If you would like to get serious about your photography and want to move on from your compact digital camera, or if you are a keen amateur looking for a good entry level digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, here are four options well worth considering:
Canon EOS 1000D
The Canon EOS 1000D, also known as the Canon Digital Rebel OS, is the entry level version of the more expensive EOS 450D and shares many of the same features as its big brother, including an almost identical body and control layout.
The camera boasts a 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. It can take still pictures at a rate of 3 frames per second in JPEG mode. The camera comes with the EFS 18-55mm lens that features image stabilisation. As you develop your photography skills, you will appreciate the full manual and semi-automatic modes of this camera.
Like the Canon, the Nikon D90 is an entry-level version of a semi-professional model in its range, the Nikon D300.
The D90 has a 3-inch VGA screen that combines an upper screen and an info display. With a 12-megapixel sensor and continuous shooting at 4.5 frames per second, the Nikon D90 produces impressive photos.
If that is not enough to convince you, the camera can also record video clips in HD. This is great for that odd moment when you need to catch something on camera and a photo is not enough.
Sony’s offering in the high-quality entry-level DSLR category; the A550, has impressive specifications such as a 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 3-inch LCD screen.
With the focus and exposure locked, the Sony A550 can shoot stills at 7 frames per second and 5 frames per second without these features locked which is still impressive.
The LCD screen can be flipped up or down by 90 degrees and shows all the vital information needed to get your shot just right. You can move between the standard display, which shows numerical information or you can swap to a simplified graphical interface. This is great for beginners.
The Pentax K-x has a body shape that fits neatly between a good compact digital camera and a more professional DSLR, making it a good entry-level model for users already familiar with digital compacts.
A 12.4-megapixel sensor and a 2.7-inch LCD screen are in line with the competition and, like the Nikon D90, the Pentax offers video-recording capabilities. Continuous still-shooting can reach 4.7 frames per second.
As usual with entry-level DSLRs the Pentax K-x has a full range of manual and automatic modes. Other key features include a built in Shake Reduction system and a dust removal system.