The easiest way to start a brawl amongst a bunch of photographers, simply ask them which is the best camera brand to buy, and then leave the room. Nikon fan boys, the Canon fan boys, the Sony fan boys and the rest of the pack will never get to a single decision.
Photo by ChutterSnap.
While there are certain photographers in the crowd that swear by a particular brand of camera, we're not those kinds of photographers. This DSLR Camera Shopping guide will inspire YOU as the photographer that you are more important than any piece of gear you can buy.
If digital camera sales were any indication of what the best brand was, then according to Amazon Canon would be a clear winner. As we write this, Canon manufactures at least 10 of the top 25 bestselling cameras on the Amazon best seller list.
In addition, Canon holds 9 of the top 10 spots, with the top 3 being the PowerShot A570 IS, the PowerShot SD1000 Digital Elph, and the PowerShot SD850.
Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and even Kodak seem to make a few top spots, but not like Canon does.
Sure, sure, sure, Canon seems to sell more cameras than anyone else. But, are they really that much better? Take a look at our top choices for DSLR cameras, both for entry-level and intermediate photographers.
What is a crop sensor camera?
A crop sensor camera, as the name implies has a smaller or “cropped” sensor than it’s full frame sensor counterpart. The most noticeable impact associated with this is what is called a “crop factor”. The crop factor refers to the magnification of field of view when looking through the viewfinder. For most AP-C and crop sensor DSLRs the crop factor is 1.5 or 1.6, so for easy math, let's use 1.5 as the crop factor.
Entry Level (Crop Sensor) Cameras:
Olympus TG-4 - Takes all you can dish out and keeps shooting! Waterproof to depths of 50ft/15m, it's perfect for snorkeling or battling the waves.
Nikon D3300 - The D3300 is a small, easy to use HD-SLR. Capture beautiful 24.2-MP photos and 1080p Full HD videos with vibrant colors and softly blurred backgrounds, then share them instantly with your compatible smartphone and the optional WU-1a Wireless Adapter.
Kodak PIXPRO - Powerful 16.1-megapixel CCD sensor gives you room to enlarge, zoom and crop to your heart's content without losing out on life-like clarity or quality.
What is a full-frame camera?
The actual difference between crop and full frame cameras is the actual, physical, size of the sensor that lives inside the camera. The size is actually the same size as a frame of traditional 35mm film, which is why full frame cameras were a must have for anyone coming over to digital from shooting with film for years. In terms of field of view when looking through the viewfinder, you’d get a similar “feel” between a full frame DSLR and a 35mm film SLR.
Intermediate + Professional (Full Frame + Mirrorless) Cameras:
Sony A7 II - World's first 5-axis in-body image stabilization in a full-frame camera. Including a very in detail video capability and low-light continuous shooting modes.
Nikon D810 - The Nikon D810 DSLR Camera takes its place as the high-resolution option in the Nikon DSLR lineup with a 36.3 full frame sensor.
Fujifilm TX-2 - The X-T2 boasts the highest performance in the history of X Series and produces crisp image resolution comparable to that of cameras equipped with larger sensors and higher pixel counts, all in a more compact and classically-designed body.
And so what if they are all different brands than Canon, sometimes it's not wise to follow the crowd. We like following my own drummer after all ;) but hey, while we're analyzing things, let's take a look at what a few other analysts have to say. There may be some consensus amongst that group.
If you're new to the world of digital cameras, that should at least give you an idea of who the big dogs are in this business.