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View Full Version : Down to my final decision, but can someone explain one thing?



alnafsalzaki
08-11-2004, 08:36 AM
What exactly is an SLR and as a camera buff with no experience, should I buy the Digital Rebel? Everyone seems to be raving about it. Since I am making a big purchase, I wouldn't mind spending the extra 200 hundred dollars if it will be money well spent.

Ben Miller
08-11-2004, 10:34 AM
Technically it means Single Lens Reflex and refers to the way that when you look through the viewfinder you see the scene directly through the lens thanks to a mirror. When you snap the picture, the lens flips up so that the light hits the film/sensor.

The reason people rave about dSLRs such as the digital Rebel and the Nikon D70 (and other high-end SLRs) is because they have high-end features such as a large, low-noise sensor, fast write times to the memory card, "professional" controls and layout and other niceties. Also they have changeable lenses, which is either a benefit or a pain in the neck, depending on your viewpoint.

Camera manufacturers could make non-SLR cameras with the same benefits. The only feature you get from an SLR that you don't necessarily get from another camera design is a bright, parallax-free viewfinder.

For whatever reason, nearly all high-end digicams (the Leicas would be an exception) are built as SLRs, so people associate high-end features with the SLR form factor, when the two aren't strictly linked.

I can't comment on whether the Rebel would be good for you or not, since I've never used one. One thing to keep in mind with a dSLR is that, because of the mirror-viewfinder setup, the LCD in the back can't be used as a viewfinder. It's only good for viewing pictures you've already taken.

John_Reed
08-11-2004, 03:02 PM
What exactly is an SLR and as a camera buff with no experience, should I buy the Digital Rebel? Everyone seems to be raving about it. Since I am making a big purchase, I wouldn't mind spending the extra 200 hundred dollars if it will be money well spent.Just to add to what Ben said already, the dSLR you buy is basically sold as a lensless-camera, and you can then buy add-on lenses according to your needs, desires, and budget. But precisely because of the much larger and inherently less noisy image sensors employed in dSLRs, the physical size, weight, and cost of lenses comparable in "reach" to those of the "lesser" fixed-lens cameras are necessarily much higher. If you like the flexibility, for example, of having a compact, 35mm to 420mm lens in a single, lightweight package, you can have that in a fixed-lens camera such as the Panasonic FZs or the Konica Minolta Z3, or a little lesser zoom range in the Canon S1, but there just is no single lens you can buy for a dSLR with the same range and flexibility. I might also add that, when using the EVF (electronic viewfinder) or LCD screen on a fixed-lens camera, the image you see is parallax-free, as it represents what will be recorded when you snap the shutter.