What Camera Should I buy?

Taking a picture at Times Square, New York

Taking a picture at Times Square, New York

There was a time when you walked into a party and someone asked you, what you did for a living and if you said photography they would immediately ask your name.  Professional photographers were so few that they were usually famous. Now there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are photographers and those who want to be. Today if you are a photographer   this is one question thrown at you almost everywhere you go– Which camera should I  buy?

So much so that one fellow  photographer felt so harassed that she  put this on her  facebook status , “Please do not call me to ask what camera you should buy’’.

I am asked this question a lot myself.  And though I reply I don’t think there is a straight answer. So I’ll try to enumerate all I know on this post and it can perhaps  take care of that persistent query for the future.

Before asking which camera you should buy you should have answered this question- Why do you want to buy a camera?   If you are in India or for that matter any part of the world there can be one of the many reasons listed below.

1) You are a serious photography student and you aspire to be a Raghu Rai someday.

2)Your job sucks and you are seriously considering leaving it for photography full time.

3)You are a professional photographer.

4)Photography is your hobby. And its fun to have people comment on good pictures you hope to upload with your DSLR  on facebook.

5) You are an amateur photographer with a cushy job you cannot leave but you moonlight as a pro on the weekends taking up small assignments.

Whats your budget?

Many people simply want to know which is the best camera in the market as if their wallets are bursting at the seams. To which I usually quote the cost of the most expensive camera available. ( Which is in the range of approx. 11000 USD – { 5 lakh rupees}). When they have come down to mother earth I ask them the crucial question. What’s  your budget?  The average beginners’ budget is seldom more than 1000 USD (50,000 rupees).

The movement drew out the ace lensman Raghu Rai too (sanjay austa sanjayausta@gmail.)

Ace photographer Raghu Rai at work.

Is Nikon better or Canon?

Before I start on the camera models I must get another silly question out of the way.  Is Nikon better or Canon? This is one issue where the  professionals have caused a major confusion. Where it seems they are sharing their  expertise, they are only indulging in  schoolboyish drivel.  There are photographers who will say Canon is better and wax eloquent on the fantastic color rendition of a Canon camera. Then there are others who swear Nikon has an edge because of its user friendliness etc.  The cows have come home but the debate on this one will go on.

My view is buy either Canon or Nikon.  Both are good brands. There have been superb Nikon photographers in the world as there have been superb Canon photographers.  (In every genre if I may add). So there can be no excuses for the pictures you produce. However if you ask  a Canon user he will suggest you buy Canon and if you ask a Nikon user he will say Nikon. This simply because one knows more about the brand one uses .  I use Nikon and  I am also likely to suggest a Nikon model.

So which brand should you go for? Simple.  Ask your friends which of the two brands they use. If most of your friends are Nikon users go for Nikon but if they use Canon buy Canon.  It is best to buy a brand that you can discuss with your friends and colleagues. You may want to borrow a lens from your friend for example . (Nikon and Canon lenses are not interchangeable on each others bodies.).

What about the other brands ? Of course there are other camera brands making DSLR’s  too. There is Olympus, Kodak, Pentax, Sony to name a few. However for the reason given in the previous paragraph  I would not recommend any of them. I am sure these brands will lure you with big megapixels and fancy ergonomics at a very cheap rate but its best to pay a little more and stick to cameras that you can discuss with friends and cameras your mechanic are familiar with and can mend.  Nikon and Canon dominate the professional and the semi-professional camera market in the world and  its best to make a pick from either of the two.

With this we come back to our original question. Which camera should I buy?

1) You are a serious photography student and you aspire to be a Raghu Rai someday.

2)  Your job sucks and you are seriously considering leaving it for  photography full time.

3) You are a professional photographer.

 (sanjay austa sanjayausta@gmail.)

A man takes a photo in downtown San Francisco.

If you are in any of the three categories above and have the cash, pick up a full-frame in either Nikon or Canon.  In Nikon the cheapest is the Nikon D700. It is arguably the most popular professional camera among pros today. No wonder ever since it was launched some years ago, its price has hardly dropped even though Nikon launched many full frame cameras after it. Its body costs approx. 2500 USD  (1,15000 rupees). But getting your hands on a D700 is very difficult now. Nikon realized that with D700 they had made a perfect model and if they don’t discontinue it no one will buy their grossly overpriced and cumbersome models. Namely D800, D600 and D800E. As soon as these three models were announced Nikon stopped the production of D700.

If you think you  may need to combine video with stills and you may be shooting in pitch dark conditions ( you have to be if you are not satisfied with the superb ISO range of the D700) then go for Nikon D3s . To my knowledge besides the D700  this is the best camera from the Nikon stable if you can ignore its chunkiness.

