I’ve been a photography nut ever since laying hands on my dad’s copy of John Hedgecoe’s Complete Guide to Photography. So excuse me if I get a bit poetic.
The joy of photography is to find beauty in what you observe. It’s a pure mix of art and technique, and asks of its practitioner the highest aesthetic judgement. One must always be on the lookout for something interesting- a ‘moment’, a ‘face’, a story.
For the longest time, though, photography was an expensive mistress. Expensive SLRs, limited films and high developing costs nipped most people’s desire in the bud. And when Digital came along, everyone went straight for the convenience of compact point-and-shoot cameras.
The result of all this cost-cutting is that people approach camerawork like a hoo%@# approaches $*! housewife approaches the dishes… a mindless chore to be done with the least possible cost/effort.
Well, that won’t do for me! I’ve bought myself an SLR!
A digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera is the holy grail of the photography enthusiast. Mastering it requires developing your judgement, understanding the inner workings of the camera, and getting a sense of timing. And of course, conquering the skill of Photoshop editing :P
SLRs are disadvantageous in some ways… they’re bulky, extremely expensive, and you cannot take pictures by looking at the LCD- only through the viewfinder on top. In other words, they’re not for the faint of heart.
Why SLR then?
For the same reason someone would drive a Ferrari. Or write with a Mont Blanc fountain pen, or buy an impressionist painting. Sure, you have excellent automatic cameras available- cheap & easy. But the automatic is plug-and-play. It’s made for convenience, dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. The SLR, on the other hand, is like a Harley Davidson. Not everyone can handle it, but for those who accept the nature of the beast, it becomes a part of their soul.
Now if I’ve convinced you about the benefits of an SLR, why not read the rest of this article over on Vishal’s site? He’s got a wonderful introduction to the top 5 budget SLRs, and his other writings are rather nifty, too.
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