Final Guide To The Best DSLR Camera For Beginners (+a List Of Top 5 DSLRs)

Today is your lucky day; Because we finally share the final answer Of:  "The BEST DSLR camera for Beginners and Amateurs".

We Will Help You Get The Best DSLR For Your Needs Without Having To Spending A Fortune Or Making A Wrong Buying Decision


If you are a person who loves to look at things around you through the lens of your DSLR and capture the beauty of that instant, you definitely need the perfect camera for your photography. A perfect DSLR will help exhibit your photography skills by capturing things the way you intended to.
Whether you are a professional photographer, aim to become one, or just click photographs for a hobby, you need to know about the various DSLRs out in the market, to decide which one suits your needs best.  Read on to find out the best DSLR camera for beginners.

top-dslr-camera-for-beginners

What Is The Problem?

It is definitely not an easy task to find the best DSLR camera for beginners as there are a number of cameras available in the market. Each of these cameras has various specifications and information, that sometimes you are lost in the sea of information and may make the wrong choice.
Since these cameras are not cheap, investing in them requires a lot of thinking and serious consideration. If you invest your hard earned money into the wrong camera, you may get dejected and lose interest in photography as a whole.

We Promise

We are here to help you find the perfect camera that not only fits your budget but also your photography needs. With this article, you will be equipped with enough information to buy the right camera. We will help you identify your needs and choose the right DSLR camera.

We will Cover:

  • Table summaries the best dslr for beginners listed in this article.
  • Chapter 1: contain basics information that you should know, about DSLR photography & Cameras. Before you made a buying decision.
  • Chapter 2: is a detailed list of 5 top dslrs for beginners, and how to choose between them based on your needs & budget.
  • Chapter 3: is a bonus where we list top bundles that you can found online for some of the top beginner's DSLR cameras.

Best DSLR Camera For Beginners:

NameRankingResolutionRotated
Screen
PriceBuy
Nikon D3300 Recommended 24.2MP NO $546 (16% OFF - SAVE $103.00 & Free Shipping)
Nikon D5300 Great DSLR 24MP YES $696 (22% OFF - SAVE $200.00 & Free Shipping)
Canon T5i Great DSLR 18MP YES $649 (19% OFF - SAVE $150.00 & Free Shipping)
Canon SL1 Best DSLR Under $500 18MP NO $499 (29% OFF - SAVE $200.00 & Free Shipping)
Pentax P-50 Fantastic DSLR 16MP NO $397 (12% OFF - SAVE $52.30 & Free Shipping)

Chapter One: What You Should Know About Digital SLR (DSLR) Cameras

1. What Is A DSLR Camera?

The Digital Single Lens Reflex is a digital camera that directs light from the lens to the view finder hole with the help of mirrors. Unlike the photographic films, the DSLR combines digital imaging sensor with the mechanisms and optics of a single lens reflex camera. The DSLR is better than the other cameras out there in the market because it captures the exact image that you view through the view finder. 
The lens of the DSLR can be changed according to your photography needs. You can either use lenses from the same manufacturer as your camera or you can also go in for the lenses by specialised lens manufacturers. Now if you change your profession or interest from a portfolio photographer to a wildlife photographer, all you have to do is get a different lens and retain your versatile DSLR.

2. Different Types Of DSLR Cameras

When you want to get into serious photography, a DSLR is a wise investment. However, you need to know the different types of DSLRs before you can buy one. You can choose between an Entry level DSLR or a full frame DSLR camera, to suit your varying needs.
So how are they different from each other? Read on to find out.

