Which starter DSLR camera should I buy?

Shropshire based Catherine Evans Photography has been sharing its years of experience by running photography courses for beginners.

Yes, I have been a professional photographer for nearly 15 years now. My speciality areas are weddings, newborn, and family and lifestyle photography in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Wales.

I am passionate about creating the most timeless images I can. And during lockdown, I decided to start running photography courses, to show you how to start taking your own!

A number of attendees have asked for my recommendation on which starter DSLR they should look to get. 

There are a lot of options on the market and what you get will depend hugely on your budget. 

A good place to start, which caters for a range of budgets and abilities, is Wex.

My personal favourite brand is Canon. But you may prefer the other leading camera brand, Nikon or the mirrorless Sony cameras.  But at the moment   Canon is the the winning brand for me.

So, depending on your budget, you could buy used from an independent camera store, where you know the camera has been serviced and is under some form of warranty, or you could buy new. 

Buying second-hand

Personally, I wouldn’t buy a used camera from an individual on eBay as you just can’t guarantee wear and tear etc.  Instead, go to a well-known company such Wex photographic as mentioned above.

My suggestion would be the Canon EOS 600d or 650D which is approximately £350 for the camera body only. 

This is an 18 mega pixel camera which would allow you to print large, poster-size prints – or crop images without losing any of the detail necessary for printing. 

The camera sensor is outstanding in low light and produces images with incredibly low noise. 

If you do decide to buy second-hand it’s worth checking whether the camera comes with a battery, battery charger and USB connector.

This camera usually comes with an 18-55mm kit lens which allows you to zoom in and out of a subject. 

If you are aiming largely to take photos of children and people, I would recommend a portrait lens such as the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens, which is around £80 new from any good online camera store.

Buying a new DSLR

The second option is to purchase a new DSLR which will come with a warranty. I would recommend the Canon EOS 600d or 700d.

It has the same 18 megapixels CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch vari-Angle Clear View LCD screen, and again full HD video.   

The 600d camera with the kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II a zoom lens which moves in and out), PLUS the 50mm 1.8 lens (an excellent starter portrait lens), memory card and camera cleaning kit, retails at £449.99 and is on special offer at Argos right now. This is a great deal so happy Christmas!

I hope this has been useful and I hope you’ll consider joining me on my upcoming 4-week beginner’s photography course which starts on Wednesday 5th January 2022 – and it would also make a fantastic Christmas present for someone!

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