When you’re just getting into photography, one of the first things you’ll want to do is to make sure that you have the right equipment. A good camera can take an ordinary photo and make it look spectacular.
So why do DSLR cameras cost so much? The reason DSLR cameras are so expensive is that the camera’s sensor and processor are made of expensive materials. Just like smartphones and computers, DSLR cameras have microchips and processors that make them work and making them small, costs extra. High-quality camera lenses are expensive because of the amount of research and development that goes into trying to create higher quality images.
You’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of cameras to choose from. If you want to take high-quality images, then you’ll definitely want a DSLR camera and DSLR cameras can be expensive.
Like a luxury car, many of the components that make up a DSLR camera are top of the line. Everything from the body, which can be several hundred dollars for even point-and-shoot cameras, can be made from high-quality material.
There are some specific components that greatly increase the price of a DSLR camera. These components aren’t just advanced, but they also aren’t as readily available as parts for other cameras.
If you currently can’t afford a DSLR camera, there are alternatives to choose from that will help you get into photography at a lower price point.
The DSLR Camera Sensor
The biggest determining factor in the cost of a DSLR camera is the sensor. The sensor for a DSLR camera is several times larger than the ones used for a standard camcorder or a point and shoot camera.
The significant increase in the size of the sensor for a DSLR camera lowers the number of sensors on the yield, which is what raises the cost of the DSLR camera to the point where it is far more costly than other types of cameras.
It can’t be stressed enough how much more significant the sensor in a DSLR camera is compared to its counterparts.
While in some cameras, you can expect several hundred thousand pixels for an image, a DSLR camera uses a few million pixels for its images.
The amount of money and resources used to create a sensor for a DSLR camera is significant, compared to the average camcorder, which is what requires the cost for the DSLR camera to be raised to such a high level.
DSLR Camera Systems
While the sensor for DSLR cameras greatly add to its high cost, the specialized systems increase the cost of the camera even further.
Everything from mechanical shutter systems, mirror systems, matrix metering systems, and a processing chip that handles several megabytes per second.
The high resolution means that the camera must work with a lot of data in a short amount of time.
Similar processes are done with point and shoot cameras and camcorders, but the relatively low resolution makes it so that the image does not come out as well as it could.
All the systems built within a DSLR camera are designed to help increase the quality of the image and it is expensive because of the high-quality parts used for the internal parts of the camera and the body itself.
Pros and Cons of DSLR Cameras
A DSLR shines in a few different areas. The best thing about the DSLR camera is the high resolution it provides.
While the more advanced camera phones and other cameras can take images with a lot of pixels, the lenses are much smaller.
Because of the larger size of the lens that DSLR cameras have, you can take pictures that are great, even when they are increased to a large size.
In comparison, images taken with a top of the line phone may look good on the screen on a monitor, but start to lose its quality when it is enlarged.
Another aspect of the DSLR camera is the fact that a large DSLR camera lens can take in more light. Even in a situation where you don’t have as much visibility, the DSLR camera can take a clear image.
Customized photography gives a DSLR camera more options as well. From the low latency and physical controls to the ability to change out your lens to fit any situation.
DSLR cameras provide you with several options to drastically change the type of photo you plan to take.
Of course, DSLR cameras also have their fair share of difficulties as well. For example, a DSLR camera is very large. In fact, their size can be problematic for many casual photographers.
DSLR cameras don’t conveniently fit anywhere. Even the ones that are relatively small can be difficult to casually bring with you wherever you go.
For many photographers, you’re going to need a DSLR specific bag to go along with your camera.
DSLR cameras are also difficult to approach. They give you a lot of options with several systems, but the layout is not easy to pick up and understand immediately.
You’re going to spend some time figuring out every button on the device and how to use it properly.
Finally, DSLR cameras are a rather costly investment. Once you’ve purchased a DSLR camera you’re committed to it.
You won’t just be buying the camera, but also all the accessories that come along with it, especially since they are specialized for each individual device.
What are DSLR Cameras Good at?
DSLR cameras are best suited for high-quality photography done by professionals. Because of the high price point and the other requirements, such as various lenses, DSLR cameras can be a costly investment for photography as a hobby.
DSLR cameras are also better for photography and not recording video. Mirrorless cameras are much lighter and compact, plus they make for better video.
While you have fewer customization options, the raw video quality would still be better with a mirrorless camera.
If you’re a hobby photographer, DSLR cameras can be a great option, but only if you have the resources to purchase one.
Keep in mind the fact that while DSLR cameras are expensive, they do range greatly when it comes to price.
An entry-level DSLR camera can cost several hundred dollars, but a much larger one with more features can easily run someone several thousand.
While DSLR cameras can be expensive, you can find lower-priced ones that still give you the quality image that you want.
Alternatives to DSLR Cameras
Unfortunately, because of how numerous the options can be for cameras, there is no “best” alternative to DSLR cameras.
In fact, an entry-level DSLR camera could be what is best for you or a simple smartphone camera might be all you need on your photography journey.
There are a few things you should consider when trying to determine what camera you’re going to use for your photography.
Consider these things and you will have a good idea of the type of camera you need for any situation.
The first thing you should consider is what you plan to use your camera for. If you’re going to be taking photographs of still images, you want something different compared to someone who is looking to shoot video well.
The other thing to consider is the subject you’re going to capture with your camera. If you prefer taking pictures of landscapes and portraits, then you may need a camera that is better suited at taking large-scale photos from a distance.
On the other hand, if you prefer to take pictures of action or movement, such as street photography, then you need a camera that can quickly capture things in motion and produce a clear image.
Other features to consider include the size and portability. Some people, especially those taking still shots, have all the time in the world to set up their camera to get the perfect shot.
If you’re focused on capturing fast moving objects though, you must be able to take a picture at a moment’s notice, which requires a lightweight camera that you can use as quickly as you can, such as a point and shoot camera.
How often should I upgrade my camera? There is no set time when you should upgrade your camera. Photography is based on the individual.
If you feel that your camera is taking the images at a quality you’d like, you should hold onto it.
If you do want to upgrade your camera, make sure to keep in mind what improvements you want to make and specifically look for cameras that give you the higher image quality you want.
Should I start with a DSLR camera? It’s true that DSLR cameras are expensive and they can be difficult to acquire because of that.
If you have the resources, and you want to take photos and not record video, then you should consider starting with an entry level DSLR camera.
While there are some cheaper alternatives, DSLR cameras do provide some of the best quality images you can get from a camera.
Is a smartphone camera good enough for photography? The latest smartphones provide high-quality images with an impressive number of megapixels.
There are limitations to smartphones, but they can provide excellent photos for all sorts of things, such as casual images or social media posts.
If you are taking photos as a hobby, smartphone cameras can be great for photography, but if you’re considering doing it professionally you should invest in a high-quality camera.