Digital SLR cameras are all the rage these days. With price tags going up into several thousand dollars, all the way down to around $500, it’s hard to know what an average user needs. Well to start with, an average consumer, or even a serious amateur photographer, can do just fine with a lower end model, and there are several to choose from under $1000. Let’s look at a few of the best models, all have an average retail price under $1000.
Canon Rebel XT
These digital Rebels are all the rage, and they are easily the most popular choice among amateur photographers and general consumers. The Rebel XT has an 8 mega pixel sensor, which will easily allow extra large prints, up to 16×22 inches for a film quality print. The price on this model has just recently dropped, and it is now available for just around $790 with a lens. This camera sports an ultra fast processor, which can shoot up to three frames per second. This auto focus camera sports a lighter battery than its predecessor, the Digital Rebel “classic”, and better color recognition, as well as a faster start up time of just .2 seconds. This is a great camera for beginners, serious amateurs, and moms alike.
This camera is a steal at around $900 with TWO lenses (yes that’s right, not one, but TWO lenses). If you want to spend a little less, you can get the D50 with just one lens, for around $600. The Nikon D50 is a perfect choice for beginners to the D-SLR world, and even for those who have never used any kind of SLR camera. With a 6.1 mega pixel sensor, users can print up to 14×19 inches in film quality. Shooting up to 2.5 frames per second, this camera is plenty fast. What makes this camera so wonderful for beginners is that it features seven scene modes, unlike many D-SLR cameras that have few, or none at all. The scene modes on this camera include a new “Child” mode, which optimizes color for bright, vivid, true to life prints without any editing.
Sony Alpha a100
The latest D-SLR to burst onto the scene is Sony’s Alpha a100K. This camera sports one of the highest resolutions available for under $1000, with a whopping 10.2 mega pixels. Sony recently acquired Konica Minolta’s lens mount design, so this camera is compatible with Minolta lenses, which means that accessories and additional lenses are widely available. With an eye-start auto focus system, as well as a 9 point auto focus, and a 40 segment multi pattern honeycomb metering design, this camera is a digital photography powerhouse, rivaling cameras that cost well over $2000, at just $999 with one lens. Though it is the most expensive in the list, this is surely the only camera you will ever need.
At just around $530, this is one of the least expensive D-SLR cameras on the market today. The Pentax *istDL features a 6.1 mega pixel sensor, which is adequate for prints up to 14×19 inches. This camera uses Secure Digital type cards, which are fairly inexpensive. It features a 16 segment multi-pattern metering system, a generous 2.5 inch LCD display, and sports a compact, yet sturdy stainless steel body. It also is one of the only D-SLR cameras that uses widely available AA or CRV-3 lithium batteries, making it inexpensive to replace batteries.
There is hardly any excuse not to own a digital SLR camera these days. Prices are falling fast, and there are now digital SLR cameras available for any level of user knowledge, and just about any budget.