ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Simple Steps to Buying a Digital SLR Camera be it Nikon, Canon or something else...

Updated on June 17, 2015

Getting started

I've been in and out of photography for a very long time. I started out back in the day - the analogue days - with film and did all the darkroom development processes you read about now like it was last millennium - oh wait, it was...

Having lost all my equipment 5 years ago, I decided to call it quits. During the last year with my family growing up and speaking with some travel photographers I was bitten by the photo-bug again. So I decided to get myself back in the game and started looking for a decent set of gear to get the cobwebs dusted - here are some of the main steps I took to get setup.

Step 1: Area of interest.
Are you interested in portrait, landscape, street, architectural, fashion, wedding, travel or something else the list goes on. Each of these areas have slightly different equipment requirements so you need to take that into account. The basic rule holds true though - that's the 'Get a decent body, but save your money on the best lens you can afford!" rule. You can upgrade your camera body later but the lens is something that will take you forward in your photo-adventures and you do not want to skimp on picture quality. Most DSLR cameras available in the pro-sumer range are very good, of decent price and they all have the features you would need to get started. All have interchangeable lens and feature outstanding photo and video quality to a point. If you are serious in taking this step you need to have full manual control to slow down and really "create" your pictures rather than "taking" your pictures - part of the learning/initiating process!

Step 2: Your budget.
Figure out what you can afford on your DSLR setup and stick to it! Easy - right? Not quite...Depending on the type of photography you are interested in you will need slightly different lenses and even extra equipment e.g. flash gear that on camera or off, reflectors, tripod(s), computer HW and SW for photo processing etc. so it adds up pretty fast. Though some equipment can be used in different areas e.g. a fast lens for street, wedding, fashion, portrait photography; wide-angles for architectural, interior design, fashion, travel, and landscape photography etc.

Do your research and set a budget!

Step 3: Where to get the equipment.
Kits versus separate body and lens mix. Kit lenses, those that comes with the camera are usually ok - they do the job and captures the image you want at Aunt Sally's 70th birthday party - an excellent kit lens is few and far between. Here again you need to do your research on the brands, body/sensor size and lenses you want to take on you adventure. My example: I want to get back into street photography and portraiture. I wanted to get the maximum sensor size I can but not maximum megapixel size, I want a prime/standard lens with a fast enough aperture for low light - street lighting - as well as the ability to control the depth of field for portraits. Brands I did not really cared about - though I have used Nikon and Canon equipment in the distant past - but I did care about the availability of excellent lenses and the camera's ability to use older lenses so this brought me back to Nikon and Canon. Yes, for street photography there is another brand - Leica - that created "street photography" but on my budget I couldn't even afford a camera case in that line up. So back to Nikon and Canon it is. I have had a bit more experience with Nikon so I decided to go with them instead of Canon. If you are seriously into sport photography, videography + photography you may want to go try out a Canon.

Try before you buy! If you are still unsure about the type/brand/size etc. you can spend some of you budget on renting the equipment for a couple of days and test driving the setup to see if it's what you wanted. There are a number of site on the web that does this as well as the bigger photo stores in the bigger cities!

You have decided on the make, model, and lens(es) you want - one more step before you go hand over your hard earned/saved/borrowed cash! If you are set to buy "NEW" goto sites like B&H or Adorama - I prefer the latter and go for it. If you have done your research and may have gleemed into previous years DSLR models you may have noticed the BIG price drop on the generation -1 or -2 prices - granted they are not brand new but you can be compensated by other ways interms of features, sensor size e.g. going from an APS to an FX, etc. With your short list on camera and lenses you should look into Amazon Used sections and also eBay - here I prefer Amazon. I've been actively buying and selling on both but - let's say - have found Amazon to be much more business like and secure/trustworthy. Oh yeah - I ended up with a lightly used Nikon D700 with a similarly lightly used Nikkor 50mm F1.8 both of which I am very happy with and re-learning the joys of photography!!


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)