How to buy a DSLR camera – DSLR Purchase Guide

This is a detailed guide on how to choose and buy a DSLR camera. Some of my friends that visit my blog regularly ask me questions about photo gear. The questions range from “what should I get to create good-looking pictures?” all the way to “should I buy Canon or Nikon?” Since I went through the pain of researching on what to buy for myself long time ago and have been constantly keeping track of the developments in this industry, I decided to write this small “FAQ” or “how-to” on buying DSLR cameras.

1) I have never owned anything more than a “point and shoot” camera and want to buy a professional camera to create professional-looking pictures. What do you recommend?

This is probably the most frequently asked question I have gotten so far. First of all, there is a common misconception that one can only create professional-looking pictures with a professional camera. This is absolutely not true. Some of the best photographs out there are shot with point and shoot cameras. People even manage to take awesome pictures using their phone cameras! So, does a camera truly matter? It does and it doesn’t. For most people out there that are just getting into photography, it doesn’t. For professionals who make a living selling pictures, it does big time. See “A Camera is Just a Tool” in my Nikon vs Canon vs Sony article, where I go into more details about this.

Digital photography, first and foremost, is about light. Beautiful light creates beautiful photographs. Once you learn how to manage light, you can start taking stunning photographs and your gear won’t matter that much. Knowing your camera functionality and technique are second. Most people that shoot with point and shoot cameras don’t even know their own cameras! They just put it in “Auto” mode and don’t bother to figure out important camera settings and modes. True, “Auto” modes are great, but if you look back at all your photos, did your camera produce great photographs every time you took a picture? I’m sure it didn’t! There are three common reasons, which apply even to professional cameras:

  • Bad light
  • Bad technique
  • No creativity

If you take all of your photographs and sort good ones versus bad ones, I’m sure the majority of the bad ones will be the ones taken indoors (birthdays, parties, etc) and the majority of the good photographs will be the ones taken in bright sunny days. Wonder why? Again, it is because of light. In low light conditions, a point and shoot camera increases the sensitivity of its sensor (ISO), resulting in a lot of noise (remember those grainy pictures that you wish were a little bit cleaner?), while in bright conditions with good light, a point and shoot automatically decreases camera sensitivity, stops down the lens (aperture) decreasing noise and resulting in beautiful and sharp photographs (good tips on using a point and shoot).

But point and shoot cameras have limitations. Even if you master the light and know your point and shoot inside out, the camera will not be able to do some of the things a DSLR can. So, here is a list of advantages DSLR cameras have over point and shoots:

  1. Ability to change lenses and depth of field. A point and shoot has an integrated general purpose lens, while you can get a wide range of lenses for a DSLR. If you are wondering why you would need different lenses, take a look at this shot:
    Coyote Hunting

    Captured with a telephoto lens to separate subject from background

    You would not be able to get this shot with a point and shoot (unless you had digiscoping gear) because the coyote would not let you get that close. Even if it did, it would feel threatened and run away or perhaps even attack you. I used a long telephoto lens to produce this picture and you cannot mount a lens like that on a point and shoot. Ability to mount different lenses is quite powerful, since you can capture anything from landscapes with wide lenses to little birds with long telephoto lenses. Another big advantage is something called “depth of field“. See how the background is blurred on the above photo, while the coyote is sharp and in focus? A DSLR allows you to change the depth of field and you can control the background blur on your photographs (also known as “Bokeh“), from smooth to harsh.

  2. Overall better image quality. A DSLR has a bigger sensor than a point and shoot, resulting in less noise, faster speeds and better image quality.
  3. Shutter and focus speeds. DSLRs can acquire focus very quickly and take multiple shots per second. Have you ever tried to photograph a flying bird with a point and shoot? Moving subjects are extremely hard to photograph with point and shoot cameras because they lack good focus/shutter speeds.

    Rough-Legged Hawk

    Shutter speed: 1/1600, Aperture: f/4

  4. You see what you shoot. A DSLR is constructed with reflex mirrors, which means that you look through the lens, instead of a see-through hole in the camera. This is especially useful in long telephoto lenses, because you can adjust focus on your subject as if you are looking through binoculars.
  5. Lots of ways to control the camera.> Although some of the new point and shoots have a good number of manual controls, DSLRs have the most ability to control the camera. You can customize everything from ISO to focus points and even create your own custom layouts (in more advanced DSLRs).

If you want to see a more detailed comparison between point and shoot and DSLR cameras, please see Lola’s point and shoot vs DSLR camera article.

Anyway, let’s not waste time on point and shoots – after all, you are reading this because you want a DSLR! So, what would I recommend? The answer, unfortunately, is not going to be short.

There are many types of DSLR cameras available today, from DSLR-like and entry level DSLRs, all the way to professional-level DSLRs that have the most features and versatility. They are generally classified in three categories/classes: a) amateur, b) semi-professional and c) professional. Different brands have different classifications, but the latter three are generally the same across all brands.

Let’s talk about these categories really quick. As the name implies, the “amateur” target market is for entry-level DSLRs that offer least versatility and features to cut down the cost. This category is the most affordable and is an excellent choice for amateurs because less features mean quicker learning. Expect to pay between $500-$800 for a good camera kit (a camera kit is comprised of a camera with one or more lenses). Examples of amateur cameras: T3i, Nikon D3200/D5300, Sony Alpha A3000.

The next category “semi-professional” is between the amateur and professional categories. It is more versatile than the amateur, has better construction and possibly weather sealing and sometimes inherits features from the professional cameras. Obviously heavier than the amateur cameras and is generally more compatible with older lenses. Expect to pay between $1000-$1800 for a camera body only. Examples of semi-professional cameras: Canon EOS 60D, Nikon D7100/D300s, Sony Alpha A77.

The last category “professional“, again, as the name implies, is for professional photographers. You get the most features, most versatility and speed, best construction, best sensor technology, best focus system, weather sealing and many other bells and whistles not found in amateur or semi-professional categories. These cameras are money-hungry, between $3000-$10000 for a body only. Examples of professional cameras: Canon EOS 5D Mark III/EOS 1D X, Nikon D800/D4, Sony Alpha A99.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Image Captured with Nikon D700 and 300mm f/4.0 AF-S lens

Some people break down the categories into more segments, but it gets too confusing so I won’t go there.

Anyway, let’s move on to planning your purchase. A lot of websites on the Internet recommend setting a budget before buying a camera, then based on how much you want to spend, they provide the best available options as of today. Personally, I think it is a waste of time and money. You have no idea what price to pay and different people have different budgets, so, how can you even set a budget? If you are rich and your budget is unlimited, does it mean that you should be purchasing a professional camera just because you can afford it? Absolutely not! Coming from a point and shoot environment, a professional camera will be too complex for you and I can almost guarantee that you will not be able to use it properly. So, why waste money and your precious time? It is very entertaining to see people trying to get rid of their Nikon D3s because the camera is “too much” for them and they can’t use it.

Don’t worry about budgets or features! If you have never owned a DSLR, buy an entry-level amateur camera and forget about everything else you have read and heard so far. If you have never done serious photography before, trust me, you will go through a big learning curve, even with an amateur DSLR. You will eventually learn how to use the three kings – aperture, shutter speed and ISO to compose beautiful pictures. Once you shoot enough pictures and learn all of the features of the camera and want to move up in a category/class, you can then either sell your camera and buy a semi-professional or professional DSLR, or keep your original amateur DSLR as a backup body. By the way, compared to point and shoot cameras, DSLRs are very good in keeping value, as long as the camera functions and there is no visible damage. Talking about good value, I sold my first DSLR for about $100 less than what I bought it for, after using it for more than a year! If you take a good care of your gear, you will be surprised to see what people are willing to pay for it.

So, based on the above, my recommendation is either Canon’s Digital Rebel T3i or Nikon’s D3200.

Let’s move on to the next important question.

2) What brand DSLR should I buy?

Should you get Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, FujiFilm aghhh, there are too many! This is a very important question, because it will affect your future purchases. One thing for sure, once you buy your first DSLR and get serious in learning photography, it will not stop there. You will need more tools to create better looking photographs and will definitely be spending money on accessories. To start with, you will need a good camera bag to store your DSLR and your lens(es), an additional battery so that you don’t run out of power when you are out shooting and an additional memory card (you will definitely want at least one of these). Then, once you learn your camera, you will start finding limitations in your gear and such tools as a tripod, extra lenses (wide, macro, telephoto, etc), filters, external flash and many other things will run through your mind and will make you want to buy them. This phenomenon of the craving to purchase more and more gear is called “NAS” (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome) by Nikon users and “LLL” (L Lens Lust) by Canon users or a more generic “GAS” (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Either way, it gets some people to a point, when they think that a particular camera body, or a lens, or extra accessories will create better pictures. Yes, tools do help photographers to create better pictures, but only if you are able to use them properly.

So, why is the brand important? Because all brands make their tools proprietary! You cannot mount a Nikon lens on a Canon body and vice versa (the same goes for almost all other brands, except some Fuji DSLRs that use the Nikon mount). This means that if you purchase a Canon DSLR, you can only buy lenses that are compatible with the Canon lens mount. The same applies to pretty much all other proprietary tools such as external flash units, body grips, batteries, etc. Once you choose a brand, it is extremely hard to switch to another one, because you would basically have to get rid of everything that is incompatible and replace it with the brand you are switching to, which will cost you big time. Therefore, choose your brand very carefully.

If you ask for my opinion on what brand to go for, my answer is “either Canon or Nikon”. Despite the tremendous growth in DSLR market and new emerging players such as Sony, both Canon and Nikon sell more DSLRs than any other brand in the market, have solid records of outstanding performance, spend lots of money on R&D, provide the most choice of lenses & other accessories and have excellent customer service. You would not go wrong with either of the brands, because they compete head to head and continuously release pioneering products.

There are plenty of articles on Nikon vs Canon (I recommend to read my Nikon vs Canon vs Sony article), and if you start researching this topic, you will end up nowhere. Some forums have never ending debates on what brand is superior and waste so much of their time discussing this useless topic, instead of shooting pictures. Here is a small compilation of both brands compared, which should hopefully help you choose what you want. Again, this is solely my opinion…

  • Nikon’s ergonomics are superior to Canon’s. Some people say “Nikon DSLRs are created by photographers, while Canon DSLRs are created by engineers”. Nikons are easier to use and learn than Canons, especially for the beginners.
  • Nikon’s “Auto ISO” feature works much better than Canon’s.
  • Nikon typically has a better focusing system in mid to high-end models.
  • Canon has better availability. Compared to Canon, Nikon has much less manufacturing capability, so availability is always a problem. Although it has been improved during the last couple of years, it is still a major issue for Nikon, especially on some semi and pro-level lenses.
  • Canon is cheaper. This can be debated, but I personally think that Nikon gear is always costlier than Canon. Canon has good incentive and rebate programs, while Nikon only does it on overstocked and old gear.
  • Canon has a better choice of lenses. Canon clearly has a lead on lens choice and definitely does an excellent job in making their lenses available.

So, weigh in what is more important for you and make your own decision. Again, none of the above truly matters. Buy either Canon or Nikon and never look back! Concentrate on taking pictures, not evaluating better choices, because there will always be something better out there.

3) What other accessories/tools should I purchase with the camera or after I buy the camera?

I separated the list to “must haves” and “optional”:

Must Haves:

  • A decent camera bag that can hold your DSLR along with two or more lenses. Lowepro and Tamrac offer excellent choices from entry-level to professional bags.
  • At least one extra camera battery.
  • At least one extra memory card, preferably 2 GB or more. Sandisk and Lexar offer the fastest memory cards on the market.
  • A clear filter to protect your lens. Both Canon and Nikon provide good options, as well as companies such as B+W and Hoya. I personally use B+W because they have superior optics compared to other brands.
  • A good lens cleaning kit. Some microfiber cloth along with a lens cleaning fluid is a must have to keep your gear clean. Nothing hurts pictures like greasy fingerprints on your lenses. I personally use Nikon’s lens cleaner kit that I bought for $10 from B&H, but you can also use any other lens cleaning kit.
  • An absolute must have is the Giottos Rocket Blower to blow the dust out of your lenses and your camera sensor. I don’t know what I would do without this puppy – it travels with me everywhere I go.

Optional:

  • One or more external flash units. An external flash unit should be listed as a “must have” if you are planning to shoot indoors and in low-light situations. The in-camera (internal) flash will give you the same “point and shoot” look in pictures that you are trying to get away from. An external flash allows you to point the light at the desired direction and you have a lot more flexibility and control over your subject.
  • A good, sturdy tripod for landscape and night photography. Bogen/Manfrotto and Gitzo offer great choices from entry-level to professional.
  • A good circular polarizing filter. Both Canon and Nikon offer excellent choices, as well as other companies such as B+W. I personally own the German 77mm B+W Kaeseman MRC filter, which is one of the best polarizing filters you can buy.
  • Specialty lenses such as Macro, Fisheye or Telephoto allow you to create different types of photography. For example, if you are planning to photograph birds or other small subjects, a telephoto lens will be almost required to produce good-looking photographs.

4) What about megapixels?

Haven’t you heard about the megapixel myth yet? All camera manufacturers, unfortunately, engage in a megapixel race. It is definitely a marketing tool, because most people think that more megapixels mean better image quality. If you look at the point and shoot market, people tend to buy the cameras with most megapixels because they think that a larger image will have more details on it, compared to a smaller one. This is absolutely incorrect, as image sharpness has nothing to do with the number of pixels. A 12 megapixel blurred image (because of bad technique, focusing error, etc) will look much worse on a print compared to a 6 megapixel sharp image.

Megapixels only matter to professionals (especially pro landscape photographers), because when they sell photographs, large print size is extremely important. More megapixels are also useful to bird photographers, because birds are small and very hard to reach, so photographers end up cropping (also called “digital zoom”) their images.

Long story short, forget about megapixels while buying a camera! You are not a professional and by the time you become one (if that is your intent), you will have a professional camera with more pixels anyway.

5) Where should I buy my first DSLR and photo gear?

Any reputable local reseller would work, as long as you are not getting ripped off because of a higher price, local taxes and other fees. If you want the best price, however, I would recommend buying your photography gear online. The below online stores are the ones I use on a regular basis. I believe some of them also ship their items internationally.

  1. www.adorama.com
  2. www.bhphotovideo.com
  3. www.calumetphoto.com
  4. www.ritzcamera.com
  5. www.amazon.com

I prefer to order everything through B&H Photo Video. Sometimes I look at other websites for availability and lower price, but typically B&H is pretty good about getting items in stock, so I just buy through them. They are absolutely the best to deal with when it comes to customer service. They also get most of the orders processed the same day, which is great compared to other vendors. When B&H has items back-ordered, I purchase from Adorama – they are also a very good company to deal with.

6) What are the best books/resources to learn about photography?

The best book on digital photography is Bryan Peterson’s “Understanding Exposure“. I learned a lot from this book and it will definitely help you to get started. It covers all the basics of photography and even covers some advanced techniques for you to practice. Make sure to practice everything you learn – I would read the book with a camera in your hands. There are lots of other great books by such authors as Ansel Adams, Joe McNally and Scott Kelby that are absolutely worth reading.

