David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

Entry-level DSLR recommendations

I’m on the lookout for an entry-level digital SLR. Yesterday I asked for your recommendations on Twitter, and here are a few of your most popular choices (thanks very much, by the way).

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000 camera

US Nikon D5000 on Amazon.com
UK £519.40 on Amazon.co.uk
UK £529 from Jessops

  • 12.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
  • 2.7″ tilt and swivel LCD monitor (230,000 dots)
  • Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
  • Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection and subject tracking
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • 11 AF points (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
  • Expeed image processing engine
  • Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
  • Connector for optional GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
  • New battery with increased capacity
  • 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback

Nikon D5000 review on dpreview.com (from July 2009)

Brian Hoff, Ashley Dean Newall, and Robert Anthony are all happy D5000 owners, and this is the camera I might just go for.

Canon EOS 550D

Canon EOS 550D camera

US $799.99 on Amazon.com (body only)
UK £799.99 on Amazon.co.uk (body only)
UK £1099 from Jessops, with 18-135mm lens

  • 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor with ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800)
  • Continuous shooting at 3.7fps
  • Full HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates
  • 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 Clear View LCD with 1,040k dots
  • iFCL metering System with 63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor
  • Quick Control screen to change shooting settings
  • Exposure compensation +/-5 stops (although viewfinder scale is still +/-2 stops)
  • Select maximum value for Auto ISO
  • External Microphone socket
  • Movie crop function
  • Eye-Fi connected functions compatibility

Canon EOS 550D review on dpreview.com (from February 2010)

This is the very latest offering from Canon (released this month?), and as such, I haven’t heard from anyone who actually has one. It costs a bit more than I was thinking of spending, too.

Nikon D90

Nikon D90 camera

US Nikon D90 on Amazon.com
UK £755.97 on Amazon.co.uk
UK £799 from Jessops

  • 12.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
  • 3.0-inch 920,000 pixel (VGA x 3 colors) TFT-LCD (same as D3 and D300)
  • Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • Illuminated focus points
  • Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
  • IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
  • 4.5 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
  • Expeed image processing engine
  • 3D tracking AF (11 point)
  • Short startup time, viewfinder blackout and shutter lag
  • Slightly improved viewfinder (96% frame coverage)
  • Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
  • Improved user interface
  • New optional compact GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
  • Same battery and vertical grip as D80
  • Vignetting control in-camera
  • 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback

Nikon D90 review on dpreview.com (from October 2008)

A step up in price from the previously mentioned D5000, Jin Yang and Lea Alcantara each recommend their D90s.

Canon PowerShot G10

Canon G10 camera

US $600 on Amazon.com
UK £369.99 on Amazon.co.uk

  • 14.7 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer
  • RAW image recording plus support for Canon Digital Photo Professional
  • DIGIC 4 for clear, sharp images, high-speed AF (including Servo AF) and fast response times
  • Targets all the main causes of blur with High ISO Auto, optical
  • Image Stabilizer, Motion Detection Technology and Auto ISO shift
  • Improved Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB plus Face Select & Track and FaceSelf-Timer
  • 3.0” PureColor LCD II (461k dots resolution) with wide viewing angle and optical viewfinder
  • i-Contrast boosts brightness and retains detail in dark areas
  • Dedicated Exposure Compensation and ISO dials
  • 26 shooting modes with manual control and custom settings
  • Accessories include tele-converter, Speedlights flashes and waterproof case
  • Smooth, 30fps VGA movies

Canon PowerShot G10 review on dpreview.com (from November 2008)

The G10 isn’t actually a single-lens reflex (SLR), but some say it does just as good a job as the budget range.

Simon Manchipp recommends the G10.

Nikon’s website
Canon’s website

Finally, here’s an interesting read on Photocritic, worth keeping in mind for your own camera purchase: Why I don’t need an expensive camera. (Via Duane on Twitter.)

What entry-level digital SLR do you recommend?

