How to Choose a DSLR Camera

How to Choose a DSLR Camera


DSLR Cameras are increasingly becoming a type of camera that is in the reach of the average photographer as prices fall and as manufacturers develop more user friendly models.

I’ve previously discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of moving from a point and shoot to DSLR but in this post would like to explore how to choose a DSLR.

In doing so I’ll cover:

1. 9 Reasons to Upgrade to a DSLR Camera
2. 8 Factors to Consider when Choosing a DSLR
3. My DSLR Camera Recommendations (also check out this post on the Top DSLR Models As voted by our Readers)

Firstly, a quick recap on some of the reasons why you might want to upgrade to a DSLR.

Reasons to Upgrade to a DSLR Camera

  1. Image Quality – Due to the larger size of image sensors in DSLRs which allows for larger pixel sizes – DSLRs are generally able to be used at a faster ISO which will lead to faster shutter speeds and less grain (ie shoot at 1600 ISO on most DSLRs will have less noise than shooting at 1600 on a Point and Shoot). DSLRs also have built in noise-reduction when genearating JPG images which also helps cut down on noise.
  2. Adaptability – DSLR’s ability to change lenses opens up a world of possibilities for photographers. While my point and shoot has a nice little 3x Optical Zoom (and many these days have longer ones) my DSLR can be fitted with many high quality lenses ranging from wide angle to super long focal lengths depending upon what I’m photographing (and of course my budget). Add to this a large range of other accessories (flashes, filters etc) and a DSLR can be adapted to many different situations. It should be noted that when it comes to lenses that the diversity in quality of lenses is great. Image quality is impacted greatly by the quality of the lens you use.
  3. Speed – DSLR’s are generally pretty fast pieces of machinery when it comes to things like start up, focusing and shutter lag.
  4. Optical Viewfinder – due to the reflex mirror DSLR’s are very much a what you see is what you get operation.
  5. Large ISO range – this varies between cameras but generally DSLRs offer a wide array of ISO settings which lends itself to their flexibility in shooting in different conditions.
  6. Manual Controls – while many point and shoots come with the ability to shoot in manual mode, a DSLR is designed in such a way that it is assumed that the photographer using it will want to control their own settings. While they do come with good auto modes the manual controls are generally built in in such a way that they are at the photographers finger tips as they are shooting.
  7. Retaining Value – some argue that a DSLR will hold it’s value longer than a point and shoot. There is probably some truth in this. DSLR models do not get updated quite as often as point and shoot models (which can be updated twice a year at times). The other factor in favor of DSLRs is that the lenses you buy for them are compatible with other camera bodies if you do choose to upgrade later on (as long as you stay with your brand). This means your investment in lenses is not a waste over the years.
  8. Depth of Field – one of the things I love about my DSLR is the versatility that it gives me in many areas, especially depth of field. I guess this is really an extension of it’s manual controls and ability to use a variety of lenses but a DSLR can give you depth of field that puts everything from forground to background in focus through to nice blurry backgrounds.
  9. Quality Optics – I hesitate to add this point as there is a large degree of difference in quality between DSLR lenses but in general the lenses that you’ll find on a DSLR are superior to a point and shoot camera. DSLR lenses are larger (more glass can add to the quality) and many of them have many hours of time put into their manufacture (especially when you get into higher end lenses). I strongly advice DSLR buyers to buy the best quality lenses that they can afford. It it’s the difference between a high end lens on a medium range camera or a medium range lens on a high end camera I’d go for quality lenses every time as they add so much to photos.

Before I tackle how to buy a DSLR keep in mind that DSLRs are not for everyone. I’ve written more on the down sides of DSLRs in a post previously which you might find helpful in deciding whether you should stick with a point and shoot or upgrade.

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How to Decide Which DSLR Camera is for You?

So how do you decide which DSLR to buy? There are an increasing array of them on the market so you have a real choice ahead of you.

Here are a few factors to consider when looking for a DSLR:

1. Price – a good place to start when thinking about buying a DSLR is obviously price. DSLRs price range in price from some quite affordable deals at the lower end to extremely high prices at the professional end. Set yourself a budget for your purchase early on but make sure that you keep in mind that you’ll need to consider other costs of owning one including:

  • Lenses (some deals offer ‘kit lenses’ but you should consider upgrading – see below for more on this)
  • Batteries (all models will come with one but if you are travelling you might need a spare)
  • Memory Cards (some models come with one but most are inadequate in terms of size. Even if you’re lucky enough to have one included you’ll probably want to upgrade to at least a 1 gigabyte card).
  • Camera Bag (some dealers will throw one in – but once again don’t expect a high quality ‘free’ bag. Your DSLR is something worth protecting – invest in a good bag)
  • Filters (at the least you’ll want to get a UV filter for each lens you purchase – but you might also want to consider other types down the track also).
  • Extended Warrantees (there’s a variety of opinions on whether they’re good or not – but they’re worth considering)

2. What will You use it For? – when you head into a camera store to purchase any type of question the first thing most sales people will ask you what type of photography you want to do. It is well worth asking yourself this question up front as it will help you think through the type of features and accessories you’ll need.

Will this be a general purpose camera for recording ‘life’? Are you wanting to travel with the camera? Is it for sports photography? Macro Photography? Low Light Photography? Make a realistic list of the type of photography you will use it for (note I said ‘realistic’ – it’s easy to dream of all kinds of things you’ll photograph – but in reality most of us only do half what we think we will).

3. Size – DSLRs are all more sizeable than compact point and shoot cameras but there is a fair bit of variation in size between them also. Some photographers don’t mind carrying around weighty gear but if you’re going to use it for on the go photography (travel, bushwalking etc) then small and light models can be very handy.

4. Previous Gear – the attractive thing about DSLRs is that in many cases they are compatible with some of the gear you might already have.

  • This is particularly the case for lenses. The chances are that if you have a film SLR that your lenses might well be compatible with a DSLR made by the same manufacturer. Don’t assume that all lenses will be compatible (particularly older gear) but it’s well worth asking the question as it could save you considerable money.
  • If you have a point and shoot camera you might also want to look at the type of memory card that it takes as some models of DSLRs could also be compatible with them. This probably won’t be a major consideration as memory cards are considerably cheaper than they used to be but it could be a factor to consider.

5. Resolution – ‘how many megapixels does it have’ is a question that is often one of the first to be asked about a new camera. While I think ‘megapixels’ are sometimes over emphasised (more is not always best) it is a question to consider as DSLRs come with a wide range of megapixel ratings. Megapixels come into play as you consider how you’ll use your images. If you’re looking to print enlargements then more can be good – if you’re just going to print in small sizes or use them for e-mailing friends then it’s not so crucial.

6. Sensor Size – Another related question to consider is how big the image sensor is. The term ‘crop factor’ comes up when you talk about image sensor size – I’ll upack this further in a future article as it’s perhaps a little complicated for the scope of this one. In general a larger sensor has some advantages over a smaller one (although there are costs too). But I’ll unpack this in a future post (stay tuned).

7. Future Upgrades – will you be in a position to upgrade your camera again in the foreseeable future? While entry level DSLRs are attractively priced they tend to date more quickly than higher end models and you run the risk of growing out of them as your expertise grows and you thirst for more professional features. Ask yourself some questions about your current level of expertise in photography and whether you’re the type of person who learns how to master something and then wants to go to a higher model that gives you more control and features. It’s a difficult question but you might find it’s worthwhile to pay a little more in the short term for a model that you can grow into.

8. Other Features

Most DSLRs have a large array of features that will probably overwhelm and confuse you at first as you compare them with one another. All have basic features like the ability to use aperture and shutter priority, auto or manual focus etc but there’s also a lot of variation in what is or isn’t offered. Here are some of the more common features that you might want to consider:

  • Burst Mode – the ability to shoot a burst of images quickly by just holding down the shutter release – great for sports and action photography. DSLRs vary both in the number of frames that they can shoot per second as well as how many images they can shoot in a single burst.
  • Maximum Shutter Speed – most DSLRs will have a decent range of speeds available to you but some will have some pretty impressive top speeds which will be very useful if you’re into sports or action photography.
  • ISO Ratings – Similarly, most DSLRs will offer a good range of ISO settings but some take it to the next level which is useful in low light photography.
  • LCD Size – It’s amazing how much difference half an inch can make when viewing images on your cameras LCD. I noticed this recently when testing a camera with a 2.5 inch screen after using my own 1.8 inch one. While it might not change the way you shoot photos (people tend to use viewfinders at this level to frame shots) it certainly can be nice to view your shots on a larger screen.
  • Anti Shake – in the past few weeks a range of new DSLRs have been announced by manufacturers in the lead up to the Christmas rush. One of the features that is featuring more and more in them is anti shake technology. While it’s been common to get ‘image stabilisation’ technology in lenses the idea of it being built into camera bodies is something that is attractive.
  • Dust Protection – another feature that has started appearing in the latest round of cameras is image sensor dust protection (and in some cases self cleaning for image sensors) – something that will help alleviate a lot of frustration that many DSLR photographers have. To this point this is a feature that is mainly on lower end DSLRs but it’s bound to appear on new professional models also.
  • Connectivity – Getting photos out of your DSLR and into a computer or printer generally happens these days via USB but some people like FireWire and/or Wireless.
  • Semi-Auto Modes – As with point and shoot cameras – many DSLRs (especially lower end ones) come with an array of shooting modes. These generally include ‘portrait’, ‘sports’, ‘night’ etc. If you rely upon these modes on your point and shoot you may well use them on your DSLR too. Higher end DSLRs often don’t have them.
  • Flash – Generally professional grade DSLRs don’t offer built in flash and just have a hotshoe while entry level DSLRs include a built in flash.

Which DSLR camera is right for you?

At the time of writing this post there are a large range of DSLRs currently on the market (with a fresh batch of them set to be announced in the new year).

I’m a Canon user so my recommendations will reflect this below. Here are three that you might like to consider.

Canon-Eos-400D-1-TmCanon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) – I had the opportunity to play with this camera last week for a day and while I was a little skeptical at first as it’s fairly much an entry level DSLR I came away from testing it quite impressed. It has a 10.1 megapixel sensor, 2.5 inch LCD and all the features you’ll need to switch into manual (and semi manual) modes.

It is a camera with a lighter feel than the 30D (below) which will leave some feeling as though it might be a little light on – however this adds to it’s portability.

This is a good camera if you’re a little nervous about stepping out of point and shoot land and want something that is easy to use. Compare prices on the Canon EOS 400D from around the web.

Best-Digital-CameraCanon EOS 30D – if there’s one DSLR that I’ve recommended more than any other it is the 30D. I’ve owned it’s predecessor for a few years now (the 20D) and have loved it but the 30D has a few nice extra features that make it worth the upgrade.

The 30D is has an 8.2 megapixel sensor and nice large 2.5 inch LCD as well as an array of other features that give you plenty of opportunity to explore your photographic ability (as well as a good Auto mode for when you hand it over to a digital camera novice). This is a more serious camera than the 400D (it’s more solid in your hands too) but it is very user friendly also.

It is positioned nicely between the entry level and Professional models going around and produces wonderful images. Compare prices on the Canon EOS 30D from around the web.

Canon-Eos-5D-TmCanon EOS 5D – this camera will be out of reach of most of us (although I’m saving up) but I wanted to include it as it’s the best camera I’ve had the privilege of testing so far (in fact I’ve had it for the last 3 weeks and I just don’t want to send it back).

The 5D is not at the very top of the Canon DSLR range but it is not cheap and is aimed at the higher end amateur digital photographer who knows what they are doing. It doesn’t have a built in flash and there are no semi-auto modes on the dial (at this level you wouldn’t need them). It has a 12.8MP full frame sensor, 2.5 inch LCD, weighty magnesium body and a list of features longer than my arm.

This camera has great reviews from around the web and is high on my own personal wish list. Compare prices on the Canon EOS 5D from around the web.

Of course there are more options than just Canon DSLRs.

While I’ve not extensively tested them I have friends with the Nikon D200 and the Nikon D70s who are more than satisfied with their cameras also. Nikon’s DSLRs get highly recommended in reviews around the web and you’ll not go wrong in going with them either.

Feel free to add your own recommendations below in comments. As I say – I’m a Canon guy and am pretty much won over by the quality of camera that they make (their image sensors go beyond what I’ve seen in other cameras) however there are many more great DSLRs out there (particularly from Nikon) and I’d love to include the recommendations of others – simply leave a comment below with your own recommendation and I’ll include some of them in the main post as an update over the next day or two.

Update: A few readers have asked me for recommendations for DSLR lenses via email after reading this post. You might like to start with some introductory posts that I’ve written on the topic at:

Top 20 DSLR Models among Our Readers

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Ron Fletcher September 2, 2013 02:45 pm

    I prefer Nikon for the simple reason of lens interchangeability. I have used cannon ae1 and A1 for years, went to Nikon F5. Now I have gone Digital and its pritty confusing. MORE PIXALS, NO LESS PIXALS yada yada yada. Well I have 2 DSLR's Nikon D300s and D90. The 90 Easter to use but D300s much more pro features. I think at 12.3 pixals its more than enough for weddings and portraits. Being DX also lets me reach out with long lenses. My D300s never ceases to amaze and suprise me when I experiment with the different programs, vivid SD, landscape, portrait ECT. Its truely a learning experience. Film is Awsome. But not needing a photo lab is more Awsome, instant uploads, plugging my Nikons directly into my HDTV and viewing and editing before I ever download or print. Simply AMAZING

  • Georgia April 28, 2013 12:46 pm

    Would u recommend the canon 1000d. I am just starting photographing, 13 and looking for something cheap ish.

  • Georgia April 28, 2013 12:45 pm

    Would u recommend the canon 1000d. I am just starting photographing, 13 and looking for something cheap ish.

  • prateek April 24, 2013 07:09 pm

    is nikon D5100 good?

  • manoj sharma December 26, 2012 12:41 pm

    I want to purchase Dslr camera for very high reseloution for daily photography also please recommend which lenses will sutiable how to get information about lens like 18-105

  • J. Williams December 24, 2012 02:12 am

    Hi, I would say I'm an amateur at photography. Though I have a high interest in learning more about the use of cameras and photography by using cameras. After asking my self what would the use of the camera be; I forsure know that sports photography and general everyday life photos (still shots) are what my responses would be. I can say that after using a canon camera I love the Burst mode affect. I also have to say the anti shake is a major attraction.
    Though seeing as how I'm not very familiar with all the features and settings/modes of a high end, professional level, nor stater level canon camera. I would love to know what type of camera would you suggest I purchase.

  • Abi December 5, 2012 08:59 pm

    Thank you for the post. It's exhaustive and covers everything that i am aware of. I second the thought on choosing an expensive lens over an expensive body. One small piece that I would like add is there are lenses from Companies like Sigma and Tamron that could fit in Canon and Nikon. These lenses are in no way worse than the ones from Canon and Tamron, but they are way cheaper.

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  • Michael McGrath October 6, 2012 08:21 am

    As far as I can make out the top of the Canonikon crop frames are the Nikon D7000 and the Canon 7D, though I can personally vouch that the Canon 40D is still no slouch either, it's an amazing camera to have held out so long especially in the low ISO's, under 1600 ISO, where it is as good as anything today.