In addition to traditional books, there is a wealth of information online. Here are the sites I visit regularly and learn a lot from (in no particular order):

  1. The Luminous Landscape
  2. Digital Photography Review
  3. Joe McNally’s Blog
  4. Scott Kelby’s Blog
  5. Strobist
  6. Photo.net

There are many more websites on the Internet that provide lots of useful information and I’m sure you will find your own favorites soon.

Photography is not about the gear, but about how you take pictures. Most professional photographers will agree with that, since there are way too many people out there that think great pictures are only possible with expensive equipment. You may own a Mamiya or a Hasselblad with the best and fastest lens available and still make crappy pictures nobody likes. Again, a camera is just a tool in your bag – it is your creativity that produces great looking photographs.

I hope this guide helps you in picking your first DSLR and please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

We now have an interactive tool that helps selecting DSLR cameras – see our “DSLR Camera Purchase Guide“.


Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) K.V.-B

    I noticed that you did not dwell much on the Olympus,neither the e510 or the e520.I have the point and shoot and about to upgrade so I was considering one of them.I also saw some good write up on them.
    What are your views?I am reading so many reviews and it is very interesting,each would justify various brands

  2. 2
    ) MegaZ

    K.V.-B: To be honest, I would not go with Olympus as I believe Olympus as a brand has no future. Their current DSLR market share is a disaster and although you can get more features packed in an Olympus DSLR compared to a Canon or Nikon, it is not worth the investment. Once you start buying glass (lenses) for your camera, consider lenses and extra accessories as future investment. Now think of what will happen if Olympus stops DSLR and lens production? You can trash your investment at that time because nobody will be interested in buying your gear.

    Both Canon and Nikon are worth your investment, because they have been around for a while and have the most lens/accessory selections compared to any other brand out there.

    Hope this helps.

    Nasim

  3. 3
    ) Arlan

    that’s a good article. I decided to buy such camera as D3000.. I found it (with KIT 18-55)at price of 500 dolars. they say that the product comes from factory, that is why it’s so cheap. What do you think about that?

    • Arlan, thank you for your feedback! :)

      In terms of price of D3000, I believe the reason why it is cheaper than D60 is because D60 is now a discontinued model, whereas D3000 is newer/more available.

      But I would still recommend D5000 over D3000, simply because it is a higher class camera with the same sensor featured in D90 and D300.

      Hope this helps – please let me know if you have any questions.

  4. 5
    ) Tair_gt

    Thank you for a very detailed and informative article. I а only i’ve read it couple years ago, when i bought my canon IXUS 900 point and shoot camera for $600) I think it will help many people whith their choices. By the way i has very suprised to learn that D700 is professional camera. Both Canon and Nikon have a real mixup whith their camera classifications: for example Canon 7d is much worse than 5D or 1D markII while Canon D50 is much more functional than Canon D30 or D20. It’s gettinfg a little hard to comprehand these trends. Anyway i’ve opened a veru usefull sight today for myself.. will wait for your further posts, thank you … Tair

    • Tair, you are more than welcome!

      Yes, D700, along with D3/D3s/D3x are all considered to be professional cameras. True, it does get confusing when you try to do a head-to-head comparison of Nikon cameras to Canon. But the difference is now getting smaller – with the introduction of 7D, Canon clearly targeted the Nikon D300s niche, which has always been superior in comparison with the 50D semi-pro line.

      I would not say that Nikon 7D is much worse than 5D or 1D Mark II – it has its purpose for its price. Clearly, the 7D is targeted towards sports and action photographers with its faster FPS and the new autofocus system, while the 5D is a different class camera for those who do not care about the speed.

      Canon 50D is more functional than 40D/30D/20D, because it is the latest generation of the camera, just like the new Nikon D300s is the latest generation of the Nikon semi-pro line (D300/D200/D100). So, in terms of functionality, the latest generation will have better image quality, higher FPS, lower noise, etc.

      Hope this helps.

  5. 7
    ) shourya

    I have never owned a dslr.I am confused which one should i buy- Canon Rebel T1i or Nikon 5000D. Please help me.

    • Shourya, I personally recommend getting Nikon DSLRs for a novice, because Nikon DSLRs are typically easier to learn and use than Canon.

      The Nikon D5000 is an excellent choice indeed!

      • 321
        ) Stef

        Between the Nikon D3100 and D3200… which one would you choose? The obvious answer doesn’t always seem to be the better choice after reading a lot of your site! Thanks!

        • 339
          ) Firoz

          Go for Nikon D3300. You will not find any better camera at this range.

  6. Nasim, its a longish but comprehensive post about DSLRs and I thoroughly agree with you in most points except that a sturdy tripod should rather be in the “Must Have” list. I believe a DSLR (or a SLR) is a must for understanding the core of photography and if you continue long enough with a point-and-shoot camera you will end up feeling handcuffed sooner than latter.

    • Umashankar, thank you for your feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      As far as placing the tripod in the “must have” list, I do not want to create an impression that a tripod is required for DSLR photography. Personally, I rarely use a tripod – only for my landscape shots. For landscape/night photography, a tripod is a must, but for almost all other photography needs, you can live without one for sure :)

  7. 11
    ) Jessica

    Hi,

    I have just started to consider getting a DSLR and I love reading your articles. I am also looking into both Nikon & Canon. My question is, which of this brand gives you a more “vibrant” and amazing color. It is not a good comparison, but I had a point & shoot Nikon and the pictures were washed out in comparison to the Canon point & shoot. Is it any different with DSLR between the two brands?

    Thanks!!

    • Jessica, yes, there is a huge difference between Nikon and Canon when it comes to DSLRs in comparison with point and shoots. Nikon is very weak on the point and shoot side, but very strong on DSLR.

      I personally like the colors that I get out of Nikon DSLRs better than out of Canons, although color and vividness in the pictures can be added directly in camera or in post-processing. By default, Nikon’s images look more natural and colorful for me, but I bet Canon fans would disagree :)

  8. 13
    ) Roberta

    Nasim,

    I currently have the Nikon D60 and have also used the Nikon D90. I am considering buying the D90, D300s and the D3s. All three very largely in price. I just shoot so to speak for fun however I intend on going a little further than that. I truely love making quality memories in my pictures. Could you giving me the pros and cons for the three camera. Thank you in advance for your time and knowledge!

    • Roberta, I apologize for a late response. Why are you considering buying D90, D300s and the D3s together? Is this your first DSLR purchase? If yes, then I would first recommend to start with something more or less basic such as Nikon D5000 or Nikon D90 rather than spending the money on an expensive pro-level body…

  9. 14
    ) Ellen Smith

    THank you for such a wonderful article. I’ve been looking for information just like this! How lucky that I happened upon your site.

    • Ellen, you are most welcome! Please let us know if you have any questions!

  10. 17
    ) JM

    Great site & article…indeed very helpful. kudos to you Nasim.

    • JM, thank you for your feedback! Please let me know if you have any questions.

  11. 19
    ) nitish

    hi,
    this is my first DSLR and i am confused between nikon d90 or d300. I am interested in wild life and nature potography, plz suggest me for which i have to go(for at least 3 years).

    • Nitish, it depends on how fast of a camera you need. If you will be shooting birds, I would recommend Nikon D300s because of speed. If you are primarily shooting landscapes, the Nikon D90 would be a better choice.

  12. 21
    ) deepak

    IS NIKON D3000 SUITABLE FOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY ?

    • Deepak, any DSLR camera is suitable for landscape photography :)

  13. 23
    ) slr squid

    Nasim I appreciate your website and the help it has given me.

    Here is my situation, I have been looking for a camera for a while and everytime I think I find the right one someone changes my mind. I will be having my first child in September of this year so I want a camera to capture moments with the child.

    But also I am into riding and racing motorcycles so I would like to be able to take action shots of other riders, and lastly I would like to be able to get good nature shots when I go hiking.

    Basically Im wondering what your opinion is on the best overall entry level dslr at the moment, I would like to stay under 800 to start out but I value your opinion.

    • SLR Squid, thanks for stopping by! If you can afford the Nikon D90, go for it – it’s an awesome semi-pro camera that truly performs great and will be fast enough for your racing shots.

      If you cannot afford the Nikon D90, go with the Nikon D5000 instead. Currently Nikon is giving out great rebates on cameras with lenses.

      Check out the current Nikon D90 + 18-200mm lens promotion, in addition to the Nikon D5000 + 18-200mm lens combo.

      • 25
        ) slr squid

        I think I will be going with the D5000 due to the new baby coming I would rather save a little on the camera. Thanks

        • Fair enough, you will love the D5000! It has the same sensor as the Nikon D90, so you are only missing a few features here and there. Image quality is going to be the same.

          Congratulations with your upcoming baby!

  14. 27
    ) shourya

    I saved up my pocket money for buying the Nikon D5000. But Canon launched its EOS 550D a few days back which has quite appealing features. Please guide me to choose between these 2 cameras.

    • 28
      ) shourya

      And I have only 3 days to make this choice!

      • Oops, I guess I missed it, sorry! I just came back from a long trip to Utah, which is why I could not respond on time. I hope you were able to make the decision yourself.

    • Shourya, sorry for a late response! If you do not care about video, go for the Nikon D5000 instead, since it has better image quality. Definitely take advantage of the current Nikon DSLR + lens rebates!

  15. 29
    ) Trish

    Thank you for an excellent article. We are currently looking to invest in our first D-SLR and as the main user of any camera in our household I was hesitant not knowing if I would learn and use it to make the cost worthwhile. With all the reading I have done this has been by far the most informative and useful of data. And, I am getting my new Nikon D5000 today. Also, I am ordering the book from Amazon. Appreciate the time and effort you placed into this articile and responding to the questions presented. Enjoyed your wife’s article also.

    • Trish, thank you for your feedback! Congratulations with your upcoming purchase, the Nikon D5000 will serve you well. It’s an excellent camera!

      • 35
        ) Trish

        I am so enjoying my camera and it didn’t take me long to move out of auto mode to experiment – YEA for me. My husband has actually been learning to use it – double YEA

        Your wife’s article mentions buying special straps to carry the camera; may I ask what you chose? It is already obvious to me with our upcoming spring hiking and summer travels I’ll need something more than the strap that came with the camera.

        Once again, thank you.

        • Trish, that’s awesome to hear! I’m sure your husband will want a camera of his own soon :) (at least that’s what happened with us)

          As far as the camera straps, check out my “Must-have DSLR accessories” article, where I go through some of the most popular camera straps, including OpTech straps that we use ourselves.

          Please let me know if you have any questions.

  16. 33
    ) shourya

    Hi Nasim!
    Thanx for your advice. I bought the Nikon D5000 18-55mm VR lens kit with the 70-300mm VR lens from B&H. Thanx again to your article on the lens rebates.
    The camera is just too great, but operating the 70-300mm lens is a bit difficult. Anyways, I’ll get the hang of it in a few days.

    • Sourya, you are most welcome and congratulations with your purchase!!!

  17. 37
    ) deepak

    hi nasim,
    I made my mind to buy a nikon d5000 but while reading a review on kenrockwell.com it seems that the author was not so happy with the output of the camera. OK i am not a professional photographer, just for a hobby but i want a good camera.Now did i still goo for it or wait for price down of d90 because budget is also a great problem.

    • Deepak, do not listen to Ken Rockwell – he sometimes talks gibberish about things he does not know anything about. The Nikon D5000 is a great camera that has the same sensor as the Nikon D90. You will not be disappointed!

    • 109
      ) Duncan

      I have just found this site and have also looked on Ken’s site. Maybe he read this post as in June he highly recommended the D5000 and pretty much advised buying it over the D90 and use the extra money to buy a flash.

  18. 39
    ) Giovanni

    Nasim, I discovered your website just yesterday and I found it WONDERFUL ! I am looking to upgrade my great D70s with 18/200 f3.5 VR bought 5 years ago. I need a camera (and a lens too) to shoot photos during waterpolo games in a low light pool.

    I think that the D700 + 70/200 f2.8 VrII should be ok ! What do you think ? (usually I can stay near the pool so really close to the shooting area)

    All the best to you and your family

    • Giovanni, sorry for a late response!

      Yes, the D700 along with the 70-200mm VR II will give you superb results in low light. If you are in the US, you can buy this combination with a $400 discount. I believe Nikon is extending the rebate until the end of April now.

      I will be posting new information on the rebates as soon as I hear back from my rep at B&H.

  19. 40
    ) Sav

    Hi
    i like the concept of adjustable lcd in nikon d5000, is this concept repeat in d90 or any other cam.

    • Sav, no, Nikon D5000 is the only DSLR in Nikon line that offers this feature.

  20. 43
    ) Giovanni

    Thanks Nasim,

    Unfourtunately I am not in US . In addition to my previous comment I would like to ask your opinion about to have a Nikon 70/200 f/2.8 VRII mounted temporarely on a D70S . What kind of problems I have to expect ?

    Thanks again and have a wonderful Easter !

    Giovanni

    • Giovanni, you should see no problems mounting the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II on the D70s – it should work perfectly on a DX body, although it was truly designed for an FX body.

  21. 45
    ) Giovanni

    THANKS AGAIN !
    One more question … I just read about some issues on the 70/200 f/2.8 VR II regarding debris inside the lens ! Did you hear nothing about that and if it is affecting picture quality ?

    All the best

    Giovanni

    • Giovanni, it is a myth, there is no such thing as debris inside the 70-200mm lens :) There were some people that spotted some problems with a thread inside the lens, but Nikon has already responded saying that it will not impact the performance of the lens in any way or introduce any debris. I have the 70-200mm VR II and I have been using it for a while without any debris :)

  22. 47
    ) Salman

    Thank you, Nasim!

    This is the best guide I’ve read on the topic! It will definitely help because I’m looking to make the switch to DSLR in the summer and spend my free time getting accustomed… =]

    • Thank you Salman! Let me know if you have any questions.

      • 49
        ) Salman

        Hmm…

        As I am already acquainted fairly well with the usage of manual modes on my current camera, a Sony CyberShot DSCH2, I’ve decided to go for the semi-pro camera section, specifically the Nikon D90.

        The issue I’m having is that I have been unable to find a good combination of lenses (preferably a 2-lens kit). I wish to have one “normal” lens for portraits, landscapes, and travel, as well as one for macro photography, while keeping the entire kit (including camera body) under $1,500.

        I have, however, found a potential option for the “normal” lens (http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Camera-Lenses/2183/AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-35mm-f%252F1.8G.html).

        As for the macro, I’m clueless and would like some help regarding the matter!

        Best of Regards,
        Salman

        PS: As a reference for what sort of macro I am interested it, view my flickr photostream (linked as my website).

        • Salman, the 35mm f/1.8G lens is an excellent choice. As far as a Macro lens choice, try the excellent Nikon 105mm f/2.8G – it is super sharp and is currently one of the best Nikon macro lenses.

