Ask a Photographer: Why buy a dSLR?

I'm often asked about my opinion on camera selection, i.e. "What camera should I buy?". That's a really hard question to answer because it all depends on what you want to do with the camera. Today a more narrow question was asked that's a little easier to discuss, and that is: "What are the advantages of a dSLR over a point-and-shoot camera?". Since my reply ran on a bit, I thought it would make a good blog topic, so here you go...

The first advantage that comes to mind for reasons why to get a dSLR is that the lenses are interchangeable. Often, lenses are worth more than the camera body for good reason, but sometimes you can find good inexpensive ones.

There are several factors that make a lens good. The most interesting reason is that the well built ones have a very wide aperture, which is the F number. The lower the number, the wider the aperture, the larger the opening. This is important because wide apertures produce shallow depth of field (DOF). Shallow DOF causes the subject to be in sharp focus but other things in the foreground or in the background bcome blurry and abstract. The lower the number, the more blurry other things become. This makes for a more artistic photograph. Bright items that are blurry typically produce a distinct pattern known as bokeh, and this is considered desirable in much photography.

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Recent Tweets for Fri Oct 2, 2009 Part II

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Tue Sep 15 9:04 PM
@iotashan @rukumar Shan meet Rupesh. Rupesh meet Shan. You guys should talk CF9 ORM. ;-) Rupesh, Shan works with me & has an ORM issue
Tue Sep 15 8:51 PM
No CF Admin DSN setting for isolation level, but u can add SET TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL <level> as u're validation query as workaround
Tue Sep 15 5:36 PM
Tue Sep 15 4:13 PM
@berniedolan Yup, and I was on a downhill at 35mph, slowed to 15 then skidded to within inches as he made a blinkerless right turn




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Recent Tweets for Fri Oct 2, 2009

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Fri Oct 02 7:26 PM
Ghosts of ColdFusion Past http://yfrog.com/3omigoj
Fri Oct 02 4:40 PM
@john_mason_ Thanks. Indeed, the server was under high load.
Fri Oct 02 4:21 PM
Ditto that! RT @awest: Working at home really blows. Not. http://bit.ly/UflXy
Fri Oct 02 3:44 PM
@charliegriefer Enjoy! Twitter is gonna have a melt down. #adobeMAX
Fri Oct 02 3:12 PM
Have you ever launched the ColdFusion Server Monitor and seen the buttons for Monitoring, Profiling, and Memory just not show up at the top?




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Recent Tweets for Fri August 28, 2009

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Fri Aug 28 8:52 PM
Why is it that ColdFusion must be started by a privileged user on every operating system but Mac? Hmph!
Fri Aug 28 8:43 PM
@shutupdanielle Could be worse, you could be in Bolton. 2 pizza shops, that's it. Nary a chicken wing in sight (really).
Fri Aug 28 8:36 PM
@mobarger Big city turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montana
Fri Aug 28 8:08 PM
@styggiti Outside temp last night was 52F here, but not sure which is better lower temps or lower humidity.
Fri Aug 28 5:43 PM
ColdFusion 9 (& ColdFusion 8.01) bug for CF Multiserver's bin/cf-init.sh file. Please vote: http://bit.ly/MsgCT
Fri Aug 28 4:56 PM
Yep, verified the 3 issues with the Solaris part of the cf-init.sh boot script installer for ColdFusion 9. Oh, bugtracker.....


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Recent Tweets for Fri August 14, 2009

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Thu Aug 13 11:30 PM
"All Washed Up", new photo in the Trash The Dress series. #photog #photoshop http://flic.kr/p/6Px1MC
Thu Aug 13 2:48 PM
RT @iotashan: queries in cfscript is as bad as doing queries in any other lang. cfquery will always be superior to Query() in ease of use
Thu Aug 13 2:47 PM
@Photocritic In digital imaging half the data is in highlights & can be recovered PDFs: http://bit.ly/1ReSZ http://bit.ly/11osFd
Thu Aug 13 12:31 PM
@stevei Great posing on Paige for the lying down, forward shot. Would have been nice to have some more crash to the waves. #TTD #Photog






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Recent Tweets for Monday August 4, 2009

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Tue Aug 04 9:57 PM
Dream Collaboration: @wiseacre + @merkley + Sean Ellis (Cashback) + Audrey Tautou
Tue Aug 04 9:01 PM
Web form pet peeve: I enter info and tab to next field, except when next field is a State combobox then it skips to zipcode. Aarrrrgh
Tue Aug 04 4:46 PM
Can Hardware Load Balancers manage session affinity based on J2EE session ids? Wondering abt HWLB over 2 webservers each with JRun cluster
Tue Aug 04 3:32 PM
My Webapper colleague, Tyson Vanek, blogged a case study of how he improved ColdFusion performance 1000x: http://bit.ly/M2Kt1
Tue Aug 04 12:14 PM
Phenomenal portraiture: Check out Bill Simone #photog http://bit.ly/PYQRy (via @ScottKelby )


