DSLR Dilemma

Things to consider before buying a DSLR

Written by Gail Bjork

There are many, many things to consider when buying a DSLR, not the least of which is the high cost of quality lenses.

Buying a DSLR system, not just a camera

dslrBuying a digital single reflex camera is not just about buying the camera itself. For many DSLR owners it’s about a “system” composed of lenses, external flashes and a myriad other accessories.I’m doing my homework and carefully picking a brand. If you decide to get a DSLR and buy lenses and accessories, it can be very expensive if you decide to switch brands down the road.

DSLR camera weight and size

Digital lens reflex cameras are heavy. Even the lightest ones start at about a pound, and that doesn’t include battery and lens! Entry level DLRSs are generally lighter and more compact than professional models.

DSLR cost

The cost of DSLRs have dropped considerably, thanks initially to Canon who introduced the the first entry level DSLR, the EOS 300D / Digital Rebel, in 2003. You can spend several thousands of dollars for a pro-level DSLR.

As a first time DSLR user, I’m planning to get an entry level model for under $1000. That’s still a lot of money!

But the initial cost of the camera is not the only consideration. Photo enthusiasts agree that lens quality is just as important, if not more, than the body. If you want to take photos with sharpness, clarity and colors that will knock your socks off, think “big money” for a lens.

DSLR lenses

Varying focal lengths of DSLR lense

There is a wide variety of DSLR lenses

Many DSLR users don’t care for the general purpose starter lenses, known as kit lens, that come with a camera body. They buy only the body, then select another lens…or lenses.

But, for many, kits lenses are more than adequate for their needs. Newer kits lens have improved through the years and offer fine image quality. If your DSLR doesn’t have in-body image stabilization, consider getting an image stabilized lens, particularly for mid- to long telephoto lenses.

Interchangeable lenses vary in type and price, and some are very expensive. High quality lenses are available from both the camera makers and third-party manufacturers. Those made by the latter are generally less expensive than those made by the camera maker.

There are lots of lens options, so choosing one can be just as difficult as choosing the camera body!

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.