Picking Your First DSLR Body – What To Look Out For

Picking your first DSLR? Check these Tips out

Picking Your First DSLR Body
photo credit: A ferro

Buying the first DSLR is synonymous to getting an entry into the world of serious photography. Sure with the recent crop of mirror-less cameras you can get comparable results (for more about this read our post on Best Compact Digital Camera Reviews 2014, by clicking here), but there is a reason why old school photographers (people who had been shooting in film and only switched to digital when things got more affordable) prefer to use the big and bulky DSLRs. It offers much more creative control. Meaning it allows you to do a lot more. Certainly we are not going to argue about the benefits and disadvantages of Mirror-less cameras over DSLRs here (the window of opportunity is too small for that argument). We keep that for some other time.

Having decided that you want to do go the DSLR way (and congratulations for that) you may want to get some quick pointers before heading out to your favorite online /offline store. Here are some tips that you could use.

Get a Feel for the Camera

Picking Your First DSLR Body
photo credit: Billy Wilson Photography

Yes online stores are cheaper and they offer you the convenience of ordering from home, free shipping and yadda- yadda. But you don’t quite know whether you would like what you get! What if the camera buttons and controls are laid out in a way which you don’t like? You will have to go through the hassle of returning the camera and re-order again. But isn’t it much better to actually check the camera in person and then decide?

Head for an offline store and check the cameras that are on display. Check the weight, the build quality and the ergonomics. Shoot some picture with it to see the image quality. There is nothing like picking up a camera physically and checking out its features. You can never do that if you order online. Of course you can always come back and order online once you have found out the camera you love.

Make a List of the Features that you need

Picking Your First DSLR Body
photo credit: Sean Molin Photography

Buying the first DSLR can be intimidating because you don’t know what features you need. Do you need a larger sensor (crop vs. full-frame), a better frame rate, built-in Wi-Fi, GPS, a gazillion of megapixel etc.? Do some research online and check out the features that differentiates a great camera from a good one. There are some optional features which you may not want to have if you are just a beginner. Professionals on the other hand want to have the best possible gear that they could lay their hands on.

Compare Prices

Picking Your First DSLR Body
photo credit: “The Wanderer’s Eye Photography”

The final element that will sway your decision is the price of the camera. Most of us don’t have very deep pockets. If you are just starting out and haven’t got the most pampering of parents in the whole wide world you would be dolling the cash out of your hard-earned savings. Beginner photographers could easily get the best of DSLR experience with one of the cheaper entry level models. Those who have been shooting with a compact camera and want to upgrade to a DSLR could benefit with a semi-professional camera. For those who want to stay in photography and have professional interests, could opt for a pricier, feature-rich and thereby professional-grade camera.

Remember, the camera does not take pictures, you do. The most important part of the camera is the lens. It is what controls and modifies the light and that in effect means control the quality of the images. If you are undecided between a great camera and a great lens, go for the later and opt for a reasonable body.

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