Nikon of course also had the atrociously priced Nikon D3 which it duped many photographers into buying before it launched the virtually similar D700 at half the price the next year.  Fortunately the D3 is not available anymore. Almost simultaneously with D3s they launched the Nikon D3x. Unless you are a nerd into the megapixel game and with lots of papa’s cash and hard-drives to spare, you would steer clear of this 24 megapixel behemoth.  Its body costs approx. 8000 USD ( 4,00000  rupees) and its usually the camera I sarcastically recommend to people who want to know the `best camera in the market’. It’s best for photographers who only shoot huge billboards across the city. (Though you can get a decent sized billboard out of a D700 and the D3s too.)

After many years of suspense Nikon brought out what was thought to be an up gradation to the D700. But no it was the D4 , followed by D600, D800, and D800E. The 16 megapixel D4 is somewhat similar to D3 and is good if you are a sports photographer and can’t do without 10frames a second.

 The camera model  that everyone was waiting for came in the shape of  the D800 and D800E. D800 comes with a whooping 36.5 megapixels  functioning with almost the same resolution as a medium-format camera. I have not used this camera but those who have say Nikon has  actually taken a few step backwards with this model. The file size is so big that you will need to invest in multiple high storage memory cards and disk drives. With so many megapixels packed in the sensor there is noise when you push your ISO on these cameras.

Canon? I am a Nikon user so I confess my knowledge about Canon Cameras is sketchy at best.  I however did some research on models so I will stick to rattling off models names rather than provide any first hand knowledge. Canon users you are welcome to provide inputs.

Canon 5D Mark II is the cheapest of the Canon full-frames. It body costs 2800USD ( 1,25000 rupees) and is much lighter than even the handy Nikon D700.

Other Canon full frame model popular with professionals is the Canon 1Ds Mark 11. But it has now been replaced by the 21 megapixels Canon 1Ds Mark 111.

Small boy takes photographs himachal

A small boy takes pictures from his mobile camera in rural Himachal

4)Photography is your hobby. And its fun to have people comment on good pictures you hope to upload with your DSLR  on facebook.

5) You are an amateur photographer with a cushy job you cannot leave but you moonlight as a pro on the weekends, taking up small assignments.

However if you are in one of the categories above then you must look at what they call in photography jargon the `prosumer’  market. This forms the major chunk of Nikon and Canon market. Therefore there are a plethora of cameras  in this segment, some of them cheaper than your Blackberry and iPhone.

Let me start with Nikon. Nikon introduced some great value for money cameras some years ago. The D40, the D40x and the D60 all these lightweights came in the price bracket of less than 670 USD (30,000 rupees). This with a standard zoom (18-55mm). Unfortunately they are no longer available.  The cheapest and the latest Nikon model available today is the  Nikon D3100. It costs approx. 650USD (29,000 rupees) with standard zoom.

Next in line are Nikon D5000 and the very popular D90 which both come with video.  The D90 with the 18-105mm lens can cost approx 1000USD (45,000 rupees) while the D5000 model which also has video and comes attached with the standard zoom is priced at 780 USD (35000 rupees ). Both these models are hard to come by now especially after the Japan earthquake.

Nikon D7000 is the choice of the serious amateurs. It comes with all the bells and whistles including the video, the 18-105mm lens and the 16.2 megapixels. However don’t be too impressed with the megapixel count as the camera still has the small Dx sensor. 16.2 million pixels packed tightly in this small sensor could only lead to noise in the pictures when you push your ISO. Its available for 1600USD (74,000 rupees).

Canon has the cheapest DSLR available. The Canon 1000D is only 490 USD (22,000 rupees) with the standard zoom. Canon 1100D is also cheap at 650USD (29,000 rupees) considering it comes with the standard zoom and the video mode.

Next in line is the Canon 550D, which (body only) comes at approx. 809USD (36,000 rupees) and comes  with video and 18 megapixels (again don’t be impressed with high megapixels on small sensors).

Canon 7D like Nikons D7000 is the choice of serious amateurs. It comes with the video at approx. 1500 USD (70,000 rupees)body only.

P.S: (This article was written some time ago. Since then many newer models have flooded the market. While I have taken care to update information on the full-frame Nikon models, it is simply not possible to keep updating information on the prosumer models. I would therefore suggest readers to contact the dealers  directly for any latest info on prices , models and availability) 

Every natural wonder has its sunset or sunrise point. In Wadi Rum it was not at a great elevation but from this point you got a clear view of the sunset over many mountains. (sanjay austa sanjayausta@gmail.)

