Looking to buy your first D-SLR? My best recommendation for beginners


I often get asked which D-SLR I would recommend for beginners. I’m a Canon user but have no hesitation recommending other brands, especially if they are offering a good deal. I don’t want this to be a long rambling blog about all the options available, so this is very much aimed at providing a concise and straight forward answer to a simple question.

Which D-SLR should I go for?

My top choice at the moment would be a Nikon D3200 with 18-105mm VR lens. You can get it for around £439 and get back £30 cash back from Nikon afterwards(cash back offer ends 30.06.14).

This is why I recommend this:

  • Good value for money for an entry level D-SLR. I’ve trained many people using it and it’s a great camera for the money.
  • For those of you who like (and understand) the techie data: 24.2 MP; ISO range 100-6400, 3″ LCD; HD Video.
  • It comes with a good lens. Your usual entry level D-SLR comes with a basic kit lens with a focal length of 18-55mm. This is quite a limited zoom and almost everyone goes on to buy a zoom lens with a longer focal length. You can easily buy bundles with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens, but you need to change lenses between near and far shots and they’re both relatively basic lenses. The 18-105mm lens is a really good all rounder with Vibration Reduction (VR). Without over complicating things at this stage, because this is a two thirds sensor camera, you’re actually getting a focal length of 27-157mm, which will cover just about everything you want to do on a day to day basis, without having to change lenses.

I would also go for a 50mm f/1.8 lens at around £100-£150 (there are two available from Nikon). This lens doesn’t zoom – you move closer or further away, but it gives amazing blurred backgrounds (shallow depth of field) and will allow you to shoot in low light i.e. indoors on a dull day, without flash!


With a 50mm f/1.8mm lens. ISO 2500, f/2.2, 1/125

This is my recommendation based on experience of teaching beginners, but always read the reviews for yourself and find a friendly camera shop assistant. I love Jessops in Manchester and the London Camera Exchange for friendly good advice.

Once you’ve got the gear, check out my courses for D-SLR beginners and get up to speed quickly without the jargon.

Did you like this blog post or find it useful? If so, please leave a comment, sign up for email reminders at the top of the page or share it with your friends (or even better, all three!!). Thank you – Jane :-)

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