DSLR Camera: Beginner Tutorial – Cameras and Lenses

The first step in getting started with DSLR photography is deciding what brand of camera you’d like to buy. There are quite a few options, but it usually comes down to Nikon or Cannon. I could write about the numerous differences between the two, but there are many many other photographers out there who are far more qualified to discuss this in depth. Here are a few articles that I think are particularly useful for someone making a choice between the two. Both of these sites are reputable, unbiased, and offer a good look at both brands. 

Regardless, you truly can’t go wrong with either. Both have been used to create beautiful images so it really is just a matter of personal preference. 

“What kind of camera do you use?” 

I use a Nikon D750. It is a full frame camera (which is discussed more in-depth in the first article) made to be used by professional photographers. This was not my first DSLR. I upgraded to this model when I was hired to be a second shooter for a Wedding Photography Business and work at a professional level. The first DSLR I purchased was a Nikon D3200. This was more than enough for learning the basics and taking pictures in my free time. With my D3200, I learned how to shoot manually, edit raw photos, and do every other skill necessary for my level of use. 

Cameras get very expensive very quickly, and if you’re new to photography there is no need to spend $2000 on a camera. A less expensive model will give you great pictures and you’ll still be able to learn all the skills you’d like to learn. 

“What about different lenses?” 

I primarily use two lenses. I use a 1.4, 50mm and a 70-200mm. The lenses are named after their focal length. The 50mm lens is what lives on my camera 99% of the time. I take almost all of my pictures with this lens and every picture used for the blog. It’s a versatile little lens and allows me to bring my F-stop down to 1.4, which I love. 

My 70-200 is a BIG telephoto lens. It allows me to take beautiful, intimate looking images from a distance. This was a great help when I was taking wedding photographs. 

What I will say, is my first camera came with a “kit lens” and a “zoom” lens. For me, neither gave me the ability to create the type of images I wanted to make. It didn’t allow me to “blur” the background the way that I wanted to. It was at this point that I switched to a 50mm. 

Many photographers also love using a 35mm, which is amazing for taking pictures that resemble what your eyes see. So – if your main goal is to take pictures that look like what you physically see, a 35mm might be something you want to consider.

Another popular lens is the 80mm. This is amazing for creating beautiful portraits. I think this would be the next lens I’d want to add to my personal collection. 

I found this website to be very helpful in learning about different types of lenses and giving photo examples of different focal lengths. 

Website with Lens Overview Here

What have been your greatest resources when learning a new hobby?

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