Features to look for in a DSLR for beginners
Unfortunately some camera manufacturers recently have released cameras with DSLR label but technically are not. These are touted as DSLRs because you get ‘through lens viewing’ but are not true DSLRs.
Ease of use – an entry-level DSLR is aimed at those new to digital photography; therefore it needs to have a lot of easy to use features. So ensure that the camera has a fully automatic setting. A fully automatic setting will enable even inexperienced photographers to start using the camera immediately. And what is awesome than having a DSLR with a touchscreen display, as it will simplify the camera’s operation.
Size – DSLR cameras because of their internal components are large, certainly larger than most compact foxed camera lens. But you will find DSLR cameras of different sizes and weight. For those migrating from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR, an entry-level DSLR will be lighter and smaller than ore advanced DSLR cameras. So make sure, the DSLR you pick fits your hand well.
Sensor Size – choosing a camera with a cropped sensor (APS-C size) is a popular choice for beginners. These sensors are smaller as compared to full frame sensors but offer many key benefits to beginners; the cameras are smaller, lighter and more affordable and they use lighter lenses. A tradeoff is being forced to use wider angle lens to achieve same field of view.Wider lenses tend to have poor image quality around the edges. And to achieve an equivalent depth of field, you would also have to use a faster lens on an APS-C sensor, which is not always possible. Cropped sensors can also have smaller pixels, but not always. This reduces dynamic range and creates higher signal-to-noise ratio making the photo appear less smooth.
Megapixels – the amount of information the sensor is able to record is affected by the number of megapixels a camera has. In other words, the more megapixels, pictures will have more detail. It is not a big deal if you want to post your photos on Facebook, but you will want more megapixels if you want to print large pictures to hang up. While DSLRs go up to 50MP and beyond, beginners don’t need that high of resolution. A DSLR with 16 megapixels or more will be enough for beginners.
Flip screen – for people who are purely photographers, flip screen is not a big deal but it can make a huge difference for those who also want to take video. If you want to use your new camera for vlogging or videography, look for one with an articulating screen.
Frames per second – for photographers who want to shoot moving objects, the number of frames per second a camera can shoot matters. The more frames you can take in a second enhance the chance that you are going to get exactly what you are looking for. Photographers who shoot wildlife, sports or energized toddlers will appreciate faster shooting rates.
Flexibility – probably you already have an idea of what you want to shoot but your photographic interests may expand once you are aware what your new camera can do. So without limiting yourself, look for features that allow your camera to be used in widest array of possible situations. You should be sure that you are investing in a body supporting all the lenses you might want to use as well as has good low-light capabilities and features things like off-camera flash and manual shooting. All of this is because you never know where your photography might take you.
Price – an important point to consider choosing a DSLR is price because your camera body will not be the only thing you need to buy. Along with lenses you may also need filters, cleaning supplies, bags and a tripod. This can quickly add to price. For accessories, be sure to leave some room in your budget.
Kit lens – on of the ways to trim the cost of a DSLR setup is to look for a “kit” that will include a lens and a body. This can be a great way of getting started, as you will also save money. While many kit lenses are fairly low level, with some notable exceptions, they are a cost-effective way for beginners to get their gear at a fair price. And if you decide to upgrade, you can always sell your kit lens down the road.
Last but not the least; remember that you are investing in a system. When you are picking your first DSLR, it is important to remember that you are not just buying a camera, instead you are investing in an entire range of lenses, bodies and accessories.
If you are sure that you are going to take a certain type of photo, make sure the body you pick supports the types of lens you want to buy. For instance, a Canon body will not accept a Nikon lens without a bulk-adding adapter and vice versa. If you begin your journey of photography with an APS-C camera body and lenses considered for these smaller bodies, and afterwards you need to upgrade to a full frame camera, you will also need to upgrade all your lenses.
Luckily, DSLRs don’t demand a lot of looking after and are designed to survive through some pretty heavy use. But do go drop-kicking them off a cliff or anything and expect them to survive; these are DSLRs, not superman. So if splattered, a quick wipe down should do it well as long as the front of the lens is kept clean. You just have to be very careful changing the lens, because that is when the real damage can happen- grime getting inside the camera.