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What is a DSLR body only camera

Have you ever come across the term “DSLR body only” and wondered what it entails?

Allow me to explain this concept and its implications for photographers who are considering purchasing a DSLR camera without a bundled lens.

What is DSLR?

DSLRs, or digital single-lens reflex cameras, use a mirror, prism, and one lens to capture an image. They are popular among photographers due to their many features.

These cameras have a larger body than other digitals, allowing for more features and accessories. Interchangeable lenses, manual focus control, and powerful light metering are all DSLR features.

High-resolution sensors, flexible storage, autofocus, adjustable shutter speeds, LCD display screens, white balance adjustment, effects modes, and versatile auto exposure modes make DSLRs great for photography. Even amateurs can take amazing pictures with them!

Benefits of DSLR

A DSLR camera boasts amazing image quality. It has a high-definition sensor and great optics for capturing vibrant and highly detailed shots. Whether it’s outdoors or indoors, the photos you take with a DSLR camera will be stunning.

Another advantage of this camera is its versatility. Unlike point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs come with lots of features like interchangeable lenses, manual controls, advanced metering systems, and video recording. With these features, you can customize your shots to perfection.

Lastly, DSLRs are portable and convenient. Most models are lightweight, so they won’t weigh you down when you’re out and about taking pictures. This makes them much better than heavier studio cameras or full-frame mirrorless cameras.

What is a DSLR Body Only Camera?

Do you fancy buying a DSLR camera? Ever heard of DSLR body only ones? It’s a DSLR camera that does not come with a lens. A more affordable, stripped-down version of a regular DSLR camera, with all the features.

Let’s discuss what it is and its features, plus the advantages.

Advantages of a DSLR Body Only Camera

Purchasing a DSLR body only camera might be a bold decision, but it comes with several advantages that make it an attractive choice for many photographers. Let’s delve into some of the key benefits that a DSLR body only camera can offer.

Customization: One of the most significant advantages of buying a DSLR body only camera is the freedom to choose lenses that suit your specific photography needs and preferences. Instead of being limited to a kit lens, you can invest in high-quality lenses tailored to your shooting style, whether it’s portraiture, landscape, macro, or any other photography genre.

Potential cost savings: If you already own compatible lenses or plan to buy them second-hand, a DSLR body only camera can be a cost-effective choice. By focusing on the camera body and acquiring lenses separately, you can save money and allocate your budget where it matters most.

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Upgradability: When you invest in a DSLR body only camera, you have the flexibility to upgrade lenses as your skills and needs evolve. This allows you to make incremental improvements to your photography gear without the need to replace the entire camera and lens bundle.

Higher quality lenses: Kit lenses that come bundled with cameras are often considered entry-level and may not offer the best performance. By opting for a DSLR body only, you can invest in lenses with the better build quality, sharpness, and features. This can significantly improve your image quality and expand your creative possibilities.

Compatibility with multiple lenses: A DSLR body only camera allows you to mix and match lenses from various brands and focal lengths, providing a versatile setup. You can use adapters to mount different types of lenses on your camera, further expanding your options and enabling you to experiment with unique combinations.

Improved resale value: If you decide to sell your camera gear in the future, having a DSLR body only and separate lenses can yield a better resale value. Buyers often prefer to purchase lenses and camera bodies individually, allowing them to select specific components that match their needs.

Learning experience: Choosing lenses for your DSLR body only camera provides a valuable learning opportunity. As you research and compare various lenses, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of focal lengths, aperture, and other essential aspects of photography. This knowledge can help you become a more skilled and versatile photographer.

Personalized camera setup: A DSLR body only camera enables you to create a personalized setup that caters to your unique photography requirements. This can lead to greater satisfaction with your gear and a stronger connection to your equipment, as it reflects your individual preferences and shooting style.

Expertise development: Building your camera setup from scratch with a DSLR body only encourages you to become more proficient in using your gear. As you learn the ins and outs of each lens and its capabilities, you’ll develop expertise that can elevate your photography to new heights.

In summary, a DSLR body only camera offers numerous advantages, ranging from customization and upgradability to cost savings and a personalized setup.

While it may come with some challenges, opting for a DSLR body only camera can be a rewarding choice for photographers who want to tailor their equipment to their specific needs and preferences.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a DSLR body only camera or a camera bundle depends on your individual requirements, budget, and long-term goals in photography.

Disadvantages of a DSLR Body Only Camera

As a photography enthusiast, you may have considered the option of purchasing a DSLR body only camera. While this choice has its advantages, such as the freedom to choose specific lenses and potentially saving money, it also comes with some disadvantages worth considering. Let’s discuss some of these drawbacks in greater detail.

