DSLR Recommendation: Feb 2011

I often meet aspiring photographers who would like to invest in a digital SLR (DSLR) camera, so I’m always trying to stay up to date with the latest in product developments in order to make the most meaningful recommendations. Here’s a recent conversation I had, shared here for the benefit of others who are also looking to get more into photography!

  • Dear Kenneth, what kind of DSLR should I get? I love taking pictures with my point-and-shoot, but I think it’s time for an upgrade.

So here are my primary recommendations these days for getting started with a DSLR:

* The Canon Rebel T2i is easily the best entry-level DSLR on the market right now. It has the same processor as the much more expensive Canon 7D, which results in great low-light performance and full HD video. It’s currently $695 at Amazon without lens, or $769 with the 18-55mm kit lens. In my experience, the 18-55mm is so-so in quality and performance, but it’s an inexpensive way to start.

* The Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is easily the most affordable low-light and portrait lens available at about $100. Some people shoot with this as their only lens, with the main disadvantage being the lack of zoom range.

* The Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is a very good standard zoom lens. The image stabilization (IS) definitely helps. It’s a heftier lens and costs about $419 onAmazon. I would generally recommend this as the first or second lens to own as well. (If I was starting from scratch, I’d probably get this and the 50mm as an excellent combo for most normal situations.)

* If you want a basic SD card recommendation, the Sandisk 8GB Extreme III SDHC is probably a good bet. It’s decently fast (class 6) and costs about $27. If you hate running out of space on a trip or event, you might want to consider a 16GB.

Anyway, hope that helps, and good luck finding a match. Let me know if you have more questions. I love talking about this stuff!



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