Find out what factors you should consider when purchasing a new body.
“Entry-level” DSLR’s are intended for beginner photographers trying to learn the basics and casual shooters who want more features, higher quality, and faster performance than what point and shoot cameras can offer. Entry-level camera bodies are generally priced between $400-and $600, and are often bundled with a “kit” lens (which is generally an inexpensive, standard focal range zoom lens).
These cameras are fairly versatile, offering complete control over the one’s settings and exposures. While higher end functions do not come standard at this price-range, often those using entry-level cameras will have little need for these functions anyway. These cameras all store their images on SD cards.
All entry-level cameras offer automatic and manual exposure adjustments, and a pop-up flash, and many include HD-video recording functionality. However, they don’t usually include as many buttons and switches as “Mid-level,” Prosumer”, or “Pro” bodies, relying on LCD-based menus to control the settings. Most of these cameras feature APS-C-sized sensors, which are generally 75%, the size of the full frame sensors found in “Pro Level” cameras.
These cameras are a good choice for anyone who enjoys shooting their friends and family members, vacations and nature.
“Mid-level” DSLR’s are best for photo-enthusiasts and amateur shooters who have a basic concept of setting their exposure and the functionality of a camera. These bodies are generally priced between $700 and $1000 and are also often sold with a “kit” lens.
Offering higher functions than “Entry-Level” camera bodies, mid-level DSLR’s are generally slightly larger in size than their cheaper counterparts. They also may feature a wider range of ISO’s, a faster burst-rate, better viewfinder accuracy, higher quality video-capture, and a better autofocusing system. Additionally, at the “Mid-Level” range, most DSLR’s can utilize their pop-up flash as a wireless commander to fire other off-camera flashes. These cameras also generally take variations of SD cards.
“Mid-Level” cameras also feature APS-C-sized sensors. These bodies are great for shooting everything “Entry-Level” cameras can shoot as well as sports and action photographs, images in lower light and candids.
Prosumer Level DSLR:
“Prosumer” cameras are for advanced-amateur shooters as well as some professional-level photographers. “Prosumer” literally means a cross between a consumer and a professional camera. These bodies are often priced between $1200 and $2500. They include most of the higher end functions that professional cameras have. Generally speaking, “Prosumer” cameras feature a APS-C-sized sensor, however some have full-frame sensors.
“Prosumer” cameras are great for shooting in virtually any setting including low-light situations and fast-moving subjects . They feature an even faster burst-rate than “Mid-Level” cameras, more advanced autofocusing, generally with more points of focus and more accurate tracking, higher maximum ISO’s, more intuitive manual controls and added creative features.
Unlike “Entry” and “Mid-Level” DSLR’s, many “Prosumer” cameras take compact flash memory cards instead of, or in addition to, SD cards. If you are looking for a “Pro-Level” camera at a bargain price, a “Prosumer” camera may be right for you.