If You’re Serious About Photography, It’s Time To Make The Switch To A DSLR Camera

Ditch your point-and click camera and take your photos to the next level.

Alex Holyoake

Although point-and-shoot technology is a great way to learn the basics of photography, anyone who is serious about improving their skills will eventually make the jump to a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. That’s because a DSLR device offers features and capabilities far beyond those of its point-and-shoot counterparts. But what is it that sets DSLR cameras apart?

Before the advent of digital cameras, single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras were the standard for professional photographers. They utilized a mirror and prism system, allowing users to see exactly what their lens would capture on photographic film in real time, before the picture was snapped. As technology improved, the single-lens reflex was eventually combined with a digital imaging sensor, and the DLSR was born. Like SLRs of old, DSLRs feature a real-time optical viewfinder, and allow for interchangeable lenses and varying aperture ranges. This is in sharp contrast to fixed, point-and-shoot lenses, which are built into the camera’s body, limiting their capabilities. This lack of versatility is why point-and-shoot cameras are considered inferior to DSLRs.

If you’re just starting off in the world of DSLR photography, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of options available. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of cameras we recommend for DSLR beginners. They offer everything you need to start your DSLR journey at a price that’s right for an entry-level user.

Pentax K-70 With 18-135 mm Lens

The Pentax K-70 is a great introductory DSLR camera. It features high megapixel quality (24 MP), a frame rate of 6 fps, an ISO range of 100 to 102400, and a night vision red light LCD for low light situations such as astronomy photography. It also comes with in-body shake reduction to prevent blurry results, and built in Wi-Fi capabilities for the effortless transfer of images. Best of all, the Pentax K-70 is constructed with 100 different weather seals to protect against damage from water and dust, so it’s perfect for nature and travel photography. However, be aware that if you ever wish to upgrade the lens, you’ll be locked into Pentax’s options.

Shot with Pentax K-70
Canon EOS Rebel T5i With 18-55 mm Lens

The EOS Rebel T5i is one of Canon’s best-reviewed introductory DSLRs. The 18-megapixel cropped-sensor camera has a frame rate of 5 FSP, and boasts a nine-point autofocus system. With an ISO range of 100 to 12800, this model is completely controlled via a touch-panel LCD screen, and runs off an impressively long-lasting LP-E8 battery pack. And since it features 1080p HD video capabilities, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i is also a solid choice for aspiring videographers.

Shot with Rebel T5i
Nikon D5300 With 18-55mm Lens

The Nikon D5300 is a 24.2-megapixel camera with a frame rate of 5 fps and an ISO range of 100-12800. It comes with an 18-55mm lens with an aperture range of f/3.5-5.6, and also features a 39-point auto focusing system with 3D tracking and 3D-matrix metering. In addition, it has built in Wi-Fi and GPS, and can shoot HD videos at both 1080p and 720p. Given the amount of high-quality features, the Nikon D5300 is a great investment for DSLR beginners. It’s also surprisingly light, weighing in at only 1.06 lbs.

Shot with D5300
Canon EOS Rebel T6 With 18-55 mm Lens

Another solid DLSR option from Canon is the EOS Rebel T6. This 18-megapixel model has a 3 fps frame rate as well as an ISO range of 100 to 6400. It can also shoot 1080p HD videos at 30 fps, and features a 9-point autofocus with cross type point. Along with built-in Wi-Fi, the camera also has short-range Near Field Communication (NFC), which is great for transferring data between devices without having to log onto a network. While it has a lower resolution and frame rate than some other cameras on this list, its wireless functionality, technical components, and low price point are enough to make it one of the best entry-level DSLRs around.

Shot with Rebel T6
Nikon D3400 With 18-55 mm Lens

The Nikon D3400, like the previously mentioned Nikon D5300, features 24.2 megapixels and an 18-55 mm lens. But what sets this model apart is its EXPEED 4 Image Processor, which, along with a frame rate of 5 fps makes the D3400 a quick, high-quality machine capable of capturing sharp, bright, and beautiful images. With an ISO range of 100 to 25600 and 1080p HD video capabilities, the small, lightweight camera also features an 11-point autofocus system and built-in Bluetooth. So at the end of the day, this easy to use device has everything you’ll need from your first DSLR camera.

Shot with D3400

For anyone who is already well-versed in the world of DSLRs, the cameras we’ve recommended might seem somewhat underwhelming. And to be fair, there are certainly more advanced DSLR options available. But for anyone who is making their first foray into the wider world of digital single-lens reflex cameras, the options listed above are a great place to start.