My second book on Amazon

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56 appreciated comments about “Entry-level DSLR recommendations”

  1. I have a budget Nikon, and a friend recently got himself a D5000.

    I have to say, the only reason I would want to swap to the Canon, would be (supposedly, I’ve not tested) a slightly better picture in low-light (I take a few photos of live bands) but the Low-end Nikons still deliver very very well… and I’m more than happy with mine (and the D5000 is an upgrade on mine… so, go for it)

  2. I would go for Canon 500D if 550D is a bit much. It is better at key points than any of the other options here apart from its new version (550D)

    (500D)
    1. more pixels
    2. better resolution
    3. standart Focal Length Multiplier
    4. way much better, like 4 times better ISO rating which mean it’ll be much better in darker conditions with no flash
    5. max video resolution is full HD
    6. 30 frames per second and not less like others (not including 550D)
    7. bigger screen with better resolution
    8. and lightest of all

  3. I recently bought a Nikon D90 and I’d highly recommend it. I was considering the D5000 but opted for the D90 for two main reasons.

    1) It supports autofocus for lenses without a built in AF motor. For less than £100 you can pick up a Nikkor 50mm F1.8 lens which is great for low light and control over depth of field, you’ll be able to autofocus with it on the D90, but not on the D5000.

    2) Low light performance. I read pages and pages of reviews before buying the D90 and all of them noted it’s low noise at high ISO performance.

    For the price Amazon sell the D90 kit for it’s a steal :)

  4. I am a Nikon user. Primarily because it was the first slr (f75) I bought, and as such I am used to the way Nikon work. Purely on reputation, I would plump for the D90 or the 550D.

    However, technical details aside. I would recommend visiting a local camera store and trying them out for weight, feel etc. Get an idea for what is comfortable to hold and ease of shooting.

    Or you could ask flickr: http://www.flickr.com/cameras/

  5. I am happy with my Nikon D5000. :)

  6. I am more of an olympus fan, so I’d recommend you a Olympus E-620. It has 12.6 megapixels and built-in image stabilization.
    Olympus has some really neat lenses as well.

  7. I agree with Graeme Fraser. I am a Nikon user and one of my favourite cameras is still my Nikon FM2! Digitally I shoot with a D200 – not the latest, but does the job very nicely thank you.

    Both Canon and Nikon are reputable and are pretty much neck and neck with the latest developments. Nikon sensors are renowned to be good.

    Certainly with so much choice around, Graeme’s sensible suggestion to try before you buy would be the way to help you make an informed decision.

  8. i shoot with a nikon d70. i had a big long reply going and thought it was too much. here is the short version. nikon and cannon produce excellent products and images. go to the store and play with both. see if you can rent them or test drive them for the weekend. and go with the one that feels right. if it does not feel good you will never shoot well.

    that is all

    .mike

  9. I use the Canon 50D (Upgraded from the 300D aka the very first Digital SLR Canon made) and love it. It is over $1000 though.

    It’s consumer-grade equivalent is the 500D (T1i). I would definitely recommend it. Canon recently announced the T2i (550D) which is the consumer-grade equivalent of the 7D.

    I definitely recommend Canon although I do have a couple issues with them (i.e. there is no IR sensor on the x0D models but they are on the xx0D models, and in spite of consumer desire Canons will only bracket 3 shots).

    Make sure you try before you buy.

  10. Hi David,
    I’ve always used Nikon, so I can’t give you an opjective recommendation. I did look at the D5000 shortly before buying my D90, but having them in my hands I immediately went for the D90. And what makes me and my wallet so happy is that I can use my good old heavy AF nikkor lenses with it. So go buy the D90 and a second hand good AF nikkor lens and you’ll be happy for years.

    Good Luck!

    Carolina

  11. Hello David,

    My Wife bought me a Sony A200. Since then I have acquired a zoom lens and some extra bits and bobs. It’s amazing and I have some brilliant shots. I’m still learning though but enjoy it very much.

    Hope this helps,

    Best wishes
    Graeme

  12. I opted for the Panasonic Lumix G1 (though pros might say this is not really an SLR :)
    Mainly because of it’s size, very compact and you get a deal with the Vario twins lens kit. I just knew I’d get fed up carrying a big SLR round with me!

