Choosing the right Camera for you
This can be a very difficult decision as there are so many types of cameras around.
How much do you want to spend?
The first question I always ask somebody in choosing a camera, is how much can you afford to spend? This is a very important question and you need to be very honest with yourself in answering. The more you spend the better the camera, usually. The minimum spend to get a decent camera and lens is about $600 – $800. This investment will get you the basic entry level DSLR or Mirrorless camera and at least one lens. If you can afford $1500 – $2000, you will get a whole different level of camera with a much better sensor quality, 2 lenses, or one better lens, and an increased level of functionality and performance. To get into the professional level in terms of camera and lens, you will need to spend between $4000 – $6000. At this level you will get an amazing camera body and one professional quality lens. The increase in image quality at this level is profound, and if you are considering becoming a photographer and competing in the professional market, this is the type of investment you need to make. If you are starting out, my advice is to go for the medium level camera to learn and practice, and then, if you are good at Photography, start to invest in professional equipment.
Which brand to buy?
This is a burning question that many people get wrong. Before you think about the brand or type of camera, you need to decide what you will be using the camera for. If you will be doing a lot of travelling, and don’t want ot carry a heavy DSLR and kit around, then you need to go for a Mirrorless camera. If you don’t mind the bulky kit, and are more concerned with amazing quality and creativity, then a DSLR outfit would suit you better.
Good brands are the Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or the Sony cameras. I have used many of these cameras and if size and budget is a concern I would recommend the Canon M5 or the Olympus OMD. Both start at about $800 – $1000 with one lens and you can spend up to $2000+ for a better body and more lenses.
Canon and Nikon both do a great mid level mirrorless with the Canon EOS R and the Nikon Z6 costing about $3000 each body only. Both brands can be matched to pro lenses for a fabulous image, but the lens cost can be as much as the body.
If you are into very high image quality in a travel camera, I would recommend the Sony Alpha a7 or a6400 cameras. Incredible detail full frame sensor and beautiful lenses for the a7 series, and smaller body but very high quality image for the a6400. You will need to spend from $1500 on the body and $400 – $500 on a good lens for the a6500 and a bit more for the base level a7. The image quality from these cameras will compete with a professional image, in a camera you can fit into your carry bag. If you want to get into the professional realm with Sony mirrorless you should look at the a7r mkiv body for about $5700 or the a9 ii body for about $7600. These are top level pro bodies for stills and video.
Overall the Sony is more expensive, but a better machine in terms of image quality.
If you are already proficient in Manual Mode and are looking for a top quality Mirrorless camera, then I would recommend the Fuji X series camera like the XT4 which will cost about $3000 with a standard lens. These cameras are designed for experienced shooters and will give you an incredible image quality in a small camera.
If you don’t mind a larger camera and accessories in your kit, then go for a DSLR. The 2 brands I recommend is either Nikon or Canon. Which one do you choose? They are basically the same at the various expenditure levels, so I suggest you go to a store and feel them both to see how they feel in your hand. This is important. If you are going to be using the camera and changing settings quickly, on the run, it has to feel right in your hand. I don’t have any preference for Nikon or Canon as I have used many models of both brands. Let’s look at both brands at various levels of investment.
Canon entry level. This would be the 200D, 1500D with 18 – 55mm lens for about $600. Canon’s entry cameras have all the functionality to get creative with your image. Just remember with Canon, the smaller the number, the better the camera. Their best camera is the 1D, and their most basic is the 1500D
Canon medium level would be around the 80D, 90D with 18 – 135 lens for up to $2000. Or a bit more for these cameras with the 24 -105mm f4 lens which is a great lens and well worth the extra money. Or even a little bit more to match this lens with the 6D mkii full frame sensor body for about $3500. This is a semi pro set up for great quality images.
Canon top level cameras are the 1D or the 5D mkiv. All these cameras are full frame sensors with extremely high image quality, but need to be matched to a professional lens to do them justice. The cost of these bodies only will range from about $9000 for the 1D. The 5D Mkiv body is about $4200. Lenses for these bodies will cost from $2700 each to be at the pro level with exceptional image quality and f2.8 function.
Nikon, entry level camera is something like the D3500 with 18 – 55mm lens, costing about $800. Entry level but has all the function you need to learn Photography and get creative.
Nikon medium level is the D7500, D500 which are great cameras and should cost about $1800 and $3000 respectively, with one or 2 lenses. These cameras have amazing functionality and a great sensor giving very high image quality.
Nikon top level cameras are the D5, or the D850. Both cameras are full frame sensors with extremely high quality images, but need to be matched with a professional lens which will cost from $2200 each. The cost of the bodies are about $6000 for the D5 or about $4800 for the D850.
Get the camera that best suits your budget and need for either traveling or creative shooting.
I hope this has been useful for you. Contact me for more info.