Choosing your first DSLR for beginners

Dan Eitreim

January 25, 2015

When you buy your first digital camera (DSLR) it can be both a fun and exciting part of your life while at the same time being exceedingly frustrating, confusing, maddening or whatever other adjective you use to describe the experience.

Your first hurdle comes when you start doing research to determine the best camera for your needs… What lenses should you get? Do you need filters? Who makes the best camera ? And on and on.

Most of us spend dozens of hours online pouring over the stats of dozens of cameras and manufacturers all vying for our attention (and all claiming to be the best).

Who can we trust? Which company really is the best for our needs?

Odds are your first purchase will be an entry level digital single lens reflex (dslr) camera. It is the logical choice for a digital beginner. Then, once they’ve had some successes they gradually start to move up the ladder to better and more sophisticated cameras – spending more and more along the way.

Here’s a bit of good news… Most of us initially gravitate to Nikon and Canon DSLR’s and while there is an age old debate over which is better, you can rest assured that they are both excellent companies and you can’t go too far afield no matter which one you choose.

In my personal opinion, Nikon was the standard bearer of film cameras but came to the digital revolution a bit late. I believe a Canon camera is your best choice for digital.

Let’s compare two entry level Canon DSLR’s, the Canon Rebel T1i and the Canon Rebel XSi.

Based on virtually every review, both of them are excellent choices. They each offer a wide array of manual controls. BTW – you MUST select manual options if you want your photos to be truly great. Automatic settings just don’t do it and that is with ANY camera manufacturer – film – digital – ALL of them.

Each of them have about the same megapixel ratings, ISO settings, LCD screen, print quality and so on. But there are two big differences.

First – why even get a digital camera? Most of us move up to a better camera because of the ability to interchange the lenses which just isn’t an option with many compact cameras and (shudder) cell phones.

Both offer interchangeable lens capability, but the T1i also has the ability to take videos. Unfortunately, it also comes with a substantially higher price tag. Since video is not the primary reason for upgrading your camera, I suggest buying the cheaper Canon Rebel XSi and investing the difference in additional lenses, a tripod, flash or whatever. This will add a great deal of flexibility and artistic creative opportunities to your photography.

But, keep in mind that either of them would be a good choice. Now, which lens should I get?

To learn more about a great online class, check out – Photography Master Class

For a bit of fun check out – Trick Photography

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