Often when we make large purchases (DSLRs, Computers, Phones) or things that we are going to be using every day we want to test them out to see if they are right for us. Being in the market for a new DSLR I went up to my local Bestbuy to check out the two cameras that I was torn between, the Nikon D7000 and the Canon 60D. If you know anything about the DSLR world your camera + lens choice is most likely the one you will stick with for the rest of your life. Lenses can be VERY expensive and switching from one brand to the other could really upset your bank account. Here are a few tips of what I did to decide which one was best for me.
Go try it out!
You will never know which camera you want unless you play with it in your hands. Plain specs are not nearly as important as how you feel using the camera.
Look at your bank account, now back at the camera you're holding, now back at your bank account. Sadly your bank account did not magically gain $1,000+ but that's okay!
A Camera body is important but if you ask any photographer, it's all about the glass. The difference between a couple hundred dollar kit lens and a $1,000 telephoto is very noticeable and you will see it the moment you use it.
Take your test home (The Fun Step)
When you go to the store to check out the camera I recommend that you bring a SD card to save some shots on. Bring a different empty card for each camera you want to try. Ask the sales clerk if you can pop it in to save a few shots and then snap away! Mess with the settings, see how it performs, compare it to the other stills you took. Which one looks better? Which one did you have more fun shooting with? Photos, Video, try it all! I recommend you pickup a class 10 card before you do this, I learned that my Class 4 wasn't nearly fast enough to store video on without lag.
Assuming you've already read tons of reviews and are not just impulsivly buying a DSLR I'll help you break down the thoughts running through your head.
Take a look at the DSLR you've got your viewfinder set on and answer these questions.
Does it feel right? (Could you use the camera for several hours without any issues?)
Does it fit your photo and video needs? (1080p or 720p? 12mp or 24mp?)
Are you giving yourself room to grow? (If you're new to the field and have a general understanding of cameras you'll grow quickly.)
Do you have the money for it? (Don't trick yourself, do you have the $ or not? If not, don't use a credit card, go earn it somehow.)
Have you decided on a lens? (35mm or 50mm is going to be a great lens for you.)
Does it match your type of shooting? (If you plan to shoot sports you're gonna need a fast Camera + Lens, if you're shooting landscape photography you don't need quick continuous burts.)
Don't get the Kit lens if you can avoid it.
If you can answer those you're ready to buy. I wish you the best of luck!