My first dSLR

My first dSLR

by Lee Duguid, October 27, 2011

So which dSLR should I get? Well there are a few things to consider, here are my recommendations:

Which flavour?

First up you need to decide on a brand. In reality there is no wrong decision although you might think so later down the track. Nikon’s are better in low light, but Canon’s do video better, this guy takes awesome shots and uses Nikon, should I sell all my gear and buy the other? No, just stick with what you have and stop worrying about it.

To pick a manufacturer I suggest going to a local camera store and have a play. See which camera you prefer, which you can navigate you way round and find easiest to use. After you have found the manufacturer pick the model you can afford. All the camera’s from the same manufacturer basically operate in a similar fashion with the only differences being hardware (how many Mpixels) and features. There are a few features you may wish to include but at the end of the day the decision is likely to be based on what you can afford or want to spend. Don’t be concerned by Mpixels, quality comes from the lens.


There are a lot of lens/camera package deals out there. I have a few suggestions to get the right one for you. If you can’t find the right deal buy the camera body only and source a lens or lenses elsewhere.

For starts I would buy one good multipurpose lens over a twin lens pack. I bought my first dSLR camera with the twin lens package (18-55mm & 75-300mm) and found that I very rarely used the 75-300mm, carrying the extra lens was a major pain and swapping between them inconvenient. For this reason I suggest getting something that covers most bases being both wide and telephoto in length (how much you can fit in and how far you can zoom). Here are some suitable lenses:

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD Standard Wide Zoom
Sony DT 16-105mm f3.5-5.6

Note: the above recommendations are for cropped sensor cameras (all entry level cameras). The important bit is the focal length measured in mm. Aim to get something about 15mm to as long as possible (60mm upwards).

If you want to specialise in a particular genre of photography then you can get other lenses later on. That being said a really great, cheap lens that will give you professional looking, shallow depth of field (blurry background) photos, is the 50mm F1.8. For about $130 they are really worth it (available by all camera manufacturers). Here’s a landscape I recently shot with it.


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