I have recently started learning DSLR photography and have really been enjoying learning a new skill! Recently I took a beginner photography course. If you are local check out Nate and Nicole Photography they offer amazing classes! I have also been taking classes on Skillshare as well which I would highly recommend.
Beginner Photography Gear
This post is for beginner photographers like myself on the gear I have been using with the hope that it may help you in your photography journey! Prior to purchasing my camera I did a lot of research. I read blog posts on pinterest and utilized the site Digital Photography Review to compare cameras. I think the most important thing to consider prior to purchasing a camera is to determine what your goals are for photography. This will help you narrow down the models that may work best for you. For me, my priorities were travel photography and taking photos for my small business and blog. Knowing my priorities helped me to search articles about travel and product photography.
I immediately narrowed my search to Canon as I had heard they were more user-friendly. I had also used Canon point and shoots for years, so I was familiar with the the user-interface. Once I took the beginner photography course it was evident that the Nikon menus were much more complicated then Canon. There were particular functions that we needed to find and it would take twice the time to find them on a Nikon versus a Canon. Though I am sure there are pros to the Nikon for me I wanted a more user centric experience.
I ended up purchasing the Canon Rebel SL1 with the 18-55mm kit lens. SL stands for super light which was important as it was a priority for me to take this camera with me travelling, I wanted it to be light. Based on my research I had narrowed my search to the Canon Rebel SL1 and the Canon Rebel T5i. There are a few minor differences between the two, however, the size and weight difference was important to me so I went with the SL1.
I know there is a huge debate out there on body only versus kit lens. When I purchased my camera (on amazon) the body only was more expensive then the camera with the kit lens. So that to me was a no brainer. I have had my camera since November and so far I am thrilled with it. It has been easy to use and learn on and it takes beautiful photos.
The first lens I purchased was the Canon 50mm F1.8 Lens. The one I purchased is the older version. I actually bought it second hand off a local photographer that I found on Kijij. I think buying second hand gear as a newbie photographer is a great way to get started. When you are getting started it’s hard to know what you really need and what you don’t. If you buy used it is certainly a lower price point to purchase experiment. If you are buying a used lens be sure to look through it in the light looking for imperfections and dust spots. Also, be sure to try out the lens on your own camera.
The 50mm F1.8 is a prime lens meaning there is no zoom, your legs are the zoom! This can be unusual to get accustomed to but other then that this lens picks up light like a dream. Again, I had read blog posts and articles on the 50mm, or as it is known as the nifty fifty, and it is a great all around lens that gets you a lower aperture then your kit lens.
Aperture essentially means the hole inside the lens and the amount you can open and close it to let in light. A lower aperture means you can open that hole wider to let in more light. My kit lens went to F3.5 so the 50mm’s ability to get to F1.8 is a big difference. I had already purchased the 50mm before my class but they also encouraged new photographers to purchase a 50mm F1.8 or a 35mm F2.0 to get the lower aperture these lenses offered. They are great all around lenses that drink the light. This is the only additional lens I have, and for now I am enjoying learning on both my kit lens and my 50mm.
I also have this Neoprene Camera Case Sleeve rather then a camera bag. Again, travel is one of my priorities so I want to be able to safely toss my camera into my hiking backpack when I am on the go. Most people have told me that camera bags are only good for storing gear. For now as I don’t have much gear I have opted not to purchase one. But keeping the camera safe and covered was important to me so this neoprene sleeve works well.
I also have Amazon Basics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag which I have so far used once for a night shoot and thought it worked well. I will not be taking this travelling but plan to use it for product shoots to keep the camera steady and level as well as for night shoots.
For my memory cards I use the Lexar 32gb Memory Card. Finally, I do have a Lens Filter Kit which came with 3 lens filters, a lens cap strap, cleaning cloth and lens hood. So far I have only used the UV filter which is good for keeping your lens protected, however, there is some debate on whether they are necessary or not so this is something I am still experimenting with.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to know your goals and to determine what gear may work for you. What works for me, may not work for you! Some other sites that I would recommend utilizing for your research are Camera Decision and Ken Rockwell. I also did a lot of research on Pinterest, feel free to take a look at and follow my photography board to see some of the articles I read.
Do you have a DSLR? What gear do you have? What resources do you use for photography research?