DSLR Training and Advanced Photography Tips
Please note that if you have come here from the absolute beginners section, you may find yourself covering some “old ground”. This is not such a bad thing as the more you read and absorb something, the more it will stick in your subconscious mind and eventually become “second nature”.
The DSLR camera…what does it mean?
DSLR is the “Digital Single Lens Reflex” camera.
Way back when, the old film “SLR” camera had a twin brother called the “Twin Lens Reflex” which, as it suggested, had two lenses. One was for focussing and framing and one was for taking the actual shot.
Of course, this meant that you didn’t always get exactly what you saw due to parallax error.
To explain this in simple terms, look at something with both of your eyes open and then close one eye and quickly switch vision from one eye to the other. Do you notice the angle changing slightly? That was the problem with twin lens cameras, what you saw, wasn’t always exactly what you got!
Then some clever boffin invented the prism or pentaprism and placed it inside a single lens reflex camera or SLR.
What this prism did was take the light (and picture) from the single lens on the front of the camera and redirect it using a series of mirrors, up into and out of the viewfinder allowing the photographer to see what he was shooting…exactly.
When the shutter was pressed, the main mirror in front of the lens would flip up and the shutter would open allowing the film or sensor to be exposed with the same light or image as the photographer was seeing just before he pressed the shutter. When the photo was taken, the camera would reset itself mirror and all ready for the next shot.
The basic principles of the SLR and now the DSLR (digital SLR) have not changed since their first inception. What has changed is the way in which the camera works and the introduction of sometimes unnecessary (in many cases) buttons that only serve to confuse people that are new to SLR Photography:
- Direct Print
- Depth of field preview
- Mode settings
- 3 or 4 buttons that do the same thing
It is easy to see why people that buy their first DSLR these days become confused very quickly. When I started using an SLR in 1979, they were very basic indeed and served as an excellent grounding for what would become my career. Here is my first SLR camera from the late 1970’s as a 13 year old…
…in fact, searching for a photo of this camera brought back so much nostalgia, I have just bought one on eBay for £20!
…and here it is next to my EOS 5D Mark II…ahhh, the memories!
You can see this camera has very basic functions, no gizmos or gadgets and pretty much does the same job as today’s modern DSLR’s.
The principle of actually composing, exposing and taking the shot have barely changed, if at all.
What has changed is the way you get there with new features that are supposed to help you but for me are normally switched off on my cameras.
I personally love technology but it tends to get in the way of people’s progression as many additional features added to modern cameras are altogether unnecessary (smile detection, face detection etc)…great for selling cameras though.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the features on modern DSLR’s are incredible and I sometimes wonder how I got along without them. For example, auto ISO…
Next Page – Auto ISO