Hobby versus Career

So long as you have the drive and the passion to capture great images, there is hope and possibility when it comes to affordability. Most important, is to make the correct choices first time around when buying your camera gear. Should you be attempting to enter the world of photography as a career or just as a sideline hobby, the same process is required. This will open the right doors for you to expand and develop your talents and skill in the genres to choose.

The 3 most important questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do you enjoy taking pictures of?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. Are you a gadget or technical person, or do your wish to just take a quick shot to hopefully capture that moment?

Today there is no need to sell your house to afford the gear you require.  Although we are bombarded with the latest in trends and technology, you need sound advice from someone in the industry that you can trust and that is prepared to listen to your needs. Alternatively you may consider a short workshop before making this choice.

I do not suggest you walk into the first camera shop you see, nor order from the first camera online site, this is a risk and could change your personal beliefs forever in terms of becoming a photographer. What the box reads is not always accurate and can be misleading, remember the supplier, as well as the manufacturer and the salesperson are trying to make a sale. Google provides all the information you require to make the best choice that will fit within your budget and deliver the results you want at the end of the day. Take the time to do some research and read the reviews, the ratings, the pros and the cons. A really great site that I support is www.fstoppers.com their content is accurate and informative, as well as helpful to people at all levels, from sharing brands and camera models, to tips on how to achieve those so called complicated shots with ease.

May I suggest that when you make your final decision from your shortlist, go for simple; quality, not quantity. Buy a body that feels good in your hands. Comfort and the ability to navigate through the functions is important, as this is what you are going to be doing when taking pictures. Remember that it is not body of a camera that will provide a good shot at the end of the day, it’s the lens that you are using. Choose a body that has great back up support like Canon or Nikon, and consider an intermediate model, do not buy a cheap kit, the lenses they include are of poor quality, this may sound hard, but it is the truth. You will not be disappointed with your photographs. Again, there is no need to buy the top of the range body, unless you are specific about a particular genre that requires a feature not present on an intermediate body.

As I initially mentioned, have an idea as to what you intend photographing. Not only is the camera body important in making the correct choice, but choosing the correct lens or lenses, based on your budget and needs is vital. We talk about the glass, this is the costly part, good glass is expensive, more than the cost of the camera body, but wow, it is worth it… and so rewarding.

Again, may I emphasize, spoiling yourself with that perfect lens that suits your genre rather than buying every lens that you think you may or may not need. Keep in mind “quality versus quantity” is what counts. Your lenses are what you keep forever, your body will change based on your requirements and the updates in technology that you may require. Once you have followed the suggested steps and what your budget allows, you can make a calculated choice that you will be satisfied with to take you to that next level.

The above advice goes out to all; the hobbyist and the photographer moving up the ladder to pro level.

As a Canon user, I can suggest the following with confidence based on your budget and level:

  • Canon 77D with the 18 -135mm Canon lens – perfect starter set up that is well priced and will deliver across most genres.
  • Canon 90D with either the 18 -135mm Canon lens or a pro lens – just that one step towards pro
  • Canon 5D Mark4 with either the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 70 -200mm f.2.8 – then you flying with a kit and the ability to capture quality images in most situations ( should the price be out of rage, consider secondhand, just have the gear checked out by a professional, used gear is much cheaper).

As far as camera bags, just ensure that all your camera gear is well protected and cushioned for “the knocks” and fits snug in the bag. There are many good bags out there, no need to buy the first one you see, and don’t be fooled with brand names, there is no “Gucci camera bag” out there. Rather than buy online, try find a supplier who has the bag you are interested in purchasing on hand, where you are able to experience the fit and comfort of the bag to ensure it meets with your approval, camera gear is heavy, especially when carrying it for long periods at a time.

I hope this has been helpful and will assist you in making the right choices.