Top 5 DSLR Cameras For Entry-level To Mid-Range Shoppers

Posted: Mar 9 2011, 12:51pm CST | by , Updated: Mar 9 2011, 1:13pm CST, in Shopping | Shopping Tips


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The Best DSLRs to choose from.

When you get to the point that the things you want to take pictures of with your cheap point-and-shoot are moving too fast or you want more control over the artistic qualities of your photos it's time to move up to a DSLR. These cameras offer all sorts of controls and functions and they can be intimidating at first.

The good thing is that they all come with instructions to tell you how to use everything and the most popular DSLRs also generally have books available that will teach you how and when to use what settings for the best photos possible. There are DSLR cameras from different companies and with a few differences in photo settings and options. Some DSLRs come with the body only, which means no lens, and some come in a kit with a lens bundled. Be sure you are getting a lens if you need one.

Most of the differences will be beyond most entry-level photographers. They include things like larger ISO ranges, larger sensors, and better autofocus. Some of the key differences that will make a difference to your average new DSLR user are the LCD, if the camera has LiveView and if the camera can shoot video. Only over the last few years have DSLRs gained the ability to shoot video and there are still some on the market that can't do video.

Some of the DSLRs have LiveView on the LCD, which means you can see the image you are about to shoot on the LCD and use that to line up your photo. Many of the cameras on the market lack that capability making the LCD only for viewing images after you shoot them and for changing some settings. It’s important to note that different brand cameras do not have lenses that interchange. You can’t buy a Canon camera and use Nikon lenses on it. Another thing to watch out for is storage medium. Many of the DSLRs store to cheap and readily available SD cards, but some use other storage formats that are harder to find and cost more. Don't get caught up in the megapixel war here, there are plenty of megapixels for shooting images much larger than you can print at home with any DSLR.

I am going to run down some of the most popular and best DSLR cameras on the market today for you to choose from. These cameras are in no particular order and represent some of the most popular on the market.

1. Nikon D3100 14.2MP DSLR w 18-55mm lens - The Nikon D3100 is one of the more popular cameras on the market. This little camera is a kit with an 18-55mm lens that has vibration reduction to keep images from getting blurry. The rear LCD is a 3-inch unit with Live View and the camera can record 1080p HD video. It stores to SD cards. This is the latest entry-level camera from Nikon and is a great place for the user new to DSLRs to start with a price of about $550.

2. Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18MP DSLR w 18-55mm lens - If you prefer to use Canon cameras the T2i Rebel is a nice entry-level unit from Canon that works well and ships with an 18-55mm lens with image stabilization integrated. The camera has lots of resolution with an 18MP sensor and it has a 3-inch rear LCD. The camera stores to SD cards and can record 1080p HD movies. The camera has tons of features and the rear LCD supports LiveView. This camera is quite a bit more expensive than the Nikon I just mentioned at $769.

3. Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX format DSLR Body Only - This DSLR is a much higher-end offering from Nikon and has no lenses with it. The body only camera sells for over $1200 making it aimed more at the serious amateur photographer. The cam has a larger sensor than entry-level offerings with a 16.2MP DX-format sensor. It can shoot bursts at 6fps and it can record 1080p HD video with full time autofocus. This DSLR also uses a magnesium body for strength and lightweight. The rear LCD is 3-inches and lacks LiveView.

4. Nikon D90 12.3MP DX-format DSLR with 18-105mm lens - The Nikon D90 was one of the first DSLRs from Nikon to be able to shoot HD video. This particular kit sells for under $1200 and includes an 18-105mm lens with a larger zoom range than some other devices we have talked about. The camera has a 12.3MP image sensor and can record movies with different movie modes. The rear LCD is 3-inch and it stores to SD cards. This camera is packed with features and will serve prosumers and new users well.

5. Sony a55 DSLR w 18-55mm lens - If Canon and Nikon aren't what you want, the Sony a55 DSLR is a nice camera to look at. This particular cam has an 18-55mm zoom lens bundled in with it for about $850. Anything with the Sony name will have a premium attached and much of the price of the a55 has to do with the Sony brand, but it has some nice and unique features too. It uses Sony Translucent Mirror tech to speed up auto focus. It can shoot 10fps bursts and can shoot HD video with continuous autofocus at 1080p resolution. The resolution is 16.2MP and the camera uses an Exmor HD APS sensor.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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