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Best dslr for beginners

Updated on March 25, 2013

How to chose the best dslr for beginners

What is the best dslr for beginners? This is common question that is asked by every single person who upgrades from a point and shoot camera, and quite rightly so. Buying the wrong dslr camera is going to be a costly mistake, and whilst there is a market for second hand and used cameras so you will recoup some of your hard earned cash, it is far better to get the right camera in the first instance. So, what makes the best dslr for beginners and who makes the best dslr for beginners?

If you are looking to upgrade your point and shoot camera to an entry level digital slr, or looking to buy someone their first dslr camera then carry on reading this article for some great products, and some great tips to ensure you buy the perfect entry level dslr camera.

Nikon D3100

Many people would argue the Nikon D3200 is the best Nikon manufactured entry level dslr camera, however I have to disagree with this. The Nikon D3200 is a complex camera and if you have never used a digital slr camera before you will struggle to get to grips with it. The Nikon D3100, on the other hand, is simpler to use and is the perfect tool to teach you how to use dslr cameras. On paper the Nikon D3100 is the best dslr for beginners as it is jam packed full of technology and features that more expensive dslr cameras have. For example, the Nikon D3100 has a 3 inch screen, 11 point AF system and the ability to shoot 3fps. In addition, there is a built in guide mode designed to teach newbies how to use this camera. The Nikon D3100 is an exceptional camera and as there are loads of accessories to buy you can change and adapt your camera as your skills develop.

Video review of the Nikon D3100

If you want a hands on review of the Nikon D3100 check out the video footage below. From this video you will easily see what an awesome tool the Nikon D3100 is and how it is a camera worh considering if you are looking for an entry level digital slr.

Canon Rebel Xsi

Many people would argue the Canon 600D is the best dslr for beginners however I would have to disagree with this. The Canon 600D is a complicated camera and people who have never used a dslr before are going to find it tough to get to grips with and are likely to give up before they learn how to use the 600D to its full potential. If you want the best entry level dslr camera from Canon you need to take a look at the Canon Rebel XSI. This is a cracking camera that has a 3.5fps burst rate, 12.2mp sensor, 9 point AF system and a 3 inch LCD screen. The user face is intuitive and you will be up and running in no time and since there are so many different accessories and optional extras to buy, you can start improving bits and pieces of your camera as your photography skills develop.

Video review of the Canon Rebel Xsi

The Canon Rebel Xsi is another excellent entry level digital slr camera for those new to the world of digital slr cameras. If you want to see how good the Canon really is check out the video footage below. After viewing I am sure you will be impressed and put the Canon Rebel Xsi on your shortlist of beginner slr cameras.

Sony Alpha A390

Sony's entry level dslr is the Alpha A390. With an impressive 14.2mp sensor, Live view and an acceptable burst rate of 2fps this camera is a good choice for beginners. The Sony A390 also has the benefit of having stabilisation inside the camera body, which means you benefit from image stabilisation whatever lens you use. There are some accessories available for the Sony Alpha A390 however the range isn't as vast as that for Canon and Nikon. That said, there is plenty of accessories to buy so you can change and adapt your camera as your photography skills develop.

Video review of the Sony Alpha A390

For a quick look at the Sony Alpha A390 check out the following footage, which clearly shows what this entry level dslr camera is capable of and how it works. After seeing the footage I am sure you will see just why the Sony Alpha A390 is worth considering when you are looking to purchase your first dslr camera.

Penax K-r

Pentax are not as popular as Canon and Nikon, however they are a good company that makes some very good photographic equipment. Pentax's beginners' digital slr camera is the K-r, and it is a capable camera that is a pleasure to use. The K-r has an impressive 4.7fps and the ability to capture movies at 720p, which means you can capture both movies and stills with one single camera. The amount of accessories and add ons for the K-r is not as vast as that for Canon and Nikon, however there are plenty of accessories that will help you take the kind of images you are after. Besides, sometimes it is better to have fewer accessories, all of which are worth having than a vast range of accessories, many of which are nothing but a waste of money.

Video review of the Pentax K-r

If you want to see how well the Pentax K-r performs take a look at the following video footage. This footage clearly shows the strengths, and weaknesses, of Pentax's entry level digital slr camera. As you are going to see, the Pentax K-r is a beginner's dslr camera you should take a look at when upgrading from your point and shoot camera to your first dslr.

So you want to buy an entry level digital SLR camera?

Now we have seen the current line up of the best dslr for beginners, let's take a look at some of the other things you should consider when buying your first entry level digital slr camera.

Dslr cameras, even entry level digital slr cameras are sophisticated pieces of equipment and there is a learning curve associated with them. If you think you are going to buy an entry level dslr camera and capture stunning photographs from the outset, you had better think again. You are going to need to spend time with a dslr, read the user guide (and plenty of other manuals and guides) and experiment. This may sound like a chore, but it is all part and parcel of upgrading from a point and shoot to a dslr.

As well as being user friendly and intuitive the dslr for beginners should be comfortable and feel "right" to use, and the only way to do this is to go and see each entry level dslr camera in the flesh. Feel them, hold them, pick them up and take some test shots. When you do this you will instantly see which cameras feel right and which ones don't.

Even though I have said you need to go to your local camera shop and try out all the entry level digital slr cameras before buying one, this does not necessarily mean you should buy the camera from your local camera shop.In my experience, the best deals are online and there are loads of different online retailers selling entry level dslr cameras, so you should be able to get a bargain somewhere. When buying dslr cameras online you need to exercise a bit of caution though. If a dslr camera seems too cheap to be true, it generally is. There are many online retailers selling dslr cameras imported from China and the Far East, and these won't come with any warranty to call on if things go wrong. If you stick to the reputable online retailers, however, you won't have any problems and you will make a saving too.

Best dslr for beginners - Accessories

If you want to improve your photography skills and take your photographs to the next level you are going to need some accessories for your dslr camera. Consequently, before you choose your first dlsr camera you need to think about the accessories you are going to want in the future, how much they cost, where to get them from, and if what you want is actually available.

For example, there are far more accessories for Nikon and Canon dslr cameras than there are for Sony dslr cameras. The availability has a knock on effect in that it is possible to source cheaper accessories for Canon and Nikon dslr cameras although the cheaper products are made by third party companies.

So, before you go and buy your first digital slr camera make sure you do some shopping around for the accessories you think you are going to want and see where the best place to get them from is.

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If you have any comments, rants or raves please feel free to note them in my guestbook. Thanks.

Your comments are welcome

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    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I really enjoyed this lens. I have a Minolta SLR that I bought when I was in Okinawa in the early 1970s. It is a very fine camera, but not a digital. So sad. I now use a small Cannon digital that I was able to afford. It takes excellent pictures,but...Oh well someday I might win the lottery or something.


    • BorisStewart profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! It`s extremly useful lens!


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