I had a long talk with a friend of mine recently. He has a couple of digital cameras right now and is seriously considering buying a DSLR. The conversation led me to a five tips I wanted to share with you for finding the DSLR that is perfect for you.
- Ask those around you what brand of DSLR they use. After you get your camera, it would be great to have people around you with the same brand so that you can ask questions or even share lenses.
- Stick with Canon or Nikon. There are other find DSLR cameras from Sony, Olympus, Pentax and more. I’m sure they make excellent cameras. They just don’t have the market penetration and the huge number of accessories that are available for Canon and Nikon.
- Define your needs and your budget. You can find a DSLR for around $500 but it may not give you what you need. I’ll give you some choices later in the post.
- Don’t forget to budget for accessories. This could be alternatives lenses, flashes, filters, a good bag, memory cards and more.
- If you are going to leave the camera on the automatic setting, you probably would be better off without a DSLR. When you make the investment in the equipment, make sure to also invest in learning how to get the most out of that equipment.
Many users simply look at the number of megapixels to determine the best camera. Megapixels are important, but the biggest number doesn’t mean the best pictures. The size of the sensor capturing the image is also important. Most DSLRs use what is called an APS-C sized sensor which is approximately 15 x 22 mm in size. Higher end cameras have a “full-frame” sensor that is almost the same size as 35mm or 24 x 36 mm. A larger sensor means the pixels don’t have to be packed as densely and can create a better quality image. Yet it also means that a zoom lens will not bring you as close to the subject when using a full-frame sensor in comparison to an APS-C sensor.
I’m going to recommend three cameras from both Canon and Nikon ranging from an entry-level DSLR to a high-end DSLR. Click on any of the cameras listed to get details or to purchase. Most of the cameras listed come as a “kit” with the camera and a lens. You can also purchase just the camera without a lens if you already have the lenses you need.
- Entry-Level: Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
- Mid-Level: Canon EOS 50D 15.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens
- High-End: Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
- Entry-Level: Nikon D5000 12.3 MP DX Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens and 2.7-inch Vari-angle LCD
- Mid-Level: Nikon D300s 12.3 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera
- High-End: Nikon D3x 24.5MP FX Digital SLR (Body Only)
Hopefully you can find the DSLR that is perfect for you!