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What camera, lens and accessories do I REALLY need? - Kansas City Photography classes

With the evolution of cell phone cameras a lot of people think a "real" camera is a waste of money. And, while it's true that it's so handy to have a camera right in the palm of your hand or in your back pocket, there's something about having a {fancy} camera.

I find when I use my {real} camera I am more intentional when taking the photo and there are certain things that a cell phone camera will never be able to do. Even the new phone cameras with the dual lens which create the pretty blurry background still don't give you complete control over the photo. And there isn't a cell phone camera out there {that I've seen} that allows you to control the shutter speed - and I know I am sick and tired of always getting blurry photos of my kids.

But once you decide you want to invest the money into a good camera, there are so many options and it gets overwhelming.

What camera should I get?

For now let's focus on a DLSR camera and not worry about the other options available. But first, what does DSLR mean? It stands for digital single lens reflex and it has to do with how the insides of the camera works. But all you really need to know is that it means it's a camera with an interchangeable lens.

There are two main "levels" of DSLR cameras to choose from: a crop sensor and a full frame. The entry level cameras for Canon (the Rebel series) and Nikon (the D3400) will have a crop sensor and are great for mom-togs and hobbyists. Each will retail for about $400-500.

Do I really need to buy a separate lens?

Most of the time this camera will come with a kit lens to get you started. However, I highly suggest spending $100-150 more and investing in the 50mm f/1.8 lens (available for both Canon and Nikon). Though this lens won't allow you to zoom in {without moving your feet}, the difference in quality is worth the tradeoff. Think of your kit lens as the "Walmart" version and the 50mm as the "Nordstrom" version.

Do I need to get the accessories bundle?

Save yourself the money and headache and avoid the bundles when purchasing your camera

As soon as your start researching camera on Amazon or Best Buy, you will start to see a bunch of different "bundles" available. And though they may seem like a great deal, you don't need most of that extra stuff and the quality isn't great. Buy what you need when you need it instead of getting trapped into buying something you will never use.

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