A. Entry Level DSLR Camera

Entry level DSLR cameras are not as advanced as the other DSLR models but have more features than your regular point and shoot or digital cameras. They have features such as video mode, scene modes and even automatic, like the digital cameras. 
However, they have a larger sensor size when compared to a compact digital camera. The resolution is high and the camera can also be used in low light unlike the digital ones.
For a beginner, this camera can cause a drastic improvement to not only your picture quality but can make you a better photographer too as it allows you to explore various lenses and resolutions and other settings. Though using it requires some learning, it is not as hard as the Full Frame DSLR cameras. The usage is pretty straight forward and the camera itself is much lighter.
However, the entry level DSLRs, do not have the auto focus option. Here are some of the features you need to consider before buying your camera.
  • Not all DSLRs have the live view option. If you have this feature, it will be very useful when you have your camera mounted on a tripod.
  • Olden lenses did not have the in-built focus motors. So, if you when you mount an older auto focus lens on your entry level DSLR, it has to be manually focussed.
  • Most of the recent DSLRs have the predictive autofocus feature, where the movement of the subject of your shoot is tracked in order get a sharp focus when you click.
  • Some entry level cameras have the image stabilisation built in the camera itself, so that your image is stabilised irrespective of the lens used. Whereas, some models have this feature built in the lens, if this is the case, you may have to buy only such lenses to get a stabilised photo.
  • An entry level camera has a smaller view finder when compared to the advanced models. Look into the viewfinder to see if you are comfortable with the size and image produced.

B. Full Frame DSLR Cameras

Once you are familiar and comfortable with the various features of a DSLR like the focal length multiplier, crop factor, etc, you can move on to a more advanced model. 
A full frame DSLR camera lets you go all out when it comes to photography. It has no crop factor or focal length multiplier of one. When you click a picture on this camera, the picture will be captured just like in a film SLR camera.
Though these cameras are bigger and bulkier than the entry level DSLRs, the image quality is higher the sensor is larger. This lets you click better photographs even in a low light situation. It also enables you to click very good wide angle photographs, which is very beneficial if you want to click great photos of landscapes and the nature in general. However, if you are a wild life photographer, a wide angle will not be of much use to you as you need to focus more on your subject.
While these Full Frame DSLRs have an inbuilt focus motor, handling this camera is not a joke. One needs to learn about the various features and how to operate each of them, in order to get the best out of your camera. 
One can take high quality photographs with these cameras, which can be blown up into various sizes. Though expensive, investing in this camera will allow you to grow as a photographer and all you will have to do is buy new lenses as your requirements change.

3. What Is The Best Type Of DSLR Camera For Beginners?

Everyone can click a photo on one of the cameras or even on your smart phone. However, operating a DSLR is nothing similar. One needs to know the various nuances of this complicated tool, to get the best out of it. 
If you are new to photography and want to learn to use the DSLR effectively and also improve your photography skills, go for an entry level DSLR. This requires lower amount of investment and is easier to understand. This will ensure that your interest and passion for photography is only enhanced and not subdued by the complicated features and expenses that will burn a hole in your pocket.
If you have been in this industry for some time and understand cameras, you can go ahead and invest in a full frame DSLR. It will not only help you click better photographs, but will also make you a better photographer.
It is always better to start with the entry level DSLR and move on to the full frame after a considerable amount of time.

4. Why Should I Buy A DSLR camera instead of a normal Camera?

When all you want to do is click photographs, you may wonder why you should go in for the expensive DSLRs while you have the cheaper and less complicated digital cameras. Here are some of the main reasons:
  • It makes you look more like a serious photographer as almost everyone owns a digital camera.
  • It gives you a number of options when it comes to clicking a picture. You can make so many changes to the settings that the final outcome is drastically different from that of a digital camera’s.
  • You can use various lenses with the same camera. You don’t need different cameras for different types of photography, you just need the lenses.
  • The sensor is larger, thus enabling you to click good photos even in the night. The high pixel count, allows the photographs to be enlarged without the pixels getting disturbed.
  • The price is reasonable for the number of features that come in it. 
  • It boasts a battery life of 500 shots or more and an extendable memory via a memory card up to GB.

