DemystifyingDigital: New & Easy Digital SLRs

DemystifyingDigital is a new feature written by Dan Havlik, editor of

If you’ve taken ever taken pictures with a top-of-the-line point-and-shoot digital camera and compared them to what you get out of even the most basic of digital SLRs, you’ll likely want to make the upgrade to a DSLR as soon as possible. And thanks to a very competitive marketplace, nearly every major camera manufacturer is hawking an affordably-priced digital SLR these days. Here’s a rundown of our favorite easy-to-use digital SLRs out there right now. Happy photo hunting.

Nikon D40
With the style and feature set of a pro-level digital SLR but with intuitive controls that make it as easy as a point and shoot, the super compact Nikon D40 takes great pictures and is a snap to use. While it may have only 6.1 megapixels of resolution, that’s really more than enough. The D40’s new advanced help menu with “assist images” lets you see an example of the results before you take the picture.

Sony Alpha DSLR A100-H
Launched as the first consumer 10.2 megapixel DSLR under $1,000, the Alpha A100 combines Sony’s world-class electronics and sensor technology and Konica Minolta’s camera knowhow. Nice and easy features you’re sure to like include the Super SteadyShot anti-shake system, anti-dust technology, and a great kit lens with a good 18-70mm focal range.

Pentax K100D
One of the easiest digital SLRs available is the 6.1-megapixel Pentax K100D with its user-friendly mode dial and a full Auto setting as well as plenty of automatic scene modes including Kids, Pets, and Candlelight, just like a point-and-shoot. The K100D also has built-in Shake Reduction to keep you shots steady and a large, easy-to-read LCD on the back. Good news for anyone who’s owned a Pentax lens in the past — this camera is compatible with all of them.