Before discussing the matter of what recommendations could be made for the best SLR camera for beginners, one has to clear the matter of what exactly is meant by “beginners”. Is this person new to photography in general, or just new to SRL cameras?
I’m assuming the client I’m looking at has some experience in photography and is looking to upgrade from his inexpensive compact digital camera to something better, i.e. a SLR digital camera. He feels that his current instrument cannot meet his requirements any more – he has “outgrown” his digital compact camera.
He wants to do more, but his camera is not up to the challenge. There are two options concerning the best SLR camera for beginners: He could buy a good used, second-hand SLR, or buy a new entry level SLR.
The Drawbacks of Buying a Used SLR Camera
- Before 2009 SLR’s could only capture still pictures – no video.
- Live view LCD enabling a preview of the picture you’re about to take (as in compact digital cameras) has only recently become available in SLR’s, so chances are good that your used one will not have this excellent feature.
- Furthermore, dust control in older cameras is not that good, so you could be frustrated by dust showing up as small unwanted black spots in every picture.
- A good used SLR will have a lot of features which could confuse a novice.
So buying a new entry-level SLR seems to be the best option – this way you should arrive at the best SLR camera for beginners. Entry-level SLR’s, obviously, have limited features as compared to more expensive SLR’s, but this will not be a problem at all. As a matter of fact, this could actually be a blessing in disguise. In the case of high-end SLR’s the photographer is limited only by his own imagination when compiling his shot; the camera gives him limitless opportunity to tweak all aspects of how the image is captured by the electronic imaging sensor. Controlling all these variables will be a nightmare to a beginner, so not being able to do that to the same extent will not be a concern at all.
The “Limitations” of Entry Level SLR Cameras
- Usually entry-level SLR’s do not have the same scope of auto focusing as the high-end ones (less focusing points), which will only be a drawback when trying to take pictures of very fast moving subjects.
- Entry-level SLR’s also has a lower continuous capture speeds, but it’s highly unlikely that a beginner will even think of using this feature at all.
General Guidelines For Buying an entry-level SLR camera
- Limit yourself as far as cost is concerned. About $900 should be the maximum.
- Make sure you choose one which is easy to use. Entry-level ones are supposed to be user-friendly, but make sure.
- Go for either a Nikon or a Canon. These are the two giants in the industry and you cannot go wrong buying into these brand names. There’s another very important reason for this strategy: In no time you might be considering buying lenses and with a Canon or a Nikon this will never be a problem. Even though you might have an entry-level SLR camera, you can add any lens – even very expensive ones – to cameras from these brands. In other words, if you’re considering buying into a system, go for one of these two brands.
- Megapixels are not as important as you might think. Most DSLR’s come with 10 MP and that’s quite enough. As a matter of fact, nowadays many argue that 6MP are enough for most photographers.
- Weight could be an issue. Make sure you will be comfortable with the weight of the camera. The Canon and the Nikon cameras recommended here are as close to feather-like as can get, weighing in atless than 500 grams (bodies only).