As a beginner, with an interest in photography, one is keen and eager to go out and buy a camera. The big shortfall and disappointment, is making an incorrect decision in the buying process. There are so many makes and models out there that it becomes overwhelming. Secondly, you are normally limited in your knowledge as to what you actually need, so any advice is welcoming. Often, this advice leads to bad choices, which result in wasted money, time, and disappointment. Hint… don’t always believe the salesmen, or the advert, in both instances, the intention is to make a sale and take your money, it is then too late.

Avoid buying a starter kit

There are many starter kits out here, and yes, the price of what you get in that kit, in comparison to other options, seems attractive. Generally, these starter kits are a complete waste of time, you are guaranteed to fail with your photography.

Be prepared for the following:

  • Bad quality pictures, frustration and problem with the ranges and composition that these lenses provide.
  • The camera body is very basic and normally poorly constructed, from the outer shell to the hardware quality. So, don’t expect this camera to last.
  • You will also struggle with the navigation, as the buttons not great to use when trying to learn the manual settings, unless you are a piano player.

The importance of buying a good lens

Understand from the start, that the secret to a good image is quality and range, based on your photography subject interest and genre of choice. The lens should be your first consideration when buying a camera. You do not need to purchase a pro lens and pay an absolute fortune to get a great quality image that you will be happy with. A lens suggestion would be an intermediate lens with decent glass that has an open range for most everyday photography like an 18mm – 135mm lens you get from Canon, if you a Canon user.

What you need on your camera to ensure professional results

Again, avoid overpaying for the kit and having the misfortune of a real junior camera. Junior camera, I am referring to the difficult and involved processes in using the manual settings, you want to be able to navigate and move around the settings with ease and confidence. Find a camera body that offers variances in your metering settings and has at least 16-point focal choices for different moods and effects. Enquire about the ISO variable range, try find a body that will provide an ISO range up to at least 12800 so as to avoid noise when shooting in deep shade. Noise cannot be edited out in post and is very frustrating.

Today, most cameras have a good LED screen, but just make sure you are happy with the quality displayed on the screen. Finally, the processor, no need to worry about the processor or speed in an intermediate camera body, they are all generally fast and decent. A recommendation, again referring to Canon would be the new 850D as a starter, or the 77D, the older model, which is also very good in all aspects. Both are reasonably prices and will not disappoint.

As a professional photographer, with many years’ experience in photography, I highly recommend at least enrolling for a short beginner’s workshop or course to get you on your way from the start. I trust this has been helpful and provide guidance to making the right choice first time round.