Why aren’t my pictures turning out?

The camera itself still needs to be a quality unit. It should have a quality coated glass lens. The metering system should adjust the camera’s aperture and shutter speeds for accurate exposures. The flash should allow for redeye reduction and outside fill, and the body should be sturdy and well designed. A compact of this quality, though, starts to venture a little higher in the price bracket, so it’s wise to consider the purchase of a single lens reflex camera. That’s right – a DSLR. But aren’t DSLRs the cameras with all the lenses and settings and gismos? Well, yes – and no. While it is true that DSLR cameras allow you to control more of the settings required for exposure, in many ways they’re just as easy to use as compact cameras – and some models give you the option to operate in either manual or automatic modes.

Today there are several DSLR cameras available that don’t cost much more than a high-end compact, and that allow you the control and quality that professional photographers achieve. Let’s look at just some of the benefits of owning a DSLR:

  • A DSLR usually comes packaged with a high quality zoom lens. This is vital for sharpness and colour, but it also gives you greater flexibility in composition as the zoom allows you to fill the frame with your subject without losing focus – something compact cameras are infamous for.
  • A DSLR grows with you. As your photography skills multiply, so will your ability to apply them to your picture taking. Learning to use the different settings and modes is fun, and the ability to add lenses and other accessories can make your family photography a much more exciting and rewarding activity.
  • A DSLR has a highly advanced light meter. This is incredibly important for achieving sharp, colourful, accurately exposed pictures – both with flash and without. Having an inbuilt meter also allows you to learn when and where to use flash – and when not to. It will teach you why you can take pictures in some conditions, and not others. This knowledge means having photographs turn out for you that were previously a case of “cross your fingers and press the button”.
  • A DSLR allows you to see through the actual lens. This means that the photograph will be composed exactly as you see it in the viewfinder, which is very important – especially when taking close-ups. Ask the retailer from whom you received this magazine about upgrading to an easy-to-use DSLR camera. They can show you models made by Canon, Nikon and Pentax that are not too expensive, but can seriously improve your pictures. After all – your family snaps are the most precious!

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