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Recent Tweets for Sat July 25, 2009

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Fri Jul 24 9:13 PM
Thorough video tutorial for the special requirements of photographing actor headshots @LayersMagazine http://bit.ly/199Sn9 #photog
Fri Jul 24 8:49 PM
@jeffcrossphoto Yeah, @GuyWithCamera he kills me. Gonna tweet him for next week's #photog #FF
Fri Jul 24 8:39 PM
@jeffcrossphoto Yes, but how many #photogs are actually just #gwcam (guy with camera) (@GuyWithCamera)
Fri Jul 24 6:33 PM
@jshapiro1109 Thanks for the hint. I can't help myself from deconstructing things. :D #AdobeWave
Fri Jul 24 6:30 PM
The company that laidoff my wife in March just went bankrupt and laid the rest off, but severance checks are bouncing now. #whew #epix #pharmaceuticals


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Recent Tweets for Friday July 17, 2009

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Fri Jul 17 1:15 AM
@scouten Fascinating! BTW, if u ever need LR3 beta testers, sign me up. (I won the Adobe contest for most bugs logged against PS Express)
Fri Jul 17 12:59 AM
@ashumittal Feeling a lot like Thursday night here! ;-)
Fri Jul 17 12:52 AM
@scouten Yikes! Didn't know that. A 4 year dev cycle must have been grueling (but finally rewarding)
Fri Jul 17 12:43 AM
@scouten Wasn't Lightroom 1 released Feb 2007? Macr/Adobe deal closed Dec 2005. Well, as Flex dev, my fingers are crossed for MXML in LR3
Fri Jul 17 12:37 AM
@scouten What got me thinking was PatchPanel which enables Flex developers to write plugins for CS4. WIshing could do that with Lightroom.
Fri Jul 17 12:33 AM
Passing the night by watching @benforta videos on ColdFusion 9 (again) http://bit.ly/Qz4Yv




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Recent Tweets for Fri July 10, 2009







Fri Jul 10 1:57 PM
Happy Friday! A few backlogged portraits updated. Lydia and Ms Asphyxia http://flic.kr/p/6DDjss http://flic.kr/p/6DDjt3 #photog
Fri Jul 10 12:59 PM
@remotesynth Nice, I didn't even know Cringely was still writing columns since he parted with PBS. I used to read them every week.
Fri Jul 10 12:41 PM
@chrisadragna This is old news since Labs was first published under Macromedia. Wiki was a canned app, and a better one in CF didn't exist
Fri Jul 10 12:38 PM
New Portrait: Twelve Feet (@tangon) #photog #photo http://flic.kr/p/6DBkmU (posting again for Left Coast peeps just waking up)
Fri Jul 10 12:05 PM
According to @klout, I'm influential to these peeps: @stevei @claymgarrett @styggiti @coldfusionPaul @ranarula. http://bit.ly/14VD7D
Fri Jul 10 11:45 AM
@photonconcepts Thanks for the #FF!
Fri Jul 10 10:51 AM
New Portrait: Twelve Feet (@tangon) #photog #photo http://flic.kr/p/6DBkmU
Fri Jul 10 9:54 AM
Oh no, Geocities is closing. Sniff. That was my first place on the web back in 1994. I'm gonna miss my blink tags.
Thu Jul 09 10:03 PM
According to @klout, I'm influenced by these peeps: @demirkapi @ryanstewart @cfjedimaster @reboog711 @jeffcrossphoto. http://bit.ly/14VD7D
Thu Jul 09 9:16 PM
If my brain were as big as @pfreitag's I would be serious danger of having my head explode into a million bits




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Christmas Eve Service makes Front Page Photo

Choir at Candlelight Service A couple weeks ago a friend at the First Parish Photography Club suggested the idea of photographing an outdoor, candlelight service on Christmas Eve in Concord, Massachusetts. As a recent graduate of the Professional Digital Photography program at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, I embraced the opportunity as a means of practicing real event photography, a genre of its own requiring distinct skills apart from other types of photography.

This event was the first outdoor service in the 300+ year history of the First Parish, due to ongoing renovations this year. Historically as many as four services are held there on Christmas Eve, having as many as 500 attendees per service. This made planning a bit of a challenge because the number of attendees could range anywhere from a hundred to perhaps a thousand.

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