Selecting a DSLR

I thought it would be easy to select a DSLR – pick a premium brand, identify something in the price range I was willing to pay, double it (just kidding – but add at least 25% for the temptation to go one step up the quality ladder) and hey presto.

Living in Spain, but part based in the UK and the US I always have the added complication of shopping on both eBay.com and eBay.co.uk and as I have PayPal accounts in Spain, the UK and the US I tend to shop around a lot, and have to balance exchange rates, postage etc.

This can make decision making unnecessarily complicated which isn’t too bad when you know what you want to buy, but when you change your mind pretty much every day researching can become a nightmare.

Fundamentally I had four options to consider:

Option 1

Purchase a DSLR camera body only at this stage and use it with my existing (very old) SLR lenses. I have had mixed reports on whether they would work or not, but they should do but with a reduction in their capabilities. They are also so VERY old and cheap that they wont do it any justice BUT one is only a couple of years old and is a Sigma 70 – 300m.

Option 2

Purchase a DSLR camera body with one lens for now, and use the above SLR lenses for a while.

Option 3

Purchase one of the many ‘bundles’ around that seem to be great value, include the body, 2-3 lenses (Manufacture brand or OEM brand) and several other ‘gifts”

Option 4

Purchase a ‘cheaper’ body and spend more on the lens(s) now.

So add to these options:

– How much storage should I get?
– Which Camera body should I get?
– Do I base the decision on the lens or the body?
– Can I ‘mix and match’ the lens and the body?
– What is the optimum lens or combination of lenses?
– What exactly is RAW? Should I shoot with RAW & JPEG? What settings should I use in iPhoto?
– Will I ever get off this ‘decision roundabout’ and even get to the point where I can start looking at where and when to purchase?

I needed help! Naturally I could get a LOT off the internet, in particular from Ken Rockwell’s site BUT I really wanted to be able to talk to someone who had been down this path themselves. Step forward Matthew who has a passion for photography and a great blog.

Not only did Matt agree to give some advice, but he kindly agreed to help document it for me. The first thing Matt got me to do was to focus on why I wanted a DSLR, what did I intend to use it for, how did I intend to use it. To help me he gave me some insight into his own usage which I will include in the next update on this adventure.

Oh, and I mustn’t forget Mike who gave me some good advice at various stages as well.

Over the next couple of weeks I will share this journey with you. Join in if you like with your own views, thoughts and experiences.

4 thoughts on “Selecting a DSLR

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    Well, find out quick. Kristine is looking for a new camera herself, and taxes are coming back in a couple of weeks. BTW, haven’t updated those photocasts in awhile!

  2. MyAppleStuff Post author

    What she got in mind? DSLR, ‘point and shoot’?

    Your wish is my command – a few more pictures added today 🙂

  3. MyAppleStuff Post author

    Then ‘watch this space’ and feel free to participate. It has been fascinating learning so far, and I still have a long way to go!!

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