Happy Holidays. In the last few weeks I have been inundated with questions on what camera's to buy a loved one for the holidays. So I thought I would put a blog piece together with some suggestions and amazon links in case there are folks out there who still haven't gotten their answers. Everything in blue should link you to that product on amazon, I also included some picture based links for certain products.
Let's start with my main gear combo. My main camera body is a Canon 5D Mark III, which I love very much. It has done everything I have ever asked of it and much much more. When working I use it in combination with Canon lenses 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8, when shooting for fun I usually have a nifty fifty attached which is a Canon 50mm 1.8. Now if you are like many reading this blog you many not even know what those numbers stand for. In 24-70 that is the zoom range in millimeters. This is the distance between your camera's sensor, and the point of convergence in the lens. The 2.8 indicates the maximum aperture of your lens, which is how wide it will go, and ultimately how much light it will allow in. When the number is lower, it allows more light in. Most 18-55mm lenses have a max aperture of 3.5-5.6, which doesn't allow much creativity with shallow depth of field. Shallow depth of field is when one part of the photo is in sharp focus and other parts are blurry. I definately recommend the 24-70 2.8 for anyone wanting to step up their photo game and willing to invest in a great piece of equipment. It is a great first professional zoom lens. The link below is for the Canon 5d3 with 24-70mm 2.8
Now if you've got a decent amount of money in your budget you can get the newest version of the Canon 5D which is a Mark IV, link below. The link is for the camera body only.
Now for those of you who are buying cameras for a beginner. I recommend the Canon Rebel series cameras. The most popular version is the T6. Which runs around $375-$400 with the 18-55 kit lens. As much as I am not a fan of the kit lenses it is nice to be able to open your camera out of the box and start shooting with out spending a ton more money. I would however recommend picking up a Canon 50mm 1.8, so you can start enjoying the creativity and low light aspects of wide open apertures. There is also a newer version The Canon Rebel T7 running about $800.
Now if you want to spend even less you can purchase the Canon T5, which could save you about 40 or 50 dollars. There is also a middle ground between the Rebel series and the 5d series. The Canon 80D $1300 (with kit lens) and the Canon 7D and 7D2 $1200 (body only) cameras. Many of you may be wondering what about NIKON. Nikon is great also. I used to be an avid Nikon user but made the switch to Canon about 10 years ago and haven't looked back. I teach people how to use Nikons on a regular basis in Photo 101 in a day classes at the Chicago Photography Academy. In my experience the menu layouts in the Canon gears seems to be more intuitive and remain more consistent between different camera models which is one of the reason I prefer Canon. Another thing to think about is the mirrorless cameras. Sony has a few great models out with a decent range in price. I purchased a Sony Mirrorless last year and ended up returning it. I hope this has helped answer some of your camera buying questions. If you should have anymore please comment on this blog post or direct messaged me via email, FB, or twitter. Happy Camera hunting.