DSLR Buying Guide

Thanks to DSLR cameras, pictures are now better, sharper, and clearer than ever. Gone are the days of old-school low-quality photos because the game in photography has completely changed.
With this DSLR buying guide, you can look through the camera’s unique features and weigh your options. Your first DSLR shopping will be like a breeze.

DSLR Buying Guide: Factors You Should Consider

Selecting your first DSLR can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Don’t let this hinder you from getting what you want.
Before you hurry and buy a DSLR camera, taking note of factors contributing to your overall experience with your camera is essential. It’ll make your purchase worthwhile.

Camera Use

First, you should be sure of your purpose for buying a DSLR. Are you going to use it for photography, videography, or both?
If you’re buying it mainly for photography, ensure it has various camera mode features. These include HDR, portrait, night mode, built-in flash, and image editing. However, if your purpose is videography, you should consider its resolution and frame rate speed (fps).
For example, a DSLR that allows you to shoot videos at 1080p at 60fps is an excellent choice. The higher fps will guarantee a smoother video result.

Sensor Size

One of the essential features to consider when buying a DSLR is the sensor size. A DSLR can capture more information if it has a large sensor size. This results in higher image quality.
A camera with a bigger sensor size will give you a detailed image despite low-light setups like in a concert or night landscape. This capability is due to its large size, allowing more light to collect in a shot.
Price-wise, a DSLR camera with a smaller sensor size doesn’t cost as much as those with a larger sensor size. If budget is also one of your concerns, you may want to look at this aspect first.

Common Sensor Sizes in DSLR Cameras

DSLR cameras come in various sensor sizes. The most popular sensor sizes are 35mm full-frame, micro four thirds, and APS-C.
The sensor size impacts the resulting image. As it captures more light, it produces an image with less noise and more background blur—an ideal element in portrait photography.

Body of the Camera

The next factor you should consider when buying a DSLR is the camera's body. While these cameras may seem similar in appearance, they still differ in certain aspects.
Check for microphones, HDMI, and custom buttons on the DSLR. It’d be great if the camera came with an LCD touchscreen and flipping display as it can make things convenient.

Camera Lenses

When choosing a good quality DSLR camera, you should also evaluate its lenses. The top three rated brands, Nikon, Sony, and Canon, all have a good selection of lenses.
If you want a cheaper option, invest in zoom and prime lenses rather than an expensive camera body.

Megapixels

The notion that more megapixels will automatically guarantee better photos is not always the case.
For example, an 8-megapixel camera will produce photos that are good for large prints. Even entry-level DSLRs already come with 15-16 megapixels.
If you think about it, any DSLR camera you can buy today will provide you with enough megapixels.

Image Processor

An image processor is like the brain of the camera. What it does is it takes care of how the camera functions and how it renders and records images.
When choosing a DSLR camera, look at how fast its image processor is. The faster the image processor, the better the overall image quality.

Exposure

When selecting a DSLR camera, go for a model that gives you complete control of the three elements of exposure. Doing so allows you to perfectly capture your subject without missing the details because it’s too bright or dark.
These elements are shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity. Let’s see how they affect exposure.

Shutter Speed

Understanding how shutter speed works is essential in taking great photographs. For example, if you set the shutter speed manually to ½ a second, the shutter would stay open for half a second.
More light enters the sensor when your camera has a longer shutter speed. Thus, for fast-moving subjects such as sporting events, go for a faster shutter speed.

Aperture

To understand how the aperture in a camera works, think about your eyes.
You can see an image because light enters through the pupil. In dark environments, the pupil dilates to allow more light to enter, while in well-lighted setups, it constricts.
The aperture works like a pupil, allowing light to enter your camera's lens. You can increase or decrease the aperture’s size depending on how much light you want to reach the sensor.
Aperture affects your camera's exposure by making your photos brighter or darker.

ISO Sensitivity

So, what does ISO sensitivity have to do with exposure? The ISO camera setting in your DSLR tells how responsive the sensor is to light.
Your camera’s ISO sensitivity should be lower to get better-quality images. If the ISO sensitivity is higher, it’ll produce a grainy output.
Standard ISO speed settings are 100, 200, 400, and 800, with 100 being a low ISO setting. You can also manually change your DSLR’s ISO setting.

Mirrorless Cameras or DSLR

If you’re confused about getting a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, here are some points to ponder as you weigh your options.

Mirrorless Camera Pros

  • Mirrorless cameras are more portable as they’re smaller and lighter.
  • It offers better video capture with faster autofocus.
  • It’s more advanced than DSLRs regarding high-speed shooting.

DSLR Pros

  • DSLR cameras have more choices of lenses compared to the few expensive lens options in mirrorless cameras.
  • It has better battery life than a mirrorless camera.
  • DSLR’s optical viewfinder is superior.

Conclusion

Before deciding what camera to get, take time to study the essential factors to consider with this DSLR buying guide. A reliable DSLR will never fail you in capturing life’s beautiful moments.
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