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Cameras

Choosing a digital SLR for beginners explained in video

Fancy upgrading your photography skills and your camera too? Take a look at our video guide to picking out the perfect entry-level dSLR.

Now Playing: Watch this: Best dSLRs for beginners
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Are you bored of your mediocre holiday snaps and Instagrammed food portraits? Wondering whether you might be capable of more? Perhaps the time has come to invest in a proper, serious digital SLR camera that will finally let you make use of the creative juices you've been storing up all these years.

The good news is that these glamorous hunks of tech are more affordable, more sophisticated and easier to use than ever, so if you've been dithering for a while, now is a great time to take the plunge.

"Oh, but how to choose!" we hear you cry. Worry not, shrill reader, for Rich in all his techy wisdom has put together a guide to advise you on how to pick out the perfect snapper. Just hit play on the video above and prepared to be schooled in the art of camera shopping.

Thankfully those thoughtful folk over in the camera design laboratories know that just like making the jump to big school, upgrading to a dSLR from a point-and-shoot can be a scary time in any keen young shutterbug's life. Most entry-level dSLRs now come packed with in-built guides and tutorials that will be the training wheels you need to see you shoot your way securely through this photography rite of passage.

Asking yourself questions like how portable you want your camera to be, or whether you want to use it to shoot video, will quickly help you narrow down which model is right for you. Another important consideration when buying a dSLR is the ecosystem of lenses you'll be buying into. Remember that once you start collecting lenses for one camera, it's likely that you and whichever brand you're buying will be in it together for the long run.

It's also best to think early on about the lenses you'll need to best suit your particular needs. These will differ depending on the kind of photos you want to take and the situation you'll be shooting them in.

When you're crouched in the long grass, for example, craftily disguised in your bush jacket and pith helmet, you'll need a great zoom lens if you want to capture the lions' feeding time at a distance safe enough to guarantee you won't be on the menu yourself. Plus, you're going to look a little silly if you've got all those flappy, oversized pockets and no camera gubbins to fill them with.

If you want to take it a step further and fancy yourself as an amateur Attenborough, you'll need a lens that focuses and zooms silently so as not to scare off the antelope and drown out the cackles of the hyenas with whirring mechanisms as you document your adventures for BBC One YouTube. You may also want an external mic input to record your profound and breathy observations as you pan dramatically across the savannah.

Once you've had a gander at the video above and gained a better understanding of how to choose a camera appropriate for you, head over to our roundup of the best entry-level dSLRs available at the moment to pick out your dream snapper.

If you've got any more questions about buying an entry-level dSLR, develop your thoughts in the comments below or focus in on our perfectly exposed Facebook page.