It’s often a fairly major decision choosing the right camera, especially if it’s your first DSLR. However, whilst many photographers change their camera bodies fairly frequently, they don’t need to upgrade their lenses quite so often, as good lenses should stand the test of time and continue to remain optically excellent for successive camera bodies. Therefore photographers often make a decision on one brand of camera and stick with it, so they can continue to use their compatible lenses.
There are numerous camera review sites these days and it’s worth spending the time to read them, well before you go anywhere near a store. The site imaging-resource review cameras in great detail and they really go to town on showing various image quality comparisons, both comparing results from cameras at different settings and comparing results between cameras and their competitors.
Probably the best known review site is dpreview. Again they have in-depth reviews and when new models are announced they are quick to publish previews. They also have an excellent tool for comparing image quality between cameras with their Studio Comparison Tool. Both these sites also review lenses, printers and scanners, but cameras are their main focus. Dpreview also has active forums which are worth reading too.
Snapsort is a good site to quickly compare the specifications of cameras, as shown below.
They also have a good search filtering system, so you can choose the options you are looking for in a camera and recommended cameras will appear on screen.
Whatever camera you choose it is always good to remember that you also need to invest in lenses. Kit lenses are not usually very good, and it may be better to buy the camera body without the kit lens and then buy a couple of better quality lenses. For those who prefer to buy their gear online rather than at a store, Amazon is a popular place for this, here customers write their own reviews for products which is also useful information.
For microstock photography, don’t underestimate the image quality required by the top microstock agencies. If you want your images in an online marketplace they have to get past reviewers’ inspections first. Buy quality if you can, it will save you time and effort in the long run.