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Should You buy an SLR camera?

Should You buy an SLR Camera - Our blog pages is where we put important informations on Photography, social media and blogging in general. If you're a blogger looking for inspiration and ideas to improve your website, take a look at our original articles. #photography #photographytips #photographyinspiration #blogger #blog #blogging #tricks #stockphotodesign

Why should you buy an SLR Camera?

If you ask yourself “Should I buy an SLR Camera?” then you should read this..

Before you buy an SLR Camera, first of all, you should know the two main differences between a basic camera and an SLR:

  • Image quality when viewed at full size (100% zoom)
  • Possibility to change lens.

Well, not quite, “Price is also a big factor”. SLR are very affordables in most cases, but to reach their full potential, they requires good and “generally expensives” lenses. And sometimes, a lot of them…
If you buy an SLR Camera and only use the basic lens that comes with it, you will probably get results similar to ordinary cameras. So it’s a bit a waste of money.

Good lenses usually cost at least $500 each, so you have to be willing to pay more if you want to have acceptable results. When you’re not a professional, you don’t always have the budget or confidence, to invest in them. Basically, you will need to spend between $1500 and $2000, to buy the camera, a good lens, a second battery, a memory card and a camera bag to put everything in.

What about the image Quality then?

Good image quality permit you to do Large Printout, like wall size. Because of this size, image defects also become much more apparent. To prevent those image defects, you have to know your lenses limitations. Contrarily as what you might think, lenses are not perfect, and you have to know how to be able to find their limits. They all have defects, even the most expensive ones. By now, you must be asking yourself, what the heck is he talking about? Well, I will make it simple. Here’s a list of lens defects and their visual descriptions:

1- Softness:

What we call “Softness” is when an image is blurred when viewed at full size (zoom: 100%). On the image below, I have tested my own 50mm F1.4 lens on a piece of newspaper. To do this, you put your camera on a tripod and take the same picture with different lens aperture.

The Number on each image represent the Aperture of the lens. (1.4 being the largest aperture and 22 being the smallest). As you can see on this image, the image is a bit blurred at aperture 1.4 and 2.0. The image quality start to be sharper from 3.2 and up until 22.Lens Optimum Range test sample imageSoftness is the most important lens defect. On this lens, I only changed the aperture since it was a fixed lens. If you buy a zoom, you also have to test it at different zoom lenghts. Ex: for a 24-105mm like mine, I would test it at 24mm, 50mm and 105mm and do aperture verification every time.

2- Chromatic Aberration – aka Purple Fringing (Purple color appearing on high contrast area, more specificaly on border area)

You probably already saw this defect on tv image, and if you didn’t, you will now. LOL. The problem appear more likely on image external border, and is more evident when you use a larger aperture. On the image below, the first one on the left is the worse case at maximum aperture. You can see the blue-purple lines along the black outlines. Things improve as you go for smaller apertures.purple fringing sample image

3- Vignetting (Darkening area around the hedge of the photo)

As you can see in the image below, it is the darkening effect on the four corner of the image. Again, this problem is more apparent on large aperture.lens vignetting sample image

4- Visual Distorsion:

Ideally, you want image with no distortion. The barrel distortion below appear on wide angle lens (10-20mm) and the pincushion distortion appear on long zoom (200mm and more). This problem is not as critical as the first three, since most people don’t even notice it, or are aware of its existence. Only remember that people with look fatter on wide angle and skinnier on ZOOM.lens image distortion sample

What are the SLR camera advantages?

1- Being able to change lenses is one of the best advantage of the SLRs. You can use:

  • Wide angle Lens: perfect for architectural shooting.
  • Fix lens: for uptimum image quality.
  • Big Zoom lenses: When you are far from your subject, like in the nature wilderness
  • Special Effect lenses:
    • Fisheye Lens
    • Soft-focus lens for wedding
    • Super Wide Angle
    • Distortion Lenses

2- Sport Photography: It requires a camera that can shoot a lot of image per second, around 8-12 images/sec. Only SLRs can do that.
3- Aperture Selection: Being able to select the camera aperture let you choose between a blurred or a clean background. The image below show the difference between different aperture settings:dof vs aperture imageSee as the background is blurred on the first one, and gradually get sharper as you go toward the left. It is the effect of the aperture. I always use the Aperture Priority Setting on my camera, so i’m able to ajust this on every images.

