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What should I look for when shopping for my first DSLR?

I'm a tad new towards DSLRs and Compact DSLRs (am I calling them right?), but here goes -

  1. What are the differences between these two levels of digital sensors (DSLRs and Compact DSLRs), and which would be better for photos of objects on a 18 - 55mm lens?

  2. Which one would offer more customization on depth of field and lighting?

  3. And also, for a rough budget of USD1.5k, which DSLR Cameras would you recommend based on what I've asked above? The main need of the camera is to shoot still objects and maintain clarity at the same time.

I hope I'm making sense here..

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marked as duplicate by mattdm, rfusca May 30 '12 at 0:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
You might want to look at getting more than just the kit 18-55 lens. I don't want to overwhelm you, but take a look at photo.stackexchange.com/questions/18394/… and also its linked questions. For shooting still objects (what size are they? That will affect your lens decision), you probably want "any DSLR," a good lens, a good tripod, and good lighting -- in other words, the camera itself is a relatively small part of the system. –  drewbenn May 29 '12 at 18:32
    
great link, provides a huge understanding of the entire system instead of just focusing on the body itself. –  Kyle Yeo May 29 '12 at 18:54
    
A budget of 1.5k what? US Dollars? Euros? Yen? –  Flimzy May 29 '12 at 19:16
    
US. Isn't this a US site? :P –  Kyle Yeo May 29 '12 at 19:20
1  
Hardly. It's a world-wide site. –  Flimzy May 29 '12 at 19:50

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The term "compact DSLR" is not a standard one. Maybe you are thinking of
full frame (35mm film equivalent size) versus
"half frame / cropped sensor / APSC / micro four thirds (all ~~~= 1/2 of full frame).

Or mirrorless with ~~= APSC sensor or ...

The main features which put cameras in the "serious" category are,
a sensor at least 1/3 of full frame size or more (somebody will cite something slightly smaller)
and interchangeable lenses.

Anything else is mass-market or niche. You can get some very good units of both but assume you want a large sensor camera with removable lens.

The good news: If you buy towards the top end of your budget then essentially anything you buy will be an excellent camera. Nothing in that range is perfect (and no camera really is) and features and performance are not top top class, but still objects and clarity are "bread and butter" to any serious camera.

You need to be more specific, to allow people to zero in on what may suit you best. This is close to a shopping question which is frowned on BUT if you can be specific about your main applications(s) there may be good targeted advice.

As a rule, if it's labelled Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji*, and a few more you won't go too far wrong. Read good reviews and ask specific questions.

(* an interesting trend in source of brands, no?)(There are others that don't fully follow that trend, but not on your budget. Leica, Zeiss, ...)

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Yeah i've heard of Leica and Zeiss. Those are horribly out of my budget. Like, 3 times horribly. :P –  Kyle Yeo May 29 '12 at 18:06

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