  13. David,

    I recently bought a Canon 500D and couldn’t be happier. But don’t let the Canon vs Nikon discussion confuse you. Whichever one you may choose you are bound to get some excellent photographs and an opportunity to learn a lot about photography.

    One thing that could help with your decision is to what your friends and family use. This expands your equipment colection instantly as you can swap lenses and gears for special occasions or trips. Also you can discuss tips n tricks with them about the gear. I chose Canon just for that reason.

  14. I work with many pro photographers and love their cameras, but I’m a graphic designer so I don’t need anything too fancy. About 6 months ago I got a Canon EOS Rebel T1i. It has been great. I love the fact that it has video as well. All you need are a few good lenses and whatever camera you get should be wonderful.

    Once you choose one, here are some good tutorials about getting to know your camera;
    http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/2007/10/tutorials-your-camera.html

    Have fun!

  15. I own the Canon T1i and it’s awesome. I bet the T2i will be too.

    Look at my t1i picks on my flickr. http://www.flickr.com/tahuano

    Greetings from peru

  16. If you’re having a tough time on deciding to go Canon or Nikon, the only way you will resolve this is by holding one and playing with the menus. Both brands are equal leaders so you’re not going to go wrong either way you go. Within 10 minutes, you will know which one feels better for you.

    From your list, I would strongly suggest either the Canon 550D (same sensor in the 7D, which I own and can vouch for its image quality) or the Nikon D90. A friend owns this one and I had a chance to use it for a weekend.

    Hope you decide soon; eager to see your style.

  17. I have a D90 – and its brilliant. As David mentioned earlier the fact its compatible with vastly more lenses puts it well above the lower level Nikons (I upgraded from a D60 because of this annoyance!)

  18. Forget the Canon G10–it’s just point-and-shoot with more features and better build. You’re better off spending your money on a good lens (be it Nikon or Canon), and a cheaper body to learn on. Then, when upgrading, you simply get a new body and use the old lenses. Much cheaper than having to buy all new lenses. Since the higher end dSLRs come with larger sensors, and if you ever think you’ll be upgrading to a higher end dSLR camera (and chances are that you will be…dSLR gear is rather addictive), then you’ll want lenses that will work on both entry level dSLRs (these are the ones you have posted here, and they have smaller sensors) and on the prosumer/professional dSLRs with the larger sensors.

    My impressions of your choices above:

    Nikon D5000:
    - Don’t be fooled by megalpixels. Basically anything over 10mp these days is good for printing even poster size.
    - The tilt-swivel LCD monitor on this camera is a very useful feature, one I wish canon had incorporated into it’s 5D mark 2 (my latest upgrade). It’s great for down low and over head shots, and when you have it you find yourself using it quite often. My girlfriends old Canon point and shoot has this and to this day I love using it despite other limitations of the camera.

    Canon 550D:
    - Good low-light sensor. This is important if you plan on shoot in darker environments or without a flash, which you will when you learn that the on-camera pop-up flash sucks (and this applies to all on camera pop-up flashes…). Shooting at higher iso with less noise is a very desirable feature for any camera, and this one apparently does well in this regard.
    - HD movie feature–this is a big one. Canon is leading the way with their video functionality on the dSLRs. If you ever plan on doing videos, you’ll be glad to have this camera as it will do both 60p (frames per second…great for slow-motion videos) as well as the highly sought after 24p, which is the industry standard frame rate used by videographers/film-makers. With nice lenses and such control over the video, you can shoot some seriously awesome shorts. Check out http://www.philipbloom.co.uk (the best known videographer that does much of his video work now on the canon dSLRs) and the forum on http://www.cinema5d.com.