4- Bracketing: Bracketing is the possibility to let the camera shoot three pictures instead of one. Each one having a different exposition. Very useful when the lighting is unpredictable. Most of the time, one of the three images will be good and you won’t have to re-shoot.
There are others useful functions in your SLR, but you will have to read the camera manual to know them.


We saw some people buy an SLR Camera thinking they would shoot better pictures, only to be deceived that their images still look the same. Most of them didn’t read the manual and don’t know how to use their camera. If you use the all-automatic setting on an SLR, as well buy a regular camera or phone. If you buy an SLR Camera, you have to know exactly how to use it, and the only way to achieve this is by reading the camera manual. It is basically essential, it will make the difference between using it as an amateur, or as a Professional.
We hope reading this post will help you make an clearer decision on your next camera.

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What Royalty-Free Really Means

What Royalty-Free Really Means - Our blog pages is where we put important informations on Photography, social media and blogging in general. If you're a blogger looking for inspiration and ideas to improve your website, take a look at our original articles. #photography #photographytips #photographyinspiration #blogger #blog #blogging #tricks #stockphotodesign

What Royalty-Free Really Means for Imagery is not what most people think it is. Here’s our easy to understand explanation.

Unfortunately, when talking about imagery, it doen’t mean images are free. The term Royalty-Free should probably be renamed “Exclusivity and Time-Frame Free”. It would probably be less confusing..

In the old days, before the arrival of the digital cameras. Photographers used to sell photos “exclusivity” to company during a “certain period of time” for large amounts of money.

They didn’t had to sell a lot of photos, to make good a good living. They used to call this system “Royalty Managed“. Photographers “could not sell an image to someone else”, during that time period.

When Digital cameras came into the market and became affordable to most people, things changed a bit.  More and more people were able to make and sell their images on the internet, and images offering exploded and exceded the demand. When it happened, prices went down abruptly.

To compensate for the lower prices, photographers started to offer their photography, without the exclusivity or time limitation, at much lower prices.

That way, they could offer the same image to many more people at the same time. They call this new system “Royalty-Free”, when in fact, they should have called it “Exclusivity and Timeframe Free”.

Legal trouble

People that don’t understand the real sense of royalty-free can find themself in big legal trouble very fast. Company like Getty Images Collection sues people that use their photos without permission, very fast and quite hard. Even if you already have the images in your possession, you still have to pay rights to use them.

And Images that have logos on them, can only be used for promotional purpose. Like this one:

What Royalty-Free Really Means

Companies like Istockphoto, Getty, Shutterstock, Fotolia and all the others, are selling their Images as “Royalty-Free”, but none of them are free.

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Read our other blog postings, for more useful hints on photography:

What an “HDR” Images really is.

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What HDR (High Dynamic Range) is.

What is HDR - Our blog pages is where we put important informations on Photography, social media and blogging in general. If you're a blogger looking for inspiration and ideas to improve your website, take a look at our original articles. #photography #photographytips #photographyinspiration #blogger #blog #blogging #tricks #stockphotodesign

What HDR (High Dynamic Range) is ?

In fact, it’s pretty simple.

It’s making one picture with the luminosity of two or more pictures. You take different pictures of the same subject at different luminosities. Then combine them to make an HDR.

Here’s an exemple:

What HDR (High Dynamic Range) is

As you can see, we took the highlights on the darkest image (in Blue), and the darkest section on the most exposed Image (in Red). Then combine them on the midlle image to have a more balanced Image.

Here the real case Image Result:

HDR final Result

As you can see, there’s no really dark or white sections on the resulting Image. We kind of stretched the luminosity details of the image. HDR “High Dynamic Resolution” is just a technical term for “Stretched Luminosity” effect.

For this image, the Software used was Photomatix Pro.

HDR can have different degrees. Since it can be overblown easily, at Stockphotodesign, we’re trying to make them look, as natural as possible. Therefore, we’re limiting the effect for maximum results.

The image below is an exemple of overblown HDR. You might like it, but it’s just not a useful image.

Overblown HDR

We have a wide variety of HDR Images. Here’s a Sample from our Portfolio:

As you can see, the effects are not overdone. They are added precisely, just to make the image pops out.

Also, read our blog on Royalty-Free Definition

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What HDR (High Dynamic Range) is.

If this Photography Tip post helped you, then please dont forget to share it. We appreciate all retweets, likes, and +1s.