blue bush

What kind of camera should I start with?

This post is dedicated to Emily for asking me almost the very same question I asked my friends when I started.

I think first it’s best to ask your self a few questions to help figure out what you need.

Ask yourself two things

  1. Do you want to ever use any manual settings
  2. What do you want to shoot

If yes to manual settings, yay! This part makes me happy. If I could go back and do it all over again I would buy a used prosumer body. This is a camera body with a little LCD screen on the top right of the camera that reads out your settings and has dedicated shutter and aperture dials.

Camera Body

What model number and brand? That really comes down to personal preference and what feels right in your hands. Canon and Nikon and now Sony all have good camera bodies. I’d look into a used old DSLR for a few hundred dollars to learn on Nikon D7200 /z5 series, Canon 60D / 70D /r6 or a Sony A6400 / a7III. A used prosumer body can be found with plenty of life left in it for around 500


For a lens I would not bother with the kit lens. Nope. Not at all. This is where the answer to question number 2 comes in. If you said only landscapes and never in any dark, then maybe the kit lens would be ok. But it’s still a Jack of all trades and master of none kind of lens.

I was advised to start with a 50mm lens. They said it would force me to learn to compose my shots. I didn’t question, I just got a 50mm. I believe it was one of the best pieces of advice I got! I have many more lenses now but I still shoot with my 50mm. There are many photographers with a portfolio solidly built with a 50mm lens! The very first image in this blog post was taken with a Nikon 50mm AF-S f/1.8 lens that costs under 200.00


  • Used prosumer body
  • 50mm lens

Go out and Shoot

Finally, just go out and shoot. Shoot a lot. Do not be discouraged, your work will not be great at first. That’s ok. I heard somewhere that your first 10,000 photos just aren’t that good. Just remember, every photographer shot a bunch of not that great of stuff when they started too. 🙂

You may also like This post on How to photograph sparklers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *