4 DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Questions you were afraid to ask
For many of us Digital Photography is a brand new language to use and understand..Over the course of the next few weeks I will be doing a 5 part series to answer your most burning photographic queries, once and for all...Here we go!!!
1.) Sensor Size or number of megapixels--which matters more?
Neither. The most important variable is the size of the individual pixels. A pixel is like a light sponge--the bigger it is, the more light it absorbs. Greater sensitivity lets you shoot at higher ISO's with less noise, better detail, and finer color gradation. Of course, bigger pixels require a bigger sensor to hold the same number.
2.) So that's the reason you get better pictures from a DSLR than a compact that has the same number of megapixels?
That's just one reason. DSLR's also tend to do better at image processing. They give you more control and of course, a range of lenses. Other pluses: speedier startup time, lack of shutter lag, faster and more sensitive autofocus, clear and accurate viewfinder, faster burst rates, more powerful flash, many accessories, longer battery life, and typically greater ruggedness.
3.) Whats better, digital or optical stabilization?
Digital stabilization is basically bogus--it simply boosts the ISO and shutter speed, and sometimes uses software to sharpen blurry area's of the image. Optical image stabilization is the real deal: Either the imaging sensor or an element in the lens moves to counteract you motion when handholding at slower shutter speeds.
4.) What's the difference between Automatic and Program mode?
Automatic is pure point and shoot--the camera sets aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, autofocusing mode, flash. I much prefer Program Mode, which sets the aperture and shutter, but leaves the rest up to you. You can set some or all of the other parameters, apply exposure compensation, and decide when you want flash.
I hope this answers some of the questions you may have thought about from time to time when your out enjoying your camera...Stay tuned for Part 2 of my series next week..Until than go out and have FUN WITH YOUR CAMERA !!!
Dave Berry shares his Photography Tips at Computer School for Seniors (www.cs4seniors.com).