SLR cameras is an ever expanding market. According to an IDC report
titled 2007 Worldwide Digital Camera Market Share Review, of the 131
million units of digital still cameras sold worldwide, 7.5 million of
those units were digital SLR cameras. Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus
emerged as the top digital SLR manufacturers in terms of sales, with
Canon leading the pack with a 43% share. Nikon, Sony and Olympus have
40%, 6% and 6% share, respectively.
Further in the IDC report, Nikon emerged as a strong competition to Canon, thanks to Nikon introducing digital SLR cameras like the Nikon D40x and the Nikon D300. In fact, the IDC report states that Nikon replaced Canon as the number one digital SLR camera brand in Japan in 2007. "Nikon has always been a strong preference among professional photographers" says Minneapolis photographer Bob Dale. Digital SLR, or dSLR, is short for digital single lens reflex. Digital SLR cameras are named as such because they are cameras that have a mirror behind the camera lens that directs light through the viewfinder eyepiece during photo composition.
In more complex terms, the light gets to a pentaprism by coming through the lens and bouncing off a mirror that is at a 90-degree angle. As complex as it sounds, there is simply a mirror in front of the shutter. When you take a picture, the mirror lifts up so that the same light can then go through the shutter as it opens. You may recognize the companies that manufacture digital SLR cameras. Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony are all popular brands in photography. Before they entered the digital SLR market, they were once the big brands in the old 35mm film SLR camera market.
Canon has long been known for the quality of its cameras. Currently, the Canon EOS line of cameras is among the best lines of digital SLR cameras on the market. It consistently earns high praise from consumers for being simple, having plenty of options, and providing great pictures.
The digital SLR cameras in the Canon EOS digital series boast of the 10.1 megapixel CMOS technology that produces digital pictures of outstanding quality. Other Canon digital SLR cameras that have this technology are the Canon 30D, Canon Rebel XTi, and all the other Canon Digital Rebel cameras.
You will generally find Canons at the top of digital SLR camera review lists. Whether these reviews are compiled by Canon owners or by product testers, the results tend to favor Canon digital SLR cameras.
When it comes to SLR cameras, Nikon has become a household word. Nikon has been making SLR cameras for many years and with the introduction of the Nikon D-series SLR cameras, the company is proving to be a strong player in the digital camera market.
The Nikon D300 heads the impressive lineup of quality digital SLRs by Nikon. This digital SLR supports live viewing, which means you can preview your shots on the LCD screen instead of having to look through the viewfinder. If you're planning to get into professional or high end digital photography, this digital SLR is a good investment. Price starts at around $1,700.
For those who don't need all of the professional features of the Nikon D300, the Nikon D40 is an excellent, budget alternative with a price of $450 to $650. You will get great shots with this 6.1 megapixel digital SLR camera. It features a compact design for people on the go. "It's a super choice for doing travel photography" says professional digital photographer Bob Dale.
Still there's the Nikon Coolpix P5100, one of the top rated digital SLR cameras in the point-and-shoot category. This camera has both automatic and manual control (zoom, focus and exposure), making it ideal for casual photographers. It has a 2.5-inch LCD display that you can use when setting up your shots instead of the viewfinder. This digital SLR camera retails between $200 and $300.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC line of digital SLR cameras is one of the best values on the market. From 2001 to 2007, Panasonic produced over 60 Lumix DMC digital SLR camera models, with the last of that era coming with 10.1 megapixels and a 12.5x zoom standard on each camera.
Another feature that makes the Panasonic digital SLR cameras popular is that they are typically very portable. But what really sets them apart, is that the newest models are typically not much over $400.
Mention SLR cameras and the name Pentax quickly comes to mind. How many of us had a Pentax as our first 35mm SLR camera? Pentax, just like the rest of the camera manufacturers, has entered into the digital camera arena.
Pentax digital cameras are of high quality and come in a variety of models that range from the entry level SLR to professional models. Some of the better models are the K series and the Optio series. Both of these Pentax digital SLR series of cameras offer users great photographs and a variety of options commonly found on the most popular digital SLR cameras.
You have far more options in digital SLR cameras than can be discussed here. Whatever your price range, if you do a little research, you can find a digital SLR camera that will take quality pictures for you. Price and features are the main variables when you compare your digital SLR options.
A few of the other things you'll want to keep in mind when comparing digital SLR options are battery life, battery cost, camera warranty, and storage media options. But mainly, you will want to get a memory card that can hold 1,000 or more high resolution photos. After you invest a great deal of money in a camera, you will want to be sure you won't run out of storage space when you're out shooting photos and you visualize that perfect picture.