  23. 50
    ) Vaikony

    Thank you so much!!!!!!
    You really helped me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It was great!

  24. 51
    ) Saurav

    Hi nasim,
    did the results may be the same of d90 or d5000 when it comes to landsacpe, since they have same sensor.
    i am new so it is my first dslr, should i buy body and lense separately or buy a whole kit……..

    • Saurav, buy the kit if you are just getting into photography. I would personally choose D90 over D5000.

  25. 54
    ) Ken A.

    Hi Nasim,

    As usual enjoying reading your suggestions and more. Anyhow, I have a question. Should I buy a D90 now or wait a few months? There’s a rumor that D90 upgrade will come out soon. Is it better to wait and see if its a worthy replacement? And so, will the D90 decrease in price even more? Thanks in advance.

    • Ken, if you look at the Nikon schedule, the Nikon D90 is supposed to be updated this summer. If you asked this question a month ago when Nikon was giving out great promotions, I would have told you to go with the purchase. But since the D90 price is back to normal now, I would say wait.

      And yes, every time a new camera is introduced, the price of the used older model slightly decreases, because many people start selling their old cameras to get the new one.

      Hope this helps.

  26. 57
    ) Ken A.

    Hi Nasim,

    Do you think the D90 18-105mm VR kit for $1029 is normal? I can get it for this price, what do you think? Thanks.

    • Ken, where are you purchasing it from? Do not buy it from an unknown website – there are many scammers out there that will charge your credit card and you will never see your camera…

  27. 59
    ) Ken A.

    Hi Nasim,

    Thanks for the quick reply. That price is from B&H and Adorama, they still have it on sale once you put it in the cart. The D90 body is $769 right now at B&H. I’m on the fence whether to wait or am I getting the best price for $1029?

    • Ken, that’s definitely a good price for the D90 + 18-105mm. If an upgrade to D90 is released later this year, the body alone will cost $999… At that point, B&H will stop selling the D90 and will start selling the new body instead, just like it happened with the D300.

      If you decide to go with the D90, here is what I would get:
      1) Nikon D90 + Nikon 18-105mm.
      2) B+W 67mm UV filter to protect the lens.

      You might also want to throw a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G in to use in low-light situations.

      Hope this helps.

  28. 61
    ) Ken A.

    Nasim, I went and purchased the D90 but not with B+W UV filter, I did get the Tiffen though. I already have the 35mm f/1.8 so I think the 35 and 18-105 is a good combination. Thanks for the advice

    • Ken, congratulations with your purchase! The D90 is an awesome camera and it will serve you well for years to come!

  29. 63
    ) Ravi

    hi Nasim,
    great article.
    I am looking for a dslr suitable for bird photography and my choices are nikon d90 and canon 50d. So plz tell of the better one and why?
    And also tell some good image editing softwares.
    thanks:-)

    • Ravi, as much as I love Nikon, I would in this case recommend the Canon 50D for bird photography. It is a faster camera than the D90 and has more megapixels, which matter when cropping images (which you will be in many cases with bird photography).

      As far as image editing software, go for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom 2.

  30. 64
    ) Kim

    Hi Nasim – your article was great. I’m purchasing my first slr and am leaning towards the Nikon D300 as I want to shoot sports action pictures of my children. I was told to get the 70-300mm lens. Is this what your would suggest as the best lens to shoot outdoor baseball/soccer pictures? Thanks!

    • Kim, yes, the Nikon D300 + 70-300mm is an excellent combination for sports photography. If you want to buy these, then you should do it today, because the Nikon $200 rebate ends tomorrow.

      Here is the link to the combo with $200 off.

      My review of the 70-300mm lens is here.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • 67
        ) Kim

        Nasim – Thanks for your assistance. I purchased the D300 and the lens today after reading your review. I can’t wait to start using it.

        • Kim, you are most welcome! Let me know how you like it once you receive it :)

  31. 68
    ) Ken A.

    Hi Nasim,

    I’ve got a question for you. I have currently the 67mm Tiffen Haze-1 and I’m wondering if this will degrade the image quality at least to my amateur eye. A nikonian member is suggesting a clear protector and multi-coated is what I need. They suggested “Hoya Clear pro 1 multi coated” and not the Tiffen haze-1 or any UV protection at all since dslrs nowadays are capable of that protection. Is this what I should consider? Thanks for your time.

    • Ken, I apologize for a late response. Yes, the suggestion that was given to you is correct – you absolutely need to use a high quality MRC filter like the Hoya Pro series. Regular filters not only degrade image quality, but also result in extra ghosting and flare that you do not want in your images…

      Hope this helps.

      • 70
        ) Ken A.

        Hi Nasim,

        Not a problem. I figured you were busy with something more important. Anyhow, I did order a pro 1 multi-coated clear lens for protection although its the Kenko brand. I also tried shooting with and w/out the filter and noticed the flare was gone when the filter was removed. I’ll go ahead and try it again once I get the new clear filter. Thanks for your help.

        • Ken, you are most welcome! Let me know how it comes out.

  32. 72
    ) ali

    Hi.For first thank you very much.We all are lucky that we found you and read your great writings. just a question im living in Turkey. so can i buy camera from B&H?

    • Ali, absolutely! B&H ships worldwide and you can order from there without a problem…

  33. 73
    ) Freddy

    Hi Nasim

    I am new beginner in DSL world.
    I am thinking 2 cameras, one is Nikkon D5000 & Canon 550D.
    I saw one article, same question, u said if i care video i need to choose 550D right ?
    My question is, i saw spec; 550D is more megapixels & more function than D5000.
    let me know why you choose D5000 & why u like ?
    within 1 yr i can’t buy additional lens coz of my budget.
    Kindly guide me.
    thanks

    • Freddy, yes, if you care about the video quality, go for the Canon 550D instead, because it can shoot 1080p and Nikon D5000 cannot.

      For all other purposes, the Nikon D5000 is a better and easier to use camera, IMHO. Sure it doesn’t have the megapixels, but haven’t you heard about the megapixel myth? It is all about the sensor performance and without a doubt, the D5000 has a superior sensor than the 550D.

      • 77
        ) Freddy

        Hi Nasim

        Thanks a lot for sharing info.
        Really appreciate!
        Most of my fri are holding Canon 7D. D90 Nikon.
        So they don’t want me to buy D5000.they said 4 digit is for beginner and not too much function.
        I am beginner and i just want to take landscape and when i travel.
        I am not pro . so may i know your suggest . if around $800 what kind of DSL camera you suggest to me ? Kindly let me know. My purpose is for side seeing . Thanks so much

        • Freddy, for a budget of $800, I can only recommend the D5000 with a kit lens, unless you can expand your budget a little more to get the D90…

  34. 79
    ) jeff

    HI Nasim,
    In this site, http://www.getitdigital.com/package.php?id=613, I found and calculated that It was really a great saved buying this package deal comparing with other stores, but is it safe to purchase on this kind offer?
    Thanks

    • Jeff, absolutely not! Always triple check websites and make sure there are enough reviews on them before buying anything. I personally never buy from unknown sources and get 90% of my gear from either B&H or Adorama.

      When it comes to photography gear, most good websites will sell them at similar prices, with a 1-2% delta. Any time you see a heavily discounted camera or lens that is sold cheaper than at B&H/Adorama, it is 100% scam.

  35. 81
    ) Elsa

    Hi Nasim,

    I just purchased a Nikon D5000 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6 VR Kit + 55-200mm f/4 – 5.6 VR lens. I am using the camera for shooting my kid (portraits, activities), and travel (landscapes, architectures, food, people, flowers, etc…) Do you think I have a good start with these two lenses for my purposes?
    Thank you!

    *Love your articles…

    • Elsa, sorry for a late response. Absolutely! You have a good kit, which will serve you well for most photography needs.

  36. 82
    ) Elsa

    and also, I like night landscape… how do I achieve good results with manual setting? Thanks, Nasim!

    • Elsa, for night photography, I highly recommend purchasing a tripod. Check out my “how to buy a tripod” article for detailed information on buying a tripod.

  37. 83
    ) Elsa

    Hi Nasim,

    I have an additional question. Which of the above two lenses is good for indoors? For example, museums, restaurants, kids birthday parties, etc….
    Thank you very much!

  38. 84
    ) akki

    Hi Nasim,

    I bought a Nikon D5000 dslr. I am a new user of DSLR. Pls suggest which lens is ll be better.I do ve 18-55mm lens.pls suggest.

    • 85
      ) Amit

      Please read the section ‘For a budget below $1,000 USD’ of the following article:
      http://photographylife.com/first-nikon-dslr-and-lens

      Nasim says: “1) For a budget below $1,000 USD, I recommend buying the Nikon D5000 camera with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX lens. The Nikon D5000 DSLR has exactly the same sensor as the Nikon D90 semi-professional camera, so the image quality on this camera is simply outstanding. The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX lens is a very inexpensive (only $200), sharp lens that will deliver much better results than a slow consumer zoom lens. For those who really need the flexibility to zoom and be able to shoot wider, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 VR lens (about $180) would be a good backup to the 35mm f/1.8.”

      • Thank you for responding Amit, appreciate your help! :)

  39. 91
    ) Bekhzod

    Hi Nasim,

    Some days ago, I was able to get Zenit-ET camera with single lense reflex, it was used just once. It’s 30 years old, but looks like brand new. As I do not possess funds to get DSLR I want use Zenit. I believe that my camera doesn’t matter, but can I use Zenit to learn some basics of photography?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Bekhzod, Zenit cameras are great film cameras, even if they are 30 years old. Shooting film would certainly be a good way to learn photography (not just basics). The only downside is purchasing film, processing it and converting it to digital – it is a lot of work when compared to digital and can get rather expensive. But certainly give it a try – it is a great learning experience.

  40. 93
    ) Giovanni

    I Nasim, finally I got the 70-200 VR II ! It is a wonderful lens ! Thanks to your suggestions ! I got a problem to find here in Sydney a B+W filter to protect the lens. What about an Hoya or Tiffen filters available here ? Do you know these filters and which one you will suggest to mount on this lens ! All the best and thanks again for your time !

    • Giovanni, wow, congratulations!!! :) I’m sure you are super excited about it!

      In terms of filters, Hoya and Tiffen also work great, just make sure to get the highest quality 77mm MRC glass from them.

  41. 95
    ) Sarah

    Hey Nasim,

    I currently have a Nikon D40x and have been using it now for the past couple years. I found it was a great learning camera but I now have outgrown it and its time for an upgrade. Originally i was looking at the Nikon d5000 mainly because of budget issues. But now I am not sure if it will be enough of a step up or if I should wait and save up some more money and get the Nikon d90. So i was wondering is the Nikon d5000 a decent step up from the Nikon d40x or should i wait and get the Nikon d90 once i have saved up some more money???

    Thanks!!

    • Sarah, save up and get the D90 instead, you won’t regret it :)

  42. 96
    ) Nigina

    Assalomu Aleykum Nasim,

    I have seen your website and I liked it. It is very educational :). Also I like the recipes from Lola.
    As many people asked before me , I have the same question..I want to buy DSLR camera.I was thinking about buying Canon EOS 500D or 550D. I like shooting but I don’t have any photography education for now. As soon as I buy a camera I want to take courses of photographer. Do you think Canon OES 500D or 550D will be suitable for me?What would you advise?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Nigina, Va Aleykum Assalam and thank you for your feedback!

      I would go with the Canon 550D/T2i, it is an excellent camera!

      • 101
        ) Nigina

        Thank you. I have bought Canon 550D .Feeling so happy) and ready to learn everything about cameras.

  43. 99
    ) akki

    Hi Nasim,

    I am regularly following your article. Thanks a lot for your informative article. As per your suggestion, I bought a Nikon D5000 DSLR. There is a 18-55 mm lense was there with the camera.Pls suggest if any other lenses are required along with this.Basically,I m interested in landscape n potrait photography. I am a new user of DSLR. Previously,I was using point n shoot camera.
    I m interested in serious photography.also pls suggest which books n website ll help me on this.

    Thanks in advance!!!!

    Regards,
    akki

    • 100
      ) Amit

      >>Basically,I m interested in landscape n potrait photography

      18-55 is a nice lens for landscape photography. You may want to consider 35mm f/1.8 DX lens if you want to shoot indoors in available light.

      >>I m interested in serious photography.also pls suggest which books n website ll help me on this.

      You can refer to the sixth section on this page: “6) What are the best books/resources to learn about photography?”. It begins with: “The best book on digital photography is Bryan Peterson’s “Understanding Exposure“. I learned a lot from this book and it will definitely help you to get started….”. This section has a list of online resources too.

      Have you gone thgough the articles listed in the following page?
      : http://photographylife.com/photography-tips-for-beginners

    • Akki, Amit hit it dead on with his response, I would have said exactly the same thing.

  44. 104
    ) Vernan Jagunap

    Hi,

    I am Vernan from the Philippines. My brother, who is working in Qatar, has promised me to buy a DSLR after seeing some of my shots using his old point-and-shoot – an Olympus FE-15.

    This is my DeviantArt gallery.
    page one: http://jagunap.deviantart.com/gallery/
    page two: http://jagunap.deviantart.com/gallery/#_featured–2

    I have been reading reviews the past weeks and have been dwindling between the D5000 and the 550D, but I am more leaning on the D5000, because other models are already too pricy. The only thing that is unsettled is the fit in my hand. My friend told me that it is very important.

    Can you give me advice on what else to buy? I have asked my brother that if he has more more maybe he can buy a hood, a hard case, and a neutral filter. Am I right?

    Also, I am thinking to invest on lenses in the future, what lens should I buy for a D5000, if I were to shot landscapes? portraits?

    I am very happy to found your site. You have helped me a lot.

    Thank you very much.

    Vernan Jagunap

    • Vernan, I would suggest to go to a camera store and try the D5000 out before you buy it. I’m sure there are electronics stores in Philippines where you can do that…

      In terms of other things to buy, check out my Must-Have DSLR Accessories article for more info.

      • Hi Nasim,

        Thank you for answering. But, I have another question. I really don’t have any idea about flash. So, if I were to photograph a wedding march, what flash should I get? I would be really happy if you can give me options and the distance it covers. And is the kit lens good enough? Can you advise me with a good lens?

        I have held the D5000 and it was great. My idea was to join this freelance photographers, after I can get the basic lessons. They usually went into weddings and shots, not as an official photographer and they normally took snapshots, it is basically money thing. I was hoping that I get some income on it to finance my further studies on photography. I was thinking NYIP, and I believe that if lucky I can get what I wanted.

        I apologize for bothering you again, but I believe you can understand.

        Thank you very much and more power!

        Vernan Jagunap

        • Vernan, flash only covers short distances. For anything over several feet, you will have to use very expensive flash systems. For weddings, I would suggest to get a fast lens like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G.

          • 111
            ) Vernan Jagunap

            Thank you very much for your replies.

