It can be hard knowing where to begin. Especially when it comes to photography equipment, there is no right answer—decisions have to be made based on preference, personal requirements, and budget. And despite the fact that a camera kit can easily cost you upwards of $10,000, if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to spend much more than $500.
I always tell people that the camera matters less than the lens, and the lens matters less than your technique. Your equipment is only as good as you are, which is why coughing up $2k for a new camera is entirely unnecessary. You only need that $2k camera when you’re ready for it.
There are a lot of factors to take into account when choosing the right camera body. Size, quality, and affordability are important elements for amateur photographers.
There are excellent options available in both the DSLR and mirrorless categories (click here more info on the differences), and for approximately the same price. In the long run, however, remember that mirrorless cameras and lenses will cost slightly more.
If you intend to expand your kit with a couple extra lenses (and at a reasonable price), the best DSLRcamera for amateurs is the Canon Rebel EOS SL1 (100D in Europe). If size and technology are your major concern, and you only intend to use one lens, the Sony A6000 is a killer choice.
Not all lenses are created equal, and knowing what to use, and more importantly, when, is critical. The standard lens that comes with your camera body will be a great start, but if you want to level-up your photography game, get a prime lens, telephoto lens, or wide angle lens.
A prime lens is a fixed focal length lens, which means there’s no zoom. Your photos will be noticeably more crisp, and a 50mm prime lens provides the most accurate representation of real life, with minimal distortion. These types of lenses are perfect for portraits and street photography.
A telephoto lens is a zoom lens, so if you need close up shots for a safari, this is the way to go. If you want to photograph landscapes, a wide angle lens will be your best friend.
A camera kit is nothing without a way to carry it all. I prefer backpacks, but some people prefer shoulder bags or totes. The Pacsafe Camsafe® line of bags are an ideal choice for almost any type of photographer.
The Pacsafe Camsafe® V17 or V25 are the perfect choice for someone like me—a travel photographer who needs a rugged bag to support his lifestyle. The Z14 and Z16 provide a unique design concept for more urban photographers, and the rest of the Camsafe® line is made up of slings and totes of various sizes if you don’t want to carry a whole backpack.
Ultimately, picking the right camera essentials comes down to preference. But whatever you decide on, just don’t forget the saying—the best camera is the one you have with you.
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adrenaline junkie, culture vulture and eater of dumplings. He has been traveling for many years, flying around the world, jumping off bridges and climbing volcanoes. You can check out his adventures on Travel Freak now!
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