/ photography

Why do photographer use SLR camera?

These are some reason why people get an SLR camera

  1. SLR camera can grew with the photographer.  This because the photographer can learn new tricks that compact can't do such as setting aperture and shutter speed, shooting at higher ISO's without worrying about noise, and experimenting with different types of lenses.  Therefore when the photographer's skill improves, he or she will be able to configure the camera to suit his or her needs.
  2. SLR system is configurable and growable.  If you don't really like photography, then get some prosumer camera, not compact point and shot model.  Prosumer camera generally have larger zoom ratio (a camera with 100x zoom is available) and more feature compared to a real SLR.  Prosumer camera can produce quite a good image and it is usually lighter, smaller, easier to use and has no dust issues.  Don't waste your money on SLR system and lenses.
  3. Compared to prosumer and compact camera, SLR is faster in focusing, starting up and capturing picture.  Therefore I can got more photo opportunity without loosing moments.
  4. SLR has more battery capacity and saves battery (as long as you don't use live view).  I can get more shots (like 500+) on one recharge which means more photo opportunity.  FYI, once I left my EOS 400D on for about a week, and I still have power left in the battery that is good for 100 shots.
  5. Since then I always left my camera 'on' when I go out on a photo session (my camera can can standby for a week, so standing by for few hours is easy).  I set my camera to will enter standby mode after 30 seconds, and it will wake up and ready to take picture at the moment I touch the shutter button without any delay.  I won't miss any photo opportunity with it.
  6. Another reasons not worth mentioning - but funny - I can make fun of peoples with an SLR!  Here in Indonesia, people always thought that I came from far-far away land, and some of them guess I came from Taiwan (I can speak Chinese anyway)
  7. Then people will start taking pictures near me!
  8. I can put a long telephoto lens, and catch pretty girl's picture that is far away without being caught.  Well, that's the Idea, however I prefer not to do it and I advice you not to do it.

The conclusion is better camera works in more condition and allows photographer to took pictures easier.

This is the test case of what an SLR could do and compact can't

  • Last Tuesday was my little cousin's birthday.  When celebrating his birthday, my cousin sister and I was assigned to take his birthday pictures using two camera, a Sony compact and my camera.  At that day I see the difference of a fine compact P/S camera and a SLR, my own EOS 400D. 

  • The celebration was at a restaurant at night.  The restaurant uses yellow bulb for interior lightning.  Both of the camera performs about same for capturing most pictures.  In fact the compact Sony camera is much easier to use and produces image of similar, and sometimes better quality compared to the EOS 400 D, especially when the EOS is set to full auto (green mode), the EOS produces worse image compared to the compact.

  • The reason behind compact's excellent result is the compact has face detection auto focus that focus all the happy face and done some post processing on the face to make it looks better.  The result is sharply focused face that is balanced with the background, not a bright face with dark background.  Since my camera don't have those features, on full automatic mode the EOS always makes an overly bright face with dark background.  I have to set the EOS to manual or semi auto at best to make it work at f/8 for focusing all the people there in a shot.  This made me favour the compact.

  • However the difference arises when the birthday boy is blowing a candle. Using two camera to capture, one SLR and one compact. The SLR shows its superiority over the compact.  What the compact capture is the candle is out and blown.  This happens due the LCD lags, so when the LCD shows the boy is inhaling about to blow, actually the the boy already begins to blow.  Then when the camera capture, the candle is already out! 

    With SLR, the information is transferred in light speed to my eyes, and my brain could process information much quicker compared to the image processor on the compact in displaying the LCD.  Then when I feel this is it, I press the shutter completely and capture!  I manage to get this image. 

    • birthday boy

  • Note the red circle where the fire is being blown by his breath.  The birthday boy don't wait since wanted to eat his ice cream cake ASAP!  So sorry for cropping inefficiencies.

  • Technical:

    • I use f/8 to get DOF on the birthday boy and his ice cream cake, why f/8?  It is the smallest f stop I could find to get image at this DOF, smaller aperture will make the image too dark.  On this respect the fast 50mm f/1.8 lens won't help, but high ISO helps!

    • My camera is set at 2nd curtain flash sync, which helps to freeze the picture better. I was lucky that the camera did not vibrate to much when taking this moment.

  • Only an SLR with live view set to off - without slow image processor circuit - could do this.  Future image processor and might LCD will minimise the lag, but for 2009 technology, only SLR could do it.  Today's advanced SLR, like EOS 450D can make some processing to lighten face up and many other things to make an easy compact feature on SLR speed and image quality.

  • On the event, only if could I use a faster lens, such as Canon's 50mm f/1.8, which I could get for Rp 800.000,00 (approx USD 90) I could make a better and less noisy family picture, at ISO 100 or 200, or ISO 400 without flash, which will make the image more balanced.