BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Making the Switch to a DSLR? Cameras to Consider

leave a comment »

If you’re planning to switch from a point-and-shoot camera to a digital SLR, then congratulations, it probably means you’re ready to get serious about photography.

DSLRs allow you tons more creative freedom than do point-and-shoot cameras. With the vast selection of lenses and lighting equipment, you can really start to control the way you make images.

There are many DSLRs to choose from and all of them offer various features that will appeal to different users. So, let’s first determine what kind of user you are.

User Profiles
In order to make this simple, I’m going to categorize users into three categories: family event photographers, hobbyists and students.

Family event photographers, as the name implies, utilize a camera mostly for special events: birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. They need a camera that’s user friendly and relatively low priced.
Hobbyists are photographers who explore photography. They go beyond candid photos and snapshots and make composed photographs. The need a camera that allows more creative freedom and often look for mid-range priced cameras.
Students are photographers who either want to make photography a career or at least a serious part of their lives. They need a camera system that grows with them as they advance in photography.

With these categories in mind, let’s examine some entry-level DSLRs that can fit the bill for the various photographer categories.

Cameras for Family Event Photographers

  • Canon Rebel XS with 18-55mm IS Lens Kit: This is a great camera for the family photographer. It’s easy to use, relatively lightweight and at 10.1 megapixels, you can make great prints. Street value: Around $600 US.
  • Nikon D40 with NIKKOR 18-55mm Lens Kit: This camera features a 6.1-megapixel image sensor with easy-to-use controls all packaged in a very lightweight body – about 17 ounces. Street value: Around $500 US.
  • Olympus Evolt E-410 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm Lens Kit: With a 10-megapixel image sensor, a handy dust reduction system and a kit that contains two lenses, the Olympus Evolt E-410 is a great deal. The camera is easy to use and the controls are quite intuitive. Street value: Around $650 US.

Cameras for Hobbyists

  • Nikon D90 body only: Honestly, I would tell hobbyists to skip the Nikon D60 and D80 and go straight for the D90. It’s a great camera that will meet any challenge you throw at it. The D90 is built well, designed well, has a 12.3-megapixel image sensor and all the controls are very intuitive. Even if you never use the video capture mode, the D90 makes beautiful still images. Street value for body only: Around $1,000 US.
  • Canon EOS 40D body only: This camera has a 10.1-megapixel image sensor, Canon’s Integrated Cleaning System to help reduce dust on the image sensor and boasts a whopping 6.5 frames-per-second shooting speed. This is a fast little camera that will be a great tool for hobbyists, especially those who shoot sports and/or wildlife. Street value for body only: Around $1,100 US.

Cameras for Students

Students are a unique category. As a student, you have two choices: Either buy a camera listed for hobbyists in order to see how far you want to go in photography or if you’re absolutely CERTAIN you want to be a pro photographer, buy one of these cameras so you won’t need to upgrade later.

  • Nikon D300 body only: This cameras has it all – a 12.3-megapixel image sensor, 6 frames-per-second shooting speed that can bump to 8 fps with the optional battery pack, and a great ISO range with low noise in the higher ISOs. This is the camera that will get you through school and will work well in your early career. Street value for body only: About $1,800 US.
  • Canon EOS 50D body only: At 15.1 megapixels and 6.3 frames-per-second, this is a workhorse camera. Canon serves up some great cameras and this is one of them. You won’t be looking for an upgrade for this camera for quite some time. Street value for body only: About $1,400 US.
  • Olympus E-3: The Olympus E-3 is the flagship camera of the Olympus DSLR lineup. It’s a great camera built for heavy-duty use. It shoots fast – 1/8000 second is the highest shutter speed and has the ability to shoot 5 frames-per-second. Olympus also has a great lineup of lenses to compliment this camera. Street value for body only: Around $1,700 US.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: