A number of people have asked me about the kind of equipment I use and how much it costs, so I thought I'd share thoughts on the things I like and -- most importantly -- the pieces that got me started.
9. You don’t need fancy equipment
Between camera bodies, lenses, bags, and accessories, photography can be an expensive hobby—but it doesn't have to be. Below are tips for beginners that won’t break the bank.
- Starter Kits: Just starting out? You probably don’t need the fanciest, most expensive camera on the market. DSLR starter kits offer decent-quality cameras that let you get a feel for shooting the way professionals do without breaking the bank. My first SLR was the Canon Rebel XTi and I loved it. You can often find these kits (they usually come with a camera body, 1 or 2 lenses, bag, and battery) for less than $800. Most pros use Canon or Nikon, but you can save a bit more by choosing an off brand, like Sony or Pentax.
- Nifty Fifty Considered by amateurs and professionals alike as one of the best lenses to own, the 50mm fixed lens is a great purchase—especially because it’s cheap! A new lens from Canon or Nikon will run about $115. Buy an off brand or used lens, and you’re looking at $80 or $90.
- Used or Refurbished: If you’re in the market for a camera body or accessories (straps, bags, tripods), look at all options—including used or refurbished products. I own a refurbished Canon 60D and haven’t had a single problem with it. Buying slightly used or refurbished goods is a great way to purchase high-quality pieces without paying full price. (If you’re looking at camera bodies, be sure you’re buying from a reputable dealer like B&H or Adorama. It isn’t recommended that you purchase refurbished lenses. If you’re buying a used lens, make sure you are able to see and test the lens before putting money down).
- Holiday deals: If you can hold off making your purchase until the holidays, you’re as good as gold. A number of retailers offer steep discounts on select items during the holiday shopping season and around the new year. In addition to these holidays, don’t forget to check back-to-school, Columbus and Labor Day specials.
- Rent before you buy: If you’re considering making a large purchase, try renting the piece of equipment before you buy it. Get a feel for how it works, what it can do, and decide if its worth owning.