    I find the much older Nikon D100 likewise, great on low ISO under 800, still better than anything. Except for its small buffers it's still one of the best.

    Maybe it's only my imagination but I think these older cameras have better colour, though you have to watch the meter carefully. The 40D is great at 800 ISO, the Nikon 40D still one of the best cameras at 400 ISO.

    You may have other old favourites yourselves with great colours too. Both cameras I mention, are very well built and are a joy to hold , not like the scutty little new ones that I despair off - they both have motors to drive every lens too!
    They have "shoulder" LCDs, they're built like bricks out of an old shithouse wall, the 40D is I think even better than the 7D that my friend has at lower ISO under 1600. The 40 D is fast at 6.5 frames a second! And it has every bit as ggood as the image qality of the 5D and 95 per cent of the Image Quality of the 5D mk 11 , that my friend has as well - though they're not 95 per cent of the price!

    If you don't intend to offer your services as a pro , even if you are a pro, my recommendation is to stick with crop frames, far cheaper in lenses and everything and every bit as good image wise.

    Just look at the little Sony Alphas, that 18-55 SAM kit lens is the best of them all, I think it must have went through the Sony Zeiss production lines by accident!
    It nearly almost beats the Canon 18-55 IS , but no, there's hardly a zoom lens alive that can beat that little toy,even better than the Canon 17-40 L , it's just that everybody, me included, is ashamed of being seen with either of them, that's the Climate of Fear that the Internet has created:-)
    The problem with Nikon, for me, is smallness. I have big hands, long fingers, cameras like he superb new Nikon D3200 are infinitely too small, as are the Canon rebels, but that 850D is the best right now, I believe, prices down to, 774 Euro in Argos in Ireland, but still not worth cramping my fingers for.
    (I grew up with big Bronica's , ah how you could stretch the fingers on those...)

  • Sachin October 6, 2012 02:03 am

    Like many of us here I am also entering DSLR photography from a compact world. I am in Japan these days and I have only been focussing on Canon in my window shop. What do you think would be better for me to choose from the following options?

    1. Canon EOS Kiss X6i with 18-135 mm lens (I think Japanese EOS kiss x6i is American rebel T4i)
    2. Canon EOS 60D with 18-55 and 55-250 lenses
    3. First option (x6i) with 18-55 and 55-250 lenses
    4. Canon 60D with 18-135mm lens

    so basically want to know whether purchasing a single of 18-135mm will be good or 2 separate lenses (18-55 and 55-250) will be better since 55-250 has better range.

    As I said I am just entering the SLR world so I won’t even hesitate to say that I am not sure how far I will go in SLR photography being an IT professional, but certainly I want some far better and professional looking shots next time I go on a Japanese beach or working with buildings, lights trails, mountains at nights or taking pictures of my kid and wife at home.

    Budget: approx USD 1000 (JPY 78000 approx)
    Thanks a lot!

  • teresa October 4, 2012 08:23 pm

    I want to know about the 7d I have the 40d I'm upset cause they came out with video after I got mine I was so bummed.should I buy the 7d or something else.and I wanna try that new lens.

  • Ravindra October 2, 2012 08:35 pm

    I am confused about Nikon D5100 and Canon EOS 550D, plz help me.

  • Heather August 27, 2012 02:26 pm

    I would actually argue that "Experience" (What you want to use it for) should be considered first. If the price difference is only a couple hundred dollars, it's well worth it to save. For instance, the Nikon D5100 has the swivel screen for those who may want to do sneaky candids of their children, macro photography (which can sometimes be awkward angles) or any other want that causes you to contort yourself to peek through the viewfinder or screen. While the Nikon D3100 has a fixed screen and fewer stops in the ISO... so with (based off the regular prices of 649 and 849) the 200 dollar difference would be very reasonable and an attainable goal within a few months.

  • MIchael McGrath July 29, 2012 11:20 pm

    For Nikon fans the cameras of the moment are the Nikon D800 ( Full frame with a massive 36 megapixels) , probably the very best Digital camera of the moment, it enters medium format territory.
    Otherwise much cheaper for entrants the Nikon D 3200 with 24 megapixels.
    Nikon is to bring out the cheapest ever full frame , the Nikon D600 any day now, you're talking about a price of 1500 Euro, it's supposed to be good too.

    Canon: Unless you're into movies there's not a lot of difference between the new Canon 5D III and the present Canon 5D 11 . ( except for the superior af ) .
    For beginners I think the canon 550D could be got reasonably now.
    The old 40D is still doing a lovely job for me, no reason to change at all.

  • faith July 29, 2012 12:49 am

    does the canon eos 500d is good for a beginner like me??

  • Harry May 29, 2012 12:45 am

    So if I read correctly, provided the money isn't an issue, the Canon EOS D5 would make a good camera for beginners? Will the Auto features cover me at the start, until I grow in the art?

    Thanks for your feedback :)

  • Aditya April 26, 2012 02:10 am

    i want buy a DSLR.
    rite nw i have a sony cybershot.[sony cybershot dsc- 300] im not a professional but very much interested in this field.

    my interest is in nature, people and wildlife.

    which one you would suggest....

    thank you in advance.

  • rebecca April 24, 2012 12:37 am

    I currently have a Nikon D90. I am looking to upgrade my body. Could anyone help with a suggestion? There are too many options and I don't know how to sort through them. I need at least 12mp.

  • Samantha Becks February 1, 2012 05:40 am

    How would you manually take a picture of a group celebrating a hen party in a meeting room of a night club. There is two windows, the time is 9pm in the winter, the artificial light is quite poor, at times flickering, you are positioned approximately 6 metres from client of whom you are capturing, they are constantly moving and on top of that you’ve got the ‘shakes’?
    Thanks :)

  • Echo January 2, 2012 10:07 pm

    Hi, I am an amateur photographer. And i am in need of a new DSLR camera. My Last one was Canon and i prefer Canon over Nikon, So , can anyone give me a good suggestion for my new Camera? Thanks.

  • Rajeev December 23, 2011 07:06 am

    Can someone tell me how do we compare the optical zoom in non SLR cameras (like; 35X zoom) with D-SLR cameras (like; 18-55)? Don't understand this zooming terminology in D-SLR cameras. SLRs are definitely better than non ones, but as they've zoom till 35X and entry level D-SLRs don't. what do I do if i need good zoom too & don't wish to spend much?? Thanks!!

  • blowing_breeze December 18, 2011 03:37 am

    Hi I am a teen ager. I am looking for a DSLR for a simple photography. I want to be a photographer later. Which one I should buy?

  • Katherine December 10, 2011 09:37 am

    So I am looking for a DSLR to shoot simple everyday shots with a beauty and food and animal photography.
    Any idea on which one would suite me? It needs to have a reasonable price.

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  • roderick usher November 29, 2011 02:43 pm

    One camera that I didn't see listed anywhere here, but one I'd strongly urge newbies to consider would be the Leica D Lux 5. Don't let the (comparatively) high price tag scare you off - for the quality, it is a genuine bargain, and there's two optional accessories I'd also recommend - the eyepiece, which permits considerable control over composition, and the flash unit. One more thing - the so-called "ever-ready" case to go with it - it affords maximum protection, and covers the entire camera, unlocking from behind and falling below the front of the camera, which gives you full opportunity to "pan." It is a joy to use, as well as behold.

    The lens is a 24-90MM equivalent, which covers just about anything from scenery to portraiture. It is designed for hand-held use, and makes the perfect "go anywhere" camera. The Panasonic LX5 is identical on the surface but the best units are earmarked by Leica for marketing under their own name. So I've heard from sources I rely upon, and I have no reason to doubt them. My own results with the D Lux 5 have heartened and impressed me - I took several recent shots at Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen CA, and the image of his study nearly blew me out of the water. Every detail is tack-sharp, down to the keys on Jack's old typewriter. Menus are clean and intuitive. For those with highly restrictive budgets, I'd urge them to look into a Panasonic LX5: the images might lack some of Leica's sharpness, but the results will still be acceptable, and the overall design and functionality of the camera makes it well worth having, in either version. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford the original Leica, consider it as a prospect, at least for a backup.

  • Roderick Usher November 29, 2011 11:44 am

    I am somewhat beyond the novice stage, having been a camera enthusiast since age 12. But one can always learn more, especially in this age of DSLR's, and innovation everywhere.

    I acquired a Canon EOS 5D a while back, and have never regretted the purchase. I also bought the pro-quality lens to go along with it, and love them. The range is 70-200, if I remember correctly, and it features image stabilization. The clarity and resolution are fantastic. This is an especially good lens to have, because the range enables some scenery, and easily adapts to portraiture.

    For general, go-anywhere use, I strongly advocate the Leica D Lux 5, along with its optional eyepiece, and "ever-ready" case, which features a separate compartment for it. Yeah, it costs an arm and a leg, and many will tell you that the Panasonic LX5, which sells for considerably less is the same camera. On the surface it is, but Leica's quality control is more severe, and they reserve the cream of the crop from the assembly line to market under their own name. This camera is compact, has an ultra-clean menu, and equivalent 24-90MM zoom lens, which gives you considerable firepower in a small package. With the "ever-ready" case, the system gets maximum protection, but is ready to use in an instant, as the front simply falls beneath the camera, allowing you to pan. I normally keep mine set in "program" mode, with the ISO setting set to auto, which greatly reduces the need for the separate flash attachment. This can be very useful, so I recommend it as well. It is synchronized, and the system doesn't produce "red eyes," which is nice.

    I recommend this system strongly, and believe anyone fortunate enough to own one will agree.

  • Digital Cameras October 7, 2011 11:27 pm

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  • Jake September 28, 2011 01:44 pm

    What do u suggest nowadays.I am totally vs canon for beginners,
    Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18.0MP vs Canon T3i?.I have money to buy something to $1000 .I would buy from best buy,cause i have bestbuy card.

  • Sam September 25, 2011 04:52 am

    Guyz.... i am planning to get a Nikon D3100, any ideas? defects or malfunction???

  • John August 15, 2011 01:09 pm

    Sir would you mind offering a best camera which would fit my course as Geology student. We're on the fieldwork sometimes and I want to catch photos as many as I can to retrieve some memories of my College life and also the wonders and beauty of nature.. I prefer a DSLR camera for this and at the same time to take photos with my family when we're having an occasions.. Here's my email Sir.. - John

  • Jinendra August 2, 2011 07:21 pm


    I'm new to photography, I'm planning to buy a DSLR. I am confused between the Canon eos 60d, 7d, nikon d5100,d7000. If there are any other similar cameras please let me know. I like taking MACRO, landscape,etc. I like macro shots a lot, can you also suggest me a good macro lens.

    P.S -Is the canon mp-e 65mm 1-5x macro lens good. I'm planning to buy this lens and the eos 60d

    Thank you :) :) :)

  • DSLR Deals July 6, 2011 09:58 am

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  • Point and Shoot Camera June 27, 2011 07:57 pm

    Very helpful, Thanks! Digital photography has improved dramatically. The choice of cameras is size forever. We do not know what is good and what not! The only solution - The Internet is indispensable as a source of information!

  • Tilen Hrovatic June 24, 2011 03:29 am

    Really helpful and instructional tutorial and guide. I am buying my first DSLR camera right now and this is really useful :)

  • searocks June 15, 2011 07:11 am

    hi im beginning a career in professional photography.. i'm in the middle of my first course.. which camera (i want a canon) would u suggest? i want to do focus on portraits, casual, children, outdoor photography. thanks !

  • Arun Thundyill Saseendran April 22, 2011 11:36 pm

    Nikon D5100 announced recently is a killer of a camera and its like getting a more professional one at a cheaper rate..... Its really amazing.

  • Nana April 15, 2011 03:48 am

    I just got myself a new Nikon D90. i am still studying it to archive it's full use. Pictures taken with it is seriouse.

  • Ludmilka March 23, 2011 03:14 am

    I am new to photography and looking for a camera that would be user-friendly but at the same time provide me with enough options for the future (once I learn more about photography). I did some research and I am torn between Canon EOS 60D 18.1MP SLR which comes with a 18-135mm Lens Kit and a bonus battery vs. Canon Rebel T3i 18MP SLR which comes with 18-55 lens kit. I know from previous replies that some of you are not a big fans of EOS 60D- why so? What would you guys recommend for beginner like me? The 18-135mm lens and extra battery that comes with 60D - sounds like an attractive option? However Rebel T3i seems more user-friendly... Please help! Thank you!

  • Stephen March 8, 2011 06:15 pm

    Sony brings out feature packed dslr with the best value for money product. However i really hate the OVF on the Sony, it lacks clarity and the AF points are so confusing. Much prefer the Canon OVF with its simple and clear design.

  • liaisom March 6, 2011 03:02 am

    Canon EF 70-200mm
    review of your good.

  • Michael McGrath January 15, 2011 05:17 am

    I guess it would take some remarkable optical mathematics to work that one out, Frank.
    When autofocus came out first in the Eighties , the Canon EOS 620 ,that I still have, shot accurately every time with ONE autofocus point straight down the middle.

    Might make a wee tiny difference for fast sport but I doubt it.

    So if you're asking if I would base my choice of camera on that, no is the answer.

    ( The old Colt 45 is still, regrettably, one of the finest killers around - though the much more modern later BAP , Browning Automatic Pistol, can't hit a barn door)

  • Frank khamees January 15, 2011 04:03 am

    hi there

    thanks for the great article its so helpful

    i just have one question related to auto focus points does it matter if u have 51 point or 19 point and which do u rather get more auto focus point or less

    now with nikon D700 or 300s got 51 point
    canon 7D only have 19 focus poing does it matter or does it do any differents?

    thank u

  • Frank khamees January 15, 2011 04:02 am

    hi there

    thanks for the great article its so helpful

    i just have one question related to auto focus points does it matter if u have 51 point or 19 point and which do u rather get more auto focus point or less

    now with nikon D700 or 300s got 51 point
    canon 7D only have 19 focus poing does it matter or does it do any differents?

    thank u

  • cindy January 12, 2011 05:28 am

    @michael mcgrath,
    thanx for your information..
    you help me much to get the better decision instead of choosing Canon that confused me..
    but can you give me some hint to spesify the suit camera in me??

  • Michael McGrath January 11, 2011 05:08 pm

    The best Canon crop frame right now is , incredibly, the Canon 40D - better than the 7D, 60D and 50D , the latter two being the very worst cameras that Canon has ever made, Canon is awful in quality control, piling too many pixels on its sensors , auto-focus dreadful on the Canon 50D Mark II , even their 50mm/1.2L lens is now suspect.

  • Michael McGrath January 11, 2011 05:00 pm

    The 60D , after the 50D, is probably the very worst camera that Canon ever made.
    The 7D is bad too for woolly files due to too many pixels crammed on its crop sensor.
    Even the 5D Mark 11 suffers from this, and from auto-focus problems too.

    So you're better off keeping clear of Canon, who have a lot of quality control problems, and going for Nikon or Sony.
    Ken Rockwell's favourite crop-frame right now is the Nikon D7000.
    But the move is to fullframe so I recommend the Sony Alpha a900 for landscapes, portraiture and studio, with a Sony Zeiss lens to start with, or cheaper but much the same , the Sony a850 , as even Nikon are experiencing quality control issues at its Malaysian plant.