  45. 105
    ) Sean

    Hi Nasim

    I just chanced upon your site which is an excellent treasure trove as far as dslr reviews and advice goes!
    I currently own the excellent Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-18! It has served me brilliantly . Here is a link to my shots – http://jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=30011
    Since im on a tight budget, I want to upgrade to a D5000 after reading all the excellent reviews and comparisions with the competition ! The D5000 sensor is whats pushing me towards it big time! Also the “cliched” cmos versus ccd debates which invariably harp over the cmos superiority ! I’d prefer either a 18-55 , 55-200 combo or an 18-200 due to the extensive use of zoom for my type of photography. Since i wouldn’t wanna swap lenses and run the eternal risk of introducing dust, at the same time , the 18-200 is expensive, also the 18-105 wont give me the range , so is there any other len(s) combo i cud go for within a tight budget of around 1000USD.
    Your advice would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    Sean

    • Sean, D5000 is a good choice. Instead of getting the 19-55+55-200, I would get the 18-200mm since it is one less lens to carry around. If sharpness at longer range above 105mm is very important to you, I would get the Nikon 70-300mm VR lens instead…

  46. 112
    ) subodh shetty

    hello again Nasim,

    beautiful article. cleared the air about 1st DSLR’s.

    actually i stay in Dubai, UAE. here a nikon d5000 with kit lens cost as much as 950 USD. but i think amazon offers much better price and sell for as less as 700 USD.

    Do u have any idea about whether they ship to international markets or is there any other reliable site to look into for such international deliveries.

    I know this is out of context in realtion to ur blog, but hope to get some tip.

    Thanks for ur great blog to simplify so many of beginners queries .

    Great JOB,

    GOD BLESS.

    • Subodh, as far as I know all major sites like B&H, Adorama and Amazon ship internationally. Not sure about customs and taxes though…it depends by country.

  47. 113
    ) Vivek

    Dear Nasim,

    I have been reading your articles for a long time now. I current use a humble point and shoot Fuji S5700. However, I wish to upgrade to a DSLR soon. Coming to the point, I am confused between D3100, D500 & D90. I know you would they are miles apart…however, I wish to buy a camera which I intend to use for some years to come before I may again switch to an FX format. I am an HR professional and do not wish to take up photography as a serious profession. You may call me a serious enthusiast though. I hope I am able to explain my requirement here. Looking fwd to your comments and help.

    Ohh btw…you rock! Would say anything more than that…

    Regards,
    Vivek
    Kolkata, India

    • Vivek, sorry for a late response. I would go either for the D3100 or D90 if I were you, depending on your budget.

  48. 114
    ) Duncan

    I will be buying the Nikon D90 and would like some advice on which ‘class’ or ‘speed’ of memory card is best for the camera. On the specifications provided by Nikon they provide 4 approved manufacturers and the size of card, but don’t mention anything about ‘class’ or ‘speed’. I was thinking of maybe the Panasonic 4GB class 4 card?

    • 115
      ) Amit

      If you are interested only in images and not in video then ‘class’ of the card will not have any impact.
      If you have not completely finalized D90 then I would suggest you to wait for a week since according to NikonRumors, Nikon may announce a new DSLR on 15th September:
      http://nikonrumors.com/2010/09/06/recap-3.aspx

      • 116
        ) Duncan

        I had thought about waiting for the announcement, but I’m assuming the cost is going to be reasonably higher than the current cost of the D90. Also the D90 currently has a $200 cash back in Australia until next week.

        The D3100 is priced around $300 more than the D3000 was prior to the announcement of D3100.

        Also, could be more than a month after the announcement until the release date.

        • 117
          ) Amit

          >>Also the D90 currently has a $200 cash back in Australia until next week.
          If this is the case then I believe your choice is excellent.

          Regarding the discussion on memory cards, I would like to add that currently I have 2 memory cards:
          1. Sandisk 4GB class 2 (stores around 250 raw images); this one came with the camera
          2. Sandisk 16 GB extreme 3 class 6 (stores around 1000 raw images)

          Both are fine for images but if you want to shoot videos then go for class 6 or class 10 card. Even the very high speed cards are very cheap these days. 4GB extreme 3 class 10 costs around $30.

        • D90 is a great camera and the D7000 does not replace it.

          Sorry for a late response!

    • Duncan, don’t pay attention to a class of the card – just buy the fastest card available and you should be in a good shape. I personally like Sandisk cards, but you can buy and use any card…

  49. 120
    ) birdwatcher

    Hi Nasim,

    I never came across such a informative page before, Its too specific in info and I already got your suggestion on the question I wanted to ask, by seeing through your page. Its really a point where you get the answer to what you want without confusing.

    But still I had another questiion.
    Although I decided between canon 50d and nikon d90 for canon 50d as you said , but was wandering if the new models from nikon – d3100 or d7000 are still better than my present choice (50d) , as these are new and so no comments are available on the internet. What do you say and why?

    Secondly , for canon 50d , I didn’t find much praise and reviews as for other models, so was little confused about it.

    My areas would be — Bird photography in the fields (including birds in flight)
    Wild life
    Nature and travel

    I want a semi-pro model although its my first dslr but I am sure to learn it fast.

    Thanks in advance

    birdwatcher

    • Birdwatcher, yes, the Nikon D7000 is actually a better camera than 50D or even 60D, so if you are still deciding, I would suggest getting the D7000 instead.

      • 124
        ) birdwatcher

        Hi again,

        Which one would you recommend from canon 50d and 60d ?

        Birdwatcher

        • Birdwatcher, obviously the 60D, since it is newer. Sorry for a late response.

  50. 121
    ) Lean

    Good Afternoon Nasim
    Just wondering how to use and what the difference is between lenses. In Australia you can get most Nikon camera’s with 18-55VR and 55-200VR Lens. Is it better to get a camera with the leses or not??? I love you article, I am going to get a D5000 for sure!!! Can’t wait to start shooting.
    Cheers Lean

    • Lean, the lenses that come with the D5000 should work well. If you can afford it, instead of buying 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR, I would rather get a single lens – Nikon 18-200mm VR.

      • 129
        ) Lean

        Hi Nasim

        I finally did it… I bought a D90 and I am sooooo glad I did. I love the camera. I thought that it was going to be too much for me as a entry level user, but I was so wrong. Fantastic Camera, I tried out the Canon D500 but found it too basic and didn’t feel right. Anyone wondering if a D90 is worth it, go ahead and get it, you definately will not be disapointed.
        Cheers Lean :)

        • 130
          ) Elie

          I am in the same boat. I am struggling to decide between D3000/D5000/D90/D300. D90 seem to be great, but does it have better image quality compared to 5000?
          dpreview did not score D90 as I expected. Images tests are soft and lack some sharpness (RAW default). It scores 77% compared to e.g. 75 of D5000. I do not know if the difference is really 2%, and does it pay off paying 300$ more for that?
          D90/D5000/D300 have the same CMOS sensor, but anti-aliasing filters or whatever other processes they have incorporated individually, makes them different in image quality. Correct me if I am wrong.

          • Elie, the D90 is better than D5000 and is worth the difference in price.

        • Congratulations Lean! D90 is a superb camera, I’m glad you like it.

  51. 125
    ) SEAN DSILVA

    Hi Nasim

    After all the endless reviews/views/analysis/ all over the www i finally got my Canon 500D ++ 18-55 & 55-250! Its a pretty cool piece of equipment from the Canon stables!

    • Congratulations Sean, I’m glad you like the camera.

  52. 126
    ) Deewanjee

    Hello Nasim,

    I’m a beginner to the DSLR photography and have narrowed down my choice to either Nikon D3100 or D90. My area of interest is landscape, potrait and wildlife. Please advise which camera should I choose and do I stay with the kit lens or opt for other lens.

    Thanks in advance for your prompt advise.

    • Deewanjee, I would go with the D90. Sorry for a late response!

      • 145
        ) Deewanjee

        Hello Nasim,

        Thanks very much for your advise. Yes, I did purchase the D90 with the kit lens 18-105 mm VR and I also bought the 50 mm f/1.8 + 67mm UV & polariser (marumi) & 52mm UV (kenko). So far the shots have been all indoors in “auto mode” and good photos, to say. Getting a feel of the camera and hope to venture outdoors soon. Will keep you posted and also come back to you for advise.

        Thanks again, Nasim.

  53. 127
    ) Kel

    I have been researching photography on the internet for some time now, and this is the most helpful site I have come across yet! Thank you so much for all the useful information. I am new to photography, and don’t even know much about my point and shoot camera. I plan on seriously getting into photography. I am mainly interested in portrait photography (especially my 8 month old son!) and I am not really too interested in landscape or nature, and don’t really need the video feature either. Do you think it would be to difficult for me to start out learning on a D90? The thought of spending all that money on a D5000, just to upgrade and spend more money within a couple of years sort of bothers me. I do h0pe to do photography semi- professionally one day. Also, what lens is best for portrait photography? Your advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for the helpful sight!

    • 128
      ) Duncan

      Hi Kel,

      I’m new to photography too and mainly wanted an SLR for taking photos of my two children. I got the D90 about a month ago and I am very happy with it so far. I haven’t had much time to venture past the auto mode, but even with that the pictures are fantastic.

      • 131
        ) Kel

        Thank You Duncan!

    • Kel, good logic – I would certainly recommend the D90 over D5000 if you can afford it. It is a very easy camera to learn and grow with.

  54. 141
    ) Vivek

    Hi Nasim,

    I am seriously considering D90 (body only) along with 18-55 VR (instead of 18-105 kit lens). I would also like to invest in 35mm f/1.8 G for a prime and go for a 55-300 VR when i hav some more money…I am wondering if I should wait for a D90 upgrade or should I go ahead with the above combo…

    Thanks,
    Vivek

    • Vivek, I don’t think it is worth waiting, since the D90 update will probably only come out in the summer of 2011…

      Another camera that is worth looking into, is the new Nikon D7000, but it costs more than the D90.

      • 142
        ) Vivek

        Thanks Nasim on the super quick response :) guess I got the time zone diff right this time :))

        I hope I hav got it correct on the choices of lens here (D90 body + 18-55 + 35mm prime + 55-300). or should I go for the kit lens on D90. Also, would 7000 be good to consider for a 300 USD diff? moreover, im new to DSLR and Im sure you would recommend 90 over 7000 for people like me

        Im, however, inclined to D3100 due to price. this would save me money for lenses. However, not sure how much Id loose out on the camera when I start shooting seriously. Moreover, in-built motor factor means I may hav to shell more money when I want to shoot with special purpose lenses

        your views please…

        Thanks,
        Vivek

        • Vivek, I would certainly consider the D7000 over 300 USD difference. The high ISO shots I have seen so far are amazing, close to what D700 is capable of doing!

          Don’t go for the D3100 if you can afford a better camera. You will find yourself selling it in a year or less to purchase another DSLR…

          • 144
            ) Vivek

            Thanks a ton! you are truly a boon to amateurs like us…..awaiting your in depth review of D7000. Thanks again!

  55. 146
    ) dr sudhir gaikwad

    sir, till date i’ve been using point and shoot, and about to buy dslr[my first one] i’ve decided to buy d90, want to know whether to go for kit lens ie 18-105 vr or opt for 35mm f/1.8 D and AF-S DX 18-55f/3.5-5.6 G VR plus AF Zoom 70-300mm f/4.5-6 G. hOW MUCH OF VIDEO RECORDING CAN BE DONE ON D90?

    • Dr Dudhir, I would go with the 35mm f/1.8D and other lenses you mentioned instead of the kit lens.

      I believe the D90 is limited to 5 minutes of video recording per time.

    • 153
      ) Duncan

      D90 recording time is 20 minutes max per time, but manual warns about excessive use as the camera gets hot and can damage parts (think it might shut itself off before this happens though).

  56. 147
    ) Naveed

    Hi Nasim,

    I am new to DSLR and planning on buying Nikon D5000 from Costco as it seems like a good deal ($850). Please take a look at the link below and let me know your thoughts on the camera and lenses it comes with. I am only concerned about taking vibrant and sharp pictures with good “Bokeh” as you mentioned in one of your article. Also, I like to take pictures outdoor (landscape, mountain, garden, etc.) short and long range if possible.

    Please let me know following:

    1. If these lenses are good to take better quality/Bokeh pictures

    2. It says lenses are AF-S DX, where D90 lenses are only AF not AF-”S” and DX is not written. Not sure the differences

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Naveed

  57. 150
    ) Hooman

    Hi Nasim,

    I really enjoyed reading the post as well as comments. I liked your reasonable approach very much

    I have the same question as you mentioned in bold at the beginning of this post. I am newbie in photography and so far took most of my shots with my Olympus uT 8000 pocket size point and shot camera and now I am looking for better quality and more levels of manual control. As I figured out sensor size as well a s using various lenses both play major role in the quality of the picture and I should go with DSLRs.

    On the other hand since I love and used to go trekking and mountaineering very much, DSLRs are simply so heavy and also take so much space in my backpack. putting these altogether and searching through the Internet I ended up with micro four third formats systems that you have also mentioned in your recent post about comparing Nikon vs canon and are somehow compact with larger sensor size and have been launched by Olympus and Panasonic.

    My question is that do you have any review on them and do you recommend them at all? somewhere I read that maybe soon they will became very popular as now notebooks are (for nonprofessionals of course)

    sorry for long post

    Thank you in advance

    Hooman

    • Hooman, if size is the major issue, then a DSLR would certainly not be suitable. I don’t have any reviews on micro four thirds systems, but you can use Google and find plenty of reviews. Another compact camera worth checking out is the Sigma DP2 – it has a larger sensor than point and shoot cameras and its size is pretty small in comparison to DSLRs.

      • 160
        ) Hooman

        Thanks for the advice Nasim. I am checking out Sigma DP series right now :)

        have a good day

        Regards, Hooman

  58. 151
    ) bunyamin

    Hi Nasim,

    Thank you for these precious information. I have a little off-topic question if you don’t mind. I’m very new to photography and I don’t even know if my desire will keep going so I’m thinking to start with a very cheap one just to enter the photography world.
    What do you think about:

    Canon EOS Rebel 2000 35mm SLR Camera Kit with 28-80mm Lens by Canon (I know it is very old)

    or do you have any other suggestions for those who want to start without paying more than 400$ :)

    Thank you in advance.

    bunyamin

    • 152
      ) bunyamin

      Well, sorry about my previous “unprepared” question. The machine I was referring to is not digital. This shows how much new and in need of help I am.

    • Bunyamin, the older EOS rebel cameras are pretty good, so I would not hesitate to get one.

  59. 154
    ) akki

    Hi Nasim,

    I m bit confused between Nikon D5000 and D3100. Please suggest which is the better choice.

    Waiting for your reply.

    Thanks,
    akki

  60. 155
    ) Raj

    Hello, Nasim
    i am from India,i am planning to buy Canon 7d or nikon D300s.But i am a bit confuse to buy .which one will be better in image datails, sharpness, noise performance, i am not considering vedio.

    Thank u in advance
    Raj

  61. Hi Nasim,

    I have a D60 with the Nikon 18-200 mm VR lens (the older one, not VR II). I am thinking of an upgrade to the D90 or D 7000. I plan to retain the old camera as well but seek your advice on that. The kit lens on both seem to be the 18-105mm. I prefer to stick with the DX gear since I don’t see myself being able to afford the fancy priced FX gear which is way too heavy to carry around.

