This is probably the question I get asked the most from friends just starting out, so I thought I would make a post about it. As always, this is a bitesized bit of info, not a super-technical, drawn out comparison graph because A. aint nobody got time for that, and B. there are a bajillion youtube videos of guys in glasses explaining the technicalities of camera functionality. Thank god for them, but this isn’t that type of post.
Today, we are talking about what camera I started on, and why I recommend it.
Okay, when referring to cameras, I’m speaking of DSLR’s, which are the heavy black ones you have to put a lens on, NOT the kind that come in purple and fit in your pocket. (Although if we’re talking about first cameras, disposables were my jam until CoolPix came out and then that totally accompanied me to the club and I have the embarrassing MySpace page to prove it. Somewhere. Is MySpace still around?)
My first DSLR was a Canon Rebel T2i. The numbers have gone up since then to incite newer models, but the Canon Rebels are a great starter camera. They’re often referred to as a “prosumer” camera because they sit somewhere in the middle of being for consumers and pros. I recommend it to everyone whether starting a photography side hustle or just wanting to take better photos of their kids.
Canon Rebels are inexpensive in terms of DSLRs and you can get them everywhere; Best Buy, Target, to name a few. You can get one for around $500 give or take what it comes with and what model you want. They always come with a kit lens which is great for someone who just wants to play around and learn (more on Kit lenses here) and when you’re ready to upgrade you can get better lenses for pretty cheap, like the one I always recommend as a first upgrade, the 50mm 1.8 which is about $100.
The Canon Rebel also has a pop-up flash which is handy for newbies who don’t have the cash yet to throw around on external speed lights. Although if you’ve been here awhile you know I always recommend natural light, it’s still nice to have the option of a flash if need be.
So, in a wrap up:
- First camera recommendation: Canon Rebel Series
- First upgraded lens recommendation: Canon 50mm 1.8
And remember, start shooting on Manual Mode! You’ll be so glad you did because bad habits *cough* AUTO MODE *cough* are harder to break after you become comfortable in them. Here is a post on understanding and shooting in manual mode.
As always, let me know if you have questions! Happy shooting!