Entry-level DSLRs and more recently mirrorless cameras are where budding photographers who want to turn pro can learn the ropes. Here's a round-up of all the cameras for the absolute beginner and users looking to pick up their first camera with manual controls.
The D3000-series is where things begin with all things DSLR in Nikon's stables. The camera features a 24 MP sensor and comes with a guide mode that teaches users how the camera works. It also shoots full-HD video and an 11-point autofocus (AF) system. The ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6,400.
Nikon has four kit lens options for the D3200: the 18-140mm VR, the 18-105mm VR, the 18-55mm VR II and the 18-55mm VR II plus the 55-200 VR II. They cost Rs. 41,950, Rs. 39,950, Rs. 28,950 and Rs. 37,950, respectively.
Canon's entry-level DSLR and the cheapest one they sell in India, the 1300D was launched earlier this year. This camera features an 18MP sensor and a nine-point AF. Much like the Nikon D3200, the ISO sensitivity ranges between ISO 100 and 6,400, but unlike the Nikon, the 1300D has NFC and Wi-Fi support built in. The Canon 1300D is also certainly better priced and costs Rs. 29,995 with the 18-55mm lens and Rs 38,995 when picked up with the 18-55mm and 55-250mm double-zoom kit.
A true speed demon, Sony α58 is a DSLR-like camera that uses proprietary technology to remove the mirror that bounced light up to the viewfinder. Instead, the camera uses a translucent mirror that splits the light and sends most to the 20MP APS-C sensor and some to an AF sensor. It features a 15-point AF system and while cameras of Nikon and Canon, mentioned above, shoot at 4 and 3 fps, the Sony α58 shoots at up to 8fps. Much like the Canon 1300D, Sony offers two lens kit options with the α58 — an 18-55mm lens option priced at Rs. 33,990 and a double-zoom kit priced at Rs. 40,990, which includes an 18-55mm lens and a 55-200mm lens.
Another offering from Sony, the α5100 embraces the next best alternate to a DSLR, the mirrorless format. Sleek and compact, the α5100 features a Nikon-D3200-rivalling 24 MP sensor and a hybrid-type AF that boasts of 179 points. Capable of firing away at up to 6fps, Sony α5100 features NFC and Wi-Fi, giving the Canon 1300D a run for its money too. However, when it comes to how much it costs, the Sony α5100 is a bit of a let-down as it costs Rs. 45,990 when bundled with the 16-55mm Power Zoom lens.
Straight from Fujifilm's X-series of mirrorless cameras, the entry-level X-A1 features a 16MP sensor, which may not seem like much, but more than makes up for it with its ISO sensitivity, which goes up to ISO 25,600. Much like the Sony α5100, the X-A1 also features a tilting screen. The Fujifilm X-A1 shoots at up to 5.6 fps. It's also the only entry-level camera to feature two command dials to adjust exposure, and features interesting filters that emulate the effects of some of Fujifilm's most iconic 35mm films. It shoots full-HD movies and has a 49-point AF system as well. Bundled with the 16-50mm, Fujifilm X-A1 costs. Rs 44, 999.