    Nikon D90:
    - Video on the Nikons is not at the same level as Canon
    - Better than the D5000 (build and maybe a few more features) but I’m not sure I think it’s worth spending the money on. If you’re set on Nikon, get the D5000 if only for it’s tilt-swivel LCD screen and use the extra funds towards a better lens.
    - The one thing that I like about the Nikon’s over the Canon’s is that they are compatible with the old manual lenses…. that’s a nice feature, because you can get some excellent glass (camera talk for lens) affordably, with the only draw-back being that it doesn’t autofocus.

  19. Sorry… gave you my skype address in the twitter ID box accidentally. My twitter is stonehomephoto.

  20. Superb comments, everyone. Thanks very much, and I’ll be sure to try before I buy (if only to hold the camera, take a few shots, and view the menu options).

    I wonder if anyone can explain how Canon sells the just-released 550D in the US for $800, but in the UK it’ll cost £800 ($1,250).

    Peter, I featured one of Philip Bloom’s timelapse videos a couple of weeks back: Five days in Dubai. Loved it. So would he have manually shot those images on the 7D, or do you think there’s a setting that shoots every few minutes, for example?

    Jano, some gorgeous shots there.

  21. The pricing hikes in the UK always baffled me. It’s the same in Canada–we ALWAYS pay more for the same product than the US. I’ve never looked into reasons why, but I’m assuming it has something to do with tarrifs/import duties (?).

    The timelapse videos are shot with an intervalometer–a remote control with the ability to set frequency on photos. So, for a timelapse, you might set the intervalometer to shoot one photo every 5 seconds, for instance. Then, when finished, you import the photos into a timelapse program that lets you set the frequency of the playback. Basically, video requires a minimum of 24 frames (photos) per second in order to be seen as a fluid video by the eye (anything less than 24fps and the eye notices…)–with that knowledge, you’d simply set the timelapse program to play back at least 24 photos per second (or more). It’s quite simple really. However, for a 24 hour timelapse at 5 seconds per photo frequency, that’s a total of 17,280 photos…at that rate, your dSLR will approach it’s “shutter life” (typically at 100,000) after only 6 time-lapse videos! So, if you’re going to experiment with timelapse and don’t want to kill your dSLR, maybe start with a cheap point-and-shoot and the required intervalometer.

  22. Thanks for the mention David, hope my two cents help out!

    Obviously if you have the cash get the best one you can but again the Nikon D5000 is a really good DSLR for the price.

  23. Hey David,

    I’m a novice when it comes to photography and I’ve been looking for an entry-level DSLR myself, but I was under the impression that the ones you have listed were a step up from entry-level? I had been looking at the Nikon D3000 and the Canon XSi which were the entry-level offerings according to what I’ve read. Have you taken a look at them?

  24. I love my Nikon D50 (not 5000, 50). I’ve had it for several years and have assembled a nice kit of lenses. Nikon gear is great, especially since you can use usually older lenses on newer cameras. Some while ago, I picked up a used 105mm Macro from the 80′s for much less than it would cost to buy an equivalent lens new today. And it works great on my noticeably newer D50.

    Disclaimer: I’ve only used Nikon SLRs, so can’t speak to other brands. But when I was researching SLR options several years ago, I evaluated different brands, and went with Nikon. Haven’t regretted it.

  25. David,

    When I was shopping for a DSLR, the best advice I got was: go to a store, hold one (Nikon or Canon) in your hands. You’ll know when it “feels right.”

    It can get overwhelming read just specs. The ones you listed are all good cameras. When holding one in your hands, you’ll know right away if the griping is the right one for you or not. Also Nikon and Canon have different philosophy in physical UI(the placement of buttons, dials etc). I prefer Nikon’s.

    I went with D90 and love it. At first the video feature sold me, but truth to be told, i rarely use it. It can shoot very nice short film projects. However, due to lack of auto focus in video mode, it’s bad for shooting everyday home video.

    Another feature I love about D90 is the additonal top LED. This saves tons of time when you want to change settings using short cuts.

    Good luck finding the right camera!

  26. Hello David,

    I’d recommend doing two things. First; see which brands your friends and family have. It’s so much easier if you’re able to exchange lenses. And second, just go to a store and hold them in your hands. Some are better for big hands, some for smaller. See where all the switches and everything are, because thats what you’ll have to work with the whole time.

