One of the questions I get asked most often about photography is in regards to equipment. Specifically, people want to know what kind of camera they should purchase first — especially around this time of year!! Personally, I’m not quite sure I can think of a better gift than a new camera for the one you love! ;) Haha!
While I’m a firm believer in the value of the person behind the lens, there is something to be said for having decent equipment, too. However, if purchasing a camera is something you’ve looked into, you already know how stressful all the options can be. Not only do you have different brands to choose from, but within the specific brands there are a million different cameras, lenses, and accessories to consider. Eek!!
So, after receiving this question a few times in the last months, I decided it would make a good blog post. :)
Camera Body: Canon Rebel Series
First up is the obvious: a quality digital SLR camera that shoots in manual! There are so many great brands out there, and you are more than welcome to research your different options, but I will always recommend Canon first and foremost. Mainly because that’s what I shoot with. :) :) Any of the cameras in their entry level series (the Canon Rebel Series) are perfect for beginning photography. They are affordable and user-friendly, and, most importantly, they will allow you to shoot in manual! I’ve heard great things about the Rebel T6 (and it’s on sale!!), but they recently launched the newest version: the Rebel T7i! You could also consider the Nikon equivalent, the D3400.
Camera Lens: Canon 50mm 1.4 or 1.8
Almost more important than your camera body is your camera lens! The 50mm (AKA “nifty fifty”) is my go-to; it’s the most versatile prime lens and will allow you to shoot in many more lighting condition than the “kit lens” that often comes with your camera. The Canon 50mm 1.8 is very affordable (only $125!!!!), but the Canon 50mm 1.4 is potentially worth the upgrade if you can swing it!
Memory Cards: Sandisk SD Cards
Another big one: you’ll need to purchase a memory card or two to put your images on! I use Sandisk SD and CF cards; however, Lexar is a good brand, too. I recommend checking out the 32GB Class 10 Sandisk cards with a write speed of at least 90mb/s.
Camera Bag: Kelly Moore or Insert
This one isn’t technically a “NEED”…but after all, that’s why this is called a gift guide! :) More than likely, you’ll want something other than the stereotypical starter camera bag when you’re out and about. Kelly Moore bags are GORGEOUS…but a little pricey. I’m obsessed with THIS ONE here! A backpack AND shoulder strap?! Yes, please!! A more affordable option is via Jo Totes — I love this cute one! You could also just buy an insert to put into a purse you already own!
External Hard Drive: Western Digital or Seagate
Another great gift idea would be an external hard drive to safely store your images! When I first started out, I kept allllll my photos on my laptop. Oy!! That slowed my computer down big time — and it’s just not safe, either! These two brands are affordable drives that get the job done! This one by Western Digital is a great option!
Editing Program: Lightroom (with Adobe Creative Cloud)
Last but definitely not least, it’s 100% worth the investment to upgrade your editing system to something other than the “Photo” app on your computer. :) For $10/month, you can gain access to a professional editing program that is really user-friendly, too! Lightroom is what I use, and it’s the best option out there for photographers in my opinion!
Education & A Learning Community, too! :)
I definitely couldn’t let this post go by without making a quick plug for my Intro to Photography workshop this January! After all, like I said at the very beginning…having a fancy camera means nothing if the photographer don’t actually know how to USE it. Get in touch with me via the information page to purchase a seat for yourself (or a friend!)!!
***Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I would love if you decided to use them!! I only recommend things I really truly love!
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