10 Beginner Photographer FAQ’s for Buying a New Camera

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Buying a new camera can be frustrating. As a beginner photographer, you can’t understand everything about what a camera can do. You just want to take photos of your favorite subjects!
Each camera has different specs, lenses, settings, support, etc. The best and simplest thing to do (so you won’t get crazy deciding which is best for you) is to figure out the basic features a camera has depending on your shooting needs.
These FAQs for beginner photographers might help you decide which camera you should buy.

1. What’s the difference between Mirrorless and DSLR cameras? Which one best suits my needs?

Mirrorless cameras are the future of photography. Even if still some DSLR cameras are great in specs, image quality, and handling, the new mirrorless systems provide new technologies, great video features for videographers/vloggers, they are lightweight (perfect for travel and landscape photography) and they produce outstanding image quality with newer image sensors and processors.
If you were to answer this question and say that mirrorless would probably be the best for a beginner’s needs, then the rest of the questions are specifically about mirrorless cameras.

2. What are the main components of a camera that I need to know about?

Of course, the answer has to do with the resolution (Megapixels), sensor size (micro 4/3, APS-C or Full Frame), lens system, battery life, etc. A beginner-beginner could get away with 16-20 MP just fine. The normal Megapixel size in 2020 is 24MP. You can easily make large prints with 24MP.

3. What are the specs that I should be looking for as a beginner photographer?

Of course, this differs based on your intentions. But for a casual photographer, I believe it is important to point out that you don’t need a fancy, expensive, semi-professional piece of equipment to begin with. You could get by just fine with the specs of the entry-level Olympus for $500 (16 MP).

4. What are the Top Brands for mirrorless cameras?

  • Sony
  • Canon
  • Fujifilm
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic
  • Olympus

5. What are the pros and cons of these camera brands?

For example, Canon and Nikon are best for DSLRs. Their mirrorless cameras are quite expensive if you want high specs. Fujifilm is less expensive but still has high-quality glass and the appeal of a retro body style.

On the other hand, Sony has the best Auto Focus in the industry and easy ability to interchange lenses (most mirrorless lenses in the market even from third party companies such as Sigma, Rokinon, or Tamron).

After all, when you are a beginner buying a camera you are buying into a camera ecosystem. You should definitely consider the lens options before you buy any camera.

6. How I pick a price range for my needs?

If you want to start in photography but you’re not sure if you will like it or not, you shouldn’t buy expensive gear in the beginning. An entry-level mirrorless camera with a kit lens will help you determine if you want to develop your skills and expand your creativity with upgrading in the near future.
Usually, a good entry-level camera costs around $900 – $1200 depending on which lens you choose.
Check these entry-level yet powerful camera setups on Amazon.com:

7. Should I buy a camera new or used? Are there any reputable sites that I can trust to purchase my camera from?

You may be able to buy a used camera but I wouldn’t recommend it. Get a used camera ONLY if you know the person who’s selling it (i.e. a friend or family member), if you know exactly what you’re buying (model, year, warranties, price range in today’s market, etc.).

There are many scammers who sell on craigslist or eBay. Check this video to learn more about what to avoid.

On the other hand, you can buy a new camera with extra warranty-plans from Amazon.com.

8. I’m not sure what I will be photographing yet, or I plan on photographing a variety of subjects. What are some versatile started lenses that I can begin to learn from?

The best advice is to start and learn with the camera’s kit lens! Here are a few benefits using the kit lens:

  • Learn the numbers in front of your lens and understand what they do
  • Decide which focal length you need for shooting a specific subject
  • Understand the aperture and depth of field depending on your camera settings
  • Figure out what is a variable or constant aperture
  • Learn the difference between prime and zoom lenses

9. Is there anything else I need to buy besides the main camera?

As a beginner photographer, you might need to buy a few extra accessories.

10. What resources do you recommend for beginning photographers who are starting from square one?

The best photography resource for beginners is kelbyone.com. At Kelby One, you have access to more than 800 photography courses taught by the world’s top award-winning photographers.

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