Sunset photos at Wadi Rum, Jordan

105 Responses to “What Camera Should I buy?”

  1. Anil says:

    Interesting to read your comments and suggestions on what you consider to be a good camera. However, since these cameras are DSLRs, it would be necessary to discuss a “Camera system” as a combination of body + lens[s]. In isolation, the camera body means pretty much nothing. I agree, that some of the smaller and less “chunky” bodies might be a better choice over their big brothers [like the D700 compared to D3]. However I not not agree that Nikon “duped” customers who bought the D3 before or after the release of the D700. The D3 has functions that the D700 does not. For many photographers, these features outweigh the price difference. BTW, there is a good [great?] article on camera body comparisons in the Outdoor Photographer March 2011 issue. Definitely worth a dekho.

    PS: Yes, I am a D3 user.

  2. sanjay austa says:

    Thanks Anil. I agree a more meaningful article would be about the body+lens combination. However this article was meant for amateurs and people just starting out. People who bump into you and want to know what camera to buy. I agree D3 has some functions that D700 doesn’t (just as D700 has some functions missing in D3) . For example D3 shoots more frames per second. But i guess that would be useful if you are into sports or news etc. Most people specialize much later in their careers. Thanks for the tip-off on the Outdoor Photographer magazine. Will have a look surely. Thanks again.

  3. Brinda says:

    Very interesting piece, Sanjay. A must-read for someone going in for a D-SLR, especially the first-timer.

  4. vinay verma says:

    Thanks for the help, bt I still have little confusion as many of in my friend circle have Nikon n rest of them have canon, I’m nt a pro photographer so far, I’ve used D60 before that. Now I need to buy b/w D5000 or 550D. though they both almost fall in same Price segment bt Is that Nikon is more easy to operate and have high features?
    though most of the fellows suggesting me to go for 550D coz of High MP n High resolution Video. Plus also is that Canon Lens are bit costly over nikon?
    So which u’ll personally suggest to go for…
    plz help thanks…!!

    • sanjay austa says:

      Vinay.. again i would not refer one camera brand over another. Buy according to your budget. You are not a pro so why worry. You will get good pictures from either of the two cameras depending on your skill and aesthetics not the brand.

      • vinay verma says:

        Yeah I’m nt Pro, Bt My Question is Both the Camera’s are almost of same Budget, so thats only my Problem is… Both will cost something around 35K. So I jus want to know wthr i stick to High Resolution (18MP) n High Definition Video offered by Canon 550D or go for Nikon D5000 (12MP)…!! N Why both are in same Price Segment when they have So much Difference in Resolution Size? Is that Nikon Offers More Features?

        • pankaj anand says:

          Dear Vinay,
          When It comes to features, usable feature in the field are provided by both cameras, both cameras produce great images too. Both have almost same image sensor size, so the number of mega pixel hardly matters, 550D 18MP will help only when you want crop your image to a high level :).

          The only reason for which I would suggest Canon 550D over D5000 is for the built in auto focus motor in 550D. D5000 doesn’t have a in built focus motor which restricts you to use some third party lenses as those might not have auto focus inside and you will end up using manual focus.
          Or in other words you need to buy lenses with auto focus motor built in only.

          But as Sanjay mentioned, look at people with DSLRS around you if they are Canon guys.. go for canon, so that you can share their lenses and accessories.

          BTW, I own a Canon 550D and its an awesome camera but I hardly use it Video mode and I am damn sure even with any Nikon DSLR I can capture those beautiful images.
          At the last its not about Camera, its about the person behind the camera.

          my 2 cents.


    • The post is absolutely fantastic! Lots of great, thank you so much for the informative article share with us, please continue to write such articles. I will be your faithful reader. Thank you again.

  5. Subhrajit Roy says:

    I that that for most beginners, the kit lens is sufficient to start with. So for the intended audience of this article a body+lens comparison would have been a bit too much to digest.

    In any case, the lens decisions best come from having actually used the camera that one’s bought and put to use to do actual photography. That allows them to understand the kind of photography that interests them the most and then to look for the kind of lenses that would allow them to do that kind of photography in creative ways. The ‘walk around’ lenses provided in a ‘kit’ by the camera manufacturers are usually sufficient to cover the usual range of subjects that one starts out with.

