- Megapixels are overrated, the kind of sensor and ISO are more important
- You don’t have to get the latest model, some older models tend to have very similar features for a much lower price
- Use this advice to get the best SLR camera for you
Getting an SLR camera isn’t easy. First of all, they’re not inexpensive, not to mention the many accessories and lenses you’ll likely have to get later on. If this will be your first SLR camera, don’t look for the latest model. Older –albeit fairly recent- models will provide everything you need for a much lower price.
Buy an SLR is not easy. The down payment you have to make is significant, not to mention optical accessories and you’ll want to add to your team go as perfecting your skills as a photographer. If you’re looking for your first SLR or DSLR camera, do not obsess over the latest model. Probably the former range have similar features and a lot more affordable than the latest addition to the market price.
Forget about megapixels
Nowadays, the resolution most reflex cameras offer is more than enough for pretty much every user. Therefore, the sensor and ISO sensitivity should be your main concerns.
Take a look at the sensor’s size. APS-C sensors are the most common (22.2 x 14.8 mm for Canon cameras, and 23.6 x 15.6 mm for the rest), though some affordable Full Frame models (36 x 24 mm) exist, the format of professional cameras.
Also, it’s important to note that the sensor is not the only thing the image quality depends on, but also the size of the camera. The bigger the sensor, the bigger the camera. That’s why compact cameras and mobile phones have smaller sensors.
The ISO sensitivity is another important factor, since it determines the image quality of low-light pictures. A high ISO means more image noise, especially in the dark areas of the picture. The shutter and burst mode speeds are also important depending on what you’re planning to use your camera for, especially if you are taking pictures of sports.
Light, too much light
One of the best things about SLR cameras is that you can choose between different lenses depending on the picture you want to take or the results you want to get. Normally, the lens that comes with the camera isn’t anything extraordinary, but more than enough to get you started. You’ll have more time –and experience- to get more accessories later.
A lens’ luminosity is what dictates its quality; you can identify it by the “f” value. The lower the value, the better the lens –and the higher its price, of course-. Fixed-focus lenses are better than the ones with zoom, though the latter are without a doubt more versatile and better for beginners. If possible, make sure they’re stabilized, as well.
The lenses you can use depend on your camera. Aside from the lenses sold by the manufacturers, some companies, like Tamron, Sigma or Tokina, also make their own compatible lenses. Some lenses may even be more expensive than the camera itself, so you may see them as an investment: even if you change your camera, you can still use your lenses –as long as they’re compatible with the new camera you get, of course-.
Before buying your camera, it’s important to have it in your hands. “Knowing” it by knowing what it can do is one thing, but actually knowing it “in person” can be completely different.
Then comes one of the most common questions: Nikon or Canon? Both are just as good and popular. Just look for a camera you feel comfortable with. You can also take a look at other companies’ cameras like Sony or Pentax.
And, lastly, we highly recommend getting an UV filter to protect the lens from scratches and dirt. It’s important to note, though, it can affect the picture’s luminosity.