    Specs isn’t everything, you won’t be using most of it. And don’t forget: More megapixels Does Not equal better photo’s (in general worse).

    I myself got a Canon 400D. Feels great, and all my friends got Canons.

    Good luck picking the camera for you.

  27. Talk about going full circle – I’ve been a fan of your blog for ages, David; imagine my (pleasant) surprise to see you linking to my site! ;)

    Stay awesome,

    ~ Haje

  28. I like Canon. I have a Rebel XTi and I have just purchased the 50D (a lot faster shutter speed) It seems nice so far….but I’m waiting for winter to be over and cycling season to begin so I can test those shutter speeds!….Good luck picking…read all the reviews and check out some of the vids on youtube…

  29. Perhaps you’re right, Peter (about the export tariffs and what have you), although I’d have thought such companies would have a base within the UK.

    Pretty fascinating about the intervalometer and the shutter life. Thanks for sharing the info.

    Hi Deron, you’re right. The Nikon D3000 and Canon 450D are both less expensive than what I’ve shown above. Both entry-level DSLRs. I’ll test them, too, when I get to a good local camera shop.

    Thanks for your opinions, Grant, Dan. Great to read your review as well, Jin. I probably won’t spend on the D90 this time, and instead opt for a cheaper SLR with a great lens.

    Kars, you’re one of quite a few commenters who recommend holding different cameras, and I’ll be sure to. Cheers.

    Haje, great to know you enjoy my blog. I liked the read over on your blog, so it’s a pleasure referencing it.

  30. I think another reason for the difference in price is the company insulating themselves from the exchange rate. since if the GBP suddenly gets very very strong, they could end up losing money. so it gets bumped up to stop that happening

  31. Don’t forget the Canon 1000D, and the fact that perfectly usable entry-level bodies like the 450/500D can be found used for very low prices.

  32. David -

    While I’m not an expert on cameras, I have an uncle who is. He swears by Nikon & Canon. You should check out his blog, he does tons of comprehensive camera reviews, and is very thorough and knowledgeable.

    http://writtenbythelight.blogspot.com/

    Regards,

    Anthony

  33. Not that I’ve really looked since I bought my D200 about a year ago, but I found the problem with canon was the lenses. The entry level lenses were all fairly ordinary ( canon seem to love their plastic ), while the high end stuff was very expensive, there was little in between.

    Through the years I’ve had a Nikon D1h, D1X, D100 and now my D200 SLR and all have been excellent. As well as my 6 lenses ( ranging from a 10mm fisheye through to 200mm telephoto ) which at the time I found better on both price point and quality. All glass, metal bodies, aspherical lense elements etc.

    A D90 and a good set of glass will last you a life time, just stay away from the g-series lenses. *shudder*.

  34. I wonder – nobody mentioned Pentax… I have a K20, a friend have a K200 – both are interesting DSLR, have a shake reduction in the body and not in the lenses (like many nikon/canon) and if you want to specialize yourself in future, buy lenses from the limited edition… perfect glass!

  35. I bought my girlfriend a Canon Rebel, I recommend a Canon Rebel xSi model. Faster shutter speed and more mega pixels. Also, if you have an eye for photography, you can make any camera take great pictures ;)

  36. @David → Hope there’s enough advice on this page so you can make an informed purchase. The acquisition of a good SLR is on my “list” too, although I don’t think I’ll invest for a few years yet.

    @Chris → I can remember when iTunes first launched in the UK, and there was uproar back then about the pricing of tracks over here. USA tracks worked out about half the price of a UK track. Users were asking on Apple fan-sites, and apparently, prices over here in the UK are based upon a different “economic model”….it’s alleged. I’m not quite sure what this means—it may be another term for Rip-off Britain ;)

    Anywho, if all companies use an “economic model” to determine pricing, then this may explain the price hikes of SLR’s.

    What are you betting that when the iPad finally hits the shores of England that the price will be £499 ($780 USD) instead of the $499 charged in the US?

