and features that set DSLR’s apart from your smartphone and average disposable camera.
The name of the game is versatility. You’ll always have the right gear for the shot. A good DSLR with the right extensions can and will become your go to camera.
Out of the box, and into your hands – You have an increased range of options and controls when taking pictures with a DSLR. These cameras sport not just digital but physical components, such as an actual viewfinder. Also, you have full control of the exposure, making night shots and tricky lighting less of a problem and more a part of the fun.
In addition, the frames per second is usually somewhere around the 4FPS mark. This allows you to take your shot before you miss the perfect moment.
A major plus when considering a DSLR is the number of accessories you can buy. From external flashes to extended battery packs, you can make the camera uniquely yours.
Many photographers purchase DSLRs for their ability to change lenses and filters. You have the option of telephoto (extra zoom), wide-angle (wider view), and fisheye (extra-wide distortion) lenses. This, on top of a number of different filters, allows you to take professional pictures of exceptional quality.
When we get right down to it, the price is the biggest issue for these devices. A good quality DSLR will run you multiple hundreds of dollars, though there are one hundred-and-less cheaper alternatives. As with all major purchases, research of the market is indispensable to deciding which product is right for you.
It’s hard to legitimize an expensive camera, and you really need to gauge your own financial situation versus your passion for the art of photography. The decision depends on the weight of your wallet versus the weight of your desire.
A DSLR camera is the next step to becoming a professional photographer. If you want to take professional photos, instead of point-and-shoot pictures, this is the route you’re going to have to take. Do you need a DSLR? If you have the eye, the passion, and the desire to become a professional photographer then yes. You will need to save up for this next level camera to match your commitment to the craft.
Photography is art. That’s the bottom line. If you feel this way then you’ll find a way to get a DSLR – no matter the cost. Cost is relative, and it all comes down to an individual’s decision in their specific situation.
I don’t leave the house without my camera – that’s a fact. Often, though, I don’t know what I am setting out to capture. I wait for pictures to set themselves up, preferring pictures in motion over still and stationary objects. Toward this preference, I have a favorite thing that I like to photograph – the simple and understandable love of people, candidly, living their lives.
I’ve always been fond of ‘people watching’ as a hobby, and it just made sense to combine my other hobby of photography with that of stalking crowds. In this way, I take a passive enjoyment and make it into active art, something that lasts and can be shared with others. And candid photos can be interesting and fun to look for in everyday life. The search is the best part, weeding out the good moments from the exceptional, finding the one shot that will make your day.
Really, the only control you have over candid pictures is the setting, where you choose to plant yourself and watch. I won’t lie, I usually stack the cards in my favor and go somewhere that is bound to generate a lot of great material, like tourist spots and couple hangouts. But you still get surprises mixed in with the mundane.
I can sit down for hours at a time and not see anything of interest, yet as soon as I start heading home, and I have given up almost entirely, something will catch my eye. These are the moments where I can capture the perfect expression or posture, or a crowd that somehow looks artistically wonderful.
Candid photos can also be dangerous. This is an unfortunate fact of life. A few times, I’ve had the misfortune of being spotted and confronted for stealing a person’s moment. Reactions vary greatly when this happens. Some people are flattered and want to see what I took, and want to know where their mug is going to be posted. Others can be volatile, and I have to keep a cool head, remain calm and minimize the conflict of the situation. I have a number of photos of angry faces charging toward my camera – I keep this for my own, personal enjoyment or to entertain guests at parties.
Photographing people in pictures that seem natural and not set up and contrived is and always will be exciting for me. There are trends that you find, and connections you can make, after you’ve taken enough of these photos that fall perfectly into their own themed portfolios and specific albums. Maybe, one day, I’ll capture the essence of the human spirit or some depth of the human character, but probably not.
If you see a creepy guy pointing a camera from the bushes, it might just be me. So, enjoy the fact that you’re becoming art, that you had a moment worthy of a strangers attention. Or come up to me and give me a piece of your mind – that’s fun too.