Many people do not know this, but digital photography has been around since the 1970s. That is to say that the concept of digital photography has been around that long. It was not until the 1990s that digital photography became known to the world and it was not until the 2000s that the camera became affordable enough for the average person to own. If you are getting ready to make the switch to DSLR, you are walking into a world in its heyday right now since giant leaps have been made in the technology behind the digital single lens reflex camera.
Major Improvements with Camera Sensors
One of the main ways that DSLR cameras have changed by leaps and bounds through the years would be image sensors. The sensors available in cameras today can bring pinpoint accuracy to digital photography that was previously unheard of unless you were a professional photographer. Just what are these image sensors? Just how do they change photography for you?
If you are used to film cameras, the easiest way to think about ISO would be to think of the film speed. Various ISO settings are designed to handle various lighting situations and various movement in the frame. Previous digital cameras had fairly low ranges of ISO and this would lead to such problems as digital noise (fuzzy snow like dots in dark areas of the image). Newer model DSLR cameras have ISO ranges all the way up to 204,800, which may actually be a bit of overkill for the average photographer.
Resolution has always been a concern for the digital camera, and for many years, camera manufacturers worked on packing as many pixels in a frame as possible. To an extent, this is a good thing, but after a while, the number of pixels just does not matter as much. This is why new and improved digital cameras have a combination of high resolution along with upgraded sensors to handle low light situations through dynamic ranges that can handle dark and light areas of the image.
When a DSLR camera is able to shoot in full frame, this means it can capture 24mm x 36 mm through its sensors. This has previously not been available to consumers. However, full frame cameras are becoming more affordable and more of an option for the consumer who wants to delve even more into digital photography.
You know that HD video has certainly been making waves as offering the clearest, most colorful images possible. Truly professional quality HD video has not been something available to the consumer before, but things have certainly changed. Many of the well known camera makers, including Canon and Nikon, have begun releasing DSLR cameras that can produce full HD video.
The idea of a DSLR camera that could keep dust and debris off of its sensors is not a new one. However, the idea of sensor cleaning that truly makes a difference certainly is. This is extremely important in the world of digital photography since dust will get into your camera body when you change lenses.
For many years, DSLR image stabilization was built into the lenses that a consumer could buy. This was the only way that the technology could work since each lens has a different level of stabilization need. However, it led to much more expensive lenses. Newer digital cameras have overcome this problem with image stabilization sensors built into the body of the camera.
Hardware Upgrades of Note
It is not just the camera sensors that have changed by leaps and bounds over the past few years. In fact, DSLR cameras have seen a number of improvements to the hardware that helps to allow consumers to take better images. Here are some of the hardware upgrades that you could expect for a camera if you purchase one today.
HDR, which refers to high dynamic range, is definitely an important upgrade to the world of digital photography. In the past, digital cameras had a great deal of trouble processing the lightest and darkest areas that may appear in an image. However, major changes have begun to take place in this area, including cameras that can take a series of images and combine them to create one, high contrast image.
Of course, since sensors have begun to become more and more sophisticated, the way that DSLR cameras can process the information from those sensors has had to grow. This is where the DSP, or digital signal processing, chip comes into play. This chip will take all of the analog information that the camera sensors record and then it will turn that data into digital information. These upgraded chips can make images look more precise and can process the information much faster.
The LCD screens available with DSLR cameras have begun to be upgraded as well. You will find that the camera bodies have begun to get smaller and more compact, but the screens are becoming more sophisticated and more easy to use. You will find that there are cameras available with swivel LCD screens for easy image capture no matter where the photographer is standing, as well as a move toward touch screen for easy settings changes.
Global Positioning System tagging is not a standard on DSLR cameras just yet, but more and more options are including it. By including this GPS information, it is easier for the photographer to precisely pinpoint where each image they took was photographed. Many cameras include GPS attachments but more and more cameras are including the technology built in.
If you are making the switch to digital photography, then you are most certainly doing that at just the right time. Because the world of DSLRs is constantly changing and because those changes are allowing for better images, you can find cameras that are affordable and still in many ways on a professional photography level.