Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Camera Selection

Here we outline the main aspects to consider in selecting and purchasing a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, to help you make an informed decision on your camera purchase. The range of cameras available in any particular country may vary at any time but we endevour to give you some guidance an what to look for.  DSLR cameras have larger image sensors than the compact range of cameras and will offer a far greater image quality. In addition, the range of DSLR cameras will offer a far better high ISO performance (to perform better in low light conditions) than the compact cameras.

We will concentrate our endeavours on equipment which will meet the highest level of image quality; of course with cameras, as with any product, in general the more you spend on a camera the better the camera will perform.

There are many issues to consider when purchasing any camera and we summarise some of the important considerations as follows:

  • Modes of operation, programme, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual mode
  • Shutter speed range
  • Can the camera do high speed flash synchronization
  • Light metering range
  • Shooting modes, single, continuous, frames per second
  • Auto focussing modes, number of focussing points
  • How many MPixels do you need
  • ISO range
  • Depth of field preview
  • Is live view provided
  • White balance modes
  • LCD monitor size
  • Playback functions
  • Exposure bracketing
  • Flash synchronisation modes
  • Battery life
  • Self timers
  • Mirror up mode to reduce vibration
  • Start up time delay
  • Weather sealing against moisture and dust
  • Do the range of lenses available, focal length, aperture, image stabilisation or vibration reduction, close up (macro, micro), perspective correction and price, meet your needs
  • Smaller size sensor APS-C or the larger full frame sensor size for better low light and noise performance
  • Built in flash or external flash
  • Availability of processing software for post processing of images
  • External flash systems available
  • Remote control assessories available
  • Built in grip or seperate grip
  • Voice recording and play back
  • Number of memory card slots
  • Is viewfinder 100% of image area
  • Is sensor self cleaning
  • Weight and size of body

As you can see from the above list there are many considerations and we will do our best to guide you in the direction to find the best camera to suit your needs.

For further information on selecting a Camera see our articles on selecting a Nikon DSR camera and selecting a Nikon APS-C DX or full frame FX lens.