How to buy a DSLR Camera | Mechanicsburg PA Family Photographer

Mechanicsburg PA Family Pictures Guide to buying a DSLR

Buying a DSLR Camera

Investing in your first DSLR, or Big Girl Camera, is a BIG deal. It’s exciting but can also be very nerve racking. With the biggest sale days of the year on electronics coming up in just a couple of weeks, I thought I would help you decide which camera is right for you. As a Mechanicsburg Family Photographer, I use a Canon. Many people use Nikon and it’s really 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Those are the 2 big brands and the brands that I would suggest you go with. Either is fine, but once you decide, keep in mind that there’s no switching back or using lens from one brand on another. EVERYTHING is very brand specific.

First things first. What is a DSLR? DSLR stands for  digital single-lens reflex camera (also called a digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film. Interesting, right? Did you understand that? Haha.

So how do you choose? There’s so many options. Let’s start with a few questions.

Mechanicsburg Family Pictures

Questions when buying a camera~Answered by your Mechanicsburg PA Family Photographer

1~ Who is the photographer?

Do you plan to be professional or are you just looking for a nice camera to take nice pictures of your family and friends and nature? Or are you planning on going professional? Charging money for sessions?

2~ What brand do you want?

Canon and Nikon are the the most popular brands, but there are many others on the market. Personally, I shoot with Canon. I don’t know that one is better than the other. It’s just preference. I would personally stick with Nikon or Canon.

3~What’s your budget?

If your budget is on the lower end, a crop sensor, APS-C, is what you will probably be looking at. A full frame camera has a larger sensor and will also have a larger price tag, but your pictures will thank you.

DSLR Camera Mechanicsburg PA Family Pictures

4~Exposure Modes and Scenic Modes

The more modes a camera has, the less they are  for professionals and the less they usually cost. If you want your camera to do more of the work and set the settings for you, a lower cost model is your best bet. If you’d like to learn how to shoot in manual and take control of what you are shooting, it’s going to cost you a little more

5~Flash or no Flash?

Most of the lower end cameras have a flash built in. A pop up flash is typical. Higher end models have a flash mount for a specific flash and situation




Mechanicsburg PA Family Pictures

So, what do you buy? Which one is right for you? It definitely depends on what you want to do with it and what you are able to invest, but if I were just starting our, I would buy the Canon Rebel T4i and if I had a little more to invest, I’d go for the SL1.

Since the holiday’s are coming and deals will be flying, it’s a great time to buy a DSLR. It’s also a wonderful time to give the gift of knowledge buy giving my Digital Camera Class to someone you love. Make sure to check your email on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday for a deal only given to my VIP’s on my email list. Are you one of them? If not, join HERE

Want a few shooting tips before you buy? Check out my Fouth of July Shooting Guide



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  • JoannaDecember 12, 2017 - 6:15 am

    I have actually just bought a new camera. I switched from a Canon D600 to a Sony Alpha 7 mainly because of the size and weight, but also because of the fantastic quality and options the Sony offers. I love my DSLR but it became too heavy to carry around, in a dedicated case.ReplyCancel

  • Kendra W.December 12, 2017 - 12:16 pm

    Great tips! I’ve been looking into the perks of a DSLR camera, as I think I would benefit with the photo quality it provides. I would love it for the purpose of taking photos for my blog, book covers, and youtube videos. These are good tips to help me decide on an option, should I choose to purchase one. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • majorclicksphotographyDecember 12, 2017 - 12:40 pm

      Absolutely. It’s a tough choice. There’s so many on the market.ReplyCancel

  • corinne & kirstyDecember 13, 2017 - 5:08 am

    I have wanted to buy a DSLR camera but felt like I did not know enough about photography to do it just yet. I will defo invest at one point and this guide is going to be super helpful!ReplyCancel

    • majorclicksphotographyDecember 13, 2017 - 7:46 am

      Great. I’m glad you found it helpful!ReplyCancel