With so many digital SLRs on the market at so many different price points it’s a good idea to narrow down your options by thinking about what ‘s important to you, and what you want to do with the camera. Here are some question you can ask yourself before heading to a DSLR.
1. Do you want the same kind of ‘point and shoot’ simplicity as you get with a compact camera or are you the type of photographer who likes to roll up his or her sleeves and take control of every function?
2. Many entry-level DSLRs offer a range of ‘point and shoot’ subject / scene modes, whereas more ‘professional’ models don’t (though all have a basic ‘auto’ program mode). Do you shoot a lot of sport or wildlife? If so you’ll need a fast camera with a high frame rate, and will probably want one of the smaller sensor formats.
If you shoot in very low light you’ll
be looking for a camera with the best possible high ISO performance and possibly in-body image stabilization, if you do a lot of studio, portrait or macro work you may well decide that a ‘live view’ function is a high priority.
3. Do you need a particularly rugged (or weatherproof) body?
4. Does the size and weight of the camera play an important role in your choice?
5. Do you have a particular application in mind that requires a specialist lens or other accessory? Not all camera systems offer the same range of lenses and not all cameras are compatible with the more specialized add-ons. And don’t forget that most DSLRs are compatible with many of the lenses and accessories originally designed for film SLR cameras (from the same manufacturer), so if you’re already heavily invested in a film system you may want to stick to the same system when you move to digital.
Armed with some answers to these questions you can produce a shortlist of cameras that match your needs perfectly.