The introduction of mirrorless cameras within the last 10 years has shifted some photographer’s loyalty away from DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex) cameras.
Yet, for the majority of people, DSLR’s still offer the greatest bang for the buck.
This is especially the case for traditional photographer who developed their skills on SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras that used photographic film. All SLR cameras, whether digital or film based, have a unique design that many people think is comfortable and effective.
In this article, we give a brief overview of DSLR cameras, focusing on their advantages and disadvantages. Then, we will review one of the most popular DSLR’s from Canon, specifically, the Canon T6S. Finally, we offer our thoughts on the future of the DSLR market.
What is a DSLR Camera?
A DSLR Camera uses an image sensor that is loaded with pixels to interpret incoming light.
This light is funneled into the body of the camera through a lens usually made of glass. After the light enters the camera, it can take one of two routes. The light can either be reflected by various mirrors in the camera up to an optical viewfinder, where the user can glimpse the same image that the lens sees.
Alternatively, when the shutter is pressed on the camera, the initial mirror that reflects the light moves out of the way and the light is able to strike the pixels on the image sensor.
These pixels record the information from the light and digitize the information into a form that can be saved on the camera’s memory card.
What’s amazing about DSLR cameras is their ability to not only capture photographs but record video. This is achieved by taking many photographs, often called frames, per second, usually either 24 or 30. Then, these frames are blended together, giving viewers the illusion of movement. Unlike film cameras, DSLR cameras store each frame in a digital form, which allows the camera to not only store more frames but to store higher quality frames.
This combination of photographic ability and video recording ability makes DSLR’s extremely versatile devices for exploring the beauty of the world.
The Advantages of a DSLR Camera
DSLR cameras, like the Canon T6S, are so highly demanded because they have numerous benefits over mirrorless cameras and point-and-shoot cameras.
The Extensive Selection of Interchangeable Lenses
Perhaps the most notable feature of DSLR cameras is how many interchangeable lenses exist that can be attached to them.
While mirrorless cameras utilize interchangeable lens, there is a smaller amount available since mirrorless cameras are such a recent innovation. Additionally, adapter kits that allow users to adapt DSLR lenses to mirrorless cameras are often ineffective and compromise critical features like autofocus and image stabilization.
DSLR lenses, on the other hand, come without this baggage.
Furthermore, each lens that is offered has a specialized purpose with a particular focal range and maximum aperture. For example, customers have the option of selecting wide-angle lenses for landscape photography, macro lenses for detailed, close-up photography, or even zoom lenses for sports photography.
Essentially, if a particular kind of photography exists, there is likely an interchangeable lens to support it.
With cameras that feature a permanent, built-in lens, the user must use this lens for all situations, which limits how dynamic the camera is.
Additionally, interchangeable lenses offer significant control over the camera. This is because they allow the user to manually focus each shot as well as adjust many other features like aperture and image stabilization.
While some of these settings can be controlled in point-and-shoot cameras, this control entails tedious tinkering with the LCD screen menu options. With interchangeable lenses, these settings are often built into the hardware of the lens, which makes the process of capturing photos and videos all the more seamless.
The Optical Viewfinders on DSLR Cameras
What really sets DSLR’s, like the Canon T6S, apart from their competitors is the presence of mirrors within the body of the camera. These mirrors reflect light to the optical viewfinder, where users can place their eye to glimpse an image of the scene.
This image is almost identical to the one that the lens sees, making optical viewfinders an accurate way of framing the composition of the shot.
This optical viewfinder is also ideal because it allows users to block out surrounding light that might compromise their vision. This is especially true when shooting in sunny environments, as the light can be blinding even though it’s necessary for properly exposing the shot. Optical viewfinders allow users to utilize these ideal conditions while not compromising the framing of the shot due to blindness.
Many mirrorless cameras utilize electronic viewfinders which can lag behind changes in the environment. This can make the final shot differ from what the photographer had intended.
Alternatively, many point-and-shoot cameras don’t offer viewfinders at all and force users to rely on the LCD screen for previewing the shot. This can result in inaccurate photographs that are poorly framed.
The Larger Size of DSLR Cameras
These reflecting mirrors in DSLR cameras cause the overall size of the camera to increase. In some cases, this can actually be viewed as a positive. A heavier body, for example, can help minimize movement when shooting, especially when the camera is supported by some object or surface.
This is also the case when shooting video, which allows for smoother, more stabilized films. Lighter cameras, on the other hand, are often prone to hand shakiness due to their smaller size, and this can introduce noise into the shot.
A larger sized camera also means that a larger sensor can be fit in the body, which means that there is more surface area for light to be recorded. This makes the camera more efficient at recording light, which facilitates more control over settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
The Disadvantages of a DSLR Camera
The larger size of DSLR cameras can also be viewed as a drawback.
Many users want a camera that is as light and portable as possible, and DSLR’s are the exact opposite of this. While companies have made strides in recent years, they are still bulky to carry around, especially if you want to bring multiple lenses. Not to mention, the lenses are often delicate and must be protected, so you have to be extra cautious when carrying DSLR’s around.
