Buying Your First DSLR Camera in 2022 The Easy Way

Updated on April 28, 2022 by Alex M

This shopping guide is for you. Made for the beginner and even the semi-pro in mind. Shopping for a DSLR camera should feel easy. This simple guide will help you. After this short 5 min read, you’ll understand everything about Digital (SLR) camera basics. Mirrorless too. For total beginners. Finally, no more confusion!

What is a DSLR Camera?

Before Digital (SLR) cameras there was traditional 35mm film sold in rolls. These “rolls” limited you to 24 or 36 shots. How many pictures does your iPhone or Android hold? Exactly. TENS OF THOUSANDS. Digital (SLR) cameras are much easier on photographers. You have an unlimited amount of photos you can shoot without limits of traditional film.

DSLR means it’s a Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera. It means it can have different lenses on the same camera body. Also has a small mirror inside that can move to help make the picture image you take with the camera look better. With DSLRs you have unlimited “Do-overs” of taking shots. With traditional 35mm Film you have 24 or 36 max opportunities before having to “Pop-in” another roll of film.

DSLR Pros & Cons

DSLR cameras excel in some areas, but lack in others. Let's go over some DSLR camera pros and cons to help you better understand.

DSLR Pros

- DSLR cameras allow you to mix and match an endless variety of lenses. Your choice! From standard to fisheye lenses, zoom lenses, wide angle, short telephoto, medium telephoto, macro, virtually every photography situation has a lens for it.
- DSLRs have been around for a very long time and have long been established as the go-to for professional photographers.
- DSLR cameras do an excellent job in very low visibility and offer amazingly high resolution.
- Fast auto-focus adjusts for fast-moving objects including people, sporting-events, and animals.

DSLR Cons

- DSLRs are hard for on-the-go camera action as they tend to be bulky and heavier, and require the right lens.
- DSLRs make noise because of the moving parts inside which means it can distract and ruin your photo shot.
- Video quality may be lower compared to rivals like mirrorless cameras.

3 Must-Have Camera Lenses

DSLR cameras use compatible lenses. This saves you money. This also means you can change the abilities of the camera by using a different lens. Think of a regular car that uses premium fuel instead of regular gasoline when you change the lens. The regular car does more. So will your regular DSLR camera when you change the lens. Say from 35mm Standard (Taking regular pictures) to 200mm to really ZOOM in on people that are far away. Like in spy movies. JASON BOURNE Anyone? It’s an instant UPGRADE to your DSLR camera.

The General-purpose Zoom Lens - A general-purpose (standard) zoom ranges from about 18mm to 70mm. At the wide end, you get an expansive field of view for environment shots. At the long end, you get a field of view near to the human eye. These zooms are very popular and come in many sizes and shapes. For example, you can get a 18-55mm lens kit or a (more expensive) 24-70mm lens kit.

The Macro Lens - This lens lets you get up close and personal. To your subject so you can shoot awesome details of crawling critters. Flowers too for example. Close-ups of people? Yup. That too. Clothing? Yes. Jewelry? Gotcha covered. And whatever else you want. UP CLOSE!

The Telephoto Zoom Lens - Lets you zoom in up-close to distant objects. The best telephoto zooms range from about 70mm to 200mm. That means you can shoot standard field of view shots. On close and far away objects also.

These are the lenses you gotta have. If you’re new to buying a DSLR or MIRRORLESS camera, these 3 lenses will give you the flexibility to shoot in almost any situation. GUARANTEED.

Camera Sensor Size

A DSLR or MIRRORLESS camera both use a sensor. It’s inside the camera and collects light. This then makes a digital picture for you. The size of this sensor (smaller or bigger) talks to the camera. Now the camera knows how big an image can be captured. Usually, the bigger the sensor the bigger the image capture. This sensor size also talks to the camera’s depth of field. This means, photos shot with a little sensor look closer, as if zoomed in. Bigger sensors give you way more detail. Most digital cameras are made with an APS-C or one-inch sensor.

Full-frame sensor - Remember those old traditional 35mm film cameras? Well, Full-frame cameras use the same size sensor like 35mm traditional film. This makes your photos with the same crisp and sharp detail. Also with great depth of field as old-school 35mm film cameras. Because of the bigger size, many full-frame cameras are larger and more expensive.

APS-C - The APS-C stands for (Advanced Photo Sensor) is kinda bigger than one inch. This is the reason many DSLR cameras use at least this size form factor.

One-inch sensor - Point-and-shoot cameras use this sensor. It’s common in these camera types. Yet, the view captured is a bit smaller than with the other sensors mentioned.

Resolution

Think of your favorite whole pie. Now divide it with 1 Million of your friends. Each pie piece is 1 PIXEL. That’s a lot of pie! Seriously, each pixel is a small square of information bits that (when combined) make up the whole pie, or picture image in your case!

The Megapixel Myth - Hey, bigger is not better. More Megapixels like 30 Megapixels, 50 Megapixels, or even the big daddy, 1000 Megapixels, (Gigapixel) etc., MORE. IS. NOT. BETTER. That is what most people think.

Megapixel advice for beginners - Start with at least 20 Megapixels. This is fine for beginners. Work your way up. Once you have a DSLR camera foundation built. Then, you will appreciate having more Megapixels to expand your camera skills and wow your friends.

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