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Finding Just the Right Digital SLR Camera

Jun 15, 2008
Digital SLR cameras are becoming very popular. According to a 2007 IDC report, there were about 7.5 million digital cameras sold. Canon and Nikon cameras dominated the digital SLR market, with Olympus and Sony taking up a large portion of the leftover market-share. In fact, Canon and Nikon accounted for approximately 80% of the total digital SLR camera sales, Sony and Olympus accounted for about 12%, with Panasonic and Pentax also having significant digital SLR camera sales.

The IDC report showed that Canon had been running alone atop the digital SLR camera market, but Nikon closed the gap, thanks to such popular models as the Nikon D300 and the Nikon D40x. In Japan, Nikon surpassed Canon in total digital SLR camera sales. "Nikon has always been the strong leader among professional photographers" says Minneapolis photographer Bob Dale.

Digital SLR, also known as dSLR, describes a camera with a digital single lens reflex. Single lens reflex describes the path light that travels through the lens to a mirror, which forwards the light to a viewfinder.

In other words, there is light coming in through the lens, which is then sent by a mirror placed at a 90 degree angle to the pentaprism. When you take a picture, it is as simple as the mirror being lifted to allow the shutter to open. The light then is captured by the image sensor behind the shutter instead of being reflected by the mirror.

You may recognize the companies that manufacture digital SLR cameras. Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony are all popular brands in photography. Before they entered the digital SLR market, they were once the big brands in the old 35mm film SLR camera market.

Canon digital cameras are high quality cameras. In fact, the digital SLR cameras in the Canon EOS digital camera series are some of the best around. These Canon digital SLRs get high reviews in terms of picture quality, ease of use and a variety of other features.

The digital SLR cameras in the Canon EOS digital series boast of the 10.1 megapixel CMOS technology that produces digital pictures of outstanding quality. Other Canon digital SLR cameras that have this technology are the Canon 30D, Canon Rebel XTi, and all the other Canon Digital Rebel cameras.

If you take a look at digital SLR camera reviews, you'll see that the Canon cameras are typically at or near the top of the ratings charts. Product tester reviews and user reviews alike give Canon digital SLR cameras high marks.

When it comes to SLR cameras, Nikon has become a household word. Nikon has been making SLR cameras for many years and with the introduction of the Nikon D-series SLR cameras, the company is proving to be a strong player in the digital camera market.

The Nikon D300 heads the impressive lineup of quality digital SLRs by Nikon. This digital SLR supports live viewing, which means you can preview your shots on the LCD screen instead of having to look through the viewfinder. If you're planning to get into professional or high end digital photography, this digital SLR is a good investment. Price starts at around $1,700.

If you just want good photographs and you aren't really worried about having all of the options for making the photographs look professional, the Nikon D40 is a great camera that can be had for less than $650. It has an adequate resolution of 6.1 megapixels. The compact design of the Nikon D40 makes it a great travel camera. "It's a great selection for doing travel photography" says professional digital photographer Bob Dale.

Still there's the Nikon Coolpix P5100, one of the top rated digital SLR cameras in the point-and-shoot category. This camera has both automatic and manual control (zoom, focus and exposure), making it ideal for casual photographers. It has a 2.5-inch LCD display that you can use when setting up your shots instead of the viewfinder. This digital SLR camera retails between $200 and $300.

If you want an affordable digital zoom camera, go with any of the Panasonic Lumix DMC cameras. Panasonic introduced the first in its Lumix DMC series in 2001 and since then has come out with over 60 models with 1.9 to 10.1 megapixels and zoom capabilities between 10x to 12.5x.

Another feature that makes the Panasonic digital SLR cameras popular is that they are typically very portable. But what really sets them apart, is that the newest models are typically not much over $400.

Pentax digital SLR cameras are well-regarded in the photography community. Pentax has been a respected name in SLR photography since the 35mm camera. Pentax continues its tradition of earning respect in the digital SLR community.

Pentax makes lines of digital SLR cameras for both professional photographers and amateur photographers. Two of the most popular Pentax digital SLR product lines are the Pentax K series and the Pentax optio series. These digital SLR camera consistently get good reviews for both photo quality and camera features.

You have far more options in digital SLR cameras than can be discussed here. Whatever your price range, if you do a little research, you can find a digital SLR camera that will take quality pictures for you. Price and features are the main variables when you compare your digital SLR options.

A few of the other things you'll want to keep in mind when comparing digital SLR options are battery life, battery cost, camera warranty, and storage media options. But mainly, you will want to get a memory card that can hold 1,000 or more high resolution photos. After you invest a great deal of money in a camera, you will want to be sure you won't run out of storage space when you're out shooting photos and you visualize that perfect picture.
About the Author
Professional digital photographer Bob Dale shows digital photography ideas and camera ideas on discovering the right digial slr camera. You can read many of his photography ideas at http://photo.dalestudios.com/
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