Ok, so your little pocket camera isn't going to just cut it anymore. Now what? I will tell you what. Now the hunt begins-the hunt for the right SLR which you should have bought in the first place! Small digital cameras these days can cost as much as some SLR digital cameras on the market. Buying an SLR, although, is a little bit trickier than the standard "point and shoot" type digital cameras you might be use to.
SLR camera breakdown
When you see something like a lonely tree or a beautiful mountain range, it is often difficult to capture what your eyes see with a small pocket camera. This is where a SLR camera comes in to play. First of all, SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras are not a "point and shoot" type of camera. They are actually a tool to help assist with something which already exists, which is a good eye for art. An SLR camera utilizes an automatic moving mirror system which permits the photographer to see exactly what will be captured by the digital imaging system, as opposed to non-SLR cameras where the view through the viewfinder could be significantly different from what was captured.
The SLR will give to you the ability to take extraordinary photographs with its key features like manually controlled lens, multiple pictures at a click of a button, large lens radius, advanced stability system (depends on make and model), and many other features you have already seen in the smaller cameras but on steroids. In a nutshell, you will be able to capture what you see with an SLR.
The trick to buying a good SLR with a small budget
If you are a professional photographer, you will most likely look for something over $1000. But, I would like to reach out to the amateur like myself, to help you avoid the pain of finding a camera worth under a $1000 budget. I remember when I first decided to make a purchase, even if the camera is under $1000; it was still too much for the average person. So, I wanted the best for my money and I looked at various brands such as Sony, Nikon, Canon, Olympus. These are the kings of the camera world.
From intensive and painstaking research, I narrowed down a list of differences between these cameras which actually matters to the average user. Let us be realistic. All these cameras have tons of bells and whistles but the $ saving question to ask yourself is "When am I really going to need this feature?" Below is a list of things to look for when making you camera selection. This is a list I have composed over 3 months of research as to what are the important features worth paying for as an armature.
Things to look for
2.Ability to do auto and manual focus.
3.Rate of images which can be stored by a single click (continuous shooting fps).
4.Types of images it can save RAW, JPEG etc.
5.Optical image stabilizer (OIS). Stabilizer built into lens.
6.Good ISO rages.
7.Can take high speed CF memory card.
8.Red eye reduction mode.
9.Easy to use menus and physical buttons to use different features of the camera.
11.I feel lazy mode. AKA pre-settings which allow my SLR to become a "point and shoot" camera.
I would like to add that #2 above is a major factor in how much a camera will cost. It can differ by $1K in price if fps is slightly higher comparing two cameras, while all other features are the same. But, this can be controlled by just asking yourself, "When am I really going to need this feature?" Also for #7, there is a difference between using XD, SD and CF. The latter writes data faster due to a parallel connection. Don't go cheep on the memory because if you have a high speed camera it is only going to take high speed images if it can write them just as fast.
Ok, ok, I know what you are thinking-enough gibberish right? Enough reading lets just get to the point. In the end, my personal choice was an Olympus Evolt E-500. After all, the research indicates that this is one of the best and most affordable cameras on the market I found. The Evolt E-500 has advanced controls and options that can be accessed with minimal effort it is 8 Mega pixels, 25 different shooting modes, Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens (two come in the package), 2.5" LCD view screen, dual media slots (CF and XD), the exclusive TruePic TURBO Image Processor, Supersonic Wave FilterTM the list can go for ever. This is hands down the best camera in the market for the armature photographer.