How Serious a Camera Do I Need?

How Serious a Camera Do I Need?

This is a Guest post contributed by Sarah Paulsen for Sarah is a freelance writer with extensive experience in photography and the fashion industry. Her articles appear on various online fashion publications.

Photography is clearly one of the most popular hobbies today. What used to be an activity limited to a select group has become a mainstream one with the accessibility of cameras in the market today. The shift to digital which started in the early 2000s signalled the beginning of photography as a hobby that caters to more people, not necessarily as a professional or an activity that can generate profit.

Single lens reflex cameras were once the cream of the crop. SLRs, as it was fondly called back in the day, used to be exclusive to professional photographers only. Back then, it was complex to use said camera, and more importantly, it was also expensive since these cameras make use of film and had to be developed in film shops or in dark rooms. These single lens reflex cameras make use of a mirror and prism system. While pictures can be captured, it cannot be previewed like the cameras in the market today.

Digital SLRs started to gain ground in the past decade. Not only did camera manufacturers adapt to latest technology, making the cameras more user-friendly than before, they have also came out with consumer-oriented products which offer features that one may expect from a digital camera – and a few bonuses in between. Digital cameras are now more popular and accessible to the regular Joe because of its availability and strategic pricing. More importantly, the costs are reduced because the images are stored in storage media which can be formatted and reused for a couple of years. Manufacturers have also come up with a wider range of cameras to cater to a variety of users – from the hobbyist up to the professional.

Even professional photographers who recently adapted to DSLRs recognize the immense cost-saving difference that these cameras provide when compared to shooting with SLRs. However, one cannot discount the creative advantages that SLRs have over digital, since the former requires understanding the basic photography principles and its proper application in order to come up with a usable image. Film cannot be overwritten in the same way that storage media like SD or Compact Flash cards can be deleted in an instant. This is not to say that those who opt for digital cameras need not find out and learn the basics in photography. While the learning curve remains the same, trial and error can be applied instead.

Even with the prevalence of digital SLRs, there is still high regard and demand for SLRs. Amateur and professional photographers alike are on the prowl for vintage SLRs and old cameras in general. This might be due to its purported value, or the magic and thrill that comes with waiting for the image to form in the darkroom.

Either way, both SLR and DSLR cameras require knowledge with regard to the proper combination of shutter speed, aperture and ISO values, for one, in order to produce photos worth keeping. More so, it exists for a purpose, regardless of the method, setting, and form. It simply boils down to capturing a moment – and making it last forever.

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