The Basics of SLR Cameras

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Buying a new SLR camera is an exciting prospect. They aren't cheap, so making the purchase is a huge investment in your photography. But when you first get that big camera in your hands, it can be a little overwhelming. There's lots of features and terms that you may not be completely sure of. If you are to get a handle on your camera and other SLR cameras in the future, there are some basic things you'll need to know.

SLR cameras have a major perk that regular point and shoot cameras do not; their lenses are changeable. That means you can go out and buy a black and white lens, a zoom lens, or all kinds of filter lenses to really change up your photography. First of all, you need to locate your lens alignment. This will be a small red dot on whatever lens you choose to use. It will let you know if it is aligned properly when you place it into your camera. Every SLR camera has a lens release button that will let you easily detach a lens.

Shutter speed is another feature of SLR cameras. The faster the shutter speed, the quicker the camera can take pictures which works well for action shots. You can have the option to adjust the shutter speed and either speed it up or slow it down. Slowing it down will cause a blur effect which may be desirable for certain shots. It also works just fine on inanimate objects. Using a tripod for slow shutters is necessary or the photo will come out far too blurry to be seen. Shutter speed is determined by the camera, not the lens. No matter what lens you choose, the camera 's shutter speed itself can only go so fast.


Aperture value is something all SLR camera beginners should learn. It's the amount of light that is allowed to hit the camera's sensor. The aperture value is expressed in f-stops. The lower the value, the more light is permitted because the opening is bigger. The higher the value, the less light is permitted. This is going to greatly change the exposure of a picture, so you should play around with settings and get an idea of how it comes out.

Depth of field is also important to understand. In basic terms, it's the sharpness of the background compared to the actual object you are photographing. Aperture value affects this as well. A low aperture value will force the object to be sharp and the background to be blurry. High aperture value means all objects are equally as sharp.

If you can get a handle of these basic SLR camera features, you will be well on your way to learning how to use them to create excellent photos. From there, you can start exploring more complicated techniques.



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