Choosing the right model of camera to go for isn’t easy as there are lots of options available. Ideally you want something that keeps things simple and doesn’t intimidate at the outset, but that gives you everything that you’ll need further down the line when you know a bit more about photography.
Canon EOS 100D/Canon EOS Rebel SL1
Billed as the World’s smallest SLR when it was announced, the Canon 100D is significantly smaller than Canon other APS-C format SLRs. Nevertheless, it has a chunky grip and a mode dial to allow quick exposure mode selection with the enthusiasts favorite options (aperture priority, shutter priority and manual) finding a place alongside fully automatic and scene mode options for less experienced users. Plus, the 100D has the advantage of touchscreen technology so you have choice of using physical controls or tapping the screen to navigate and select the options.
The Nikon D3300 is an entry-level digital SLR camera boasting a 24.2 megapixel DX format APS-C sensor with no anti-aliasing filter and the latest EXPEED 4 processor. The D3300 also features 5fps continuous shooting, a 3 inch 921k-dot LCD monitor, one-touch full 1080p HD video recording with autofocus, quick-access Live View mode, ISO range of 100-25600, 11-point autofocus system with a cross-type sensor in the center for greater accuracy, 13 special effects, easy panorama mode, and an interactive Guide Mode. The Nikon D3300 is a rather small DSLR camera, although it does come with an even chunkier right-hand grip than the D3200, with a more pronounced lip at the top. The new ‘i’ button on the back of the camera makes it possible to bypass the main menu in order to quickly change key settings. The new optic now feels better-balanced on the Nikon D3300 and it fits into place with a reassuring mechanical click. It also adds the very important advantage of Vibration Reduction.
Canon EOS 700D/ EOS Rebel T5i
The 700D/T5i sits at the top of Canon’s consumer range, just below the Canon EOS 60D which gets ‘enthusiast-level’ billing. While it may not have the pixel-count of the D3300 or the tiny size of the 100D (though it is by no means huge), the 700D has a vari-angle touch-sensitive screen. This is a real bonus when composing images from awkward angles as it can be articulated to point where it is visible and the AF point can be set with a tap of the screen. And of course, it’s capable of producing superb images with plenty of detail, good exposure and rich colors.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1
If you want a small camera with a decent sized sensor that accepts interchangeable lenses then take a look at the Panasonic GM1. It’s about the same size as many compact cameras but it has a superb Four Thirds sensor so it can accept any of the now extensive range of MFT lenses from Olympus and Panasonic. Even though it’s small the GM1 doesn’t skimp on features and it has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in to allow remote control of the camera via a smartphone or tablet as well as wireless image transfer. On the back of this metal-bodied beauty is a 3-inch one-million-dot touchscreen, which enables quick settings adjustments. That doesn’t mean that there are no buttons and dials, however. As well as the usual shutter release, navigation pad, menu button, playback button and movie record button, there’s a mode dial for setting the exposure mode and a dial for switching between focus modes.