This is the first of a two part series looking at what to consider when choosing a DSLR as an amateur photographer.
So I’ve made the decision to upgrade from my modest point and shoot to a DSLR. But where do I start? There are so many to choose from, there’s a make and model for just about everyone with price tags to match…it can be a little overwhelming and lets face it a DSLR is not exactly a small purchase, so I want to get it right.
Obviously this is the first DSLR that I will have bought so I’ve been doing some thinking and reading up on what I should be looking for in a DSLR. And I’ve made a list of what I feel are important areas to look at when choosing a DSLR:
This is always a tricky one, I would like to spend under £500, so buying a starter kit with extra lenses and filters etc looks to be out. Those accessories will have to be bought along the way, but I want to do it this way and at least have a camera that I can use now, rather than wait until I can afford the whole kit at once which could take a while. I want a good entry level DSLR that will last at least a couple of years, which I feel is achievable even with my limited budget. I will just have to be patient…
2. What will I use my DSLR for
I’ve heard this advice a lot, ‘decide what type of photography you want to shoot and that will help you decide which equipment is best for you’. And I agree that it makes sense to plan ahead and tailor the camera I buy in that way. But that only works if I know what type of photography I want to shoot, which I don’t! I enjoy landscapes, architectural and urban photography but I’d also like to try macro so I’ve not found an area of photography that I want to concentrate on yet, I’m still exploring. Although I don’t think this will be as important seeing as I’m buying an entry level DSLR. And I wonder how many other photographers may also feel the same.
3. Try the cameras out
So what I need to do is research what’s available for my budget and create a shortlist of camera’s that I’m interested in. Then I want to go and try them out, handle them and see how they feel to use. I think that’s very important when buying a camera, because it may sound great on paper but in real life it may not feel as good to use. I don’t want to buy a camera on reputation and then find out it’s not for me. I think camera’s are a personal choice, at the end of the day the camera needs to feel comfortable in my hand with the features positioned well for easy use.
4. Look to the future and for upgrades
I also want to look to the future with whichever camera I choose. I may not have a great budget now but I’m serious about improving and expanding my photography skills for a long time to come. So I want to buy a camera that’s going to have good support and accessories. And as I’m going to buy kit gradually then I want to know what possibilities are out there, for instance how many lenses are available for the camera, and what type?
So that’s not much of a wish list is it! Look out for part two when I’ll tell you what I’ve found…