Digital Photography Tips – Choosing Your First Digital SLR Camera

You’ve been using point and shoot cameras and decided you’re ready for more control. You’re ready to buy a digital SLR camera. Great…Or maybe not. At this stage you know you want a digital SLR camera, the challenge is deciding just which one to buy!Entry level dSLRs are real digital SLR cameras. The quality of the images is better than anything you can get in a camera on your cell phone. This is due to the combination of superior lenses, image capture sensors and image processing systems.There are so many entry level cameras to choose from, it can feel totally bewildering. To give you a helping hand, we’ve looked at a number of different websites to put together some of the best digital SLR buys we can find in a variety of different categories. We also know that this is a highly competitive field and that many retailers have “won’t be beaten on price” policies so do feel free to check different suppliers and visit some review websites as you may get yourself a bargain deal.If you’re buying your first digital SLR and feel challenged – or even intimidated – by the complexity, don’t worry, most cameras come with a pretty sophisticated auto mode which will allow you to get started as smoothly as possible.Just to reassure you, there’s an explanation of some of the technical terms in a related article so, if there’s something you don’t understand as you’re reading through, just see if it’s in the glossary of “Digital Photography Tips – Understanding the Jargon”.An essential part of the digital SLR camera is the lens. Lenses are interchangeable, but only within the same brand make. So once you’ve chosen your brand you can only work within their range – but the choices are many. Canon and Nikon have the widest ranges of different lenses available but other brands are expanding their ranges too.If you’re buying your first dSLR, you’re more likely to buy it as part of a kit, so don’t forget to check out the lens on offer too – different retailers may package the camera body with different lenses so pick one which suits you best.The Canon EOS Rebel T1i consistently rates highly for it’s ease of use. As you become more confident you can begin to try using more features, adjusting the aperture, depth of focus or focal points – and because the results are digital, you can see the effects of your changes almost immediately!As you have more money to invest or more commitment to the photographic art form, you do get more sophisticated features on your camera. You capture more megapixels, up to 18 megapixels on the Canon T2i, but this is more than most new photographers need.In more expensive cameras, digital sensors get better and speeds get faster. The shutter speed on the Nikon D3000 is really impressive and eliminates that annoying shutter lag that can sometimes mean that all you see of your subject is a blur as they move out of shot.The ISO range of a camera often increases in more expensive cameras allowing you to take pictures in a much wider range of lighting conditions. The Pentax K-x is one example of an excellent value digital SLR that has a really impressive performance in low lighting conditions. If you have a bigger budget available, the Canon EOS Rebel T2i provides equally great low light performance and stunning 18 megapixel capacity.The LED live view screen is one really useful feature on most digital SLRs. A traditional SLR camera views the subject through the eyepiece when the camera is physically held to your eye which has its limitations. Having a large LED screen makes it much easier to see your composition of the shot from a wide variety of angles, not just with the camera held to your eye. One possible problem when working outdoors is glare on the screen making good anti-glare coating essential. The Nikon D5000 overcomes this problem by having a vari-angle color LED screen which can be adjusted to optimise your viewing.So in summary, whether any feature is worth paying for depends very much on how likely you are to use the feature in the first place. Begin by looking at the shots you want to take, the style and skills you want to learn. Don’t be tempted to buy more than you need if it means over stretching your budget.Do have fun and, whatever camera you choose, go out and use it!

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