Finding the Camera That Suits You

A variety of photographic equipment laid out on a brown wooden background

I mostly work with Nikon, however, I have experience with Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus, Kodak, Pentax and I own a GoPro Hero7. I have also had the privilege of using a Rolleiflex. My Nikon D5300, 35mm lens and 105mm Sigma lens are usually by my side, I have used my Nikon camera since 2014, I have used Nikon for all of my photographic projects and I have managed to adjust using one camera for nearly everything, apart from video recordings.

There are 4 types of cameras; compact, bridge, DSLR and mirrorless cameras. DLSR and mirrorless models have interchangeable lenses.

Ask yourself these questions before buying a camera

1) What sorts of things do you want to photograph?

  • DSLR

- Flowers

- Close-ups

- Children

- Nature

- Landscapes

- Wildlife

- Sports

- Portraits

- Events

- Weddings

  • Mirrorless or four-thirds cameras

- Flowers - Close-ups - Children - Travel - Nature - Landscapes - Wildlife - Sports - Portraits - Events - Weddings - Street

  • Compact cameras

- Flowers - Close-ups - Travel - Nature - Landscapes - Portraits - Food - Street

  • Smartphones

- Food

  • Speciality cameras (GoPro, drones, video cameras)

- Underwater

- Aerial

2) What's your budget?

Buying all the portable lighting, reflectors, tripod, umbrellas, flashes, filters and housing, including the camera base and lenses is overkill and when you're independent your money will want to go somewhere else, in the long run. Before contemplating buying your equipment, reflect on the photoshoot first and what genre you want to practice.

3) Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced photographer?

Low-budget cameras do not have advanced and professional settings, they also have mounted lenses. Lumix, Panasonic and Sony are good beginner photography cameras.

Photographing dinner food through a smartphone

4) How will you be sharing your images?

You will hear this from teachers, other photographers and online blogs, "always shoot in RAW" the editing and photos will be clearer as a result. If you're building a website, shoot at the highest quality, if you're posting on social media and have no intention of selling, you can shoot at jgp.

5) How big are your hands?

The way you hold your camera can reduce aching and shaking. My hands are small, the base and the battery holder of a Nikon are where I usually grip it. A Canon EOS model has a wider and narrow base, I usually have to place the camera on a tripod because I cannot hold it properly.

6) Do you want to have the option of upgrading your camera later?

A mirrorless camera or a DSLR are the finest options for an entry-level camera that allows you to add more components or upgrade later.

A tiny camera with a fixed lens will limit your possibilities in the future. However, now that I've stated that, I'd like to say something else. If you do decide to start with a compact camera, you can always use it as a backup later, so it's not completely useless.

Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs both allow you to upgrade and add new lenses, filters, and other features. Choose one of those options if you wish to start modest and expand as you learn.

7) Do you want more control over your images?

If you want to learn to get off automatic and process the photos I recommend you switch to a Fuji, Canon or Nikon, you will have more control over your ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

8) What brands of cameras and models do your friends use?

Ask your friends or family what camera they use, they can also give you pointers and advice on the brand.