  37. More useful advice in an email chat with Jin (who commented earlier):

    “David, I forgot to mention in my comment on your blog, that if you haven’t started using Flickr, you should. Not only it’s an incredible photo storage/sharing service(the best I’ve used, in terms of UI, social sharing), but its community is the most helpful. Some of the nicest people I’ve met online there.

    “I learned a lot from the Flickr groups when I started using my Nikon. Some groups of interest:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/d5000/
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikondigitallearningcenter/
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikondigital/

    “Check out the “Discussion” sections of these groups. That’s where people help each other with questions.

    “There is flickr group for just about any camera, or niche type of photography.

    “Ideally, you’d want at least three good lenses for different purpose. 50mm for portrait, a wide angle and a zoom. however to get all those upfront, the cost is very high.

    “Kit lenses are good for a starter lens. the 18-105mm that came with my D90 has a good range. it’s like an all-in-one type of lens.

    “Another tip: once you get the body, look on Craigslist or local ads market for used lenses. You can often find a good deal. The type of people who sell them are pro/am photographers, they really take care of their lenses.”

  38. The Canon 550D would be my choice, but I’d go for a standard non-Ef lens as this will give greater value for money in the long run (when all sensor sizes in DSLRs are full frame, or you upgrade, whichever happens first). Buying Canon or Nikon is, I believe, the only way to go. They simply lead the way, and if you can afford it, go for the most recent model. The higher ISOs will be cleaner, video will be stunning, and perhaps most importantly there are tons of lenses out there that you can buy 2nd hand.

    Re the time lapse video, I haven’t checked it, but he probably used an intervalometer.

    Nice site btw

  39. I also own the Canon T1i (500D) and it’s really great. I’m sure the T2i (550D) will be even better.

  40. Hi David, I’m not big on cameras specs at all so I won’t be able to help you I’m sure, but I’m always a big advocate on designers taking their own photos. (is this for the scenic photos for your portfolio site?) But thanks for this post. I’ve been wanting one for a long time and I plan on getting one this summer (after another big purchase I’m currently saving for). I’m definitely going to bookmark this page for resources.

    Personally, I would look mostly at the Nikons just because its a Nikon. I’m sure I would do an unnecessarily huge amount of obsessive research before purchasing anyways. I hope you find a camera that suits your purpose, and I look forward to the review on that purchase (if you’re going to do one).

  41. Hi David,

    A bit late to leave my comments. A couple of years ago, I made the decision to get a DSLR and had narrowed it down to Nikon, Canon and Olympus. After trying each in the shop, it came down to Nikon. For me the Canon didn’t feel right, so all the spec can come to nothing if it doesn’t feel right when you pick it up.
    I have been very pleased with the Nikon (D80) and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
    Regards,
    Ian

  42. I have a slightly older Canon the 450D I think but I rarely use it. Instead most of my pictures are taken with my Panasonic Lumix LX-2 which is a great smaller size camera and I’m considering upgrading to the LX-3 because I like the line so much.

  43. Hi David,

    I see there’s already a lot of good advices. My own (some of them are may be already mentioned) are these:

    1) Go to the store and try both Canon and Nikon (I think everyone feels more comfortable with one or the other). That should be the first step for choosing the brand (because both are really good).

    2) If You choose one of them it’s should be better to buy used one body (for example Canon 450D) for better price (if You have limited budget for Your starting camera).

    3) For saved money (on the body) buy a better lens, because if You buy a good lens, You can have it for (almost) all Your life and if You can upgrade just Your body. And also if You don’t have a good lens, than You can have the best body, but it’s just wasting of money, because it’s impossible to take a good shot with a bad lens.

    If You do the same way I did, the photo will become Your big hobby, because it’s really great! :)

    Good luck in choosing Your starting pack and I’m looking forward for publishing Your first shots! :)

  44. I bought a D5000 around the holidays and I’ve been incredibly happy with it. I’m also new to the SLR world, so I didn’t want to spend the extra money on the D90 until I was more comfortable with photography in general.

