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Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (D-SLR) Camera

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Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (D-SLR) Camera

DSLR Image

The beauty of using a digital SLR (D-SLR) is that you have the artistic control of a traditional film SLR — and the convenience of digital files. By using interchangeable lenses and having the choice of both manual and automatic settings, a D-SLR gives you total control over each and every shot. This is what sets D-SLRs apart from the rest of the digital camera world. Compact digital cameras serve the needs of the snap shooter and dedicated hobbyist, but the more serious photographer will want a digital SLR.

To help you decide whether a digital SLR is right for you, read our top 10 reasons why you should buy a digital SLR:

1. Lens Versatility
A compact digital camera is great for certain photo situations, like when you need a smaller camera that's easy to take along for quick and easy snapshots. But a D-SLR allows you to get the perfect lens for the perfect photo, at just the right focal length suited to your photo situation. Capture an entire roomful of family members or zoom in on Fido catching a Frisbee 30 feet away. Manufacturers have a variety of lenses that fit the new D-SLRs. Choose from zooms, ultra-wide-angles, super telephotos, even macro and perspective-control lenses

2. Faster Power-Up, Response Time and Zoom
DD-SLRs power up almost instantly, allowing you to react quickly for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. And, there's virtually no shutter lag time: the shutter responds right away. When you click the shutter as your favorite player jumps to spike the volleyball, that's the image you'll capture, not a delayed one. The zoom ring on a D-SLR lens responds quickly compared to power zoom, which has push-button convenience but slower reaction.

3. Rapid Frame Rate
Compact cameras often make you wait after each shot, as the camera processes the image. This can be frustrating when you're taking photos in sequence. With a digital SLR, you can take several pictures within one second (3 fps to 5 fps), thanks to a fast image processor and large buffer.

4. Better Auto Focus and Fast, Precise Manual Focus
The auto focus on a D-SLR locks in quickly and is generally faster and more reliable than on a compact digital camera. Some models even offer a true tracking focus for action photography. Want to focus manually to get that creative shot? The manual focus rings on D-SLRs respond quickly and precisely compared to non-SLRs.

5. Better Low-Light Shooting
Capture an image without resorting to harsh flash for indoor shots. The D-SLR's larger sensor allows it to produce better pictures in low-light situations, thanks to low-noise, high-ISO performance.

6. Better Image Quality
At any given megapixel resolution, a digital image taken on a digital SLR almost always turns out better than one taken on a compact digital camera. This is especially true at higher light sensitivities, ISO 400 and greater. And certain D-SLR models have resolution up to 21 megapixels.

7. Through-the-Lens (TTL) Viewing
TTL viewing shows the scene through the same lens that takes the picture. So what you see is what you get. A compact digital camera's LCD viewfinder allows for accurate framing, but the view is not as bright and crisp as that of a D-SLR optical viewfinder. Depth-of-field preview is another unique feature that shows the range of apparent sharpness behind and in front of the subject.

8. Professional, Functional Design
Like film SLRS, D-SLRs have easy access to controls with thumb and forefinger wheels that feature exposure settings, white balance, vertical shutter releases and more. The design is more like a traditional film SLR, with creative options for the more serious photographer.

9. More Creativity and Flexibility with Accessories
Accessories give you even more options for D-SLRs and include everything from external flashes to wireless transmitters and remote triggering devices. You'll probably want to have a choice of lenses. Many new DSLRs come with a "kit" lens, such as an 18-55mm, which is similar to a 3x optical zoom on a compact digital camera. A telephoto lens, like a 55-200mm, is a great lens to own as it allows you to take dramatic telephoto shots from the far side of the field. For indoor shots, you may want one separate electronic flash with a tilting head so you can bounce light off the ceiling for great photos free of harsh shadows. And a quality tripod is great for steadying a shot.

10. Lower Battery Consumption
A D-SLR is generally "asleep," consuming about the same battery power as a wristwatch until the shutter release is depressed. Then, the battery powers only those components crucial to take the shot. Non-SLR batteries are constantly powering all features.