We live in the era of the image. Ironically, the same smartphones that have made many of us leave the camera at home in favor of our telephone have been the architects of this need to immortalize the moment. If you’ve been bitten by the photography bug and you’re looking to get more serious, you’ll be assaulted by questions like “what camera did I buy?” or how much do I need to spend? “, among others.
We have consulted the most experienced photographers to create a guide to the purchase of cameras for beginners : camera types, budgets, accessories … That is what we have been told.
How a photo camera should be for beginners
Jesús León recommends us to start with simple and light models, so that the experience is comfortable and intuitive from the beginning : “The main thing is that it does not feel like a complex camera to handle, that it does not overwhelm us with too many options or controls. Small cameras are usually more comfortable when you’re just starting out, and it’s also important that you have wireless connectivity, so you can connect to your phone and transfer photos and videos without having to go through your computer. ”
Pedro Santamaría explains that more than a matter of characteristics, it is about the expectations placed on it:
“The only characteristic that a camera for beginners has to fulfill is that it adapts to their needs and budget, what do you hope to achieve with it? How much time will you dedicate to it? Because what some cameras do with explaining with examples what this parameter does or how each mode affects the result is something that can be learned quickly online. “
Following that wake, Ferfoto points out that “All the cameras are for beginners, you still do not know if you are going to continue your hobby or the camera is left forgotten in the back of the closet.” The important thing is to choose a camera that will be paid off soon and that is light, from there, a good camera is the one that allows you to do everything you need : Choose the diaphragm and speed and shoot in RAW format. ”
Oscar Condés tells us that if we really want to learn photography “we need a camera that allows us to vary the values of diaphragm, shutter speed and ISO quickly , because this is the most important thing to learn to handle (the ABC of the photography. “) For that, the ideal thing is to be a camera that has several control wheels, and those are usually SLRs.”
Condés continues on the suitability of acquiring an SLR to start:
“It is true that many controls can overwhelm the user, but having independent wheels to control speed, difframe and ISO should be the minimum for a camera for those who want to learn photography.” Unfortunately, for reasons of economy, beginner models tend to have fewer wheels. and control buttons, so you have to look for this in more advanced models, and therefore more expensive, so first of all it should be clear if one really wants to start in photography (and learn those rare things from the speeds and the diaphragms) or just want a better camera, or more versatile, than your mobile phone but do all the “dirty” work for him and do not require him to learn. “
What kind of photography do you want to do?
It is not the same product photography as portraits or landscapes, but at the beginning of our photography it is easy not to be clear, which is why a good idea is to opt for an off-road camera , as Jesús León points out:
“When you’re learning, you do a little bit of everything, so our first camera should solve more or less well in any situation, and also be comfortable to keep it on top.” Therefore, compact cameras with a multi-purpose zoomare the More appropriate if you want to do a bit of everything, there are very complete advanced compacts that are ideal for traveling and that are very well suited for landscapes, architecture, portraits and even for indoor or low-light photography. “
Ferfoto is also committed to versatility and lightness: “Most of the photographers who start out want to take travel photos or family photos, for any camera, I recommend a good compact camera , a market that seems forgotten, but thanks to mobiles are increasingly making better compact cameras with good prices.For more complex themes, cameras with interchangeable lenses such as the mirrorless ones or the SLRs are needed.
Oscar Condés downplays the issue of the topic because initially it is usual to want to cover everything: “The ideal thing to start is a SLR because it has more control possibilities and shoots through the viewfinder , allowing you to concentrate on the In the beginning the usual thing is not to specialize and to do photography in general “.
Pedro Santamaría talks about the difficulty of categorizing cameras by type of photography, although he does provide some clues to find the most appropriate model in each case:
“If our idea is to do street photography, fast photos without attracting a lot of attention, like the Sony mirrorless cameras (Sony a6300, a6500 and similar), Panasonic Lumix GX80, Fujifilm X T100 or Olympus E-M10 are a great option for a question of size and we have the possibility of using interchangeable lenses, something that always gives us a plus of versatility to adapt to the situation at any time, for example with a telephoto lens for sports photos or distant objects , wide angle for indoor photos or architecture, then there are more serious cameras and more features like the Sony a7, Canon 6D Mark II or Nikon 750 among many others.The price is high but for quality and options can be adapted to virtually any type of situationperfectly. However, I would never rule out the use of cameras with the Sony RX100 Mark V or the Lumix LX100 Mark II because for size and quality they are for many the ideal camera in trips and everyday situations in which carrying a larger equipment is not comfortable. “
Which is better: start with a low-end, medium or high-end camera?
In the market we find cameras that range from just over 100 euros to almost 10,000 euros that costs the Hasselblad X1D, so it is normal for many to wonder if it is best to make a significant investment from the beginning and launch the high range or on the contrary, we must bet on more affordable models and we will be making the leap to higher ranges. Everyone comes to us to say the same thing.
Ferfoto gives us a bath of reality: ” The camera does not make the photographer, it seems a cliché but it is the pure reality, with all of us we are going to make the same pictures, good or bad.” Condés is of the same belief: “Going for the high range is like taking a Ferrari as you get the card, better a simpler.”
