This article is geared towards buyers who are looking for their 1st dSLR purchase.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my peers on which 1st dSLR should they buy. Well, some friends say Canon is the best, some says Nikon is the best, some say Sony is getting much and much better, which generally we can see each system has their own supporters.
Now for my turn to comment: When you invest in a system (read my word: invest, not buy), you are obviously going to grow with it along the way. Unlike the plain “boring” PnS, dSLRs allow us to grow. Meaning, you can add new lenses into your arsenals to shoot the same scene with different perspectives; manipulate your frame with more speedlights and do wonders along the way.
So basically, the ultimate checklist for deciding which dSLR system to go will be:-
1. Your budget
2. What do you want to shoot
3. Generally availability of affordable accessories and used equipments-for-sales in your AREA.
Point #1 – Budget
What will be your budget be then? Heck, if you are planning to burn RM3k for a dSLR, basically you can settle in for an entry level kit, or you can go for a used body.
Point #2 – What type of stuffs you want to shoot?
- If you are just shooting family photos – just go for an entry level kit, or heck, just get a Pro-sumer PnS , eg Panasonic Lumix LX3 .
- If you are planning to shoot sports – go for the fastest cam your budget can stretch
- If you are shooting low lights – again, go for the most expensive cam your budget can stretch, as usually low noise performance is 1 of the major price factor.
Point #3 – Generally Availability of used equipments and accessories
The bigger the market share for that particular brand, the more accessories and supports will be made available for that particular brand, which means you generally gets the latest technology and also perhaps, slightly cheaper.
The economic theory of mass production applies here. The bigger the market share = the bigger the profit will be.
This also means that you can get cheaper used-equipments along the way more easily. You can pick up a very good used equipment for a decent price when people are going for upgrades.
You can also swap ideas or equipments within your community (bigger market share = more users). This will give you insights of other accessories available for your system, which then you can gain some “taste” on what you want to buy in the future.
Q: hey, x brand is selling comparable kit for much lower price.
A: And you be getting much more expensive gears/accessories in the future for comparable lense/speedlights. It’s the marketing tactic where the company will sells you the entry kit much cheaper, which then in the future, when you are upgrading, you’ll be spending more on it.
Q: Which brand should I buy?
A: The big two: Canon or Nikon. That’s my suggestions anyway. My preference? Nikon, as I shoot Nikon.
Q: My friend says Nikon is best, but my other friends says Canon is the best, which should I go?
A: It’s your head and eye that matters, the cam is just a tool. Joe McNally and Steve McCurry shoots Nikon (as of now), then is Canon sucks? Ziv Koren and Gary Knight shoots Canon, and so then Nikon sucks? Heck, Alex Majoli, a Magnum photographer shoot the Gulf War with Olympus PnS, so all other cam sucks?!
So just go the store, pick up the cam you like and test on it, buy it and go shooting! So be a gearhead or be enjoy the results from your cam, which is photography, you choose then.
Q: What are you shooting on?
A: I’m shoot Nikon, and my dream gears are Nikon D3s, 12-24, 50mm f 1.2, 85mm f1.2, AF-S 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 VRII, plus a truck load of SB900s. Dream on….