    I do have a significant interest in photographing wildlife, landscapes/ cityscapes & monuments.

    I need help on 2 counts:

    1. Which should I get, the D7000 or the D90? I understand that good deals may be available on the D90 since the D7000 is considered some kind of an upgrade and dealers may have some deals to rid themselves of their D90 inventory. I don’t think I’ll be able to afford yet another upgrade for some time after this. So what I buy should be good for a next few years. I do handle my equipment with great care.

    2. I plan to buy the body only since the kit lens is an 18-105mm, I already have that range covered by my 18-200mm. What do you suggest?

    3. Should I keep the old camera, my D60. The disadvantage with it is that there are many lenses which to not autofocus since there is no drive motor in the D60. However, that makes it very portable and most importantly I am very familiar with the controls now.

    Thanks,
    Gaurav

    • Guarav, seems like there are lots of problems with the Nikon D7000 at the moment. Until Nikon releases a firmware update and fixes those issues, I would stick with the Nikon D90. If you already have a lens, you can buy a body-only version of the D90. As far as your old camera, that’s for you to decide whether to keep it or not…

  62. 163
    ) Dodong Kuryente

    Hi Nasim,

    Thank you for sharing your photography knowledge with us and I’m sure that you’ve help a lot of people with their decision. I am from the Philippines and planning to buy a Nikon DSLR. Like the latter post, I am thinking of getting the D90 or D7000. The D7000 reviews are all impressive and it owned the D90 overall.(maybe that’s why it’s call an upgrade :) ) I have a tight budget and all I can afford is the d7000 body and a 50mm F 1.8D. I want to make sure I will get what’s best for my budget. With the D90, I can get the body and the 50mm F1.4G (thanks to you) plus possibly other stuff like an external flash or a good bag. I am a beginner and if ever I will be good into this field, I want to earn money out of this. I don’t think I will be able to afford an upgrade after this for some time. What do you think is the best choice?

    Thanks,

    Dodong

    • Dodong, if you want to make money out of your gear, then invest in the D7000 instead.

  63. 164
    ) Chris

    Hi Nasim,

    Your website has been a huge wealth of knowledge to me while trying to figure out which camera and accessories should take priority for my initial purchase. This will be my first DLSR and I wanted to ensure that I did not buy too much camera for myself. After reading your website and many others I believe I have narrowed my choice to two models, the D90 or D5000.

    I am interested in taking landscapes, vehicles, and general purpose shooting. As a beginner could you recommend if you would spend the extra money to go with the D90 or would you recommend starting with the D5000 and buying additional accessories? I am trying to keep my budget as close to $1000 in the beginning as possible. My eventual goal (if I do still enjoy photography as much as I believe I do) is to turn this into a second form of income.

    I greatly appreciate your feedback and if I have missed this debate on your website somewhere I apologize for the posting.

    Thanks for all that you have done and the information you have shared.

    Sincerely,
    Chris

    • 167
      ) Duncan

      Hey Chris

      Try this thread, it’s all about the two cameras you are looking at.

      http://photographylife.com/nikon-d5000-vs-d90

      I went for the D90, it felt very comfortable in the hands and had pretty much everything I was looking for. It takes a very nice picture and video is respectable too.

  64. 165
    ) Rasel

    Hello Nasim,

    I wanna buy a good DSLR cam and i was looking for good DSLR brands and specifications online and thus i found your website and it helped me a lot…thank you so much for such a wonderful web and providing needful information for people like us who just want to start their photography life. I personally like Nikon brand and i’m also a Nikon fan so i was looking for a good Nikon DSLR cam with cheaper price. I found Nikon D3100 and D5000 in my range and read informations that you have provided about these two cams in your web. Now my question is: I want to buy such a DSLR cam which will back me up for atleast couple of years because i might not be able to spend alot of money for upgrading my cam frequently. I want to stick with a decent cam which will serve me even if i try to explore the next stage ( semi-pro). So, which DSLR cam is a better deal considering my points, Nikon D3100 or Nikon D5000? Please help me with this.

    Waiting for your reply…

    Thanks & Regards,
    Rasel

    • 166
      ) Duncan

      You need to ask some more specific questions of Nasim and mention what type of photography you are most likely to use the camera for (eg nature, portraits, sports……)

  65. 168
    ) Jehan

    Hi Nassim,

    I want to buy a good point and shoot camera. However there are cameras that offer different megapixels.Does higher megapixel mean high quality of the picture. Is there a signifcant differnce in pictures that with a 10 mp camera and a 14mp camera taken from the same camera maker. I have read few articles on ” megapixel war” in the industry, but not clear as to what this really means. Your answer is highly appreciated

    • You need to consider which class the camera is being positioned. But, if I were to buy a PNS camera, that would be between the Canon S95 and Olympus ZX-1, both cameras are 1o megapixels camera. Both cameras performs very well in low light and is very compact, which means that I can have it in my jean’s pocket all the time.

      You also need to look at the physical sensor size, “most likely”, the bigger the sensor size the better it is in low light. However, if more megapixels are being put in a sensor with same size, the camera with lower megapixels most probably will perform better in lowlight. Ultimately, you still need to read reviews of each model.

      For example, between the 14 megapixels Lumix FZ40 and 12 megapixels Lumix FZ35. I would probably choose the FZ35. Lumix just get the sensor of FZ35 for the FZ40, and the result was that the FZ40 is noisier.

      Hope that helps.

  66. 170
    ) Sue W

    Hi Nassim,

    What do you think about buying an used Nikon D3 in Ebay? How do I check and make sure it is not defective after I bought it?
    I know absolutely nothing about photography and cameras. It is a happy thing for me to travel and take some great landscape pictures. I feel I am too old to mess around with an entry level camera but don’t want to spent so much money for a new one and worrying about it getting lost or stolen. I’ll be going to China.
    Thanks.
    Sue

    • Sue, I would be careful about buying such an expensive item from eBay. If the seller is trusted and he/she can provide enough proof that the camera is fully functional, it might be a safe buy. However, I would insist on a return policy in case you are not satisfied.

      I personally would not buy a D3 from eBay (too risky), but I am sure others will disagree.

  67. 171
    ) Rashmi

    Please help me out to decide between a Nikon D3100 and Sony A 33. Thank you.

    • 172
      ) Duncan

      I think you should buy a potato.

      This answer is about as useful as your question, or lack of should I say.

      • Hahaha Duncan, that’s pretty funny :) Thank you for helping out in this thread, I truly appreciate it.

        • 176
          ) Duncan

          No problem Nasim. I figure one of two things will happen. Either the person will think a proper question or will just go away and waste someone else’s time.

          • Most people who ask such questions never come back to read replies anyway ;-)

  68. 178
    ) Irma Perez

    Hi Nasim,

    I bought an used sony dslr-a330, it take very nice pictures, but is making a lot of noise when I shoot. It’s is my first dslr camera. I’m not sure it is normal. This camera is for my nice in Mexico. Her teacher asking for this kind of camera. Thanks for your time
    Irma

  69. 179
    ) Vivek

    Dear Nasim,

    I have zeroed upon the D90 :)

    I need your suggestion on two things:
    1) Should I go for the kit lens (18-105 VR) or the inexpensive 18-55 VR?
    2) Should I buy a 35mm 1.8G or 50mm 1.8D

    Thanks in advance!
    Vivek

    • 180
      ) Vivek

      Hi Nasim, awaiting your views…pls help

  70. 181
    ) Asheesh

    Hi,
    I have gone thru most of the pages of your website, liked most is of flash tutorials…amazing and brief

    I’m planning to by Nikon DSLR, can you please suggest which one should I go for…….I’m a learner (not a biggner). Suggest on lens as well, please. Thought to go for FX rather than DX lens, if in future I go for FX camera this will help.

    My interest in mainly macro, potraits, wildlife, structures and landscapes….

    Nikon D90 / D7000

    any 2 lens among the list- please consider low light condition as well

    AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
    AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
    AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
    ——–
    AF-S 50mm f/1.4G (if this can work as good macro lens, don’t consider below one) – macro is important
    ——–
    AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G ED (if this can work for above lens 50mm, than I’ll not take 50mm)
    ——–

    If you know something better than above list, please do suggest …… but, I’m tight on budget..so within range please

    Apart this…any suggestions on sigma or tamron lenses, as they are cheaper than nikkor for same specification. Hope the output quality is almost same.

    Thanks in advance for your time & help.

    • 182
      ) Asheesh

      getting a used Nikon d700 in good price (online) can I consider that ?

      • 183
        ) Asheesh

        Hi,
        found these, might b I’m wrong : what do you say ?

        AF-S 50mm f/1.4G – $430
        AF 50mm f/1.4D – $360
        AF-S 50mm f/1.8G – $220 – this seems to be true value for money
        AF 50mm f/1.8D – $122 – nice one

    • Asheesh, sorry for a late response. D90 is no longer manufactured, so I would get the D7000 or a used D700 (if you can find one that is in good condition). As for lenses, the 60mm macro is very good and for your wildlife shots, I would get the Nikon 300mm f/4D AF-S. The 50mm f/1.8G is the best 50mm by Nikon right now.

  71. 184
    ) Mounira

    AMAZING article! you surly spent a lot of time on this! Well-done Sir! What really mattered to me in this article is the step-by-step starting… I mean, I never had a pro cam and I want one! I wanted to buy a Sony alpha 500. but you taught me to start with 380, or else i’ll get lost!…i shared your article as much as i can and i am very pleased with it!

  72. 185
    ) Akhil

    I am planning to switch from Point-Shoot to DSLR and bit confused about which one to buy. I short listed Nikon D90 and Canon Digital Rebel T1i. Now someone told me that there is an inbuild lense motor in D90 and Canon doesn’t have any. So you don’y have to buy a lense with a motor for D90.

    After reading your article can you please let me know which one to buy and what is the basis of a lense motor

    • 186
      ) Mounira

      If it’s your first DSLR camera try something for Beginners, like written above Nikon D3100–> Nikon D5100. You can’t start with a very complicated camera because it’s hard to learn on and you want be able to use all of its features. I was like you, when I waned to move to DSLR I thought I had to buy something big and continue with it but it’s just not the point! I advice you to but Nikon D5100 because it’s great! I want to buy it too. Read more about it here or check this: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d5100/index.htm … Hope I made my point clear :D

      • 187
        ) Akhil

        Thanks for the update!!!

        Just one last point, how much a difference an in build motor for the lense can make

        Regards

        • 188
          ) Mounira

          For this you can ask Mr. Nassim. He is way experienced than I am and his opinion is much important :) Hoping he answers you soon

        • Akhil, do not worry about the in-body focus motor. It was a problem when Nikon did not have enough cheap prime lenses without motors, but now that the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G and Nikon 50mm f/1.8G are out, the issue of the motor is no longer relevant.

          • 211
            ) Aurélien

            hmm almost not relevant I’d say : I just wish there was a replacement for the 85mm 1.8D (the 1.4 G looks awesome but the price is unreasonnable for me — and I guess for most casual or amateur photographers …)

            of course there is the marvelous 105mm micro f/2.8G that I’ve had the luck to try for a while, but it is a bit long for portraits (which is what I’m interested in) on a cropped sensor, and 2.8 is not always enough in low (artificial) light

            I guess I’m just suffering lens fever and should just go back shooting with the 50mm :)
            thanks for your time

      • Mounira, I agree with you – the D5100 is a great camera.

    • Akhil, I try not to compare brands, because they have their own advantages and disadvantages. In my observation, Nikon is easier to learn than Canon, but it is a subjective view. The Nikon D90 is an outdated camera that is no longer manufactured. If I were you, I would get the Nikon D5100 instead. See my Nikon D5100 Review for more info.

      • 194
        ) Akhil

        Thanks for all the support in this, it really help

        Now atleast I know which one to buy

  73. 195
    ) Akki

    Nikon d5100 or Canon 60d ??? Please Suggest…

    My budget is around 800 US dollar. Please suggest any camera in this range.

    I will decide on the basis of your comments only. Thanks in advance!!!

    • 196
      ) Ram

      I would get D5100 because it has got same sensor as D7000 and if you pair it with 35mm it is just awesome.
      I am canon owner by the way but shot enough shots on this combination that I can recommend this combo.

      BUT a bigger factor that most people forget is the buddies factor.
      If all your buddies have one brand and you should buy same brand.
      You can share lenses equipment, operate each camera in time of need (birthday parties, etc).

  74. 197
    ) shibi

    Hi,
    I am planning to buy a DLSR. I am a beginner into DSLR photography.Zeroed in D3100 and D5100 from Nikon.plz suggest which should i go for. Also what all lens i require as I am not that much into widlife photograpy but interested in natural scenic bueaty and some functions like birthdays parties etc.
    thnaks in advance

  75. 198
    ) Antonio L

    Question here,,,about online shops….
    I’ve been checking this store called http://www.cameta.com for a while now and they have great prices AND great kits (I really mean kit, as a kit of things you can buy together for a good price and variety), but you don’t mention it on your page,,,and most photo pages I consider the best ones (yours go in here) don’t either…
    So,,,,bad store? Not great customer service, or just too new to make an impression?
    I know it’s hard to compete with B&H but ritz, adorama and the others seem rather costlier (adorama a bit less), and that site has about the same price level, but offers some good deals – CAVEAT: most are “refurbished”, and I’m not talking about those. I’m only talking about “Brand New USA” and other items like filters to which such property doesn’t matter.
    cheers,
    ;)

    • Antonio, Cameta is reliable, so you can buy from them if you find a good deal.

  76. 200
    ) kimberly

    HI,
    I am planning to buy a Nikkon DSLR camera. Please suggest me what nikkon model should i go for a beginner like me. My interest is in natural scenic and parties.
    thanks

  77. 201
    ) Gustavo

    Hi Nasim,
    I really enjoyed your postings. They gave me some good clues about my next (and first DSLR). I’ve been seing for some time between Canon 1100D and 550D and Nikon D5100 and D3100). I haven’t decided yet, but I have some questions about their prices.

    What would you recommend: buying a more expensive Canon 550D or Nikon D5100 or is it better to buy a cheaper Canon 1100 or Nikon D3100 and using the saved money to get some extra gear, like 50 mm f. 1.4 lenses, for example? Thank you very much!!

    • Gustavo, for the first DSLR, I would recommend to get the D3100 and nicer lenses instead of something more expensive.

  78. 203
    ) Antonio

    Hi, me here yet again….

