What is the best entry-level DSLR camera for beginners?

As with most beginners, figuring out what the best DSLR camera for beginners is can be confusing. There are so many different brands, models and prices for entry-level DSLR cameras that it’s no wonder newcomers to digital photography make mistakes when purchasing their first SLR. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer in the market today and see if we can make your decision easier.

Some of the best entry-level cameras are made by Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Sigma. Each manufacturer produces cameras with different controls and features. Their cameras have different lenses, different resolutions, ease of use and performance characteristics. They also vary greatly in price to suit your budget. After-sales service for after-sales service also differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. So how do you decide which is the best DSLR camera for you? One of the best ways, besides getting personal recommendations from friends who have already made their choice and are using their camera, is to browse an online review of camera models.

PC World, Top Ten Reviews and Gizmo Crazed are some of the websites that can provide you with all the necessary reviews that you need. PC World lists the top eight entry-level DSLR cameras, with the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 topping the list. The difference between this Canon model and the Sony model cameras lies in their movie making capabilities. PC World’s 2011 report states that the Rebel T3i is a “picture taking and filming machine” while the Sony Alpha has limited video capabilities. Included in their list is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2C digital SLR camera, which is cheap and compact with interchangeable lenses. The Top Ten Reviews website also lists eight different DSLR cameras. They recommend the Canon Rebel T4i as the best entry-level DSLR camera on the market today. The Nikon D5100 was a close second because it allows you to be creative and because of its Full HD movie capability. The Sigma SD 15, which retails for $904, was not a cheap camera and had no live view or video capabilities, came in eighth and last. The Gizmo Crazed site lists 10 cameras in this category of the best DSLR camera for beginners. The Canon EOS 650D is listed as the best DSLR camera for its ease of use and LCD touchscreen. The price of $750 is quite cheap compared to other brands and models. The Sony A37 was considered number 2 on their list, but it is actually an SLT (Single Lens Translucent) camera and not an SLR camera. It has an electronic viewfinder, as opposed to an optical viewfinder. This unique camera is beginner friendly. Their most expensive camera they recommended at $1195 was the Nikon D5200, which came in 5th. They viewed this camera as a “rugged toy” with many powerful features.

As you can see, opinions vary widely on what qualifies as the best entry-level DSLR camera. You can do your research with online reviews, you can chat directly with photographers of the same level as you. You can also go into a camera shop and chat with the sales people and ask them to show you different cameras so you can feel what they are like and how they work etc. I would only recommend this practice as a last resort after making your selection maybe 2 or 3 cameras hit.

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