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Photography with smartphones is all well and good, but if you really understand photography and want to improve your skills, it’s worth investing in a standalone camera. Digital single-lens reflex cameras, or DSLRs, are still some of the best cameras to use to get the basics down, so pick one up at midday for great prices.

While image resolution is the first thing most people look for when buying a camera, that shouldn’t necessarily be the primary consideration, according to Devadasan KP, photo editor at Gulf News, who has 24 years of photojournalism experience. He said: “The number of megapixels (MP) is relatively unimportant when buying a DSLR. In theory, the number of megapixels in an image file determines the size it can print in ‘photo’ quality.” So even a 6 megapixel camera can produce excellent prints if the image is captured, exposed and processed correctly.

But there are some other key factors to consider when purchasing your first DSLR. The first is the sensor size. Devadasan said, “The bigger the sensor, the more light it can capture. The more information that goes to the camera’s image processor, the greater the tonal range in the resulting image – and the better the image quality.”

Next, take a look at the lens on offer. Devadasan advised, “Consider the maximum aperture, or how wide the lens opens. From simple photography, we know that the wider the aperture, the more light is let in, meaning you can capture more pictures in low-light situations. Most entry-level DSLRs are sold with at least one mid-range zoom lens, but more and more are being sold with two lenses.”

If you’re more interested in motion photography and videography and would rather buy an action camera instead, other factors come into play. Devadasan said, “The best cameras for sports photography are the ones built for speed, pure and simple. A fast, accurate AF (autofocus) system and features like IBIS (in-body image stabilization) help when shooting sports.” And since the best action cameras need to be able to capture lots of frames in quick succession, it’s important to look for one with a fast frame rate like 60 or 120 frames per second (fps).

We have a number of options as of midday that show many of the features above. Make your choice below and start your photographic journey with a brand new camera:

1. Overall Winner: Canon EOS 250D

Canon EOS250D
Photo credit: noon

advantages

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Excellent Live View autofocus response
  • 4K video capability
  • Touchscreen controls are well implemented
  • Integrated WiFi and Bluetooth

Disadvantages

  • Videos subjected to cropping in 4K
  • Expensive

The Canon 250D is touted as the world’s lightest moving-screen DSLR camera, and that’s an apt description. Compact yet solid and durable, the 250D is an excellent choice for beginners who can benefit from its simple point-and-shoot functionality, guided user interface and “Creative Assist” mode for photographic effects. When you’re ready to switch to manual techniques, you can easily do so by switching to manual controls. The camera’s 24.1 megapixel sensor and the latest DIGIC 8 processor ensure fantastic image quality, advanced Live View autofocus and 4K video. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth give you the ability to easily transfer images wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet. All of these features come at a price, but it’s worth it if you want a reliable, feature-packed camera to accompany you on your photography foray.

Warranty: This product comes with a one year warranty.

Bonus: Buy at 0% rates starting at Dh169 from selected banks.

2. Best Budget DSLR: Canon EOS 4000D

Canon EOS4000D

Canon EOS4000D
Photo credit: noon

advantages

  • Good battery life
  • Easy to use controls
  • Full HD video recording capabilities
  • Built-in WiFi

Disadvantages

  • Small showcase
  • Resolution could be better

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, entry-level DSLR camera, Canon’s EOS 4000D will meet your needs. Its sensor is 19 times larger than that of a typical smartphone and has built-in Wi-Fi, so you can share your images and videos on social networks directly from the device. Specs are admittedly basic – you won’t see any frills or standout features here. But it’s lightweight and comes with a variety of preset shooting modes (e.g. you can use Food mode the next time you’re at a restaurant to snap a photo of your plate). There are also many post-shoot effects and filters you can apply. Last but not least, the image quality is excellent – photos come alive and exposures hit just the right balance between highlights and shadows. At an affordable price, it’s definitely a decent entry-level budget camera.

Warranty: This product comes with a one year warranty.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments starting from Dh100 at selected banks.

3. Best Action Camera: GoPro Hero 11 Black

GoPro Hero 11

GoPro Hero 11
Photo credit: noon

advantages

  • Great battery life
  • The high sensor offers new cropping possibilities
  • Ability to get high-resolution images from videos
  • Fun shooting modes

Disadvantages

  • Editing of 5.3K videos is not possible on older smartphones

GoPro is the go-to choice for action cameras, and their Hero 11 remains a top choice no matter what type of adventure you want to capture. Well ahead of the innovation curve, this model is packed with user-friendly features, including a new sensor format that lets you record vertical videos for social platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels. Its larger sensor, called HyperView, gives you the ability to shoot from a wider angle than before – an amazing way to enhance underwater or mountaintop photography. Another great feature of the Hero 11 is that you can extract 24.7MP stills from video – so you don’t miss a thing. And if you want to have fun, use new software modes like “Light Painting” or “Car Light Trails” to add a dash of creativity to videos. There’s no doubt that the Hero 11 is the best action camera you can buy right now, so grab it while it’s on sale at noon!

Warranty: This product comes with a one-month warranty.

Bonus: Buy at 0% rates starting from Dh148 at selected banks.

4. Best value action camera: GoPro Hero 10 Black

GoPro Hero 10 Black

GoPro Hero 10 Black
Photo credit: noon

advantages

  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Brilliant video resolution
  • Includes both front and rear displays
  • Waterproof even without an additional case
  • Wi-Fi and USB transfer function

Disadvantages

  • The battery can discharge quickly
  • May heat up during long-form shooting

If you’re looking for an all-around camera but don’t necessarily want to spend on bells and whistles you don’t use, consider GoPro’s Hero 10, which is a model down from the Hero 11 above but just as impressive. The camera uses the new GP2 processor, which you’ll also find in the Hero 11, so it can handle fast transfers, has great image stabilization and improved low-light performance. The lens cover has a hydrophobic coating and the camera itself is waterproof to 33 feet. The camera offers smooth, stable video by recording up to 5.3K at 60 frames per second (fps), and it can capture large 23-megapixel images and even offers an HDR (high dynamic range) mode for stills. Despite being last year’s model, the Hero 10 rivals any newly released action camera and brings a host of great features to the table.

Warranty: This product comes with a one-month warranty.

Bonus: Buy at 0% rates starting at Dh117 from selected banks.

5. Best Camera Drone: DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro
Photo credit: noon

advantages

  • Compact, light
  • Impressive low-light images
  • Efficient in avoiding obstacles
  • Includes automated flight modes

Disadvantages

  • Some angles (back, top) are not covered by obstacle avoidance technology
  • Expensive

Literally take your photography to new heights with DJI’s latest camera drone, the Mini 3 Pro. While such cameras offer a whole new perspective on photography, Devadasan advised getting one only after familiarizing yourself with UAE regulations. He said: “There are restrictions on the use of drone cameras in the UAE. In some areas we need permits and a license.” However, if you want to buy one, there is currently nothing better than DJI Mini 3 Pro. In its compact body, this tiny but mighty camera packs an incredibly useful feature: a three-directional obstacle avoidance system. So it’s ideal for beginners who don’t have to worry about their drone getting tangled in branches. The Mini 3 Pro can be rotated 90 degrees to capture both still images and videos in landscape or portrait orientation – handy if you want to share them on social media platforms like TikTok. With a flight time of up to 34 minutes, the ability to record videos in 4K and fantastic image quality thanks to a 12.1 megapixel sensor (capable of recording up to 48 MP), it’s a powerhouse on wings.

Warranty: This product comes with a one year warranty.

Bonus: Buy at 0% rates starting from Dh148 at selected banks.

Our recommendations are independently selected by Gulf News editors. If you decide to make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission from noon.

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