A brief review of the best budget digital SLR cameras available in the market and prices. The world of cameras has fast evolved and the curve is still on the advancement track. The continuous evolvement has replaced the traditional reel based cameras to bring the digital cameras. With cell phones equipped with high-end cameras flooding the market, the prosumer level digital cameras have a serious competition. The ease of access to camera prepared the grounds for the next generation of cameras called the digital SLR cameras or simply DSLR cameras.
For a photographer, the ability to create settings, change functionalities and capture a subject in creative manner are some of the priorities. All of these are addressed by the DSLR cameras. Although modern and sophisticated in its functionalities, it matches the performance of the age old traditional cameras and this is one bright aspect why professionals love using DSLRs. Most digital non SLR cameras do not give an option for changing lenses while DSLR allows usage of various lenses in the same camera body.
The manufacturers like Sony, Pentax, Nikon and Canon offer some of the best DSLR camera for beginners as well as professional photographers. A typical digital SLR camera price falls in the range of Rs. 8,995 to Rs. 5,24,950.
A DSLR camera lets you do a lot of things as per your own preferences unlike the other basic cameras. The best use of a DSLR camera is made when the user decides to quit the auto mode and opt for the manual settings. While setting the camera into manual functions, there are certain technicalities to be taken care of. The best way to understand and make use of them is by understanding what each one of them means and includes. Some of the most basic as well as important features a buyer should know are:
- Shooting Modes includes aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode.
- Focus Modes – There are fixed focus, servo focus and hybrid mode. The best mode to be used depends on the motion or movement of the subject one attempts to capture.
- Depth-of-Field is a measure of how much of the target scene is in focus. This can be most easily controlled by changing the aperture.
- Exposure Compensation – This is a handy way for tweaking the exposure values that the camera determines by itself.
- Flash Control – It is useful to light up the image. Knowing when and how to control the flash plays an important role in determining the quality of the image.
- ISO – It increases the camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. Additionally, it also increases that amount of digital noise.
- Image Stabilization – It is a vital feature and is always needed to capture a colour balanced and well lighted image.
- Highlight Control – It allows the user to see areas of the image that have been blown out.
- Focal Points – They are useful in fine tuning the focus. The result depends on whether single or several focus points have been selected.
- Back Focus – The use of the button on the back to focus can be helpful in capturing images faster.
- Custom White Balance – Depending upon the nature of white balance required, a customized setting is helpful in attaining the right mix.
- Metering Modes – It controls how the camera determines the exposure.
- Live View Mode – It is helpful for previewing the picture’s exposure and fine-tuning the focus.
- The Beep – It is only a signal that the subject is being focussed upon. It has nothing to do with the quality of the image.
- Customizable Menu – It helps the user in creating a personalized menu. It is only an additional feature that helps in easy navigation of the menu.
While deciding whether to buy a DSLR camera or not, besides the price, their features may be considered. Such cameras undoubtedly outstand the rest because of their various features, picture clarity etc. Some of these strikingly attractive features are given below:
- A bigger, brighter view: The DSLR’s viewfinder shows you a large image of what the lens sees unlike a TV-screen- like LCD view.
- More control over depth of field: Unlike most non-SLR digital cameras, DSLR cameras allow you to choose between shallow and extensive depth of field, and everything in between.
- Lenses: Many non-SLR cameras come fitted with multipurpose lenses that practically do not do everything. Only a digital SLR camera allows replacement of lenses as per the required functionality required. These specialist lenses are capable of different type of photography that allows the photographer to do more on the creative side.
- Faster operation: All functions of a DSLR camera, from near-instant power-up to autofocus to storing an image on the memory card, are likely to operate faster and more smoothly than with other types of digital cameras.
- Camera-like operation: The workings of a non-SLR digital camera have more in common with a cell phone than with a traditional film camera. If a traditional camera like perfection is desired, DSLR cameras are the best option.
- Better image quality: The DSLR’s sensor has larger pixels that make them more sensitive to light and less prone to grainy artefact called noise. This enhances the quality of image.
In current times, a review of digital SLR cameras brings forward the two most popular models that are professionally sound. A professional photographer, however, understands his own needs and is better equipped to make a decision. In case of beginners, buying a DSLR camera can be a nerve wrecking experience. Given the features and technical soundness of the various cameras, the following models fit the first purchase of a DSLR from the price point of view as well.
Best entry level budget digital SLR Cameras:
It has a 24 megapixel sensor and brings with it an updated AF system with 39 AF points along with a 2,016-pixel RGB sensor for accurate metering. The camera is a long awaited update to the very popular D5100. The D5300 costs approx Rs. 55000 along with the kit lens.
Canon EOS 1200D (Rebel T5)
An upgrade from the popular entry level DSLR EOS 1100D, the 1200D is a compact DSLR with 18.1 MP resolution up from 12.1 MP. Canon DSLR are popular among amateur photographers for their competitive prices and wide range of lens. Prices start from Rs.26000 along with the kit lens.
Canon EOS 650D
It has 18 megapixels sensor and the first hybrid AF system in a DSLR that combines both contrast and phase detection-based focusing. Canon has already announced a new kind of STM lens specially designed to work with the new AF system, but so far, there are only two such lenses. It is Priced at Rs. 55,995 for body only and Rs. 59,995 for the kit (with 18-55mm IS II lens).
Before taking a final call to buy a DSLR camera, it is wise to explore various dealers to experience them hands on. Once a DSLR is bought, a photographer may need certain accessories as well. For example, if one decides to go for product photography, a tripod stand is must. Besides that, proper light sources, clear bases etc. also need to be bought. It is wise to keep a budget for all the peripherals as well.
Reading through the camera manual is a good practise to avoid any actions that may be harmful to the gadget’s performance.
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