It wasn’t that long ago, that real photographers turned up their noses at the thought of using a digital camera. Well, fast forward a few years, and everyone is using digital cameras it seems. Even those few purists who still hold to traditional film 35mm cameras have softened.
This is largely due to big technology advances in the digital world at large, and digital cameras specifically. These advances have really raised the bar in terms of what a digital camera is capable of. The bad news for digital photographers, is a increase in complexity. While it’s amazing, that a tiny digital camera is capable of lots of tricks, it means consumers really need to do their homework, and understand what they’re buying.
Reading digital camera reviews online is one of the best ways of doing that. The reviews are free, and often end up pointing you in the direction of some great camera deals.
SLR cameras is one niche that has really seen a boom in advances, coupled with a plummeting in prices. Especially today as competition is even more intense for your camera dollars during tough economic times. For well under $ 1000, you can get some pretty sweet entry level digital SLR cameras from a number of manufactures. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus all have some nice DSLR cameras worth considering at this price point.
It would be prudent, to pick two or three SLR cameras from each of those four manufacturers, that fit within your budget. From there, you can start searching around for some good reviews specific to those camera models. reading a few reviews, and checking out different online prices should start to give you a good idea of what is the best value for your money.
If your really the detail oriented camera shopper (you know who you are), you can dig a little deeper and find more information. Most manufacturers put their camera manuals online, so if you try searching around for those, you should find the manuals for the models your most interested in. The manuals should be rife with specifications, that most reviews will gloss over. With this information, it’s probably best to put yourself together a little spreadsheet to compare features.
Be sure to consider the more important features of SLR cameras like, lenses, megapixels, image sensor size, user interface, and available accessories. Speaking of accessories, don’t forget to consider the price of some of the less glamorous stuff you’ll need for an SLR, like camera bags, extra batteries, memory cards, lens cleaning kits, and photography books.
While just moving up to a SLR will improve the quality of your pictures, there’s no substitute for a little more education. I’m a big fan of the Canon Rebel line with it comes to SLR cameras. Anything from the Rebel XT to the XTi, to the XS, to the XSi, and the new T1i are great choices. Nikon is a heavy hitter in this nice as well. The D40, and D60 are both excellent choices.