Our Recommended Photography Equipment

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P.S. If you’re new to photography, and need some help understanding the differences between the types of cameras and lenses, what features are actually essential, which accessories you really need, and more, make sure to check out our very awesome, very comprehensive, Ultimate Guide to Buying a New Camera!

Cameras & Lenses

These beginner cameras are an excellent way to get into photography! With these cameras you’ll be creating exceptional images in no time.

Pros:

  • Low prices ($400-$900)
  • Kit lens is included
  • Interchangeable lens mount (able to connect to other lenses)
  • Smaller than professional cameras
  • Great image quality, able to blur out backgrounds and help your subject stand out

Cons:

  • Smaller sized sensor compared to pro cameras
  • Slower autofocus compared to pro cameras
  • Less control dials for manually adjusting exposure settings
  • Included kit lens is a low cost lens not ideal for portraits or low light situations
  • Not sealed for weather
  • Not suggested for professional use

So who are these cameras best for? We recommend them for beginners who are just starting out with photography, folks who want to take great pictures of their family, and casual photographers!


GREAT FOR
BEGINNERS

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

This is our top recommendation for a beginner camera.

Canon’s Rebel line has been a hugely popular beginner camera. The SL2 is Canon’s smallest DSLR camera. It has an 24 megapixel APS-C sized image sensor. It has a flip out touch screen. This camera also shoots incredible video. It features Canon's dual pixel autofocus which is probably the best autofocusing system for video on the market. This kit includes a new version of the 18-55mm lens optimized for shooting video that also has optical stabilization (the camera itself also has digital 5-axis image stabilization). The next lens we would recommend for this camera is the Canon 50mm f/1.8 which will be great for portraits.


GREAT FOR
BEGINNERS

Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens

How does Nikon’s D3300 compare to Canon’s SL2 Rebel? A more comparable model would actually be the D5600 (which also has a flip out screen). The D3300 is a more budget oriented camera with less features compared to the Canon SL2 (no flip out screen, no touch screen, video autofocus isn't as good as Canon). It's still going to perform well as a photo camera (and it does have a big 24MP APS-C sensor!). It’s important to point out that you’ll be happy with either camera! Both models will work equally well as beginner cameras. The D3300 has a much lower price point (about $250 cheaper for the camera + lens kit). However, if you want to dabble in video you might want to spring for the Canon SL2.  The next lens we would recommend for this camera is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 which will be great for portraits.


CANON DSLR CAMERAS

Canon EOS 5D MK IV

A durable work horse that won’t let you down. This is Canon’s premiere professional full frame DSLR. It’s pricey, but if you’re a professional wedding or portrait photographer who shoots Canon then this will likely be your camera of choice. The autofocus is fantastic and so is the low light performance.


Canon EOS 6D Mark II

One of the most affordable full frame DSLRs available. It’s not as feature packed as the 5D MK IV, but it actually offers incredibly value for the price. How does it compare to the 5D4? With the 5D4 you'll get better autofocus performance, better low light performance, 4K video, more megapixels, and a higher resolution screen. But the 6D2 costs about $1300 less than the 5D4. The 6D2 also has a flip out screen - which makes it better for video work (even though it can only shoot 1080p).  If you're a professional I would recommend the 5D4 as your main camera, but the 6D2 would make an excellent second camera. If you're a hobbyist or semi-professional then then 6D2 is probably all the camera you'll need!


Canon EOS 80D

We started out with a 10D, an earlier version of this camera, and moved through several subsequent models (20D, 30D, 40D, 70D). These cameras are fantastic and very affordable. They have the ergonomics and controls of the more expensive pro cameras but with a smaller APS-C sized sensor. The flip out touchscreen, and excellent video autofocus make this a fantastic choice as a family camera.