    Can we trust the Refurbished kits for sale on BH, cameta, etc??

    thanks

  79. 204
    ) Ashley

    Hi Nasim,

    Wow, what wonderful advice! Thank you! I am interesting in purchasing a dslr to take photos of my baby to do bokeh, b/w newborn shots, and nice family photos (like if I paid a photographer to come take them). Would you still recommend the Nikon D5000 for my purposes? Would I still be able to do quick ‘point and shoot’ photos with the D5000? Is there anything else you think I need to know, buy, etc. Thank you so much! Ashley

  80. 205
    ) Ashley

    Hi again,

    What about D3000? I’ve been told D5000 is 2nd tier for entry level and D3000 first tier (but not much dif in price). Or what about older models like D60? I don’t think I need the HD video capability (I use my fliP), unless you recommend I do need video? Thanks again :-) Ashley

  81. 206
    ) Balaji

    Hi Nasim,
    Great article. I had already bought my Nikon D3100 over the weekend before reading this and was relieved to know that it is one of your recommendations for an entry-level DSLR. :)

    Thanks for all the matter-of-fact details about DSLRs.

    -balaji

  82. 207
    ) Mickey

    Hi Nasim,
    I have been surfing the web now for over few weeks now, looking for some advice on which DSLR would be best suitable for me……….and finally I came across your site (I’m glad I did)…….it surely has helped me to narrow down on my selection. It’s either D3100 OR Canon Rebel T1/2/3/, but still little confused.
    Please could you suggest the apt one for me…….I would be looking to use it basically for family (indoors & outdoors) travelling and nature photos. The picture quality and color would matter the most to me, also the camera should be light and compact to carry. I am a beginner.
    I would really appreciate if you could help!
    Thanks
    Anamica

  83. 208
    ) Mickey

    Hi Nasim,
    I have been surfing the web now for over few weeks now, looking for some advice on which DSLR would be best suitable for me……….and finally I came across your site (I’m glad I did)…….it surely has helped me to narrow down on my selection. It’s either D3100 OR Canon Rebel T1/2/3/, but still little confused.
    Please could you suggest the apt one for me…….I would be looking to use it basically for family (indoors & outdoors) travelling and nature photos. The picture quality and color would matter the most to me, also the camera should be light and compact to carry. I am a beginner.
    I would really appreciate if you could help!
    Thanks

  84. 209
    ) Chris

    Bokeh is not just another word for background blur. Bokeh describes the quality of the background blur.

  85. 210
    ) subir

    A similar discussion about How to buy a point & shoot camera would have helped people who are going to buy P&S camera for the first time.

  86. 212
    ) Amanda

    Hi there,

    First of all, great article! I ran across it today and it has answered a majority of questions that I had about buying my first Dslr. I still have one question though. I’m not sure where I lay on the level of profession in digital photography. I have studied photography for the past couple of years now and have done some photography since I was 16. I’m not quite sure what kind of camera I should buy. I know for sure that I am not an amateur but I am not quite a professional. I definitely want a camera that is decent enough price for good quality that will help me strengthen my photography. I kind of had my mind set on Sony but after reading your article I’m not too sure. Any suggestions?

    • Amanda, what is your budget and what are your photography goals? Do you want to do it for fun, or professionally?

  87. 214
    ) Prasad

    Hi Nasim,
    First thanks for spending your time to help others; this is a great service your provide.
    I am now looking at a catalogue which features sale prices for Nikon D3000, Canon EOS1100D and Canon EOS550D, with kid, tripod, extra SD cards, etc. (priced in that order).
    I don’t see much in your blog about the D3000; does it mean that it is an old model?
    What’s the difference between the two Canons? The price difference suggests that the 550D is a high-end camera.

    Thanks
    Prasad

    • 215
      ) Prasad

      Sorry “kit” not “kid” :)

  88. 216
    ) Christos K.

    Nasim I totally agree with you, Bryan Petersons understanding exposure is the best book I have read matter of fact all his books are a must have, even his new flash book is awesome;)

  89. 217
    ) Samik chatterjee

    nasim,
    i am an amature photographer.i have spend years together with my dad’s pentax Slr. recently i got hold of a canon 1100d. been experimenting with it ever since. your informations have helped me immensely understanding my gear. coincidentally i have a nikon coolpix s9100 point and shoot camera, which has a zooming capability of 18x. my 1100d came with a 18-55mm kit lens whose zooming was not enough for my needs, especially flying birds or boats in the middle of the river and so on.so i searched the canon site and decided to get hold of a canon efs 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 IS lens, coz a telephoto lens is way too over priced for me rite now. not sure if it would meet my needs and thus am asking for you help.

  90. 218
    ) Don

    Took my nikon d5100 to Disneyland and shot in “vivid” mode and the colors were absolutely stunning. So consider spending a little more money on a DSLR and by all means do the homework on all models. Some new “mirrorless” cameras cost almost as much as a good ameteur DSLR. Point and shoots are wonderful and very handy. Once you get the DSLR into your blood you will understand. The technology will take your breath away.

  91. 219
    ) Anu

    Hi Nasim,

    I am so glad to find your website and appreciate you for sharing so much of information. I have a point and shoot camera, I love all the pictures I get from it. I agree with your comment that you can click a beautiful picture with just about any camera. But now I would like to upgrade to DSLR family as I am very much interested in taking pictures where I can focus my object (depth of field). After reading your article, I have made up my mind for D90. My question is – should I buy the lens that comes with it (18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens). I am interested in landscape pictures and I am in to interior design, so I should be able to take pictures of rooms with low light and have wide angle. What do you recommend?

    Thanks again!

  92. 220
    ) anand budhia

    Hallo Nasim,
    I

  93. 221
    ) anand budhia

    Hallo Nasim

    I would be using DSLR for first time . I am trying to compare between “Nikon 5100 D” and “Canon 550D”
    I liked varied angle screen of Nikon. I understand Canon has better options to add more lense in future. Even canon 600 D with extra lense looks good offer.

    I intend to use for photography both indoor , outdoor landscape, video recording. I am not very sure about ZOOM capability in DSLR as compared to point to shoot.

    Can you please guide me in chosing between Nikon 5100 D and Canon 550D

    Thanks
    anand budhia

  94. 222
    ) Shyam

    Hello Nasim. I’m a beginner and I wanted to buy either Nikon D5100 or Canon 600D for my first DSLR. But when I asked my photographer friends for their advice last week, they told me to consider Pentax K5 also along with best Canon or Nikon camera I can afford. So, for this whole week, I did several research on Pentax K5 camera and found out that it is a semi-pro level DSLR and competitor with Canon 7D, Nikon D7000 and also D700. And in almost all reviews I went through, they ranked the K5 much better than both Nikon D7000 or Canon 7D.

    As most reviews ranked K5 better than D7000 or EOS 7D, I moved on to look for the Pentax lens. And there also, I found that Pentax have very very good lens at very reasonable prices(so much cheaper than Nikon or Canon higher end lens). Most of its advanced level lens are priced no more than 600-700(Singapore) dollars and generally receive very good reviews on Photozone and other lens review websites whereas the same best quality lens from Nikon and Canon are sold for around 2000 dollars.

    So, as Pentax K5 is better ranked than it’s competitors and also as Pentax has the world’s best lens, I am considering to buy Pentax K5.

    Could I know your opinion on this please. Do you have any friend of yours using Pentax and how do you see this camera and more generally this brand?

    Thanks.
    Shyam

  95. 223
    ) Nicholas Finley

    Hello,

    I’d like to start off by saying I stumbled upon this site today, and am impressed by the knowledge I’ve found here. I’m simply looking for some opinions on my next DSLR camera. I’m only 17, but I’ve already been offered formal jobs as a photographer. (Mostly shooting Concerts. Declined for personal reasons.) I’m currently shooting with a Minolta 5D, rather outdated considering Sony took over Minolta in 2006. And while I’ve shot some wonderful shots with this body, only having 6 Megapixel’s seems to be limiting how far my images can be expanded. In short, It’s time to add another camera to my collection.
    Initially, I’m thinking a higher end Sony, because the Alpha mount (Minolta A) means I shouldn’t have to replace all of my lenses. This is important because being only 17 I’m not exactly financially stable. That being said I’d rather spend my money on a nice camera body than on another older camera and all new lenses.
    I’m wondering if you could, please, make any recommendations? Or at-least tell me if I’m headed in the correct direction. Any advise you could provide would be greatly appreciated, I’m open to many ideas.

    Thank-you very much for your time,
    Nicholas

  96. 224
    ) vincent

    hi there,

    You did a very good job. Thanks a lot.
    I have decided to buy a Nikon D5100 as my first DSLR, but I am quite confused about the lens. I like travelling, so this camera is supposed to be used for capturing good landscape. Could you give some advice? Should I buy the 18-55mm in the kit first as a practicing tool and buy an extra 55-300 when I need it, or just buy the body and get a ‘all-in-one’ lens like 18-105, 18-200 or 18-300? If all-in-one really works well, I prefer to take only one lens with me when traveling, instead of changing between 18-55 and 55-300.

    I really appreciate your advice.

    Best Regards,

    Vincent

    • 226
      ) Diing

      I have D5100 with kit lens 18-55mm and 35mm f1.8g. I think these lenses are enough for traveling. 18-55mm give you 27-82mm(in 35mm) view. 18-55mm and 35mm is really fast on focusing. 18-55mm is really sharp and cheap, it can be used as a micro lens(sort of) too. If you really need a zoom lens get 70-300mm or 24-120mm, or 70-200mm f2.8. Forget about 18-105,18-200 or 300, there are too soft and not good color.

  97. 225
    ) A shah

    Hi Nasim,
    Many thanks for your excellent website with tons of info on photography. have just purchased the canon eos550d with 18-55 lens . would request you to pls advice me on the lens i should purchase within USD 300 for nature photography, landscape ,wildlife & birding . Also pls guide me on filter purchase necessity & how to prevent dust & fungii from entering lens & sensor ? Am currently referring to understanding exposure by bryan peterson . Also can 550d perform better in low light ? Also pls recommend a good book for photography improvisation & enhancing creativity

  98. 227
    ) mahaveer

    i would like to purchage my 2nd dslr d70000 (first was d3100 which disappointed me and i sold it after 3 month) with nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 and i am interested in portrait & lanndscape photography. what about canon 7d because it also attract me ?

  99. 228
    ) peter

    Thanks a lot, simple and straight to the point article. Has helped me in my search.

  100. 229
    ) Nathan

    This article is great! I loving taking pictures, but have always had a point and shoot. I want to get a better camera, but I am concerned about price and cam’s being outdated. I want to follow your tips as a beginner, but since this article is 3 years old are there newer cameras I should consider then the one’s listed? Or are those still one’s worth going after?

    Thanks!!

  101. 230
    ) dr.kshitij

    1st dslr shud be nikon d3100 or d3200. thx. k

  102. 231
    ) Parixit

    This is absolutely awesome. I was looking for a good DSLR to buy and this blog plus your blog about Nikon vs Sony vs Canon have answered all my questions. I want to start off with a decent kit where i can explore more opportunities further. Thank you for all this information….

  103. 232
    ) dr.kshitij

    hand held HDR – is this a good idea – If you are hand holding the camera why not take one RAW file and produce three jpgs one EV apart either side of the corectly exposed photo and merge those ? Saves space on the camera and prevents blurred unaligned shots , or motion within the shot. Also stops a lot of worry about holding the camera still enough. besides this my photography expert friend says – You dont require auto bracketing and it is not worth it.You should learn to take one stop up and down manually. What is important you should go for a camera which can take raw also with fine. Then you can create things. R these sensible ideas to take good hand hdr?

  104. 233
    ) Abhishek

    Very truly mentioned in this article about megapixel race. If you ask any normal person, answer would be more megapixel means more clear picture and always end up in buying camera with more mega pixels.
    Photography is more about creativity. most of the people don’t know the half of the functions of their point in shots and they never even try it. they prefer to take snaps with auto mode only. Very nicely you have provided information which is useful for everyone. I liked all the articles on your site. aperture, ISO and so on……Thank you

  105. 234
    ) SHARJEEL

    Dear Nasim Bhai,

    You article is too good to be true i must tell you, I had so many questions in my mind and you solved so many of them automatically.I like the photographs you used in this article but I guess i wont go that far with photography, I am not interested in wild life photography. What attracts me is creative photography specially Gray or you can say Black & white ones with which I love to seize the moment and wait with the camera in my hands till I get the perfect expression of the subject which I want to lock in the pic to be remembered for years and years and printed several times

    I don’t even own a point & shoot camera but I am crazy about photography and so I use my HTC Desire HD with 8 MP HDR camera to do he needful and then put lens effects,Blurred backgrounds, lighting effects etc etc by Photoshop CS6 and getting better in it as much as I use it.

    I don’t have much cash in my hands to invest in New DSLR cams but I can buy a used one for which I would appreciate if you could help me out.

    Recently I have come across 2 used DSLRs

    1. Sigma SD-14 which is of about 366$ (6-12 months used) with Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 lens, 14.1 MP
    2. Nikon D 80 with a lens which comes with the packing ( I guess its description is not required) of around 400$ (6-12 months used)

    Now please help me out choosing between these 2, As I didnt read SIGMA’s name anywhere on this site I am assuming this brand is not that good in DSLR’s market haan?

    Please reply ASAP as I cant hold the seller for long

    Regards,

    Sharjeel

  106. 235
    ) Lancer

    Hi
    Canon D 1100 T3 good or bad

  107. 236
    ) Ramesh Preja

    Hi Nasim,
    I have been surfing the web now for over few weeks now, looking for some advice on which DSLR would be best suitable for me….and finally I came across your site (I’m glad I did)…….it surely has helped me to narrow down on my selection. It’s either D5100 OR Canon 550d, but still little confused. Please could you suggest the apt one for me…….I would be looking to use it basically for family (indoors & outdoors) travelling and nature photos. The picture quality and color would matter the most to me, also the camera should be light and compact to carry. I am a beginner.
    I would really appreciate if you could help!
    Thanks

  108. 237
    ) Olven

    Hi Nasim,

    A good article indeed..
    Could you help me in choosing from the following cameras:
    Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm Lens
    Canon T2i with 18-55mm Lens
    Sony A35 with 18-55mm Lens
    I am a beginner in the SLR category..
    You may suggest other cameras too..
    Thanks..

  109. 238
    ) Yudi

    Hi Nasim
    Thank You So Much for sharing such Information with us.I m really i found you.I just wanted to ask one Question,actually after a long time spent on net , i hv decided to go for Nikon, and i already narrow down the camera and lenses , dat i m going to buy, Nikon D7000 with Nikon 50mm F/1.8G, Tamron 17-50 F/2.8 VC..and i really want you to help me here. Actually about 2 yrs ago , My brother bought Sony DSC HX1 with 5-100 mm f/2.8-f/16 but aftr few months , he got bored with it , so i decided to shoot with it, at first i was just shooting in auto mode but then i got to know technical aspects of the Camera and Lens, and i sriouly liked composing the shots, well i was not anything like a pro but it was quiet a progress and its been 1.5 yrs with camera and i think it time for me to buy a New DSLR camera , because i really like to grow more in the field of photography so afte a lot of research , i have narrowed down to go for NIKON brand and with Nikon D7000 because its really b/w the Entry leven and Pro..and i like shooting portraits, Wedding , Landscapes..BBut for more part Portraits..please help me if i m on the right path or nort, and also Wheather i should purchase Kit lens with Nikon D7000 or not and also..highlinght some info about the Third part lenses as i m planning to buy a Tamron 17-50 mm F/2.8 VC..Please Reply sson ..and Thank you So Much!