    But Sony are still made in Japan with excellent quality control.

    Outside of that , the Pentax K-5 with an amazing sensor , according to the French independent test laboratory DXOmark - it is the best crop frame on the market right now.

  • cindy January 10, 2011 06:54 am

    which is the perfect dSLR camera for a landscape,potrait,indoor and traveller snapshot like me please..
    i am still confuse in searching for the suit dSLR camera..
    it should be good in image stabilization,live view LCD,extended dynamic range,dust control,colour control and low noise at ISO setting..
    many friends prefer me with the Canon EOS 60d
    but then some told me it is not good enough for the amateur just like me..

    -miss blur n confuse-

  • Michael McGrath January 6, 2011 02:39 am

    Hi Qasah,
    If you're rich and don't mind throwing your money about , the Nikon D40 is in no way in the same class as a Canon EOS 5D mark 11, it's not meant to be!

    Best bargain right now is the ' old' Canon 5D ( " Mark 1 ") , I've used it , fab for dynamic range, great if you want fabulous big blowups as far as 16 x 20 inch .
    Outstanding for portraiture with an 85mm/ 1.4 lens ( or 1.8/2.8) .

    Chitranjan, excellent decision!

  • qaseh January 4, 2011 10:16 pm

    hi....can anyone help me to choose between canon EOS 5D and nikon D40......what is the best comparison to pick the best one for a photoshoot lover like me???

  • Chitranjan December 19, 2010 12:55 pm

    Thanks Mike.
    In that case, I would go with D90 and put the extra money on lenses :)

  • buy steroids usa December 18, 2010 01:41 am

    I can’t but agree. I always wanted to write in my site something like that but I guess you are damn faster, LOL. Cheers

  • Michael Mc||Grath December 12, 2010 03:16 pm

    ( The NIkon D7000 is superior to the Canon 7D so it costs accordingly )

  • Michael Mc||Grath December 12, 2010 03:13 pm

    The D7000 is much superior.
    However a photographer will do equally well with either.

    The ball is back in your court , up to you!


  • Chitranjan December 10, 2010 03:05 pm


    I am currently confused between D90 vs D7000.
    D7000 is $ 550 more thand D90, but is it worth spending that for D7000 or go for D90 and take another good lens int hat cost.

    Please advise.

  • |Michael McGrath November 30, 2010 03:55 am

    Canon 450D is a bit dated now , was always looked upon as a beginner's/amateur camera, may suffer from the 'Err' probem.
    The Canon 500D also dated now. May also suffer from the ' Err' problem .
    The Canon 550D , more expensive, would be a good choice if you're going Canon.

    Don't know about the Nikon 3100 , but the Nikon D7000 coming out now , is the best by all reviews . You should get it for abit more than the Nikon D3100 but it's worth it , the best current buy of all in a crop frame DSLR .

    But watch those Sony's to couple with Zeiss lenses !

  • Sundeep November 27, 2010 08:09 pm

    Hi, I am planning to buy a SLR whihc would be upgrade to my digital camera. I have shortlisted two models taking care of my budget are Canon EOS 450D Kit (EF-S 18-55)/EOS 500D Kit (EF-S 18-55) or Nikon DSLR D3100, I am not that expert in photography but still want that whatever I shoot should be perfect. Please suggest between these models.

  • Michael McGrath November 24, 2010 03:12 pm

    If I were recommending any fullframe, John , I would recommend the Canon 5D itself, to save a lot of money , as your lenses would be the same ones.
    Also the 5D , in my experience , has better dynamic range than the 5D mark 11 and again in my opinion , is better for portraiture and landscapes than the much more expensive 5D mark 11 .

    I am doing my best to save peoples' money here , so rich amateurs can ignore.

    Again , to save money , buy the Nikon D700 in preference to the Canon 5D Mark 11 , I thibk that it's marginally better too. But the original Canon 5D , about 700 Euro cheaper , is better for actual colour results than the newer Canon 5D Mark 11 , again judging by my actual usage of both for a couple of days ( both belonging to friends ) .

    For the best bargain in a full frame , the Sony Alpha 850 , and if you're into sports the Sony Alpha 900 - stick a Sony Zeiss lens on either and you're still coming out cheaper than Canon but every bit as good , if not better - it's hard to distinguish at this level .

    Personally , the only Canon I use regularly is the wonderful Canon Powershot A 3000IS , always in my breast pocket . ( 72 Euro from Argos right now on special offer ) .

  • John Wilder November 24, 2010 09:06 am

    I was disappointed that you have not updated your what camera to buy blog to include the Canon 5D Mark II

  • Lee November 23, 2010 06:57 pm

    Hello All,
    Can someone please help me in buying a DSLR i'm looking at the below models
    1)Canon EOS 500D with 18-55mm IS Lens
    2)Nikon D5000 with 18-55 and 55-200mm VR Lenses
    3)Sony Alpha a55 18-55mm Lens Kit

    Many Thanks

  • |Michael McGrath November 22, 2010 03:16 pm

    Yes, St. Louis , but such control familiarity , I find, comes very fast no matter what camera brand I use , and after 44 years I know any of them , even the most complicated , in no time at all . It's the price that people should interest themselves ion now , plus camera build quality especuially .
    Some of these new Sony Alpha DSLRs have real gooid build as good as any Canon or Nikon ( I use those too ) .
    But as Dorsey says, with the Sony you can get your hands on loads of those Zeiss lenses , and the adaptors , real cheap!
    Then too some Nikon lenses are better - and cheaper! - than the Canon L series .

    Basically the Canon is generally , to a Pro , the sign of an amateur, not because the cameras are bad, but because most amateurs buy them .
    And if you don't want or need movie mode on your DSLR , Sony is the way to go - especially as they provide all the same senors as they use in their own cameras for Nikon!

    Also any of those old Zeiss lenses that Dorsey is on about become anti-shake ( providing they are autofocus to start with ||) on any Sony Alpha bosy , as all the old Minolta stock of AF lenses also become shake - free the moment you slap them on your Sony Alpha .

    You could pay 1400 dollars for one CXanon L lens to do the same!!!
    Canon are now rich kids cameras , not for pro's , as pro's actually do use the cheapest and the best they can get away with .
    The main thing for a pro is not a camera with easy menus or controls but a sturdy machine - and of course a pro never buys a DSLR with the kit lens either!
    Our money goes into lenses first. We have to watch what we spend as well as most pro's are not your Hollywood glamour rich kids as you see on TV , we are genuinely working to live from month to month , and hopefully to live well .
    Of course we buy a camera for a purpose , thus we do not waste money on a Nikon D3X if we don't cover sport . We'll use an old Fuji S2 Pro with our Nikon lenses for portraits in a studio providing we won't be blowinbg them up that much .
    We;ll save that Canon 5D Mark 11 for shots we know will be ordered to 16X20 , so it will last longer.
    Any bigger we drag down our old film Bronica or Mamiya , we never bought all those Hasselblads ( they jam anyway! ) , the rich amateurs always bought those.

  • |Michael McGrath November 22, 2010 02:55 pm

    Hi Dorsey , I don't know of the Sony Alpha a55 but presume it has similar lens fittings to the rest of the Sony Alpha DSLR series.
    If so you can buy cheap M42 universal screw adaptors on ebay , for as little as about 5 dollars each , to have the Carl Zeiss Jena series of lenses off old praktica SLR cameras work on your Sony Alpha DSLRs , I have one .
    However I got mine dirt cheap for 3 Euro off ebay from china , arrived inside a week from Beijing to Ireland, but it only works on auto on aperture priority .
    You can get adaptors on ebay though that work those zeiss lenses perfectly auto and metering with the Sony Alpha DSLRs , all of them without exception . for average cost per adaptor iof about ten Euro each , that would be about 15 dollars each or thereabouts .
    Your best bet is to google search after these adaptors and study them up before ordering.
    ( Personally I'm happy enough with aperture priority for my 3 Euro - and the Chinese included international postage in this , incredible , no wonder they're conquering the world economically speaking , right now .

    ( Make sure the adaptor you order has black painted rims to avoid internal reflection , most opf them have this spercial paint right now )

    And you're right , you can pick up those Carl Zeiss Jena lenses off the old prakticas for Half Nothing , they comopare with and even beat the Canon L series lenses at circa 1000 dollars each :-)

  • St Louis Photographer November 22, 2010 05:50 am

    It's also nice if you already know how to use a DSLR to stay within that same line of cameras. For example, Canon's professional series cameras all have similar controls. Sure, the menus may change, but most of the buttons on the cameras are in the same spots, and that can reduce your learning curve when buying a new DSLR.

  • Josef November 18, 2010 03:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing.. i'll keep a note on this, especially for my future upgrade.

  • Leif November 15, 2010 09:58 pm

    I just recently bought a Nikon D90 and I wanted to learn photography. Maybe you can give me some tips.

  • Dorsey November 14, 2010 11:22 am

    Well now I have read much of Mr. McGraths helpful thoughts on this, I guess I could determine which Minolta lens series would work with the Sony a55 to expand its ability, by buying them used off ebay.

  • Dorsey November 14, 2010 10:56 am

    Helpful information on how to choose a DSLR camera! Prior to digital point and shoot photography, I used a Contax 139 Quartz 35mm camera. I learned years ago that the lens may be the most important part of any camera and that Carl Z eiss was the best optics available! That is why I used the Contax camera and then went to Sony who offered Zeiss on some of their digital cameras. Realize that Zeiss optics were the choice for Nasa when they went to the moon. My Sony automatic point and shoot has just about had it and I have read some good comments regarding the Sony a series cameras. My research has me wanting the Sony a55 DSLR but its not cheap. If I could find an adapter that would allow me to use the Contax 139 Zeiss lens on the Sony a55, I could make use of the old lens that have served me well and buy the a55 without a lens to save some money. Please realize that these Zeiss lens are being given away on ebay! I mean since digatal cameras, these awesome optics are thought to be of little value in the age of digital. If anyone can advise me that these lens are still usable in the way I just described and know how makes the adapter, please email me direct at and put Zeiss Adapter in the title. You would make my week! No year!

  • Canon Digital SLR Reviews November 14, 2010 05:17 am

    This is incredibly helpful and full of information about DSLRs. And i wanna ask you something you guys, is the brand thing about DSLR cameras worth to consider ot not? Thanks!

  • Michael McGrath November 12, 2010 01:48 pm

    Nikon 3100 if you're just going to use the one lens for family photos .
    Otherwise Sony DSLR , the most expensive model you can afford , as your lenses are going to be cheap .

  • yuli November 12, 2010 12:38 pm

    I am thinkink to upgrade from a point and shoot camera sony cibershot to a DSLR camera I;m not sure whixh way to go if go with sony again or change to Canon rebel T1i vs NIkon 3100 want to use it for family purposes , kids , events...etc. am I spending to much to be a dslr beginner???

  • arun November 2, 2010 04:18 pm

    hi darren,

    i am thinking of buying a canon eos 500d...would like toi know your views about it..

  • Michael McGrath October 31, 2010 03:09 pm

    My final advice , don't rush ! Anything in the stores between now and Christmas will be more expensive , wait until the January Sales !

  • Michael McGrath October 31, 2010 03:04 pm

    I have the Sony Alpha 230 DSLR ,nice , maybe just what some of you want , cheap , - but one day in the Summer I got a lot of shutter lag on a lovely Summer's day , hasn't come back since so maybe my fault ?

    And I still have my bridge digital , the Panasonic DMC FZ7 Lumix with 12X Leica lens - out of this world on 100 to 200 ISO - like a small DSLR to look at and carry , light as a feather , can be whipped into action fast , does lovely colour up to 11X14 inches ( so 10X15 as well ) , so good and compact that my DSLR's often get left behind , colour saturation WOW .

  • Michael McGrath October 31, 2010 02:51 pm

    Oly is reported not to have as good sensors as Nikon, Canon , Sony Alpha - the reason why a press photographer friend of mine switched his main camera ( when he got a better job ) from Oly E-3 to Canon 7D .
    Very satisfied with the 7D itself , he is not so satisfied with some Canon L lenses he has for it , and his mind is therefore now wandering in the direction of a Full Frame Nikon D700 , though he says he will probably be stuck along the way for now with a Canon 5D full frame due to the fact that he is stuck with those Canon L lenses for now due to finance , but he does say that he wants to be able to use Nikon lenses eventually !

    Certainly that Canon 5D ( the older one, not the present 5D mark 11 which is expensive ) is the best secondhand bargain out there right now , and if you could raise a couple of hundred dollars more for it you would be on the pig's back !

    I'm kicking myself that I ever bought digital DSLR crop frames now , though I'm lucky I have my old Bronica SQA medium format film camera , backed up by my Mamiya 645 for those huge enlargements, while I leisurely look around , no hurry - I have the money but I don't want to make another blunder like I did with the crop frames ....

    maybe the Sony Alpha 850 DSLR full frame just might barely be affordable , I have some good Minolta lenses that would fit it , they're cheap on ebay anyway , that's my thinking now .
    Or a secondhand original Canon 5D ( ' mark 1 ' ) full frame , I've used this model belonging to a friend, FABULOUS , as I have a fab Sigma fast zoom that would go with it perfectly now as well , the Canon 5D ( older model ) produces fabulous film-like colour like the famous Fuji S2 Pro - nothing wrong with my S2 except that it is 8 years old and bound to go anyday , Touch Wood .
    these are my thoughts right now .

    I think it's time to go full frame DSLR as cheaply as we can .

  • JC October 31, 2010 01:26 pm

    Would like to purchase a beginner DSLR, in price range $400-$600, for a 21yr old.

    Will be used in an 8wk DSLR photography class. Will also be used for international travel, landscapes and people pics, and will be used on a college campus.

    Currently using a panosonic P&S. Takes lots of pics. Loves to edit pics.

    Does anyone know anything about the Olympus E420? Saw one on Amazon for $480, that comes with a 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko lens

  • Peter Heness October 30, 2010 10:59 pm

    Hello Darren and g'day to all.
    I have recently upgraded to a nikon coolpix p100, this camera has a zoom of 26x, 10.3MP and a 1/2.3 in CMOS sensor.
    I am thinking of upgrading to the nikon d3100 DSLR but wonder if it would be worth my while, after reading your excellent articles on the big change iI tend to agree that image quality is of the utmost importance, I will use my camera mostly for travel as I am going to the UK for a holiday soon I also have a granddaughter who finds herself in my viewfinder every second day or so.
    Based on your recommendations I am still stuck.
    1, The size of my P100 is not much smaller than the d3100.
    2, I think the image quality of the P100 is pretty good, (although I am hardly an expert).
    3, You mention pixels vs sensor size, is my sensor big enough?
    4, As for better lenses, I pprobably could only afford the lenses that camoe with the kit.
    So I think that the real benefit for me would be the ability to manually focus without having to access menus and also the ISO settings seem very accessible on a DSLR.
    I guess in closing , if I buy a DSLR it will be for ease of manual focus and better pictures

  • Michael McGrath October 27, 2010 08:55 am

    AND those Fuji S Pro DSLR 's become shake-free with Nikon VR lenses !!!!

