I’ve heard a lot of people wishing to get a DSLR, mainly because

  1. They think its cool to lug around a DSLR
  2. They think that all the photos you take with a DSLR will be great photos
  3. They think that they can just use the Auto settings on a DSLR and everything will turn out fine.
  4. They are really photography enthusiasts who really learn a lot of things before settling down with a DSLR [And these are the people who knows how to read up on photography related topics etc]

If you are planning to spend for a DSLR and you are in category 1, 2, or 3, and NOT in category 4, then please do not waste your money on a DSLR.

On the contrary to what those in Category 1, 2 or 3 believe, it is not easy to use a DSLR. It’s heavy, the lens work funnily sometimes, focus is sometimes off when you’re using manual focus, some lens won’t work on certain DSLR, you might not get used to looking through the viewfinder [even though some DSLR have live-view function, I found that for the D90 there’s a slight delay in live-view which really spoils a lot of things], and most of all, you’ll need a lot of practice and read-ups to be good in using it [and that definitely means reading the manual- Only sadly I’ve seen very little friends of mine who owns a digital camera and still do not read the manual, till in the end, they didn’t know how much their digital camera can actually do].

Only consider a DSLR when you know what the following means and how each of them relate which each other.

  • Exposure
  • Shutter Speed
  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • F-stop
  • Spot, center weighted metering
  • Macro
  • Noise

If you don’t know any one of the above I would suggest for you to read up [go online and do a search on it]. Some camera’s manual settings will give you control [to an extent] on the above settings. You don’t need a DSLR to learn about the above.

Lets say for example, if you would want to take photos at night, what should you do. Turn on night mode and everything will be preset for you. But handshake might still remain a problem. How about using manual settings at night to take photos with natural lighting, what should you do? [Longer shutter speed possibly with a tripod, with high ISO to compensate so that you will be able to make things brighter- with higher noise of course, no flash unless absolutely necessary, low level of aperture perhaps f-stop of f/2.8, and pray that you’ll get a nice photo]

There are a lot of things one should learn before going for a DSLR, and moving along with the trend [by which more and more people are making the transition to DSLR] is NOT a good idea.

Please learn, unlock the full potential of your digital camera [if you have one], know its limitations, know its potential, know what you lack and find ways to compensate for it, and definitely read the manual if you have time.

Only after you’ve learn how to use the digital camera should you consider buying a DSLR. And when I say learn I don’t mean using Auto function and just snap away. Experience with the manual settings, play around and try new things. You’ll never know what your digital camera can do. I used my digital camera almost 3 quarters of a month, every month for 2 years [mostly in manual settings] before I got a DSLR. And honestly, it’s still hard to use the DSLR after all that practice.

So please, do some homework before buying so that you won’t blame the DSLR when all you get is lousy photos.

That being said, I will share my experience with Esme [My D90] soon. Perhaps you will be able to see what I’ve gone through with the DSLR. 🙂


PS: Correct me if I’m wrong with some of the info. I’m still learning as well