  110. 239
    ) Maria

    Hi Nasim,
    I have a Nikon D3000 and I am starting my photography business. What Nikon camera would you suggest me to upgrade to?

    Thank you!

  111. 240
    ) Shakeel

    Wow..a very informative and useful article. I have been reading many articles lately about buying first DSLR and haven’t found such a thorough and complete guide on how to buy a DSLR. Couldn’t agree more with what you have pointed out about all the things mentioned here.

    Thank you very much. I have subscribed to this website/blog and hope to come back here often and learn. Thanks for all the useful links you’ve provided in this article esp the book link, online shopping and references to other useful articles that you’ve published earlier.

    Kind Regards
    Shakeel

  112. 241
    ) Juane

    Hi Nasim!
    I bought a Nikon D5000 with its basic 15-55mm lens 3 years ago, a good entry level DSLR and I am now ready to buy a new lens and camera. I’ve been doing alot of freelance work with my little entry-level camera and I am also photographing a wedding at the end of the year – thus I would like to buy a new camera before then. I plan to do some more work in Fashion as well as wedding photography.

    Im looking at buying a EF 24-70mm f2.8 L Series USM lens
    im also looking at the Nikon D700

    but I am strongly considering going over to Canon and thought about buying the Canon 60D.
    As you can see I don’t know what to choose – do you have any recommendations?

  113. 242
    ) Canon dslr Comparison

    I agree, we must consider some choices before we decide the one we should buy.

  114. 243
    ) Kiran

    Hi Nasim

    Your blog is simply awesome, and though I didn’t know anything about photography, after reading your blog I learnt many things and got a passion to click photographs.

    I would be happy if you can suggest me an entry level camera. As I have low budget I narrowed upon Canon 1100D and 550D but I’m confused about which lens to buy along with the body. I’ll list down my preferences in photographing so that you can suggest me one based on it.

    I would like to photograph
    1. Landscapes and portraits
    2. Cover indoor events like seminars and fun filled activities.
    3. children
    4. long distance objects about 50m away
    5. sometimes like to photograph insects and small flowers also.

    Thanks in Advance
    Kiran

  115. 244
    ) lucia

    hi Nasim,
    seems that you are not here anymore? your last answer was at jan 23

  116. 245
    ) garima

    Nasim…you are fab. I have read some odd number of articles, but this is so sorted and crisp. Bow down thank you Photographer Janab :)

  117. 246
    ) Olga

    Hello Nasim!
    Your statue is amazing. Very useful.
    I hope you could help me to choose.

    I want to buy a professional camera and dont know which to choose of these three:
    1- Nikon D800,
    2- NikonD 3100
    3- Canon 5D Mark 3

    Maybe you cosider the other one?

  118. 247
    ) David

    Hi Nassim, your info is just awesome. I’m mustering up courage to get a DSLR. Can you help me make a choice. My subjects mostly going to be are birds, animals and historical monuments. The occasional landscape from time to time. I will buy a telephoto lens too. Night / sport photography is not a requirement for the forseeable future. It looks a toss up between Canon and Nikon. My budget is USD 1000 . I live in Sydney , Australia but might buy from Amazon.

    What should i buy?

    Thanks

    • 268
      ) dr.k

      if u want just pics – get d5100. if u want both pics and video – get d3200

  119. 248
    ) Prasee

    Hello sir.. Hats of to ur great work… I only dream about photography day and night.. I will become happy by seeing others photographs . Daily i go to net and do studies on dslr camera.. Without any practical knowledge i can tell about both Nikon and canon camera specifications . And did lots of research on lens too… till now i could’t afford one dslr camera … Because of budget…. But sir honestly i damn love doing photography.. I don’t know when i m able to purchase camera… Now a days whole day im spending on net to research on dslr … And i read ur complete articles. I dint shared my dream with anyone.. Sharing wit u sir.. Give me some suggestions ..

  120. 249
    ) Prasee

    Im from India..
    Awesome articles sir.. Hats of to u… I have one query .. Wat do u say about flipkart.com… Can i buy dslr online from this site

  121. 250
    ) dr.k

    what is your opinion about technology used in this camera
    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8083837371/review-nokia-808-pureview/4

  122. 251
    ) dr.k

    1. what is advantage of fx over dx, except that it captures more view in the picture and may be slightly better picture quality and better ISO. anything else for which double cost shud be paid?
    2. i understand, dx lens offer 1.5 times zoom effect due to crop sensor….so that way it cud be better if one needs zoom effect.
    3. which is best fx nikon today…i guess d600 is a good option for a non professional coz it is light weight like d7000….although costly due to recent launch.
    thx
    k

    REP

  123. 252
    ) Ajith Kumar

    Hi,

    Thank you for the detailed post. I am a web designer and I have a passion for photography. I have a Sony DSC H10 camera now. I have posted the images I have took using the H10 camera here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajiths_album/page10/ . I want to upgrade to a DSLR. Could you please have a look the pictures I have took and suggest a DSLR for me.

    Thanks again…

    • 253
      ) dr.k

      try mirrorless instead of dslr

  124. Absolutely mind blowing article for a beginner like me. Really cut through all the info out there to get to the core of what you need to know. Can’t wait to go shopping!

  125. 255
    ) Ti

    I am looking into buying a DSLR camera (Nikon preferrably), I found Nikon D3200 and D3100, which one is better? Thank you

    • 256
      ) dr.k

      look into mirrorless options also. between d3100, d3200 and d5100 …these r close options. d5100 is cheaper than d3200. d5100 has swivel screen, d3100 is cheapest. decide this way…..if u need cheapest….go for d3100, if u want swivel screen with excellent pic quality pic…do for d5100, if u want big size pic, go for d3200. go to a shop…decide between d5100 and d3200. d3100 is old and outdated. answer to ur question is – visit a shop and decide there. it will be easier i guess. cheers. k remember one thing….. dslr time is going off….its time for mirrorless or real high end dslr….low end dslr are vanishing from market soon.

  126. 257
    ) Manik

    Hello Nasim
    I’ve been using D5000 with 18-55mm kit and 70-300mm Tamron and generally satisfied. Would you recommend to go for a Nikon wide angle fixed Focal length and in future a better body. Generally I am clicking Birds/ animals (when in tour/) and general purpose photos like flowers, partys, picnics etc.
    Thanks in anticipation

  127. 258
    ) Vov

    Bravo Nasim, Thanks a lot!

  128. 259
    ) Shibin

    Hi Nasim, Your article is really informative and very helpful. Im upgrading from my nikon point and shoot ( ps9100)to dslr. Im considering nikon 5200 or canon 650d. Can you help me with your expertise on which one I need to chose. Also give me an idea about an all round lens that I can use. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

    • 260
      ) dr.k

      nikon d5100 –
      pros – exceptional picture quality, same sensor of d7000
      cons – not many external buttons, no manual control in video, no focus motor

      canon t3i –
      pros – manual video control, better for video
      cons – image quality not as good as nikon, video only possible for 12 minutes

      sony SLT –
      pros – quick fastest continuous autofocus
      cons – due to fixed mirror – possibility of chromatic aberration, purple tinge to pics

      analysis
      whats point in going for canon when video possibility is only for 12 mins.
      whats point in going for sony when the fixed glass has above mentioned cons

      winner is nikon d5100 coz of its great pic quality of d7000 at low price.

  129. 261
    ) neal

    sir,

    i am neal from Bangladesh.i read this article and the comments when i actually want to buy my first dslr kit.i am a student and participated 6 photo competion where 3 was international.but i used my friends compact one for photography.now i want to buy canon 650d+18-135mm stm+40mm stm pancake because these r new and updated also seems fulfill my basic need where i also want to cover event.what is your opinion or advise in that case?any alternate suggestion?give me some advice in that case.

    thanx

    • 262
      ) dr.k

      the amount of money u will pay for – canon 650d+18-135mm stm+40mm stm pancake. in that money u cud easily get a better dslr and a better single lens. 650d picture quality is same as 550d/t2i. all you are paying for is a great screen (touch plus swivel) and few other more or less features. autofocus is silent in STM, but not great/accurate. look for other options also if u wish to invest that amount of money. first decide what do u want to shoot. if u want great and best picture – go for nikon d5100. it has sensor of d7000 (undisputed best pic quality in crop sensors). if u want video with full manual control, u cud look at 600d or much economical nikon d3200. if u want perfect autofocus video ….forget dslr.

    • 274
      ) David

      Hi Neal, what do you want to shoot with your DSLR. Thats the most important question.

  130. 263
    ) Rajath

    Hi I am Rajath from India.
    I just went thru this website and found it very useful… I am very new to photography & never had a DSLR. After doing some research, I have decided to buy Nikon D 5200 (which is launched in Nov 2012) with Tamron 18-200 Macro Lens along with NIkkor 50mm F1.8 lens.. i have seen few articles where 80% of people say that Tamron is ALSO good lens and affordable and few suggested NOT to go with third party lens.. I am little confused here whether to buy a Tamron lens or only Nikkor.

    Kindly suggest me on this.

    Thanks in advance for your time.

  131. 267
    ) David

    What sort of pictures do you want to take? For instance, is travel photography your objective or perhaps landscape?

    • 269
      ) Rajath

      Since i am new to photography, i dont have anything in particular to opt. I just go out taking pictures wherever & whenever opportunity comes my way.. but i am more interested in Landscape and indoor photography (Fashion, Jewellery etc).

      Two things attracted me here is the processor used in D5200 is Expeed-3 and they claim this is much faster compared to other models and it has got 39 focus points against just 11 in D3200. I guess 5200 would do better in more ways. Since this model is very new in market, i dint get to see people using this one..

      Also pls suggest about Tamron lens.

      Thanks

      • 270
        ) David

        Rajath, I’d go with Nikon. You should have a wide angle lens for landscape and Nikon makes some very good ones even at the non professional level. Im not familiar with jewellery/ fashion shots but my guess is that you are better off with Nikon than Canon because of its low light Capabilities. Go for the D5100. Its price has dropped now and its a great camera.

  132. 271
    ) David

    I haven’t used Tamron but there are some great sites, photographylife and photozone that have reviewed these lenses. Also look up Nikkor 35 and 50 mm lens at f1.8, these are really cheap and excellent at low light.

    • 272
      ) Rajath

      Thanks for the response David.

      Yes, I have seen the pictures taken by Nikkor 50MM F1.8 lens. It really produces great pictures when it comes to closeup shots.. but I have never seen a Tamron lens and its pictures live. Tamron is really affordable when compared to Nikkor lens. The below lens costs just 15,000 in India.

      Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro for Nikon Digital SLR Lens (Macro Lens)

      • 273
        ) David

        I wud avoid 18-200 mm as a class. On paper , the prospect of such a huge range is attractive . In reality no one has been able to make a good lens in this class. Its asking too much of a lens to go from really wide angle to zoom. Look up the reviews and you will find them saying ghe same thing. Suggest you buy 50mm/1.8 given your interests. Its priced similar to the Tamron and way better as a lens. Btw the indian price looked too high, I prefer to buy from Amazon rather than tbe local shops.

        • 275
          ) Rajath

          Thanks David

          I would definitely consider your suggestions towards Tamron. Please suggest any other lens which has got both Macro and Zoom.. I would also love to take pics of minute objects like insects..

  133. 276
    ) Rajath

    Hi,

    How about considerng D90 against D5200?
    I found few advatages having D90 like: In-built AF motor, larger sensor, good battery backup, Pentaprism view finder etc… Do you think with these features D90 will sin the debate against D5200..?

    Please suggest as i am in crucial position to make decision.

    thanks

    • 279
      ) Shyam

      I suggest you buy Pentax K30 with DA 18-135 f/3.5 to 5.6 WR lens and you don’t need to look back. Now, Pentax K5 price is very low so if you can look for it, get it with 18-55 or 18-135 kit lens and you are getting a camera better than Canon 7D or Nikon D7000 but for way lesser price. If you are not familiar to Pentax system, I suggest you take a look to the youtube link below and check out his channel.

      • 281
        ) dr.k

        is pentax available in india? do we have that brand in india and acceptable aftersale service?

        • 283
          ) Shyam

          I just looked into some forums and it seems you cannot buy in India. Sorry.

  134. 277
    ) Rajath

    Hi,

    How about considerng D90 against D5200?
    I found few advatages having D90 like: In-built AF motor, larger sensor, good battery backup, Pentaprism view finder etc… Do you think with these features D90 will Win the debate against D5200..?

    Please suggest as i am in crucial position to make decision.

    thanks

    • 278
      ) dr.k

      there is no point in purchasing either d5200 or d90.
      d5200 is slow, sluggish, very costly. for that price u get much better dslr.
      for example for that price u get canon t4i (1st ever touch screen in dslrs) or 60d
      d90 is old and outdated. motor is not of use, till u have old lenses. sensor is old.
      although d90 is a good camera but buying outdated camera is not an intelligent decision.

      what u shud do is as follows
      either go low on budget and get d3200 (complete video and pic manual control)
      or go high budget and go for d7000 (undisputed king of dx dslr)
      or wait for d7100 to arrive.

      buy d3200 – nice economical complete dslr, great to begin with.

  135. 280
    ) Rajath

    Thanks dr.k

    SInce i do not have my budget to go for D7000 i will consider D3200. In fact, D3200 was my first consideration when i decided to by DSLR. let me think about it and try to research more on this and make decision…

    Thanks for your advice.

    • 282
      ) dr.k

      just buy d3200 and keep the body for 3 years. invest rest of the money on glass. around d3200 budget, it is king when u consider both pic and video. if u want just pic, then d5100 is king (coz it has sensor of d7000). so if u want just pic – d5100, if u want both pic and video – d3200.

  136. 284
    ) Rajath

    Hi..
    After considering my budget and requirement i am almost making decision. How does this combination works to start with…??
    D3200/D5100 with AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens ….
    I read this article (http://photographylife.com/what-is-bokeh) and started liking this lens because of its performance and price (Which is not too high).

    May be after spending time with this lens (a month ot two) i will consider buying a telephoto lens.

    • 286
      ) dr.k

      just get kit lens 18-55. rest later. if u go on doing research, u will spend decades without reaching conclusion. invest money on glass and time on using the gear u have.

  137. 285
    ) Rajath

    I would also like to know how do you rate this micro lens.

    AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

    Thanks

  138. 287
    ) Kimat

    Tried to order from adorama.com since b&h doesnt ship to canada, all i can say is they have the worst customer service ever. They were claiming that we do have an issue with our billing address. They never gave us the chance to clear up the issue, they just cancelled the order right away, and they did not even offer any help that we can get to process the order. ADORAMA.COM WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER.

