What Is An SLR Camera ?

The SLR camera is the largest possible small image camera, with the most professional appearance. It has a built-in flip-up mirror in front of the sensor, which makes it possible to look through the lens via the prism viewfinder and that mirror. As a result, what you see in the camera viewfinder matches perfectly with what’s in your photo. Other features of the SLR camera are: the interchangeable lenses, its large APS-C or full frame sensor and hot shoe for an external flash. It also has many adjustable functions, with which you take exactly the picture you had in mind.

Best SLR Camera

How does an SLR camera work?

Medium format cameras and technical cameras are larger than an SLR camera, but they are mainly used in a professional studio. And the digital versions are priceless for those who are not involved in photography on a daily basis and who have made it their profession. Of the trusted devices, such as: compact cameras, bridge cameras and system cameras, the SLR camera is the largest. It is an excellent reporting camera, with affordable and more expensive models, which distinguishes itself from the other small image cameras due to its built-in folding mirror.

Folding Mirror

That mirror is crucial in the operation of the SLR camera. The photographic image is formed on the sensor as usual, after the light enters the camera through the lens. But the way of looking at your subject and assessing the frame is different from other cameras. Because with an SLR camera you look through the lens through the viewfinder and mirror. The big advantage of this is that you can see exactly what is happening. What the sensor registers is what you see through your viewfinder.

Large Sensor

The result of this ingenious system is that you will never be faced with surprises. That is what made an analog SLR camera so popular and why many professional photographers now also opt for the digital version, but it also appeals to hobby photographers. The SLR camera works as follows: as soon as you fully press the shutter release button, the mirror flips up in front of the sensor. So that the light, that enters your camera through the lens, hits the sensor directly. Where a negative image is created, which is converted into a positive JPEG or RAW by the image processor.

Prism finder

Until you take the photo, you follow everything closely in your viewfinder. You press the SLR camera against your eye, making it more stable. And you review the image frame until you’re all set to print. Although the viewfinder is higher than the lens, you see the image very precisely. The mirror takes care of that. It blocks the passage to the sensor and reflects the light that enters your camera through the lens, to the top of the body. Where the prism viewfinder of your SLR camera reverses and straightens the mirrored image.

The Pros & Cons of an SLR Camera

Its great accuracy remains the main asset of the SLR camera. But it still has advantages with regard to the compact cameras and bridge cameras. And even against the powerful mirrorless mirrorless mirrorless system cameras, it holds up. Because the advantages of the SLR camera outweigh its major disadvantage: its weight. Which makes it more difficult to take your camera with you, on an outing or on a trip.

Dragging weight

If, apart from at home, you mainly shoot while traveling, an SLR may not be the best choice for you. Because it’s not just the weight of your camera that counts. You also have to take into account what else is in your camera bag. Usually these are: multiple lenses; your reporting flash; some good filters, such as the UV filter and the polarizing filter; a cable release or wireless remote control; batteries for your flash and camera and the battery charger. And maybe in addition to your well-filled camera bag, you also take a tripod with you to mount your SLR camera on.

Camera & Accessories

If you have to carry all that along, the fun is over for many hobby photographers. But if you don’t mind carrying some weight around on a regular basis, you will certainly also see the benefits of having that extra stuff in your camera bag. The powerful external flash makes it possible to clearly frame subjects even at great distances, which would otherwise be in the dark. And the many lenses offer you the opportunity to consciously opt for a wide-angle lens to portray landscapes. A telephoto lens, to bring distant elements closer. Or a macro lens, to show tiny objects magnified in the image frame. And filters help to improve color contrasts.

High light Sensitivity

The SLR camera already offers good image quality. Its large image sensor gives you the opportunity to take sharp and clear photos, even in difficult lighting conditions. Because there are many large light-sensitive points on that image sensor, which reproduce your subject in detail and without noise , even at extremely high ISO values. High ISO values ​​are useful if you often do sports photography. Because it allows you to set faster shutter speeds, which prevent movement in your photos. In addition, the SLR camera has a larger dynamic range. As a result, contrasts between light and dark are better captured. This is useful in sun-drenched countries.

Great Response Speed

The SLR camera achieves the best results in highly variable conditions. Because this camera contains many functions, which you can set separately. Where smaller cameras typically operate on autopilot and are less flexible. These compact devices also respond more slowly when printing, so that a moving object or object has long since disappeared from the frame by the time the sensor captures the photo. You won’t have that problem with the SLR camera. Thanks to the optical viewfinder, you can follow live what is happening in front of your camera. And when you press the shutter button, it has an immediate effect. The camera reacts so quickly that you can take up to 10 photos per second.

Sharpness & Print Size

With an SLR camera you are always ready. You can start immediately after switching on. It’s a great reporting device. It responds quickly and gives you the option to vary the depth of field. The lenses you use are more light sensitive. As a result, you simultaneously photograph longer with a low ISO and reduce the sharpness area in the photo. The focus is on your subject, as befits macrophotography or portraiture. On the other hand, it is possible to bring everything into sharp focus. Which is fine for landscapes. And thanks to the APS-C or full-frame sensor , you can also print all those beautiful photos in large.

What is a Good SLR Camera for Beginners?

Since the launch of the digital camera a quarter of a century ago, the SLR has also undergone such a major evolution that you can only buy good ones. Many brands offer it, so the choice is very wide. But if you want to invest in the future, it’s best to buy a Canon or Nikon. Because these are the biggest brands, with the most extensive range. And because they offer you the opportunity to grow as a photographer, without forcing you to incur unnecessary costs. For example, you can use EF lenses on all camera bodies in Canon’s EOS range, so you don’t have to buy new ones when switching to a more complex SLR camera.

Affordable Entry-Level Models

Because it is possible to start with a simple, affordable SLR camera. To expand your equipment later and switch bodies. If you notice that photography has become more of a passion, which you can not live without. Or you can even earn a little extra, because you take increasingly beautiful photos, which are also very popular with others. Canon and Nikon have very good entry-level models with matching lenses, some of which we would like to introduce to you.

Canon EOS 2000D

The Canon EOS 2000D is a good SLR camera for beginners. Its body costs less than 440 euros and if you combine it with a camera bag and 18-55 mm lens, you pay just under 100 euros more. With that lens, you can shoot at home and while traveling. She’s great for beautiful landscape photography and other wide picture frames. If you also want a decent telephoto lens, such as the EF 70-300 with brightness f/4.0 – f/5.6, with which you bring distant elements closer, then you are set for 800 euros. This way you can expand your photo bag in small steps with another flash and a few filters. And a tripod can also be added. Disadvantages of this entry-level model are: the slightly smaller APS-C sensor and the non-tilting LCD screen.

Nikon D3500

It’s a similar story at Nikon. The Nikon D3500 is the ideal entry-level model there. But due to its smaller camera body, this SLR camera also has an APS-C sensor, with a crop factor of 1.5 compared to its larger brothers with a full-frame sensor. The camera is ideal for family, home and travel shots. And with a telephoto lens, it can be used for sports photography and spotting wildlife. The price is comparable to that of the Canon EOS 2000D. Which of the two cameras you choose depends on your own preferences and how the camera fits in your hand. If you later want to switch to a full-frame professional SLR camera, you have to foresee a budget that is about ten times higher. Such a camera with lenses and battery grip quickly costs 6,000 dollar.


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