When To Upgrade To a DSLR Camera


You’ve tinkered with your compact point and shoot digital camera, and while it’s great because it can fit in your pocket and even take some basic HD video, you’ve noticed that the pictures don’t contain the same visual quality as those of your friends with a fancier camera.  If you’re ready to take the next step beyond your basic point-and-click camera, here’s information to help answer the question of when you should upgrade to a DSLR camera.

What is a DSLR camera?

SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, referring to the fact that SLR camera uses only one lens that can be changed for different purposes.  Because of the use of a single lens, the camera doesn’t need to adjust your view to sync it with the camera’s view – you are seeing what the camera sees. This also allows for larger photo sensors and the ability to take many pictures rapidly.

The D simply stands for Digital, meaning that instead of using film, the camera creates digital images.

Why is a DSLR camera considered better?

One of the mainstream appeals to DSLR is the speed with which you can take pictures.  Because there is only one lens in the camera and a physical mechanism to open to open the shutter as soon as you push the button to take a picture, it moves much quicker than cameras that rely on a sequence of electronic events once you push the button.

The other main advantage of DSLR camera is the ability to switch to different lenses.  Here you can see that upgrading to DSLR is going to require a bit of a chance over the standard compact digital camera in which you have to not only buy separate lenses, you also have to have a way to carry and store them.

A third advantage of DSLR camera is that they are built to be able to take better pictures in low light situations, even without the flash.

How much more does a DSLR camera cost?

Although the price of DSLR’s continues to come down, they are still decidedly more expensive than a standard compact camera.  For around $600, you can get an entry-level model from Nikon, Canon or Sony, which provide the camera body and usually one lens.  More feature-rich camera will cost around $1,000 or more, and then you still need to buy lenses which can start at $200 and also be even more expensive.  The move to a DSLR camera is not a cheap one.

When is it time to upgrade to a DSLR camera?

Here are a few times when you may know you’re ready for a DSLR camera.

–          If you find yourself more than just casually taking photo, or are focusing more on specific subjects or action-oriented events, you may want to consider a DSLR camera. 

–          If you’ve ever wished your camera would move faster, both when taking a picture and getting ready for the next one, you may be ready for a DSLR camera.

–          Additionally, if you have ever wanted to get a wider field of view, or zoom in very far to capture a faraway shot, you may ready for a DSLR camera that lets you switch lenses on the fly to accomplish these two very different tasks.

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About author

Johner Riehl

Johner Riehl is a freelance writer focusing on families, technology and online safety. As founder and editorial director for FamilyFriendlyApps.com and FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com, sites that provide reviews and recommendations geared towards families, he examines hundreds of family-friendly games and apps every year. He’s also host of Parent Savers, a podcast aimed at helping parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. TWITTER: @FamilyTechDad

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