Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology - BENE­DICT KELLY

FOR THOSE se­ri­ous about their pho­tog­ra­phy, a dig­i­tal SLR is the nat­u­ral weapon of choice. For the unini­ti­ated, an SLR is a cam­era that has de­tach­able lenses, like those you’d see a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher lug­ging around.

While there are a num­ber of op­tions in the sub R10 000 cat­e­gory, the Canon 400D should prob­a­bly be close to the top of any shop­per’s list. As with any SLR it isn’t some­thing that you’d slip into your pocket but it does come armed with a con­sid­er­able bar­rage of fea­tures, in­clud­ing a sys­tem that cleans the sen­sor so that you al­ways get clean and clear pic­tures.

While it may seem that such cam­eras are quite ex­pen­sive, po­ten­tial shut­ter­bugs need to re­mem­ber that dig­i­tal SLRs typ­i­cally take bet­ter pic­tures than their all-in­one coun­ter­parts and take them more quickly than other cam­eras.

The 400D has a great au­to­matic mode that al­lows any novice to pick up the cam­era, point and shoot. But in my opin­ion it’s been dumbed down too much. In au­to­matic mode there’s no op­por­tu­nity to change any set­tings – even turn­ing the flash on or off is left to the dis­cre­tion of the cam­era.

In more man­ual modes, where ev­ery­thing can be turned on or off, that’s ac­ces­si­ble, but not in the au­to­matic modes, where many users will spend most of their time. That al­lows you to take great pics very quickly but re­stricts you when you want to be a bit more creative.

What’s clear is that if you want the most out of your in­vest­ment you need to know what you’re do­ing and then you’ll get your money’s worth. If all you’re go­ing to do is point and shoot, save your money and buy some­thing sim­pler.

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