Top 10 Tips for buying your first Digital SLR

I am often asked by friends about which DSLR they should get; the one with higher megapixels or the ones with all the features. So I have decided to put together a top 10 list of tips for when you buy your first Digital SLR.

 

Research

Have a look at the type of photography that you have been doing so far and think about what it is that you want to achieve. Check out the forums on Flickr and see what type of lenses people use for those shots.

Forget the body (for the moment)

Invest in the right lens from the start, lenses you will typically own far longer than you will the body. You will outgrow your first DSLR body as you begin to want more features or simply technology advances. Lenses however are often timeless  for example the Nikon 80-200m f/2.8 – there have only been a handful of revisions since its release in the 80’s.

Find a body that is comfortable to hold

Forget features for the moment, try out as many bodies as you can, for comfort size and just whether it feels right to you. There is no point having the most expensive body in the world if it is uncomfortable to hold.

Canon V Nikon V The Rest

To me this is a religious debate to which there will never be an answer. Each brand has its own merits in selection of lenses and accessories available. Quality tends to be similar amongst the brands.

Megapixels

Nowadays there isn’t a real issue of megapixels, with most entry-level cameras being around 10mp or higher. Just remember the lens & sensor will determine most of the quality. Higher resolution on entry-level camera’s can actually increase noise within the images due to the size of pixels on the sensor.

LCD screen

Make sure the camera you choose has a nice bright LCD screen, it will make reviewing your pictures a lot easier when you’re on location.

Other features

It’s not uncommon for cameras to have features like GPS, video, self cleaning sensors, on-camera image stabiliser. Have a look at these features and think whether they are going to be used, for example if you are a studio photographer you probably won’t need the GPS.

Accessories

This becomes an addiction, so make sure you budget some extra money for cases, cleaning cloths, tripods, polarising & UV filters, spare batteries and memory cards – maybe even a camera connection kit for your tablet.

Storage

Let’s face it you will be taking endless amounts of photos, so why not set yourself up to ensure that you don’t go through the heartache of losing them. Ensure you have a suitable backup solution, whether it is to your network, external hard drive or one of the many cloud backup solutions available. I will do a post on this soon.

Set yourself up an account on Flickr

Flickr is fantastic for sharing your pictures and getting feedback from others about the wonderful pictures you have taken. One thing that is very cool about Flickr is the ability to search for images based upon the camera & lens that it was taken with, this will let you see where your new camera can take you!

 

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