Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How To Choose a Digital SLR Camera

The vast array and choice available can make how to choose a digital SLR camera a daunting decision. Don’t be overwhelmed as by following some logical steps it’s actually quite easy to find your ideal digital SLR camera.

The key step is to think about the use of your camera and the type of photography you want it for. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking about megapixels, shooting modes and the merits of Nikon versus Canon before you consider this!

Many of us may simply want a general use digital SLR and this is fine, but the decision needs to be made from the start. If you do want the camera for something more specialised like nature or action photography the next step is to think about features. For the latter you will need fast shutter speeds and the ability to take multiple shots in repetition. If you simply want to capture shots of your family on days out your requirements will be different.

Price is inevitably a decision when choosing your camera. Prices have come down at an incredibly fast rate since the first digital SLR cameras came out and a you can buy a very decent one fairly cheap. Again by being clear on the type of photography you will use the camera for you can avoid unnecessary expense. Don’t fall into the trap of buying a package or bundle with additional lenses or accessories you won’t use. And do you really need 7 action modes or will one suffice!?

Many of the features we would look for in a digital camera have actually become fairly standard in recent years. For example, image stabilisation which ensures pictures are ‘camera shake’ free is now standard on most digital SLRs. Similarly multi point auto-focus which helps to avoid the camera being fooled into focussing off the main subject is to be found on most. When digital SLRs first came out I worked for a wedding photographer and half of his pictures were of a crystal sharp background with a fuzzy bride and groom in the foreground!

A decent camera shop should of course be able to help when I comes to how to choose a digital SLR camera. If you do go this route don’t be oversold and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Of course many of us now want to buy a camera online and if you follow my advice here you will be in a good position to do this. You may want to go to a store and touch and feel the camera before ordering online and I would recommend this. If you are armed with information about the price of your chosen camera online you may find you can negotiate the price and walk away with it from the store.

Only you will know what’s the best digital camera for you at the end of the day. Think about what you will use it for, have a budget in mind and if there are specific features you must have you can narrow down your choices. Compare prices online and when you think you’ve found your ideal camera visit a local store and ask to hold one and see a demonstration.

I’ve been an enthusiastic photographer for 25 years but the advent of digital SLR cameras has given me a completely new lease of life. Choose the right camera and you will share my passion and sense of satisfaction for many years to come.

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