The Best (and most often) Piece of Advice I Can Give To You For Buying Your First DSLR

I get asked this question from my friends and family at least a few times a week, and typically my answer is always the same:

1) Buy the cheapest Canon or Nikon DSLR (body only!!!)
2) Buy a 50mm 1.8 lens
3) Start shooting immediately!

Canon T4I (Body only)

While this post will probably be outdated in a year in terms of Canon’s bottom of the barrel DSRL, my advice is simple: buy the camera body only. The lens that it typically comes with is crap and you won’t be able to sell it for much. Moving up the DSLR pyramid the cameras may give more battery life or the ability to shoot more frames per second, but for the most part, not higher quality! And to set the record straight, more megapixels does not necessarily equal better photos!

Canon 50mm 1.8 II

This is such a small, compact lens. I even use it on a ton of my commercial shoots, so it’s not a starter lens that you won’t use later in life. It’s a fixed lens (can’t zoom, so you’ll have to get closer to your subject if you want a closeup or farther away if you want a wider shot).

*** The 1.8 means that the lens opens up to an aperture of 1.8 to allow more light to enter into the sensor, meaning that you can get the really creamy shallow of depth (blurry background) to set your subjects apart from anything behind them (or in front of them). Thus, what real photography is… telling a story with your images!

Here’s some of my examples of shooting on a nifty fifty at an aperture of 1.8.

Ryan & Michelle

Dave & Norelle

Aaron & Vanessa

Shallow DOF

Chad & Alicia

B&H sells the lens for $107 w/ free shipping. Amazon also offers a great price on the lens. You can’t beat that for a lens that does so much!

Bonus tip: Stop shooting your camera in Auto mode and set it to Aperture Priority. Then set your Aperture to 1.8. Just make sure you can move your focus point to focus on what you want in focus. Fire away!

This post isn’t a knock against other camera manufactures like Sony or Panasonic or the like; Canon and Nikon have the widest assortment of lenses. It’s about the glass baby!

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