Digital SLRs - Introduction

So, you are ready to buy your first DSLR camera? But where to start? Walk into any camera shop these days, not to mention electronics retailers or even supermarkets, and you will find a bewildering choice of cameras on display and be confronted with lists of specifications and features designed to make you believe a particular make or model is the one you should choose.

Most people's first introduction to digital photography comes through using one of the many 'compact' cameras on the market. Small and light, quick and easy to use, and capable of producing excellent results, they have opened up the world of photography to everyone. But you may have reached a point where you want to take better pictures or develop your interest in photography further, and now you are thinking of buying a 'proper' camera.

Perhaps you have done a little research online or read a couple of magazines and talked to friends with bigger, better cameras than your own, and you have been told that if you want to take your hobby seriously you need to get yourself a DSLR.

digital slrs

How the Guide Can Help You

This guide will walk you through what to look for in your first DSLR. What features are essential for getting good pictures, and what gimmicks can you manage without? How much money do you have to spend to get a really good camera? And where do the latest CSCs (Compact System Cameras) fit in?

In the pages of this guide you will find all the answers you need to help you decide which model is for you. There are clear explanations of features, examples of the kind of pictures you can expect to capture, and recommendations on what to buy, based on your budget.

Digital SLR Guide Pages

Digital SLR Basics
Digital SLRs and Digital Cameras Key Differences
Digital SLR or Compact System Cameras
Digital SLR Handling
Help for Beginners

Lenses and Accessories
Buying a Camera Lens
Memory Cards
Digital SLR Accessories

Learn More About Features
Resolution and Sensor Size
Sensor Cleaning
Manual Exposure Modes
ISO Range
White Balance
Auto Focus
Drive Modes
Scene Modes
Help With Tricky Lighting
Metering Modes
RAW Mode
Live View and Articulated Screens
Flash Options
Movie Modes
Depth of Field Preview Button
Image Stabilisation
Mirror Lockup

Current and Recommended Models
Summary of Current Models
Recommended Digital SLRs

Digital SLR Guide Author
This guide was written by Ian Younger

Is a Digital SLR Right For You?

If all you are looking for a camera that is relatively easy to use and you have no plans to make particularly large prints then there is no need to buy a Digital SLR. A more straightforward point and shoot digital camera is likely to be a better and cheaper option for you, even if you feel you could use some extra zoom power from time to time.

If on the other hand you would like to take greater creative control over the way your photographs look and you are looking for greater picture quality then a Digital SLR could well be the type of camera that is the best option for you. To get the most out of a Digital SLR does take time and there are some key controls that once mastered can take your photos to a completely different level. If you are prepared to put in that time and you would like a camera to stretch your photographic abilities then a Digital SLR or a Compact System Cameras is likely to be your best option.

This guide discusses the differences between Digital SLR and Compact System Cameras later on.