  • Michael McGrath October 27, 2010 08:52 am

    Ooops , Guru , my mistake , that's what I originally meant , the Pentax K-r , so agreed .
    But go and try the new Sony Alpha 290 as well , the choice is boiled down to between those two if you don't want to be stuck with spending thousands for Canon L series lenses for the rest of your life .

    The Minolta Beercan lenses are every bit as good as Canon L series lenses , and at about one-tenth the price on ebay today !
    And that is why I would go for Sony Alpha .

    Best of all , in my experience is the 2002 - year old Fuji S2 Pro , Nikon F body , therefore all Nikon lenses , with the special ' skintone ' Fuji Super Sensor , that for a digital approaches Velvia film quality .

    You'll be lucky if you can find one secondhand .

  • Bryan Grant October 27, 2010 07:43 am

    i have 7d and for the price it cant be beat

  • guru October 24, 2010 08:43 pm

    i complement you on your exceleent selection --even though you are novice at it ---the Pentax K-x is on its way out and replaced by Pentax K-r --it has all the features of K-x plus weather - sealing and ISO range right upto 25600.
    Go for Pentax k-r ---as its new; you can choose the color of body and the grip.

  • Michael McGrath October 10, 2010 08:23 pm

    Sally , Pentax K-x , excellent choice . For Natasha and Vishal , I'd recommend the same - there's a new Sony Alpha A 290 as well .

  • Vishal October 10, 2010 06:28 pm


    i am new to DSLR camera. you can i am biggner. i want to DSLR camera but i have confusion.
    1. which DSLR camera is should buy?
    2.what is CCD sensors and CMOS sensor in Camera?
    3.what diffrence does it make in image qualiy?

    Please suggest me DSLR camera and answer my question.


  • natasha September 14, 2010 03:50 pm

    Hey Mr McGrath.
    I need some advice from you.
    I'm 16, from Malaysia. And I'd like to get a DSLR for myself.
    In Malaysia now, what seems to be really popular among the youngsters are Nikon; Nikon D60 precisely.
    So, I'm kinda keen on getting either, the Nikon D60 or the Nikon D3000.
    Well, I'm pretty much on a tight budget; which is between 210 pounds and 380 pounds (for me, it's between RM1000 - RM1800).
    I'd like to use it when I travel with my family.
    One reason why I'd like to get it more than ever now is because in December we'll be going to Capetown, South Africa and I know how beautiful the place is and God knows when else we'll be going there again, so yeah.
    What do you think? D60 or D3000? Or maybe some other DSLRs? Mind you, I've considered Nikon D90 and Sony EOS 500D/550D but they're just a tad bit too expensive for me :\

    Hope you'll reply me soon.
    Thanks :)

  • Jayaruwan August 29, 2010 11:41 pm

    a very helpful article indeed. I have ordered a Canon 500D aka EOS Rebel T1i which I will be getting in 2 more days. I'm personally a Canon fan. I didn't own a DSLR before but I was using a powershot A2000IS for some time and was satisfied with its performance. if you are looking at a 500D, you might want to consider Pentax K-x as well. it is cheaper than the 500D but offers some advantages over the 500D. but for me, I had to go with a popular brand coz I'm from Sri Lanka and the DSLR market is not that good here. so I won't be able to find the necessary equipments for most of the DSLR models in the world market. back in 70's my dad has used both Pentax and Minolta SLR cameras and swears by them. you might want to take a look at the 550D or the newly released 60D (assuming that you are a Canon fan too. or there are a lot of other great brands) if you are not tight on money that is.

  • Willoughbys August 11, 2010 11:25 am

    A DSLR digital camera is a lot better than a point and shoot camera. The guidelines given here were all helpful to those looking for a kind of camera that will best suit them. There is a lot of camera reviews online and its up to the buyers discretion on what kind to choose.

  • sally August 3, 2010 01:10 pm

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your comprehensive reply! :O

    After looking at your comment, I have done some extensive research around the internet, looked at different brands and models, read a few reviews and I finally come to a conclusion that I will most probably buy a Pentax K-x (which is one of your recommendations).

    As a matter of fact, I am no professional photographer, and I don't plan to be or see myself as one in the future. I am just a hobbyist photographer or serious amateurs I guess, as some of you call it. I don't want to spill all my money on the expensive gears or equipments. To be honest, I just need a decent or perhaps a little more than average dslr camera which gives me good quality pictures. Of course the term 'good' is very subjective here but on overall, I have no big qualms or extremely high expectations really (well because I don't plan to make a living on it). I plan to use it when I am travelling or when I am outside walking about. Sometimes I might print them out and frame them and display in my house perhaps. But no big size printing.

    So with all that and your advice in mind, I ruled out Canon/Nikon from my choice. The major reason is they are just out of my budget. They don't have built-in image stabilization which means I have to spend more every time I get a new lens. After serious consideration, I think it is just not worth it.

    With that, I have only Sony, Olympus and Pentax left to choose. Frankly I own a sony P&S now but I am not really satisfied with it so I guess I am leaning more towards the other two (yeah I know P&S is not comparable to dslr but it's just me being a fussy consumer). And after reading around, it seems Pentax is a good choice and K-x basically suits everything I need for my ideal camera. Of course needless to say the price is a very very attractive point.

    But I guess I will only be getting it around spring next year, when they usually have some kind of promotion fair in my country. So before that I still have a lot of time to think and think again. But until then I am sold to Pentax K-x. :)

  • Arnold Akman August 3, 2010 12:22 pm

    I was really confused what DSLR i should be buying however after reading your comments here I have a pretty good idea what to buy now and save money while getting the best out there for my budget. Thank you Michael for your time.

  • Michael Mc||Grath July 30, 2010 03:57 pm

    BTW , of the two cameras you mention , the Canon 550D is far superior , just behind the Canon 7D , best crop digital DSLR on the market right now . I hope I have answered all your questions as I have no axe to grind for or against any7 camera or lens , we all develop our own favourites as the years go by , fior instance , the Pentax SMC 50 / 1.4 is my favourite lens that I used in all those 44 years , ahead of even Leica, Zeiiss , Zuiko , the lot :-)

    And if the 550D ( really suitable for a lady's hands ) is too expensive , then the Canon 40 D might be in budget , fab DSLR , one of the best that Canon made . If not then the Nikon D 5000 , and the Pentax K_x .

    And if you're buying a Canon ,don't splash your money on an L series lens until you're sure , look up a good Canon EF 28-70 , f3.5 - 5.6 ,on ebay , it's one of Canon's little ' hidden secrets ' . Also the Canon EF 24 - 85 , 3.5 - 5.6 , and the Canon EF 25 - b105 , either of those .
    Nikon don't have many such bargains , that's why most amateurs buy Canon , you can find cheap good lenses . maybe some else here might know ? Maybe the little known Nikkor 35 - 70 , f3.3 -4.5 , that you should gert in fair nick on the Bay for 70 bucks , it will certainly tide you over nicely until you find your way amongst Nikon lenses .

    Sony , you have all those 60-odd Minolta AF lenses at your disposal , cheaper usually than Canikon , just as good , and they become immediately anti-shake when you put them on your Sony DSLR . BTW the Sony Alpha A 330 , just a 100 dollar step-up from the basic Sony A 230 , has the best Live View in the business ,, these are little secrets that the sales folk will never tell you , and the new Sony DT 18-55 SAM kit lens that comes with most Sony DSLRs is so good , I have it , that I suspect that it escaped out of the Sony Zeiss Department over at Cosina . It beats Canikon kits lenses hands down .

    So , finally , I would recommend the Sony Alpha A330 above the rest . Now I'm heading back into bed here in Kilkenny , Ireland , Good Morning all friom the Emerald Isle .

    Michael .

  • Michael Mc||Grath July 30, 2010 03:34 pm

    Maybe you shouldn't listen to me , Sally , as I am now throroughly fed up of Digital after the initial novelty wore off , and I'm happily back on my Olympus OM10 , Nikon N90S and Canon EOS 620 , think the OM has the best lenses , Zuiko , the best lenses ever made outside of Germany ! But I love the steely solidity of reassurance I get from my old Canon semi-pro 620 , though it's a blackguard on batteries , so I usually use the Nikon N90S .

    Digital , don't mind all the marketing , best DSLRs I came across were the Fuji S2 Pro for its dynamic range colour , best jpegs ever to come straight out of a Digital . Then my ' humble' Sony Alpha A 230 that transforms every good old Minolta AF lens into a fully operational AntiShake lens when you slap it on , saves hundreds , thousands even in having to buy Nikon and Canon lenses that are inferior , certainly to Zuiko , in the first place !!!

    So I'm back with my favourite Bronica SQA and Mamiya 645 , and loving them again , after my Digital Adventure , but at least I got the fever out of my system ! ( Now Scanning big negs into computer via Canon 8800F scanner ) .

    It's all about creating good photographs no matter what you use , and getting the opportunity to do so , maybe to show them , and even sell them eventually .

    I am 44 years a Pro , it was a confortable living here in Ireland , got me through .

    Now there's a fabulous piece of gear , the Canon EOS 30V , came out in 2004 in the Digital Age , and has maintained good solid sales up against all the world Digital Fever too , a great sign for a camera , I'm getting one next !
    Also the Nikon F6 , FABULOUS to this day .

    But I'll hold on to my digitals for Facebook and the like , as a half a billion people in the world do , Digital certainly has its uses in social networking , maybe getting your photos noticed online ?

    I think it's best to get back to printing & framing them , putting them on your walls , maybe one in your window for passers - by to admire , with a little For Sale sign beside it , that way you should sell at least one a month , more if you're good !

    Maybe having little exhibitions at your home for family , friends , workmates etc , with cheese and wine . Maybe sell one or two blow-ups to your comnpany , your boss ? DON'T ADMIT STRANGERS !!!

    If you're good enough , film or digital , work with the camera you're personally most comfortable with , don't mind too much what they tell you on the Internet , a Nikon D3X won't improve your skills as a photographer if you're more comfortable with , say , a bargain Pentax , Sony or Olympus , maybe even a Samsung .

    Try to get into Art & Photo exhibitions in your town , maybe a pal with a shop ( store ) might place one of your favourites in his window , and if he sells it , look after him - he'll want to display more of your work .

    To be honest , I wasn't much good at picking up Photoshop , though I know my computers ! ( And it costs a Bomb !!! ) Too much time sitting in front of computer too . I ended up using free Picasso ,it's fast , I got so fed up . I need more exercise at my age , I was even putting on some fat though I was relatively trim before I took up Digital , I want back my time out taking photographs , even my circulation is affected at 63 years of age , these are all factoirs about taking up Digital, I would not therefore advise any lady concerned about her figure , or indeed anybody over 50 to go near Digital . :-)
    Hope this helps , best of luck , Sally .

    Michael ( Ireland ) .

    ( PS , if you're concerned about shooting at high ISO's in near darkness , I'm not , 100 ISO is my favourite , then I would advise Canon , maybe Nikon , but I think that Canon has the edge there ) .

  • sally July 28, 2010 02:01 pm

    i realize this article is pretty old. ~.~
    can someone recommend me a few latest dslr camera in the market which is best for taking travel/life photography? i own a semi-pro right now and i am getting kinda bored of the constraints it has, especially the depth of field part.
    i have read a lot of reviews and all seem to point to canon or nikon.
    to be honest, i don't have a lot of requirement. i just need the camera to take very good quality pictures and preferably good night shots.
    i am currently looking at nikon d3000 or canon 550d. will these cameras satisfy my needs?
    please help! thanks!

  • Sannidhi June 24, 2010 05:18 pm

    Darren Rowse, a very good article and thanks for sharing very useful info.

    Just to add to vital info, if anybody from India wants to buy it, you may seriously consider - GroupNDeal - An online market place to help buyers to form groups and bargain collectively to save more.

    GroupNDeal website:

    GroupNDeal application in Facebook:

    GroupNDeal page in Facebook:

  • Denver Photographer June 17, 2010 07:06 am

    well boo for only showing canon stuff. Honestly nikon is just as good.!

  • Michael McGrath June 1, 2010 05:21 am

    It depends on what photography you want to do, Bernadette, what photography you can do, what your level of experience , if any , is in photography , what you are willing to spend and what you can afford ?

    If you have no previous knowledge or experience , I suggest you buy a secondhand SLR such as a Canon EOS 300V for about fifty quid , a roll of film , shoot it , have it developed and see what you can do , all in all that will cost you less than sixty quid to find out before you buy an expensive DSLR that you might never use .

    And if all comes to all, you can resell the Canon on ebay and be none the worse for your adventure .

    I would warn that there seems to be an idea out there that shooting in digital is as easy as falling off a log . It is - and it isn't .
    It isn't as cheap as they say either . Batteries are a constant drain in digital . All the paraphenalia and all you have to learn in post-processing , plus paying for Photoshop and updates, plus inks ( dreadful expense ! ) , paper etc - by the time you're finished you'll probably find that dropping your 36-shot film into your local D & P merchant was much easier and less expensive too .

    And would you want to take more than 36 shots , of what, where ? These are questions you have to ask yourself that only you can answer .
    Will you buy all the expensive digital set-up and then find that you want to do 30 x 40 blow ups best done in medium format film ?
    Do you prefer film , or will you find that you do, that you will be limited by digital , after all 99 per cent of the best photos ever taken so far are all taken with film cameras .
    Have you the computer know-how for digital, have you a sufficiently powerful computer as regards memory and processor right now ?
    Or would you be better off in just buying a compact point-and-shoot digital if you only want to shoot digital of family and friends, maybe a few scenes , for the fun of it . In that case a Canon Powershot or Panasonic that can be bought online for a hundred quid inc card is all you need .
    Whatever you decide , best of luck, Bernadette ! Cheers , Michael .

  • bernadette escusar May 31, 2010 03:38 am

    hi too all... i hope somebody cud help me... i want to go to a photography school... ofcourse i will buy my camera... cud anyone help me or somebody reccomend me a good camera to start for my new career tnx!

  • Michael McGrath May 29, 2010 11:41 pm

    I was working with the Sony Alpha 900 this morning with Zeiss lens - my partner photographer bought it - at St. John's Confirmation, St; John's Parish , Kilkenny , |Ireland .
    It is a fabulous machine - but we both agreed that all anybody needs is the Sony Alpha 230 , every bit as good until you hit the bigger enlargements - that new 230 kit lens is exceptional , we both agreed .
    And although I use Hasselblads, Bronicas, big Nikons , even Canons and Panasonics on the job in any given week, I love the Sony 230 for a nice light and small walkaround camera .
    I should mention that I used my old Fuji S2 Pro for some shots that I wanted wide Dynamic Range in - but I wouldn't trust it to keep going for several hundred shots of a whole series of Confirmation shots with the Bishop , after all it's 8 years old now , and can hiccup !!! It's fine for a score of shots at a time in thast fab Fuji super sensor colour .
    But the 230 is just as good - especially when you switch it to high D.R. .
    The families themselves all use Canons , that's what I find . Cheers, Michael .
    Afterweards a French tourist insisted on getting a shot of me with his Pentax K20D .

  • handyman bristol May 29, 2010 10:31 pm

    Thanks Michael McGrath,i will check the sony 230 out.I am currently just a snapper but i still want the best quality i can get,regards,mark

  • Michael McGrath May 29, 2010 08:40 am

    The Canon 40D , but not now !
    No way do I want that Err99 to crop up in the middle of an important shoot, a wedding eek !

