Body Only Digital SLR — What Does It Mean?

First published on: Tuesday, 30 March 2010

When shopping for DSLR cameras on sites such as Amazon, you’ll sometimes see that the camera is available in various configurations.

A Body Only configuration means that you’re buying just the camera, without any lenses included.

As to whether it comes with the battery, charger, USB data cables and other accessories, you’ll need to check with the official manufacturer’s web page for the particular model of camera you’re interested in.

Typically, the following items come in the box:

  • Battery

  • Charger

  • Body cap (to close off the lens mount opening)

  • Software — You’ll need to check at the manufacturer site on the types of software that’s bundled the CD, and which operating system it’s compatible with.

  • Shoulder strap

  • USB data, power and AV (audio visual) cables

  • Printed instruction manual. Some manufacturers include a soft copy (typically a PDF document) of the camera manual on the CD. If this isn’t available, just do a Google search for “ Manual” (without the quotes).

  • Warranty card

Be careful not to make your purchases from unscrupulous dealers and online merchants as they’re known to remove the standard accessories, quote you an extremely cheap price for the camera, and then start charging you to add on the battery, charger and the other peripherals that were supposed to be in the box in the first place.

Memory cards are NOT included in most cases.

As mentioned earlier, a lens is not included in the Body Only option. Most DSLR manufacturers sell additional configuration which bundle the DSLR camera with one, or more kit lenses.

Here are some examples of popular (at the time of writing, Mar 30, 2010) DSLR configurations on Amazon.

  1. Canon T2i / 550D, Body Only

  2. Canon T2i / 550D with EF-S 18-55mm IS lens

  3. Nikon D90, Body Only

  4. Nikon D90 with 18-105mm VR lens

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