For all of the details, I would encourage you to get the April 2005 issue of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY. The Pop Photo website is here.
Let me say again that all of these digital SLRs are capable of taking fine pictures. The most important considerations in choosing a digital SLR
are the lenses you may own already, the lenses and systems available for the digital cameras you are interested in, and special camera features you need for the kind of photography you do.
Don't fall into the trap of chasing the latest and greatest camera body. Every digital SLR currently on the market will
eventually be replaced by a better model. If brand X has the best camera in a particular price range today, brand Z will have the best tomorrow. It would be both foolish and costly to change camera brands and lenses in
a never ending attempt to own the digital SLR of the moment.
Ask yourself a few questions. What kind of photography do you like to do? How specialized are your needs? Are there important features you need in a
camera body? What brand of SLR lenses do you currently own? Are your lenses adequate for the photography you do? If not, do the lenses you need exist in the brand and mount you currently work with?
If you like the SLR
lenses you now have for your film SLR, it makes sense to buy whatever brand of digital SLR will use those lenses. In the digital world, camera bodies get replaced - lenses last a long, long time.
My photographic needs
are pretty specific. I like Canon lenses. I do a lot of ambient light, hand held photos for print publication so Canon's wide range of Image Stabilization lenses are a huge plus for me. They will work fine on any Canon
digital SLR. The Canon tilt-shift lenses are also a plus for my landscape and architectural photography. I really like the specialized Canon 1x-5x macro lens (high magnification only), not to mention the more general
use 100mm macro lens. Your lens needs may be less specialized than mine.
"Mirror lockup" and "Depth of Field Preview" are absolutely essential for my work. My film and digital SLRs have these two features.
Canon provides both features in relatively inexpensive camera models, both film and digital (Elan series, EOS 3, Canon 10D and 20D), and all of their top of the line bodies. Some manufacturers don't provide both
features unless you buy a very expensive model. With film SLRs I need a simple multiple exposure provision. With my digital SLRs I combine images in Photoshop. Your camera needs may not be as specific as mine.
If you like your current lenses and your camera needs aren't highly specialized, get a digital body that will take your current lenses and have fun. If you aren't happy with
your lenses, or the digital SLR that will take your lenses lacks important features, then your choices are more difficult. You will need to pick the lenses and/or camera features that matter to you.
For hand held, low light photography, any Canon D-SLR will work fine with the Image Stabilization lenses. The Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D has "Anti-Shake" built into the camera body.
It is also an excellent choice for hand held, low light photography.
For serious sports and action photography, the Canon 20D and Nikon D70 are the best choices in
the under $2,500 price range.
For portraits, the Canon 20D, Fuji S3, Nikon D70, and Olympus E-1 are good choices.
If you want the biggest enlargements possible, the Canon 20D and Olympus Evolt (E-300) lead the pack.
For family, travel, vacation, and other all around shooting, any
of the recent digital SLRs will do just fine.
If you are trying to decide which digital SLR to get, this information will get you started. Reading one or both
magazine articles will give you a lot more details. Read any reviews that are available for your top camera choices at DP Review
or Megapixel.net. Happy Shooting!
Buy one of these cameras from Adorama, one of the biggest, best, and
most reliable photography dealers on the internet.
March 30, 2005
Updated April 3, 2005