You should consider your camera needs, desired features, and potential accessories when thinking about what DSLR camera to purchase. You can also base your DSLR decision around the camera’ features, like sensor size, megapixels, video mode, and shooting modes. Whether you are a professional sports photographer or a mother looking to document the journey of her newborn daughter, a DSLR camera will help you capture beautiful, special moments to share with generations.
1. Consider an entry-level, amateur DSLR camera if you are a beginner.
Amateur cameras are the easiest to learn and most affordable. If you don't have very much photography experience and are looking for a camera to record your life, capture family memories, or document a vacation, you should go with an amateur level camera.
example: T3i, Nikon D3200/D5300, Sony Alpha A3000
2. Think about a semi-professional camera if you have some photography experience.
If you have a middle-range level of photography experience, where you have some understanding of basic amateur cameras but want to try to take your skills to the next level, choose a semi-professional camera. Semi-professional cameras have more complex features, more versatility, and better construction.
example: Canon EOS 60D, Nikon D7100/D300s, Sony Alpha A77
3. Buy a professional camera if you are looking to do advanced photography work.
If you are looking to learn professional photography or looking to level up your semi-professional camera, select a professional camera. They have the most advanced sensor technology, focus system, construction, and speed.
example: Canon EOS 5D Mark III/EOS 1D X, Nikon D800/D4, Sony Alpha A99.
4. Set a budget to spend on your camera. Narrowing your focus by sticking with your budget will help you pick out a camera in your price range. Also consider the cost of other camera necessities, like memory cards, batteries, and lenses. These expenses vary based on size and type.
5. Decide between DSLR brands based on your personal preference.
Mostly all DSLR cameras are sold by either Canon or Nikon. Other brands
include Sony, Olympus, and Pentax. All of these brands feature great
DSLR options, and the choice mainly comes down to personal preference.
Pick camera brand based on which camera has strengths in the areas most
important to you, like camera features, appearance, and size.
Deciding on Camera Features
1.Look for a camera with the largest sensor size within your budget.
The camera's sensor helps determine clarity of your photos. Each camera has an image sensor inside, which records the image through the viewfinder and sends it to the memory card. The larger the sensor size, the clearer your pictures will be. “Full frame” or 36mm x 24mm is the largest sensor size. The exact size depends on the model of the camera, though you always want to look for the largest sensor size possible.
2. Ensure your camera has at least 10-15 megapixels.
Megapixels are the total points of light (pixels) that the sensor receives in order to create the image. Megapixels affect the use of your image rather than image quality. More megapixels means more potential to make the image larger and not lose clarity. Nearly all new DSLR cameras come with at least 10-15 megapixels, and this is adequate for most photography purposes.
3. Choose high definition capabilities if you are planning on using your camera to take video.
If you plan on using your camera for taking videos, look to see if the video capabilities are in high definition. Many amateur cameras can record in full high definition, with 1080p. Others are non-HD and record in 720p.
4. Look for a camera with a variety of modes.
All cameras shoot in either “auto” or “manual” mode, and they usually come with different camera modes, such as portrait, landscape, night, indoor, panorama, and action. Review the camera’s shooting modes and select which one offers you the most option for your photography needs.
5. Choose a camera with internal editing capabilities if you do not have photo editing software
Many amateur cameras include quick editing features to instantly alter
your images. You can apply filters, make adjustments, or change the
exposure, for example. Photo editing software makes these changes much
easier, but using these editing features lessens your reliance on these
often expensive programs.
6. Hold the camera to decide on its body detail and visual appeal.
Make note of the quality of camera's body, size, and overall look. Does
the camera fit in your hand well? Is the camera too heavy? Do you want
the option of a touchscreen for the camera’s view screen? This is more
personal preference, but picking up the camera and inspecting it helps
ensure you purchase a camera you will love and use often.