Buying Your First DSLR Camera

DrewB is a wedding and family photographer and owner of DrewB Photography. She also writes a popular blog for moms who love photography called Mom*tog.

Buying your first DSLR camera (a camera where you can change the lenses) can be a bit overwhelming.  With so many different options and it being such a large financial investment you want to be sure that you make the right choice.

When I first started out over 6 years ago I wasn’t a mom yet.  I had intentions of starting a business, but I wasn’t sure it would be successful so I didn’t want to invest a ton of money into a camera.  I wanted a camera to learn on.  I bought the Canon Rebel (there was only one at the time) and it was a great camera to learn the basics.  I used it in a professional capacity for over 6 months before saving enough to upgrade to the 30D.

If you’re a Mom*tog I suggest purchasing a Canon Rebel.  It’s a great little camera and as cheap as you are going to get for a DSLR.  As moms, we are hard on our cameras.  They get thrown into diaper bags and sticky little hands may find their way to them.  You don’t want a camera that’s so expensive you are afraid to use it, right?  If you lose it or break it, that will stink.  But not as much as losing or breaking a $5000 camera would, right?

I specifically recommend the Canon Rebel T2i.  It has:

  • An 18 mp sensor (great image quality and you can print LARGE prints)
  • Shoots at 3.7 frames per second (great for taking lots of pictures at your kids soccer games)
  • Video capabilities
  • High ISO capabilities (you can shoot in lower light situations without flash)
  • Built in flash
  • Can shoot in both Auto and Manual modes

The Canon Rebel T2i retails for around $700 with a kit lens.  However, you can purchase just the camera body for around $500, which is what I would suggest.  The kit lens that comes with the camera (18-55mm, 3.5) is not a great lens.  It’s okay, but not great.  You will have to use a flash when shooting indoors because the aperture (3.5) will not allow enough light indoors (in most circumstances).

Instead of the kit lens I would suggest purchasing the Canon 50 1.4 lens for around $399.  This lens is a prime lens, which means you can’t zoom in or out.  And that can take some getting used to!  It’s not a great lens for sports photography, but it’s great for shooting lifestyle images of your kids at home.  The aperture (1.4) is low enough to where you won’t need to use a flash indoors when there is natural light available.

If buying your camera online, make sure you buy from a reputable retailer.  If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  I buy all of my camera equipment from B&H Photo and Video.  Their prices are always very competitive and they ship your product fast!  Don’t forget to also pick up an extra battery, memory cards, and a UV filter to protect your lens.  Also, check with your homeowners insurance to see if you can add your camera to your insurance policy.

Happy shooting!

~DrewB

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