7 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First DSLR Camera

Written by  on January 28, 2014 

So you’re tired of point-and-shoot cameras and want to give DSLR cameras a try? Buying your first DSLR camera can be a challenge with all the latest releases and brands of DSLR camera models available in the market. With reasonable prices and models that get more user-friendly with each release, how can you decide exactly which camera is the right one for you? Here are 7 basic things you need to consider before you put money down for a DSLR camera:

DSLR cameras 500x263 - 7 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First DSLR Camera
Image: flickr.com/photos/penmachine

Purpose

The first thing to ask yourself before you buy a DSLR is why. What type of photography would you want to explore? Are you going to shoot photos of food, people, or places? Do you want a DSLR camera to bring with you when you go on your travels? Do you need low-light performers? Or long, powerful lens? And are you really going to use it? Or are you just buying a DSLR because everyone else is? If your purpose is the last one, then it’s better if you don’t buy one at all.

Budget

Brow through shops—online and offline—to look at different cameras, as well as camera accessories such as lenses, tripod, memory cards, batteries, camera bag and filters. Remember that having a DSLR camera requires spending not just on the camera itself but also shelling out extra for accessories, and even on maintenance or repairs. To save on costs, try looking for discount coupons for cameras by browsing daily deal/ group buying sites that offer big discounts on retail items. You may also want to pay for your DSLR using your credit card to get rewards such as camera accessory freebies or discount coupons for accessories.

Comfort Level

Online shopping is the rage these days, and you may decide to purchase your DSLR online using your credit card. However, before buying your camera, it’s important to go to a real store to hold the camera in your hands, and see if you’re comfortable with the way it fits in your hands and if you can adjust the controls and use it with ease. Test out the different sizes, weights, and models in your hands, and assess which ones you like.

Brand

If you’ve really set your heart—and wallet—on a DSLR but don’t have much in the way of your budget, you might be tempted to purchase a cheap one from lesser known brands. However, if you plan to take photography for a long time, it’s better if you go for the more popular brands such as Canon and Nikon, which are compatible with camera accessories such as lenses and other accessories. That way, should you decide to upgrade and purchase a second camera after a few years, there won’t be compatibility issues with your accessories.

Resolution

Nearly all DSLR cameras now feature 10 megapixel digital sensors, which should be the right amount of megapixels you need to print an 8×10 photo. Don’t try to look for larger megapixels and spend more money in the process, because having more megapixels is not necessary at all and can only fill up the storage space of your camera faster, unless you need to print big pictures all the time. Having a camera with more megapixels also requires a computer with a quick processor and big memory to be able to process the photos. Apart from this, having too many megapixels can also decrease the ISO performance of a camera. So forget about having more megapixels and focus on other qualities.

Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, getting a DSLR entails some responsibilities beyond paying one time for the price of a camera and expecting it to always work like a charm for the rest of its life. To ensure that your camera is in good working condition, make it a point to clean the lens, its sensor. Clear out the dust on both lens and sensor. Buy a sensor cleaning kit for cleaning the lens, the sensor, the viewfinder lens, and so forth. Dust can affect your photos as well as scratch your lens/ sensor so it’s essential to always keep your camera’s accessories clean to protect it and make it last longer.

Warranty

To find the right DSLR camera is not just about finding a good unit at the lowest price possible. Make sure the camera you’ll be buying comes complete with the box, a warranty, and all accessories advertised as free benefits for purchasing the camera. Do your research to know if you’re getting the complete product benefits you’re paying for.

These are just some of the tips that can help you when you pick a DSLR camera. Research well, think about your options, and search for discounts on cameras and accessories to be able to get the best deal on the market. One good tip, though, is if you already have the money to pay for the camera, then just use your credit card so you could get freebies along with it. Then take the money you set aside for it and pay the charges when your credit card bill comes. This way, you take full advantage of the benefits your credit card offers you, without having to shell out extra for the interest.

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