When considering a digital camera purchase, keep in mind the latest in digital SLR cameras. Digital Single-Lens Reflex (D-SLR) cameras use an automatic mirror system and pentaprism or pentamirror to direct light from the lens through the viewfinder eyepiece – which is similar to how 35mm film SLR cameras function – the difference being that with D-SLRs the image is recorded to digital media versus film.
The image quality produced by these cameras is the best you can buy – much better than the compact digital cameras. Manufacturers are numerous – features are phenomenal – prices are getting better.
The Difference in Quality
The D-SLRs have better autofocus, larger images sensors, better metering and offer interchangeable lenses – the compact point-and-shoot digitals do not. Most D-SLRs have higher pixel counts, can record an image faster and have full accessory lines including multiple length lenses, add-on flashes, and a varied of lens filters.
Newest in Digital SLR Cameras: D-SLR Photography Available for Beginners, Mid-Level and Pros
With all of the D-SLR cameras on the market today, there is a camera for every level of photographer (from beginner to professional) and for many budgets. There are many feature options to consider with each model and manufacturer – for the purpose of this article and in an effort to provide a quick comparison, only image quality and price will be detailed.
Entry-level – both the skill level of the photographer and the price – models are available from Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony. Nikon’s D40X and D80 cameras both offer images over 10 megapixels and cost less than $900 in most areas.
The Canon EOS digital Rebel XTi is a 10.1 megapixel camera and is compatible with over 60 of the Canon EF and EF-S lenses. This model is generally priced less than $700.
Olympus has two models – EVOLT E-510 and the EVOLT E-410 that are priced under $900 and produce an Olympus quality photo. Sony makes the DSLR-A110, which is a 10.2 megapixel camera priced below $700.
These are just a few of the models in the entry level range. Prices on the entry-level D-SLRs are just a bit higher than the compact point-and-shoot. Most of the D-SLRs do offer point-and-shoot options along with all of the multitude of features.
This level of camera is really a big step up in price and features. Cannon, Nikon and Sony all manufacture mid-range D-SLRs. The Nikon D300 is a 12.3 megapixel model that is priced around $1,799. Canon’s EOS 40D is a 10.1 megapixel camera priced around $1,299. Sony’s mid-range model is the Alpha A700, 12.2 megapixels. It is a fairly new model and pricing can be found on the Sony web site.
As with the entry-level models, there are many more options and manufacturers available. You can find full descriptions and do price comparison at the manufacturer’s and the many price comparison web sites.
The prices of these cameras and the level of difficulty for using them effectively is not for the faint of heart. Photographers using these models are serious picture-takers. Canon and Nikon are two of the best pro-level camera makers today and they both offer numerous models at this level.
Nikon has the D3, D2XS and the D2HS. All of which offer high megapixel images and cost over $3,000. Canon has the EOS-ID Mark III and the EOS-IDs Mark III. All of the Canon’s have high megapixel counts and most cost over $5,000.
Digital Cameras Continue to Evolve
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that FotoNation (a digital camera software company) has developed a smiling program for digital cameras. Some of Nikon’s newest models may have the “smile detection” software preinstalled. According to the Journal’s reporter William M. Bulkeley, the software stops the camera from taking the picture until everyone posing for the photo is smiling.
FotoNation is best known for being one of the first companies to develop red-eye reduction software for cameras. Red-eye happens when the flash from a camera hits a dilated pupil and reflects back the red color of blood in the eye. Features in development include solutions to turn blurry photos into sharp pictures and to correct photos taken in front of windows.
Just as in the days when computers were changing and getting more powerful each day – literally something new was being developed and added daily – at some point in digital camera-time, a person has to take the plunge and go for it. These days diving into the D-SLRs is at a just do it moment.