5. How To Tell That This DSLR Camera Is The Right One For Me

There are a number of DSLR cameras with varied features. Everyone has a different need and hence should pay attention to the following points, in order to get the best DSLR camera:
  • Megapixel – higher megapixels are required only if you want to blow up your photographs to a large size. Higher megapixels result in bigger files and hence take up a lot of space in your camera memory. If blowing up your images is not required, you can go in for a lower megapixel.
  • Sensor Size – Larger the sensor, higher is the resolution of your photos. Large sensors enable you to click good photos in low light, and also get out of focus backgrounds.
  • Speed – The burst speed of the camera will help you determine the speed of the camera. A good speed will enable you to click better photos when your subject is constantly moving, like with sports, kids or animals. With better speed, your chances of clicking a good photo increases.
  • Price – Budget is always an important factor. There are many DSLR options for various price ranges and you can get a much better camera by increasing your budget by just a couple of hundreds of dollars. You can always choose an older model and save up. 
  • Body Only Or Kit Lens – Kit lens are not very expensive and cover a zoom range of 18 mm to 55mm. The aperture is limited but you can always upgrade your lens. Buying the kit lens rather than just the body will be beneficial if you are new to photography.
  • Low Light – A good camera should enable you to click good photos even in low light. This will ensure your photo shoot sessions are not limited.
  • DOF – The Depth Of Field is the ability to isolate the background. You cannot find this feature in your regular cameras.
  • FPS – The Frame Per Second determines the quality of the video captured. Higher the FPS, better the video.
  • Lens Availability – find out if the lenses are easily available for your DSLR. If you cannot get different lenses, the point in buying a DSLR is lost.
  • Screen Rotation – if you want to take videos or self portraits, a swivel or flip out screen can be very useful.
However, if you are in advertising or in a field that requires your photos to blown up into large hoardings or displays, you require a camera with very high mega pixel, in order to get great clarity.

6. Brand: Answer To The Most Asked Question In Forums <<Canon Or Nikon?>>

When it comes to buying the best DSLR camera for beginners, it is always a dilemma between Nikon and Canon. Some may even consider buying from smaller brands.
Though buying from smaller brands that are not very famous may save you a few hundred dollars, it is always advisable to go in for the more reputed brands when it comes to buying your DSLR. This is because, as you move up in your photography, you will need to upgrade to other lenses. 
Though other brands like Pentax also comes up with cameras with great features, it is brands like Nikon and Canon that have more options when it comes to lenses and other accessories. So, instead of spending a lot of money to switch to one these brands at a later time, it is better to invest in them right in the beginning. 
Even if you choose to buy a top rated brand, you will still be at a loss as to which one to buy. Every year a new feature or technical improvement is made and a new model of a DSLR is rolled out. No brand tops the rank every single year. Hence it is advisable to buy a camera based on its features rather than just the brand.

Chapter Two: Top 5 Best DSLR Camera For Beginners

When you invest your hard earned money in a camera, it is natural to want nothing but the best. Sadly, there is no “best DSLR camera” ever; hence you need to buy a camera based on its features and your requirements. Some of the important factors to be considered are:
  • Your Budget
  • Number Of Lenses
  • Other accessories like memory card, spare battery, camera case, etc.

I- Best Nikon DSLR Camera For Beginners

1. Best Fixed Screen (Low price) Nikon DSLR Camera : Nikon D3xxx Series

nikon-d3xxx-series-fixed-screen

The Nikon D3xxx series consists of 4 great DSLR cameras for beginners that can be used for your regular photography needs on a daily basis too. 
  1. Nikon D3100 (introduced in 2010 - Discontinued by Manufacturer - Price around $300)
  2. Nikon D3200 (2012) (OLD Model - Price around $300 & $400)
  3. Nikon D3300 (2014 - Recommended)
  4. Nikon D3400 (sep 2016) (New Model - Price around $780)
Each of these cameras are an improvement over the previous models (the latest being better than the previous year’s). However, your budget is the main deciding factor when it comes to buying a digital SLR camera for beginners. The least expensive of these 4 models is the Nikon 3100 and if you can afford it, the Nikon 3300 launched in 2014 would be a great buy.
Our personal recommendation would be the Nikon 3300 as it is loaded with features and is smaller and lighter than the previous models.

