How to choose your first DSLR



If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been shooting for a bit with either a point and shoot or even your cell phone. You’ve gotten in some practice on lighting and composition and you’re ready to take the next step to buying your first DSLR. So you go online to Amazon and you instantly become overwhelmed with the choices. You have no idea where to start and what you actually need in a DSLR. Well I’m going to help you with that and give you some pointers on what to look for when buying your first DSLR

First of all, it’s important that you know that, no matter how expensive or fancy your new camera is, it’s not going to make you a better photographer. It will give you more tools to work with, but it’s up to you to learn and practice your craft. The photographer creates the photos, the camera is just the tool.

Okay, so with that being said let’s dive into what exactly you are looking for. Some of the important things that I look for when choosing my DSLR are:


Okay, so first you have to decide what your budget is. Does your budget include a lens? Do you want to buy a kit, or do you want to buy your body and lens separately? Once you decide this, you need to decide which brand you’re going with. There are many. The most popular are Canon and Nikon. However, there are others, like sony, fuji, Olympus, etc. The best way to choose your brand is by deciding what features you need and how it feels in your hands. Which brings me to the next two points.

What type of photos are you shooting

Everyone is different and there may be things that are important to some but not to others. For example, I try to find one that has the flip out screen, because even though I’m mostly looking through the viewfinder and not the LCD screen, it still helps when I’m shooting landscapes, or time-lapse, to be able to flip it out and angle it up so I can see it. Also, when you’re getting into some strange angles it helps as well. So, are you going to be shooting, portraits, landscapes, sports? All these things matter when you decide which features you need. So I would think about that and then look up what features are best for that specific genre of photography.

How it feels when I hold it in my hands

You may want to take a trip to best buy before you order your camera just hold a few in your hands and see which one is most comfortable to you. This is going to be important because you’ll be holding that camera up a lot and you want it to feel natural.

Are you going to print large or at all

Megapixels are not as important by themselves for quality. But if you are planning on printing very large photos you might want to consider how many megapixels the camera has.

what the low light capabilities are

Are you going to be shooting indoors? Or doing night photography? If so make sure you have good low light capabilities. Pay attention to ISO capabilities.

the lens choices

Canon and Nikon have a huge selection of lenses so if you go with one of those brands you should be great. But if you decide to go mirrorless or with another brand make sure you research how many lens options you have.

The sensor size

This is important to know before you purchase. There are different sensor sizes. We have full framed, cropped sensor, and mirrorless sensors. However, this is your first DSLR purchase and most likely you will go with a cropped sensor. A full frame is usually used by pros and semi-pros, so you may choose to upgrade in the future, but for now and cropped sensor DSLR will do you just fine and they take gorgeous photos.

So now that we know what features we need, I have linked some cameras here for you to take a look at. There are so many choices but these are a few of the most popular. I ordered them in order of least expensive to most expensive.

Nikon D3300 24.2 MP


Canon EOS Rebel T5


Nikon D5300 (This is what I shoot with, and I love it)


Canon EOS Rebel T6i


Canon EOS 70D

Nikon D7200 DX-format


Well, I hope that this guide has been helpful t you. Leave a comment below and let me know what camera you decide to go with. I’d love to hear some feedback. As always, thank you for reading and Keep checking back for more guides and tutorials.
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