Digital DSLR photography has become the standard today. Most cameras sold today are digital. Analog photography is on the way to disappearance except in a few niche applications. But what exactly is digital photography? In what ways is it better than analog photography? How did it earn its place of preeminence?
All photography captures an image by focusing light reflected from something in the world through a lens and recording that image in a medium. With old-fashioned analog photography, the medium was a film with light-sensitive chemicals that darkened or changed color when struck by light. The film was then processed in a darkroom using various chemicals that caused the image to appear in a “negative” – with the colors reversed – and then the light was beamed through the film onto light-sensitive paper which was also exposed to chemicals to produce a “print.” The process was time-consuming and included many points where mistakes were possible. It was expensive in terms of materials and labor both, but until the advent of digital photography, it was the only way that photographs could be taken, developed, and preserved.
Instead of this analog process, digital photography focuses the light from the lens onto an array of electronic light sensors hooked up to a computer processing chip to create a digital image and store it in digital memory. The stored image can be seen immediately on the camera’s screen, transmitted to other devices for storage or further processing, and digitally published on the Internet.
The advantages of digital over analog photography are enormous. There’s no danger of losing photographs by accidentally exposing the film, or of making a mistake in the development process that ruins the photo forever. You can see the results of your efforts immediately, and know if you need to retake a shot, as opposed to waiting hours or days before the results are available. There’s no delay while the photos are processed; they can be checked at once. That means you don’t have to take as many shots in order to be reasonably sure of a good one and in addition, each photo you take costs essentially nothing – no film, no development chemicals, no printing paper or slide materials. Digital photography saves both time and money by making the process more efficient and less wasteful. You can make perfect copies of a digital photograph, whereas copies of analog photographs lose fidelity the more times copies of copies are made. Digital photographs are taken in exactly the format you will need for digital publication or for using the photos in a graphic design program. There’s no guesswork involved in moving from one medium to another, no wondering how a photo that looks great in an eight by ten glossy will appear when rendered into newsprint.
What’s more, with digital photography there’s no need to worry about whether you’re using the right kind of film. You don’t need to have supplies of various speeds of the film for different shooting conditions and purposes. Any type of image in any type of light can become a photo in your camera’s digital memory, provided it’s within the parameters your camera lens, aperture, and shutter speed can handle, one size fits all.
Finally, digital photography allows some versatile automatic controls to be implemented for things like focusing and exposure control, some of which we’ll discuss in a bit.
Are there any disadvantages to DSLR photography? Yes, there is one potential disadvantage. Just as analog music (vinyl recording) can give you a better sound at the high end of playback than digital music, so with analog photography, you can potentially achieve a finer grade of visual art than with digital photography. That’s because digital photography breaks the image into discrete bits (pixels) and relies on the brain of the person viewing them to generate a whole picture out of the bits. The greater the density of the digital image, the more complete and true-seeming the image will be, but there is always a limit at any given level of refinement and technology. Analog photography, however, has no limit to how perfectly it can render an image.
Taking advantage of this inherent superiority of analog photography requires the best cameras and equipment, though, and as digital photography continues to advance it reaches a level of refinement where the eye and brain simply can’t tell the difference. Moreover, today’s methods of publication are all digital, which means that even though you can (conceivably) produce a better photograph using analog methods, it won’t be any better by the time it’s published. For just about all practical purposes, digital photography is superior, and that’s why it’s rapidly becoming the way things are done for professional and casual photographers alike. Today, digital photography can be produced that is extremely high in quality. This is especially possible through the use of high-quality cameras and lenses, among which most of the best ones use a technique called single-lens reflex (SLR) photography, and that, of course, is what this book is about.
If your interest in photography goes beyond pointing a camera and taking snapshots of the family on vacation, hopefully, this little e-book will give you some information that can help you. We’ll discuss the reasons why DSLR Photography is the way to go for quality photography. We’ll go over the elements of photo composition. We’ll discuss aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity, and what each of these means in terms of photo quality and effects. We’ll describe the different kinds of lenses you can buy for and use with your digital SLR camera. We’ll go over the different common file formats for saving your pictures to memory, and a little on graphics arts programs and why it’s important to learn how to use one, and the basic rules of making sure you don’t lose your photos after you’ve taken them. This book isn’t a complete manual of the photographer’s art, but it’s an introduction that should give you an idea of what you’re getting into.
SLR stands for “single-lens reflex.” The term refers to a type of viewfinder on a camera. A standard viewfinder is placed beside or above the camera lens and focuses separately from the lens. The image you see in the viewfinder is never precisely what the camera sees or what will appear in your photo, although with a well-designed viewfinder it can come very close.
A typical single-lens reflex camera A single-lens reflex camera has no viewfinder technically so called. Instead, it uses a mirror to bend and redirect some of the light from the lens through an eyepiece so that the photographer is looking right through the lens itself.
What you see is exactly what you get. There are enormous advantages to DSLR photography.
The biggest advantage is that an SLR allows you to change lenses in the camera. You can use a close-up lens, a telephoto lens, and various lenses with different aperture settings to capture just the image you want. With a viewfinder, this isn’t easy to do, because the viewfinder is made to match a particular lens and will present a much more distorted image if you change the lens. With an SLR camera, because the image you see is always coming from the lens, it’s always true to the lens, no matter which lens you’re using. SLR cameras are always equipped with a removable lens that can be replaced with other lenses at will. Sensors are normally built into the viewing display in an SLR camera, too. They tell you whether there’s enough light at the present aperture setting and shutter speed, and how well the image is focused.
Focusing is much easier with an SLR than with a viewfinder, as you can see the image as it’s presented by the camera lens and see whether it’s in focus or not.