Buy(Recommended): Nikon D3300 with 18-55 VR II lens (16% OFF - SAVE $103.00 & FREE SHIPPING)

2. Best Articulated Screen Nikon DSLR Camera – Nikon D5xxx Series

nikon-d5xxx-series-with-rotated-screen

The following 4 cameras in this series are a dream for any beginner photographer as they can control their camera totally. 
  1. Nikon D5100 (2011 - OLD Model)
  2. Nikon D5200 (2013 - Discontinued by Manufacturer)
  3. Nikon D5300 (2014 - Recommended)
  4. Nikon D5500 (2015 New Model - Price around $750)
Though the menu is a little more complicated to understand, it allows you to control your camera totally and the camera is very well designed, with excellent image quality and long lasting battery life. 
You should consider one of these cameras if your requirements are:
  • A vari-angle LC monitor so that you can take videos or photographs on your DSLR where it would be impossible for you to be directly behind the camera (above head height, ground level shots or tight corners where only your camera can get in).
  • A better control of your camera.
When you buy one of these cameras, let your budget decide for you. If you have a tight budget, you can go in for the Nikon D5100. If you have a bigger budget, you can consider the Nikon D5500 or Nikon D5300.

Buy: Nikon D5300 with 18-55 VR II Lens (22% OFF - SAVE $200.00 & FREE SHIPPING).

However, if you don’t require an articulating LCD or need more control over your camera, you can always go in for the Nikon D3xxx series.

II- Top Canon DSLR Camera For Beginners

1. Canon EOS Rebel T5i With Articulated Screen 

canon-eos-rebel-t5i

If you are a die-hard fan of the Canon cameras, we have 2 great cameras reviewed here for you to choose from, based on your budget. First one is Canon EOS Rebel T5i.
  • Sensor - APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels – 18
  • Lens mount - Canon EF-S
  • Screen - 3-inch articulating touch screen - 1,040,000 dots
  • Continuous shooting speed - 5fps
  • Max video resolution - 1080p
Now you don’t have to worry about the quality of your images even in low light as this wonderful camera can produce crisp images well detailed. With seven filters and a 3 inch LCD monitor, you can compose with ease. The APSC sensor with high mega pixel allows you to enlarge your pictures and get the same outcome as a professional Canon camera. This new age camera is GPS compatible and also allows you to resize your images to attach in your Emails. This camera is ready to accompany you through all the technological advancements.

Buy: Canon T5i with 18-55 STM Lens (19% OFF - SAVE $150.00 & FREE SHIPPING)

2. Canon EOS Rebel SL1 With Fixed Screen (Low Price)

canon-eos-rebel-sl1

  • Sensor - APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels – 18
  • Focus – 9 Point AF Sysytem
  • Screen - 3-inch touch screen - 1,040,000 dots
  • Continuous shooting speed - 4fps
  • Max video resolution - 1080p
This is the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR for beginners. Do not underestimate its performance due to its compact size. If you want to move on to a proper camera from you smart phone or a compact camera, this is the perfect choice for you as it is easily portable but produces much better photos. You can click continuous shots pr record videos in various frame sizes. As it has a very sensitive touch screen, you will not find it difficult to handle. Want more? This camera also has a view finder that allows you to take great shots even in bright sunlight.

Buy: Canon SL1 with 18-55 STM Lens (29% OFF - SAVE $200.00 & FREE SHIPPING)

III - Best Pentax Camera For Beginners - Pentax P-50

Pentax-p-50

Tired of being one among the huge crowd that either owns a Canon or a Nikon? Want to be different without having to compromise on the quality of your photographs? Well, you can always buy the Pentax K-50.
  • Sensor - APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels – 16
  • ISO Speed – Maximum 51200
  • Additional Technology – Wi-Fi
  • Screen - 3-inch 
  • Continuous shooting speed - 6fps
This mid level DSLR for beginners, not only has some of the features offered by the TOP DSLRs in the market, but also has a very high continuous shooting speed that ensures you don’t miss out anything. These cameras come in bold colours, to ensure your device does not go unnoticed and the built-in creative tools and multiple filters ensure you get the perfect photos. What’s more, you can now transfer these images to your smart phone immediately through the Eye-Fi card and share your pictures with the world instantly.

Buy: Pentax K-50 With 18-55 Lens (12% OFF - SAVE $52.30 & FREE SHIPPING)

Chapter Three: Top Bundle For The Best DSLR Camera Available Online

1. Nikon D3300 Bundle


Buy the Nikon D3300 Bundle (made by Nikon) and get yourself a free DX format DSLR kit that includes two lenses - 18-55 mm DX VR II and 55-200mm DX VR II. Also get a black case to store and carry all your camera and related items carefully.

