10 THINGS WORTH KNOWING BEFORE BUYING YOUR FIRST DSLR CAMERA

10 THINGS WORTH KNOWING BEFORE BUYING YOUR FIRST DSLR CAMERA

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So you have spent quite some time with your point and shoot camera and want to take the next big step in photography, i.e. getting your first DSLR. There are tons of entry level DSLRs available in the market, and it is very important to know few things before jumping on to your first DSLR.

  1. UNDERSTANDING THE SENSOR SIZE: Sensor size plays a very important role in getting the images of top-notch quality. It’s important that you learn all the jargons related to sensor size like cropped sensors, full frame DSLRs, 35 mm film equivalents, etc. Know that your Point and Shoot camera had a smaller sensor size than an entry level DSLR or full frame DSLR. Entry level DSLRs have cropped sensors, and are smaller than sensors equipped in full frame camera body. Sensor size is a very important factor, as it plays a vital role in cramming all the million pixels that you crave for in a cam, giving you an outstanding image quality.Sensor_sizes1
  2. Image Quality: The reason you decided to move to a DSLR is to achieve the quality in your images. Therefore, it is necessary to look for a camera which gives you a good resolution in your final images. So, any camera that gives you a Mega Pixel count of between 10-20, is a good choice. Though, it is good to understand this that Mega Pixel alone, doesn’t decide the high quality of an image. It is the sensor size, which ultimately drives the final image quality.

    Shot using Canon 550D, Canon 70-300 mm lens at 300 mm
  3. Flash: Look for features like built in or pop up flash. As any entry level DSLR will have a cropped sensor, moreover being new in photography, you yourself would like to have these features available in your camera body, to cope up with situations like low light / bad light.  eos_650d_front_reference
  4. Live View Function: It’s required to frame your shot. It’s a must have in your entry level DSLR.
  5. Basics of Exposure: Learn all the basics about Exposure. Factors affecting exposure. Get the basic idea about Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, Metering Modes, etc.
  6. Lenses: Variety of lenses are available in the market which are meant for specific purpose. Get all the basics about types of lenses, e.g. Wide Angle, Telephoto, Macro, Prime, etc. digital-camera-lenses
  7. Memory Cards: Learn about memory cards and their classes and its importance.MicroSD-Cards
  8. JPEG / RAW: Learn about these two file formats and their importance.
  9. Post processing Softwares: Post processing is a part of photography. Learn the basic editing like color correction, cropping, etc. You can consider tools like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.
  10. Know your learning curve: You are passionate about photography, and you just can’t get enough out of your point and shoot camera. It’s time that you get your first DSLR. But, it’s important that you know your learning curve and accordingly spend your bucks on a DSLR. It is not advisable to jump start with a full frame DSLR camera. Ideal curve is to start with a point and shoot camera, and then jump on to any entry level DSLR. With time you will know, if you are ready for a full frame DSLR.


Remember photography is an art, and it comes with practice. Shoot a lot and read a lot. Join interactive photography activities in your city to learn the basics or meet other photographers. Join Photography groups and start sharing your images to improve your level of photography by interacting with members.

You can also join our monthly Photo Walks in your city and win exciting goodies. For more info, visit www.lightartacademy.com or right to us at lightartacademy@gmail.com

By: Pankaj Singh

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