  • Michael McGrath May 29, 2010 08:38 am

    It's a pity about the Err99 Thing with Canon DSLRs as I had begun to fancy the 40somewhat myself .

  • CHERYL May 29, 2010 07:27 am

    Michael McGrath,

    :D I finally took the plunged and bought myself a dlsr - i went for the sony 330!!!! thanks for your advise and tips

  • Michael McGrath May 29, 2010 05:28 am

    Cheryl , the Canon 1000D also suffers from the Err99 bug that infects Canon .

  • Michael McGrath May 29, 2010 05:22 am

    Haha ! You're learning now that you're on the Digi Roundabout , Handyman Bristol . All Digitals , especially all DSLRs , are a load of rubbish , so buy a good cheap digital DSLR like the Sony 230 , and save the rest towards buying a good secondhand Real Camera ,like the Mamiya RB/ RZ 67 , that no digital comes near !

    Worlds apart , it depends if you want to be a snapper all your life ( digital ) or a Real Photographer ( film ) .

    However if you only have 700 , looks like you'll be buying in at the entry level of the DSLR market , so watch out for the Err99 Failure problem endemic amongst entry - level and mid-range Canon DSLR , Err99 failure happens pretty frequently up to Canon 40D / 400D , sometimes even in a Canon 1D Mk 111 .

    Therefore I suggest the Sony Alpha 230/ 330 / 380 or the Nikon D5000 - or the Pentax K-x .

  • handyman bristol May 29, 2010 03:54 am

    So i have £700 to spend and i am not sure which is the best camera to buy as there are so many on the market.a few years back i bought a brand new minolta dimage 7 which cost £800,what a load of rubbish it was so i am a little scepticle about my next camera.

  • Michael McGrath May 24, 2010 06:45 am

    Pentax are a great bargain who don't rip off their customers either !!!

  • Michael McGrath May 24, 2010 06:43 am

    Sony is as good as either Canon or Nikon now - and much more affordable , especially for beginners, too :-)

    For instance the entry-level Sony Alpha 230 comes with as better kit lens than the Canon 40D and the Nikon D90 now , as it's a Zeiss equivalent . There are |real Zeiss lenses provided by Sony now, also you can use all Minolta lenses almost, second-hand and new, Independent lenses for Minolta etc, you can pick up lenses for as cheap as twenty dollars for your Sony, you no longer have toi break your back paying for a Canon or a Sony lens, when every autofocus lens you put on your Sony immediately becomes anti-shake every bit as good as Canon and Nikon where you have to pay for the antishake every time you buy one of their lenses , they are a rip-off , Canon are being left behind - and the sensor in the Nikon D300 is no great shakes either .
    And the Sony D850 and D900 full frames are top of the pile , better than Canon, and up with Nikon - for half the price .
    We're not all millionaires, and this is something I keep in mind when advising anybody buying a DSLR, so buy Sony for that reason alone .

  • nikhil May 24, 2010 12:56 am

    hey guys, im nikhil and i have a nikon d90 .
    which i bought a month ago . this article is really canon biased,..! but nikon is also one of the best brands. anyone who is a beginner to dslr world i recommend buying nikon rather than canon because its cheap and the results we get are really outstanding,..!
    im not saying that canon is bot good but that beginners feel the nikon beginner dslrs more comfortable. thanks and no offence..

  • CHERYL May 11, 2010 12:55 am

    thanks Mr. Michael McGrath!!!

  • Michael McGrath May 10, 2010 04:37 am

    The Canon 1000d , NO .
    The Nikon D5000 YES .
    Canon have dropped back terribly , the latest Sony are better, the Nikon D5000 is as good as the Nikon D90 - and that is good .
    But, to build up a good lens system over the years c heaply, it has to be the new Sony series that will take all Minolta AF lenses including lenses like the famous Beercan .

    Right now for entry level :
    1. The Sony Alpha 230. 330.380 .
    2. The Nikon D5000
    3, The Pentax K-x

    whichever one of those suits you , oncve you try them out .

  • Michael McGrath May 10, 2010 04:29 am

    The Sony Alpha 330, which I would have got for the Live View - but I got a knock-down knock-out bargain in a Sony Alpha 230 here in Ireland , at Argos, for 324 Euro . a few weeks ago and I am delighted with it . The new DT 18-55 SAM kit lens is simply fabulous , as good as Zeiss, in fact I am beginning to think that it is a Zeiss , and Sony also have available a series of new Zeiss lenses for their 330, 230, 380 and other SLRs . You can use any Minolta AF lens as well , that becomes Anti-Shake the second you put it on the Sony , so you could build up a good selection of lenses, a good system through the years, at much less expense as Canon or Nikon, every bit as good, so go for the Sony Alpha 330 , it's a Beaut :-)

    The only way Nikon or Canon would be a bit better is for sports as they has a slightly better continuous shooting mode . |But as I use eight Pro cameras as well, I don't worry about that .

    But people actually stop me in the street to admire the Sony , it is that eye-catching and stylish , space age !
    And it's well built as well , much better built than the cheaper entry level Canon and Nikon .

    Al in all, Ideal for landscapes .

    Outside of the Sony, I will add to you problems of selection by nominating the Pentax K-x that also has anti-shake in its body . It's even better than the more expensive professional Pentaxes, Pentax must have turned it out so good by mistake and must be kicking themselves for doing so !!!

  • Connie May 9, 2010 09:37 pm

    I love my Sony A700. I also have a Sony A350. I love my Sony BUT~~~Had I known then (2.5 years ago) What I know now I would of gone with a brand tht offers MORE lenses. I shoot MOSTLY nature/birds, flowers. Sony is catching up but I think they are alittle behind in the lens area. So would I recommend the Sony A330? I'd prob go with the A550 if you can afford it. (I think they have a good sale now) But if you are going to get serious down the road compare the two manufactors lens (prime~ fast lens ava. and prices) I think that will help you make your decission.

  • CHERYL May 9, 2010 05:51 am

    hi!!! i am planning to get myself a dlsr and am at a toss between canon 1000d and sony 330. which would you recommend for an entry level photog who wants to shoot 'life' ? - which is better (now and in the long run in terms of upgrades, accessories etc) between the 2??

    appreciate the help!! :D

  • CHERYL May 8, 2010 05:33 pm

    hi! i am very much interested in buying a dlsr camera. i want to start photgraphy focusing on landscape and people. i am at a toss between a sony a330 and a canon 1000d - which do you think is better for a beginner who may want to seriously take up photography in the future. which of the 2 models do you think is the better value for money with good features? appreciate your help!!! :D

  • Christopher aka Paul May 6, 2010 02:58 am

    For those looking to get into Nikon bodies, the entry level beginners: Nikon D40 and D40X. Entry level for more experienced or those who are serious in developing their skills: D90 (which I have and appreciate because I can use both older and newer lenses). D700 for the photo-journalists and events photographers.

    [eimg link='' title='Tabaquite Open Bible Sunday 25th April 2010 052' url=''][eimg link='' title='Tabaquite Open Bible Sunday 25th April 2010 052' url='']

  • Michael McGrath April 29, 2010 11:32 am

    And also for you, Jeremy in Florida, for sports, the Nikon D90 - which also has the benefit of the most fabulous HD Video .

  • Michael McGrath April 29, 2010 11:27 am

    Saravanan, for you, Option number one , the Nikon D90 . .

  • Michael McGrath April 29, 2010 11:20 am

    TO Marina Hayes : The Canon 30D - but for not much more , you could say that the Canon 40D IS indeed Professional . Sacrifice , go on a diet to get the Canon 40D !!! Cheers, Michael .

  • Michael McGrath April 29, 2010 11:15 am

    Heather, I have the Panasonic Lumix Leica FZ7 , great bridge camera with , amongst my cameras , much like the FZ38 , use it mostly when I need the 432 mm equivalent tele end of the lens .

    My advice : Go SLR now, get the Sony Alpha 230 at rockbottom special price right now from Sony , cheapest and one of the best little SLRs in the world, especially for a lady's hands !

    If you have a hundred dollars more , the Sony Alpha 330 , same as the 230 but with adjustable LIVE VIEW .

    Or the Nikon D5000 , Pentax K-x ( both can be worked a Pro cameras on RAW, Yes, Wow ! ) . Best of all, but more expensive if you have the money, the Canon 40D, every bit as good as the Canon 7D except for some advanced technical features that you probably won't want and definitely won't use, coming up from point-and-shoots .

    Careful, that dreaded virus " Gadgetitis " is very contageous in these parts( GRIN ) .

  • Michael McGrath April 29, 2010 10:59 am

    Marina ,
    The Canon 30D is easily the most professional . Get it .
    Michael .

  • Michael McGrath April 29, 2010 10:53 am

    BEST BARGAIN right now is the Sony Alpha 230 DSLR with the new DT 18-55 SAM lens, which is GOOD !

    I picked one up downtown here in Kilkenny City, Ireland, at Argos last week for 324 Euro , and I believe that it's on similar offer RIGHT NOW ( Don't Delay !!! ) in Argos and other outlets throughout the UK and USA - Sony is far to big a giant to mess around for long . .

    It's a wonderful upgrade of the Sony Alpha 200 . I'm doubly happy as I have a good Minolta 28-100 mm lens that works perfectly with the camera on Steady Shot . I aim to mosey around Dublin next week and pick up some more of the Miniolta AF lenses cheap . And this Sony is such a Looker that people come over to me in the street to admire it.

    But it's not the Best - that's my eight-year-old Fuji S2 Pro DSLR that still beats the socks off every Canon and Nikon in sight ( except the Nikon D3X ) , and is winning hands down, going as strong as ever, giving all the ladies beautiful skintones , it must be the best digital camera in the world for portraiture , outside of the later Fuji S3 Pro and S5 Pro DSLRs, BUT my S2 works on adaptor cord with my Metz Mecablitz hammerhead flashguns - Metz is the best flash unit in the world and, standing on all my 44 years as a Professional ( since 1966 ) , I defy anybody to prove otherwise , though others will still have their preferences .

    The only way to operate flash is OFF camera , directing your flash with one hand whilst shooting the camera with the other ( that is, of course, outside studio ) . Sometimes you need three hands, as a Pro you live with that - work it out :-)

    But I'm old-fashioned - I still only trust medium format film cameras in studio for big blowups, Hasselblad, Bronica, Mamiya etc ., and especially for Black-and-White , digital systems not being up to B&W because of their Bayer Filters ( except the couple of Foveon sensor cameras, of course ) .

    I occasionally use something in 35 mm for B&W portraits outdoors that have to be taken FAST , such as the Nikon N90S ( F90X) or the CanonEOS 300V which latter I have found to be the fastest camera to use when I'm pushed, like at a Church, taking a stack of portraits of Confirmation groups with the Bishop in 30 minutes flat, though the Fuji S2 Pro is great at this too ( you don't get a split second even to look at the screen ) , you collapse adterwards !!! And although I still work a wet darkroom on top of all this, I usually scan my roll film to computer , print in digital .

    A photographer going around with a DSLR with a flash stuck on top , whether he or she is a working Press or Wedding photographer or not, is a dead giveaway for a Digi Kid no matter how old they are , because they are not controlling , they can't possibly, control light like that !!!

    In the DxOmark test ( google it ) , the Nikon D5000, the Nikon D90 and the Pentax K-x are in the Top Twenty cameras for having processors that deliver the best RAW , Nikons with their Sony sensors win hands down over Canons, and , not only that, but there are two leading Sony Alpha , the 900 and 850, up there amongst the full frames beating or drawing with Canons too , even drawing level with or even beating the Phase medium format digital backs !!! The Nikon D3X beats everything in sight, except for one Phase m/f digital back . Things are changing rapidly , friends, and it's the Canons that are falling back .

    Now semi-retired I run a home studio in my townhouse in this small medieval Irish city of Kilkenny. I meet and chat ' shop ' with thousands of camera-toting tourists in the streets every summer here , mostly Americans.

    Five million yanks descend on Ireland every year, they're almost like residents now and, Boy do you meet some characters from the States here, the Yanks are on the way, with the biggest, best, most expensive cameras and lenses you will ever see anywhere .

    But a word of advice - be careful with all that gear, don't carry it in flashy camera cases, not even here in Ireland anymore, dig out some old canvas sports carry-alls for your gear - Safe Shooting, I look forward to seeing you all again this summer .

    In this day and age , the first firm to manufacture chains or handcuffs for cameras will make millions .

    Michael McGrath,
    Pro Photographer,
    Kilkenny ,
    Ireland .

  • JsQuare April 23, 2010 12:24 pm

    saravanan : get a D90, i owned 1 and alot of things to learn from there. :)

  • Marina Hayes April 22, 2010 02:42 am

    Thanks for the article! It was very helpful. I have one last question: could somebody please explain the difference between Canon EOS 30D and Canon Rebel (T1i, T2i, Etc). Which one is more professional? I'm planning to keep my camera for a long time, so i want to get one with the most features and the closes to professional. :) Thank you!

  • Connie E March 23, 2010 04:54 am

    I own a Sony A350 and Sony A700. I several prime and not prime lens. I LOVE the picture quality, the weight..I love everything about my A700. What I don't love is the ava. of lenses. If you don't think this is impt to you SONY is wonderful! IF you think you will want a long/fast lens. I would tell you to look at another brand that does have the lenses ava. I'm not a pro. Just passing on what I have ran into.

  • Jack B March 19, 2010 09:43 am

    This is a very nice summary of the things you should take into consideration. For DSLR buyers I would add: pick the brand first and base the decision on what make of camera your friends have. You’ll hopefully keep you camera for a while and future upgrades will likely be with the same manufacturer. Buying similar gear to your friends will allow you to borrow lenses and share tips. If you find yourself running out of battery, there’s more chance someone you’re with will have a compatible spare. More info:

    Always make sure you go to a camera store and try the camera you're considering. How it feels to hold your camera is important:

  • giffary March 16, 2010 05:11 pm

    Definitely a great read on all of the great facts on DSLR camera. You should read it before buy some camera.

  • dslr March 10, 2010 01:04 pm

    Nice article. By the way, I owned a used Canon Digital Rebel XTi. Even though I bought a used one, but I'm really satisfied with the capabilities. An old model but with abundance of feature to explore.

  • Michaela March 9, 2010 06:01 pm

    Hi. I've had a Sony f707 for 7 years. I've been thinking about buying a DSLR for awhile. Just no clue which to choose since there's so many options out there. I'd rather have IS in the camera body. I don't like the fact Pentax some of their DSLR's run off of batteries. That just totally turned me off. I don't really care about a tiltable LCD screen. I'd like the trash button and the button to view taken pictures to be in the same area. I'm used to my cybershot camera but feel my camera is outdated. My flash no longer even works. My hands are kind of small. I recently held a Cannon camera.. I can't remember the model.. it's bothering me that I can't remember. It fit perfectly in my hand. It is one of the more advanced Cannon dslr's and is heavier. I liked the setup on the back better than a lot of dslr's I looked at in reviews ect. I'm usually more big on Japanese technology, always have been. I'd rather have more options in a camera. The one I have now there's not much you can do.

