I have receive a lot of emails and messages the last few weeks about advice on cameras to buy for Christmas. Below I have broken down cameras to buy depending on 1) the reason you want one 2) your willingness to learn the ropes. And don’t worry, this is a pretty straight forward post with no fancy pantsy photographer language. While these cameras are all wonderful in their own way…the real task is teaching yourself how to use them. The best advice I can give to is…watch Youtube videos, read your manual, and then apply what you know throughout the day…testing different lighting situations and different angles and over time you will get the hang of it. I would love to claim that this blog post will be educational and answer allllll your photography questions. But it won’t…instead it will be my preferences and opinions and what works for me! The key behind the purchase is to LEARN how to use your equipment. Many would suggest to “start small and work your way up”…I did that…but it was because I had little to no guidance on what exactly I should buy. And I KNEW that I wanted to use my camera to take product photography, portrait photography and also to populate good images on my website. Now, you may not be looking for that…and if not…then continue reading because I have some suggestions for those of you who just want something better than your Iphone and if you are someone who has a small business and can see that you need to step it up in the photo category of promotion…and you want and are willing to learn photography then don’t let option #3 scare you. If I can teach myself how to use my camera from reading the manual and watching Youtube videos….so can you. I would have saved a lot of money had I just went big right off the bat. It depends mostly on what you want to use the camera for.
I am a Canon girl. So…I will be promoting Canon throughout this blog post. So sorry Nikon users. And while there are many many many cameras to pick from…I am showing you my favorites.
1) “I am a beginner and just want to take photos with something other than my cell phone.”
In my opinion…cell phones, especially the Iphone have great capabilities when it comes to photo taking…if you REALLY want an actual camera vs using your phone (which in this case and in my opinion…really doesn’t make much of a difference) I would go with the Canon PowerShot SX260 or any of the other PowerShot cameras would be fine.
2) “I want to take decent photos of my kids and family milestones.”
Any of the Canon Rebels will work for this. The one below however is the Canon Rebel T3i I could get in to the nitty gritty details of the different kits and such…but it would just get confusing. So lets keep it simple. The Canon Rebel T3i for example takes good photos and you can swap out and get different lenses as you grow and learn more about your camera. You can put the camera in Manual or Automatic. (manual means you play around with aperture settings and shutter settings/lighting and Automatic means the camera does the thinking for you). It also takes video! Which is a fun feature.
3) “I want to take REALLY good photos for my blog or business…or I want to be a photographer.”
If you want a good camera to use to take photos for a blog, website or perhaps of products I would strongly suggest you invest a little bit here. The reason being is the investment is worth it in the long run. Especially when it comes to taking good photos. Now don’t get me wrong. You could easily take some great photos with the Rebel series cameras in option number 2 above…however, at some point as you grow your photography skills you’ll notice the difference. I would opt for a Canon 5d to start or the Canon 5d mkii. And the best lens you can get to go with it would be either the 50mm 1.4 or 1.2. The 50mm 1.4 will be less expensive….and still offer some great results. Don’t be afraid of these cameras…yes, it will come with a learning curve…and no you won’t be able to take amazing, wonderful and crazy good photos right out the gate…but with a few months practice it will all be worth it.
And even if your camera comes with a lens (look for details on whether it is – body only or not) but whether it comes with a lens or not…I strongly suggest you get the Canon 50mm 1.4. This lens gives that great blurry background to images and also works AMAZINGLY in low light situations.
There you have it! Simple and to the point. Stay tuned for tips on how to use your camera to take photos at home or for your blog. I use a Canon 5d mark ii with a Canon 50mm 1.2 lens (but the 1.4 is comparable).