DSLR - Using your Lenses: Advice for Every SLR Enthusiast

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In general, you cannot cross brands — at least without using third-party adapters and sacrificing some performance. There are also third-party manufacturers, like Sigma and Tamron, that make lenses in different mounts to fit Canon, Nikon, Sony, and other brands. Like megapixels, manufacturers frequently throw around big numbers relating to digital zoom.

And like megapixels, you should ignore them. Optical zoom uses real optics to bend a focus light to make far-away objects appear closer, while digital zoom is essentially the same as simply cropping an image after the fact. As optical zooms have increased significantly in recent years, fewer and fewer manufacturers are making a fuss over digital zoom. Optical zoom is worth paying more for, digital zoom is not. Optical image stabilization helps eliminate blur from your photographs by physically shifting elements within the lenses.

This is especially useful for long-zoom lenses which can be hard to hold steady. This tends to be the preferred method of DSLRs, although not all lenses are stabilized. Sensor-shift stabilization often called in-body image stabilization, or IBIS physically moves the sensor in response to vibrations. This is the preferred stabilization method of mirrorless cameras. Electronic image stabilization EIS , by contrast, is a camera trick.

While it might capture a less blurry picture, it often does so at the expense of reduced image quality. This is the preferred method of action cameras, and some — like the GoPro Hero7 Black — have actually done it quite well. They are all but necessary in bright sunlight when an LCD screen may be washed out, and can also just help you focus on the photograph and ignore external distractions.

Electronic viewfinders offer a host of their own benefits: You can see the effect of your exposure and color settings while shooting, you can zoom in to check focus, and you can display all sorts of other information.

We pick the perfect DSLRs for enthusiasts

All cameras shoot video these days, and many even record at 4K Ultra HD resolution. High-end mirrorless and DSLR cameras offer video features that are even suitable for cinematic filmmaking, as well as increased creative options from the choice of lenses available. One thing to pay attention to is framerate.

Any camera, from point-and-shoot on up, will provide decent video for casual uses, but perhaps the most important feature for good video is stabilization. This will help ensure smooth, non-jittery footage for your handheld video shots. Entry-level point-and-shoot cameras usually offer a plethora of shooting modes, but all of them are just takes on the basic automatic mode.

What LENS should YOU BUY?!

However, advanced compacts and interchangeable lens models will offer significantly more control over your images with manual exposure modes. JPEG is the de facto standard for images pretty much everywhere. Higher-end cameras, especially interchangeable lens models, offer the ability to shoot in RAW.

Not sure what model to choose?

Shadows can be brightened, highlights can be turned down, color balance can be changed completely — RAW opens up a new world of editing possibilities. All that extra image information comes at a cost, however. If you plan to shoot in RAW, make sure you have a large memory card and plenty of hard drive space. Wi-Fi is almost a must-have feature on a modern camera, given the prevalence of social media. Most manufacturers include it in most models these days, and each has their own iOS or Android app for connecting the camera wirelessly to transfer images.

The apps usually are basic, but they get the job done. If you do a lot of traveling, GPS is nice for geotagging your pictures so you can easily know where each was taken. Not many cameras have the feature built in, but some manufacturers have optional GPS add-ons if you want to add the ability. A waterproof camera, on the other hand, is designed to be taken underwater. If you shoot landscapes in the rain, you want weatherproofing. If you want to take pictures while snorkeling, you want waterproofing.

Lower-end interchangeable lens cameras are usually not weather-sealed, however. Another thing to keep in mind: If your camera is weatherproof, but the lens is not, you could still be in trouble. Waterproof cameras are a particular subset of point-and-shoot. Waterproof cases also exist for interchangeable lens cameras, but these can be quite expensive. If your budget is a little higher but you want to stick with something simple, consider an advanced compact camera with a 1-inch-type sensor.

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Panasonic G9. Sony A7 III. Fujifilm X-T Canon Rebel T7i. These are all reasonably priced crop sensor cameras that offer lots of options for lenses and can grow with you as a photographer. Released in , the T6i has more megapixels than its predecessor the T5i This camera is a well-priced powerhouse, boasting 24 megapixels, and a burst rate of 5 FPS.

The D was released in and has been a very popular choice for beginners ever since. This Released in , this Like the Sony a58, this camera has a tilting screen, not a fully articulating one, which makes it a less than ideal option for those who want to do video — but if you are looking for a small camera that excels at photography, the X-T10 is an excellent choice.

With a 3. This is still a powerful camera that comes in a small package — at a great price. Professional level cameras may have a higher price tag but they also come with more features and capabilities than entry-level DSLRs. A professional grade camera will typically with some exceptions have a full frame sensor, better low-light capabilities, higher burst rates and megapixel counts, and better autofocus — all of which are good things for photographers.

The 12 Best Cameras for Beginners in - BorrowLenses Blog

These cameras often lose some of the automatic modes that beginner DSLRs offer so if you purchase one you are going to have to spend some time learning to shoot in manual and semi-manual modes. Starting out with a pro-level camera is a great option for people who know they want to take their photography seriously. Full frame sensors. Most professional-grade cameras will have full frame sensors, allowing for higher dynamic range, better low light performance, and a shallower depth of field.

Faster autofocus Unless you are shooting things that never move, autofocus is a big deal! Few things ruin a shot more than missed focus and fast autofocus helps minimize the chance of that happening. It is important to remember that cameras, like anything else, can break.

The higher the quality of your camera, the less of a chance that this will happen. Higher end cameras tend to be sturdier and more weatherproof than their entry-level counterparts. This camera is the workhorse of the photography world and one of the best on the market. This is simply one of the best cameras you can buy and, while it will take some learning for a true beginner, with this camera the sky is the limit. This camera was released in and has been upstaged by the recently-released 5D Mark IV. The Sony a7RII is a giant of a camera — in a really small package. Beginners will love that this camera takes pin-sharp pictures and fits in the palm of your hand.

This camera is as good as any DSLR — and way smaller. The autofocus on the D works great, even in the dark, and it handles high ISOs exceptionally well. It is highly capable at shooting portraits, sports, landscapes, and just about anything you throw its way. This camera is slightly smaller than some of the other full frame DSLRs in this category, making it a bit easier to carry around.

This camera is an excellent option for aspiring professionals who are looking for a combination of both features and value in a full frame DSLR. There has been chatter in recent years about a 6D Mark II but no official announcements have been made as of this writing. The X-Pro 2 is a good option for people who want the power of a DSLR and the size of a mirrorless camera without having to drop a ton of money to get it. This may be a crop-sensor camera but it still makes this list due to its small size, For photographers who are looking for DSLR capabilities in a small and affordable camera, the X-Pro 2 is hard to beat.

Beginners will love that the D provides a way to get into full frame professional-level DSLR photography without spending a lot of money to do it. The D is the perfect camera for an enthusiastic beginner to buy with the hopes of growing into. Whether you are looking for an entry-level DSLR to get started with or a pro-level camera that you can grow into, there is no doubt that there is an option out there for you. A great way to find out which gear is right for you is by staying informed. Few things make your decision easier than having the camera in your hands to play with.

Once you have your gear, make sure you check out all of our tips and tricks including our guide for the best low light cameras to help you make the most of your shots. This camera beats most of the list in terms of price, weight, quality and ease of use especially for beginners.


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I just got back from a trip with the a and was infinitely impressed with its portability and quality — and cheaper to rent, to boot. A bit pricey IMO for someone just starting out. I have both a Nikon and a Sony mirrorless I know so either company makes a quality product. Great options for beginners and often not too bulky.