  • Heather March 4, 2010 04:53 am

    I'm hoping to get a DSLR soon but dont want to spend too much on one. At the moment I've got a Canon Ixus point and shoot, but would would love to upgrade, I've been looking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 and the Fuji FinePix S2000HD but I'm not sure what they're like. Any idea's on these cameras or suggestions for others?

  • Jeremy(In Florida) February 15, 2010 02:38 am

    What is a good SLR camera for sporting events like WWE, baseball, or football?? I'm so sick and tired of going to these events with my crappy j110w point and shoot digital camera and ends up taking blurry pictures and it's frustrating. I've read many, many, reviews on SLR cameras for sports but I don't want to settle for one and be stuck with an expensive camera that's just as bad as my digital camera that takes blurry pics.

  • saravanan February 8, 2010 12:53 am

    Dear friends...

    I am planning to buy DSLR in couple of weeks..
    I love to travel a lot... so my priority is traveling photography.... Also i like to experiment in all categories....

    I ve three choices..... D90 rebel T1i(500D) D5000

    I have read lot of reviews... I like to go with D90 but thinking of cost factor.. so help me to choose between 2 and 3...thank u.

  • Tim January 21, 2010 02:59 am

    Excellent guide. Thanks for posting. It is going to be of great help.

  • Bob Samuels January 12, 2010 09:07 am

    The best camera for you depends on your specific needs. If you are not sure which camera to buy, I found this flow chart that helped me figure out which one I needed:

    @andrew: Maybe that will help you decide which one works best for you.

  • Andrew January 9, 2010 10:59 pm

    Hello.hope someone can help. I want to buy a dslr camera but iam unsure which one to go for .I have been looking mainly at the panasonic lumix g1.But i dont know if there is another dslr camera out there for less money and has the same features.Any help i would be grateful Thank you

  • sistereinstein December 28, 2009 12:30 am

    Can you please expand on #7 under " How to Decide Which DSLR Camera is for You?"

    7. Future Upgrades - will you be in a position to upgrade your camera again in the foreseeable future? While entry level DSLRs are attractively priced they tend to date more quickly than higher end models and you run the risk of growing out of them as your expertise grows and you thirst for more professional features. Ask yourself some questions about your current level of expertise in photography and whether you’re the type of person who learns how to master something and then wants to go to a higher model that gives you more control and features. It’s a difficult question but you might find it’s worthwhile to pay a little more in the short term for a model that you can grow into.

  • Bonny December 11, 2009 01:17 am

    I wanted to know which camera would be best suited for me. Following are the reasons why I wish to buy a DSLR:

    1. I like to shoot 'expressions' in a mob or streets the most
    2. I also like landscapes

    Awaiting your suggestions.

    Thanks & regards,

  • Raphie December 10, 2009 10:01 am

    Buy Nikon D40. Just the D40 not the D40x. The two cameras are just identical but a big difference in the price. One feature added to the latter which probably what makes it worth much than its predecessor is the megapixel. We don't need that. The size of sensor the two cameras are using. You go with the D40. Everything you want to achieve in photography the D40 can give you the best. Becoming a professional in photography doesn't mean having expensive cameras. You have to accustom yourself with the use and give that determination to the craft. Our camera is just a tool we use to take pictures but it's in the eyes and mind of a photographer that create the photographs.

  • ian November 24, 2009 02:17 am

    Am really interested in purchasing one, though my pocket's kinda tight right now and I have more 'important' things to use with these few bucks I have. But I soooo wanna get one of these DSLR cameras.. Although a bit hesitant since I am used with conventional digi-cams which are (for me) user-friendly that all you have to do is click, click and click. But I am still planning to get one of these cool stuff.

    Nice article by the way :]
    I hope Imma used these write-ups of yours very soon. :]

  • Cristy November 17, 2009 08:34 am

    Hey! I'm in the market for a DSLR camera. I'm interested in the Canon Rebel XTi, but having a hard time finding it in stores. Is the Canon Rebel XSI the newer version of the XTi?? What is the difference in the 2 and which do you think would be best for someone just starting out in photography? Thanks so much. Your site has been very helpful to me!

  • Orestes November 7, 2009 06:44 am

    I am considering buying a Canon EOS 50D or Rebel T1i, but I am not sure which one to buy. My only hesitation is Canon itself since I have had bad experiences with their crop of Canon printers and their horrible customer service when talking about problems which I had with 3 different Canon printers in the past. At this moment, I only buy HP printers. Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Annie October 21, 2009 01:38 pm

    @James: I disagree that it's better to buy a good camera body than a good lens. I think it is the opposite. I shoot professionally and need light camera bodies because most of the time, I'm running around with kids. (I shoot mainly children & families.)

    I carry 2 bodies with me during my shoots: a Nikon D40x and Nikon D90. The D40x is considered "entry level" and the D90 for "amateurs/serious photographers", but not "professional" grade. However, I have some kick-ass lenses, and the results are amazing! I learned this quickly and sold my kit lenses right away to invest in professional lenses.

    I think they are the LENSES that make ALL the difference! The camera bodies are important up to a point: ISO range, viewfinder size, shutter speed, # of focal points, image size/quality. So get what you need with the body, then save up for the nice lenses!

    You can check out my images at and They are all taken with a Nikon D40x and D90!

    And one more thing, getting great images takes a lot of shooting practice, so instead of upgrading equipment, you should first think of how you can learn different methods of shooting by practicing, viewing photography blogs, etc.

    Happy shooting!

  • Sime October 17, 2009 08:37 pm

    @road2ambidexterity :: Leica, for beginners? I'd like to see that

  • road2ambidexterity October 17, 2009 06:29 pm

    Canon, as we all know, is already a common brand of camera. Same as Nikon. How about talking Fujiflim, Leica and others??

  • Andy Wong October 8, 2009 06:58 am

    Definitely a great read on all of the great facts on DSLR camera.

    Thanks for making this post very comprehensive, Darren. I enjoyed thoroughly.

    I recently purchased my own Nikon D5000 with 18-55mm lens and I like what's to offer, as it's suggested to an entry-level DSLR for many first time DSLR buyers.

    So far so good. Still have a lot of learning to do.

  • Karim September 19, 2009 08:54 am

    REPLY TO: vee (30th August 2009)

    The X70 is a great compact camera in that it has the range equivalent of a 24mm - 640mm zoom lens of a full-frame SLR. However, if you want to take a photography class, you would want a camera that gives you full manual control for when you need it.

    The new K-x is an excellent entry-level camera with many advanced features (including cinema speed 720p HD movie in Motion JPEG). However, this camera is not yet available (but it can be pre-ordered).

    The K2000 is a great entry-level DSLR with many advanced featuers. It is a 10 Megapixel camera that, like the K-x, allows metered manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes for the photography student. It has several auto modes including a "green" mode that gives it point-and-shoot simplicity of a compact camera if that is what you are used to.

    Any of the mid-level or advanced Pentax cameras such as the K200D, K20D or K-7 will have the ability to go into manual modes but may be overkill for someone new to DSLR photography.

    Now the Pentax X70 costs about US$400.00 and the K2000 with a two-lens kit, 18-55mm & 50-200mm lenses (27-300mm full-frame equivalent), costs about US$600.00 so if money is a problem, you may want to start out with one lens and buy a second later.

    My first SLR was a full manual Pentax K1000 with no automatic features.

  • Dinko September 17, 2009 10:11 am

    This article helped me to choose my camera. Now i'm with Nikon D80

  • Heather September 9, 2009 08:48 pm

    I need to purchase a camera for photographing museum objects and people looking at the objects. Can anyone recommend a good camera for close up work please?

  • Vee August 30, 2009 01:56 am

    I recently purchased a pentax X70 and would like to know what to look for while deciding if I should keep it. i have 30 days to decide whether or not to return it. I think it is considered between a point & shoot and a DSLR. I am interested in taking a photography class and want more options.

  • Happy Hippo August 27, 2009 08:35 am

    Hi, nice DSLR guide, I also wrote a personal opinion on how to choose a DSLR or other type of camera here:

  • Karim August 18, 2009 03:31 pm

    I could not find a date on this article or its latest update but from the date on comments, it is pre- October 2006. Apparently still relevant today.

    To clarify a few things, Terry said that JPEG was 256 values per colour, not 256 colours. That is, it records 256x256x256 colours while RAW typically records more values per colour and thus more shades of grey. RAW is also not lossy and all information recorded on the sensor is recorded in the image. Not so with JPEG.

    Other reasons that existed to consider with memory cards are speed, capacity and reliability. Today, the fastest SD and fastest CF cards are comparable in all areas so no need to consider memory card at all except for physical size.

    Pentax may not sell well in the USA (and are certainly not marketed well but are huge in Europe and Japan). Best bang for the buck. They always made three levels of cameras in any given (D)SLR line; entry-level, Intermediate and Advanced. They never refer to any model as "amateur" or "Professional" as such a status does not reflect skill level.

    Pentax has always been on the cutting edge. They invented the Pentaprism and automatic mirror return. They made the first multi-coated lens. they made the first auto-focus SLR --ten years before the market was ready for AF SLR. They made the first AF medium format SLR. They made the first in-camera image stabilisation/dust removal system. They made the first TTL metering system. They made the first DX film SLR. They made the first AE SLR. They made the first weather-sealed SLR.

    I am not sure about this but I think they made the first OTF flash metering SLR and the first motor drive.

    They are still a name to be reckoned with in the entry-level through Advanced SLR categories. They have not "given up" but they will not bring a camera to market to compete in a certain category until they have figured out how to keep backward compatibility and that it meets their standard for image quality. To wit, Pentaxians had to wait a long time for the long anticipated 6MP *ist series and then the long anticipated K-D series. Pentax wanted the image sensor/processor-engine up to parr before releasing a camera.

    Other manufacturers may have cameras with certain premium features you may not find on a Pentax but bang for the buck, in both image quality and camera design/features, they are hard to beat.


  • z980 July 16, 2009 01:49 pm

    Prices of DSLR cameras have now come down to the level where they are practically no more expensive than a standard digital model.

  • Jade July 12, 2009 03:43 pm

    Amazing thread..Thanks all who made us novices minds a bit clearer , what with the vast array of dslrs you get out there

    ok..ive narrowed down to 2. Nikon D300 and a D700 with a 18-200mm (3.5-5.6) OR 70-200 (2.8) OR 24-70 (2.8)
    The 18-200 is not a full framed lens. I might add.

    My confusion is: is D 700 worth the extra money or is it just hype to sell the model?

    This is my first DSLR :)


  • jack June 15, 2009 11:17 am

    How about Cannon EOS 1000D with EFS 18-55 Kit ? It's cheaper what ?! I'm thinking of buy it ? Can someone proceed some opinion ?

  • Gee June 2, 2009 02:01 pm

    DSLR's are beter equipped to handle UV now than old film cams so UV is less or not at all
    neccessary . what do you think og the D60 vs g10 powershot ?

  • Katier May 25, 2009 10:32 am


    the D60 isn't a 'bad' camera however as Nikon is a premium brand.. for them to produce a budget camera such as the D60 means they cut corners. This even carries on through their crop sensor range. Any of their crop sensor cameras will be more expensive than similarly specced cameras from other brands.

    Canon has a similar 'problem'. Not so bad as Nikon but they are still generally pricier due to being a 'known' name.

    Pentax is the best value for money brand. Their budget cameras ( the K-m/k2000 and k200D ) are superb, best value for money, very well made cameras. The mid range camera (K20D) is superb value for money and again very very well made. The new K-7 promises to continue this trend and would appear to be as good as any crop sensor camera available from any manufacturer.

    Sony have some excellent cameras. They tend to be more feature packed, but less well built than Pentax's. They use the old Minolta mount so have a respectible range ( although not as good as Pentax or Nikon - both of whom have the biggest ranges, Pentax probably shading it ) and like Pentax use in body image stabilisation (means any lens has IS).

    So overall the D60 is popular due to it being 'a nikon' but it is hamstrung and not the best buy.

  • Prajwal May 24, 2009 09:08 pm

    I've been ploanning to get a Nikon d60. This will be my first dslr. But I could hardly find "D60" on above comments. Isn't it that good?

  • DSLR Camera May 14, 2009 02:50 pm

    Top article on DSLR Camera. Your article is in-depth and clearly structure. Really helps me alot

  • Jacqui April 24, 2009 05:18 pm

    I am wanting to purchase a new dSLR. I have searched and had just about decided on the Canon D450, until
    someone showed me the Olympus E620. I was very impressed. Haven't been able to find out a review on the
    use of one, only a review as per manufacturers remarks.

    Has anyone used one, or are there reasons why the Olympus brand is not as popular, and or, will the E620
    make the Olympus much more popular. Budget wise it is a good price and with the Art Filters already built in,
    it saves on costs again.

    Love to hear some comments.

  • Richard April 5, 2009 09:55 pm


    Darren's recommendations are perfectly reasonable given that Canon and Nikon represent the vast majority of the DSLR market. Sony (nee Konica Minolta) and Olympus are small players now (how the mighty have fallen!). And forget about Pentax, they're not even trying any more! While the K20D is not a bad camera, Pentax have no high end or professional models.

    For April, 2009, I would recommend the following Canon models to most readers: 500D/T1i, 40D (or 50D), 5D Mark II. I'm slightly leery of the 50D because most reviews say its image quality is not as good as the 40D's.

    I would also recommend the following Nikon models: D90, D300, D700.

    Olympus have excellent models in the E-420, E-520, E-620, and E-30. The E-3 is getting rather dated, but it's still a fine camera, especially for the low price. But image quality wise, Olympus falls behind Canon and Nikon.

    I just bought a 40D (with 17-85mm) at the bargain price of CAD$1,180 and I'm very happy with it.

  • Dee March 18, 2009 02:00 am

    Does sony A-200 is quite a good one for an entry level D-SLR??I'm just a beginner in photography.. And eager to learn it..

  • Katier February 7, 2009 06:52 am

    I think it's pretty shocking that you, in an informative thread, then proceed to fail to be balanced in camera reccomendation.

    IMO you should have done some research on cameras before reccomending models. You don't even mention possible competing models which wouldn't take long to do ( just post the competing model and maybe a link to a review ).

    Pentax (I am pretty die hard Pentax), sony and Olympus all provide alternatives. I believe the olympus sensors are not too hot so I'd be tentative to reccomend them but Sony and Pentax provide very good viable alternatives. Pentax usually proving to be solid workhorses with excellent build quality ( usually better than others in the same price bracket) and top quality sensors or Sony who have lighter builds but more features ( and probably slightly worse image quality ).

  • shebin January 21, 2009 06:04 pm

    hi dear
    i have a sony dslr alpha 350 camera.what about your openion for that camera

  • subhrojit January 20, 2009 05:28 am

    hi daren.i am student and intersted in photodraphy.i am studying media science.i want to become a film in the form of cinema is a very essential part as i recently i have joined photography course.i want to buy a budget is 25-40thousand.please recomend me the best.have a nice day.waiting for ur reply.

  • Fahad Miller January 16, 2009 12:13 pm

    I would recommend the Sony A300. It has live view, super steady shot, and many other features that make it an awesome DSLR for a beginner who want good quality pictures/

  • alc January 14, 2009 04:34 am

    what is better canon 1000d or nikon d60 for first time dslr??

