Techczar presents DSLR Camera buying guide which will help you choose the right camera for your needs. I remember when I went to buy DSLR camera in local market it was quite a challenging task in terms of so many technological jargons like ‘sensor’, field of depth’ etc. and so many options so I thought I should compile a complete list of important factors which I researched to buy my first DSLR camera.
In this photogenic world, everyone wants to capture the best photographs and therefore are planning to buy a DSLR. As a beginner, there are few key points and things that we should keep in mind before buying the perfect DSLR.
WHAT IS A ‘DSLR’ TECHNOLOGY ?
A Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera (also called a digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera combining the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film. The reflex design scheme is the primary difference between a DSLR and other digital cameras. DSLRs also allow you to change lenses as opposed to the lens on a point and shoot camera which, while capable of being zoomed, cannot be changed for different specialized lenses.
- Camera lens
2. Reflex mirror
3. Focal-plane shutter
4. Image sensor
5. Matte focusing screen
6. Condenser lens
7. Penta-prism/pent mirror
8. Viewfinder eyepiece
CAN I TAKE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS WITH A DSLR CAMERA ?
Everyone who is planning to buy a DSLR thinks that it will give them professional photographs, but that’s NOT true. Photography is an art, which comes with great learning and practice. People click great pictures with their smartphone also so owning a DSLR doesn’t always guarantee a perfect picture. But yes, DSLR definitely perform better in low light conditions and with amateur level settings also.
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES TO FOCUS ?
A megapixel is equal to one million pixels. One pixel is essentially the smallest unit of a digital photo. People think that the more megapixels the better the resolution, and the better the digital image. But actually that’s not true, megapixels is basically to get a clear picture when you enlarge it. Megapixels are more of use to the people who take pictures of landscape and sceneries and have to enlarge them or for detailed Photography.
The sensor on a digital camera replaces film in the old models, but the principle is similar. Sensors, like film, are sensitive to light. Once the shutter is pressed, they record an image digitally. The size and type of light sensor are significant. It’s clear there’s an obvious physical size difference between a point and shoot camera and a DSLR. This is predominately due to size of the sensor contained in the camera. The sensors found in DSLR models are much larger than those within point and shoot cameras, thus producing clearer images with less distortion and noise.
In today’s market, sensors are available in two types: CCD and CMOS. CCD, or Charged-Couple Device, is used in almost all point and shoot cameras and in numerous digital SLR cameras. CCD sensors produce high quality images, although cameras equipped with this sensor tend to be more costly and consume more power than other types.
A CMOS sensor is larger than a CCD sensor so its surface is capable of capturing more light. As a result, CMOS sensors are more sensitive and produce images higher in quality compared to CCD sensors. CMOS sensors are easier and less costly to manufacture and use less power than CCDs. Because of their increased size, cameras using this type of sensor tend to be bulkier.
There has been some debate concerning the relative strengths of CCD versus CMOS. In practice, neither is “better”; each type works effectively and should be evaluated on its own merits.
The sensor size affects many factors in your images and the functions of your camera body. It has a major impact on the quality of your image, how your lens functions, and how it performs in low light conditions.
There are three basic size categories for sensors: Four Thirds, APS, and Full Film Format. As noted in the chart below, the smaller sensors are used in point and shoot cameras while the larger ones are found in DSLR models.
Four Thirds sensors have become a standard for Olympus and Kodak at a size of 13.5mm by 18mm, while APS sensors are close to that of the original APS film size. Most DSLR cameras fall into the APS size range (14mm by 21mm to 16mm by 24mm), often described as 1.5x and 1.6x factors.
Sensors that are the same size as 35mm film format are also called full-frame sensors. This full frame sensor allows you to use lenses without the complication of focal length magnification factors and produce the highest quality images in DSLR cameras. The sensor size is a true 24mm by 36mm, just like a frame of 35mm film.
Resolution and Megapixels
After all this talk of sensor sizes, as a major component of your digital camera choice, you may wonder how resolution and the megapixels affect your images. It’s a matter of size. Larger sensors have larger pixels which mean they’re more sensitive to light and capable of producing images with more detail. For example, take an 8MP point and shoot camera versus an 8MP DSLR camera. Each has identical megapixel values (the same number of pixels) but because the DSLR has a larger sensor, the pixels are larger. These larger pixels are able to gather more light, reducing the chance of “noise” in the image due to signal distortion reduction.
Another advantage of this large sensor size is the ability to perform well under low light situations using a high ISO setting. The size and number of pixels in your camera govern how large you can print your image without losing quality. Professional photographers like the option of printing large images and cropping them without losing quality.
Focal Length Multiplier Factor
The size of a DSLR’s sensor affects the viewing angle of the lens. Lenses are described by their focal length and aperture size in a standard 35mm format. Since most DSLRs use sensors that are smaller than this 35mm format, the angle of view is magnified.
Let’s explain this further. Compare a standard 35mm film camera equipped with a 50mm lens to a digital SLR with a sensor size of 22.5 x 15.0 mm. The DSLR’s image sensor is smaller than the full frame 35mm camera’s film area by a focal length multiplier of 1.6x. This means that the 50mm lens translates into a short telephoto lens of 80mm (50mm x 1.6 = 80mm) when used on this particular DSLR.
The magnification factor affects wide angle lenses as well, challenging the digital photographer to find a wide angle lens that is truly be a wide angle. When translated by the multiplier, most wide-angle lenses only offer a standard angle of view, although some manufacturers are beginning to develop super-wide angle lenses that cater to digital photographers who require them. For example, a 20mm lens would be extremely wide on a full frame, camera, but has an “effective” focal length of 30mm, or moderate wide angle, on a DSLR.
Small sensor sizes have other advantages when it comes to telephoto lenses. To achieve a 300mm telephoto angle of view, using a camera with a 1.5x focal length multiplier factor, you can purchase a 200mm telephoto lens and get the same results. You’re able to purchase telephoto lenses that cost less and carry less weight.
In addition, the quality of the image can be enhanced. Most lenses are sharpest near the center and tend to become less sharp around the edges. Since smaller sensors crop the frame’s angle of view, the result is a sharper, higher quality picture using more economical lenses
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BUYING A DSLR CAMERA ?
1.If you are shooting sports or wildlife Photographs?A camera with a fast burst mode and advanced auto focus system can give you critical shot.
2.If you are shooting landscapes, sunsets, or architectural photos? A high-megapixel camera or full frame DSLR give you the resolution and light-gathering capacity to ensure you perfect shots, will also give you the ability to maintain resolution while cropping and enlarging.
3.If you like to shoot during the beautiful natural light around dawn or dusk, or to take dramatic night-time shots? A camera with a high maximum ISO capability will prove most useful in low-light situations.
WHICH BRAND TO BUY AND WHERE TO BUY ?
A DSLR camera is an expensive investment. So, choose from well-reputed brands after doing a proper research. Shopping for quality DSLR cameras online is also now very easy, thanks to Flipkart & Amazon wide range of cameras with great discount. Choose from popular brands such as Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and such. You can also compare two or more models in terms of their features, specifications and price.
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