    Just to add to the D7000 part of the article, having 16.2 megapixels tightly packed in a small DX sensor also means that the pictures remain sharper even when cropped as compared to a full frame with lesser megapixels. But then again, it’s not the megapixels that is the draw to the full frame bodies. The D7000 has pretty decent low light capabilities as well (though it still doesn’t compare to the D700 sensor or the D3s or D3x) and is a tad bit better than the D90. That said, D90 is one of the better Nikon prosumer cameras which is easily measured by its success. The D7000 essentially takes the line started with D90 to the next level.

    I would also like to see an article where you do a bit of the video shooting capabilities of various Nikon / Canon bodies. I have come across quite a few beginners who are curious as to the video shooting capabilities given the trend started by YouTube + the Canon 5D Mark II or Nikon D7000. A lot of people are starting out shooting full HD videos using these bodies to create professional grade videos / short films etc.

    A well balanced article Sanjay, for the newb who wants to get hold of some equipment and is dazed by the array of choices available in the market.

    • sanjay austa says:

      Hi Subhrajit,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes my article is angled at the beginners who are confused by the array of cameras available in the market Thanks for giving the detailed info on D7000 comparing it with other models.
      Im sorry i haven’t tried any video on any of the cameras so would not be in a position to write anything about it.
      Thanks again.
      Sanjay Austa

    • Ravindra says:

      I want to buy an DSLR Camera I think Nikon D5100 is best suited to me but till I am confused because This is my first DSLR Camera to buy.
      Is this fine or any else to buy having same price range, Please suggest?

    • Amardeep says:

      Dear Sanjay

      Thanks for your wonderful article. from last one month i am confused with to brands as you discussed about this earlier, but i am still not able to make it which model shud i buy Nikon d800e or canon 5D Mark 3. I am in to creative field from last 11 years and i’ve been to so many shoot and i love photography, dealer/ distributors have there own feedback, photographers have there own feedback.
      I think you tell
      my max budget is 2lacs


  6. TG says:

    Nice Article. Thanks for the info.

  7. deepak arora says:

    very infomarmative article. give you all in a gist. and brilliant photos to go with them too. beautiful photography

  8. pankaj anand says:

    great article Sanjay.

    2 minor mistakes in the article 😉 .. the model number from canon are 1000D and 1100D, not D1000 and D1100 😀 ..

  9. preetjyot says:

    clear, no doubts sanjay………. thanx i hv got ma category…

  10. Meeta says:

    Dear Mr. Austa,

    I am glad I found this piece as I was in dire need of some basic know how of DSLRs…However, I am amateur and have been scouting the Delhi Markets for a Canon SLR…primarily 600D, the latest addition to the Canons’.

    I would request you if you could suggest some reliable source or shop where I could go and get one, Also I am a bit confused about the model choice I’ve made..Canon 550D or Canon 600D..please help

    • pankaj anand says:

      Dear Meeta,
      In terms of Image quality and Controls, both 550D and 600D are same cameras. Canon hasn’t made any changes in the imaging system. One of the addition you get in 600D is swivel screen which allows you to shoot in some awkward situation ( 1 out of 200 times). Second addition is some post processing filters creating some nice effects like tilt shift effect, fish eye effect and some more effects.
      These additions are not worth choosing 600D over 550D in my opinion. You can save some 10000 Rs if you choose 550D over 600D and you can buy 50mm f1.8 lens with that saved money.

      If you are from Delhi, get the camera from Old Delhi ( chandani chowk) Camera market.
      09811062088 : Golu Camera.
      You can talk to this guy about Prices. He is very Trust worthy. I have bought some 5 cameras from him for me and my friends.

      Other than that check prices on Ebay.in

      Hope this helps.

  11. Manu Katyaayan says:

    Hi sanjay, a great article. I learned a lot from this one but the question I want to ask is not the most common one. I remember you mentioned that one must have some kind of professional training before venturing in the market. May I know where in Delhi can I learn photography ? There are many places but most seem unrecognized. I believe there must be a few which’d add value to your creativity and your portfolio, aren’t there ?

    • sanjay austa says:

      Hi Manu,
      Yes you are right photography schools etc in Delhi are largely unrecognized. I could however recommend you at least a basic course at Trevini at Mandi House. Mr O. P Sharma teaches there. He is quite old fashioned in his ways but I feel he at least tells you all the rules of photography unlike other places where the photographers concern themselves with elaborate lighting and all the razzmatazz to attract photography enthusiasts. His method is pretty simple but effective. You could try it.

      • Manu Katyaayan says:

        Thank you Sanjay, loved the monk in the picture you posted. Thank you for the tip, however I found 1 other place which seems credible enough for the course. I apologise for hammering you with my question but I have no one else to ask.. 😛

        This one is at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan which is quiet a credible institute, here is the link, please take a look.