  • Sujoy January 2, 2009 05:31 pm


    I need your help. I am very interested in still photography. I own a Sont DSC H-9. In fact , I believe I take very ordinary pictures. Can you look at my orkut or flickr profile, and suggest me those changes, which can improve my photos, from ordinary to a somthing better.

    My flickr link is as below:

    My Orkut link is as below :

  • Kamahl December 30, 2008 09:08 pm

    Very interesting and helpful article. Thanks for sharing it. I recently bought a Nikon D90 from here I'm still new at it but it seems to meet all the requirements needed to be a great camera. Can't wait to discover her full potential =)

  • yam macalino December 5, 2008 11:45 pm

    is the Canon EOS 1000D a good camera and is it good enough for its price?

  • IVIark December 4, 2008 01:36 pm

    sorry, I mean 450D

  • IVIark December 4, 2008 01:30 pm

    I'm thinking of getting my first DSLR and I happend to find this reccommendation site on google ^^

    any inputs on the Canon D450?

  • Steph November 7, 2008 05:32 am

    Great artical but I am still at a loss. I have had a point and shoot for about a year now I have got to the point where most of the time I can trick it into doing what I want but I have a fasination with Macro and wildlife meaning I need a telephoto lens and a Macro lens. I am also do portraits, which lens is good for that? So I guess my question is what lenses are right for me? I am at a toss up between the Canon EOS 30D and the Nikon 40D.

  • How to Choose A Digital Camera September 22, 2008 02:51 am

    It's a great article, Well written and informative. Will definitely help in my next purchase to upgrade my current 3 mega pixel dinosaur.

  • SuperDave August 24, 2008 12:56 pm

    I used to have an old pentax 34mm from the 70' was great till it was stolen by the badgage handlers at the airport (always carry on)I have used several point and shoot's. I want to get back into a slr, I miss the great pic's it took.

    My budget is on the lower side but I am seriously thinking of merging from life pics for fun and working into a new carrer, If photography will work for me what starter or lower mid range camera would allow me to merge into the pro or semi-pro, photographer status. I agree that the camera doesn't make photographer but I want quality pic's that a low budget wedding,or other event would be happy with,without spending a fortune like I did at my wedding. Any ideas?

  • liz July 23, 2008 03:52 am

    I have a Nikon d70 w/ 50mm lens. It was my first d-camera, got it slightly used from a friend a year ago. And I love it, took it to the race track, yes with the small lens, the 200 miles@hour looks like they are standing still! Why go for shoot&point when you can get pics like that? Snapshots are crystal clear,awesome detail! And when I compare the quailty w my friends point&shoot I WIN!! And also I was confused with a prof.photographer at race track with my d70 and gain acess to pit area! AWESOME!!

  • dgamer007 July 14, 2008 03:41 am

    I recently bought the nikon d300 from here and I'm really satisfied. It's my first dslr camera and my photos are amazing, infact I'm thinking of enetering a local photo competition with it =)

  • Henry Kuzminski June 29, 2008 07:59 am

    SDLRs with a flipout and or rotate LCDs other than Sony

  • april March 19, 2008 12:45 am

    what's the best for starters (especially if your thinking about the price, too)?

    i would really appreciate your suggestions..

  • Jurpaz March 5, 2008 09:52 am

    And what about new Sony A350? Anyone have any sugestions? LIve view and titlting screen seem very encouraging for potential amateur buyers - like me, but still, didn't hear any opinion on any Sony.

  • Nam January 21, 2008 12:44 pm

    I've done some research and for me, the D40 clearly came out on top(for the lower end of DSLRs). Great picture quality(read the reviews and see the sample pics, please); great portability(it's only a bit bigger than the large point n' shoots with the kit lens); great build and feel(find a store and hold a demo like I did). I haven't received mine yet 'cause I'm too lazy to go go downstairs to get mine from the mail box, but from the results I saw at the electronic store where I fooled with it and downloaded the pics to my own card, it's damn great!

    Also, if you plan on a 55-200mm VR lens upgrade, I strongly recommend Cameta Camera. They sold the D40 with kit lens plus that lens as a bundle for 659.99+18 shipping.

    They sell on both Amazon and Ebay and have been a brick n' mortar store in NY for quite a while now. Incredibly fast shipping. I had mine shipped to DC and it took 2 days to process and 1 afternoon to ship. Incredible.

    I also got a 50mm AF 1.8D nikkor. The lens is quite cheap, around 110 more or less. It won't focus on the D40, but I think I'll fair fine with manual F.

    Going to get me camera now ;)

  • TeQuieroXiaoXiong January 18, 2008 03:07 pm

    I'm about to buy one new DSLR.which one will be better for panoramic shots, pls?wide angle lense?
    advise leh plssssss!

  • Robert Ollary December 14, 2007 10:35 am

    Can anyone help that which DSLR camera should I buy for sports photography??? entry level type please

  • Stedniel KIng November 21, 2007 01:53 pm

    Which one is better Nikon D70 or Nikon D40 ( I dont know which one came out first).

    Canon vs Nikon? which one is better?

  • Tanya September 13, 2007 08:51 am

    Thanks for your input James. Last month I did buy the D40 and I'm having a blast with it. My budget only allowed me to get the one lens package deal, but I'm going to save/ask for a lens or two for Xmas! It's fun exploring the photographic "eye". I realize now too just how many premature winkles I have at 29 yrs old!!!! Good close ups on this camera, I'll have to invest in some anit-wrinkle cream now too! LOL I wish I could've bought a more expensive/ better camera, but I must say I am pleased with this one and I know I can grow with this one, and buy more accessories with this D40, for awhile yet. I bought a UV filter and carrying case for it right away. and borrowed a tripod... so I have the basics for now. Good luck to you too. Happy picture taking!

  • James August 29, 2007 04:15 pm

    The Nikon D40/D40x is a great starter camera and will meet most expectations of a novice. The only downside to the D40 series is that it can only use AF-S lenses, meaning that it has no AF (auto focus) in-body.

    Nikon has many AF-S lenses that will allow a new dSLR user to grow into the camera, however, if you want a really good prime, macro, or wide angle lens then you'll have to get the Nikon D80 instead.

    The Nikon D80 is a little more expensive, but the in-body AF will allow you to use any Nikon lens. Because of this, the Nion D80 will allow you to use it until you feel ready to get a professional dSLR- like the Nikon D2Xs or D3.

    For indepth reviews on the Nikon cameras, use these links:

    Nikon D40

    Nikon D40x

    Nikon D80

    FYI: I've been doing research for about 4 months now and I decided on the Nikon D40. Mainly because of price and the kit lens is much better then that of Canon's. I plan to build a lens collection over the next few years and then move to something similar to the Nikon D300. As many photographers have told me, its better to get a good body and then invest in more expensive lenses.

    This is a great Nikon D40 starter package:

    Good luck!!

  • Tanya August 2, 2007 12:18 pm

    Hi there I came about this website from Google search. It's been helpfull so far, as I now know abit more about what I'm looking for in my new purchase! I was wanting to buy a Canon or Nikon, as I've been told they're both good brands. I had the Nikon D40 (6.1 mgp)in mind (or the Nikon D40X which is 10 mgp, but it IS alittle more expensive so I'm still thinking). I was wondering what you think about the Nikon D40 for a first digital SLR, I do want something to challenge me, and something to grow into. I read that the pixel size isn't a huge deal if you're just using the photos for everyday. I do hope to enlarge other photos, at some point... is a 6.1 mgp good enough for that? I want something that I can change the shutter speeds/and settings... or leave it on auto when I need to. Thanks for you advice!

  • Frank July 27, 2007 05:54 am

    Just an opinion, but I think it's probably best just to skip over the "entry level" slr and go for one that you can grow with. In my own experience, I bought a Pentax ZX-30, and sold it a year later because it just didn't do what I wanted it to do. I ended up buying a Nikon F80, which is a great film camera.

    If you really want to learn to take good pictures, buy an old, completely manual 35mm slr, because it will force you to learn how to take a picture.

    I now use a D200, which I think is an incredible camera. Beware, it is big and heavy. The main reason I wanted it is because very little is hidden in menus. All the controls are at your fingertips, which is great because I have learned to use things that I never would have if they were buried in menus.

    In the Nikon range, skip the D40. It's probably a great camera, and I don't have any experience with it, but for almost any reason you would want a DSLR, you need the D80 for it to make a difference.

    Same goes for any "entry level" camera: you will only be entry level for a few months at best. Look into a Pentax K10D or Canon D30 if Nikon doesn't suit you.

  • daniel June 11, 2007 01:47 am

    i want the manual of dsr 400 digital camera i will apriate it if you send it to my box as soon as possible . thanks

  • victor May 30, 2007 01:51 am

    pls mine is qiet different. All i need is a complete manual for panasonic FZ50 and canon EOS 5D. pls i will ap[reciate it if it is send to my mail box as soon as possible. thanks.

  • Harvey G. May 20, 2007 03:45 am

    Any opinions on the newer Panasonic FZ50 or similar Leica V Lux?

  • Sapphire May 12, 2007 12:30 pm

    Just wanted to say that Nikon cameras do USE CF cards because I own one. Someone mentioned earlier that Nikon uses SD cards...true but not for all models.

  • bill w March 27, 2007 02:24 am

    How about Olympus 4/3rds is the photo quality as good comparably priced Nikon/Canon?

  • saeed February 16, 2007 05:39 am

    i want to buy nikon d200 that made buy japan
    how much is it?

  • Steve January 16, 2007 03:43 pm

    I bought the Nikon D50 after looking at a whole bunch of cameras. Its a great entry level camera and very well priced when compared to the Canon's. However it does not have some features and ISO settings that the more expensive cameras have. But to be honest most of the time when taking good pictures it comes down to the user and the lens. If both are good you'll get good photos regardless of how fancy the camera is.

  • Frederick Stewart Jnr. January 16, 2007 12:07 pm

    Love your site,plan to upgrade from my Canon S3 IS this year and a practical DSLR is what i am researching . I have been looking at the Pentax K10D for its built quality,weather sealing,in body image stabilization,lens cleaning technology, front and rear mode dial to name a few.The camera comes with a better than comp.kit lens and a sub $1000 price tab.Good value worth a look. Do love the Canon 30D i think Canon has the better cmos sensor better low light performance, much better in terms of built and shutter than the 400D.Canons rule the road when it comes to image quality,better processor in terms of out of the camera JPEGS , they all produce similar RAW results.Weather sealing which i think is very important, moisture and dust don't do well with such fine tools, and should be top on feature when choosing a DSLR . Good work Pentax, if the 30D had weather seals i would pay the extra ?

  • melissa January 6, 2007 02:58 am

    just found your site and love it! thanks!

    my two cents: i'm upgrading from a point and shoot to a dslr and had a lot of preconceived notions (on paper) of what i wanted. i mean, i reasearched to death. for me, it was between the canon rebel xti and the d40. but after dragging my butt out to the actual camera store, boy did my opinion change.

    the nikons, in the end, weren't for me ergonomically or for my projected use, but after looking at the xti, it was initially comfortable, but the grip was so small (and i have small hands!), my hand felt miserable after handling it for only 15 mins or so.

    then i held the 30D. all became right with the world. and someone then pointed out the control wheel (vs. menu buttons), and i was sold. sure, i'm going to pay a lot more, but the ergonomics and the step up to the control wheel are going to be worth it when i go out to shoot.

    it's def a camera i can grow in to.

    bottom line, no matter what the brand (like a few others have already mentioned): GO HOLD THE CAMERA and talk to people! it pays off!

  • Mouth December 14, 2006 09:01 am

    I've been shooting SLR for years. Started with a pentax ME (great camera btw even 20 years later) and have recently upgraded to a Nikon D70s.
    People think that the more they spend on a camera, the better their images will turn out. I can get a better image with my 20+ year old Pentax than the moron beside me who bought a 5D and couldn't caputure the broad side of a barn. Just because you have a fancy camera, doesn't mean you will shoot better!
    No he has an expensive camera that came with one lense, and after he pays it off in 3 years, he might be able to save up enough money for the L lense that 'must be the problem' as to why his images look like crap.
    Anybody can stick a camera on auto and shoot something, it doesn't mean your images are going to WOW people.

  • Blah November 27, 2006 04:17 am

    Ahm, if I would write such an article I'd would see to have testes most of the DSLRs. The best entry DSLR atm is defintely the Nikon D40 which offers most of the professional stuff and the price is simply the best.

  • Beasman November 8, 2006 01:02 pm

    David - Thanks for the info. That's what I was afraid of.

  • David November 5, 2006 10:32 pm

    @Beasman - The Canon T series cameras all used FD mount lenses. The 400D (XTi) uses EF mount like all Canon EOS cameras. So no, the older FD lenses from the T70 won't fit on the 400D.

    I believe with enough mucking about you can get adapters etc to make them fit, but they're not very user-friendly at that point, you pretty much need to do manual metering and lose a lot of the functionality of your digital camera.

    I'm planning on buying a 400D myself and have looked into this as I have a few FD lenses from a T50 lying around.

  • Paul November 5, 2006 03:39 am

    Excellent article. I'm currently contemplating upgrading from a SLR-like model to a DSLR. As my knowledge of the manual-settings is pretty poor this blog really helps me improve, I am interested in what people think of other cameras beyond Canon/Nikon mostly because I have read so many good reviews of these I would like to find out more about their rivals (such as someone above mentions the Olympus model and I previously owned a nice olympus film-camera).

    I know that the "digital camera review' site does a good job but more sources of reliable reviews would be excellent (or ideally as mentioned more reviews on this site!!)

  • Crystal November 4, 2006 08:56 am

    I purchased the new Sony A100 a few weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. I had the Sony DSC-V1 and had purchased a Nkon D70 when I wanted to go to DSLR. The Nikon was too heavy for me to hold and my pictures were blurry from camera shake. The A100 has a Steady Shot feature. I took some action photos at my granddaughter's soccer game; her mother published them in a team newsletter and I basked in the positive comments about the pictures that I overheard at the next game!

    Please, do you have some instruction on Depth of Field, especially with a zoom lens that goes to 300?

  • JBENZ November 4, 2006 07:13 am

    I just moved up to my first DSLR this year from a Minolta DiMage Z3. I went for the Nikon D50 on (a) price, (b) comparative simplicity, (c) versatility (lots of accessories and lenses), (d) it uses SD cards of which I already have about a ton, and (e) 'cause I loved my little bitty Nikon Coolpix 5600 which now lives in my briefcase 24/7.

  • will November 4, 2006 01:14 am

    Great site for the novice - I cant get enough of my Sony A100's capabilities - keep it up

  • stever November 3, 2006 10:14 pm

    Olympus E500 recently purchased with 2 lens kit and 2GB CF card. Absolutley love it! Still learning all the things it will do and am amazed at what it can do. I have 20 year background with 35mm SLR and these new DSLRs are very impressive. Most are fairly equal in features, so price played a good bit into my decision on the Olympus, which was purchased online after much reading and asking questions of sales folks and pro photogs.

