FAQ: Camera Questions

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the most frequent questions I get is what camera do I use or what startup cameras can I recommend. I am certainly no expert, but I have researched the topic a LOT in the past year and I can certainly share my findings with you! :) 
I only have experience with Nikon and Canon cameras and as the two most used professional camera brands in the world I'd certainly recommend to go with one of those two brands. (I'm sure Sony, Olympus, Pentax... etc makes awesome cameras as well but I haven't read up on them enough to be able to deliberate.)

When it comes to DSLRs in my opinion it's better invest in a mid level, used camera rather than the newest entry level model. The entry models have some significant imitations and if you're a real enthusiast you'll quickly outgrow them! I bought all my gear used on Ebay from reputable sellers and I've only had good experiences so far. If you're looking for a new DSLR I'd hit up Ebay looking for either a Nikon D90 or Canon 40D or 50D. You'll find these models at about the same price as their newer, lower level counterparts and from experience I can tell that they make amazing pictures! (or you can certainly go with the shiny new entry level DSLRs such as the Nikon D5000 or Canon 1000D or 550D)

However, what anyone in the photography world will tell you is that it's much more important to invest in good lenses than in a new camera, as the glass is what really makes the difference in the pictures!

I really cannot go into details about lenses but I can state with 100% certainty that some of the most beloved, affordable lenses with beautiful results (with that nice gaussian blur in the backgrounds) are the fixed 50mm lenses. Every photographer, photo student and serious blogger I know has one of those and they use them with great results! I have the 1.8 model, however if you can splurge a bit more I'd definitely go for the 1.4 version!


While I'm quite happy with my current gear, I have my eye on my next big purchase, the Canon 5D Mark ii. To be honest I'm waiting for the new version to come out so I can snag a used one on Ebay at a better price than what they are currently going for. Why do I want to switch to Canon? Quite simple. All of my favorite photographers have this exact same model and there is something about the sharpness, clarity of the pictures... that I'm not able to replicate with my Nikon. (but if you have any tips on how to reach the same effect, do let me know! :)

Two of my favorite photographers Stephanie Williams (aka the genius behind the Ruche and Threadsence lookbooks) and Nicole Hill Gerulat has compiled an amazing recommendation list for Canonians, be sure to check their pages out for some serious advice!

I get a lot of questions about cheaper point and shoot type of cameras. Again, I'm no expert and I don't currently own one but from what I heard/read my next point and shoot purchase will be from the Canon G range. These are almost as good as DSLR while they are much smaller and thus can easily be thrown into any handbags (that is something I miss dearly with my DSLR). They don't come very cheap but I believe they worth their price if you want to take great shots without all the fuss of a DSLR. For cheap, compact cameras I can recommend the Canon IXUS range. The photographer I used to assist had the IS 100 model and I was always surprised by the quality of the images that came our of this supermini camera. That model is considered old now (read cheap on Ebay, :) but even the never versions like the IXUS 130 or the IXUS 310HS will not require you to break into a bank! I think I'll go for either a Canon G12 or an IXUS 130 in the near future.

By the way, what camera do you use?

Phewww. I hope this was helpful guys! If you have any questions or want me to write about any specific photography related topics just let me know and I'll be happy to oblige! :)

Don't forget to enter my SkipTown Photography Field Guide giveaway to win one of their ebooks for some awesome photography tips!

Have a great weekend lovelies!

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Gawgus things... said...

Definitely need help with photography - thanks so much :) xxx

Maria said...

I just bought the Panasonic LX5 and my brother has the Olympus XZ1. These two are considered to be one of the best point and shoot at the moment. I would love to go for a DSRL but I just dont want to carry it with me all the time. The above mentioned cameras are compared quit often to the Canon G12 but they are much much smaller.
I really cannot tell which of the three takes the better images.

Piril Maria said...

Canon is the best. Got two SRL cams and one digital cam.

♥ Love,

Jo said...

Yay! Glad to hear you are a Nikon girl too!


Emilie said...

Great post!

Angie Aquarius said...

Oooh, I wish I had a cam like that... But at the moment it's too expensive for me! :o(

Hope you will have a lot of fun with your new cam!

Have a great weekend dear!

*From Munich With Love*

Gertrude said...

I don't have a DSLR yet but hopefully I will get one in the near future. When I was going to buy my point-and-shoot I researched a lot and found that the Canon Powershot range are really close to being as good as a DSLR, and so I got the Powershot SX220 HS (I had its predecessor the Powershot SX210 IS but I upgraded it last month). And so far so good :) xo

Anonymous said...

I need a new camera SO bad.
This post is probably the best I've read so far in terms of what to buy and for what reasons. Thank you so much, there is a lot of convoluted mumbo jumbo out there.

CHANNIE ♥ said...

I use a Canon EOS 550D and I love the quality of the photos. Although sometimes, I think that it's quality is as same as those cheap cameras, I still have not mastered the use of my own camera. But I am satisfied with the shots I got... My only pet-peeve is that it's so big that I can't bring it everywhere with me.

Nice post! This helped so much.

xx, Channie

Collections said...

I absolutely adored this post. It was so helpful! I used a nikon as well and similar to your experince I feel that it doesn't reach the same sharpness and clarity as canon cameras. All the blog photos that I absolutley love, when I ask, they all say they use a canon so I think I will have to switch to canon as well sometime in the future. However, they're so expensive I'll have to wait! Perhaps for christmas or my birthday :) The suggestions are wonderful I'm definitely saving this post to refer back to later when I get a new camera!

