This post is for all of you with camera gear on your wish lists to share with your significant others!
For those in the market for a new camera and lens, purchase:
-a camera body ALONE if you are interested in learning how to shoot manual (in other words, don’t purchase a bundled package with a kit lens but rather buy the camera body and lens separately).
-a camera and lens bundled package if you are looking for a nice camera but plan on using the “auto” modes.
Bundled Package Recommendations:
In my opinion, the best Camera and lens bundled package would include the 18 – 140mm lens (Nikon) or 18 – 135mm lens (Canon). It is HANDS down best kit lens that can be bundled with any of the cameras listed from the Nikon 5200/ Canon Rebel T5i and above. You can also purchase bundled packages with the 55 – 200mm lens (Nikon) or 55 – 250mm lens (Canon). The 18 – 55mm lens is not my favorite, and is often bundled with the cheaper cameras. This lens can only be purchased as part of a bundle. For example: Nikon and here’s Canon’s version.
You may be wondering what you give up in choosing a cheaper camera body:
- the ability to shoot in lower light without alot of grain
- a shutterspeed that maxes out at 4000 vs. 8000
- Frames per second (how quickly you can take shots)
- amount of pixels
- the ability to shoot manual with ease (the cheaper the camera the harder it is to navigate the menu to shoot manual)
So, if you’re interested in shooting in manual, buy your camera body and lenses separately.
IF you are purchasing the Camera Body Alone:
Here’s a listing of cameras to consider in order of price points (rough estimates) and Canon vs. Nikon:
Cropped Sensor Camera Options:
Canon-T3i ($499)-vs-Nikon-D3200 ($400)
Canon-Rebel-T5i ($649)-vs-Nikon-D5200 ($645)
Canon_EOS_7D ($750) -vs-Nikon-D7100 ($1095)
If you are considering taking your photography from a hobby to a professional business, here are some full frame options for you. We dive into this topic in depth in my workbook, but here is a brief example of the difference between full frame and cropped sensor cameras. Here are two images with the exact same camera settings and lens, standing in the exact same position – one using my Nikon D7000 (crop sensor) and the other with my D4 (full frame body). You’ll see that the full frame camera makes your lens act differently.
Full Frame Camera Options:
Canon-EOS-6D ($1750) -vs-Nikon-D600 ($1550)
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III ($2799) -vs-Nikon-D800 ($2795)
So you have purchased your camera body now it is time to purchase a lens that fits your needs:
Now that you have an idea on what camera to purchase, here are my best tips on the lenses you’ll need. I get asked all the time “if I can only afford ONE lens, what should I buy?”. I always answer: 50mm. They call it the NIFTY FIFTY – because it is a universal lens that can be used in most environments and produce beautiful portraits yet can still story tell in lowlight if you need it to.
Nikon 50 mm 1.8/ Canon 50 mm 1.8
Nikon 35 mm 1.8 / Canon 35 mm 2.0 (my story telling lens)
If you are looking for a higher end portrait lens then I suggest the:
85 mm 1.8 (can’t use indoors – but the buttery compression (blurry background) you get from this lens is ahhh- mazing.
Although prime lenses (fixed focal length) are my preferred lenses – there is one very CHEAP adjustable lens I will recommend if you are wanting to photograph sports: 55-200mm (Nikon) and the 55- 250mm (Canon) - it allows you to let more light in with a lower aperture so that you can use a higher shutterspeed for those fast paced sports.
You’ll also need a “class 10″ SD memory card - it’s a higher class faster processor.
Lightroom 5: If you are trying to learn your camera – my recommendation is to always master that first before diving into the world of editing. It should be your goal to get a perfect image straight out of camera. Ready to learn manual? Check out my Momtering Workshop Workbook (40% OFF until Midnight tonight with code BF40OFF) where we tackle this subject and will have you photographing in manual mode TODAY! Lightroom is a perfect beginners program. Its an easy to use tool that won’t overwhelm you when you are also learning to use your camera.
For your “kidtographer” my lingo for the tween up and comer photography enthusiast:
My best tips for buying a camera for your child that’s interested in photography are to:
1.) Buy used. A Nikon D40 or Canon 20d would be perfect
2.) Hand down your old camera when you upgrade to one of the cameras I list above! Or…
3.) Purchase a new dslr from a manufacturer that isn’t in the “race” (i.e. Canon and Nikon) – Sony makes a great product but hasn’t really become a frontrunner in the DSLR race so the prices are reasonable:
Sony Option One
Sony Option Two
So, after all of that – are you curious what’s in my bag? Here you go!