        Thank you once again for the help.

        • sanjay austa says:

          Hi Manu,
          Thank you. And you are welcome. I am aware they do a course at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan. But I am under the impression that the one at Trevini would be better. All because I have myself done a course there and O. P. Sharma is good. However do research on the course at Vidya Bhawan and if its better go ahead with it. I cannot give you a credible judgement on that though.
          Sanjay Austa

  12. Ashish Godara says:

    Hi Sanjay, recently i read your write up regarding lenses for cameras… I am sure you must be asked a lot by everyone regarding this stuff but I wanted to ask you a specific question. I have a couple of Nikon bodies… one old N80 film SLR which I hardly use now and a D50. I mainly use the D50. My main usage is professional… taking close up pictures of the treatments I do and for this I have a 105 Macro lens with a ring flash. For recreational work I use the 18-55 lens for DSLRs and also sometimes use the 28-105 (lens from the old film SLR camera) which gives me increased focal length (strictly speaking only a cropped field of view).
    What I need is a good lens for the D50 with respectable telephoto capabilities and here I am lost as to which one should I buy. I don’t mind third party lenses. If you could give me some suggestions regarding this, it would be greatly helpful.

    • sanjay austa says:

      Hi Ashish, I hope you are not looking for a tele-photo lens to shoot close-ups of the treatments you do on your patients? For that your macro 105 is a great lens. A good tele-photo I can suggest for your purpose is perhaps the 80- 400mm VR Nikkor. But of course this is not a lens to be trained on your patients. It is good for wild-life photography and other general photography you may be interested in. The other and much more expensive lens is the 70-200 VR 2.8 Nikkor. For a cheaper lens for general use you could also consider the 70-300mm Nikkor. Hope this helps.

  13. Ashish Godara says:

    Hi Sanjay I am looking for a telephoto lens ONLY for recreational photography. As you rightly said my 105mm 1/2.8 Macro lens is a great lens for close up work. Thanks for the suggestions.

  14. dipak kumbhar says:

    dear sir SANJAY AUSTA
    which is better cameara to all types of photography
    between d90 and d7000?please give answerrrrrrrrrrrr.

    • pankaj anand says:

      if you have budget .. any day D7000 is better buy ..

      • sanjay austa says:

        Pankaj – I guess you mean Nikon D700 right? D7000 is a prosumer camera. Its not full frame.

        • pankaj anand says:

          I meant D7000 only, thats the latest prosumer camera from Nikon. Its not a full frame camera but gives lot of upgraded feature as compared to D90. Definitely there is not going to be a drastic change in the image quality ( due to DX size image sensor) but yes there is an improvement.
          That is why I said if he has budget better go for an updated camera. Following are the differences between d90 and d7000

          Higher resolution sensor (16.2MP vs. 12.3MP)
          Choice of 12-bit or 14-bit NEF (RAW)
          1080p HD movie mode
          Limited movie editing functionality
          AF possible during video shooting
          Live View switch (basically the same as D3100)
          Faster AF in live view mode.
          Twin SD card slots
          Non-CPU lens data function (allows registration of up to 9 non-G lenses with manual apertures)
          Magnesium alloy body shell
          Wider ISO span (100-25,600 including ‘H1’ and ‘H2’)
          Newly developed 39-point AF system
          ‘Quiet’ single frame advance mode
          ‘Proper’ mirror lock-up (as distinct from ‘exposure delay mode’)
          Lockable drive mode dial
          Higher maximum frame rate (6fps) with a Continuous Lo shooting option (1-5fps)
          100% viewfinder
          Choice of 12-bit or 14-bit NEF (RAW) recording in compressed or lossless compressed formats
          Up to 9 ‘non-CPU’ lenses can be registered (same as D300s/D3s/D3X)
          New EN-EL15 lithium-ion battery
          New MB-D11 battery pack (magnesium alloy construction)

          Copied from Dpreview.com

  15. subroto mukerji says:

    I am very glad to see the name of Mr OP Sharma mentioned here. He is a legendary photographer – teacher, but a more modest person you’ll never come across.He’s simply bursting at the seams with knowledge (theoretical as well as practical), and way back in 1980, it was his teaching and his amazingly simple but practical book that propelled me into setting up my own darkroom at home, back in the days of film. Though I’m sorry to say that my lack of talent and time (I had a full-time job) prevented me from doing anything significant in photography, I sure had a whale of a time with my camera gear and my host of photography friends, Sharmaji included. He was a cordial host, a warm family man and a very unassuming but authentic guru. It is hard to believe all this happened 30 years ago…I hope OP will come across this post someday and call me on 9313878847, Delhi.

