Top 10 Best Digital SLR Cameras For Beginners

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Investing in your first digital SLR camera can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, trying to decide exactly which features you want can be an incredibly daunting task, especially since buyers have more options than ever before. Upgrading to a new digital SLR camera is a smart move, and there there has never been a better time than the present to purchase one. Shoppers will quickly realize, however, that there is a huge range of models on to choose from as well as a veritable sea of technical jargon to navigate. Researching this alphabet soup of acronyms and model numbers often leaves shoppers even more confused than when they started. The good news is that we have selected our pick of the 10 Best Digital SLR Cameras for Beginners on the market.

Canon EOS 1100D

Sporting an immense 2.7-inch LCD screen, the Canon EOS 1100D offers buyers an assortment of luxuries not normally found on digital SLR cameras in this price range. One of the most impressive features of the 1100D is its ability to record movies in 720p resolution at 30 frames per second. This allows the 1100D to serve as a camcorder, which should please beginners who don’t want to have to carry around a camcorder just to record videos.

Canon EOS 1100D

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

Tech Details

  • Step up to DSLR image quality with a large, APS-C sized 12.2MP CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-6400 sensitivity for low-light, hand-held photography without flash
  • Wide-area 9-point autofocus for precise rapid focusing
  • DIGIC 4 with 14-bit image processing for improved colour gradation and tonal range
  • 63-zone iFCL exposure metering system for accurate light measurement

Product Details

  • Brand Canon
  • Part Numbers 1100D, 5161B016AA, 5161B017, 5161B019
  • GTIN 08714574570044
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 12 May 2010
  • Amazon Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars  26 reviews

 

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D can be viewed as the 1100D’s smaller sibling. Although this camera isn’t as full-featured as its more expensive sibling, it’s still an excellent camera for the price and ideal for beginners. The 600D is capable of producing images in stunning 1920 x 1080 resolution, meaning that its digital capability is unparalleled. The camera’s real selling point, however, is that it comes standard with a Canon’s EF-S 18-135mm lens.

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

Tech Details

  • Outstanding image quality from an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and 14-bit DIGIC 4 image processor
  • ISO 100-6400, expandable to ISO 12,800, for flash-free low-light shooting
  • Scene Intelligent Auto optimises camera settings for beautiful images every time
  • Full-HD EOS Movie, with Video Snapshot for multi-scene movie clips
  • Shoot from any angle with a 1,040k-dot vari-angle 7.7cm (3.0″) screen

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 572 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Item model number: Body Only
  • ASIN: B004MPQXS2
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 12 May 2010
  • Amazon Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 5 out of 5 stars   12 reviews

 

Nikon D5100

The Nikon D5100 manages to differentiate itself from its competitors with some very innovative features, such as a flip-down LCD viewing screen. Thanks to this screen technology, photographers are able to change the screen’s position to virtually any angle. This amazing feature allows users to adapt the camera so that they’re able to shoot pictures from any angle, which is great for those starting out in photography.

Nikon D5100

 

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

 

Tech Details

  • Outstanding image quality for a Beginners Digital SLR with 16.2 MP CMOS image sensor and ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 25,600)
  • Flexible shooting with the 3.0″ 921k dot Vari-Angle LCD Monitor
  • Full HD 1080p (24/35/30 fps) Video Recording
  • 7 unique Special Effects Modes can be applied to both stills and movies
  • Class leading 11-Point Autofocus

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 12.8 x 7.9 cm ; 558 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Item model number: Body Only
  • ASIN: B004U4UHRI
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 5 April 2011
  • Amazon Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars   13 reviews

 

Sony Alpha A580

Even though the Sony Alpha A580 has excellent picture quality, that’s hardly its strongest selling point. That honor goes to the camera’s multi-shot technology, which allows photographers to create three-dimensional panoramas with the aid of special software.

Sony Alpha A580

 

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

 

Tech Details

  • Product Type Digital camera – SLR with Live View mode, movie recording
  • Width 13.7 cm
  • Depth 8.4 cm
  • Height 10.4 cm
  • Weight 0.6 kg

Product Details

  • Boxed-product Weight: 998 g
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Manufacturer reference: DSLRA580.CEH
  • ASIN: B004FY9DD2
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 11 Dec 2010
  • Amazon Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Jessops Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars   1,536 seller reviews

 

Sony A380

Sony’s goal with the A380 was to create the best camera possible while also keeping its interface as simple as possible. The Sony A380 definitely succeeds in both these endeavors, as the picture quality is superb and the digital menus are simple to navigate.

Sony A380

 

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

 

Tech Details

  • Very high resolution 14.2 MP CCD sensor and BIONZ processor
  • SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilisation cuts camera-shake
  • Nine-point centre cross AF with EyeStart activation for fast, accurate focusing
  • HDMI output for display on HD TV
  • Six scene selection modes with on-screen help guide

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 490 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Item model number: DSLRA380L.CEH
  • ASIN: B002A9JDK2
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 26 May 2009
  • Amazon Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars   24 reviews 

 

Olympus E-620

The Olympus E-620 really pushes the boundaries of what a digital SLR camera is capable of. With an impressive assortment of digital photo tools, this camera allows photographers to easily manipulate their photos without needing to export them to a desktop computer.

