Photography Basics 101My Favorite Beginner Camera

One of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten asked over the years is what’s the best DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera to start out with? (A DSLR camera is just what you would think of as a “professional” camera where you can change the lenses) Usually the question/email/text gets accompanied with letting me know that they don’t want to break the bank and don’t want something too complicated!

With the crazy growth of technology, we’re thankfully able to get our hands on a some really great options at not that high of a cost! I mean our cameras on our phones are even so advanced and professional looking! But please oh please don’t let anyone convince you they’re good enough to do a once a year family shoot on or heaven forbid your wedding! Then again if anyone out there has had a GREAT experience with someone shooting their wedding on an iPhone I would LOVE to see it! 😉

Back to the main point of this blog though… my favorite beginner dslr camera!

I can’t even pretend to have this list of all these great beginner cameras because I’m far too biased. I started out my photography journey with a Nikon (can’t even remember the model number to be honest) but once I got my first ever Canon in my hands, I never turned back!

This is a little secret that not many know, but I built my wedding photography career on the beginner tier Canon camera, the Rebel T2i. I shot over 30 weddings with that thing!! Which goes to show you people can’t complain that their equipment is what’s holding them back!

So that’s what I always recommend people!! To stay with the Canon Rebels! Now they have all this fun technology of swivel and touch screens, wifi and a lot better ISO capabilities than what I even had to work with!

The newest version is the EOS Rebel T6i, which apparently has been the biggest upgrade in quite sometime! The T5i that came out was not much different than the T4i, so they made a big jump up to the T6i after some complaints.

Another thing I always recommend, alongside of the Rebel, is to get a Canon 50 mm f/1.8! It is BY FAR the best lens for the cheapest price you will ever come across!! It allows you to lower your aperture (f-stop) so that you can let in extra light and makes the background of your photos looks extra blurry (which is basically what everyone loves about how professional photos look). If you have a little extra to spend, you can get the kit lens that comes with the body in some packages. The kit lens is usually a pretty standard lens like a 18-55mm that doesn’t have the greatest of aperture options, but it does allow you to zoom which the prime 50mm won’t let you do…. your “zoom” has to be with your feet 🙂

Sooo, if you and I were to sit down over a cup of coffee and chat about what I think you should buy to take some photos of your little ones at home, or start your small side photography business or to record all your worldwide adventures, these would be it…

  1. Canon Rebel T6i (around $650)
  2. Canon 50 mm f/1.8 (around $125)

If you’re not quite there cost wise, my suggestion would be to save up and get these instead of spending your money on something else just because you want it now! You won’t regret it!

I’m definitely not saying that there aren’t some AMAZING other options and brands of cameras, but this is just my personal favorite so it’s what I tell people. I’m someone who just wants to know the very best option instead of having to do a lot of research to come up with the conclusion on my own, so if you’re wondering what I think is the very best, this is it!

Also, if you haven’t heard, my amazing friend Bekah, with Bekah Taylor Photography, and I periodically host classes, Photography Basics 101, for beginners who just want to know how to operate their camera! She moved out to Portland last year, but we are possibly going to host some when she comes back to see family and also thinking through a possibility of an online course that could be in the works sooner than later! If you’re interested in being the first to know about any opportunity that comes along with that, then feel free to sign up at the bottom of the page here at this link and we’ll keep you in the loop!!

Feel free to comment below with any additional questions you might have!

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