Wednesday, January 17, 2007
How To Choose A Digital SLR
What to look for...and look out for
All D-SLRs let you choose the color space, or the gamut of colors the images can contain. Many pro photographers use the Adobe RGB color space, which offers a wider gamut (more colors). The default sRGB color space has a smaller gamut (fewer colors), but is designed to look good on-screen and in inkjet prints, and is a good choice for those whose primary photo output is e-mailing and inkjet printing.
With film, you have to accept the color rendition the film you're using gives you, unless you cart along a host of expensive color-correcting filters. With digital SLRs, you can set the white balance to suit the lighting conditions: auto (which works very well in most conditions), sunlight, shade, cloudy, fluorescent, flash, etc. Some allow you to set a specific color temperature or even customize white balance for the situation at hand. Some D-SLRs even offer white-balance bracketing, in which they shoot a series of exposures, each with a different white-balance setting. The auto setting and presets do a good job in many situations, but if your work is color-critical, you might want a camera that offers color-temperature settings and custom white balance.
With film, you have to shoot the whole roll at one ISO speed. With a digital SLR, you merely set the ISO to the needed speed. You can shoot every shot at a different ISO if you wish. Keep in mind, though, that as with film, higher ISOs mean images with more noise and less color accuracy, especially if underexposed or enlarged a lot, so use the higher ISOs only when necessary. When considering a digital SLR, check out its ISO range and, if possible, the image quality at the higher settings.
Entry-level and some mid-range D-SLRs offer subject modes, which automatically set the camera for shooting subjects such as portraits, close-ups, landscapes, action and more. If you like these quick-access features, be aware that the pro and more advanced models don't have them. Another thing to consider is that some cameras don't let you apply exposure compensation in the subject modes.
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