I'm having a $100 dollar Shopbop giftcard GIVEAWAY on my blog! Come check it out :) It's open to international bloggers as well.

Collections Giveaway

indie.electronic.alternative. said...

very good information. i'm no expert on cameras, but i do know that i break them frequently. that's why i only own a shoot and go. i've had a sony and i've had about 7 canon's in the last 3 years (not kidding, all dropped and broken). my current camera is not a canon, but it's working for now. tripod has really helped to finally get clearer images. at some point i need to invest in a better camera!

The Fashion Writress said...

This is a great post! Crazy about cameras and i would love to get a new one :) I'm now having a Canon 400D with the random 18-55mm lens which I never use anymore, a 50mm 1.8 and, 50mm 1.4 (my favorite) and my other favorite, 18-200mm. Id love to have that 5D!!! Let's save for it :)

travelkate said...

I have a Nikon DSLR, and I love my 50mm lens too!

I have used a G11, which was great, because of the size and picture quality, but just doesn't hold up to a DSLR, especially while traveling, I feel like you are not quite doing your photos justice. I also have the older Canon model of the digital one pictured above, which I have been quite happy with to take when I go out for a night on the town!

Allison Mary said...

I have the Nikon D3100 and love it! Unfortunately I don't feel as though I use it enough to keep it so I'm returning it and am looking to buy a more compact camera... probably a Canon Powershot of some sort! This post was really helpful!
Allison Mary

Allison Mary said...

I have the Nikon D3100 and love it! Unfortunately I don't feel as though I use it enough to keep it so I'm returning it and am looking to buy a more compact camera... probably a Canon Powershot of some sort! This post was really helpful!
Allison Mary

KB said...

I use a Canon point and shoot right now, but my ultimate goal is to get a big girl camera like yours. Your advice is very appreciated!


Kristin said...

Wonderful post, I love the 50mm/1.8 too (as well as dreaming about camera gear)!

xx Kristin

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, very helpful!

Steffys Pros and Cons said...

i use a canon 7d :) um, dont you love that about blogging! it is insane to have "virtual" friends but hellllooo we all have the same exact interests!!

<3 steffy
Steffys Pros and Cons

Leanne said...

Great post!

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

Bah, I wish I would have read thsi a few years ago when I bought my camera!

I bought a D40, basic, basic. And I wish I would have saved for at least a D90. I'm just limited.

That said, I can't wait to get the portrait lens for my D40, I think it will make things a lot better! I hope to sell it at some point and get a better shell.

Tsuki aka LittleGrayFox said...

all great advice! I use Canon because it was a gift and it'd be too expensive to switch everything to Nikon. I have used Nikon before and they are both great.

My current gear is a Canon xti. I would prefer to have the 50d, and maybe in the future, the 5d II or whatever they have at that point!

Lenses are more important to me than the crop sensor, etc. And my hands are so tiny, the larger models are just clunky in my hands.

My current lenses, besides the cheap kit lenses are the Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 85mm 1.8, and tamron 28-70mm.

I use the Tamron as my walk around lens. the 85mm is a great portrait lens

i really want a 100mm or some other macro lens. but i also love shooting landscapes, so a good wide angle is also on my wish list!

so many lenses; so little money!

Viktória said...

of course it is helpful :) we girls dont know too much about cameras, but it was a very helpful post, thank you :)


Anonymous said...

gorgeous stuff! You are lucky to have such nice camera gear.


hurricanekerrie said...

Thank you for this article! I'm looking to buy a DSLR soon and I was looking at either a Canon or Nikon, too. But I didn't know about lenses. Thumbs up!

Lindsay With An "A" said...

I use a Canon Elph.... and I Love it, but I'm thinking of a newer version. This post was a great help!

Lisa (aka sweetie) said...

Love your whole gypsy thing..very cool ..I am obsessed with my canon rebel as I am not so professional. xo Lisa

Rene Braun said...

Gabby Great post!!! It's so useful for me! I have canon 5d but old one and it's great camera.I'm thinking about new lens and you helped me a lot! Thanks :))



Finding Waveland said...

Such a useful post about the camera stuff, thank you for sharing!


Julia and Yuriy said...

Agh, you're switching to Canon??

* Julia

*Simply Colette* said...

Good post! this was very helpful. I'm also thinking about switching to Canon, and also thinking about about a conveinent camera to throw in the purse with video capability for my 8 week trip to Europe in 2 short weeks!

Jacquelyn said...

i have a Canon G10 and its amazing!! I love taking photos but can't take the plunge into the DSLR world yet so this camera is perfect!!

xo Jackie

Nicole said...

Found your blog through J*.

And it's not so much your gear that gets the color and sharpness you are looking for but experience and really knowing how to manipulate your camera. Yes by upgrading your body and lenses you will see a difference but you also have to master your gear. J* and Jessica Claire don't get the images they do just because they shoot Canon, it's because they put in a lot of time and practice. There are a lot of awesome photogs that shoot Nikon (Justin & Mary, Alyse French, Chenin Boutwell, Image is Found, Cliff Mautner) and get AWESOME images.

So i would ask if you have totally pushed yourself with the D300 and have you tried the D700? Because Nikion makes some awesome lenses and cameras. I just thing that making a switch has to be a very informed decision and comes after feeling like your gear can not respond in the way you need it. And from what I see Nikon can do what Canon does.

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