    • sanjay austa says:

      Hi Subroto,
      You go a long way indeed. I share your sentiments regarding OP Sharma. Though its worth mentioning that he was rather very strict about following the rules of photography.

  16. Excellent blog! I genuinely love how it’s easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

    • sanjay austa says:

      Thanks Kunin, Appreciate your comments. To get notified on any new posts all you need to do is type your e-mail address in the “Subscribe by email’ box at the bottom right of the home page and hit `subscribe’. Thanks again.

  17. Rahul says:

    Hellow Friends
    I am Rahul. Currently with A Top Leading Automobile Industry .
    I wanted to buy a DSLR Because My passion towards Photography & Automobiles . I will be Happy If any one guides me .

  18. Naveen Kumar says:

    Hi Sanjay,

    Thanks a lot. your article is lot more helpful to me. I am new to DSLR world. I am looking to purchase Nikon 3000D. Is this model still available in the market. why i am asking this question is., in my place all the DSLR store keepers are saying this is out dated or not in production from the company itself. so can you please suggest from where i can get one Nikon 3000D.


    • sanjay austa says:

      Hi Naveen,
      Thanks for your comment. I am glad the article was helpful. Last I checked the model was available. What city are you in. In Delhi you can check with the camera market in chandni chock or palika bazaar. I am sure you can get the information about this camera there. All the best.

      • Naveen Kumar says:

        Hi Sanjay,

        Thanks for the quick response. I live in Hyderabad. I will try with my friends in Delhi to get the information.


    • Vinay Mishra says:

      Hi Dips,

      I am thinking to sell my Nikon D3000 in favour of D7000. so if you are interested, you can write to me at vinay5m@ymail.com. I purchased this last year and camera is in very good condition.

  19. Siddharth Malhotra says:

    hello sir,i have heard a lot about you..could you please suggest me a decent camera within the range of rs.20000(400 USD)..thank you!

  20. Bibeka says:

    I have bought a Nikon Coolpix p510. I am not satisfied with picture clarity and Color of the taken photos. is Nikon Coolpix p510 is a good camera or what.
    have I taken a wrong decision ?

  21. Thar says:

    Hi sir,

    I read ur post its awesome,and i liked how you have replied to all the comments so hoping the same i am posting this…very soon i m planning to buy a slr …my budget is around 75k,i can go for NIKON D7000 or CANON 550D and add a macro prime lens,my fren recently bought canon 550d n he’s very much satisfied with it…my main fear buying canon 550d is what if it gets outdated very soon and new models come up …with more improvements….i prefer taking macro,portrait and landscapes and one more thing if i use good lens will the results of d7000 and 550d be same,

    P.S.: I dont want my camera to be outdated for atleast 3-4 yrs,and I want my images to be sharp,clear,i will definitely buy new lenses in coming years but i don’t think changing camera is a better option so please help me with it

    I have used nikon d90 and nikonD5000 ,its okay to change bramds for me

    • sanjay austa says:

      Hi Thar,
      Your fear of models getting outdated very soon is real. If you are indeed taking photography professionally then why not buy the full-frame camera like i have mentioned in the writeup here. That way you won’t have to worry about the lens ration aspect etc . I would say go for D700 . It may have gotten cheaper with Nikon having introduced newer models last year. All the best.

  22. anand says:

    I am new to photography but i love to take. Presently I have a cybershot 14 mega pix camera, but i am now planning to take a dslr camera which ranges between 35000 to 45000 rs. initially i had cornered to canon 550d and nikon 5100 but now i am little confused!!!! YOUR site is really very informative, but after reading this i think i dont now any thing about photography, can you pls guide me. I had initially planned to take 18 to 55 mm lens which is accompanied with 550d. Is it useful to take this combination of a 18-135 or 18-250mm. I love to take portrait and landscapes. Sir what is macro lens and what is the lens range and what is telescopic lens and the lenses which i mentioned come in which category? And one more thing diff between a posumer and a full frame camera? can u pls help. thanks.

    • sanjay austa says:

      HI Anand, you can refer to this post about what camera to buy in your budget. As for lenses i would say you can go for the 18- 250mm as it covers a wide range. Rest of your questions are covered in the post .