Olympus E-620

 

 

Where to buy


amazon.co.uk

 

 

Tech Details

  • 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor for photo-quality, poster-size prints
  • Lightweight ergonomic design; kit includes 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko lens
  • TruePic III for superior image quality in all lighting situations; Supersonic Wave Drive (in-body sensor shift)
  • 2.7-inch HyperCrystal III Swivel LCD; Smooth Live View allows you to change the frame rate of the Live View display
  • Stores images to Compact Flash (Type I and II), Microdrive, xD Picture card (not included)

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 490 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Item model number: DSLRA380L.CEH
  • ASIN: B002A9JDK2
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 26 May 2010
  • Amazon Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars   11 reviews

 

Canon EOS 60D

The Canon EOS 60D can best be classified as a semi-professional camera. Many of its features are usually only found on professional cameras, but the camera is also very accessible and easy to operate. One of the many impressive features on this camera is its 18-megapixel sensor, which allows the camera to shoot pictures at the incredible rate of 5.3 frames per second.

Canon EOS 60D

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

Tech Details

  • 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Advanced creative features with Basic+ and Creative filters
  • Vari-angle 7.7 cm (3.0 inch) 3:2 ratio LCD with 1,040k dots
  • Full HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates
  • DIGIC 4 processor for natural colour and advanced noise control

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 680 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 2.3 Kg
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Item model number: 4460B033AA
  • ASIN: B0040X3DUW
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 26 Aug 2010
  • Amazon Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 5 out of 5 stars   6 reviews
  • Jessops Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars  1,536 seller reviews

Pentax K-7

The 14.6 megapixel sensor on the Pentax K-7 has been completely redesigned, and it offers a noticeable improvement over previous digital SLR cameras from Pentax. Users should notice a huge difference in image capture speed and movie recording capability.

Pentax K-7

 

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

 

 

Tech Details

  • 14.6 megapixels
  • Four stop shake reduction
  • DRII dust removal system
  • 3.0-inch LCD Screen with live view
  • Weather and cold proof down to -10 degrees

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 671 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Item model number: K7 – Body Only
  • ASIN: B002AKKBX4
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 23 May 2009
  • Amazon Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Google Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars   23 reviews

 

Canon EOS 7D

The Canon EOS 7D is the camera that every Canon enthusiast has been waiting for. This camera boasts a long list of features that users have been demanding for quite some time. The most impressive feature is the built-in flash, which can be operated by remote control.

Canon EOS 7D

 

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

John Lewis 

 

 

 

Tech Details

  • 18 Megapixel APS-C Canon CMOS sensor
  • Continuous shooting at 8fps with 94 shot JPEG burst
  • ISO range 100-6400 expandable to 12800 for excellent low-light performance
  • Intelligent Viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • 19-point cross-type AF system including Spot AF

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 14.8 x 11.1 cm ; 821 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 2.3 Kg
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Item model number: 3814B022AA
  • ASIN: B002LSI1LO
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 1 Jan 2008
  • Amazon Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • John Lewis Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars   375 reviews

 

Nikon D300s

Currently the reigning king of the digital SLR market, the Nikon D300s is the best camera money can buy. This camera is also definitely not for amateurs or those looking to snap a few casual family photos. The camera’s menus offer users a dizzying array of options and can be quite intimidating to inexperienced users.

Nikon D300s

Where to buy

Pixmania

Jessops

amazon.co.uk

Tech Details
  • 12.3 megapixel DX format CMOS image sensor
  • Built-in self-cleaning sensor unit minimises the effect of dust
  • 6fps continuous shooting (8fps with optional MB-D10 battery pack with lithium-ion battery EN-EL4a or 8 AA batteries)
  • ISO 200-3200: extendable up to ISO 6400 (equivalent) and down to ISO 100 (equivalent)
  • EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation
  • Advanced Scene Recognition System combines the cameras metering and AF sensors for precise exposures
  • Multi-CAM3500DX 51-point AF system
  • Quick response with approx 0.13 second power-up and 45 millisecond shutter release time lag
  • 920,000 dot 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with wide, 170- degree viewing angle
  • Live View with Autofocus lets you compose images using the LCD monitor
  • Durable, magnesium alloy body
  • Water and dust resistant

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 14.7 x 11.4 cm ; 830 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 2.3 Kg
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Item model number: D300
  • ASIN: B000VDATEI
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 16 Nov 2007
  • Amazon Review: 5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Jessops Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars   1,536 reviews

Five questions to ask yourself to help select the best DSLR for you:

1. What level of photographic experience do you have?

2. Are you already using a compact camera and using it’s extended functions?

2. What sort of photography do you want to use the camera for? Just family snaps or portraits, sports or landscape, mostly outdoors or indoors.

3. Are proficient with specialist editing software or are you currently using iPhoto or similar?

4. Are you interested in using your DSLR for video as well?

5. Will you be doing your own printing, or using a printing company?

 

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