Should I buy a budget SLR?
Read this article from Times Online before you do.
They’ve listed out the advantages and disadvantages of going with the budget SLR. And them getting cheaper by the day, it’s definitely worth the look.
There are two ways of buying an SLR: as a body only or in a kit with one or more lenses. We tested the cameras with a standard (usually 3x zoom) kit lens, as you’ll need to start with something and kits give good value for money. A twin-lens kit (with a telephoto zoom as well) is worth considering for wildlife or sports photography. Some makers offer “universal” lenses, which replace multiple lenses, but these are bulkier and costly.
Be warned: expanding your choice of lenses any further can be expensive. A good zoom from the original manufacturer can easily cost more than the camera itself, and even compatible lenses from reputable companies such as Sigma and Tamron are far from cheap. You can’t normally swap lenses between cameras of different makes, although the Olympus and Panasonic here use mutually interchangeable lenses.
None of these SLRs comes with a memory card, but a 2GB card (from £5 online) will store hundreds of images. All have photo browsing and editing software but nothing to compare to a package such as Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 (about £70). For free alternatives, PC users can try Picasa (www.picasa.com), while Apple owners should start with iPhoto.
These cameras can help you to shoot fantastic images, but if you catch the photo bug you may soon want to upgrade. Spending more than £500 on an SLR gets you more manual controls, more digital tweaks, faster continuous shooting and possibly higher resolution - although usually in a larger, heavier body.
Until then, enjoy your first steps into the wider world of SLR photography. Buy the right camera today and it should last you for years, despite a megapixel arms race that shows no sign of slowing down.
For the full article, head over to Times Online.