SLR Camera Advice Centre

Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras offer you great creative control over your picture taking. SLRs allow you to use interchangeable lenses, control over aperture and shutter speeds, as well as giving you the opportunity to be creative with flash and filters. You also have the choice between manual focus and autofocus cameras. Although the modern camera can happily control a number of the key settings relating to the exposure and flash levels, these can normally be overridden.

Typical Users

The continued development of the SLR has lead to far greater ease of use of the camera. With the automation of many of the controls this type of camera can now provide a great deal of assistance when you take a picture, whilst still affording you overall control. Although still the domain of the serious amateur photographer the camera now has great appeal to any photographer who is attracted to the ideas of interchangeable lenses and a degree of control over aperture control and shutter speed control.


As ever the more you pay the more feature rich your camera will be. Entry level manual SLRs start at around the £70 mark whilst a fully featured autofocus SLR will cost you in excess of £1500. If you have around £300 to spend there are a number of very good autofocus SLR cameras to be found. You will find the latest SLR Cameras releases at!


Listed below are a number of features that you might look for when buying a SLR camera. Obviously not all the camera will have all the features. Normally the more features the camera will have, the higher the price.

Interchangeable Lenses

One of the main attractions of the SLR is the ability to change lenses to suit the picture. A plethora of lenses are available with both manual and autofocus capabilities. As with any type of camera the quality of the lens is one of the most critical elements to consider when buying a camera. A poor quality lens equals poor quality photographs. Care should be taken when buying a camera as each camera manufacturer has it's own lens mount. This means that a Nikon lens may not fit another make of camera. There are a number of independent lens makers who produce lenses for a range of leading cameras.


Autofocus lenses talk to the camera body and decide on the optimum focus for you.

Aperture Control

The aperture is the lens opening. So the aperture control allows you to control how far you open the lens when a picture is taken. The further the lens is opened the greater the amount of light that is allowed into the camera and the lighter the exposure. The relationship between the aperture and shutter speed, which also controls the amount of light that is allowed into the camera, is often explained as that as a door and a darkened room. The aperture controls how far the door is opened and the shutter speed controls how long the door is opened for. The darkened room represents the camera.

Shutter Speed Control

The speed of the shutter controls the amount of light that enters the lens when the picture is taken. The more light that you want to let in, the slower the shutter speed.

Exposure Compensation

Exposure compensation helps you to get the perfect exposure. Whilst either you or the camera have worked out the theoretical ideal exposure settings, this feature provides additional frames, normally up to one frame above and one frame below the chosen settings. This then gives you three results from which to select the ideal image.

Light Metering

Cameras come with reflective and spot metering. The light meters help you to decide the best exposure levels for the picture.


Always select a camera with the largest and clearest viewfinder you can find. This makes it easier for framing the picture.

Cable Release

Cable release is available to be screwed into the camera. When the camera is set on a tripod, this allows you to take the picture without touching the camera, therefore eliminating any possible vibrations that may cause camera shake. This is especially useful for long time exposures when you are shooting with a slow speed film.


A motorwinder allows you to take a number of photographs quickly. The winder winds the film on automatically for you, allowing you to concentrate on the next shot.

LCD Panel

The camera's LCD panel is really the information centre. It's gives you a whole range of details including film speed, frame number, aperture details, shutter speeds, exposure mode and battery levels.


A number of SLRs come with built in flash. Red eye reduction can also be included. Built in flash does not always provide the power that you need to light up some scenes, so a hot shoe is normally provided allowing you to buy a separate, powerful flash gun that can be used with the camera.

Film Loading

Advanced technology means that the latest releases have simplified film loading. Place the film next to a coloured indicator, close the camera and the camera does the rest. Threading the film through is now a thing of the past.

Second Hand Market

There is an active second hand market for Medium Format cameras and accessories, although you may not get all the latest features there are some very good deals to be found. Always ensure that you get a guarantee for any used equipment.

Camera Insurance
Once you have found the camera that you are looking for and paid out your money for it there is one more item that we recommend, camera insurance. This can protect you against accidental damage or loss of your camera or equipment. The insurance company that we recommend is Photoguard. Click here for details of their services.

SLR Camera Advice Centre

Best Deals

Read a Review

Search By Price

Digital Cameras Under £50
Digital Cameras £50 - £100
Digital Cameras £100 - £150
Digital Cameras £150 - £200
Digital Cameras £200 - £300
Digital Cameras £300 - £500
Digital Cameras £500 - £1000
Digital Cameras Over £1000

Search By Camera Type

Simple and Easy Digital Cameras
Pocket Sized Digital Cameras
Extra Zoom Digital Cameras
Super Zoom Digital Cameras
Advanced Digital Cameras
Waterproof Digital Cameras
Compact System Cameras
Digital SLRs

Search By Camera Brand

Canon Digital Cameras
Fuji Digital Cameras
Nikon Digital Cameras
Olympus Digital Cameras
Panasonic Digital Cameras
Sony Digital Cameras

Buyers Guides

Digital Cameras
Memory Cards
Digital SLRs
Major Features
Shutter Times
Where to Buy

More Guides

News Feeds