What´s so good about digital SLR cameras?

02 Jun 2011


If you’re starting to look upon yourself as more than just a casual snapper, you may have cast your eye over the digital SLR camera market.

Some cheeky monkeys take an interest in a camera

There’s nothing to say you can’t take great pictures with a compact digital camera, nothing at all. But pro photographers swear by the slightly bigger digital SLR cameras, so they must be onto something…

What is it that’s so special about digital SLR cameras and should I think about buying one to replace my compact camera?

The difference

OK, let’s get the price tag out of the way early on. Obviously budget range compact digital cameras will be cheaper than entry level DSLR models, but the gap between mid-range compacts and their long-lensed cousins has closed considerably in recent years.

You can pick up a decent digital SLR camera for around the £350 mark – not too far off what you might choose to splash out on a compact. So DSLRs are no longer exclusively for the ultra-serious types.

Digital SLR cameras have larger image sensors than compacts so can offer greater pixel size – some models offer more than 20mp.

They are also quicker to start-up, focus and actually take a picture. So if you’re the sort who suddenly springs into action with their camera, or you’re just plain impatient, then there’s a definite benefit in having a DSLR.

Although most digital SLR cameras come with an automatic mode, they’re typically set up for the user to tweak manual settings to get their photographs just so.

Once you’ve finished playing with the settings, you can change lens to give your pictures an entirely different feel. DSLR cameras are easy to customise, whether you want a wide angle lens or a sizeable flash.

The potential benefits

More megapixels should produce photographs with more detail and less noise, so you’ll be left with higher quality images than what you may have come to expect from a compact digital camera.

The faster start-up times and shutter speeds offered by digital SLR cameras mean they are ideal for sporting events, or picture opportunities that crop up out of the blue. If you’re constantly missing the perfect photograph because your camera is just warming up, maybe you should think about switching to DSLR.

Finally, amateur photography is a lot of fun. What begins as a trip to the woods to take a few arty snaps of the flowers and birds can quickly become a regular hobby.

There’s plenty of beginner’s guides in bookshops and online to help you get started, so the extra settings and lenses to play with should really be something to look forward to rather than be intimidated by.

What do you think about digital SLR camera? Would you be reluctant to leave your trusty compact camera behind? Comment below…