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How to choose the best DSLR camera

More and more people are buying DSLR cameras than ever before with major camera manufacturers like Nikon and Canon introducing low priced entry models to entice first time users. DSLR cameras have larger sensors compared to compact cameras making them less susceptible to noise. They also allow you to change the lens to cope with different shooting conditions. DSLRs are the preferred choice of professional photographers and are ideally suited to people who want to take up photography seriously. The DSLR is undoubtedly the best choice of camera to take shots in a wide variety of lighting conditions.

If you don't already own a DSLR or an SLR for that matter then the first question you have to ask yourself is how much do I want to spend? Prices start at a few hundred dollars and then go upwards to several thousand dollars for the top model

If you have already owned a SLR camera like a Nikon, or Canon, there is a possibility that you may still be able to use some of the older lenses on the newer DSLR models. Having said this I should point out that you will probably have to manually focus such lenses.

Many camera manufacturers supply what they call a kit lens with camera bodies. Obviously a $200 kit lens will not be as good as a high quality $2000 lens with the same focal length and zoom range. If you are starting out and buying your first DSLR you probably don't want to spent thousands of dollars on lenses as well as having the expense of buying a camera body so it is important to try and evaluate who makes the best kit lenses. My personal choice of the best DSLR to start out with is Nikon. This is based on reviews of cameras fitted with their own kit lenses and price performance. Having said that if you choose any of the large digital camera manufacturers you will not go far wrong.

Once you have decided on what type of camera is best for you the next step is decide on the price you want to pay. After that it's time to go bargain hunting. If you stick with the big camera names I've quoted you are unlikely to get a bad buy. Also if you look at last years models, you can often pick one up a camera with as much as 30% off the initial price. Web sites like dpreview and Steve's cameras contain all the latest reviews. If you are still uncertain what model to buy, select a few you think you might like, and then go read the comments and look at the pictures on the forums at dpreview.

Once you've bought your first DSLR, you will probably want to buy an extra lens to extend the zoom range range you can take photos at. Most people start of with an 18-55mm zoom then add 55-200mm or 55-300mm lenses. In some cases the lens can cost as much or more than the DSLR body. Once you make your initial purchase of the camera body and lenses you are usually locked into that manufacturer. You can continue to buy lenses for your existing DSLR body or if you want to upgrade bodies you can buy a new body which is compatible with your existing lenses. You are now exactly in the position every camera manufacturer wants!

Nikon 55-200mm lens........Canon 55-250mm lens......Tamron 70-300mm for Sony

The lenses shown above are some of the most popular low cost lenses used by three of the major camera manufacturers.