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A Practical Consumer Guide to Digital SLR Cameras

What is the Digital SLR Guide?

It's a plain-English consumer guide to digital SLR cameras, lenses and accessories.

The emphasis in the previous sentence is intentional - I want to make it clear from the start that this web site is NOT for professionals.

Professionals are already well-versed in digital SLR jargon and many have already made the transition from film to digital.

But digital SLR cameras aren't just for pros anymore.

The Missing Link

In 2005 I did extensive research on the existing digital camera web sites.

I noticed a distinct pattern:

  • They made the assumption that you already knew a LOT of industry jargon
  • They focused on on every digital camera rather than just the Single Lens Reflex (SLR) models

News reports at the time covered the growing digital SLR market. They predicted that in the next couple of years SLR cameras would be priced competitively with compact models and would include features that would appeal to many amateur photographers.

The light bulb went off.

I realized that in a few short years a whole lot of non-pros would be starting to navigate the maze of digital SLR technology and might need some help along the way.

Who's Behind the Digital SLR Guide?

It's a good question - after all, why should you take advice on digital SLRs from a total stranger? Maybe if I introduce myself properly, then you won't think of me a such a stranger any more.

Let's start with my name: Chris Roberts.

What do I do here at the Digital SLR Guide? Well, quite a lot actually.

I am solely responsible for the design, web development and marketing of this site. I also write all of the content that you read on the Guide, in the newsletters and on the companion weblog.

I work on the site in my spare time and continue to hold down a full-time day job. I only mention this for the information junkies out there who will quickly note that some pages are fairly out-of-date. Trust me, I build new pages and update the old ones as fast as I possibly can. There's only one of me and a WHOLE LOT of you.

Which brings us to the next question: why?

What would possess someone to put together a consumer guide to digital SLR cameras and then attempt to keep it current with all of the changes in technology?

Why Do I Do This?

To answer that question properly, I'd like to share a story with you.

I purchased my first digital SLR camera in 2003: the Canon D30 (not to be confused with the 30D of today).

I had used film SLR cameras before, and I justified the expense in 3 ways:

  1. SLRs were fast and responsive (and compact digital cameras in 2003 certainly weren't)
  2. As time went on I could buy additional lenses for the camera
  3. Ultimately the camera would be cheaper than film, because I could take as many photos as I wanted and not have to pay for processing

After 60,000 photos I think the camera did pay for itself in the end.

But buying that camera led to a slippery slope which anyone who has been evaluating digital SLR cameras is aware of: there is a list a mile long of add-ons and peripherals that you can buy to go with your digital SLR.

External flash, carring bags, memory cards, tripods, lenses, filters...the possibilities are almost endless.

My wife - ever the practical one in the family - finally brought the reckless camera spending to a halt. She recommended that I find an alternative outlet for my digital SLR photography enthusiasm.

Once I stopped perusing the want ads for camera gear and thought about it more, I came to the following conclusions:

  • I don't really want to own a ton of camera gear, but I do like trying it out
  • I love fiddling around with cameras and figuring out exactly what they can and cannot do
  • Playing with camera gear means I get to take more photos - and that's never a bad thing

And so this consumer guide to digital SLR cameras was born.

My Goal

What started out as a fairly simple project has turned into something much more.

As I started putting pages of the Digital SLR Guide together, I realized just how much information there was to share about this topic.

The matter has also been complicated by the increasing number of consumer digital SLR cameras: in 2006 alone, 6 new 10 megapixel digital SLR cameras were released.

The feedback that I was receiving from readers like yourself made it clear that there was a need for a site that explained all of the tech jargon in simple plain-English terms.

My goal is a simple one: I want to help you find the best digital SLR camera.

I know that shopping for a digital SLR raises a lot of fears and doubts:

  • Will the camera take the types of photos I want to take?
  • Will the next best model be released right after I buy it?
  • How do I make sure I get a camera that I can grow with?
  • How do I pick the right lenses to go with my digital SLR?

It's my sincere hope that you find the answers to your questions here at the Digital SLR Guide.

At the very least, I hope that some of your concerns are minimized and that you continue shopping with a renewed sense of confidence because the technology is no longer a mystery.

How The Guide is Organized

The Digital SLR Guide follows my simple four-step process for finding a digital SLR.

  1. STEP 1 — Find the best digital SLR camera for you
  2. STEP 2 — Learn the jargon as I define digital SLR terms
  3. STEP 3 — Compare digital SLR camera models
  4. STEP 4 — Learn about digital SLR camera prices
  5. STEP 5 — Once you have a good camera, find the best digital SLR lens

Free Newsletter

I publish a monthly newlsetter that is packed with information about the latest digital SLR camera models, plus lots of tips and tutorials about how to use the camera you already have.

Sign up today, or browse some of the newsletter back issues.

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Help Me Out

If you see something you like or find something that's not correct, send me feedback and let me know.

If you're still not clear on some tech jargon, contact me and I will answer it.

Your feedback and input will help me make this consumer guide to digital SLR cameras better and better as time goes on.

The people who come to the site after you will thank you for it.

The Power Behind the Guide

An alternate title for this section might be "how you found this web site."

While the Digital SLR Guide is a way to share my passion for digital SLR cameras with others, it wouldn't be worth much if no one could find it.

In addition to my enthusiasm for SLR technology, I've got a very powerful tool to help me teach beginners about these amazing cameras.

--Chris Roberts, Your Digital SLR Guide

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