A Beginner’s Guide to Purchasing a Digital SLR Camera

NathalieMStarred Page By NathalieM, 14th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Cameras

Given the time I’ve spent looking into this I wanted to share my findings to help any other folk who might be struggling to understand this baffling world!


I’ve recently been doing a lot of research into digital photography as my husband is a keen amateur photographer and as he has a significant birthday coming up I wanted to treat him to something he could really indulge his passion with. However I’m not one for giving the game away and I like a surprise to be just that, which ruled out me gauging his opinion on cameras and all things photography. Ultimately I was going in alone, to find out about this world with which I’m really not familiar. But in the name of keeping a surprise a surprise, I was determined I’d make an informed decision by myself, and that meant painstaking research!

What is a DSLR?

The digital camera of choice for anyone who’s serious about photography is a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, and these are the cameras you’ll tend to see the professionals use, with their big sticky out lenses! Originally film based, the digital revolution has made digital SLRs the norm nowadays and whilst some purists may tell you they favour old-skool photographic film cameras which require you to develop the film in a darkroom (or by sending it off for someone else to do it for you), in truth there’s no real reason not to go digital, given the quality and the convenience they offer.
So generally speaking, if you’re looking to buy for a photographer who’s even half serious about photography, a digital SLR is the way to go. So where do you start?


Make no mistake, digital SLR cameras are not cheap. Whilst you’ll find some on the market for £150-200, it’s not until around the £350 mark that you’ll find DSLRs of any quality, and these would be considered budget options. Beyond this price point you’ll find cameras go all the way up to £10,000+ so it’s important to make sure you know your budget and are prepared to seek out the right camera at that price point. There is plenty of value to be found if you are prepared to look, but do bear in mind that the very high end products have similarly high end price tags, and by high end I mean eye-watering!


The companies that dominate professional grade photography are the Japanese brands Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Many photographers find themselves fiercely loyal to their preferred brand but how do you determine whether you’d be better served by a Canon or a Nikon SLR if you’ve not used any before?

Truth be told, the major camera brands all have a wide variety of offerings at different price points, and there are no real major differences between them when it comes to having particular strengths over one another. If you are new to photography you should pick the camera you feel most comfortable with, no matter who the manufacturer is. However, when you’re buying for somebody else, you’ll want to ensure you stick with their preferred brand, lest they get agitated at deviating from their loyal favourite!

Another point to consider is that not all brands of camera have interchangeable accessories, so or example a Canon lens cannot be mounted onto a Nikon camera. However it is possible to mount a Nikon lens to a Canon camera, provided you have the right adapter. This brings me on to my next point…


When you buy a DSLR camera you have the choice of purchasing the camera with a lens, or the body only. When picking the latter you’re going to need to make sure you also have a compatible lens or two, or it won’t be much use. Many serious photographers will have a selection of lenses to suit different purposes so it pays to buy a body only when purchasing a new camera, assuming it is compatible with the existing collection of lenses. If in doubt, ask!

Thanks for Reading my Camera Buying Guide

Thanks for reading. Check out some of my other articles on Wikinut such as Small Living Room Ideas and follow me on Twitter too.


Buyers Guide, Camera, Camera Upgrade, Cameras, Digital Photography, Dslr, Photography, Photography Tips

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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author avatar Ptrikha
15th May 2015 (#)

Great buying guide. I have an Olympus which I bought when I was in England in 2006 and it is still doing great.

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author avatar NathalieM
19th May 2015 (#)

Thanks! That's some excellent value right there, I've never used an Olympus before but I've heard good things.

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