In the marketplace of entry-level DSLRs there has always been a great deal of competition among manufactures and this still continues. This of course is really good for those of us with limited income. In an effort to gain your business, manufacturers are constantly improving their products. They add new features and improve old ones. This competition between companies during the last few years has led to many improvement and advanced features for DSLRs. Best of all they have become more and more affordable.
The most recent offerings offer up superior image quality along with some outstanding flexibility. Let’s have a look at some of these features.
Manufacturers are looking at ease of use as a main component of their entry-level DSLR cameras. With new people being introduced to photography for the first time and others moving up from their compact cameras, the different companies are keeping everything as simple as possible for the photographer. Resulting in a DSLR camera that gets the desired results without having to have all the technical knowledge and experience usually associated with high end photography. Being able to quickly and easily accommodate your picture needs, most models now offer fully automatic shooting options as well as a multitude of scene modes, so you can adjust the camera to the conditions of your choice.
As you acquire more knowledgeable and grow in your expertise and abilities, you will no doubt wish to have more creative control. Therefore when looking for the right entry-level camera for yourself, make sure it is able to grow with you. Having the ability to make manual adjustments easily and quickly will become a necessity when you have gained more expertise. Having a camera that can intuitively guide you, through its’ interface, to become more proficient is also a big plus.
Low end DSLR cameras are not just for the novice anymore. If you are using an older mid-range DSLR, that is more than few years old, you will most likely notice that the newer entry-level models might easily out perform it in terms of image quality. Less image noise at high ISO sensitivity settings as well as higher sensor resolution are most likely to be found with these newer DSLRs.
The controlling of dynamic range (the ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities) in newer cameras is most often of a far superior quality. This will give you higher quality images with greater shadow detail and less likelihood of blown highlights (bright areas merging together). Video capture of 720p or Full HD 1080p is often available. Another additional component that is most often included is a LCD, giving you the ability to view a live image, helping to create your shots just the way you want.
In the event you are planning to upgrade your older camera, you are unlikely to be in need of features that are geared toward the beginning photographer; however they are still nice to have at times. Knowing that it is always a possibility you have overgenerous friends and relatives, or you simply want to treat yourself to something special, we have added some cameras that have somewhat more sophistication in the collection.
DSLR Camera Kits
If this is going to be your first DSLR camera purchase it will pay to be prudent. You can buy just the camera body or you can buy a camera kit, which also has a lens. Most times the lens will be an 18-55mm. It is advisable to get the camera and lens kit. By doing so, you will most likely hold your cost down and will be ready to start taking photos as soon as you have the kit in hand.
If your new DSLR camera is a replacement for your older camera, common sense will tell you that getting a camera kit is still the best idea. You will pay a little extra for the kit with the lens, however you will save a great deal over the purchase price of the camera body and camera lens if bought separately. Consequently you will now have a brand-new lens at a greatly reduced price. This allows you to sell your old camera body with its lens. This is often more attractive to buyers. Of course you always have the option of enjoying the old lens as a back up.
When you purchase your DSLR camera you must keep in mind that you are not just buying a camera but rather a DSLR camera system. The camera body and lens will make up your basic system. However you may in the future want to add other lenses and accessories. Therefore you need to keep in mind your possible future needs when you make your purchase.
The ability and availability of multiple lenses such as a wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens or maybe even a fish-eye lens is one of the main advantages that a DSLR camera has over compact cameras. With other accessories that are available it is possible to create a kit, (a camera system), that will give you the ability to have a camera system that you can use in any photographic situation you may find yourself.
Manufacturers are constantly upgrading and improving their DSLR camera bodies. However, most of the time, the lenses and other accessories are still able to be used with the new bodies. For this reason it is a good idea to continue with one manufacturer allowing you the ability to use the lenses and accessories already in your possession. There by saving you all the cost of upgrading.
When considering manufacturers you will find that Canon and Nikon may offer up the greatest variety of DSLR lenses. Pentax and Sony as well, offer an adequate range of lenses. There are of course other lenses available from other companies that you will be able to use with your camera. Companies like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina all sell high quality lenses at prices that are oftentimes much lower than the camera manufacturers’ own similar lenses.
Alternatives to DSLR
There are of course alternative choices to the DSLR camera. You can choose a conventional digital compact camera or the compact system cameras (CSCs) that have been gaining popularity as of late. These however do not have the mirror assembly of a DSLR that helps to frame you photo properly. They do have the ability to have some interchangeable lenses. However to get the most value for your money, yon would be hard pressed to find any other camera that even comes close to the quality of a DSLR camera.
When shooting wild life or the action of a sporting event, having the capability to view your composition through the lens via an optical viewfinder is an undeniable advantage. When the shooting scenario is a bit tricky or especially when moving objects are involved a DSLR will give you the results you seek. DSLR cameras also feel more natural, allowing for an increased reaction time when getting those quick shoots. The larger body also helps you to steady the camera at lower shutter speeds.
The image sensor in a DSLR camera is physically larger than that of the digital compact camera. The key benefit of this, for a DSLR user, is having the ability to create a smaller depth of field. This allows you to blur the background out of focus and keep your main subject in focus. This is a method often used in portrait photography to give that soft background or to make your main subject stand out clearly.
Because of the larger sensors in DSLR cameras, there is much less image noise, (variation of brightness or color information in images), when using a high ISO setting or, and when you are forced to shoot in low light situations. With all this to contemplate, you can see that the newest groups of low cost DSLR cameras are a great value with much to offer.
Some Key Features of DSLR Cameras:
These cameras have scene modes such as portrait, landscape and sports which can help you achieve optimum results depending on your shooting situation with very little knowledge. These modes are a very useful starting point for the novice.
Unlike more advanced cameras, DSLR cameras in this class are equipped with a pentamirror (three piece system often called roof pentamirror) rather than a pentaprism (single glass prism) viewfinder.
This allows you to view pictures on the LCD, the same as you would with a compact camera. An amplified view is great for assuring focus accuracy.
Whereas high end and professional DSLRs boast rugged magnesium-alloy bodies, the lower end models usually to have plastic shells over metal chassis. They are of course still stout enough for day to day use.
The normal lens found in a kit is an 18-55mm when buying a camera in this class. If you are looking at a different lens like 18-200mm or even a multitude of lenses to get you started, you will find it well worth it to speak to your retailer. He may be able to work out a deal with a kit purchase price that will save you a great deal of money.
Obviously different manufacturers have different LCDs. The actual size and resolution will be unique to each company. Having the ability to pivot the screen allows you to take pictures at angles that you normally could not see. This is a very helpful feature.