11 Things to consider when buying your first DSLR camera

buying your first DSLR camera

Love capturing the beauty around you, recording the special moments of life for posterity? Then you might be thinking about buying a DSLR camera which has many great features which will give great results and make each photo memorable. You need to educate yourself before buying your first DSLR camera so that you invest in a DSLR which is just right for you. Check out these tips to help you know some details about DSLRs.

11 things to consider buying your first DSLR camera

Firstly, a refresher on the terms which are used in Photography, but could be bewildering to a layman.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed

Shutter speed is the time for which the camera’s shutter remains open while clicking a picture. If you like clicking action photos, you should choose a camera which has a higher shutter speed. So shutter speed is one of the things to consider while buying your first DSLR camera. 


The f-stop or the aperture is a number such as f/3.5-5.6 lens or f/5.6. The f-stop indicates the width of the lens and the amount of light you are letting in. A low f-stop number lets more light in through the lens which might make background blurry, and a higher f-stop allows less of light in but gives sharper background.



ISO controls the sensor’s light sensitivity. Increasing ISO will allow you to shoot the properly exposed photos in the dark, but increasing ISO also increases the digital noise. Digital noise is the tiny spots of color, which looks like static.


You’d encounter this term too while buying your first DSLR camera either from a store or if you go online shopping for your camera.

The price

The price

One of the primary things to consider is the initial cost of the equipment, even if you go for the most basic DSLR kit. There are many things which you have to buy – the lens, body, battery and so on. The price usually starts around 450 dollars and could go up as you keep buying more add-ons.

The way to reduce the initial shock of the expense is by buying refurbished model. You can get the last gen cameras for great steals and they have the potential to click award winning photos, just as the latest camera on the block.

Since price is an important factor, you ought to check the different stores and online sites to get discounts.

Which brand do you go for?

There are many brands out there, but the three which are the most sought after are Nikon, Sony and Canon. Nikon and Canon are favored for their bigger choice of lenses, but other brands such as Sony are quite good too. You may even try out a brand which is not that famous, and which will be less expensive. Many people like Nikon as they have back compatibility with earlier lenses. Test a few cameras of different brands and click some pics to know which one is the best fit for you.

Sensor size

Sensor size

One of the things to consider before buying your first DSLR camera, is the sensor size. Inside each camera is a sensor which captures the image you see via the viewfinder and sends it to the memory card. Full frame sized sensors will give the maximum clarity as well as image quality which is why these DSLRs are more expensive. Entry-level cameras use ‘crop’ sensors which are smaller.

There are other sensor sizes, but as you can understand the bigger the size, the better the clarity. You can choose the micro-four-thirds or APS-C providing a great balance in the image quality and the price. You will find various cameras of different sensor sizes in online shopping and in stores.

Megapixel Resolution

While buying your first DSLR camera, you might be overwhelmed by all the talk of megapixels, as manufacturers use megapixels to talk about the camera quality. Any camera which has 7 megapixels or more will give sharp prints upto size 14×11 inches. But most cameras these days have 15 megapixels, so you should not focus too much on the megapixels.



Most DSLRs entry and mid level are packed with ‘kit lens’ which is about 18-55 mm approx zoom lens. The fitted lenses do not have the higher quality of the expensive lenses, but they are usually enough. Many sellers offer deals which may include 18-55mm lens, with telephoto lens and 50mm prime lens or other offers, which might be one of the factors in making a purchase decision.

The difference between the zoom lens and prime lens is that zoom lens has adjustable focal length and prime lens’ is just the opposite of zoom lens, and it shoots only at one particular focal length. You can choose 50mm 1/1.8 which is good for a beginner.

Editing features and Modes

Every DSLR camera has several modes, such as Night, Action, Portrait, Landscape etc. Some modes such as Scene Intelligent, Auto, Guide, Food, and Panorama will walk you through the camera but these modes might be brand specific. Though you are buying your first DSLR camera to shoot in manual mode, these built in modes are pretty handy sometimes.

Some cameras have editing features which lets you edit your photos on the screen by applying the filters, making adjustments and changing exposure settings. You may not even need to edit your photos on the computer later, besides there is less hassle of downloading all the photos to make minor edits.

Video recording


Video recording is a feature is something you need to think about carefully. Even if you are not planning to record video now, you might want to do that at some point. So owning a camera which has HD video recording with 1080p will be a good choice. The higher rate of recording frame rate smoothens the motion better than the lower rates. DSLR camera filming is different so try out this feature before buying. If you are not comfortable with it, you might stick to a DSLR which shoots stills only.

Go to the store and pick up different cameras to see which one you are most comfortable in carrying around, and do test all the features before buying your first DSLR camera.

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