Best Photography Gear For Beginners
When it comes to photography equipment, it is a downfall for every professional photographer. We have a constant wanting to buy new lenses, extra filters, tripods, and other camera accessories we may feel the need to get our hands on. The more gear we acquire, the emptier our pockets become. But it doesn’t need to be this way.
When you are just starting out as a photographer, the huge choice of photography gear can seem a little daunting. Simply choosing what brand of camera to buy can be a major task for a beginner photographer.
Well, both Canon and Nikon have great choices. And then there is Sony, Pentax and so on and on… Don’t panic. That’s exactly why we created this article.
In this photography gear guide, we will try to answer some of the major questions you may have about where to begin when starting out as a fresh, new photographer. We will list some options that are an excellent starting point when buying your first photography gear.
Best DSLR camera for beginners
Upgrading from your phone camera to a DSLR is quite a milestone for anyone starting out in photography. With this step comes a multitude of decisions that will have to be made. And the first big one is what is the best DSLR for beginners.
Every major camera brand offers superb options when it comes to DSLR cameras. Competitive sensors, prices, and overall price to quality ratio makes the whole process of choosing your first DSLR camera that much more complex.
When I was choosing my first camera, I went to the shop and picked up a whole bunch of different makes and models. Both Sony and Canon felt alien in my hands, but once I picked up Nikon, it fit like a glove.
Since you are going to commit to one brand long term, I think it is very important that it feels comfortable to use. Afterall, when you get yourself some extra lenses and realize you spent some 2000 $ on them, you will not want to switch the camera body for a different brand that easily.
Once you determine what brand you want to look at, I suggest you work out your budget. DSLR body is the first thing on your purchase list, but after that comes lenses, memory cards, remote controls, filters… The list is pretty much endless when it comes to photography gear. But for now let’s only focus on the essentials.
Our top choices for the price range of 400$-500$
For first time buyers with slightly lower budgets I would not recommend spending more than 400 or 500 dollars on your first camera body. There is plenty of choice within this budget and you can get yourself a great entry level DSLR.
- Nikon d3400
For those who prefer Nikon, the d3400 model fits right into the frame. With APS-C CMOS 24.2 MPsensor, 921,000 dots 3.0-inch screen, and 1080p video capture it offers plenty of punch for the price tag. The camera is easy to use and would allow you to learn the basics of photography.
- Canon EOS Rebel T5i
Canon EOS Rebel T5i comes in at around 450$ and is a great competitor for D3400. Although slightly dated it is still a great camera for beginners. Intuitive button controls and 3-inch articulating touchscreen makes nice and easy to use for photographers of any skill level.
Our top choices for the price range of of 800$ and up
Of course, as with anything else, the more you pay the more you get out of your camera. If you have more budget to start of with, then I suggest going a model or two up and getting a slightly better yet more expensive DLSR.
- Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Canon EOS Rebel T7i is a much newer update in Rebel series. With 45 point focus system and an improved ISO control. This camera is definitely worth the extra buck if you have money to spare.
- Nikon D5600
At around 800$ Nikon D5600 comes just a bit cheaper than the Canon rival. Performance wise they are hard to set apart. D5600 has 39 point focus system, but it does the job well and accompanied with vari-angle touchscreen, it makes up in tricky to angles.
Overall, the choice is really big when it comes to entry level DSLR cameras, that’s why we listed only our favorites. You can also get a nice bundle deal for them on Amazon where they come with a standard 18-55mm lens.
Lenses will forever be at the top of your shopping list. There will always be space for improvement or an extra lens. When it comes to spending your money on lenses, you can wave goodbye to your kids’ college fund…
Jokes aside, have a look at our lenses for beginners guide to get an understanding of how they work and why it is important to have at least one good lens in your kit when you are starting out.
For an absolute beginner, I would say stick with the 18-55 kit lens that comes with your camera. This way you save yourself a few hundred dollars and can upgrade according to your needs later on when you have saved up some extra cash.
Another good addition at a later date would be something in the ballpark of 70-200mm. This would give you that extra zoom you were missing, and let you experiment with a whole variety of different styles.
Tripods are often the most undervalued item for many beginners. Everyone thinks they have a steady hand, and who wants to lug around that extra piece of gear? In truth, I rarely leave my house with a camera and no tripod – and that’s how it should be.
You will spend a lot of time shooting at speeds lower than 1/60s, and to get a pin sharp focus with no motion blur, you will need a tripod.
The least you can do is grab one of the funny looking GorillaPod tripods. These are lightweight and will adapt to many shooting situations. Also, at 60$ it will be hard to beat when it comes to value.
If you are looking for something more reliable – and much taller – MeFoto does excellent and lightweight tripods.
MeFoto Roadtrip is lightweight and will support a camera with lens up to 8kg – that is pretty good for the price. 180$ is a bit steep for a beginner, but these tripods come with 5 year warranty, and you will end up sticking with it long after you have upgraded your camera.
Once you are done with the essentials there is a whole bunch of camera accessories that you can splash out on. That’s, of course, if you have not run out of money yet. Here’s a few accessories that would make your life a little easier:
When choosing a good camera bag, think about comfort. If you will do a lot of walking, a backpack might be the answer. If you will be mainly shooting around the city, we would suggest getting a shoulder bag. This way, you can quickly access your camera on the go.
Luckily, the days where you needed a thousand different color filters are over. Now, all you really need is a good quality polarizer and some neutral density filters. Once you add these to your kit list, you will be set on the way to becoming an expert photographer.
Final bit of advice
As you can see, there is no need to spend thousands of dollars on your first camera and the kit that accompanies it. 600$ will get you a camera and a trusty tripod to start you off. Then, you can keep adding to your camera gear list as you progress.
Because as any professional photographer will tell you – once you find the love for photography, you will never stop buying new gear.