      • anand says:

        thanks for taking out your valuable time, sir but can u suggest any camera with in the budget of 25000-35000. Pls only one camera

  23. Thar says:

    Hi this is my second time posting it to you i know u have very good suggestion for me, please help me choosing among these :-

    Sir i am gonna get the new D7000 and was wondering if you think I should get:

    Can you please give me your advice and suggestion of which of the following bundles is better to go with:

    Bundle #1
    -D7000 Kit w/ “AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR”

    Bundle #2
    -D7000 BODY
    -AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

    *** The reason that I am asking you this is because someone mentioned the following to me:

    “I would not recommend the 18-200 lens. The 18-200 (or any zoom that covers a 10x or greater range) is
    like a Swiss Army Knife; a lot of tools in 1 package but none of the tools work really well. You would not fix
    a car with a Swiss Army Knife, you would use separate tools like in a craftsman tool set.

    When a lens tries to cover such a big range, it is generally mediocre through out the entire range. I know it means you
    will not need to change lenses if you use the 18-200.

    You will have better quality optics and a longer range if you were to get the D7000 with the 18-105vr. Or should i go with prime lens:-

    D7000 body
    Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D Lens & 18-55 mm lens
    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens
    18-55mm lens
    I m very fond of taking bokeh, sometimes landscape, portrait and macro.

    And one more thing i heard D7000 is being replaced soon by new D7100 ..how far is this true ….may be i can wait for few months to get D7100 instead of regretting buying D7000 after few months please help me sir

    • sanjay austa says:

      Thar your friend is right. There will be a compromise with that long zoom range. I would say you go for the 35mm prime. For general shooting you can also keep your regular zoom lens the 18-35mm.

  24. Hitesh says:

    hello sir,
    I want to by a nikon camera. my budget is 15000/- indian Rupees. So which modal is best for me. i want photography of outdoor like a tour.
    Thanking you,


  25. Dips says:

    Sir which is d best camera digital compact camera for dental teeth intraoral photography? or best dslr combination for same.
    My friends are using canon 100mm with canon 60 d.

  26. naveen gupta says:

    I want 2 buy digi camera
    Fr tat. Sorted out few in the list:-
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ20 Point & Shoot

    Fujifilm S4500 Point & Shoot

    Samsung WB100 Point & Shoot

    Fujifilm FinePix S3300 / S3350

    Can u pls suggest me frm these or any othr 4m ur side
    My price range is within 14000Rs. 🙂

  27. chethan says:

    Dear sir,
    Photography is my hobby. Sir am planning to buy Nikon Camera, and am having confusion between Nikon D90 & D3200. Please clarify which one to buy.

  28. anu says:

    Will you suggest some reliable shop where I could get Nikon d5100 in delhi.

  29. vishnu says:

    Sir,i like to know which camera is the best nikon,canon,sony?can you please suggest a professional camera less than 15000?

  30. anmol says:

    Well i m a bit confused out here …photography is my hobby ……and m planning to buy a dslr within the range of 70000 could u suggest me one all purpose camera keeping in mind the fact that it will stay with me for quite some time as changing dslr time and agin is not an option for me

  31. Bikash says:

    Dear Sanjay
    Thanks for this valuable information. it gives in depth knowledge for a beginner, particularly for a person like me. How ever I have the following quarry
    1. I am not a serious photographer , it is just a hubby, however intersted in capturing some of great moments.
    2. I want a interchangable lens type camera , so that in future I can purchase new lens of higher focal length and fit to my camera, I have chcked canon EOS 1100D and Canon EOS 550D and still confused.
    3. my budget is 50000 INR.
    4. And there are lots of silly doubt , can i direct mail to you.
    waiting for your reply

  32. saurabh says:

    I would like to know your opinion on Sony DSLT cameras as it seems the next step in photographic world will be EVF. I have got an A200(now obsolete) with a 70400g lens which is supposed to be the best in its class. Should I jump ship to canikons or continue with the sony line up. Thanks.

  33. Manu Katyaayan says:

    Hi Sanjay,

    Glad to see the article updated. Your tips helped me a lot, thanks again.
    Hope to see many more great articles and photographs from you.
    Good Luck.

  34. Parveen says:

    Hi Sanjay,

    I want to buy a camera of either Nikon or canon of Price range from 25k to 30k with following functions:

    1. Image stablization
    2. Good picture and color quality even in low light/night
    3. Good optical zoom of min from 40x to 50x.
    4. Around 14 MPixel

    Please suggest.

    Also help me in understanding in 18-55mm lens means. is it equivalent to 40/50x zoom.


  35. firoz says:

    add one more category…………….i am a serious photography student,who aspire to be raghu rai someday,but dont have enough cash and neither have a job…….i just have a big dream.

  36. Karan says:

    -A nice Answer Sheet for the Camera inquiring people. I hope this would help them.

    -Also I think what do they want to shoot is a great thing to understand Micro/Landscapes/Birds/Animals and keeping that in mind should they buy the lens which might give them that as well FX/DX.

