Easy steps to select a good DSLR camera

August 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Easy steps to select a good DSLR camera

When you are learning photography and planning to buy a new DSLR, you are not quite sure of which camera you should buy. I have put together some points regarding the camera features which you should consider while buying a new camera. Simply shortlist a few camera models based on your budget and note down the technical specifications in the form bellow. When you look at the technical specs of a camera on the website there is a huge list and most of it is not relevant to you in deciding which camera you should buy. To avoid that confusion check out only the specs mentioned bellow and it will be easier for you to identify the camera you should buy. If you are already learning photography or have joined a good photography course, you would anyways be familiar with these terms. For a professional Photographer also this "buying form" can be good tool to easily identify the camera he should buy. 

Features comparison form by Munish Khanna

Equipment feature comparison form. Fill up the features in the respective columns and you can easily compare the features for easy selection of models. You can download and Print this form.

Features Characteristics          
Megapixel More is better. at least 24 or more. If you are a commercial photographer, go for the highest number as this is the first thing any prospective client asks for. with the advancement in technology this minimum megapixel one should have continues to increase.          
sensor type and size Bigger sensor size is better. CCD/CMOS both are fine          
Full Frame Full frame is any day better if your budget allows.          
Mirror or mirrorless Go for mirrorless. with changing times, mirrorless is the way to go. technology is heading towards mirrorless and it does have its merits, not to have a mirror in the camera. It's lighter and more long lasting as it has less mechanical parts.          
Metering modes More options are better. Multi pattern, centre weighted, spot. lower versions generally do not have spot. Canon calls it's multi pattern metering as "Evaluative" while Nikon calls it "3D Matrix"          
Focusing points More is better. And ideally they should be more spread out as well.          
Cross type More of cross type focusing points is better.          
ISO range Lower the starting range better is the picture quality. Having 50 ISO is a good option. having Higher iso is helpful only in low light photography with relatively lower quality          
Higher ISO capability of a camera Do check reviews and sample images of the cameras image quality at higher ISO. It's good to buy a camera which does not show NOISE in the images when shot with higher ISO.          
Flash sync Higher is better as you get more flexibility while shooting outdoors with flash          
Shutter speeds Higher is better. Look for 1/8000 but at least 1/4000th sec          
Sharing WIFI, NFC, Bluetooth - one or all of these are present in a lot of cameras now. Does not affect the Image quality but you may prefer if sharing instantly is a priority. All cameras have the option of transferring the images through a wire anyways.          
Geo Tagging It's good to have it but unless you specifically need this feature, it should not be a deciding factor. It will not affect the image quality in any manner.          
Card slots Two card slots is better but can't be a sole deciding factor.          
LCD monitor size 3" at least but does not effect picture quality          
LCD pixels/dots More is better but does not effect picture quality          
Touchscreen Many cameras are now coming with a touchscreen but it alone should not be the deciding factor.          
Lens compatibility All lenses can be attached to smaller sensor size but only full frame lenses are compatible with full sensor.           
Movie These are added features but not at the cost of the image quality.          
Full HD / 4K Video resolution should be at least Full High Definition. It's good to have 4k if you are more inclined towards video.          
Power Avoid AA /AAA cells. Most of the cameras now come with their own rechargeable batteries.          
camera body buildup Better build /weather sealing will, of course, be more expensive. If you are an amateur and intend to use the camera mostly indoors unlike in sports, wildlife or journalism, you may go for a model with more features than better construction.          
shutter life More is better but than the camera will be expensive as well. And it depends on your usage. If you are rarely going to use the camera, then it does not matter. Even if you shoot often but shoot very less, it does not really matter. After all, you are paying less as well.          
Frames per second Higher is better but you really need to consider this only if you intend to shoot fast sequences like in wildlife photography. One frame more or less in general photography wont make any difference at all.          
Inbuilt flash Most pro cameras would not have one. If you are a pro / serious amateur, you would certainly need an external flash as well. For an amateur, this is an added feature.          
Sensor cleaning Must have the inbuilt sensor cleaning feature. Most have it now.          
File formats Must have RAW format          
Size and Weight. Most of the pro cameras would be bigger and heavier as these would be more strongly built. If weight and size is not specifically a concern, do not really bother about the camera being compact or not. Even the compact ones wont be compact enough to fit in your pocket. yes they may certainly fit in a smaller bag and be less prominent while using.           
Available Kits Cameras are bundled with lenses. Compare camera bodies alone first in term of features and price. You can attach any compatible lens with the camera. However, once you select a particular body of the camera buying it together with a lens is cheaper as compared to buying the lens alone. Note that you do need a lens with the camera body to function.          
Overall system cost check equipment buying form. what is the total cost of equipment you intend to buy?          
Review/ratings check reviews from websites like
fredmiranda bhphoto dpreview
any other feature missed here.          
Total cost Go for the camera which gives you the best value for money. In general more expensive is the camera, it does have extra features or better image quality. But you can always explore if you really need those extra features or you prefer some other features.          

You can download and Print this form.
I hope this comparison table helps you decide the camera which is right for your needs. If you are starting in photography and planning to buy a camera, I would suggest that you join a good photography course and if time is a concern, you may consider joining our online photography course. This will enable you to understand the terms better and help you choose the right photography equipment for you. Once you buy the camera, it's very easy to learn Photography even online as everything is practically explained step by step in easy to understand language without getting too technical when not required.

Munish Khanna is an Advertising and Fashion Photographer who has specially created one of the best affordable online photography course with a vast experience of teaching photography at his photography academy in Delhi. He has been running his Photography course in Delhi since 1993. He has also set a wedding photography company - Together We Rock with a team of professional wedding photographers and cinematographers. All his actuals photography shoots and assignments are a part of his online photography course as well so you actually get to see the actual shoots besides detailed information on various Photography topics. Munish has been shooting with Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Phaseone amongst several other photography equipment and gadgets

 Equipment buying guide



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