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Ready to Upgrade to DSLR? What You Need To Know

Ready to Upgrade to DSLR? What You Need To Know

Got a particular photo in mind that you can’t capture with your standard point and shoot? Interested in entering the artistic world of bokeh? Or are you simply fascinated by the stunning images produced using HDR software? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to upgrade to a DSLR camera used by professional photographers. Larger image sensors, faster lenses, bigger zooms, advanced features and the enhanced versatility of interchangeable lenses—if you’re ready to enter the next level of photography, you need to buy a DSLR camera. Here’s what you need to know to make the switch.

DSLR Cameras are an Investment


What to know about upgrading your DSLR


Advanced optics, quality lenses, and microprocessors don’t come cheap. The first thing as an image shooter you need to know when switching to a DSLRs is that you’re looking at an entry level price of at least $400-500 price point for an entry level DSLR to a high end full-frame DSLR or mirrorless cameras. You’re investing in your future as a photographer, and you can’t rely on a single spec to tell you which camera is best. Rather you are making a conscious decision of what combination of features in specs will allow you to capture that photo you had in mind that made you want to upgrade in the first place. Buy the camera that helps you take the type of pictures that you want to take. Buy the camera that will give you the most fun. Tweet "if you’re ready to enter the next level of photography, then it may be time to upgrade to a DSLR camera.

The best DSLR cameras and even some entry level DSLR cameras typically come with much higher end specs than of course your average point and shoot cameras.

Some of the amazing benefits of a DSLR camera which we will discuss below (even entry level ones) usually include most if not all of the following:

  • Power. High powered CMOS megapixel sensors or APS-C sensors dual pixel cropped to obtain the highest image quality based off the sensor size which are fund with a full frame sensor on entry level or even the best DSLR cameras.

  • Full frame cameras articulating an incredible depth of field view.

  • Some of the best mirrorless cameras.

  • Offer wide array of shooting speed settings and additional functionality.

  • Comfortable and ergonomic build quality for longer uses.

  • Compact camera designs on many DSLR cameras to make traveling and storage that much easier.

  • High quality pictures and video recording with Full HD (1080p) and UHD (4K) many times with HDR high resolution and amazing frame rates per second (FPS), many times up to and above 120 FPS. These will give you that distinct amazing image quality.

  • Unrivaled autofocus systems (AF system) with continuous shooting capabilities.

  • High ISO settings with terrific image stabilization

  • Weather sealed against at a minimum dust and debris to help keep your lens and camera body more protected.

  • Connectivity. So you are a beginner, enthusiast or an professional photographer possibly vlogging. You need to be able to connect your digital camera to livestream and or apps that come with your SLR camera that can seamlessly transfer images and video recordings to your smartphone or computer to upload to possibly a social media site. Wi-FI and bluetooth are included as well with usually the minimum bluetooth on an entry level DSLR camera being the 4.2 standard even going above the 5 standard. Some higher end DSLR cameras may even offer access to the 5ghz band of Wi-Fi which will allow for faster data transfers.

  • Screens, Screens, Screens. So important to see the live view of your image to get the high quality image you are searching for. Whether you are using the LCD screen or the touchscreen optical viewfinder, you want to ensure that you can see the image properly in different light settings.

  • Great battery life. Typically DSLR cameras offer good to great battery life with USB-C or wall adapter charging. Many batteries can be left in the camera while charging. We do recommend though if you have a long photo shoot or video recording, to purchase a spare battery.

  • Storage: DSLR cameras usually offer two memory card slots for storage. So your gigabytes of images and video recordings can be stored effectively and quickly. Many DSLR cameras offer UH-II memory card compatibility for even faster read/write speeds.

  • Many of these tremendous specs can be found on some models from different manufacturers. For example in the Canon EOS line of cameras like the Canon EOS 5D mark II, mark III through the Canon EOS 5D mark IV, to the upgrade over the 5D, the Canon EOS 6D which provides 7 megapixels more than the 5D. Even The Canon EOS rebel sl3 which is great for beginners. Nikon DSLR cameras such as the Nikon D780, Nikon D850 the Nikon D3500 the Nikon D7500 offer a variety of price points and specs in the best DSLR cameras. Even some Pentax cameras like the Pentax K which is a K-Mount SLR camera are still available.

Demystifying Aperture or f Number

The aperture is a hole in the lens that allows light into the camera’s sensor. In the same way that the amount of light that enters your eye is limited by the size of your pupil, the amount of light that enters a camera is limited by the size of the lens’s aperture. Aperture can cause a lot of confusion to newcomers to the world of DSLR photography, because the f number sizing system is counterintuitive. While the impulse is to think of larger numbers being associated with larger values, an aperture of f/1.4 is actually significantly larger than an aperture of f/8.0. This makes more sense if you understand the inner workings of a camera lens. The f-number actually refers to how open or closed the diaphragm is, and is a dimensionless ratio of the lens’s focal length to the diameter of the opening. The larger the aperture of a lens (the smaller the f number), the more light can reach the light sensor or film. The more light that reaches the sensor or film, the shorter the exposure time, and the shorter the exposure time, the faster your shutter speed—this is why a lens with a larger aperture is called a “fast” lens.

Image Sensors

What to know about upgrading your DSLR
A lot of what you can do with a DSLR is affected by the image sensor on your camera. It is often the most expensive component of a DSLR and the reason that these cameras are so huge. The large image sensor allows you to take advantage of larger apertures and control the depth of field of an image. This is how you can create those artistic photos that place emphasis on the subject with a smooth blurred background. The blurred background is called bokeh, the Japanese word for “blur” or “haze,” and there is much literature on the subject of creating quality bokeh. The other major advantage of large image sensors is the ability to shoot in low light conditions and reduce image noise. Larger image sensors give you bigger megapixels, access to higher ISO ranges, better color saturation, the ability to shoot in dynamic ranges and ultimately produce more natural looking images. The image sensor is why a 16 megapixel DSLR takes significantly better photos than a point and shoot or smartphone camera of the same megapixel size.


What to know about upgrading your DSLR

The optical viewfinder is what makes a DSLR camera a digital single lens reflex camera. A mirror or pentaprism directs light from the lens to your eye to allow you to see the world exactly as the photo your camera will produce. Technically your camera lens will see the image upside down and inverted, but for all intents and purposes the optical viewfinder “corrects” the image so that you see it as it exists in real life. This is huge in photography, because it allows the photographer to line up his or her shot exactly as they intended. Of course not all viewfinders are created equal, and the better the viewfinder, the more accurate the photographer.



What to know about upgrading your DSLR

You can either buy a camera body by itself or with a kit lens. The type of lens you purchase depends on what kind of pictures you wish to take. If you want to take bright and vibrant photographs of flowers and insects, you’ll want a fast macro lens with an aperture of f/2.8 or greater. If you want to capture in huge detail all the objects in a frame, you’ll want a significantly smaller aperture of f/32. Develop a collection of lenses to help you cope with a variety of different shooting conditions.


Final Thoughts

As we previously touched upon, some of the best DSLR cameras out there are made by companies like Canon, Nikon and Sony among others. With the plethora of dials for controls excellent picture quality and video recording quality, it’s time to put that old point and shoot camera into storage and get one an amazing DSLR camera, ready to take you from the beginner jump to professional photographer.

What to know about upgrading your DSLR
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