Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Photography with Jessica - Purchasing your first DSLR

People always want to know what camera I would recommend for someone who is interested in photography and would like to purchase their first DSLR.
DSLR stands for a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.  This is what people call the "big" camera, "nice" camera, or the "real" camera!  With a DSLR you can have complete control over your photography because you have the ability to choose the settings you want, as well as change lenses to suit your needs.  Also, they can generally produce higher resolution images than a point and shoot camera.
There are some other brands that make DSLRs, but I'll just be discussing Canon and Nikon because they seem to be the most commonly used and I know that they are very high quality.  Neither brand is better than the other, they are just different.

Canon's entry level DSLR in the Rebel T2i which sells for around $500.  Here's a quick list of its features:  18 megapixels, full HD video, 3 inch view screen, self-cleaning sensor, ISO up to 6400, a 9 point focusing system and shoots up to 3.7 frames per second.  It's a great camera that has everything you need to produce amazing pictures.

They also recently release the new Rebel T3i, which is very similar, and about $125 more expensive.  The sensor, image processor and the auto-focusing system are all the same, but it has some video improvements.  If you're mainly going to be using it for photos (not video), I would save the money and go with the T2i.  But that's just me...

The D90 is Nikon's basic camera and it sells for around $800.  It has a 12.3 megapixel sensor, HD video, 3 inch view screen, self-cleaning sensor, ISO up to 3200, an 11 point focusing system and shoots up to 4.5 frames per second.  Again, a wonderful camera to start out with.
It's important to buy from a legitimate dealer and I personally love B&H Photo Video.  They are reputable, they have great prices and you can reach their customer service department with any question you may have through their toll free number or live chat online.
Dealers often sell what they call a "kit", which is a set consisting of the camera body and a lens, but the kit lenses usually aren't the greatest, so I would recommend buying just the camera body and then buying lenses separately.

Next time I'll tell you all about the different kinds of lenses out there and what they are for, so can make an informed decision on which ones would be best for you!