Things to Consider When Looking for the Best DSLR Camera

Technology  ·  Best Picks   Updated October 2019

DSLR cameras are getting more and more popular even among amateur photographers. This is mainly due to falling prices and the new models being easier to use.

One of the reasons why people buy DSLR cameras is the superior image quality in comparison with point-and-shoot cameras or smartphones.

Body Only or Body and Lens Kit?

Digital SLRs have larger and better sensors than most point and shoots, but it is important to understand that the camera body is just one part of the equation. The lens you will use with your camera is just as important.

When buying a camera, you will usually have an option to either buy a "body only", which is a less expensive option, or a camera kit that usually includes a zoom lens.

If you are new to DSLR cameras and using different lenses, you might think it would be good to start with an inexpensive kit lens. Depending on the kit, this could result in disappointment as kit lens might not offer sharpness or low-light capability you expected.

To avoid that, we recommend that after you choose your camera (body), do invest time in selecting the lens you will want to use it with.

What Kind of Photography?

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what you want your DSLR to be used for. Do you want it for portrait photography or rather wildlife photography? Do you plan to take landscapes or shoot action-packed sports events? Do you need good low-light capability (e.g. indoor shooting) or perhaps macro photography is what you will primarily use it for?

Most cameras are flexible enough so that they can be used for different kinds of photography, provided they are equipped with adequate lens. However, if you narrow down the types of situations you want to use it for, you will know more about what kind of camera and features to look for.

Budget

When researching DSLR camera prices, it is important to consider how much you want to spend not just on the camera body, but a desired lens as well. On top of that you will most need a high-speed memory card and a camera bag to protect your investment.

Image Quality

It's not just about megapixels. Today's digital SLR cameras all have about 16 and more megapixel sensor and it hardly makes any difference whether it's 16, 20 or 30MP unless you intend to make large prints. If you want to take great photos, camera lens, image stabilization, sensor size and sensitivity are much more important.

Camera Lens

When choosing a camera it is essential to pick the right lens focal length range. This will tell you what field of view (FOV) the camera will be able to cover. For instance, imagine one camera has a focal length range of 28-140mm and another covers 35-175mm. Both of them will have 5x zoom, but the former will offer a wider angle at 28mm, while the latter will have more zoom at 175mm. A wider angle of the 28-140mm lens means the camera will be easier to use in tighter spaces and to take photos of a group of people from closer distance. (e.g. at a party)

Image stabilization built-in into lens helps to prevent blurry photos, by compensating for the movement of your shaky hands.

Low Light Performance

If you want to take a lot of photos indoor, at dawn or dusk, or on a cloudy day, you will want to look into how well your camera performs in low light. ISO sensitivity tells you how much light is collected by the sensor, and the less light you have available, the higher the ISO-setting you will need.

In less expensive camera + lens combinations, indoor photos taken without flash at high ISO will often result in noise-filled images. On the In such a situation having a camera body with a better CMOS sensor would help, just as a faster lens would.

Size

The sizes and weights of DSLR cameras and lenses vary considerably, with the more expensive models being also the heaviest. If you plan to travel with your kit extensively, do a lot of hiking etc., picking a lighter and less bulky models might be a good idea.

Shooting Video

Although most DSLR cameras on the market today have the ability to record HD video, some are dedicated solely to taking still photos. Currently the most popular video formats are full HD 1080p, with more expensive models offering 4K UHD video recording. If video quality is important to you and you want your camera body to be future-proof, go for the 4K capability.

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In the list below you can find the models, which are particularly outstanding and popular among users:

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