So you're looking for a camera that'll fit your shooting needs, But don't know where to start?

This guide will help you understand the differences between different types of cameras, and guide you through your purchasing decision.

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Gear is not the goal

When it comes to equipment, I'm a big believer of only purchasing what you need, or what you can realistically see yourself taking advantage in the near future. 

Too many people get caught up on camera equipment and forget that gear isn't the end goal. Creating images that you can print and share and hang up on a wall and cherish, is the end goal. 

The sooner you can figure out what camera you need, the sooner you can move on to the more important things.

The best camera for others may not be the best camera for you

In order to find the perfect camera for you, you need to be honest about what you want to achieve. Do you aspire to shoot professionally, or do you just want to take photos of your family?

Once you've decided on what general direction you want to take your photography, choosing a camera becomes much easier.


General Camera recommendations

Phone Cameras

Smartphones these days have amazing cameras, and they come free with your smartphone purchase. I'm currently using the iPhone 6s Plus, and I'm blown away with the quality of photos and videos that it's able to produce. 

I'd feel extremely comfortable taking only my iPhone on big family trips and events. That's how good I think it is. I encourage you to try using your smartphone to capture the images you want. For most of you, this will be all you need.

Best Phone Cameras

 

Compact Cameras

A step above the smartphone camera is the compact camera. These are dedicated cameras with more robust settings specifically for taking better photos. 

The advanced compact camera is good for those that want the ability to have full control over their images, but don't want a large camera. You won't get the expandability that you'd get with a DSLR, but most people don't need anything more anyway. 

There's one camera that is miles ahead of other compact cameras in the market, and that's the Sony RX100 Mark 4 (Not pictured). 

Best Compact Cameras

Sony RX100 Mark 4

 

DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras

The final type of cameras are DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Even though the process in which images are captured slightly differ between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, I'm clumping them into the same category because I'm going to focus on the modularity and expandability of the systems.  

 

Best DSLR Cameras

  • Nikon D750
  • Nikon D810
  • Canon 5DS

Best Mirrorless Cameras

  • Sony A7 Series (A7S II, A7R II, A7II)
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1

 


Start With Whatever You Can Get Your Hands On

You might find that the camera that is "best" for you is out of your budget. That's okay. That just means that it isn't the best camera for you right now. Shoot with whatever you can get your hands on until you can make enough to upgrade your gear.

In the end, the best camera is available to you, so make use of whatever that may be. Remember, gear is only there to make capturing images easier, but it isn't the end goal.

Camera recommendations for different types of photography

If you're looking for specific details on what features to look for in a camera for certain types of photography, check out one of the links bellow.

  • Portrait Photography
  • Landscape Photography
  • Street Photography

Still have some questions?

If you're still not sure on what to get based on the advice given, feel free to ask me your specific questions!