By Abhilash Pavuluri
If you’ve been following our weekly photography column, by now you’ll have gained insights over a few important things to consider before buying a new camera. If you’ve bit the bullet and are looking for a first DSLR, there are still some things to consider. You may reconsider buying an advanced point-and-shoot (better known as bridge cameras) first, or a mirrorless camera. But if you’re dead set on a DSLR camera, here are 4 beginner models we think are a worthy first buy. Two from Canon, two from Nikon.
1. Canon EOS 1300D
The EOS 1300D is currently the cheapest DSLR in Canon’s stable. It sports an 18 MP CMOS sensor, 9 AF-points with 1 cross-type AF point (in the center), an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800), and also has the new inclusion of Wi-Fi and NFC, one of the first budget models from Canon to have such a feature. The newer connectivity features let you pair the 1300D with a smartphone and then remotely control it (which is always cool when doing long exposures where you don’t want to disturb the camera directly), or you can transfer images to your smartphone. Both these options can be handled by the Canon Camera Companion app (available on Android and iOS).
While this feature is pretty neat, it’s about the only unique selling point of the 1300D. Yes, it can shoot video too, but the lack of video features is apparent. You can shoot 720p video at up to 60 fps, but that’s it. All said and done, this is an extremely basic DSLR that you’ll either outgrow pretty soon or get bored of very quickly. We’re including this in the list because it’s the cheapest DSLR Canon has to offer, and coupled with the lens kit, is a good purchase for casual shooting or for those not wanting the hassles of Canon’s more professional DSLR.
2. Nikon D3300
The D3300 is Nikon’s answer to Canon’s budget lineup. And it comes loaded with plenty of features despite being a budget camera. It comes packed with a 24 MP CMOS sensor, 11 AF points(with one center cross type point), ISO range of 100-12,800, and full HD video at 60 fps.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect about the D3300 (at least to us), is the fact that the D3300’s sensor doesn’t come with an Optical Low Pass filter. What this does is improve sharpness in some photos (maybe not to a very noticeable extent, but definitely if you start pixel peeping). This is something that used to be done on pro cameras and is now being done on the D3300. The rest of the features are pretty standard,however. Small, non-tilt LCD screen, only 95 percent viewfinder coverage, polycarbonate body, etc. Despite all these features, the D3300 is the equivalent of Canon’s 1300D, strictly for casual shooting or for beginners.
The D3300 is a relatively older model (with the D3400 already in tow) but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be going for it, especially now that it’s at a lower price and is a popular model in the Nikon stable.
3. Canon EOS 750D
The EOS 7xx lineup is what we feel is the best beginner lineup. With a bevy of features that most people learning photography would find useful yet being intuitive enough that beginners won’t struggle with it, our suggestion is that you look for a camera here and go for the previously mentioned cameras only if you’re on a budget.
The EOS 750D is the successor to the EOS 700D, one of Canon’s most highly-selling enthusiast models. It’s got pretty much everything you need to learn: A 3-inch tilt-flip LCD screen (Which is also touchscreen!), a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor, 19 focus points, full HD video, and the works. While it still doesn’t have some features (like a secondary LCD screen on top, two dials for changing features on the fly, etc), it’s not as lacking as the 1300D.
4. Nikon D5500
The D5500 is,once again, Nikon’s answer to the Canon enthusiast lineup. It’s got features a bit similar to that of the 750D, and then some. For instance, it has 39 focus points (as opposed to the 19 on the 750D), an in-built timelapse function, and better ISO performance (Boost ISO of 25,600 compared to 12,800). The D5500 also has a tilt-flip touchscreen LCD that’s slightly bigger than that of the 750D.
However, the rest of the features are similar: 24.2 MP CMOS sensor, same burst rate, and full HD video recording. And in some cases, the 750D trumps over the D5500 (all cross type AF points, in-built Wi-Fi that lets you pair to a smartphone using the Canon Camera Companion app, etc). If you need to use WiFi with the D5500, you’ll need to buy a separate adapter that Nikon sells.
The D5500 is another camera that’s suitable for learners. If confusing, beginners always have Nikon’s GUIDE mode to help them learn. At a price that’s similar to the 750D, it’s not too expensive either.
Updated Date: Jul 23, 2017 18:07 PM