Updated: May 29, 2019
So, you've decided that you want to be a PHOTOGRAPHER…Congrats!!!`
You know you want to be CREATIVE, make stuff look good and, most of all, bring in some big time CASH!!!
The only thing you don’t know is, what CAMERA can help you do that???
Well, worry no more (or worry a lot) but…here are the CAMERAS I think may best suit your needs!!!
(This is small guide for those looking for a starting place)
Here are some KEY TERMS that will help:
These are terms you'll eventually have to learn, but lets get into it. When you see the term DSLR, that's a compact camera that can take pictures and shoot video. In your research, you'll also see the term MIRRORLESS. All you need to know is that it is more lightweight than a DSLR, smaller and can display more of what the final image will look like when you look through the viewfinder, compared to looking through a DSLR.
Both DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras can be FULL FRAME or CROP FRAME. Full Frame cameras allow you to see more in your frame and are better in low light situations. Crop Frame cameras usually cost less and are better when you need to get a tighter shot. Both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras allow you to use different LENSES as well. LENS COMPATIBILITY is very important when purchasing a camera. Trust me on that.
MEGAPIXELS is a term you probably have some knowledge about. This number determines the maximum resolution of your camera and how crisp you image will turn out. While that is important, a lot of other factors are needed to still get a good photograph.
The 4 major players in the camera game are CANON, FUJI, NIKON, and SONY. I've listed 2 cameras for each manufacturer; a beginner level camera and an intermediate level camera. It's on you to know your truth and decide if you are a beginner or an intermediate level PHOTOGRAPHER. With everything in this read, it really comes down to the MONEY. (Ain't it always about the MONEY!!! SMH!!!) Thats why I kept these cheap and affordable.
Beginner: Canon T6i
Summary: The Canon T6i is a favorite among entry level Canon DSLRs. It's crop frame, and has 24.2 megapixels. The quality of your photo will not be a problem, as long as you have a good lens and proper lighting. The autofocus is decent, but the better the lens you use, the faster it will focus for you. It also shoots Full HD video. The best part is it's compatible with Canon lenses. Canon is known for having the biggest variety of quality lenses; they are attainable and affordable. I have a few real estate photographs taken with this camera below.
Price: $549.99 (body only) B&H Photo
Used: >$400 (body only) Ebay
Intermediate: Canon 5d Mark ii
Summary: The ever popular 5d Mark ii kickstarted a lot of today's hot filmmakers' and photographers' careers. It is a full frame DSLR, 21.1 megapixels, built like a tank and very reliable. It can be heavy, so probably best for those with bigger hands. (And you'll definitely need a tripod for this bad boy) It produces Full HD video and, once again, the best reason to get this camera is the arsenal of lenses under the Canon line-up. Just a note, make sure you research its SD card compatibility.
Price: $699.95 (body only) B&H Photo
Used: >$500 (body only) Ebay
Beginner: Fuji X-T10
Summary: Fuji is the youngest (DSLR/mirrorless) manufacturer of the 4. Personally, Fuji has been the brand I favor the most. The X-T10 is a crop frame camera with 16.3 megapixels. It's tech features (like camera sensor and processor) allows it to produce a clean sharp image, and focus pretty fast. All the Fuji mirrorless cameras have dials on the outer body of the camera, so it saves time by not having to go into the menu of the camera. This would be helpful for those shooting a moving subject like animals or sporting events.
Price: $564.79 (body only) Amazon
Used: >$300 (body only) Ebay
Intermediate: Fuji X-T1
Summary: With all the features of the X-T10, the X-T1 is also weather-sealed (meaning you can shoot in the rain, or other harsh weather conditions). With Fujinon's high quality lenses, the X-T1 will focus pretty fast for you, and give you a beautiful image. Looking through the viewfinder on this camera is fun. You'll be surprised that the subject looks so big through a piece of glass that is so small. Also, Fuji is popular for their film simulations. Pretty much, they are filters that come with the camera, that are so good, even the pros use them.
Price: >$500 (Used, body only) Amazon
>$400 (Used, body only) Ebay
Beginner: Nikon D3200
Summary: In my opinion, if your not really interested in doing much video, Nikon is the sure winner. Nikon has a reputable interface, and really caters to a quality image. The d3200 is packed with 24.2 megapixels, and keeps images pretty sharp. It is a crop frame camera, and also shoots Full HD video. It does not have any feature that stands out more than any other camera on this list, but at it's price tag, its a steal for a yearning hobbyist.
Price: $225 (body only) Amazon
Used: $175 (body only) Ebay
Intermediate: Nikon D7200
Summary: The Nikon d7200 is a bigger body than the d3200, so thats a plus for those with bigger hands. A few other advantageous features are weather-sealing and dual SD card slots (meaning you can put 2 SD cards in at one time). It also shoots Full HD video. Nikon, kind of similar to Canon, has a wide array of lenses that you can find at more affordable prices than Fuji or Sony. Nikkor is their brand for lenses.
Price: $996.95 (body only) B&H
Used: $584 (body only) Ebay
Beginner: Sony A6000
Summary: Sony, is my second favorite brand. The con is that it has the worst options for lenses and they are too expensive. The pros? The A6000 is fast, sharp, lightweight and pretty good in low light situations. For club photographers, night shoots or event photographers who may not have external flashes or light kits, Sony is probably the way to go. It's also a crop frame camera and shoots Full HD video. With 24.2 megapixels and great autofocus, its hard to be upset with this little camera, unless of course...you have big hands.
Price: $448 (body only) B&H
Used: $323 (body only) Ebay
Intermediate: Sony A6300
Summary: This camera might be the best value on this list honestly. It has all the features of the A6000 and more. The A6300 shoots 4k UHD video, has a native ISO of 800 (meaning it's going to do well in low light situations) and focuses pretty fast (especially with SONY lenses). If you are interested in shooting video as well, you'll get the most bang for your buck with this camera. I have a few photographs taken with this camera in the gallery below.
Price: $898 (body only) B&H
Used: $660 (body only) Ebay
There are several other options for camera bodies, but I believe any one of these cameras can get your foot in the door (and eventually your entire body if you’re serious).
Before this read is over, I must mention this…the most important part of being a good photographer is knowing what you are doing and loving it even more. Do your research. Stay up to date on the latest upgrades and gear. Learn how to light. Try a variety of lenses and try all these brands at least once.
The other thing is learn from your mistakes (because you will make them). Learning is the only way to help you accomplish all your goals. The camera you choose is just the tool that best fits your needs.
Thanks! Keep creating VISUALS.FROM.THE.SOUL.