26th Nov 2013
The Indian festive season is just around the corner and this is possibly the best time to pick up the DSLR that has been on your wish list for ages. While there are quite a few mirrorless cameras that will be more compact to lug around, the technology is still nascent, and hence devices and lenses can be a bit out of reach for budget buyers. Nevertheless, here are a few DSLR options you can look at before picking one up.
For The Beginners
Those who are looking to migrate from a regular point and shoot or pro-zoomers; you can look at entry-level DSLRs. Although this is something I wouldn’t advocate spending on. It's always more sensible to pick up something in the mid-range, as that is a better deal in the long run. However, if you aren’t too serious about photography (in which case I recommend you stick to a digicam), or don't want to experiment too much; here's what you can look at:
Canon EOS 1100D
A popular pick for entry-level Canon lovers, the Canon EOS 1100D has been around for quite a while now. With no successors in site, this is the only option from the brand. It packs in a 2.7" TFT LCD monitor and a 12.2 megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor. It runs the dated DIGIC 4 with a 14-bit image processor, and supports ISO 100-3200, expandable to 6400 for low-light. Now, the camera with two kit lenses (EF-S 18-55 mm IS + EF-S 55-250 mm IS) can by yours for as little as Rs 26,180.
Nikon loyalists have wider options to pick from (two to be precise), depending on how much you can spend. First up is the budget-friendly and trusted old dog, the D3100. It comes with a 14.2 MP DX-format CMOS Image Sensor, EXPEED 2 processor, 3" screen, and supports Full HD 1080p videos. The camera with an AF-S 18-55 mm VR Kit lens can be yours for as little as Rs 23,000.
For those who prefer buying the latest the brand has to offer, cost notwithstanding, check out the D3200. It packs a 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS Image Sensor, EXPEED 3 processor, 3" screen, and supports Full HD 1080p. Since most of its specs have been beefed up, the asking price for a camera with an AF-S 18-55 mm VR Kit lens goes up to Rs 26,800.
If you have set you sights on owning a decent DSLR, it is advisable to spend lesser on the body, and concentrate on better lenses. That said, this is not a water-tight rule. However, when compared to an entry-level camera, these are faster, offer better image processing, and better build. These may not be top-of-the-line, but support all kinds of mount-specific lenses and filters. Here are the options you can check out:
Canon EOS 600D/650D
A huge step above the 1100D, the EOS 600D is a very good camera in its class. Almost three generations old, the camera is still the best offering in its range from the manufacturer. The DSLR comes with a 360-degree 3" tiltable (non-touch) screen, an 18 megapixel CMOS APS-C size sensor, and a DIGIC 4 image processor from company. It boasts of full HD video recording @30 fps along with in-video snapshots, and comes with Creative Filters (probably to woo the Instagram lovers). Depending on your budget, you can pick up the package with lenses of your choice. While I'd recommend one with the 18-135 mm IS STM kit lens, it will set you back by at least Rs 46,360. The combo kit with 18-55 mm IS and 55-250 mm IS will cost around Rs 40,740; while one with just an 18-55 mm basic kit lens is priced at a modest Rs 31,050. The body alone of this camera is worth Rs 29,040.
If you'd prefer a touch based camera instead; the EOS 650D is a good option. The only things that set the 600D and 650D apart is the touch screen, a Hybrid CMOS AF sensor, and the cost. While the EOS 700D and 100D are the latest in the lineup; 650D trumps them both with respect to user experience. Read all about it here and here. Coming back to the 650D; with an 18-55 mm IS kit lens, be prepared to shell out Rs 58,000. The body only costs Rs 54,315.
Here again, Nikon users have an upper-hand, they get not one, but two models to pick from, as the company keeps updating this segment annually. These include the D5100 and D5200. The D5300 is also available in the Indian market, but there are no good deals available for it currently.
Of these the D5100 is now a dated model, sports 16.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, 3" tillable LCD screen, and the older EXPEED 2 image processor. It supports full HD video capture @30fps. It costs the least at Rs 25,250 body only, Rs 28,500 for a 18-55 mm VR kits lens, and Rs 37,850 for a 18-105 mm VR kit lens.
The D5200 packs in a 3" titltable non-touch LCD screen, 24.1 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 3 image processor, and ISO range of 100-6400. It supports Full HD video recording 60fps, and can track location with a GPS accessory. Now you can either opt for an 18-105mm kit lens, or the standard 18-55 mm lens, both with VR. The body of the camera costs around Rs 39, 380, one with the 18-55 mm lens is worth Rs 45,540, whereas the 18-105 mm lens combo is worth Rs 51,290.
Video-Loving Mid-Range Users
These days, a lot of people who love shooting videos also turn to DLSRs. That's because you get a lot of freedom to play around with settings, that too at a fraction of the cost of the professional video cameras. Thankfully, both the major names in the business have quite a few cost-effective options that you can pick from.
Canon EOS 60D/70D
The Canon EOS 60D was the first canon EOS camera to sport a 3" tiltable (but non-touch) screen. The camera boasts of an 18 megapixel CMOS APS-C size sensor, DIGIC 4 image processor, and ISO range of 100-12,800. It supports Full HD video recording @30fps. The body of the camera costs around Rs 29,940, one with the 18-55 mm lens is worth Rs 47,000, the 18-135 mm lens combo is worth Rs 62,100, and the 18-200mm IS lens combo can be yours for Rs 76,210.
The more recent Canon EOS 70D on the other hand flaunts a 3" tiltable, non-touch LCD screen, 20.2 megapixel dual-pixel CMOS APS-C size sensor, DIGIC 5 plus image processor, 19-AF points, built-in HDR, and ISO range of 100-25,600. It supports Full HD video recording @60fps. The body of the camera costs around Rs 77,600, one with the 18-55 mm lens is worth Rs 80,415, whereas the 18-135mm IS STM lens is worth Rs 99,900.
Nikon D7000, D7100
The D7000 packs in a 3" non-touch LCD screen, 16.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 2 image processor, and ISO range of 100-6400. It supports Full HD video recording @24fps. The D7000 with AF-S 18-105mm VR Kit Lens will cost Rs 49,500; and the body alone costs Rs 48,100.
The D7100 has a 3.2" non-touch LCD screen, 24.1 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 3 image processor, and ISO range of 100-6400. It supports Full HD video recording 60fps. The D7100 with AF-S 18-105mm VR Kit Lens will cost Rs 84,500; and the body alone costs Rs 71,700.
For a quick glance at the current prices at the time of this writing, check out the table below. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Disclaimer: A good camera doesn't necessarily make you a good photographer.
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