I am a huge fan of DSLR cameras. The quality of the images that can be created on these cameras are truly breathtaking. Of course, it takes a fair bit of effort, as well as trial and error, to extract the best from your DSLR.
Before I move into my gushing proper, I just want to talk about “the moment”. Every sport and hobby has one. In tennis, it’s when you hit the ball so well, it floats past your opponent and lands just inside the line. In golf, it’s the swing that you’ve been practising for hours on end that lands your ball exactly where you wanted it. It’s the moment when the guitar solo you’re playing feels so natural and inspired it takes your own breath away.
You’ll have plenty of those moments with your DSLR. Whether it’s spontaneous or a planned shoot, those moments will be there in spades, and I think that is why so many people are hooked. Every single moment is unique, and your perception of that moment is too. That is the beauty of photography.
So what does DSLR add to the photographic process that has made it such a popular pastime? In my mind, there are three main factors:
Quality: From the vast array of lens options, through to the sensor that records the image, to the engine that processes it and the body that carries all this premium equipment, there’s nothing quite like handling a hefty DSLR.
The build quality and technology that goes into these products come from a long history of SLRs, and professional photographers are very demanding when it comes to their chosen brand and specific models. This attention to detail trickles down to the mainstream models, meaning whatever you choose in DSLR, it will always be a step above a standard “point and shoot” camera.
Control: Once you learn about the different settings that you can adjust on a DSLR, you’ll forget there ever was an “automatic” option. You can play with aperture control to give your images a sense of depth, shutter speed for fast action or slow night shots, ISO for control in low light conditions, and white balance to give your images a warmth or coolness. I’m just scraping the surface here; there are a multitude of settings that you can explore. It will be a journey that will take years, so buckle in and enjoy the ride, at your own pace of course!
Creativity: This is the one that gets my palms all sweaty! Once you’ve gotten used to the manual controls, the picture is literally in your hands. You can experiment with different shooting angles, and different combinations of the controls I mentioned above. Your imagination will start to run wild and you’ll see a framed composition in the most innocuous of situations. It truly is all in the eye of the beholder. And let’s face it, in the age of social networking your Facebook pics will be a cut above the rest – you may even get a reputation for your uploaded albums.
So is it worth the investment? In my opinion, if you’ve ever strayed away from that automatic setting on your camera, then it’s time to upgrade. And entry level DSLRs are becoming much more affordable.
Here’s an example of a mid-range DSLR, the new EOS 60D from Canon. It has some great features for the beginner and enthusiast alike. We produced this video for Bing Lee and had a great chance to play around with the camera. 1080p High Definition video filming, vari-angle LCD with Live View, 6400 ISO, 5.3 frames-per-second continuous shooting and inbuilt special effects are just some of the very cool features. Just press the play button below to have a closer look!