A Guide to your first Digital SLR Purchase by Mahesh Mayuur

As the festive season is just round the corner and e-commerce giants pulling all their guns to lure customers, the prices of electronics have seen a dip lately and we, the customers are for a real treat here!

Planning to buy a SLR to unmask the photographer inside you? Confused? So let’s get the cat out of the bag.  Here is a quintessential guide that should help you to make a wise decision.

First things first. Canon or Nikon?

As a loyal Canon user myself for the past 5 years, let me make one thing straight, it is all about fan boys. Respective brand users will recommend the brand they use.

There is no clear winner here per se. Though Canon has surged past Nikon by a minor margin in High end Professional SLRs with its 5D series,

Nikon by no means can be discounted. You get more features for the same or less amount of money as the competing Canon line and the lenses are slightly cheaper.

Lenses are everything. When purchasing a DSLR for the first time, people tend to get really picky about the camera and its features.

What they need to be looking at is what kind of lenses they’ll want to buy now and in the future. Look out for your family and friends and the brand they own. You can’t really all the lenses you love. Sharing is caring is the mantra over here.

  1. NIKON D 3200

    Nikon D3200 entry level dslr
    NIKON D 3200 – A great entry-level camera.

A great entry-level camera.  Now available for a price range hovering between 19-22k (was around 33 k, a year back!!), it is a steal at this price!

With its ‘Guide mode’, amateur photographers are all in for a treat.  The Guide Mode does serve a purpose and is certainly admirable in its intentions of guiding you so far where you can pick yourself and experiment with features.
11 focal points and 24 MP CMOS sensor do manage to hit the sweet spot!

The D3200 offers a compelling feature set for a camera in this class.  I would suggest this camera for those looking for a SLR which can take good pictures without burning a hole in their pockets.

But yes, you need to keep the “I may ‘outgrow’ the ‘entry level’ camera quite quickly thing in perspective. This camera is at the low-end of Nikon’s range, but its capabilities are nevertheless years ahead of anything dreamed of only a few years ago.

  1. NIKON D 5200

    Nikon D5200 best entry level dslr
    Nikon D5200 – provides great low light performance and stunning resolution

The D5200 is a step up from the D3200 as an entry to mid-level body.   The D5200 produces extremely good quality images just like the D3200.

Both the D3200 and D5200 share the 24MP sensor resolution, with the difference being the light sensitivity in high ISO situations.   The major difference between D5200 and D3200 is the focus sensor and exposure meter sensor.

It has substantially more (39) focal points than D3200 and it is more than enough even for a semi-professional photographer.  This camera provides great low light performance and stunning resolution and provides a lot for the bucks you pay for it (26k).

  1. CANON 600D

    Canon 600D Photo
    Canon 600D – costly with similar features as Nikon D5100.

This camera replaced Canon 550D which was presumably the uncontested king of entry-level DSLRs some years back.

One excellent upgrade that the Canon EOS 600D gets over the earlier EOS 550D is an excellent 3 in 1 articulating LCD screen, but apart from that, this camera hasn’t seen much of a makeover which stands out distinctly.

Performance wise, it stands at the same level or lower than Nikon D5100 while commanding a higher price than D5200 !

Explicitly less focal points (9) adds up to the misery. The price tag (36k) is totally unjustified considering that you get significantly fewer features than Nikon D 3200, which is almost 20k cheaper!

  1. CANON 1200D

    Canon 1200D overpriced and a definite no-no.
    Canon 1200D – Avoid this camera.

Well, this camera is not even a contender in Entry level DSLRs but I’ve seen many people falling for the promotional prices and the Canon Brand image.

The feature list is quite limited even by entry-level DSLRs standard. Definitely a no-no from my side !

In the end, It all boils down to personal preference and what you will be shooting. You have to ask yourself all of those questions before deciding which way to go.

All the best. Choose wisely.

If you have any queries, drop me an email. Happy to help.