Additionally, most DSLR interchangeable lenses are only compatible with cameras from the same company.
While some adapter kits exist to utilize a lens from one company on the body of a camera from another company, the image quality is usually compromised. Essentially, if you start investing in a supply of lenses to go with a DSLR camera body, it’s going to be very costly to switch your loyalty to another company.
A Review of the Canon T6S DSLR Camera
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The Canon T6S is part of Canon’s historic EOS Rebel series of DSLR cameras. It was released in 2015 and currently costs $ for the body.
Specifications of the Canon T6S DSLR Camera
The Canon T6S houses a 24.2 Megapixel APS-C image sensor and has a 3-inch fully articulating LCD touchscreen. It can also record HD Video, specifically 1080p at 30 fps (frames per second).
The ISO range on this camera is 100 – 12,800 and can be expanded up to 25,600.
The Canon T6S can be purchased with a lens, most popularly the 18-135mm lens. This lens features an aperture range of f/3.5 to f/5.6 and offers image stabilization technology.
Furthermore, this is one of Canon’s first DSLR’s to feature Wi-Fi technology, which allows users to transfer photographs and videos instantly to other electronics and social media sites.
Lastly, the Autofocus System on Canon’s T6S features 19 focus points. This autofocus system can be customized using three various modes, specifically Manual Point Selection Autofocus, Zone Autofocus, and Automatic Selection Autofocus.
24.2 Megapixel APS-C
3-inch fully articulating LCD
HD Video 1080p at 30 fps
100 – 12,800 (expand up to 25,600)
f/3.5 to f/5.6
Image Stabilization technology
Autofocus System features 19 focus points
The Advantages of Canon’s T6S DSLR Camera
One of the biggest advantages of Canon’s T6S is the Wi-Fi technology included within it.
This Wi-Fi tech allows Canon’s T6S to dovetail seamlessly with all your electronics, which makes the camera great for sharing photographs with family members and friends. In addition, this makes printing photographs easy, as no USB-cable is required. Instead, all you need is a wireless printer.
One of the most underappreciated advantages of this Wi-Fi technology is the ability to use your phone as a remote device that controls the cameras settings.
In particular, users can use their phones to initiate a timer that counts down to taking a shot. This is great for families that are trying to take group photographs but often struggle due to rebellious kids.
Additionally, it could be great for parties or special events, as this technology will allow you to set up a camera in the corner and then press the shutter button from afar whenever you wish.
Many customers have commented that the Canon T6S’s biggest upgrade is its larger image sensor, which now features over 24 megapixels. Many of the previous DSLR cameras in Canon’s EOS Rebel lineup have only featured 18 megapixels. Thus, the T6S makes each photograph more dynamic in post-production if you want to crop a part of the image or print a large copy.
Lastly, the fully articulating touchscreen makes the camera more dynamic for vlogging, as users can see themselves by simply flipping the screen to the side and rotating it.
This articulating screen is also ideal when shooting video in bright light. Users can reposition the angle of the screen away from the sunlight so that they can get a live preview of what they will be filming.
The Disadvantages of Canon’s T6S DSLR Camera
Many customers have emphasized that the battery on Canon’s T6S doesn’t last very long compared to other more expensive models offered by Canon.
In particular, the Canon T6S’s battery is able to support about 500 photographs whereas other Canon models, like the Canon 70D, can reach up to 1000. One solution is to carry extra batteries, but this can be expensive.
Furthermore, many customers have noted that the Canon T6S does not offer a very rugged design when compared with other cameras on the market.
Many other cameras offer weather sealing technology that allows the camera to be resistant to moisture and dust. Yet, the Canon T6S does not offer this possibility. Consequently, users will have to be more careful when handling the camera in addition to avoiding inclement weather.
Some customers have noted that the T6S has trouble autofocusing in certain low light settings. Specifically, sometimes the flash will not pop up despite clearly needing an additional source of light.
It’s difficult to determine whether this is due to human error or imperfections within the camera, it’s still a factor to consider, especially if you often shoot at night.
Our Final Thoughts on the Canon T6S DSLR Camera
We think the Canon T6S represents a significant upgrade from its predecessors, which had a smaller image sensor and lacked versatile Wi-Fi technology. The Canon T6S is extremely dynamic due to its articulating touchscreen, which should please documentary filmmakers who often film themselves or need to reposition the screen away from blinding light.
The demand for DSLR’s is only going to increase in the future as the line between amateur and professional photography dissolves.
Furthermore, we see HD video recording as an important element of DSLR cameras that will lure filmmakers into the market.
Eventually, we think DSLR cameras will benefit from smaller, more efficient technology, allowing them to transcend their main drawback – their bulky size. While we think that some users can utilize this size to their advantage, ultimately, we think it’s more of a burden than a benefit. Still, the ability to manually control camera settings is an amazing opportunity for artistic exploration.
Previously, both SLR’s and DSLR’s were only available to professional photographers or wealthy people. Now, however, almost anyone can afford these amazing devices, which is leveling the playing field. We can’t wait to see what Canon innovates next.