Updated: Jan 20
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Making a Start in Photography: Lessons first or Camera??
Getting started in any new endeavor can be daunting. I know it was for me. My biggest piece of advice is making that first step. After that (to me) it always seemed a little bit easier
But where to start? This is a bit of a which comes first the “chicken or the egg” situation. Obviously without a camera you can’t take pictures, but without the knowledge you will struggle to get the most out of your camera.
Of course, you can google and watch a ton of YouTube videos, but the reality is that you need a camera to put what you just saw in to practice. Without it you just cannot progress.
So, my advice is to go ahead and buy your equipment first. That way you can practice while you are learning.
Now this is where things can seem to get very complicated. “What do I buy?”. I can't tell you what to buy but can guide you toward what worked best for me.
There are many factors to consider when deciding what camera equipment to buy, and the specific equipment that is right for you will depend on your needs and budget. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:
1. Type of camera: There are several types of cameras available, including DSLR (digital single-lens reflex), mirrorless, and point-and-shoot. Each type has its own pros and cons, and the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and goals.
2. Lens: The lens is an important factor to consider when choosing camera equipment. Different lenses are designed for different purposes, such as wide-angle, telephoto, and macro. Consider what type of photography you will be doing and choose a lens that is appropriate for your needs.
3. Accessories: There are a wide range of accessories available that can enhance your photography experience. Some popular options include tripods, camera bags, extra batteries, and memory cards.
4. Budget: Lastly, consider your budget when choosing camera equipment. There are options available at a wide range of price points, so it is important to determine what you are willing to spend before making a purchase.
It is also a good idea to do some research and read reviews before deciding. This will help you to get a sense of the pros and cons of different equipment and make an informed choice. There are a lot of good reviews on YouTube. I will post a few below.
Mirrorless Digital cameras are the preferred option for many, and there are many different options at various price points. If I were starting now, I would definitely lean towards a Mirrorless camera. Alternatively, there are some amazing deals available on used DSLR cameras. (Links Below).
If you are starting out and on a limited budget look for a brand such as Canon, Sony, Nikon. They all offer entry level cameras with a “Kit Lens”. For example, Canon’s EOS R10 comes with several options for different kit lenses. Once you have chosen a brand you will probably stick with it. Mostly because you will start to acquire different lens that are specific to that manufacturer and can be used on future camera bodies.
Look for a lens with a good focal range to start with. For example, Canon’s RF18-150 Kit lens is both high quality and reasonably priced. Having a good focal range is important as with a lens like this you can both take wide angle shots (18mm) and also zoom to 150mm. Later, you can acquire a range of different lens to cover the different focal lengths.
Another good starter lens is the “Nifty 50” or a basic 50mm “prime” lens. Most brands sell very reasonably priced but high quality 50mm lens. Why 50mm? Well it’s the closest lens to what your eye actually sees. Also as a “prime” lens (fixed focal length), it is very sharp. A fixed focal length will help you to improve your composition, as you have to move to get your subject in frame, rather than just zooming in.
At the end of the day it is personal choice and the budget you have. Having more expensive equipment doesn't mean you can or will take better photos. Stay within your budget and learn to use what you get.
You can learn on any camera that has the ability to be used in a Manual setting and has interchangeable lenses.. Choose a brand that you are comfortable with. Maybe one your friends use. At the end of the day, the brand is not important.
When you have your camera and lens it is time to start learning and getting used to your equipment.
My next post will cover more about the best ways to learn.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to me. I am always happy to help.
Thanks for reading - Get Creative
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Inspiration (I hope)
My photographic journey is ongoing and I am learning everyday. Here is an image I captured on a recent visit to San Francisco
*I fund some of my traveling through sales of my work. You can check it out here