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Ivona Dixon

Cameras | What do you recommend?

April 26, 2010

Filed in: Uncategorized

I’ve had a handful of friends message me about what type of camera I would recommend to start out with, so I figured I should share the info. with the internet world, in case anyone else is pondering the same decision.   =)  Now, I’m no expert…far from it, actually…so the following information and knowledge is just my take of what I’ve been exposed to and learned over the past year.

First off, do not go to Best Buy.  That’s what I did.  I made a very quick and excited decision when I went to purchase my first camera.  I was soooo excited, I just wanted it in my hands.  After actually taking the time to research and learn and speak with other photographers, I learned I should have gone online– or  Personally, I use B&H, but it’s “too-may-tow” “too-mah-tow.”

Also, keep in mind that I use Canon.  Nikon is wonderful and I know many talented photographers who love to shoot Nikon, but I was exposed to and learned about Canon first, so that’s what I went with.  I don’t know much about Nikon, but hopefully some of this info. will still help you make a good decision if you plan on buying Nikon.

So, the messages I’ve gotten have gone something like this, “Photography’s a hobby of mine and I’d like to get a nice camera.  What would you recommend?”
The latest inquiry I received was from a friend that I studied abroad with (Yay CIMBA!):
“…I’m thinking of taking on photography as a hobby, and since I know nothing about photography.. I was hoping you can help me to get started. For starter, which camera would you recommend I get? My budget is around $1000. Also, what other things do you advise that I need for my first adventure?…”

And the following was my response:
“…Cameras. To get started, the Canon Rebel is a good place to start. At B&H, it is about $500 I think? If you’d like something better, the Canon 50D is approximately $800. Now, I would suggest buying your camera body separately from the lens that you want, but only if you want to take photos of something specific.

Some things to think about: what will you be taking pictures of? I’m not sure how fluent you are with the language of lenses and cameras and all…but I’ll give you a few examples. If you want to take those incredible close up shots of insects and the pollen of a flower, you want a “macro” lens. That will be something like a 100mm lens or if you want to be able to zoom, then get the 100-400 lens. 

If you want to take photos of scenery and landscapes and mountains, then you should get a “wide-angle” lens. An example of a wide-angle lens is the 16-35mm.

Or you can get something that will have a nice range. Something like a 24-135mm lens. Often, they will sell you a camera with a “kit” lens. And this kit lens will usually be something like a 24-135.

This is something you might want to get-this is exactly what I got when I first started…it’s $200 above your budget.  -OR- you can get something like this.

I know this is a lot of info. and it may be overwhelming. Please let me know if you have any questions!…”
I know that this is so much information to someone just starting out.  But hopefully I’ve broken it up so that it’s manageable to follow and understand.  Next, I’ll blog about “aperture” or “f-stop.”  It’ll answer your question about “why is this lens only $400 when this other one is $1800?”  As a preview, and if you’re a visual learner, these two photos will help to explain what “aperture” is…Have a great week!

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