One of the most significant changes with digital cameras over the past 18 months is the decrease in price of Digital SLR cameras. This has made them far more affordable and they are now within reach of many people who see photography as a hobby.
Entry level Digital SLRs are now available for as little as £350. When you buy an SLR it is normally possible to buy at least one lens as part of the package. This is usually a good way to save a few pounds on a lens. In terms of megapixels they typically have between eight and twelve.
One of the most important points to keep in mind is just how important the lens is to the camera. It is easy to fall into the trap that having bought an expensive camera with a great set of features any old lens will do. The quality of the lens is all important if you want impressive, pin sharp images. Therefore you need to budget for good quality lenses on top of the cost of the camera body itself.
The big advantage of SLR cameras is flexibility. With a wide range of lenses to choose from it means you can select the right one for the photograph you are about to take. You also have a wide range of accessories to further enhance the capabilities of the camera. These include flashguns and filters.
You should also be able to use any lenses you have bought for 35mm photography with a Digital SLR. There can be restrictions, especially with older lenses. The other issue you need to be aware of is that the focal length of lenses made for 35mm cameras is likely to be increased when used with a Digital SLR. This is because the sensor in most digital cameras is smaller than the sensors found on the traditional models. The biggest problem this creates is it can drastically reduce the wide angle capability of a lens.
The choice of lenses you can buy is increasing. There are now a range of lenses made specifically to match the smaller sensors you find with Digital SLRs. If you are looking to take wide angle shots then a wide angle lens made for Digital SLRs is likely to prove a wise investment.
One of the biggest advantages of taking the Digital SLR route is it helps to protect your investment. If you buy a number of lenses and then decide to upgrade the camera itself then your lenses should still work with your next camera provided it is made by the same manufacturer.
Wide range of features
Potential to build a complete camera system
Plenty of accessories available
Expense of building system
View Current Digital SLRs
Digital Camera Types
Straightforward, simple cameras. These are also the cheapest you will find.
The most common type. Most are simple and straightforward.
On similar lines to the pocket camera, but a little larger.
Extra zoom over and above more basic cameras, but retaining a fairly compact size.
Extreme zoom lens. Normally with plenty of manual features.
Contain features normally associated with a Digital SLR, but in a smaller body.
As well as being waterproof many cameras are also drop proof and freezeproof.
Compact System Cameras are a cross between a typical compact camera and a Digital SLR. They offer you excellent picture quality, a wide array features and are a small size.
Entry level Digital SLRs for enthusiasts.
Top of the range for the most demanding professional photographers.