There are a few manufacturers of DSLR cameras however when it comes to choosing a DSLR camera there are only two manufacturers I would bother looking at, and that is Canon and Nikon.
Before I got in to photography in a big way a couple of friends of mine, both of whom shoot Nikon DSLR cameras were pushing me to the Nikon brand. It would have made financial sense to buy a Nikon DSLR camera, I mean with three of us owning Nikons we could pool our resources and share lenses and accessories, but there was “something” about the Nikon DSLR camera I didn’t like.
Don’t get me wrong, Nikon DSLR cameras are exceptionally good, it’s just that I can’t get on with them. I don’t find a Nikon camera comfortable to hold and use, I don’t find a Nikon camera intuitive to use and I don’t like the Nikon menu system. I guess that Nikon cameras just aren’t for me. As I am sure you have already guessed I shoot a Canon, and I would never use any other brand of DSLR camera, not least because I have invested thousands of bucks (far too much to even think about) on lenses, accessories and other Canon branded photography equipment over the years. If you are going to buy a DSLR camera my advice is to go to your local camera shop and try a few out. All camera shops will let you have a “play” with the different types of DSLR cameras, take some test shots and see what each one can do, especially if you are going to spend a few hundred bucks with them.
Seeing each type of camera in the flesh, holding each camera and actually using it is the only way you are going to tell if it is the right DSLR camera for you. Sure, read reviews and do some research but don’t just rely on what others say before making your purchase, as it could turn out to be a very expensive mistake.
I mean, I would rave on about my Canon DSLR camera all day and whilst it does have its flaws (what product doesn’t?) they are insignificant and the good points easily exceed the bad. Even though Canon is my brand of choice you may find that once you have actually used a Canon DSLR it is not for you, and you prefer a Nikon (or even one of the other brands).
The point I am trying to make here is that when you are going to buy a DSLR camera never be tempted to do a bit of online research and then head on over to Amazon or any other online retailer and hit the “buy now” button. Sure, do your research but then get off your butt, get to a camera shop and physically see the cameras.
Getting out there ‘just to buy a camera’ may seem like a lot of effort, and in a way it is, but you have to remember that DSLR cameras are an investment and they are not cheap. Okay, if you buy the “wrong” DSLR camera there is a second hand market so you will be able to sell it on, but you will get a fraction of what you paid for it (even if it is like new) and you will incur a loss.
If you are buying a DSLR camera for friend or a loved one my advice is to take the recipient to a camera store and let them make their own mind up or buy a voucher that they can use for a DSLR camera purchase. Never buy a DSLR camera for someone on a whim, as it may turn out to be a total waste of money.