A digital SLR, or single-lens reflex, camera is a camera that offers more flexibility and adjustability than a standard point-and-shoot camera. DSLR's offer interchangeable lenses for better magnification and better ISO ranges as well as fully adjustable focus and exposure features to take a wide range of photos in all sorts of differing lighting conditions. For a beginner, you will want to look for a DSLR that is affordable, easy to use and with enough features to teach you how to use a DSLR system.
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The 15.1 megapixel Canon T1i is the best all around camera that Canon makes. It is affordable, retailing for between £390 and £455, and offers all of the features you need in a camera. Its Live View function allows you to view the image you are taking on the camera's LCD screen, a feature lacking on some older DSLR units and one that will make anyone familiar with a point-and-shoot feel right at home. Its successor, the T2i, is another solid choice if you have a slightly higher budget and are looking to take 1080p video at 24 or 30 frames per second.
The Nikon D3100 is a 14.2 megapixel DSLR. Like the Canon, it offers a Live View LCD display and takes quality pictures. Retailing for around £390, it is also affordable for the beginner. What makes this camera unique its Guide mode, which gives users a step-by-step settings guide for common shooting situations. It also features an 11-point autofocus to ensure all your shots are crisp and clear and is also capable of 1080p video.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A330
Retailing for around £260, the A330 is a little more cost-effective than other models. This 10.2 megapixel DSLR features a speedy autofocus system that makes it great for single shots, similar to a point-and-shoot. The camera also features Live View and a swivel LCD screen to give you the best view of the shots you are taking no matter what position you are in. Its cousin, the A230, offers similar performance at an even cheaper price, albeit without the Live View LCD screen.
The Pentax K-x retails for around £325 and offers solid performance for that price point. It has a 12.4 megapixel resolution and a viewfinder that offers better magnification than some other models. It also features fast performance, being quick to turn onto the ready position and a relatively short shutter lag. The camera can take HD video at a resolution of 720p and 24 frames per second.
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