All of these are reasons why single-lens reflex cameras have become the standard for serious photography. That was true long before digital photography became practical (the first SLR cameras were analog). But today, many of the famous names in manufacturers of analog SLR cameras have come out with excellent digital SLR cameras, too. These include Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and others. The advantage of craftsmanship in a digital camera doesn’t go to the “digital” part (the electronic sensor array and storage routines), but to the part of the camera that remains analog, with the lens being the single most important feature.
A single-lens reflex camera of top quality costs more than most other digital cameras. (That was also true about analog cameras; the SLR cameras were usually more expensive than the viewfinder versions.) You can expect to pay $400 – $1,000 for a decent DSLR camera, with the priciest, such as Nikon’s D3X, running as high as $8,000. Specialized lenses cost money, too. A DSLR is not really needed for casual snapshots. But if you want to take your photography to a higher, more serious level, it’s definitely the way to go. In that case, you should expect to spend some money, unfortunately. Digital photography has shaved some of the cost from the art, but the quality is still fairly expensive.
Recommended DSLR Cameras for beginners
If you want to take advantage of the possibilities inherent in digital SLR photography, you’re going to have to spend a bit of money on a good camera and accessories. However, there’s still a pretty wide range of prices. As long as you go with a well-respected manufacturer, you can expect quality. That said, the biggest and best camera makers are Canon and Nikon, so if you’re going to buy a DSLR camera, it’s highly recommended that you get one made by either of the two. Below is a list of the bestselling DSLR cameras on the market. Have a look, review the cameras’ features and pick the one that suits you best:
The Nikon D3400 Dual Kit DSLR Camera with two lenses measuring 18-55 mm and 70-300 mm is ideal for photography enthusiasts. Designed to capture high quality images and videos, the camera features Snap Bridge Bluetooth connectivity for wirelessly transferring images to your mobile phone. Its DX-format 24.2 MP CMOS sensor lets you click clear pictures in various lighting conditions.
- 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 4 Image Processor
- Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
- Snap Bridge Bluetooth Connectivity
- Performance Features AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED Lens
- Aspect Ratio 1.5:1 (3:2)
- Battery Type Lithium-ion
- Connectivity USB/HDMI/Bluetooth
- Maximum Shutter Speed (sec) 1/4000 sec
- Focal Length 18 – 55 mm (35 mm equivalent to 27 – 82.5 mm)
- Sensor Size 23.5 X 15.6 mm
Nikon has released a new kit lens in 2016 that is compatible with D3400. There are various kit lenses before it. This is what you need to understand :
AF- S 18-55mm VR – oldest
AF- S 18-55mm VR II – old
AF- P 18-55mm VR- latest
The “P” stands for a stepping motor, a newer technology which makes the lens significantly quieter (almost silent) and slightly faster. The new lens has also slightly better performance at wide open settings. And it has VR- Vibration Reduction for image stabilization. You can read the Ken Rockwell review of this lens.
I’ve seen many people being angry at the seller for sending them the AF-P VR lens which is the latest, complaining that they did not get the VR II lens. You should be actually thanking them for sending you the latest lens and not the old one.
The Canon EOS 200D DSLR Camera with EF-S18-55 IS STM Lens will be a smart pick for those who are planning to get a DSLR. It comes with a sturdy body and a number of advanced features that contribute significantly in improving your photography experience. Moreover it comes with SD Card and DSLR Bag.
- 24.2 Megapixels
- Sensor Type : CMOS Sensor
- Screen Size : 7.7 cm (3.0 inch)
- Hi-Speed USB, Type C Mini-pin HDMI connector
- Performance Features The new DIGIC 7 image processor, enabling users to shoot in low-light conditions
- Aspect Ratio 1.5:1 (3:2)
- Connectivity Wi-Fi/NFC/HDMI/USB/Bluetooth
- Maximum Shutter Speed (sec) 1/4000sec. to 30sec
- Focal Length 35 mm equivalent to 1.6x lens focal length
- Sensor Size 22.3 X 14.9 mm
A very good DSLR for beginners. The bundled lens is a 18-55 mm f/3.5- 5.6 zoom lens with image stabilisation which comes handy for those in early days of photography. 9 AF points has limitation but again is worth in the budget. You get the live view and sensor is pretty good in low lights. Display resolution is also increased from earlier version . ISO has H mode up to 12800. and shutter speed ranges from 1/4000 to 30s. Wi Fi mode is simple to set up and good for social media sharing instantly. Great buy from Canon..at this price.
Aperture: What Is It?
Aperture refers to the width of the shutter opening in a camera when a picture is taken. A wider aperture lets more light in and allows pictures to be taken in dimmer light. However, it also creates a shallower depth of focus, so that parts of the picture that are more distant (or closer) than the center of focus will appear out of focus. Depending on what effect you’re looking for, this may or may not be a good thing.
The aperture of any camera (not just digital cameras) is measured in terms of “f stop” or “f number.” The technical meaning here involves a 2-based logarithmic scale so that 1 f number difference doubles or halves the amount of light entering the camera. There’s a mathematical formula for this which we won’t go into, as it’s not terribly important for purposes of taking good pictures. (It’s related to the area of a circle.) The lower the f number, the larger the aperture will be. F 1 is a very wide aperture, while F 8 is very narrow. A lens comes equipped with a range of apertures which is controlled by the device called a diaphragm that functions much like the iris of your eye.
Note that this is not a feature of the changeable part of the lens. The diaphragm is part of the camera mechanism behind the lens not of the lens itself. Each lens is sold with a description or rating that specifies the maximum and minimum aperture. This rating is sometimes called the lens speed, as it affects how fast the shutter speed needs to be with that particular lens. Shutter speed and aperture are inversely related so that a wide aperture requires a faster shutter speed under any given light conditions. The wide aperture lets in more light, and a faster shutter speed lets in less by reducing the time that the sensors are exposed.