Currently I have been getting a lot of inquiries due to the holiday season about what is the best dslr camera to buy when starting out, after a lot of back and forth with many friends, family and followers I decided to create a blog post to explain in a little more detail why I believe is better to buy a camera body, and a prime lens when starting out!.
There are a lot of brands out there to chose from, nikon, canon, sony, etc… I will be sticking to canon products as that is the brand I use and love.
When deciding on the best dslr camera for you, you must take into consideration: your budget, the type of photography you have in mind and how long you are planning on keeping the gear you will be purchasing. If you are serious about photography, have the budget and want to use a camera for a couple of years, I recommend to buy a full frame dslr camera and a couple of lenses. If that is not the case, and most people start out small to make sure is something they want to continue as a hobby, profession or art expression, then you are in the right place!.
A kit or stock lens, is just that, a lens that comes with your camera as a bundle. The lenses normally are the 18-55mm f/3.5 -5.6 and 55-250mm f/4 – 5.6. This lenses are not the best, the zoom aperture is not constant, and this lenses are not fast nor work well on low lighting situations.
Here is the difference and example between f/1.8 and f/5.6 apertures. When a lens has a fixed aperture of for example f/1.8, it can make a huge difference and don’t worry, you can find a lens with an f/1.8 aperture at a decent price. When you have a lens that can go to f/1.8 you can take better images in low light situations due to how much light you can led in at f/1.8, leading to a lower a ISO meaning less grain and higher shutter speed leading to a sharper image.
The middle image shows the same settings used for the first one but with only changing the aperture to f/5.6. See how underexposed it is?, so to be able to achieve a well lit image at f/5.6. You have to increase your ISO (light sensitivity), and lower your shutter speed to achieve a well lit image. But you have to also take into consideration that if you lower your shutter speed too much you will not be able to freeze the action leading to blurry images, so an even bigger increase in ISO might be needed to get the image well lit and sharp, which can lead to a grainy image in low light situations.
You can also notice the bokeh, or blurriness of the background on the images, you can achieve a great bokeh, with an f/1.8 aperture rather than a f/5.6 aperture, you can get a bokeh effect with a 5.6 aperture but the background would need to be at a much greater distant from your subject ot achieve the same results. (I will talk about bokeh and depth of field in detailed in another blog post.).
So with that being said, you can get a good used starter canon dslr camera body and great lens for as low as $300!. New would be around $499 for the T2i with the brand new 50 f/1.8 lens. If you get the T2i bundle with the kit 18-55mm kit lens it would be $599 on Amazon. You could save up to $299 dollars, buying used and $199 new, and you will not only save on a great camera and lens but you will get a lens that you will be able to use for years, rather than a lens that you will use during the first few months of the photography learning curve.
Wishing you the best on your new photography adventure, and don’t forget to comment with your suggestions, thoughts and feedback.
Take Care ;),
Patty Schmitt is an Award Winner & Published Photographer residing in the Wayzata & Twin Cities, MN area. She specialises in fine Art Portrait & lifestyle photography.