What Camera Should I Buy? – DSLR vs EVIL vs Prosumer

What Camera Should I Buy? – DSLR vs EVIL vs Prosumer

The most common question I have been hearing of beginner photographers is what camera should I buy. You, a beginner photographer, should learn how to choose the best camera that suits you. There are so many different cameras available in the market. When newbie is going to choose a camera, there will be too much information and you are getting overwhelmed quickly. I want you to understand that the most expensive model is not always the best for you. “What camera should I buy?” is not a stupid question. Many people just put their cameras aside after they have used a few times only. Most of these cases happen because those people are choosing the camera that is not suitable for them. Therefore, I write this post for you to have a better concept of how to choose a camera that you need, but not just buying the most expensive one. Before coming to the steps of choosing camera, I would like to introduce some of the key issues to choose the camera.

DSLR or EVIL or Prosumer

If you are reading this, I am pretty sure that you really want to learn something about photography. Therefore, I won’t go into detail of some point-and-shoot camera which I usually call “fool-proof camera”.

DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera

DSLR cameras provide the greatest quality of images, flexibility of control, fastest response, etc. However, it is also the heaviest and most bulky type of camera. Many newbies found out that they are interested in photography and buy a DSLR camera. Quickly they found that they don’t want to go photo taking because of the heavy and bulky equipments. Then passion and skill will be gone due to lack of practice. Therefore, I recommend you to invest in a DSLR only if you are already sure that‟s what you require.

EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder and Interchangeable Lens) Camera

In comparison to a DSLR, EVIL cameras (or mirrorless camera) are very similar to it except there is no optical viewfinder. By negating the optical viewfinder, the weight of the camera is greatly reduced because the prism is very heavy. On the other hand, because of the lack of a optical viewfinder, EVIL cameras are less responsive than DSLR. Manufacturers also cut down various features in exchange for a lighter camera body. EVIL cameras are relatively new products on the market; there are less lenses available to choose from, where a DSLR can use older lenses (including lenses for film-based SLR cameras). The good news is that the image quality of EVIL is almost the same as DSLR. Some EVIL cameras are already equipped with a full-frame sensor, which provides the best quality image.(Add Sony new FF mirrorless image)


A prosumer grade digital camera (also known as “prosumer”) has no interchangeable lens. Normally it contains a built-in zoom. Some of them are even with fixed focal length. The term “Prosumer” means the camera is a “cross” between consumer grade and professional grade. The image quality of a prosumer is not comparable to the interchangeable lens family of cameras. Some people regard a prosumer as an “advanced point-and-shoot”.

So, What Camera Should I Buy?

Most people ask “What camera should I but” because they don’t know what they really want. To answer this question, the most important point is “How far do you want to go in to photography?”. If you are just starting out and getting some passion in photography field, I’d suggest that you get an entry level DSLR. However, if you are finding a better camera for your next trip, then you may consider to get a high power zoom Prosumer grade or a mirrorless. No matter which camera you are going to buy, you can also follow the simple steps below.

Steps to Choose a Camera

  1. Set your budget

    This is very important. As you know, camera and lens can be very expensive. For example, the combination of Nikon D4 + 24-70mm f2.8 + 70-200mm f2.8 cost you more than USD10,000. Also, it can be affordable as a Canon 650D + 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 + 55-200 f4.5-5.6 cost you less than USD1000. Therefore, setting your budget helps you to select the best equipment that you can afford.

  2. Choose your type of camera

    Do you want to go into the DSLR family or mirrorless? Or you just want to try out photography and do not want to invest an interchangeable lens camera? No matter what you choose, it is up to you. I have created a dedicated post on the best entry level DSLR which you can compare the differences between different brand top model entry level DSLR.

  3. Choose the brand

    Different brands will lead to a little bit different user experience. Nikon cameras give brighter and sharper colour. The lighting system is also the best among all the camera brand. Nikon is chosen by most of commercial job and landscape photographers. Canon provides softer colour tone which is more preferable for portrait. Most wedding and fashion photographers like Canon. Sony provides the best in the EVIL camera market. The NEX series give highest quality to images. Many people want a light camera will choose Sony NEX. Leica is another name of luxury. All of the Leica lenses are handmade and have the highest quality in optical. Leica also is a status symbol. However, you will be scared away by their price.

  4. Choose the lens (if you are going to buy a inter-changeable lens camera)

    Focal length range from 18mm to 200mm will be far more than enough for a beginner photographer. I have been using 24-70mm and 70-200mm for most of the jobs. Actually I use 24-70mm the most. I only use 70-200mm to snap some close up head shot or I want to create a nice bokeh background.
    Prime lens is another good choice if you treat photography seriously. Prime lens make you move around more to get the composition in the same perspective rather than just zoom in and out to make subject bigger or smaller. In personal work, I like to use prime lenses as they give me a better image quality because of less optical component.