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What to Consider When Buying a Digital SLR Camera

Here are some tips on what to consider when buying a digital SLR camera, tips to help you make the right choice.

1. Be clear about what you want to use the DSLR camera for. What type of photographs do you want to take and where? Don’t get carried away - be honest with yourself as there is little point in paying for additional functionality that you are unlikely to use. Think this through before looking at models to avoid confusing yourself with too many choices and options.

2. What do you own already? You may not know it but the lenses you bought for your film camera may well fit a new DSLR model. It’s worth checking out as this could represent quite a saving. Also, think about what memory cards you have for other devices, perhaps a point and shoot digital camera or a digital video camera. It makes sense to select a DSLR that makes use of the peripherals you already have.

3. Don’t just think about pixels, also think about sensors. It is well worth accepting a lower pixel number or resolution if this gains you a larger sensor for your money.

4. Consider the size and weight of the camera. If you travel abroad quite often this can be rather important. Mainly because the airlines becoming ever more scrooge like in their allocation of luggage space. DSLR cameras are larger than the point and shoot cameras, and some are considerably larger, and heavier too, especially if you’re also carrying extra lens and such. It may not seem like an issue when standing in the camera department of your local store, but this will matter when your shoulder is aching with the weight of your camera bag.

5. How about you as a photographer? What is your skill and interest level? It can be tempting to buy a cheaper, simpler DSLR camera in the beginning but could this be false economy if you are going to outgrow the camera in months? Whilst there may be a reasonably healthy market for trading second hand cameras it is still a way to lose money. Equally, perhaps you do not need to be tempted by the all singing and dancing top-of-the-range model where, in all probability, you will never get around to using even 10% of the inbuilt functionality. Be brutally honest about your aspirations.

6. Be clear and upfront with yourself about what you can afford. It is easy to overspend when shopping for a new DSLR camera, especially if you are a gadget-guy (or gal). Do your research before shopping. Be clear about what functionality you are willing to trade and what is non-negotiable. Remember you’ll need to have extra funds available for a decent camera bag, lenses and larger capacity memory cards. It’s not just the camera you have to budget for.

7. Remember, a camera is only as good as its lens and the traditional camera manufacturers still use the best lenses. It doesn’t matter how good the electronics are in a DSLR camera if the lens is sub-standard. Buy the best lens you can afford.

These are just a few pointers to consider when buying a digital SLR camera, pointers which may save you from making an expensive mistake.