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Overwhelming choices: When you buy a DSLR body only, you’ll need to select lenses separately. With the vast range of lenses available on the market, this can be a daunting task, particularly for beginners. The sheer number of options can make it challenging to decide which lens will best suit your photography needs and style.

Compatibility issues: When purchasing lenses separately, you need to ensure they are compatible with your camera body. This requires a thorough understanding of lens mounts, sensor sizes, and other technical specifications. Incompatible lenses can lead to poor image quality or may not fit your camera body at all.

Additional research and time: Choosing lenses for your DSLR body only camera can be a time-consuming process. It requires a good deal of research and comparison to find the ideal lens that fits your budget and meets your photography requirements. This can be a significant disadvantage for those with limited time or who are eager to start shooting right away.

Missing out on kit lens benefits: While kit lenses often get a bad reputation for being lower in quality, they can still provide a solid starting point for beginners. By purchasing a DSLR body only, you might miss out on the benefits of having a versatile, all-purpose lens to learn and experiment with. Kit lenses also tend to be more affordable when bundled with the camera body, offering some cost savings for those just starting in photography.

Extra expenses: Although a DSLR body only can initially seem less expensive, the costs can add up when you start buying lenses separately. High-quality lenses can be quite pricey, and depending on your photography goals, you might end up needing multiple lenses. This can potentially make the overall investment in your camera gear more expensive than if you had opted for a bundle.

No warranty for the lenses: When you purchase a camera bundle, the lenses typically come with a warranty. However, if you buy lenses separately, especially from third-party sellers, you might not receive a warranty. This can be a significant disadvantage if you encounter any issues with your lenses down the line.

Learning curve: With a DSLR body only, you’ll need to learn about the different types of lenses and their specific uses. This can be a steep learning curve for beginners who might feel overwhelmed by technical jargon and concepts. It’s essential to invest time and effort into understanding lenses to make the most out of your DSLR body only camera.

In summary, while a DSLR body only camera offers customization and flexibility, it also comes with several disadvantages that you should consider before making a decision.

Weighing the pros and cons can help you determine if a DSLR body only camera is the right choice for your photography journey or if opting for a camera bundle might be more suitable for your needs.

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What do you need to get started?

With a DSLR, you can shoot in different lighting and scenarios. Plus, you can switch out lenses for various shots.

What else do you need to start?


Owning a DSLR camera is great for tailoring it to fit your shooting needs. Lens selection is important. There are many lens types for specific photography.

A wide-angle lens is good for sweeping landscapes, and interior and architectural photography. It gives images a dynamic feel with exaggerated perspectives. It works under extreme lighting.

A zoom lens covers many focal lengths without changing lenses. This helps when trying to not miss shots or distract the subject.

Prime lenses are great when sharpness and clarity matter. This includes fashion and beauty portraiture and product/tabletop photography. Prime lenses have outstanding image quality at wider apertures.

This also includes night landscape/cityscape, sports, and creative flower/macro compositions. This can help isolate unwanted background distractions from the main subject.

There’s more technical detail about choosing lenses for a DSLR camera!

Camera Bag

A DSLR camera needs a camera bag to unlock its potential and protect it. It makes carrying the gear easier and shields it from bumps, scratches, and more. There are many designs to choose from, so you can find something that fits your style.

The bag should have enough room for the body and one or two lenses and be waterproof in case of rain or humidity. Adjustable compartments are great for fitting extra lenses and accessories.

Memory Card

A Memory Card is essential if you want to get the best out of your DSLR camera. It stores photos and gives you extra storage if you need it in the future. The size of the memory card depends on what type of photos you’re taking and how many you plan to save. As a rule, 16GB or higher is recommended depending on your needs.

Types of Memory Cards:

SD Cards – Smallest and cheapest. Great for small devices and point-and-shoot cameras. Slower speeds when transferring images than CF cards or XQDs, but still a great choice for a DSLR camera setup.

CF Cards – Compact Flash cards are popular for DSLRs due to their durability and use across Point-and-Shoot and Professional cameras. They can handle wear & tear, making them suitable for amateur photographers. High-speed cards like CFast & XQD are available too.

XQD – The latest addition to memory cards. They offer faster read & write speeds than CFast, great for shooting videos or rapid shots in burst mode. They can also withstand high humidity, making them durable.

Conclusion: The Implications of Choosing a DSLR Body Only

To sum up, a DSLR body only camera provides flexibility and customization opportunities for photographers who prefer to select lenses independently.

By understanding the advantages and potential drawbacks of this choice, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a DSLR camera, tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

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