  • Greg November 3, 2006 01:34 pm

    @Terry - you are incorrect in stating that jpegs are limited to 256 colors. they are not. it is the gif image format that is limited to 256 colors because gifs use an 8-bit palette. jpgs use 8 bits per color or 24 bit color. the gif image format is not supported by digital cameras of any stripe. also, RAW files may or may not be compressed depending on the manufacturer because they are proprietary. raw image files are typically two or three times the size of jpegs.

  • Shock November 3, 2006 01:19 pm

    Thanks for this post and thanks for the info about Canon. It makes me feel good that I bought a great product. Im new also in DSLRs and bought 350D just 2 months ago. I really like it and just bought additional CF card.

  • pawtrait November 3, 2006 11:55 am

    To Zach - RAW is inherently way superior to JPEG, JPEG is a lossy compression and the image results of a CR2 file imported through Photoshop vs a JPG is a no brainer, the CR2 file image is head and shoulders above the JPEG. As a professional I shoot every paying clients images in RAW, it gives the highest quality end image and print.

    Great site by the way - I would tend to include the name of the parallel Nikon model to each of the Canons you recommend - none of the other manufacturers have a wide range (entry to pro) also I was surprised you didn't have any mention of the Fuji FinePix S3 which is very well respected amongst professional portrait photographers

  • Beasman November 2, 2006 09:22 am

    Does anyone know if lenses that fit my Canon T-70 will fit (for instance) the XTi? I have a couple of point and shoot cameras, but would like the flexibility of using other lenses and the SLR capability.

  • Tamar Weinberg November 2, 2006 09:09 am

    Darren, thanks for the great post. I expounded upon it on my own blog:

    I decided to give it a little Nikon bias too. ;)

  • Baumain November 2, 2006 06:54 am

    Great post! I've got point-and-shoot and have been toying with the idea of a DSLR for a while. How much of a step down is the Nikon D50 from the D70/D80 and the EOS30D?

  • Zach November 2, 2006 05:11 am

    I'll second the recommendation for pentax. The controls are easy to use, and they're the DSLR that most closely matches shooting with a film SLR for me. Add in the fact that the K series can use any pentax lens ever made and you have a winning combination.

    Also, Terry, I don't know where you get the idea that JPEG is limited to 256 colors. The only reason to shoot RAW is when you think you might have to change the white balance, and that can be fixed by learning how to properly set the WB on your camera. Otherwise, the only thing RAW gets you is larger file sizes and slower camera operation. I shoot JPG in most situations, and only RAW when I'm not sure how the WB will come out. RAW just adds processing time that could be spent moving on to the next step in your workflow.

  • Janesa November 2, 2006 04:04 am

    @Phillip: "Only the D80 uses SD all the others Nikon DSLR use CF."

    Correction there, D50 uses SD card

  • Jim from NoVA November 2, 2006 03:58 am

    I have a Nikon D50 with its two "kit" lenses. I love the camera, and it takes wonderful pictures. I last owned a Canon AE-1 that still takes great pictures on film. A couple of issues...
    .. The Nikon "kit" lenses are wonderful, but they "break" at 55mm, so I have to change lenses when I need to pass over that break point. I'd prefer an 18-300 or so lense so I'd have one lense for all occasions. I hesitate to buy one, though, because the automation on these lenses is very specific and key to the camera's performance.
    .. Buy a professional flash. The onboard flash on the D-50 is a serious limitation. The SB-600 I bought is like opening up a whole new camera. It illuminated a house 200 yards away at midnight! It adjusts its flash duration in the thousanths of a second -- in real time!

    Thanks for your article!

  • Matt Sandy November 2, 2006 02:59 am

    I am kind of upset you didn't even mention Pentax. I noticed another guy picked up the k100D, and I actually did the same not too long ago. The anti-shake really works, I can have the shutter open for 1/2 on 18mm without any blur at all. Doesn't work the same when attaching my 300mm lens, but it is still nice. Also the K10 is coming out November, with I think a couple others. I love the menu system that the Pentax has as well as how comfortable it feels, which I am surprised you didn't mention at all. How it feels is very important when shooting a lot of pictures. I do like the list minus the point I pointed out though.

  • io November 2, 2006 02:32 am

    You should try Nikon, I am a proud owner of D70s, and would like to own D200! It really rocks! 400D is ladies camera, too small to mans hand.

  • Daaron November 2, 2006 01:23 am

    I have one addition-- EBAY. I bought my EOS 20D last year and got a deal on the body + 6GB card that was less than the body alone at Best Buy.

  • Scot November 2, 2006 01:06 am

    What about Pentax? Pentax optics have been quoted as being the "poor man's"Leica.

  • Trav November 2, 2006 01:03 am

    I use an Olympus E-500. It is an entry-level DSLR that has met my needs quite well. It offered the most competitive deal at the time I purchased it. It also received high reviews from web sites such as dpreview and stevesdigicams.

    I think there is a pretty simple question that one might ask themselves that would help most determine what DSLR they purchase (or even if they decide to purchase a DSLR at all): Do you plan to make money from your photos?

    If you honestly can say that you will be making a living off of your photography then you owe it to yourself to invest in a system that offers depth, such as Canon or Nikon. You would be investing in a system that will grow with your career.

    For me I had to modestly accept that we will never be a photographer for National Geographic or Sports Illustrated. I will likely never make a living off my photos. That being the case I was more willing to try a system with far less depth than Canon or Nikon.

    In return I got a good-performing camera with two good lenses and saved money too.

  • Nate K November 2, 2006 12:11 am

    Thanks for the great information! This couldn't have come at a better time. My wife and I are having a baby in January and I am looking to get a camera to shoot 'life' - to take pictures of our new arrival, friends, and family.

  • Jessa November 1, 2006 11:59 pm

    I've noticed no one has mentioned any Olympus models. I'm currently contemplating between a Nikon D50 or 80 and the Olympus Evolt 500 - any thoughts on the major differences? It's been advised to me to stick with the big three - Canon, Olympus or Nikon - as all their technology isn't spread about among other items - it's cameras and photography only...

  • Green Data November 1, 2006 07:55 pm

    This post is the best I've seen so far about the differences between point and shoot and DSLR cameras and the main features to look for in choosing a good DSLR Camera.
    Thanks a lot

  • Terry November 1, 2006 07:45 pm

    Why on earth do you talk about DSLR cameras and being better at shooting JPEG?

    If you are gonna buy DSLR then you should shoot RAW as it has 65,536 shades of each colour, compared to JPEGs 256. RAW is way more forgiving on badly lit shots because of this, and is also lossless compression.

  • digpz November 1, 2006 06:46 pm

    For many digital point-and-shoots, the only way to see what you're shooting is the LCD.

  • Ryan November 1, 2006 05:04 pm

    another thing. GO TO THE STORE and hold the camera in your hands. The most important feature of a camera is comfort - otherwise you're never going to want to use it.

    and for pete's sake, if its a camera store ask them some questions and buy the camera from the store, don't use them and then buy it online because its twenty bucks cheaper.

  • Ryan November 1, 2006 05:02 pm

    Although I'm a big Canon fan, Nikon also has great dSLRs - they are the two companies that you can be guaranteed quality.

    I don't see why many people would need live preview. If you're still relying on the point-and-shoot lcd then you shouldn't be upgrading to a dSLR. Also, if you're buying a dSLR to take pictures of your kids, don't buy a ridiculously expensive one, a rebel xti or a d80 will work perfectly fine. If anything, spend your money on a good lens. Start with a medium-priced zoom lens and maybe a couple quality primes and then once you know exactly what you want and how you're going to like a heavy glass zoom, buy it.

  • Kendall Helmstetter Gelner November 1, 2006 03:12 pm

    I would like to put in a reccomendation for the upcoming Sigma SD-14 (due out in a month or so). It has a really different kind of sensor than all the other DSLRs, and as such has a "look" to the photos that some very much like - wait for samples from the camera to appear to see for yourself. I currently shoot a Sigma SD-10 which has the same kind of sensor and it has been fantastic.

    On a side note, in response to looking at a camera that uses CF cards just because you have some already - I agree that's not a great reason (though some people have largish CF cards already even for P&S cameras). A better reason is that there are many interesting devices built for pros and serious amatures that use a CF card primarily - such as portable image storage devices, or readers like the new Sandisk Extreme reader with a really fast read rate. Some of those devices have adaptors to also let you use SD, but it's a but more of a hassle - and personally I find the CF form factor to be about the perfect size for durability and portability. Some of the SD cards I would not want to have in a pocket without a case but I have no such fears with CF cards, which are generally thicker.

  • SexyNinjaMonkey November 1, 2006 02:13 pm

    Wish i could afford to upgrade.. I'm stuck with a Nikon D50 (w/ SB-600 speedlight), but hey it does the job. Most of my pic's are for web purposes anyway so the size and quality of the pics are fine.

  • Phillip November 1, 2006 01:20 pm

    I shoot Nikon 35mm and DSLR. Just to make a point about a previous post. Only the D80 uses SD all the others Nikon DSLR use CF. And my 2 cents. You can't go wrong with ether Nikon or Canon. Happy shooting.

  • Steve K. November 1, 2006 12:43 pm

    P.S. I have a Nikon D50 and really like it. Great starter DSLR!

  • Steve K. November 1, 2006 12:42 pm

    > Bill said: If you already have a CF card for your point and shoot then
    > you might consider going with Canon instead of Nikon to reuse your memory cards.

    This is a terrible reason to choose one DSLR camera over another. You can get a 1 GB SD card for $20 and a 2GB for $35 now in 2006 (and they'll only get cheaper). Memory cards are the least of your worrys and inexpensive compared to the purchase of a DSLR.

    You should decide based on your wallet and on what the camera offers as far as features and usability. Does it have enough low light capability for you? Which one do you feel comfortable with? How does the camera feel? Too heavy? Too light? Do you like how the buttons are laid out? How easy is it to use? Does everything seem to make sense to you when using the camera? Does it work well with your computer? Is there a good warranty on it? What type of lenses are available for it? Do any of your friends have a similar camera with accessories they might lend you (lenses, flash, etc) Sure, memory cards can be in that decision somewhere, but very, very low on the list. They'll be the cheapest thing you'll ever buy for it!

  • Jim November 1, 2006 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the excellent information. I'd suggest that anyone looking to buy one visit a real hands-on camera store where they can play with a few models. I'd also suggest that they look at the pros, and cons, of each model, and see what fits, their hands, their shooting style, and their budget.

    I shoot for a paper in the Atlanta area, and I switched to Pentax when Minolta left the ballgame. I would have stayed with Sony, but their customer service left something to be desired. I was about to buy a Nikon when I got a chance to play with a Pentax K100d, and loved it. I now shoot with it on a daily basis, and love the thing.
    Pros, for me, are: Low cost-at 550 bucks for a body,if it gets torn up, I'm not out an arm and a leg; Lens compatability-it'll use virtually every Pentax lens made in the last 30+ years. I've got a GREAT 135mm prime that I use for portraits that I picked up on ebay for twenty bucks!; and, Anti-shake, which really works.

    The only real cons, for me, would be a few less "buttons" than I'd like-menus can be a pain, and a lack of dust sealing. This is why I'm getting a Pentax K10d as soon as I can. 10 megapixel, dust sealed, anti shake, full lens compatability, for less than a grand-I'm there.

  • Gdog November 1, 2006 12:19 pm

    I will be buying the Kiss Digital X, the Japanese branded XTi/400D, in Seoul soon. Check out my blog as I'll be posting about my purchase.

  • marc November 1, 2006 11:24 am

    I love my rebel xti small it is in my hands. I didn't think a bulkier camera was worth the extra bucks and put that money towards better glass.

    It is more compact though.

  • Darren November 1, 2006 11:17 am

    Thanks Raj - appreciate your mini review of your camera.

    Rick ( - if you read through to the end and the comments above you'd see why it's Canon biased and that you're welcome to help bring some balance to it :-)

  • November 1, 2006 11:15 am

    An ok article I guess.

    But why so Canon biased?

    There are others out there!!

  • Raj Mandalia November 1, 2006 10:29 am

    I purchased a Konica/Minolta Maxxum 5D about a year ago (just before they got out of the market); this way my first (D)SLR and I am quite pleased with it so far, though I haven't been able to use it as much as I would like to have. From a newbie perspective, my buying decision was influenced by:

    * in-the-body anti-shake; which meant I would have to spend less on lens to get image stabilization
    * user friendly controls and display; I espically liked how the camera senses your eye at the viewfinder and turns off the display screen
    * competitively priced (at the time) against the Canon Rebel XT; though I am a loyal to Canon for my point-and-shooters, the 5D was just priced too sweet.

    Though I was never really worried about availability of lens or service\parts for the 5D, I was never-the-less really happy to learn that Sony would continue to build on the KM platform.

    I'll try and post a 'my impressions' sometime soon on my blog though I don't think I have nearly enough expertise or experience to post a full fledged review.

  • Darren November 1, 2006 09:52 am

    Josh - I'd love to talk about Sony and Konica/Minolta's cameras - but unfortunately canon are the only company who has made cameras available to me to review at this point (I've asked plenty of other manufacturers - but to this point my sites with 30,000 daily readers apparently are not big enough to get that type of attention).

    So - unless someone else who owns one wants to review some other cameras for me I'll have to leave it with Canon.

    As the post above says a couple of times - feel free to leave comments with your own experiences/recommendations.

  • keba November 1, 2006 09:49 am

    I would stress that the live preview mode is not available on (most) DSLR's and it may quite be a make or break thing for many people....

  • Josh November 1, 2006 09:40 am

    Thanks for talking so much about the canons that we already know about. How about something about the new sony dslr based on the konica/minolta.

  • Tekbandit November 1, 2006 09:01 am

    None of the DSLR's have a memory card included, unless it's a package deal and those are not usually offered by the manufacturer, but by retailers. Most DSLR's do have onboard memory which can vary from manufacturer to model. If you should decide on moving to a DSLR, keep in mind, the higher the resolution of images you want to capture, the larger the memory card you want to get and afford.

  • Bill November 1, 2006 08:52 am

    EC its not that they don't come with the memory cards its the style that card is. Canon uses compact flash (CF) and Nikon used SD. If you already have a CF card for your point and shoot then you might consider going with Canon instead of Nikon to reuse your memory cards.

  • EC October 31, 2006 11:34 pm

    I was told that most dSLRs do *not* come with memory cards, and my limited experience confirms this. (This is in contrast to point #1 under the "How to decide which dSLR is for you".)

  • Jude October 31, 2006 07:52 pm

    In June this year I made the move from a point and shoot to a DSLR. I chose a Canon 350d, as I knew several people who owned it, liked it and recommended it to me.

    I got it from Jessops (in the UK) as instead of the standard kit lens, you got a USM lens with it.

    At first I was happy in automatic mode, as my pictures were looking far better, but now I'm starting to move more and more into manual mode to achieve what I want. My main frustration before was poor performance in low-light conditions, something which isn't a problem now.

    This website has helped me so much in learning how to use it - keep up the good work!


  • Phoetica October 31, 2006 07:06 pm

    Another great options for "entry level" DSLR are Nikon D80 and Sony A-100. D80 has a great big viewfinder and you can also get a good kit lens in the range 18-135mm. A-100 has an advantage of good price and nice small size.