- Beginner Photography Kit - Camera and Lens
- Other Lenses for Your Beginner Photography Kit
- Get a Good Flash
- Where to Find It All
- Best Camera Under $500
- The Best Sony a6000 Lenses for Video
- 4 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Lens
- How to Save Money when Buying Photography Gear
- 4 Reasons Why You Need a Flash Gun
- Should I Still Buy a DSLR?
photo by RyanJLane via istock
Smartphone cameras are a great way to get started in photography, but at some point, you start figuring out that you would like to be able to do more photographically. So now you’re thinking of moving into a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera but want some ideas of how to fill out your beginner photography kit.
Your beginner photography camera kit will obviously include a camera and lens, what is the best camera for beginners? What other items should you consider?
Since you’re looking at significant investment, we’ll also talk about a great way to save money on your beginner camera and all that other stuff.
Table of Contents:
Beginner Photography Kit - Camera and Lens
The cornerstone of your beginner photography kit will be your camera and first lens. The best cameras for beginners will be full-featured cameras that are simple to use, but that allow a photographer to grow and learn. Fully automatic modes, semi-automatic, and completely manual adjustments for exposure and focus are the main points for ease of use plus being fully capable as a learning tool.
A term that you will see used often for a beginner camera kit is “entry-level.” This is a good description of these types of cameras because they are the way you get into serious photography. A beginner photography kit can consist of an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera and the common kit lens offered for that camera.
An entry-level DSLR such as the Canon EOS Rebel T6 is a good first choice. It has an 18MP APS-C format sensor and wi-fi connectivity built-in. It can take any of the Canon EOS EF mount lenses from the 1980s on with the EF-S line up being specially made for this format.
The regular kit lens for this camera is the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II zoom lens. It is a very good performer with a range from moderate wide-angle through short telephoto, though the maximum aperture is a little slow.
A good choice with a little more lens speed is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 zoom lens which has excellent sharpness and added ruggedness. Another option with a longer reach on the telephoto end of the range is the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens.
Before we start any brand wars, you can find equivalent beginner photography kits in any of the fine brands on the market.
For instance, Nikon enthusiasts could substitute the 24.2MP Nikon D3400 beginner camera with a Nikon AF-S 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 IF-ED DX zoom lens. Fans of ultra lightweight mirrorless cameras should consider a Sony Alpha a6000 24MP camera with the Sony E 18-105mm f/4.0 G OSS zoom lens.
Other Lenses for Your Beginner Photography Kit
Your first lens will be an all-around lens, good for general photography and covering from moderately wide-angle to short telephoto which also covers what is considered as normal for the format of the beginner camera and likely includes close focus or macro capability.
But soon, you will find yourself wanting more out of the lens. You either want a wider angle (zooming out), more reach (zooming in), or super close focusing for macro photography. Since your beginner photography kit is built around an interchangeable lens camera, you have a lot of fine options for these other lenses.
If you have chosen a Canon DSLR beginner camera in APS-C format, they have some nice lenses that won’t break your budget. As a wide-angle, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is so wide you’re just one small step away from fisheye, but without any distortion.
For telephoto reach, their Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III is lightweight and very affordable. The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM Macro can focus to a lifesize reproduction ratio and doubles as a great portrait lens.
Similar lenses for either a Nikon DX beginner camera are the Nikon AF-S 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G DX and Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED DX lenses. If you’re using a Sony Alpha, there are many lenses available, such as a Rokinon 12mm f.2.0 NCS prime wide-angle or a Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VCD VX lens.
Camera brand lenses and third-party manufacturers will all have numerous lenses you can use as part of your beginner photography kit. You can often find reviews of the lenses right here on PhotographyTalk.
Get a Good Flash
While your beginner camera has a built-in flash, you can upgrade easily and at low cost to an external flash that you could use for almost any situation requiring a flash. As a bonus, these lenses and flashes can follow you whenever you upgrade cameras.
For your Canon, look at the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, Nikon users should see the Nikon SB-600 Speedlight, and Sony users might like the Sony HVL-F32M flash gun. When shopping for an external flash, be sure to get one that is matched up or dedicated to your specific camera.
Where to Find It All
Finding everything for your beginner photography kit is easy. Finding it all at favorable prices will save you money.
The most favorable prices for high-quality photography gear will be found when you shop for used equipment. One of the best online resources and the place I go to first when thinking about getting cameras, lenses, and other gear is MPB.
Buying used photography gear is a great idea, MPB makes it even better. In addition to having a large stock of wanted cameras and lenses, they also offer a 6-month warranty and 7-day return window on most of what they sell.
Plus, they thoroughly inspect each and every item that comes to their online platform and list it all with detailed descriptions, ensuring you only get the best gear.
Welcome to the world of serious photography!