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Old Jul 14, 2004, 9:15 AM   #3
JimC
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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P.S. -- my previous post assumes that youreally meant SLR (Single Lens Reflex). In the Digital World, we refer to these as Digital SLR's (DSLR).

Kodak does make a wide variety of non-DSLR models for consumers.

There are pros and cons to a Digital SLR.

LCD Framing: unlike a consumer (or "prosumer") camera like the Minolta A1, the LCD can't be used for framing on a DSLR.

Lens Cost: To get the same focal range you can find in a consumer level camera, you often have to spend much more money, especially to get lenses that are as "fast" (widest apertures available at wide angle and zoom). To get all the features (macro performance, zoom range, etc.), you must often purchase more than one lens, too.

Camera Size/Weight: Because of the larger sensors used in most Digital SLR cameras, the lenses also have to be larger and heavier for the same focal ranges/light gathering ability.

Sensor Cleaning: When you swap lenses, you risk dust getting into the the sensor.

A Few Advantages to a Digital SLR:

A true "Through the Lens Optical Viewfinder" -- what you see is the same image being transmitted to the sensor. You do have similiar functionality with a camera like the A1, with it's Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), although there is some delay in the image being transmitted to the EVF, compared to an Optical Viewfinder.

Much Better Dynamic Range -- again, this is mostly due to the much larger sensor being used.

Ability to Shoot at Higher ISO speeds with lower noise. Most Prosumer models have fairly high noise levels at higher ISO speeds (again, mostly due to pixel size and density of the smaller sensors). The SLR's have much larger sensors, and much better signal to noise ratios.

For low light photography (or sports photography), many users find that consumer grade (non-DSLR) cameras can be virtually useless in many situations, due to extremely high noise --- especially at ISO 400 or higher.

Fast Focus Speeds -- Most Digital SLR's use a Phase Detection Focus System which is extremely fast. Most Consumer Grade Cameras use a Contrast Detection Focus System which can be slow (and often unreliable) in lower light.

Ability to Control Depth of Field - The smaller sensors used in a Consumer Grade Camera limit your ability to control Depth of Field (blur backgrounds by using wider apertures). The much larger sensors used in a Digital SLR give you much more flexibility over Depth of Field, especially since you have a great variety of lenses available for an SLR.

Lenses become an investment - With a Digital SLR, when you upgrade your camera body later, you can take your lenses with you within the same manufacturer. With a consumer grade camera, the lenses are permanently attached.

Speed of Writes - The processors used in most Digital SLR's are dramatically faster than the processors used in consumer grade cameras. As a result the camera's overall operation is usually much faster.

Both types of cameras can be great for many users. Some users have both (a compact consumer model good for most shooting situations, that is much easier to carry); as well as a Digital SLR (with multiple lenses) for special purpose applications.

There are pros and cons to both approaches.


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