F.A.Q.s, Photography
Comments 2

F.A.Q.s Which digital SLR should I buy?

I get asked this question quite a lot, and in all honesty, I am not really the right person to answer. The only digital camera I currently use is my little point & shoot W60, while for work I still use my Pentax 67II medium format film camera.

Getting balanced opinions isn’t made easier by the fact that many photographers are extremely proud (or defensive) of the brand they use. The situation is akin to sports teams. Asking a Nikon user about the quality of Canon’s gear, is similar to asking a Liverpool fan about Manchester United. You may get an honest answer, but you are more likely to be told the other brand is trash or that Rooney looks like  Shrek.

Photography magazines are usually better, but you have to raise an eyebrow when the glowing review for a particular camera is followed by a two page paid advertisement for the exact same camera.

I would first take a look at the digital SLR buyers guide at Digital Photography Review. Another good introduction to the variety of digital cameras available is B&H Photo’s buyers guide. As a camera store they are of course hoping you will buy things from them, but they seem more balanced than other sites when comparing the pros and cons of different brands or sensor sizes.

The B&H buyers guides are divided into three sections based on price.

Entry-Level DSLRs

Mid-Range DSLRs

Pro-Level DSLRs

These introductions were released just before Christmas but I don’t think too many new models arrived in the last couple of months. Also they don’t  include every brand, the Sigma DSLRs for example are not discussed.

Hopefully these sites will be able to answer some of your questions without turning everyone into hooligans.


  1. As far as I can determine, there are no real dogs out there for sale anymore, whether cameras or lenses. Any maker you choose is going to be a good camera for you.

    And for the vast majority of people – including dedicated hobbyists – the entry level or near-entry level model will be more than enough, and will have the benefit of being smaller and lighter than their higher-end counterparts, and much less expensive to replace if you would drop it into a river or something.

    Don’t get hung up on on whether a camera is “pro” or not. That’s a marketing term, made up by companies to move high-end -and high profit margin – cameras, not a reflection on who actually uses the gear. Remember, real professional photographers shoot manual as often as not – if anything, they need less options and modes than amateurs. Look at Chris, who manages quite nicely with an almost completely manual film camera and a point and shoot, or Kirk Tuck, who uses a micro 4/3 snapshoot camera whenever he can get away with it.

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