One of the most frequently asked questions I get is which camera is best for beginner photographer? With digital cameras being so widespread, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of options, but there are a few suggestions I have to make the journey less daunting. My tips are:
1. Start taking pictures with what you already have.
Fancy camera does not guarantee good photos, just like buying the most expensive paint brush does not guarantee a Da Vince waiting. My favorite camera is of course the iPhone (Check out these lenses specially for mobile photography). Make your photos best you can with your phone camera, and truly try to understand why you want to take pictures and what outcome you want to produce (take good pictures is too broad). Figure out what you want to photograph first, people, landscape, your pet, or your latte art (my all time favorite photo subject), and then do some research.
2. Do some research.
When I started I emailed a portrait photographer that really got me curious about doing people photography. He told me what camera he uses and what lenses he has. That was very nice of him! Find photos that inspire you first and research what tools are needed to produce the results in that photo. Make a list of what cameras keep coming up on different online articles and then try them out.
3. Try gear first, then purchase.
I was one of those people who bought a fancy camera first, realized I didn’t like it, and still have it collecting dust somewhere. There are rental website like https://www.borrowlenses.com and local photos stores that will let you try out equipment. Do that before you make big purchases, and also look into getting equipment from eBay or Craigslist. Most of my photos on my website yuliyam.com are from my Craigslist purchase of Canon 5D mark 1 for $1200. That’s a third of what the new models were selling at that time. Used gear is great when you’re starting out, because it will help you figure out whether or not you’re committed to doing photography seriously. By that time you’ll be reading photography blogs and catching enough info to point you to the right camera for you!
Last weekend, my friend commented to me, when is it that you’re finally going to buy a Nikon? I laughed, but in all seriousness, it can be true that I haven’t found my camera yet, but for the moment I do pretty good with the one I have ;). If you have questions or comments, reply in the comments below!