As a rental shop, we have photographers of all industries and skills come here. As a photographer just starting out, it’s hard to know what to get, whether it’s worth it, or even useful to you in what you’re shooting.
Tip #1: Canon Is Your Light
First off, we will always recommend Canon. Canon all the way. Canon is life. There’s a bunch of reasons why we push Canon…one of them being that quality in image and build are far better than Nikon. We’re not trying to offput Nikon, it’s just that as a rental shop, we see the wear-and-tear on gear and Canon products withstand the test of time and sometimes, poor handling. Canon’s 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark I and the 70-200mm f/2.8’s are two examples of “tanks” that rarely get repaired unless dropped.
Tip #2: Determine Your Budget
If you’re shooting your kids, landscape, portraits, or whatever it may be, first determine how much you’re willing to spend? Ask yourself these questions:
- What am I shooting?
- What genres do I want to shoot?
- What’s my budget?
- Am I going to pursue this full time or is this more of a hobby?
- Do I want to upgrade in the future to a full frame?
Tip #3: Pick Your Camera
The starting rates for consumer-grade cameras are $700-$900 and those are generally the Rebel series. They’re great for all beginners because they have impressive performance, versatility, and video capabilities. Maybe you want to dabble in video later on…this would be your best option. These camera bodies are great for just about anything: video, portraits, landscape, vacation, weddings, infants, etc. For professionals and amateurs alike, this camera works great.
Now if you have a higher budget in mind and are willing to make the investment, for crop sensor cameras, we recommend the Canon 60D ($800) and 70D ($1200). If you shoot action, sports, or nature, the Canon 7D (They no longer make it, so you could find them on Craigslist for around $500-$700) or 7D Mark II ($1800).
For full frame, it would be the 6D ($1900), 5D Mark II (They no longer make these, so you will only find them online but they go for around $1000-$1200), and the 5D Mark III ($3400). Of course, these cameras are the professional-grade and reflect that kind of price. These cameras are high performance and will surely get the job done just like a Canon Rebel T5i. You’re essentially paying for better performance. For example, these more expensive cameras do better in lowlight, durability, customization, megapixel count, have higher shutter speed, better low light performance, weather sealing, and of course, a full frame sensor.
Don’t think that these higher end cameras will do the job for you. The camera and gear do not matter as much as your skills. But as a beginner, you’re still developing and learning new skills. Never rely on your gear to do the good job for you.
Tip #4: Picking Lenses
For crop cameras like the Rebel series
A good all-around lens:
Wide lenses (getting more into your picture):
Primes (no zoom):
What’s cool about crop sensors is that they can use full frame lenses. Granted it’s not the range it says, just take the range or number and multiply it by 1.6 and that’s your focal range! For example, if you’re getting a 35mm f/1.4 prime, on your camera it will be a 50mm.
For full frame cameras
Good all-around lens:
Wide angle lenses
- 16-35mm f/2.8 Mark I ($1000) or Mark II ($1700)
- 17-40mm f/4 ($840)
- 20-35mm f/2.8 ($750)
- Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8–$650
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art ($949)
- Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art ($849)
- 85mm f/1.2 Mark II ($2220)
- 100mm f/2.8 L ($1033)
- 100mm f/2.8 Macro ($600)
Tip #5: Flashes
As a beginner, it’s very important to ask yourselves these questions and to explore your options. Of course these recommendations are very general. Other genres or industries require more specific gear. But this gear covers just about everything.
If you have any other questions, feel free to call us or email us. Now the real question is: are you Team Canon or Team Nikon?
IE Photo Rentals
558 W. 2nd St, Unit B
Pomona, CA 91766
Camera and Lens Rental Service for Inland Empire, Los Angeles and Orange County Areas.