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Top of the Line Digital Cameras

If you think that digital cameras are for snapshots only, then you obviously haven't heard about SLR (Single Lens Reflex) digital cameras. SLR is a type of camera which has one lens for composing the frame and capturing the image. SLR cameras are also known as TTL (through-the-lens) cameras.

An SLR camera displays an image through the viewfinder that is exactly the same image as the camera sees and is exactly the same image that the camera is going to record when you release the shutter.

An SLR camera provides a much more accurate image through the viewfinder than a digital camera produces on its LCD because the LCD does not faithfully reproduce the colors and light intensity that is actually entering the camera.

The top of the line SLR digital cameras rival the best film-based SLR cameras and are designed for serious hobbyists and professional photographers. Digital SLR cameras are much larger, bulkier, and heavier than traditional digital cameras.

The SLR uses a mirror that is located behind the lens as well as an optical device known as a pentaprism to channel the light that enters the camera's lens to the optical finder. When you release the shutter the mirror moves out of the way and the image is captured in the same way as any digital camera.

The better digital SLR cameras let you mount different lenses just like their film-based counterparts do. Many of your existing 35mm lens may be compatible with a digital SLR. If you have a large lens collection then you should definitely look for a digital SLR that is compatible with them.

Because the digital SLR cameras are more professional, they come with a hefty price tag. A 6-megapixel Nikon D100 runs around $2,000 and the 11-megapixel Canon 1D runs near $8,000. This is for the camera body only and does not include a lens! This is why I mentioned earlier that you should look for a digital camera that will mount your existing lens collection. Just a good quality zoom lens can run you at least $3,000 and can climb as high as $10,000 depending upon the features!

Of course, there are also starter-priced digital SLR cameras available. The Olympus E-20N, a 5.0-megapixel SLR camera, which includes a non-replaceable lens that is capable of duplicating a 35 mm to 140 mm lens, runs around $3500.

These prices are not out of line if you make your living shooting pictures. You can actually create additional revenue streams when you shoot digital pictures, instead of film-based ones, by offering image enhancement options and all sorts of digital FX options for thee prospective bride and groom's on their treasured wedding album.

If all of this sounds a bit too expensive for your blood, then you'll probably find all of the digital camera that you'll ever need way down in the $99 to $500 price range and you'll never have to worry about buying extra lenses. Digital SLR cameras aren't for everyone but, if they're for you, then there are plenty of models to look at. SOme of the best are made by Canon, Olympus and Nikon which are familiar names in the photography world.

Warren Lynch is a Professional Commercial Photographer located in Louisville, Ky. Sign up for "The Digital Dose" and receive Digital Photography tips every other week absolutely FREE!

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