Santamaría seconded this opinion: “Making the leap to a high-end camera is always possible, it is true that the investment will be greater because we have to add what we spend in the first but if we are starting it is not usual to change that body quickly. A low-intermediate range camera is ideal , it helps us to see if we really want to learn and get the most out of the world of photography.If it is not like that, if at the end it’s a whim of a day, the cost will not be so elevated as with superior models. ”
Jesus León reinforces the commitment to intermediate-low range cameras in this initial process: “The essential thing can be learned before, the more affordable and manageable a camera is , so I insist again that the camera is simple. learning, we’ll see if our need asks us for something more advanced. ”
The camera + objective kits, the best option
Ferfoto explains that the objectives are the most important part of a camera and that generally, the objectives that come in kit with the camera are not very good but, “if we are not going to expand and all our photos are going to go to the internet, then They are perfect, however, to learn a fixed objective is better to work more with the frame, they are also lighter and less noticeable. ”
Santamaría also does not like kits, but they seem a good option for beginners because of a price issue: “Although I am not very fond of kit objectives, if the difference between body only and body more objective is not very big , I would opt always for the second option. ”
Oscar Condés also recommends this option “To begin with, a camera with the standard objective is enough: buying the body alone and separate objectives is already for when you have more knowledge.”
But in the market we also find packs with several objectives that, following the premise of the price, could be a good alternative … or not, because as Jesús León argues:
“At first we look for simplicity, so that a camera that comes with two interchangeable lenses will complicate us a lot, in fact it is the usual thing to end up using only one lens for almost everything and the other for laziness or not always like to wear it Changing the lens can be a bit cumbersome at first, so we can choose either a compact camera or an interchangeable lens camera with a multi-purpose lens, which will be worth almost everything. “
However, if you decide to buy the body and the objective separately, Pedro Santamaría recommends us to know beforehand what we are going to photograph and what uses we have thought of making the camera to decide: “Without knowing what type of photo you like to do not I would launch to buy anything because it is what most recommend.An example is the classic 50mm f1.8 Canon ( 118 euros ) or its namesake in other brands.It is a lens that gives a very high price but equal is not If you had to buy a separate lens, you would go for a lens similar to the classic 24-70 f2.8 of Canon’s L series ( 1,354 euros ). They will be expensive lenses but you will have versatility and quality in most of situations. ”
Also, if we are clear that we are going to continue learning in photography, a good objective will be an investment to be amortized in the long term , since we will be able to use it in higher chambers. Although it will be a limiting factor at the time of purchase because for example, Canon lenses are compatible with all Canon SLR cameras and the same happens with other brands such as Nikon.
Other accessories to start
But in addition to the camera and the objective, it is essential to have other elements to get started in the world of photography. Condés cites us the basics: “Bag to carry the safe and protected equipment, spare battery and memory cards would be the most important thing, it is better to carry two cards of 32 GB than one of 64 GB and that are as fast as you can pay . Sandisk is a brand that is doing very well. ”
Ferfoto lists practically the same thing: “It’s important to carry spare batteries, several cards of medium size (two of 8 GB better than one of 16) to avoid losing all the work at once, I would always recommend a tripod to work well the frame (and shoot always with a trigger cable or connecting the phone to the camera), for example I like the Vanguard VEO 2 ( 166.55 euros ) for its lightness.With the tripods I recommend spending money because it is something that will last you a lifetime, more than a camera or a lens, and of course a good backpack to keep your back, I use a Lowepro. ”
The best camera for beginners we choose
Panasonic Lumix GX80
If today I had to recommend a camera for beginners I would opt for the Panasonic Lumix GX80 ( 449 euros ). It is compact in size and that facilitates its transport . At first load with a larger camera and attract a lot of attention is something that usually does not like who is starting in photography.
For the rest, it is a very capable camera, with the option of using interchangeable lenses , to adapt to any type of photographs that we want to make, and with the possibility of recording video at 4K resolution with very good quality . Little more can be asked of a camera that also has a very attractive price.
Canon Powershot G5x
Well, I prefer the Canon Powershot G5x ( 636.65 euros ), although it is relatively old and there is a better one that is the G1x MarkIII is a perfect camera to always carry over .
Its 1 “sensor covers the needs of any photographer , including those of professionals who want to carry a reliable team always on top, with a bright lens f / 1.8-2.8 that allows solving any light problem and over we can raise the sensitivity to 3200 ISO without problems.
The electronic viewfinder more than fulfills its function. The same is not as famous as its rival the Sony RX100, but offers the same for less money .
Many people ask me and I always tell them “what do you know about photography? What are you going to use it for? Do you want to learn or just a camera that looks but does the job for you? “Before deciding on one model or another, research between different options and go to a good shop where you can pick up the models. Do it and check what your sensations are with the camera in your hand .
The Fujifilm X-T100 ( 549 euros ) could be a good option right now. It is a basic model but it has several wheels to control exposure and other parameters, ie to learn “real photography” .
It also has a small size to always carry over (it is a mirrorless), it is visually attractive, gives good image quality and has a relatively affordable price.
My reasons are very clear, the Canon EOS M50 ( 661.95 euros ) is the beginner camera: it is the camera for those looking for a camera to learn, but with guarantees and the latest .
It is a small but very complete camera but it is simple in its concept and very versatile to start and shoot everything (and record quality videos).
In addition, it is a good investment, because being an interchangeable lens camera , if later we need it and we feel like it, we can buy more targets
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