A little while ago I received a question from one of my blog readers who asked about equipment recommendations for beginners. This was their question:
WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA/EQUIPMENT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A TRUE BEGINNER TO START WITH? I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK INTO POSSIBLY RENTING SOME EQUIPMENT TO SEE HOW IT WORKS OUT FOR ME BEFORE I PURCHASE. THANK YOU!
I will start my answer by saying that I would not recommend renting your first camera, and my reasoning is this:
Photography is a craft that takes time, patience and practice. It would take weeks before you are going to feel comfortable with any camera, no matter which one you end up choosing. What many people do not understand (including me in my early days) is that it is not the camera that creates the photo, it’s the photographer. The camera is nothing but a tool; the real magic is created by knowledge and skill. If you are a true beginner, renting a camera for a limited period of time will not give you the right indication of the camera’s abilities because you will not know how to use it. Renting equipment is something I only recommend in a later stage, when you are trying to test a new lens/camera before upgrading your current gear.
If you just started dabbling with photography, it can get pretty overwhelming looking at gear. Some cameras and lenses cost thousands of dollars, and since you are in the beginning of your journey, you have no idea which one will best suit your needs!
I have good news. The gear you need to get in order to start does not have to cost you thousands of dollars. There are some great cameras out there that are super affordable and have everything you need to get the ball rolling. I started my business with a $500 Canon Rebel. I learned everything I know about camera settings and light with that camera. The photos I took with my sweet Rebel allowed me to get my calendar fully booked, and within one month into my business I made enough money to upgrade my entry level gear into the camera I use today. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my loyal $500 Canon Rebel.
So, what camera do I recommend for a beginner photographer? I’d recommend investing in an entry level DSLR. DSLR cameras have abilities that you will not find in the regular “point and shoot” cameras. Unlike point and shoot, DSLR’s give you the option to shoot in “manual mode” which allows you to make all the decisions. Manual mode gives you the ability to control the situation and not let the camera control it for you. You also have the ability to switch the camera lenses which will give you the ability to control different aspects of your images (but this is not necessary to start).
Canon has fantastic entry level DSLRs. My favorite one is definitely the Canon Rebel T8i! It is an upgraded version of the camera I started with (Rebel T5i) and the price difference is minimal. This camera is affordable but has the ability to produce quality images. It will allow you to learn all the in-n-outs of manual mode, play with light, and figure out your photography style, which is exactly what you need in this stage of your journey!
The Canon Rebel T8i comes with a kit lens. These kit lenses are not my favorite, but if your budget is tight you can definitely start with it. If you do have some wiggle room, I would pair this camera with a 35mm lens 1.4 instead of the kit lens. Because of the camera’s crop sensor, the 35mm lens is more like a 50mm lens, which is my favorite portrait lens!
Now that we figured out exactly what gear you need to start your journey into photography, I cannot wait to see where you will take this!! Click on this link and join my exclusive education Facebook group for more free training and support! Can’t wait to see you there!!
January 13, 2021
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