Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 19 May 2012

User Rating: / 2

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nikon d5100nikon d800
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puffcamleadSure, that cell phone camera is great for taking shots on the run or documenting that fender bender, but here are images that you want to save forever, like the memories of the fabulous vacation you’re planning for this summer—or bikini photos of your hot new girlfriend. When you want to get serious about photography, you need a serious camera.  We have some state-of-the-art digital SLR cameras that can make you look like a great photographer, even if you’re just a beginner.

The single lens reflex camera has been around for decades, and while other models may come and go, the SLR remains the top choice of pros and serious amateurs. The SLR offers the ultimate in flexibility, with a wide selection of interchangeable lenses available in a variety of price ranges. Some SLR cameras are sold with just a body, while others come with a basic 18-55mm lens. You’ll probably want to add at least a telephoto lens to your camera bag for extra versatility.

While today’s SLR cameras carry heavy price tags, most of them also shoot video, so they do double duty. The good news is that there are several digital SLR models on the market now that can give you excellent photos with a minimum of effort. The bad news is, none of them are cheap. We’ll start with the crème de la crème of this year’s batch, the best selling model in its class on Amazon: the Nikon D800.

Nikon D800

Nikon is the most legendary name in high-end single lens reflex cameras, the brand most trusted by famous photographers, as well as beginners who aspire to greatness. The D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format DSLR was released in March and has been the top-rated DSLR on Amazon ever since. It’s also been out of stock most of the time, even with a budget-busting MSRP of $2,999.95 for just the body.


This Nikon has already won the Camera Grand Prix 2012 title and gotten numerous positive reviews. CNET raved, “The Nikon D800 boasts stellar photos, excellent videos, speedy performance, and a relatively streamlined shooting design…The bottom line: An unsurprisingly great camera that's worth every penny of its higher price for its target market of professional nonsports photographers, the Nikon D800 should definitely please those who’ve been waiting patiently to replace their older Nikon equipment.”

For nearly three grand, what do you get?  Start with an extreme resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24.0mm), CMOS sensor, full 1080p HD broadcast quality video and minimized rolling shutter. You can check out simultaneous live view output on external monitors and record uncompressed video via the HDMI terminal. It shoots great photos, it records killer videos, and for this price, it should.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Almost as popular as the Nikon D800 with a smaller (but still substantial) price tag is the Canon EOS Rebel T3i digital SLR camera with18 MP CMOS APS-C sensor, DIGIC 4 image processor and full-HD movie mode. With a MSRP of $799, including a 3.0-Inch clear view vari-angle LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, this is a very good buy for a camera with so many great features, although it may not be the perfect choice for all shooters.


Here’s what CNET had to say about the Canon EOS Rebel T3i: “The Canon EOS Rebel T3i delivers excellent video capabilities and image and video quality…For the money, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i is a great choice for DSLR videographers—though the cheaper T2i can still suffice if you don’t need the articulated LCD—and it’s a solid choice for creative still shooters..”

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