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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Buyer's Guide 2006: Today's Digital SLRs

Features and resolution distinguish the latest cameras

Today's Digital SLRs

There's a definite visceral reaction when taking pictures with an SLR. The look of the camera and the way it seems to be an extension of my hand often evokes a sense that something wonderful is only a fraction of a second away. Although I've taken great photographs with a compact digital camera, a digital SLR provides the features and controls I often need to ensure I come away with the photograph I expect.

Despite the emotions D-SLRs evoke, what really matters are the pictures it produces. Today's interchangeable-lens cameras offer a host of features that seem to make anything possible. From high-res sensors to wireless flash systems, these cameras are pushing what's possible with photography, digital or not.

Nikon D70What's Changing
Resolution has reached the double digits with Nikon and Canon flagship cameras, while many other models are settling to 6- to 8-megapixel resolutions. The high-quality look of digital photographs is being influenced more by the improvements in the design and manufacturing of CCD and CMOS sensors, however. Advanced analog-to-digital conversion of light to pixels and on-board image-processing engines have made remarkable leaps in color rendition, dynamic range and noticeably reduced noise, especially at high ISO settings.

Digital cameras are distinguishing themselves as well by including unique features such as camera-based Anti-Shake technology (Konica Minolta), built-in wireless flash control (Nikon) and user-adjustable dynamic range (Fujifilm).


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