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Five Useful Hints in Choosing Your First DSLR Camera

By Edited Jan 26, 2014 0 2

Confused with what digital SLR camera to buy!

I'm just an inexperienced photographer shopping for a DSLR camera, there are so many models to choose from, which suits me best?

You've probably heard or read this asked by many people trying to upgrade from their pocket digital cameras to a digital SLR camera and it seems like a confusing scenario, but it doesn't have to be when we remove the confusion by simplifying our options.

Be Honest with Yourself and Determine Your Budget

Be truthful with the amount you can afford to pay for a DSLR. A basic DSLR camera set marketed by major manufacturers will be more than satisfactory for many people, even experienced photographers. A modern camera body with all the usual extras and a standard 'kit' lens will be more than enough for most picture taking situations.

It's a good balance between cost, size, and weight that's important.

Once you've determined your budget limitation and you can get rid of off all other choices you can't afford.

Know Your Requirements

Size and Weight - Do you like carrying an extra piece of hardware like a camera everytime you go out? If you don't mind the extra bulk, then a DSLR can be a great choice. How about ergonomics? Do you have large hands that small camera grips make your fingers strained? If so, get a bigger sized camera.

If you like to travel a lot and prefer to pack light, get a small camera with smallest possible lens options instead of larger ones. However, if you think you'll be bringing the camera to tough/rough conditions, then maybe a larger, more robust model with weather sealing fits you better.

Check out Availability of Lenses and Accessories

One of the main benefits of opting for a DSLR will be the flexibility to swap lenses and add more gear as your techniques and desires demands it.

There are many of lenses, flash guns, extras to consider but in most cases, these accessories are matched to a specific manufacturer only. You can check out some of my reviewed digital SLR cameras and accessories on my blog which you can access using the link in my Author Bio box.

Although all brands have their own lenses and accessories, the two major brands - Canon and Nikon, give you more in-house products along with significantly greater third-party offerings as compared to the other manufacturers.

This does NOT suggest that brands such as Pentax, Sony, and Olympus are substandard, they are definitely not. Nonetheless, you'll find it harder to find shops that offer a good price and product choices compared to Canon and Nikon.

Discover What Your Friends and Family Own

The advantage of discovering what your friends and family use would be the opportunity to test the products that you're planning to invest in. It's always better to try something out before actually investing hard-earned cash on. If your location offers gear rental services, by all means, test those first (even with the DSLR itself).

Decided On a Camera Already? Stop Comparing!

As soon as you purchased your first DSLR camera, STOP COMPARING it with newer models, other people's cameras, or even 'updated' pricing. All manufacturers replace their camera line-up every 12-18 months, so you'll never be able to keep up unless money is no object. There will always be something better. Instead, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF the camera you purchased, understand how to shoot, maximize the camera's capabilities.

Follow these basic, common sense tips and you will definitely be enjoying your first digital SLR camera very quickly.



Jul 8, 2011 10:23am
Good advice. So many people spend most of their time figuring out what goodies a new camera has rather than figuring out how to maximize the quality of the camera they have.
Jul 8, 2011 10:55am
Hi Landocheese: Yes, and with the proliferation of new cameras (as well as overlapping models) in the market, the mindset of camera-over-skills is even greater for beginners... Oftentimes, it's those who has limited budget that end up buying or changing cameras endlessly rather than spending for lessons or even just picking up the camera more often and shoot.
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