I use a digital SLR camera and confess that I had no idea what "SLR" meant. I searched the web and found that it stands for, "Single Lens Reflex." That doesn't explain anything really. An SLR is basically a camera body + lens. The lens can be removed and exchanged for a different one for a different photograph. Like you would use a different lens for portrait than you would for a picture of a field. On these fancy SLRs, when you look through the viewfinder, you actually look through some prisms and mirrors, and you wind up looking through the lens. When you trip the shutter, the mirror flips out of the way, and the scene that is projected in the final picture is exactly what you saw through the viewfinder. If you put on a different lens, you automatically see a different scene through the viewfinder.
The pros to having an SLR:
- You can expand your system to match your interests. If you suddenly get interested in photographing tiny bugs, just get a macro lens, and you're in business.
- Upgrading is easy. If a fantastic new camera body comes out, you can replace your old one, and all your old lenses will continue to work.
- Almost every level of equipment quality is available -- you're limited only by your pocketbook. With a point-and-shoot, you get the lens and flash that comes with your camera, and that's it.
- SLRs is heavier and bulkier than the point-and-shoots.
- SLRs will probably cost a bit more.
- Most point-and-shoots are optimized so that anyone can use them. This is not necessarily true for SLRs
- The fact that the mirror has to flip out of the way just before each shot means that the actual photo is not exactly what you see through the viewfinder -- it's what's there a few hundredths of a second later. Usually this doesn't make any difference, but if you're photographing rapidly-moving objects, it can.
My newest lens is a Sigma, 18-50mm f/2.8. The reviews online were great. I am always giddy when I see that real, professional photographers use the lens -- it must be good then. It has a large aperture ability which gives me the fuzzy background that I love.
I got the lens yesterday and wasn't even irritated when my girls wouldn't take naps. "That's it! We are going outside and taking pictures." I run a tight ship around here. "Ah, mom. Do we have to?"
Emma quickly warms up for the camera. I tried lots of different setting while trying out the new lens. All the pictures I have posted here are straight from the camera, no editing.
Fuzzy background? Check. Sharp image? Check. Quick focus? Check.
The ultimate test for me is Mandy. Nothing moves faster than a 2 year old. Especially a two year old on a swing.
This was taken on auto focus, auto setting. Not bad at all.
This cheesy grin warms my heart. I love her to pieces. Even when she won't hold still. Even when she refuses to be potty trained. Even when she skips her naps. I can't get enough of that smile with her cold, January nose.
The sun came out at 4 o'clock and it was perfection. There is nothing like winter sunshine. It's soft and warm.
Emma was game for a close up. She better not be batting those eye lashes at any boys.
I am very happy with the performance of the lens. It was quick and sharp and I imagine it will be the lens I keep on my camera body most of the time.