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Expert Tips on Selecting a Digital SLR Camera for Beginner Photographers

Updated on July 22, 2013

Ready to enter the world of Digital SLR?

Are you thinking of replacing your old digital camera with a new and advanced and a better Digital SLR camera? And still you haven't decided on which is better out of the thousands of cameras available in different brands and different code names? Then you have come to the right place.

If you are a novice to Digital SLR photography, we highly recommend you read through all the product reviews we have mentioned here. Digital SLR cameras are obviously more expensive than digital cameras but they produce far more superior quality pictures. Anyway if you have budget limitations as well, we have listed the cameras in a 'best value' ranking, value is a combination of the cost and the return you get for the cost.

Also we have included Amazon links to each product so it will be easier for you to shop for them.

Want to take stunning digital photographs like this?
Want to take stunning digital photographs like this? | Source

Expert Tips for Beginners...

Moving into a DSLR, that is graduating from a 'point and shoot' camera can be a daunting experience. Asking Amazon is not much help when there are over 75,000 results to look at.

The best way to begin the shortcuts guide to expertise is showing you what not to focus on.

Sensor size and number of pixels is one of the easiest areas to get caught up in. Do not fall for that trap. Certainly all other things being equal (which they never are), a larger image sensor and more pixels can be better. And unless you are a professional photographer and your work is going on billboards, we have hit diminishing returns, and you are paying in size, weight, energy consumption and costs.

Today's modern DSLR also handles itself well as a video camera. There is also the advantage of being able to change lenses.

Perhaps the most important criteria for the beginner in picking a DSLR is the size of the camera itself in relation to the size of your hands. If you have chosen wisely the long-term investment in different lenses will happily mount to your camera body increasing your creativity and capability.

Given that let's take a look at a few top choices:

01) Fujifilm FinePix S4200 Digital Camera

At about US$ 150 should put it on the top of the short list for anybody on an extreme budget. Of course at this price you're not changing lenses and it packs a super zoom in a relatively compact body. Approximately 2/3 of Amazon customers gave it a five star rating.

02) Nikon COOLPIX L820 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera

Nikon isn't going to let Fuji have the entry-level DLSR space all to itself. This new entry from Nikon in the CoolPix lineup is a worthy contender at a great price. While it does not have near the number of customer reviews (being newer), the majority give it a five star rating.

03) Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR

Canon has been in a virtual battle to the death with Nikon since the 1960s. The Canon Rebel T3 moves you into the really serious end of the game under US$ 500. A little over 80% of Amazon customers give it a five star rating.

04) Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera

Nikon is proving the newest is not necessarily best with this entry. Also coming in under US$ 500 it displays its fierce battle with its arch rival Canon. Just over 80% of Amazon customers give it a five star rating.

05) Sony Alpha A230L 10.2 MP Digital SLR Camera

Most people do not realize Sony is re-positioning itself away from its legacies such as the Walkman and Trinitron TV. That is too bad because the firm has some very talented engineers, creating camera lineups with incredible price performance.

Micro photography
Micro photography

If you wish to take stunning micro photographs like the one above, you need to have an appropriate zoom lens for your DSLR.


As with our other suggestions, the majority of reviews are five-star ratings with people pleasantly surprised to find this dark horse entry to be a surprising performer in the prosumer marketplace for DSLR's.

And let's close with one piece of advice, regardless of what you choose. Throw away the lens cap and replace it with a good multi coated UV filter. This way you'll never 'missed the shot' because you forgot to take the lens cover off in advance.

The above ranking is not ranking from the best DSLR camera to the worst, but rather a ranking based on value. Of course the higher the price, the more and better features you get. But since you are a beginner photographer-maybe for fun and small private occasions-you should consider a camera under preferably $500. If you are serious about Digital SLR photography you should definitely go for a more advanced Digital SLR camera.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Help others decide...

What brand of cameras are you most satisfied with?

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