How to Choose Your First Camera

A question I’m asked a lot is “what camera should I get?”. I’m often asked by people that are looking into starting photography or a YouTube channel. The truth is, it all depends.

  1. What are you using the camera for?

    It’s important to list your main wants for your new camera. Will you be using it for snapshots, travel, vlogging, makeup tutorials, or kickstarting your dream to become a photographer?

If you are planning on vlogging, you may want to look into a camera with a flip-out screen so that you can see yourself while filming and not get caught in the blurry-face vlog situation. Most new Canon DSLRs come with the flip-out screen feature.

If you’re travelling, you may want to look into a lighter, possibly mirrorless camera. (Which are generally pricier, but worth it if travel photography is important to you.)

If your main goal is to simply get into photography, there are sooo many options. You don’t need to start with the most expensive equipment to look or be “professional”. Research your brands, and once you learn a bit more about each brand, choose one that best suits you. I personally prefer Canon equipment, and I will most likely stick with Canon throughout my career. The great thing about most of these brands is that they often have models made just for beginners/hobbyists. Start simple, and work your way up to the more expensive models. Canon has the “Rebel” series which is fantastic for learning to use manual settings on the DSLR.

2. What’s your budget?

Something that I’ve noticed is that when looking for cameras, review sites will ALWAYS be recommending the newest model of each camera. For example, my original plan was to buy the Canon 80D, but I ended up finding the Canon 60D, (two versions back), and I hadn’t seen anything about it online until I specifically looked it up after finding it on Kijiji. I ended up paying about $500 less than I would have if I had gotten the newest model. I skipped out on the touch screen and wifi connection, but that wasn’t necessary for me.

Another example: Rather than get the Canon Rebel T6i, check out the Canon T3i (last version before touch screen was introduced), or T4i if you’re looking for the touch screen features. If you’ve got lots of money to spare, go ahead with the brand new one… but I think a lot of us are looking for the best deals!

Question: How do I approach photographers about their camera without offending them?

Tip #1. Please never tell a photographer that their camera is amazing. It’s slightly insulting… because a camera has no impact on the hard work and talent that goes into a great photo. I know you may not be trying to offend them, but it makes their hard work feel under-appreciated and undervalued.

Tip #2. Here’s a great way to approach them in a non-demeaning way:

Rather than: “I was looking at your photos and your camera is amazing. What is it? I want the same one.” (Implying that the camera does all of the work.)

A good alternative would be: “Hey, I’m looking to get into photography and I was wondering if I could have some advice on which camera to start with. Do you have any recommendations?”

And if you want  to compliment them, compliment their work, not their camera.

The main piece of advice is this: Do your research and ask questions.

There are options out there for everyone, and there is not one “best” camera. Think of it as a matchmaking game. Write the list of features you want, and then look around until you find it.

Good luck, and feel free to reach out and ask me questions!

Thanks for reading,

Kate Giffin

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