Improving Your Photography with a dSLR

The differences between digital SLRs and the camera you were using before you saw the light will depend on where you're coming from. If your most recent camera was a point-and-shoot digital model, you know the advantages of being able to review your photos on an LCD an instant after you took them, and you also know the benefits of fine-tuning them in an image editor. If you're switching to a digital SLR from a film SLR, you are likely a photo enthusiast already and well aware that a single lens reflex offers you extra control over framing, using focus creatively, and choosing lenses to give the best perspective. And, if you're making the huge leap from a point-and-shoot non-SLR film camera to a digital SLR, you're in for some real revelations.

A digital SLR has (almost) all the good stuff available in a lesser digital camera, with some significant advantages that enable you to take your photo endeavors to a new, more glorious level of excellence. Certainly, you can take close-ups or sports photos with any good-quality film or digital camera. Low-light photography, travel pictures, or portraits are all within the capabilities of any camera. But digital SLRs let you capture these kinds of images more quickly, more flexibly, and with more creativity at your fingertips. Best of all (at least for Photoshop slaves), a digital SLR can solve problems that previously required working long hours over a hot keyboard.

Despite the comparisons you can make to other cameras, a digital SLR isn't just a simple upgrade from a conventional film camera or another type of digital camera. A dSLR is very different from a film SLR, too, even though some vendors offer film and dSLRs that look quite a bit alike and share similar exposure metering, automatic focusing, and other electronics. If you look closely, you find that the digital SLR camera is different, and how you use it to take pictures is different.

In the sections that follow, I introduce you to the advanced features and inner workings so that you can begin getting the most out of your dSLR.

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