    -I have also shared it to my profile since people keep asking me as I also do photography these questions.As I don’t want to avoid anyone but the talk becomes sometimes more confusing or extended to a lot of things I dig deep and think to explain the right person rightly.

    Thanks Again.

  37. I simply couldn’t leave your site before suggesting that I actually loved the usual info a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly to check out new posts

    • sanjay austa says:

      Thank you. i am glad you liked my posts.

      • naval rana says:

        hi sanjay,

        i thorougly went through your article and my confusion to buy a dslr camera is little solved…actually iam from district shimla(upper shimla)and i am a keen lover of trekking and had some treks but always missed a good camera..and now i have decided to buy D90 with AF-S 18-105mm VR Kit Lens….. please do reply…is this modal is available in the market….or tell me other alternative under 50k…so suggest me a camera with good kit.

        • sanjay austa says:

          Naval. If this long piece is not helping you I am not sure my saying anything else will. The questions about availability etc are best but to the camera dealers. I am a photographer.

          • naval rana says:

            ok… thanks buddy….sorry for the stupid question..i have confirmed its availability..it is available..but i was just looking for your advice…is this a good buy or not? or could be any other better alternative…

          • sanjay austa says:

            Hi Navai, No the question is not stupid. Its just that i won’t have too much info on these models. I had done the research at that time and since then many newer models have flooded the market. These are prosumer models – I have updated info only on the professional Nikon models. Thank you.

  38. madhan says:

    Bro..I’m a part time photographer and did some freelancing proects in it..I want to buy a camera which must have high image quality,good battery back up and enough features..budget:50000rs.
    Suggest a best one..I dnt want any user friendly..but either canon or nikon..which suits me better…

  39. Gurpreet Singh Khalsa says:

    Dear sir plss help me. I want to buy a camera dslr maxx budget 1.5 lakhs including all lenses reqd. I wan to use it for advertising photography like product tshirt models machinery jwellery shoes electronics cars bikes et etc . What model camera do u suggest the pics might be used for big hoardings by companies.i need proper colour sharpness n detaill im open to both canon and nikon. Pls guide me sir..

  40. Abhijeet Yadav says:

    Hi Sanjay,

    I am new to DSLR . I want to buy a camera of either Nikon or canon of Price range from 25k to 30k with following functions:

    1. Image stabilization
    2. Good picture and color quality even in low light/night
    3. Good optical zoom

    Please suggest.


  41. Gurmohan says:

    Hi Sanjay,

    came across this post of yours while surfing the net looking for answers to the question that you have addressed…

    what is your view on Sony DSC-RX10?

    ..Was thinking that will it be better to spend time/money on learning photography, and not by spending on expensive cameras…

  42. Arindam Saha says:

    What is better option Canon 7D or Canon 70D ?

  43. Gajendra says:

    Hi Can you advise me a camera under 10k or around 10 K, i am confused,advise me the best camera ?

  44. manasi says:

    i am crazy for photography. i want to achieve my best in it. bt my parents dont allow me. then too i am thinking to ask them for a DSLR. can u suggest my best camera? and in between 30000-35000 cost

  45. Rathijit Biswas says:

    I have finalised buying a nikon D7000. Now as you mentioned about the small DX sensor or more noise, i want to know more about this. Like, how it can affect still photos or videos. Like if i can use external lens to minimise these effects. Can you please suggest me something? Like your own writing or some articles. Secondly I also want to know about what to do before buying a lens. What are the things that are necessary to keep in head before buying a lens?? for example I want to buy 18-200 mm lens with D7000. Please reply. as you replied some of the querries regarding models as you are not updated so I wrote this message where you dont need to be updated 😀

  46. Mani says:

    Hi Sanjay. Great article. One quick question please or rather I want suggestion. I am completely new to photography beside mobile photography, my budget is 300 to 400 USD or 30000rs/- I want to try outdoor photography please suggest me a camera, either canon or Nikon please. Thank you in advance

  47. Shekhar says:

    Dear Sanjay,

    It’s praiseworthy to read your blog. Thanks for the great information.
    I have a question about Lens, I want to gift the lens to my friend having Canon 5D mark II and Sony Alpha A99 camera’s.

    My friend is a professional photographer and shoots short films sometimes; i heard that he is in need of good lens.

    I do not have much knowledge on camera’s and Lens, i think you could help me to buy and gift the best lens for my best friend birthday.

    Here are few options from my side, please advise which is good one.

    1. Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II
    2. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
    3. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED

    Most appreciated your valuable advise.


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