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Video: Stepping up his shots

Moving up to a new DSLR


University of Virginia graduate student Aaron S. takes the next step in his development as a photographer with a new Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR. Join him as he learns about what it can do, and find out how his creative options have expanded.

I had a point-and-shoot Canon. I think it was an A9 — I can't remember the number now. But that was my first camera. I think really the only advantage in my mind with a cell phone or a point-and-shoot camera is the size. I mean, it is nice being able to just, you know, slip it into your shirt pocket or something like that. I know a lot of times there's a lot of digital delay. When you're trying to catch something that's sort of a spur of the moment, there's always that one to two-second delay between when you press the button and when the shutter actually clicks.

Camera phones — it's essentially an automatic camera. You have no control over anything, whereas with a DSLR, I mean, you can control the ISO, you can control aperture priority, you know, the shutter speed.that's sort of when I realized that I can be doing a lot better in terms of image quality and creativity.

The first time I turned it on the camera was, it provides descriptions of a lot of the features. They just sort of flash up on the screen briefly. It gives you enough time to read maybe a sentence or two describing, you know, this is aperture priority. Use this to control, you know, the aperture.

The T4i has a dual autofocus system which in terms of low light conditions, having two systems — almost a redundancy in a lot of ways — enables the camera to get a good autofocus even in low light, which is something most DSLRs will struggle with. The autofocus is much, much faster compared to a point and shoot. And again, when you're trying to do photography of something that might be moving quickly, or you know you may get a couple chances to get the good shot that you want those seconds, those seconds do mean a lot.

Auto mode is really terrific in instances where you don't have enough time to get your camera set up to get a shot, but once you have a sense of what you can change about the images your camera takes based, you know, I mean compared to what it does automatically, I think that's kind of where creativity is born. Anyone can take a camera and take pictures, but if you take the time to learn what your camera is actually capable of doing I think the possibilities really are limitless.

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