My first camera: What should I get?

Panick! That’s what I mostly feel when I think about getting my very first DSLR camera. I had no idea of what should I get. Where should I start looking? How do you choose when you have literally no idea of what your current needs are, or what are your future needs going to be, or even which functions of the camera are the important ones. Nor even the brands! I have heard photographers talk around cameras, they talk the models out, the brands, and it makes sense to them, to me? At this point still everything is a little bit like jibber jabber.

So if you’re at the same point, relax, and breath. I have summarized it in just two easy steps I followed that may be helpful to you too.

1. Take your time and think it through

I have a tendancy to get carried away with impulses, I get superexcited with lots of things and then I just get bored at the same time as soon as I start knowing how they work. More or less. So, this is my first piece of advice, for both of us, take a deep breath, relax, and think it through.

Why do you want the camera for? What are you planning to do with it?

If you just want it to carry it around to trips and when you go out with your friends, you may do good with a point-and-shoot camera. Nowadays there are amazing ones, I was really happy with my old compact, that shoot awesome pictures in automatic and I just had to think on the compossition, also I was travelling a lot and I was looking for something I could just carry on my bag, or on my pocket. On the other hand, maybe you want to have more autonomy on how to work with the light and the shadows and that’s a good reason to buy a DSLRDigital Single-Lense Reflex camera, which basically has more or less the same functions as the film reflex camera, but it has a digital sensor instead of film, which allows you to take as many pictures as you want and then save them, store them, and edit them on your computer, among other things.

As I mentioned previously, I want to switch carriers and start with photography and media, that’s the only reason I am going to buy a DSLR camera, and why I waited so long to get one, as they are quite an investment.

2. Now, how do I choose my DSLR?

Well, I think the first step all of us have to take is setting a budget, our own and personal budget. How much can we spend on our camera? Or how much do we want to spend? Once we have that settled it’ll make the rest easier, still not easy, but easier.

Now that we have settled our budget, another question rises. Which brand should I get? This is not really important, and as far as I have researched is not that much of a big deal. Usually most people and photographers go with Canon or Nikon, because they are the major brands, so it should be easier to find lenses and accesories that work with those models. Between them? Choose the one you rather, you like Canon? Go with Canon then, you better like Nikon, go for it! Because the differences on the quality or prize, are more or less zero. The only thing I have being told that makes a difference between both brands, is that Nikon has been keeping the same type of lens for decades, so it seems to be slightly easier to find lenses that match the new models, as there’re old second handed lenses that still fit and work with current Nikon models.

The last thing you might want to check is the ISO of the camera. This means the sensitivity of the sensor when there is low light, which it also means that you will be able to shoot when is darker having less noise (the noise will be the unwanted grain) on your pictures, and that is always pretty useful and comes handy, doesn’t it?

One of the tools you can do to check multiple camera models once you’ve selected the prize, and the main characteristics you want your camera to have is the site snapsort. This website can come superhandy as it compares and gives you the whole features and information for every model, and let you compare it to other models and see the one that works better for you. That’s how I discover that one characteristic I didn’t thought about was the weather sealing of the camera, so you don’t have to care if it gets wet under the rain, which in my case as I live in a really rainy place, is almost a must.

In the end, everything is up to you, and you can take whatever suits you and feels right to you, is your camera, and hopefully you’ll spend loads of years together sharing and capturing amazing moments. These are the steps I have found out that worked for me, and made the decission process easier and I just hope might help you too.

Let me know how did you get your first camera on the comments below and hope you have found this useful!

The first camera I used when I was a photographer assistant
The first camera I used when I was a photographer assistant

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