If you have a passion for photography and have moved beyond the point-and-shoot phase, the next logical step is clear: Invest in an entry-level DSLR camera. It will help you capture remarkable images of people, places and things without busting the budget.
The best entry-level DSLR cameras combine many point-and-shoot qualities with the more professional features so you can easily make the transition from beginning-level photography to more sophisticated and creative efforts at a pace that is comfortable for you
Top-notch entry-level DSLR cameras give you what you want the most: excellent pictures. However, it is important to not overlook the value of having choices to move as slowly or as quickly as you please on the learning curve toward more polished and expressive results. The Nikon D5200, Canon Rebel T4i and the Sony Alpha SLT-A65 are the best entry-level DSLR cameras available today.
Check our in-depth reviews and side-by-side comparisons, along with articles about entry-level DSLR cameras, to determine which camera will give you the photos you want, fit your price range and let you progress toward even more sophisticated photography skills.
An entry-level DSLR camera is a major purchase and should be the product of careful consideration and review. If you are an entry-level photographer, choose an entry-level DSLR camera that meets your basic photographic needs now, but will also cater to your artistic needs and wants as you progress in the photography field. Also consider your interests, skill level and frequency of use, and choose a DSLR camera that best suits you. Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS used to evaluate entry-level DSLR cameras:
The reason anyone buys a camera is to take pictures – so naturally, you want to seek out a DSLR camera that offers the opportunity to get the finest images you can. Resolution is one of the most important specifications you should look at before purchasing a DSLR camera, and adequate resolution will ensure that you get the best shot every single time. For an entry-level photographer, we suggest you look for a digital SLR camera with 10 to 18 megapixels for superb resolution.
Other things, such as shutter speeds and ISO ranges, all contribute to which camera produces the best photo. In addition, it is helpful to have plenty of autofocus points, manual focus capabilities and a self-timer – especially one that gives you plenty of timing options so you can hustle over to the photo spot and get in the picture.
As an entry-level photographer, you might not know the technical ins and outs of your DSLR camera yet, so look for a DSLR camera that offers automatic features, such as a built-in, pop-up flash.
Live View is a fantastic feature that is present in many DSLR camera models, and it is a feature that you will use all the time. With the Live View mode, you can change the lighting, scene modes, creative filters and more as you are taking the photo; that way, you can see exactly what your image will look like on the monitor as you are taking it. No surprises.
Why purchase a DSLR camera that only captures images when you can have a DSLR camera that will also shoot videos? When looking for a camera that has both functions, we suggest choosing a DSLR camera that has HD movie compatibility. If your DSLR camera has this capability, you can connect your camera to your HDTV to view your movies.
The length, width and height do not greatly differ from one entry-level DSLR camera to the next, so you cannot make your decision on looks alone. We do suggest, however, that you choose a digital SLR camera that is lightweight and compact enough to fit in your purse or backpack if you do not have a camera bag.
Several DSLR cameras do have an ergonomic shape or material for added grip so that the camera will fit in your hand easily and not slip. Button positioning also differs between cameras. Think of the layout of a DSLR camera's buttons like the layout of a kitchen. You need to have a good workflow so you can quickly move from one function button to the next with ease. In many cases, this becomes a matter of individual preference.
Help & Support
The companies that create entry-level DSLR cameras want you to succeed in all of your photographic endeavors, so they employ the customer service tools you will need to better understand your camera. You should always have access to a physical and PDF version of your camera's operating manual. Telephone and email support are great customer service options, as are tutorial videos, a FAQs section and live chat support.
With the features and functions that an entry-level DSLR camera provides, you have the ability to take your trusty camera with you anywhere and take professional-quality photos of anything.
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™