How to use DSLR reviews to pick the right camera for your needs

Like with every kind of major purchase, they say that you shouldn't buy the first DSLR that the salesperson shows you. In the internet era, not reading reviews for a pricey DSLR camera before investing in it is almost a sin and can even leave you with serious buyers’ remorse later on. But for amateur, reading camera reviews are just about as helpful as listening to a salesperson describe one is. Here is a little guide to how you can make sense of DSLR camera reviews and make an informed choice.
1. Outline your usage needs The worst possible mistake you can make when looking for reviews on DSLRs is to blindly trust the one the reviewers have rated #1. Most of these reviews are aimed at professionals or people who can tell the subtle difference between specs of two similarly priced units. For amateur users or absolute beginners, it is a better idea to search for DSLR reviews with the keyword that describes your intended usage for it (best DSLRs for home use, best DSLRs for wildlife photography, etc). 2. Set your budget When looking for reviews on DSLRs, remember to use your budget limit within the search phrase itself. This would narrow down the reviews to your exact needs. Another good way to get to the most relevant reviews for your budget type it to search for reviews that cover entire kits and just the camera alone in a certain price range. 3. Check the release date Like with any kind of electronic gadget these days, you need to check when a DSLR you like had been originally released. Most reviews will not mention this date out and out as specs are what really matters to most reviewers though for a first time or amateur buyer, investing in a camera that is more than 18 months old and is set to be upgraded in a month does not make much sense. 4. Megapixels matter A good rule of thumb for buying DSLRs is to establish whether you are using it for amateur projects or for professional use. For taking selfies or pictures of your baby that you would be posting on social media and sending out to people through email, wouldn't require a higher megapixel camera. If you are looking for higher end work, you should definitely look at reviews that compare DSLRs above 10 MP only. 5. Look for units with a full frame sensor Here is a fact that a DSLR salesman would never tell you but an expert reviewer with the right intent would- not all higher end units come with a full frame sensor and a full frame sensor my friend, can get you excellent performance at a high ISO as well as the exact angle of view from the lens of your choice. 6. Size and weight of the camera Most amateurs and first time DSLR buyers do not understand that these units can get rather heavy especially with the lens fitted on. Most reviews tend to stick to the hardcore tech specs only. Hence, if you've never used a DSLR before, find yourself a review that mentions a unit’s weight and whether it is good for on-the-go imaging. 7. Is video necessary for you? Unless you explicitly want a DSLR for still only, you should prefer to buy one that shoots video too. Even the most basic review would mention the video creds of a camera model well and that would give you a pretty good idea of what video functions you can use and which ones you can live without. 8. You don’t have to buy the lenses from the same manufacturer A lot of paid review recommends that a DSLR works best only with lenses from the same manufacturer. That of course, isn't really true. If a particular review mentions this, cross check this fact on a number of other forums before throwing your money at it. 9. Compatibility with other gadgets Even if you are investing in a pricey first hand DSLR but do not have much experience working with it, it might be a better idea to find second hand accessories for it on eBay or something. Check whether a review explicitly states that a DSRL is compatible with other accessories from camera models as that would help you save a heck lot on assembling your first full DSLR gear.   This Post is written by Alia. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, wordpress, Gamification, responsive design and software development etc. These days she contributes on

3 thoughts on “How to use DSLR reviews to pick the right camera for your needs

  1. Joshua

    What camera do you recommend as best entry level DSLR? Thanks.

    January 19, 2014 at 1:49 am
    1. I recommend Canon 550D, 600D and Sony Alpha 77

      February 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm
  2. Very sound advice. It's not a bad idea, particularly for beginners or people who normally opt for the auto settings, to learn a bit about exactly what your camera is doing when you press the shutter release button. The camera allows the photograph to happen and does what it's told. Knowing the basics allows you to tell the camera what to do with the light hitting it and this dictates what the result will be. A knowledge of the three basic setting, aperture, shutter speed and ISO can make quite a difference to the end product.

    November 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm

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