Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR for short) are big guns of photography. The biggest advantage of a DSLR is that using the same body, you can change lenses to shoot from point blank or sniping distances! DSLR cameras give the user full control over their photography – one can change each and every setting on the camera to get the desired results along with automatic shooting modes.

Here is a brief guide about key things you should keep in mind before buying a DSLR camera.

· Megapixels: Bigger always is not better – That's right, a higher megapixel camera does not mean it will give you better quality pictures. In fact megapixel count and quality are now related in my opinion. The megapixel count only decides how big (physically) you can print a picture taken by the camera. For example a 5 megapixel image is enough to make a sharp 8 x inch print!

· Sensor: The eye of the camera – This, coupled with the type of lens, will determine the quality of the images taken by the camera. The bigger the sensor, the better the image quality. CCD and CMOS are the two types of sensors predominately available in DSLR cameras. The size of the sensor on a DSLR camera will also determine its price – one with a full frame (35mm format) will be the most expensive. The rest of the sizes, for example APS-C, Four-Thirds, Micro Four-Thirds have a 'crop' factor compared to a full-frame sensor. Most DSLR in the mid-range price bracket will come with APS-C sized sensors which are more than enough for most people.

· Body: The soul of the camera – In case of DSLR cameras, the body is the soul of your kit. One can change lenses as and when required, however, the body remains the same. If you use a low-end body with high-end lenses, you will not get the desired lenses, same holds true vice-versa too. Invest as much as possible on getting a good camera body, you can get lenses later too.

· Lenses: Spectacles for the camera's eyes – The most standard lens out there is the 18-55 mm zoom lens and it is reverted by some and hated by others. Personally, I feel it's a decent enough lens and can teach you enough to let you graduate to other lenses and it's enough for casual photography. Then there are zoom lenses (like 75-300 mm) and super-wide angle lenses (like 10-16 mm) which you can go for depending on the shooting situations.

· Price & Practicality: Need I say more? – Price is self-explanatory, however, reiterating on what I said earlier, try to squeeze in the best camera body for your budget, lenses can be bought later. You can buy a DSLR from as low as 24k rupees and sky is the limit when it comes to expensive DSLR cameras. It is good to select one brand and stick to it, for if you upgrade the camera body later, you can still use your existing lenses with the new one. Also, if you are getting a slightly older model for a good price, go for it since features and specifications typically do not change much between different DSLR camera models.

With these points in mind, you will definitely be able to find yourself the perfect DSLR camera that ticks all the boxes in your list of requirements.

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