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Best digital slr camera for beginners

Updated on January 8, 2013

The Best DSLR cameras for beginners

What is the best digital slr camera for beginners? Upgrading from a point and shoot digital camera to an all singing and all dancing digital slr camera can be a daunting experience, especially since a digital slr camera is a complicated piece of photography equipment that is difficult to use. Digital SLR cameras are also expensive so choosing the incorrect beginners digital slr camera is going to be a costly mistake.

There are a handful of entry level dslr cameras available, but which is the best digital slr camera for beginners and which are those that are most recommended? For the best digital slr camera for beginners check out the cameras below and see what they have to offer.

Nikon D3100

Nikon's offering to the digital slr beginner market is the D3100. The Nikon D3100 has won numerous awards for its class and when you actually use the Nikon D3100 it is easy to see why as it is a very impressive digital slr camera for the money.

The Nikon D3100 is pure quality and made out of top quality

materials and components. It also has a 14MP sensor, impressive 11 point auto focus system and an expendable ISO range, which means it is possible to take hand held shots in all but the lowest light. With a flick of a switch you can use the D3100 to capture video footage, which means you don't have to carry a spare video camera around with you. In addition to these features the Nikon D3100 is user friendly, which will make an easy transition from a point and shoot to a dslr camera.

If you want to take your photography skills to the next level you are going to need some accessories and there are loads of accessories for the Nikon D3100, made by both Nikon and other third party companies. For some of the best Nikon D3100 accessories check out The Best Accessories for the Nikon D3100 Reviewed and Compared.

Nikon also makes a D3200, and whilst many thought this was going to be the replacement for the D3100 it isn't. The Nikon D3200 is a bit more advanced, and a lot more expensive and is actually a mid range digital slr camera as opposed to an entry level dslr camera. So, Nikons best digital slr camera for beginners is the Nikon D3100.

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon produces excellent digital cameras and the canon Rebel T3i (EOS 600d outside the US) is no different. The Rebel T3i is a small and compact entry level dslr camera that is so user friendly you will find it no problem upgrading from a point and shoot camera to a digital slr camera. The Canon Rebel T3i is jam packed full of features and all of these are close to hand, which means you can adjust the crucial

settings quickly and efficiently without having to delve deep in to the camera's menu.

With an impressive 18MP sensor the image quality of the Rebel T3i is simply awesome and it is capable of capturing some stunning photographs. In addition to this, the build quality of the Canon Rebel T3i is exceptional and it is tough, durable and built to last.

With a flick of a switch the Canon Rebel T3ii can be used to capture HD video footage, which means you no longer need to have a separate video camera. The video feature is easy to use but if you want to get the most out of it you are going to need an external microphone, which is available at an extra cost.

The range of accessories (both Canon branded and non- Canon branded) available for the Canon Rebel T3i is vast and includes lenses, filters, flash guns, tripods, cases, batteries, memory cards and shutter releases to name but a few. With so many accessories you will be able to improve and develop your photography skills as time goes on. If you want to see some great accessories for the Canon Rebel T3i take a look at Essential Accessories for the Canon Rebel T3.

If you are looking to buy the best digital slr camera for beginners the Canon Rebel T3i should be one that is on your shortlist.

Best digital slr camera for beginners - Sony Alpha SLT-A37

Sony Alpha A37 digital slr camera

Sony's offering to the entry level dslr camera market is the Alpha SLT-A37. The Alpha A37 actually isn't that bad and it does have some very good features including an impressive 16MP sensor, a great 7 frames per second burst rate, 15 autofocus points, full HD 1080p video capture and built in image stabilisation. The image quality is impressive, although

not quite as good as that of the Canon or the Nikon although you do have to go pixel peeping or blow the photograph to the size of a billboard poster to tell the difference.

The only thing that puts the Sony Alpha A37 in a lower class than the Canon and Nikon dslr cameras is the build quality. The Canon and the Nikon feel bullet proof and are built to last. The Sony Alpha feels sturdy, but not as sturdy as the Canon or the Nikon, which is a shame.

There are some accessories for the Sony Alpha SLT-A37, both Sony branded and accessories produced by third party manufacturers, although the range isn't as vast as that for Canon or Nikon. That said, you will find everything you need for the Sony A37 including lenses, filters, flash guns, tripods, camera straps, camera bags, memory cards etc. etc.

If you are looking for a beginner's digital slr camera the Sony Alpha SLT-A37 is worth investigating as you may find that, after taking a few test shots, you prefer the feel of the Sony and like the interface.

Pentax Kr digital slr camera

Pentax's offering to the entry level digital slr market is the Pentax Kr. The Kr boasts a 12.4MP sensor, and whilst it is good enough to capture some great images it is not as good as the sensor of either the Canon or the Nikon digital slr cameras for beginners. The image quality of the Pentax is ok but, once again, it is not as good as the Canon or the Nikon cameras. The Pentax Kr has an impressive burst rate of 6

frames per second, which is ideal for sports, action and wildlife photography but I do question whether the decrease in image quality is worth the good burst rate. The other good thing about the Pentax Kr is that you can run it on standard AA batteries (with an adaptor at an additional cost) therefore you will always be able to get batteries for it if you leave the cell at home, or forget your charger.

The Pentax Kr offers video recording at a maximum 720p, which is fine for low quality video footage for uploading to Youtube and similar sites, but if you want to create decent videos the Kr is not going to be up to the job.

As your photography skills grow you are going to need some accessories, and whilst there are some accessories for the Pentax Kr the range isn't as varied and diverse as that of the Canon or Nikon digital slr cameras.

Would I recommend the Pentax Kr? In my experience with the Canon 600d and the Nikon D3100 I can't recommend the Pentax Kr over and above these entry level digital slr cameras. Both the Canon and the Nikon blow the Pentax away in terms of build quality, image quality, range of accessories and video capture but if you are looking to upgrade to an entry level dslr camera you may wish to take a look at, and consider, the Pentax Kr.

If you have any comments, rants or raves about this article on the best digital slr camera for beginners please feel free to note them in my guestbook. Similarly, if you know of any other "best digital slr camera for beginners" please feel free to share it. Thanks.

Your comments are welcome

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    • Edwardjames81 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @accfuller: SLR stands for "single light reflex". An SLR camera offers greater control over the exposure and allows you to select the aperture, the shutter speed and the ISO to help you get the type of shot you want.

    • accfuller profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice camera info ... but what is slr?


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