By Marc Saltzman Q: I’m thinking of buying a new digital SLR camera, but I’m not sure it’s right for me. Can you advise? Is a DSLR right for you? Also: Latest wireless routers
A: Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras offer a
number of advantages over point-and-shoot models—and, thanks to falling prices, they’ve become a
popular purchase even among amateurs and hobbyists. But be aware they’re not pocket-size and there
might be a learning curve while you attempt to master all of their functions.
That said, those who make the leap to a DSLR
often find it difficult to go back to a point-and-shoot
camera—or, dare we say it, a camera phone. Why?
DSLRs offer faster start-up times and shutter speeds;
interchangeable lenses (including support for older
lenses); more manual settings for more creative control; more accurate shots, as the viewfinder looks
through the lens; and larger, more sensitive image
sensors to get amazing high-quality photos. Whew!
To make DSLRs more accessible to regular
folks, cameramakers have begun to introduce many
of the features you’ve become familiar with in a
compact camera. For example, DSLRs have many
automatic settings—you simply press the shutter
button and the picture is snapped, in focus and with
the best exposure. And most DSLRs show you what
the camera sees on its LCD screen (often referred to
as “live view”); in some models you can angle the
LCD up or down or side to side for a better view.
Also, helpful guides are displayed on the screen,
relevant to what you’re shooting at the time. For
example, the camera might give tips on the right
shutter speed for a particular situation. And new
DSLRs have image stabilization to steady your shot,
SD memory card slots (now the universal standard),
an HDMI port to connect to a TV and even HD
video recording, so they double as camcorders.
If you’re turned off by a DSLR’s size or weight,
there are smaller models that do away with the inter-
nal mirror and prism for a more compact body, yet
still deliver breathtaking
photos and support for
Q: Should I upgrade to Wireless N?
A: The latest wireless routers—which plug into your
broadband Internet modem—are powered by
802.11n technology. In plain English, these routers
offer up to five times the wireless speed and up to
twice the range of 802.11g-based routers (the previous Wi-Fi standard).
So, now you can read barbecuing tips with spatula in hand while on your back patio. Or smoothly
stream video from your computer in, say, a home
office, to a supported TV or video game console in
the family room. The newest routers are also more
reliable than previous models and include beefier
And yes: Even if your aging laptop, video game
console or portable media player doesn’t have
Wireless N, these devices will still work with new
routers because the routers have been designed to
be backward compatible. C
electronics or computers
you purchased at
Costco? E-mail them to:
Or send them to:
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
or fax to (425) 313-6718.
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
questions cannot be
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On Costco.com, enter “Connection.”
At Online Edition, search
a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV, and is
the author of 14 books.
Costco and Costco.com offer a variety of DSLR
cameras, as well as routers, photo printers, memory cards and external hard drives for storage.
Costco’s 1-Hour Photo Centers in the warehouses
and the online Costco Photo Center provide professional photo printing in a variety of formats.