DSLR Purchasing Guide for Beginner

by - Thursday, March 17, 2011

Which DSLR Brand Should Beginners Buy?
Familiar with that question?

Before you guys continue reading, please take note that this guide is for beginner photographers and based on my experience in order for u to save budget.

SONY DSC
Canon, Nikon or Sony that is the question.

Of course there are other brands such as Pentax, Olympus etc.
From my previous experience, I have met various people either professional or beginner. Most of beginners who just want to start photography will ask me what camera that I use instead what lens or what setting that I use.

Everyone have their own favourites. Besides the quality of the DSLR, advertising also play their role. Did you realize that when you ask some of the people which camera brand that they think is good, some of them will mention famous brands such as Canon, Nikon and Sony. How many people will say Leica? The question is, why?!

Before I proceed to the quality of DSLR gears, let me explain a little bit about marketing strategies that they use. This is what they call as advertising. Top of Mind Awareness and Brand Salience.

Definition:
Top of mind awareness is when people think of you first to fulfill their product or service needs. The easy and simple understanding is "what brands come to mind when consumers are asked to recall brands within a category". Another example are: Toothpaste = Darlie / Instant noodles = Maggie.

Brand Salience is not the same thing as top of mind awareness. It is what brands come to mind when consumers are in a purchase situation. More specifically, Brand Salience is the memory of your brand and its linkage to other important memory structures. The buying situation ”mindfulness” and linkage to memory structures is what differentiates Brand Salience from top of mind awareness.

So, can you see how they play with advertising? Of course all of that not just because of advertising but because of the quality of the gear as well right? So, I believe some of you might get the clear picture.

Now, I will proceed to the next point. What camera should a beginner buy. It is important to know what is the perfect one for yourself especially when it is your first DSLR. Just to face the reality that we are more into habitual concept where we will learn after we try. Let me give an example. Before this, I do not know what external flash should I buy until I bought my 1st external flash. From that, I learn and understand what flash that suits my style.

buyingguide-tout
Now, I need your help to find out the answer for the question below (keep it for yourself):
- Why I want buy a DSLR?
- How much am I willing to spend on it?
- Who else of my friends that I always hang out with have DSLR?
- What type of photoshoot that I like most?


******************* 1 minute *******************


So, you get the answer?
Let me explain why I ask that question.

- Why I want buy DSLR?
You must know the motive why you want to buy. Either because of trends, interest, would like to make it as profession?

- How much am I willing to spend on it?
Everyone have their own budget. You must know your financial status before you purchase since this is considered as a "luxury hobby".

- Who else my friend that I always hang out with have DSLR?
It will make your life easier. You can learn from your friend and you also can exchange lens.

- What type of photoshoot that I like most?
That is important for you to understand your photography style. It will help you a lot in choosing camera body and lenses.

Let me share with you something. Before this, I use Sony and jump to Nikon and now jump to Canon. I still using Sony (my housemate camera) sometime. Currently I stick with my Canon. I have my own reason why.

For those who scare to make a mistake/lose money, I would suggest you use 5 stage of purchasing decision.

1. Problem recognition (How much budget you have and choose few brands that you like)
2. Information search (Do a research and compare it)
3. Alternative evaluation (How much it cost and does it more than your budget? If ya, what is other choice)
4. Purchase decision (Purchase the product)
5. post-purchase behavior (Use your camera for some period of time and if you don't like it, sell it off)

So, does it help?
No?

Okay, let me make it easy for you.
I will divide the "set of camera" to 3 part:

1 - Camera body
I believe with what you pay is what you get. Try to get for yourself as good as possible because camera body is important. Get yourself a camera body that suit you. Not necessary that expensive is good. If you want to compare, please make sure the camera is suitable to be compared for example is Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mark II. Not like Canon 1000D and 5D Mark II. I will give an example. Let say I want to shoot sports, I will choose Canon 7D instead 5D Mark II because of the frames per second etc. If I want Nikon and I want good photo + Video, I will choose Nikon D7000 instead D90. Nikon D90 released two years ago, including 12.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor and the 12.3 million effective pixels etc. One of the biggest difference is that Nikon D7000's viewfinder coverage has been upgraded to 100% from the Nikon D90's 96%.

So, you need to choose the correct body for yourself. Do homework and do not lazy!

2 - Lens.
This is another expensive toy that you need to have. Of course you need lens. I use different type of lens before. From kit lens to expensive lens to third party lens. Doesn't mean that kit lens is not good. By the way, kit lens for 5D Mark II is L lens LOL. To buy lens, you might want consider length, aperture, etc. This is where you need to go to basic again. Let say you want shoot for wedding, you need few "must have" lens such as prime lens, tele-photo and wide angle. If you want to shoot clubbing shot, you must have at least wide angle and low aperture lens. All of this is depends how you gonna to shoot. There have few third party lens that also good such as Sigma and Tamron where the price is slightly cheaper and the quality is quite good.

Different people different style. Keep learning and do not give up!

3 - External flash.
Most of DLSR have pop-up flash (internal flash). It is really helpful if you have external flash. It is still depends on what photoshooting you want do. If you want shoot in low light, to have external flash is bonus for you. If you do not have a lot of budget, you can buy third party
flash such as nissin.

Basically, there isn't a proper answer for which brand is good for photographer. For me, photography is luxury hobby but do not scare to invest more money because this "luxury hobby" can help you earn some income.

There exists a few forums that you can visit and improve your photography knowledge and at the same time helps hunting new/used item.

Lowyat
Photo Malaysia
Shutter Asia
Lens Guide

I suggest that you join some of the outings in order for you to improve you photography skills and at the same time to make more photography friends.

Last but not least,
Doesn't matter what camera you use, the important thing is the final product. Photo nice = people happy. I hope this guide will help you guys.

Feel free to support my photography journey:

Photography Blog
Photography Facebook page

You May Also Like

4 comments