    I do have to say that the swivel viewfinder is much more helpful than I anticipated. Weird feature somewhat but really helpful.

    Good luck with whatever your choice ends up being! Happy photographing!

  45. Hi David -

    Ken Rockwell makes some interesting points http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm

    Don’t know if that helps you any but hopefully you can get something from that. Specs are becoming used more as selling points than ‘features’ as they once were.

    Peace!

    - Raja

  46. Thanks for the continued recommendations, folks. I went to the only independent camera store I know of in Edinburgh on Sunday (better for haggling) but typically, it’s closed on that day.

  47. Hi David,
    Im moving away from the crowd here too but I recently bought myself a very well received Pentax K-x and I must say I love it! They do some good deals on twin kit lenses and the quality of even the kit lens is pretty good!
    Just putting my two cents in :)
    Sal

  48. @Andreas: I’m also puzzled again and again when the matter of dSLR recommendations is brought up and no one ever mentions Pentax. They offer some excellent cameras with good optics and the mounts are also backwards-compatible with almost any lense ever made for a Pentax SLR – film or digital. I still use a Pentax film SLR, myself, and intend to purchase one of their dSLRs as soon as I’ve saved a sufficient number of pennies. Obviously, I have an investment in Pentax-mount lenses that I’ll be leveraging but, at the same time, I haven’t seen anything in the various Nikons and Canons that was so compelling that I’d feel like I’d be missing anything. They’re fine cameras, of course, but in the end it’s the photographer that REALLY matters. :-)

  49. I’d go for the Nikon D90. It’s really nice camera. It supports also professional lenses, that you can later use on a different camera, a better one. Evan the night shots are pretty good quality for this kind of money :D I love it.

  50. I too am looking for an entry-level DSLR so this really helps!

  51. I was actually sold on my Canon Rebel (450D) before I ever even saw it in person due to the amazing online forum at Photography on the Net – http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php I got carried away looking at all of the astonishing talent being posted (and so much of it was “amateur” photogs) and at the clarity of the images that I just wanted one of those cameras. Luckily, after doing some hands on shooting with a couple of Nikons and realizing that I really didn’t like the UI, the Canon turned out to be the logical choice for me too.

    Good luck making your decision!

  52. I own 3 Panasonic cameras though I suppose I am biased as I work for Panasonic :) I love my G1 but I wish I would have held out for the GH1 for the better lens, ISO and AVCHD video recording. *sigh*

    Digital Photography Review is a great informational site on all brands and Flickr shows you trends on certain cameras by model number. You can check out my old flickr that has not been updated in a dogs day and also flickr’s camera finder. It is interesting to see what CAN be done even with the simplest camera.

    http://www.dpreview.com
    http://www.flickr.com/cameras/panasonic
    http://www.four-thirds.org

    The G1 is not a SLR however it is a micro 4/3 interchangeable lens camera. It can be used with other 4/3 lenses (adapter needed) like Sigma and Olympus and micro 4/3 lenses.

  53. I was looking at the Canon G10 and the Panasonic Lumix LX3. I went with the Lumix and have been VERY happy with it. If I am going to carry around an SLR I want it to be a great camera and I don’t think you can get that from the entry level DSLR’s. The LX3 is an amazing little camera, and you should consider it as you are shopping around…

  54. Hi Adrian, thanks for the Lumix recommendation. I already went ahead and bought a Nikon D5000, which is great, and I’m glad you picked-up one you’re also happy with.

  55. I like the canon 550d, which has great picture quality.

  56. Hi David,
    I can’t say the Nikon D90 should be considered entry level since it retails around $1000, although the LCD screen makes things easier when shooting photos.

    I have the Nikon D3000 and it works beautifully. It’s half the price as the D90 and works just as well. It’s all about the lenses and your technique.

    The photos come out great too:
    http://www.squiggl.es/architectural-photos.html

Anything to add?

Comments may be edited or deleted if I don't like the cut of your jib, but that's quite unlikely.