Digital Photography Courses. What's the difference between an SLR and a Bridge Camera? email

Course Location & Timings


Dates: February to November 2012

Timings: 09.45am - 5.00pm

Address: 25 Westerby Lane, Smeeton Westerby, Leics, LE8 0RA

Telephone. 0116 2796906

Price: £135

Lunch: Included


Nature = Nature & Bird Photography Course at Rutland Water. Oakham


Photography Course Timings


9.30 -10am Arrival, coffee & biscuits 10.00am camera settings & theory

12.30 -1.00pm light lunch (included)

1pm-3pm Practical photography

3pm-4pm Review photographs

4pm-5pm Photo-editing Demonstration

5pm Questions & course feedback


DSLR Course Requirements


Digital SLR Camera

Extra lenses - optional

External flashgun - optional

Fully charged battery and / or a spare

Empty memory card

Any other kit you need explaining

change of shoes if wet.


Please ensure you have a fully charged battery as we will be using your camera a lot and batteries do to tend to run out.For batteries and cards at huge discounts visit


Photography Course - Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between an SLR and a Bridge Camera?

The most obvious difference visually is the size. Bridge (or hybrid cameras) are generally smaller but may look very similar to a digital SLR camera. The main technical differences are:

The the lens on a bridge camera cannot be removed. This is not a major problem as they often have a 10x to 20x zoom lens.The equivalent - if you could buy one- would be a 30mm to 600mm zoom.

Digital SLR's on the other hand are quite large and heavy by comparison but do allow you to replace the standard lens for a wider or more telephoto lens. This allows you to fit a telephoto or longer zoom lens so you can take pictures of small objects, maybe birds or small animal, from further away without them appearing as a dot on the picture. Most serious amateurs and professional photographers would only ever use an SLR but If you only ever plan to take snapshots then buy a digital compact or bridge camera and keep it with you at all times.

A Hybrid Bridge SLR has an electronic viewfinder, rather like that found on a video camcorder, rather than the optical one found in a DSLR. Technically these cameras are nearer to compact cameras in as much that the sensor size is smaller than a Digital SLR and you cannot remove the lens. The similarity come with the fact that you do view the image directly through the lens via the electronic viewfinder. The advantage of these cameras over a normal compact is they usually have a 10 -20 times optical zoom compared to the normal 3 to 5 times zoom on a standard compact camera.

I'm a complete beginner will I still be able to attend on of your camera courses?

Absolutely. All of of digital photography courses will start at the very beginning. We start by exploring your camera, looking at the menus and how to access it. We then look at the various camera functions including ISO, white balance, flash, using the self timer and much more.

I would like to give a digital camera course as a surprise present. Do you do Gift Vouchers?

We have Photoshop and photography courses gift vouchers ranging from £25 up to the full course price and they are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. They can be customised for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, any other special occasion or just plain. The recipient and purchaser will be added to our mailing list and kept informed of any upcoming photography course dates.

If a part payment gift voucher is purchased the the balance must be paid before attending the course unless the course is only a few days away. To buy a gift voucher for a digital photography course simply choose the type of photography course you would like to attend and drop me an email with the persons name and the occasion.

You can pay online by credit card or PayPal or send a cheque made out to Glen Tillyard. We will design a custom gift voucher made out to the person specified and email it to you in the printable PDF format. If this is a problem we can post it back to you in time for the special day. 7 - 10 days notice would be appreciated.

What are the benefits of increasing the ISO setting and does this increase grain.

To answer the second part of your question first the answer is "Yes" This is quite a complicated question which is covered in much greater depth with examples on the courses. The first part is more complicated because it involves several other factors. The ISO setting is a measure of the camera sensors sensitivity to light. Generally speaking the higher the ISO number then the lower the light levels you can take photographs. Increasing the ISO rating allows the camera to choose a higher shutter speed so you can freeze movement on fast moving subjects. You could also choose a smaller aperture which will allow more depth of field so more of your picture will be sharp. The downside of increasing the ISO is increased digital noise ( grain). The level at which this noise become unacceptable varies from camera to camera but Digital SLRs usually are better at higher ISO settings than compact cameras.

How do I overcoming shutter lag to shoot fast moving objects with a compact camera?

How to stop action. The delay between pressing the shutter and the camera taking the picture is one of the most annoying traits of a compact digital camera. This delay tends to be a lot shorter on digital SLRs. It is possible to minimize this delay by using what is called focus lock. This pre-focuses the camera so the shutter lag is kept to a minimum.

How do I freeze movement and blur the background?

Freezing action requires a fast shutter speed of above 1/500 second. Using a fast shutter speed with a telephoto lens and a wide aperture will freeze movement and give an out of focus (blurred) background. If you want the subject to look like it is travelling very fast you actually need to use a slower shutter speed - maybe 1/30th second- and use a technique called panning. These subjects are covered in much greater depth on the Digital SLR Course.

When should I use use matrix, center-weighted or spot metering.

Camera light meters measure the brightness of the light reaching the camera from the subject. Originally all cameras used what was referred to as average light metering. This looked at all the areas of light and shade in the whole scene and gave an average reading of the light levels. The downside of this method was the reading could be influenced by large area of light, such as the sky, which resulted in under exposure (picture too dark). Matrix metering works by splitting the scene into segments and analyzes all the different segment readings to give a correct exposure. This method tends to be more accurate as it is less influenced by very light or dark patches in one area. It is usually the standard option and best one to use. Centre weight metering, as it's name suggests, looks at the whole scene but give emphasis to the central area of the picture. This can work well on landscapes as it avoids large area of sky. Spot metering looks at a very small area of the picture often indicated by a small circle in the viewfinder. This method is excellent for bright subjects against a dark background such as a singer in the spotlight on a stage. Spot metering is not recommended for general photography and if you ever find your your exposures totally erratic check this setting.

Please Contact Us If You Have Any Questions

email - or call 0116 279 6906

Student Testimonials

Having spent over a year using my camera only on full auto to take photos I decided I needed help to figure out all the settings I should be using.

I'm so pleased I did. This photography course explained all the settings and all the best picture composition tips I needed. Glen ensured no one left without all of their questions being answered- including me.

Laura Simpson

Hi Glen "Thanks for a most enjoyable and informative day, It answered all my questioned plus many more. Considering lunch was included I thought it was really excellent value for money."

David Stone

Hi Glen. I'm just dropping you a note to say how much I enjoyed the course today. You answered all my questions and gave me the confidence to go out and use my camera properly. Today has turned my box of expensive gadgets into top class photography equipment. Thanks!

Barry Cunliffe

Disk Doctors Photo Recovery 

This has been a great photography course and I know I can now take proper photographs instead of just snaps.

Highly Recommended.

Ivan Last

A good balance of technical & practical information with enough detail for the more experienced camera user without losing the beginners interest. A great course for getting the best out of my DSLR.

Iain Carpenter


A Fantastic Course. I now know how to use all the functions on the camera I didn't even know were there. I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot.

Karen Evans

I have enjoyed the day. I need to get out now and take hundreds of pictures to get it to stay with me.

Rosemarie Redfern.

I was a complete novice but now I feel quite excited about experimenting with my photography.

Carol Aries.

A great introduction to DSLR photography. Many thanks.

Phil Harrisonwild.

I had a load of questions and every one was answered. Really good examples on the course notes. Glen's a very patient teacher.

Helen Jones