If you’re at that stage where you’re ready to upgrade from your point and shoot camera to a digital SLR – pat yourself on the back: you’re about to take your photography to a whole new level of creativity. But choosing which camera to get is probably as difficult as buying a new car – there’s plenty of models, a wide range of prices, some have limited mileage and even if you gave them a test run, you might end up more confused than when you began.
When I bought my first SLR in 2009, I went for the Canon 450D – a nifty shooter I chose on the basis of price (around a reasonable £400 at the time), reviews (cheers Amazon!) and size (lightweight and pretty comfy to hold). Those are three things you should definitely consider when deciding what camera you’d like to get, as well as:
- What am I going to be using the camera for? – are you a serious enthusiast who’ll be shooting at least once a week or on a more casual basis for holiday snaps? Cameras generally come in 3 ranges - entry-level/budget, mid-priced and advanced/pro – and you’ll often be given the choice of getting a “camera kit” which comes with a bog standard lens (usually 18-55mm) or a “camera body” giving you the option of buying your lenses separately. To be honest, the power of your camera and what you can get out of it comes down to your choice of lens, not the camera body (and bog standard lens can only do some much, as we explain at our beginners’ DSLR workshops). So if you’re a beginner, it’s safer to go with a kit and if you choose to take photography more seriously later down the line, start collecting your lenses (we’ll be doing a post about soon!).
- Which brand do I want to commit to? - I’m a Canon Girl through and through, and that’s simply because I’ve learned how their cameras are built, compared to other manufacturers. That’s not to say that they’re the best – but once you start using one brand, it can be difficult to crossover as Nikons, for instance, are designed quite differently. Also, you can’t interchange lens (i.e use a Nikon lens on a Canon body). If in doubt, check out this handy post from the Digital SLR guide.
Finally, for more info on what camera to buy, visit whatdigitalcamera.com or leave us a question below! (Words: Matilda Egere-Cooper)