2. Nikon D5300 Bundle


Buy the Nikon D5300 kit and get a free camera bag that is black and beautiful, a 32 GB SD card and a DVD. Your kit will also include two lenses – 18-55mm VR II and the 55-300 mm VR. Enjoy clicking great pictures in style.

Buy: Nikon D5300 Bundle (FREE SHIPPING - Only 14 Left in Stock)

Summary
With all these details and reviews, picking DSLR camera for beginners or even the best DSLR camera for beginner is easier. Know your requirements and budget to choose the perfect DSLR Camera for you.

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24 comments

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30 August, 2015 13:16 delete

Thank you, Beno. Your articles are well researched, accurate & provide the best advise! Please keep up the good work & share more other best cameras in the market! Rgds, Lim

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30 August, 2015 21:43 delete

trying to do my best Bro, thanks you all for the lovely comments.

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11 September, 2015 15:55 delete

Thanks for this great article. I'm deciding between Nikon 3200 and 3300. Your link to the best bundle for 3200 is going to the 3300 page on Amazon, though. I'd like to compare the two - I'm leaning towards the 3300 because of the wireless capability, but want to see the difference in accessories for the price.

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14 September, 2015 16:31 delete

you can have wireless ability in D3200 by using a small accessory (Wu-1). see the article of "13 nikon D3200 accessories for more info."

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Anonymous
10 October, 2015 08:46 delete

Thanks a lot, for it has opened my eyes and clarified things up. If I have to buy an extra lens some day, will it have to be of the same company as the camera? Excuse me if this sounds really stupid as I'm too basic a beginner.

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Anonymous
10 October, 2015 08:56 delete

With what zoom to start if interested in wildlife photography? And the ideal prime lens (for all kinds of photography)?

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10 October, 2015 22:17 delete

Hello, We was all beginners, and we was ask for learn, so you do noting wrong, so the answer, is No, you should buy a compatible lens for your DSLR camera from the mother company (Nikon or Canon, i don't know), or from one of the third party companies that made lenses as Tamron, Sigma, Tokina.
if you have Nikon entry level DSLR, always buy Lenses that have AF-s DX in their names, or HSM, or you read auto-focus.
good luck

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10 October, 2015 22:25 delete

Hello
there is 3 question inside yours, so the best zoom lens to begin with is Nikon 18-55mm, while the good lenses for wildlife photography are Telephoto lenses, i suggest 55-200mm lens or 55-300mm lens, and her is a full list of Nikon wildlife telephoto lenses
The idea Prime lens is 35mm, produce a very good and clear quality, and it is the best for all kind of photography because it is close to human eyes.
good luck

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Anonymous
12 November, 2015 23:10 delete

Hello
I'm thinking of buying the nikon d3200 with stock lense
Is it good choice against canon1200d

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18 November, 2015 02:26 delete

Go for Nikon D3200 my friend, it has a large sensor, and more megapixel, so a great color depth, and a very good image quality compare to the Canon 1200D. so i suggest you to add some dollars and buy the D3200.
Good luck

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19 November, 2015 21:53 delete

Such a great and very simple to understand this valuable article. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge for others. Keep it up.

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26 November, 2015 16:28 delete

Hi,
I'm thinking to buy D5300. But due to its high price, I'm confused whether it is worth its price and therefore, leaning towards D5200.
Which one I should go for??
Thanks

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Anonymous
27 November, 2015 17:50 delete

which is better nikon d5300 or nikon d7000
please i need help
i'm going to buy one of them but i'm not decided which one of them

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27 November, 2015 19:52 delete

