Photography with Jessica – Your First DSLR

As my first topic I thought that I’d address a question I get asked all the time.  People always want to know what camera I would recommend for someone who is interested in photography and would like to purchase their first DSLR.

DSLR stands for a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.  This is what people call the “big” camera, “nice” camera, or the “real” camera!  With a DSLR you can have complete control over your photography because you have the ability to choose the settings you want, as well as change lenses to suit your needs.  Also, they can generally produce higher resolution images than a point and shoot camera.

There are some other brands that make DSLRs, but I’ll just be discussing Canon and Nikon because they seem to be the most commonly used and I know that they are very high quality.  Neither brand is better than the other, they are just different.

Canon’s entry level DSLR in the Rebel T2i which sells for around $700.  Here’s a quick list of its features:  18 megapixels, full HD video, 3 inch view screen, self-cleaning sensor, ISO up to 6400, a 9 point focusing system and shoots up to 3.7 frames per second.  It’s a great camera that has everything you need to produce amazing pictures.

The D90 is Nikon’s basic camera and it sells for around $800.  It has a 12.3 megapixel sensor, HD video, 3 inch view screen, self-cleaning sensor, ISO up to 3200, an 11 point focusing system and shoots up to 4.5 frames per second.  Again, a wonderful camera to start out with.

It’s important to buy from a legitimate dealer and I personally love B&H Photo Video.  They are reputable, they have great prices and you can reach their customer service department with any question you may have through their toll free number or live chat online.

Dealers often sell what they call a “kit”, which is a set consisting of the camera body and a lens, but the kit lenses usually aren’t the greatest, so I would recommend buying just the camera body and then buying lenses separately.

Next month I’ll tell you all about the different kinds of lenses out there and what they are for, so can make an informed decision on which ones would be best for you!

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  1. Laurel says

    I love my T2i. It is a lot of camera, I have been taking pictures for a long time but consider myself a beginner and it will probably last me the life of the camera. I purchased the very first Digital Rebel in 2002 and it still takes fantastic pictures, I just wanted something a little more modern and faster. Thank you for your wonderful post!

  2. Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis says

    I am so one of “those people” you are talking to here. About to take the plunge and invest in my first “Big Person” camera! Now I can’t wait to see what lens you suggest to buy with it.

  3. says

    I love my Canon Rebel. I’ve had it about a year, and I’m still learning about all its features. You can take great photos from the start using the fully automatic setting. Then as you become more knowledgeable, you can change the settings.

  4. says

    I have the cannon and I am still learning how to use it. Sometimes I take the same picture.. over and over again … on each setting until I get the picture that I want. One of these days I will sign up for the SLR classes at the local CC.
    Have a great week.

  5. Joanne says

    Thank you! I am currently in the market and am wavering between those two. I look forward to your lens post because once I decide on the camera body…I’m lost.

  6. Heather says

    I have the Canon Rebel. I bought the kit before I knew any better. Even though I’ve been told the kit lenses aren’t that great, the photos seem 100X better than my old cheap point and shoot camera took. Anxious for the next post on lenses! Particularly those lenses that work in low lighting so I can avoid using the flash (that always ruins my photos). I want my portrait photos to be as good as those I see on blogs with the crystal clear catch lights in the eyes, etc. Better photos makes me want to take more of them! Any help is much appreciated!