Digital SLR Buying Tips

You fancy buying a new camera and you don’t really know what to buy but you’ve heard the term “digital SLR” bandied about and everyone says they’re great. You search the internet for digital SLR buying tips and there are loads but nobody tells you what the SLR bit actually means and maybe you should know before you take the plunge so here is a brief description.

Digital SLR means digital single lens reflex and it has to do with the way that light is directed within the camera enabling a single camera to allow many different lens focal lengths. You see what the lens sees, these cameras are fast and you can use different lenses. However, this article isn’t about the technicalities of single lens reflex technology, it’s about digital SLR buying tips, so here are some of mine:

Tip 1 – Firstly you need to know that there is nothing to choose in terms of picture quality between the big brand names on the market, so don’t stress about that, but some cameras are better suited to certain types of photography.

Tip 2 – Ask yourself what it is that you’ll take photos of the most. Is it your pets and/or kids in action? Is it landscapes, portraits or close-ups? Do you mostly take photographs at night or in daylight, indoors or outdoors? Do you plan your photography sessions in a studio or take most of your pics on the spur of the moment? If you’ve sorted this out in advance, you’ll be able to compare the camera features which apply to your favourite form of photography. After all, there’s no point comparing flash settings if you hardly ever use the flash on your current camera.

Tip 3 – One of the best digital SLR buying tips I can think of is to familiarise yourself with the terminology. Don’t go to a camera shop and allow yourself to be baffled by the shop assistant asking you how many megapixels you want or what type of image stabilisation would be appropriate.

Tip 4 – Now you are familiar with the features of one of these cameras, match the features with your photography style. For example if you most take action shots, then you will need a camera with a fast continuous drive which means that you can take photos in quick succession.

Tip 5 – Choose which aspect is most important to you, e.g. price, size or number of megapixels and read reviews in magazines or online. Choose a few well-known brands and make yourself a spreadsheet comparing the features that you really want. Ignore the rest or you may get confused.

Tip 6 – Probably the most important of digital SLR buying tips. Compare prices. Money is short these days and deals abound. Check out your local shops, particularly the big chains which often have offers available but don’t forget to look online too. If you’re an amateur, a good second hand camera may well be adequate for your needs and will save you a lot of money.