When I first became aware of my interest in photography, the camera I had to work with was the family old-as-the-hills and slow-as-molasses COOLPIX Nikon camera. I don’t even remember what model it was. All I remember is that it took about 15 seconds to warm up and take a photo. And I realized I wanted one of “those” cameras that took photos up to 1/8000 of a second!
I saved my pennies and a few months later bought a Canon XSi with the 18-55mm. lens and taught myself to use it by reading the manual. It served me well; I photographed a couple of weddings with it, and even took it on a couple of trips. When I was finally sure I had pushed that camera to the limits of what it could do, I sold it along with the 18-55mm. lens and a 28-135mm. lens I had also purchased. I wanted a semi-professional camera, and, while the Canon Mark 5DII was tempting (and still is!), I opted to get something a little more within my price range that would still allow me to take quality photos at weddings and events. The camera I decided on was the Canon 50D… and I’ve been well pleased with the quality performance and photos I get from it. I’ve also invested in 4 different lens, none of which I could imagine parting with now.
Here is my camera and all of my lenses, along with the hoods for two of my lenses. I took this above photo with my iPhone since I don’t have a second camera. :-) You can purchase the Canon EOS 50D 15.1 MP — the body only– on Amazon for $1,199 new or $650 used. I read the manual from cover to cover and taught myself to shoot only in FULLY manual now. Shooting in manual allows me as the photographer to achieve the optimal photograph. I’m still learning every time I pick up my camera about how I can control it so I get the best photo. I highly recommend learning to shoot with your manual settings if you own a DSLR.
The 50mm f/1.8 lens was my very first prime lens that I bought. After only using sub-par zoom lenses to begin with, the 50mm prime lens was new and exciting. I had to actually step forward and back in order to “zoom!” What a novelty. :-P This is the best, cheap prime lens on the market, especially if you are a beginning photographer. It’s great for portraits, food photography, and landscapes, and yes, I use it for all three of those categories! You can purchase the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens on Amazon for $105 new or used for about the same price.
This 85mm f/1.8 lens is my favorite out of all my lenses. Fully stopped down, the bokeh is exquisite and the focus is razor sharp. I use it solely for portraiture. At weddings, this is the first lens to come out, because the wide aperture allows me to continue snapping away, even in the dimmest of lighting. You can purchase the 85mm f/1.8 prime lens on Amazon for $380 new or used for $340.
My 100mm f/2.8 macro lens is definitely my “fun” lens. Having a macro lens sure changes your perspective in photography! It also makes a great telephoto lens in a pinch at weddings or events. You can purchase the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on Amazon for $529 new or $455 used.
My 24-70mm f/2.8 is definitely my work horse. It’s mainly for portraiture and landscapes with me, though, it can capture a mean macro photo here and there. The quality and sharpness I get from this lens are beyond compare. You can purchase the 24-70mm f/2.8 on Amazon for $1,286 new or $1,149 used. At that price I make sure to baby this lens!
Well, that’s my cast of characters as far as my camera equipment is concerned. I also have 2 batteries, 2 8GB memory cards, and a hood for my 85mm lens and 24-70mm lens. Remember, though, it’s not the camera that ensures quality photographs — it’s knowing how to use the camera settings to your advantage, and taking the best possible shot!