Hello, thanks for the comment
First thing, is that Nikon D5300 is an entry level DSLR camera, made for beginners, while Nikon D7000 is a Full frame camera made for photographers that had experience; So if you never try photography suing DSLR cameras, Go with Nikon D5300, you will be very happy with it, lot of option, rotate screen, new (come in 2014) and much more.
But if you already shoot with Entry level DSLR cameras, and you want to upgrade, so Here i can suggest you to buy Nikon D7000.
From the question, i think you are a beginner photographer, so please buy Nikon D5300 or Nikon D3300 (if you don't need the rotate screen), buy also a lens because it is very crucial, so get a standard one 18-55mm, or a prime one as 35mm, you can even buy a telephoto lens as 55-200mm and try wildlife,landscape and sport photography, buy also accessories as tripod ... see our Nikon D3300 accessories article (you found it in the right).
i mean enjoy doing photography, it is all about good lenses + lovely and easy to use DSLR body + and practice, that's it.
good luck and feel free to ask any more questions

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27 November, 2015 23:10 delete

Hi Amit, please see the last table in this article that compare all the best 10 dslr camera for beginner photographers, so you can see that Nikon D5300 have small size, more features and a better performance, so take it easy, D5300 is the upgrade of Nikon D5200 so it is better than it in lot of things.
if it worth $? Sure it is.
So only your budget can help you in choosing the best one for you (mean your budget), Take in count some dslr accessories as lenses (at less 18-55mm, camera bag, memory card ...).
good luck

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Anonymous
16 December, 2015 12:07 delete

Confused to buy between Canon700D and Nikon D3300.. Which to go for?

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16 December, 2015 15:36 delete

:p Hi it is not easy to tell, but i will try to help you a little, so both cameras are cool x-) dslr bodies, and what ever you pick, you will be happy (y).
1- Brand name can play a big role in help someone to make a decision, so if you Love Canon camera, go with Canon, while if you Love Nikon cameras go with Nikon, or ask a friend or someone close to you that do DSLR photography which brand name he prefer and he own, as that he can teach you how to use the dslr Body, or you can also buy from him some old photography equipment as Bag or ...
2- If you want do Video with that DSLR, pick Canon 700D because it have an articulated screen, that will help a lot in making videos (fixed screen in D3300 in not a good option for video).
3- Simple, easy to use, latest feature, small body, go with Nikon D3300.
Good luck

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18 December, 2015 23:15 delete

hi i m thinking to go for 3200 .i just want to shoot good quality videos for youtube channel.i m college student and i cant affort more.i m beginer too will i be able to shoot good quality of videos of short plays and public interviews...

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Anonymous
22 December, 2015 18:17 delete

How do these camera's compare to the Olympus camera's.
I know it is not exactly apples to apples but the salesman is steering me away from Nikon and towards the Olympus e-m5 mkII

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23 December, 2015 00:32 delete

Hello, thanks for your comment (y), So doing video with a DSLR camera known as HDSLR, and it is depend on how long you will Record videos and your budget of course; SO let me give you a "Successful HDSLR recipe":
-Record Video for less than 30 min.
-Nikon D3200 Body (close to $250)
-Buying a Prime lens Nikon 35mm (Close to $190)
-Buying a Tripod (close to $40)
-Buying a Big memory card 64gb (close to $35).
-Good light (Free).
Total $-): $515.00
I think it is a bad idea Brother :-), and here is my suggestion to you:
If you want to do JUST Video, Please Buy an Camcorder it cost less than $350 and You will get an FUll HD videos, you will be satisfy because the camcorder designed to capture videos, while DSLR camera designed to take photos, and Video option is just secondary and for marketing purpose.
good luck

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23 December, 2015 00:38 delete

Hi, I am not a Big Fan of Olympus Cameras, people that like classic look and Options love this Cameras, so maybe the salesman can make big benefits if he sell an Olympus camera, anyway If you are a Beginner to DSLR Photography, Please Go with Nikon D3100, D3200, D3300 (depend of your budgets) this are beginner friendly DSLR cameras, and i am sure that you will be very satisfy, because they are easy to use, easy to learn with photography, provide cool image quality, and have a low price, what else you want ?
Good luck (o)

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16 September, 2016 19:40 delete

Beno which DSLR camera will be perfect for photographing only at certain occasions for example family re-unions, festive occasions, etc

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17 September, 2016 17:16 delete

Hi, That Should Be Nikon D3300, simple, easy to use, plus great image quality and HD video, get a18-55mm or 35mm lens, they are both great for occasions photography.

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