  139. 288
    ) Tharun

    Hi
    Firstly I thank you for this information..
    By reading your information learned many thing regarding camera. I profession is not a camera man. But i am interested in cameras. I have wondering how the photographer take the snap so that the required part is clear and the rest is blur and now i came to know reading your information. Any how thanks once again .
    Your information more than enough for me. I previous used a point and shoot camer “NIKON S2600″ One day I found DSLR cameras give better quality pictures. So just had a look at that price is really heavy compared to my budget… I need to good camera with maximum features but low budget I use to take snaps of landscapes , peoples , images at functions, outdoors. I request you to suggest me good dslr for a price of RS. 25000/- (in indian ruppess) hope u would help me …
    once again thanks for your information..

  140. 289
    ) Mert

    I will buy my first camera, but I am enthusiastic about it and thinking it as serious hobby. I just couldn’t decide between fuji x100 or nikon d3200. Fuji is great, and it would be so beneficial for me because its small, despite the fact that it is stuck with the lens :). D3100 with better lens or d3200 seems nice too, but I don’t want to change lenses that much, it is pretty tough and not necessary . May I learn more about fuji x100 even though it isn’t in DSLR category? Thanks you for this great blog. Sorry for my english :)

  141. Wow guys if only know what is coming your way ;) Once you start with the photography it never finishes…buying and buying and then the new models are coming out every now and then. Although I need to admit that your guide is very comprehensive and useful for people who are still making up their mind what camera system to choose.

  142. 291
    ) Mustafa

    Another addition to the list of great books you have mentioned is Tony Northrups: Stunning digital photography. It is cheap, it comes with videos training, and access to a private group on facebook on which you can post your photos for helpful critique by fellow photographers, both amateurs and pros!

    also, you get a free ebook of the same printed book to take with you on your phone,ipad, kindle, laptop etc.!

    Plus the book is amazing! its easy to get and detailed! :D

  143. 292
    ) Danny

    I want to get with $ 1,000 budget into the amateur+ DSLR space, so I am considering buying the Sony a57 which has a great deal on for about $950 including 35-55 and 75-300MM lens. For the kind of photography I want to do, fast moving birds and animals, Sony has the best fps , but do I give up image quality choosing Sony a57 vs speed ?
    Thanks in advance for the articles published on the site, great structure and great insight.
    Danny

    • 293
      ) dr.k

      i wont buy sony alt technology. there is a glass and it is bound to give 2 problems…. aberrations and ghost image. better stay with conventional nikon/canon.

  144. 294
    ) Yoom

    Hi Nasim! Amazing article. You are awesome. I need your help in buying my first camera and lens. I recently decided to buy Nikon D5200. I am interested in shooting birds and landscape. Could you please suggest one of the best lens which will help in shooting both birds and landscapes? Thank you very much. I will appreciate your quick reply.

  145. 295
    ) Ananya

    Hello Nasim! Your photo’s were amazing.. i am planing to buy a semi-professional dslr..! i am quiet confused between canon 7D & nikon d7000.. I basically use it for wildlife, streets and landscape!!

  146. 296
    ) Roady

    Hi Nasim,

    Thanks for a really informative article!

    I am considering to upgrade from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR. I am confused between Canon’s T3 and T3i models. I will be using my DSLR for clicking family pictures and pursuing photography as a hobby. Can you please provide your views and help me select on of these models.

    Thanks in advance.

  147. 297
    ) Basavaraju

    Hi Nasim,

    Thanks for the such an informative write-up!

    I really enjoyed and acquired the knowledge on DLSR cameras.

    I do have question for now.

    Thanks again!

  148. 298
    ) Basavaraju

    I do not have question for now. :-)

  149. 299
    ) Jean

    Hi,

    Starting as an amateur model photographer, which Canon and Nikon model and lens would you recommend today? Would taking shots at evening parties influence this choice, due to fewer/artificial light?

    Thank you so much. Your website is amazing.

    • 300
      ) Jean

      Ok, so I’ve read the review on the Nikon D3200 as well as some comparisons with the D5100 (which I also found mentioned in some comments). Interesting to read your take on the ISO-levels, I tended to overestimate its importance. Being a beginner, I still do not clearly understand the D3200′s possibilities for using an external flash. I read it cannot be operated in the same easy manner as the integrated flash (which is less performing, still causing “red eyes” and so on).

  150. 301
    ) Arun Pasuparthi

    Hi,

    I was searching in internet and came across this blog from you. Thank you very much for such a good write up. I now have fair idea of why i need a DSLR. However, i need a favor from you, as I am new i don’t know what would be a fair price for a camera. I was looking to buy either Cannon T3i or T4i with decent lens to begin with. Can you check if below deal is fair enough?

    http://www.rakuten.com/prod/canon-eos-rebel-t4i-18-0-mp-cmos-digital-slr-with-18-55mm-ef-s-is-ii/243685037.html

  151. 302
    ) Bhupinder

    Cant explain in words how precious this webpage is for me , I ‘ve studied all the details you provided n got nikon d3200 for me with 18 105 afs n i am totally more that satisfied with it , bit worried with its afs compatibility cuz those lenses are bit pricy as compared to af lenses . Still you are god send !! Love your reviews on everything cuz they are purely honest !! keep up the good work brother :) . yes one more thing my nikon d3200 has only 50 frames at 720p whereas the company says its 60 p , is smthng wrong with it ?

  152. 303
    ) Sam

    I am Learning. and i love this site. So as you said nikon D3200 is good for buy first time.
    does it work good?
    I mean if i capture Photo of “FAN”, its become a motion in Photo. can’t see FAN nicely. (i hope you get it)..!
    i need Perfect click with one shoot. no motion in Photo.

  153. 304
    ) dr.k

    i have done 1 year research on this topic – first dslr. my conclusion is – if u have budget and if u want to grow in photogrpahy…..get d7100. if u dont have that much budget and are a casual photogrpaher….get d5200. all other options have flaws and issues.

    1. D3200 – NO – better to take d5100 – at least it has swivel screen and sensor of d7000.
    2. D5100 – NO – small focus points….poor visibility when they light up on focus.
    3. D7000 – NO – some face serious soft autofocus issues.
    4. D600 – NO – oil and spots issue.
    7. D800 – NO – at such high resolution, mild hand shake easily leads to significant blur.

  154. 305
    ) Harmanjit Singh

    I am confused between Nikon D3100 & Canon 3100D. Please someone guide!

    • 308
      ) dr.k

      2 years….i did a 2 year research on it and answer is – NIKON D5100. its the most economical and the best….it has all….swivel screen with a sensor of d7000 (excellent and time tested). u cannot get anything better at this price point.

      Read more: http://photographylife.com/dslr-purchase-guide#ixzz2b3fJ4Ce1

  155. 306
    ) Santhosh

    i am planning to buy my first DSLR camera. I have confusion in choosing. Kindly help me

    • 307
      ) dr.k

      2 years….i did a 2 year research on it and answer is – NIKON D5100. its the most economical and the best….it has all….swivel screen with a sensor of d7000 (excellent and time tested). u cannot get anything better at this price point.

    • 316
      ) lucia

      an enthuastic photographer, D5100 or D5200, and at least D 7000 or d7100 for a pro.

  156. 309
    ) Reema

    This is an absolute spot on blog! Love all the information. Hopefully this post will help me buy my first DSLR :)

  157. i have a blog talk about dslr camera (bestdslrcamera.co) so what best camera should we use to be a pro

  158. 311
    ) himanshu

    i want backgroung blur in picture so please suggest me nikon cheap leanses for it

    • 315
      ) lucia

      I vote for Nikkor AF or AFS 50 mm /1.8

  159. 312
    ) Sagar Ahmed

    I am new in photography and i want to buy a new camera. But i am very confuse to buy a good camera. Can any one tell me please Which camera will be best for this two””Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D90″” for wedding Photography.

  160. 313
    ) Lweiss

    Do you have any articles or thoughts on the best website to manage and store (and order prints) photographs?

  161. 314
    ) San

    Is the Nikon D3100 good?And what lens should I buy?I have used Point and Shoot cameras but I want to get a DSLR.
    Great article.

  162. 317
    ) murali

    Hi Nasim,
    I am new to this blog. Your articles are quite interesting and useful. I have a query?
    Is Sony ILCE 3000 (aka Alpha 3000) a good choice to buy. Is it a compact Point and Shoot model or DSLR.

    Thanks,
    Murali

  163. 318
    ) clarisa

    I’m planning to switch from Sony (I have an old alpha 100) to Nikon
    I’m a “getting serious amateur” and I’m not sure if I should get the Nikon D5200 or the D7000
    What do you recommend?

    Thanks
    Clarisa

  164. 319
    ) ashish soni

    hi,
    I am ashish,from india,first of all,
    nice and very helpful information on ur site,
    ok, i am newcummer in photography , and i wanna purchase dslr camera, i also collect some information abt (nikon d3200, canon eos 600d, and sony alpha58) & iam getting totally confuse in this models.
    i am interesting in wildlife, landscaping, & light photography. so, suggest me the best camera in my budget(35000 INR). Plz , help me, i am in very trouble…….

  165. 320
    ) Sunil Kumar

    Hi,
    I am just start up photography, i have plan to go for DSLR and choose 2 product NikonD5100 & Canon EOS 600D. Please suggest me which one i will go for.

    • 324
      ) Paula Curley

      I was also looking at the Canon EOS 600D and 700 D today. I am still confused but this website has helped me a lot. I live in Australia so I think I will go with the Canon which is more popular here and probably better serviced. I don’t think I am quite ready to move to a DSLR yet and need to learn a bit more!

  166. 322
    ) kirsten jones

    Nasim,
    What do you think of the Sony NEX 5 or 6 as a first DSLR camera?

  167. 323
    ) Paula Curley

    Hi Nasim,
    I really want to take some great photos of my sporty kids and just can’t seem to get my head around photography and where to start and how to select a camera etc. etc. Tonight I surfed the net and have found your information first rate and has answered all the questions I didn’t know how to find the answers to. Thank you very much!! I was looking at the Canon EOS 600D and 700D today, but I think I will do read up and learn a lot more before I purchase.
    Thanks again!

  168. 325
    ) John Milton

    I bought a DSLR camera, and when I came home and learned more about it, I realized the minimum I can set it to is F3.5……. And I wanted a DSLR camera mainly due to depth of vision / blurred effect :( And now I can’t take those pics -.- Damn..

  169. 326
    ) Sharat Chandra

    I would like to buy nikon D5100 which comes with AF-S DX NIKKOR
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. infact, i very much intrested in taking pictures like Bokeh.. So, is it good to take this camera? please help.

  170. 327
    ) Lomonz

    Idk how i found this site,but it has been the best photography site ever,simple and clear explanations that has made me come to understand a lot. Thanks for this site for opening my eyes.

  171. 328
    ) Thanh

    Nasim,

    I found your articles are very helpful. They helped me to make the decision of buying photography items. I bought Nikon D610, 50mm lens, 70-300mm lens, 105mm micro lens and 24-120mm lens from B&H. I thought for sort of expensive items, they should be made in Japan. But the items I received from B&H are made in China and Thailand. I called them and they said they cannot take order that requests item must be made in Japan. They also said some of the items are only made in other countries, not in Japan at all.
    Could you please share your experience and opinion of using photography items that are not made in Japan?

    • Thanh, I am not sure why you would expect everything to be made in Japan – Nikon has been making lenses and cameras in Thailand, Indonesia and China for many years now. Where the lens or camera is made does not matter – all manufacturing controls are strict, just like they would be in Japan.

      Except for high-end f/2.8 lenses and top of the line cameras, Nikon does not manufacture gear in Japan anymore…

  172. 330
    ) Thanh

    Thanks Nasim. I have never in the photographic world before. I knew Nikon is Jap. brand, so I assumed it’s products were made in the country. As long as there is no issue with the products that are made outside, I am fine with it.

    Thanks

  173. 331
    ) Jameel Pasha

    Hi Nasim-

    Thanks for an amazing write-up. I know you’ve mentioned not to bother on what you buying. But still want to know what would you choose between Canon 600D and Nikon D5100?

    This will definitely help my buy.

    Thank you

  174. 332
    ) Ammy

    332) Ammy

    Hi Nasim,
    Can You please help me with one simple Question, that i want go for SLR Camera.
    But I want to go mostly for Digital Zoom.So Does SLR Camera Comes with Digital Zoom & Should
    I buy SLR if My requirement is Digital Zoom, Not in Compact Camera. Which Camera would you suggest.

  175. 333
    ) jp

    Hi Nasim,

    Thank you for giving such in depth information regarding buying a new dslr. planning on buying a canon 600d with a 18-135 IS lens. am a novice to this field and wanted to know if there are any specific things to check while buying d camera body and lens (new).
    thanx a ton

  176. 334
    ) Ajith

    One of the best articles I have read about Selecting a DSLR. That’s for your good work.

  177. 335
    ) gaurang

    Hi,
    i would like you to suggest me a good camera for high altitudes and regular use too as i am going on a trip to mountains. which should i buy which will be also useful to me in day to day life as per my little search and some friends suggestion ended for nikon d3100 d3200 please advice me the good one and also need some tips to operate it and handle it in cold climate.

  178. 336
    ) ashish yadav

    Hi, Iam confused with d3200 nikon and d5200 nikon for which i should go for… could you please guide

  179. 337
    ) Vikey

    Hello Nasim,

    Excellent post. This is exactly what I was looking for and thanks a million for your post.

    As a beginner I was looking for an a entry level DSLR. I was going to buy Nikon D3200 because the price is good, is WiFi ready and I have to purchase additional adapter for using this feature. As you mentioned in your post, I completely agree that the only way to understand the technical specifications related to photography is when I start using the DSLR.

    From your replies on a few comments D5200 seems to be technically better option, also has built in WiFi and GPRS but the price is on the higher side of armature category and near the starting price of semi-professional category. This happens all the time when I have to make a choice ;-).

    I would be great help for me if you could share your opinion on these two models for the following:

    Your comments on WiFi connectivity feature for sharing data and taking pictures with this camera by controlling it with a phone or remote in both the models if you had a chance to use them. (Is it really useful?)

    I am on frequent travel and scope for photography is more like that of a tourist on weekends.
    I can scale up to D5200 to D3200 but have to dig a little bit deeper into my pockets. Do you think I should upgrade to D5200 or D3200 is good enough?

    Thanks very much.

  180. 338
    ) MEHERAB TASIN

    sir, i am16 yerars i want to buy my first dslr camera i have 2 choise 1st nikkon d3200 and cannon eos600d …so now i am confused about that ….. which dslr is best for my ??? and sir why cannon dslrs expensive ….. form nikkon ………. ??? which camera body is very hard ///cannon 600d ///nikkon d3200

  181. 340
    ) rossy

    Hi

    Im looking to buy a camera so i can take lots of pictures of my girls. You know family events, milestones, trips that sort of thing. What camera would you recommend that would greatest pictures and would be easy to use for a super amateur like me. Ive only used point and shoot cameras and thats the auto setting so that shows you how much of an amateur i am :) thanks in advance

  182. 341
    ) Abhay Sharma

    Hi,I am from India.I want to purchase NIKON D3300.Which A-Fs lens should i use with it,considering i am very new in photograpy.Please suggest.

Leave a Comment

*