Are you in the market for purchasing a new camera?

Are you also getting confused with how many options are out there all shouting about different features?!  You are not alone.

Photography and cameras is a million $ market, with new models coming out so often.

Through our Berkshire photography courses, we get asked this question every week – what is the best camera to buy and why?

We have decided to put together a shopping guide on the current cameras out there that are suitable for beginners, ranging from entry level, to pro-sumer range (a range of cameras that are neither beginner or professional – right in the middle).

There are lots of camera manufacturers out there ranging from the popular Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic and Pentax.  If I were to list camera models for each manufacturer, then there would be far too many to choose from.

Personally, I learned on Canon cameras 20 years ago and have always used Canon.  80% of delegates that come on our courses have Canon cameras and I really do find that they are easier to use and understand for a beginner.  They are a little more streamlined compared to a Nikon and more ergo dynamic.  However; that is personally my opinion and cannot recommend going into a shop on the High Street and feeling the camera in your hands and purchasing from the sales advisor.

For ease, I have compiled current models from Amazon and partnered them with the upgrade lenses and necessity items of memory cards and spare batteries.

If you are looking for a bit more information on what to look for or even if you are in the second-hand market – have a read at our blog “What to Look For When Purchasing Your New Camera.”

Is there something on here that you would like to see that has been missed? Let us know in the comments and we will update it!

Canon Cameras:

Canon Cameras come in all shapes and sizes. One way to differentiate the different levels is to look at the model number.

A x3 or x4 digit model number (e.g. 2000D, 400D) is an amateur, entry level camera.

A x2 digit model number (e.g. 77D or 80D) is a mid range, pro-sumer camera which is neither amateur or professional camera – just in the middle.

A x1 digit model number (e.g. 5D, 6D ) is a professional camera – suitable for photographers who want a full frame body for image quality and a more hard wearing camera.

The first line of cameras is entry level, the second line of cameras is for those that are wanting to move onto something a bit more professional.

Nikon Cameras:

These Nikon cameras range from the beginner camera listed as the first camera and the 3rd is mid-range.

Canon Lenses (You can get the equivalent lenses on other manufacturers):

Depending on what lens your are looking to upgrade to, or partner with your new camera; the big question really is what are you looking to photograph?

Each lens will give you a different effect for different types of photography. We have listed the most popular lens upgrades and these are available in all types of manufacturer.

50mm f1.8 – it’s nickname is the “nifty fifty” or the portrait lens. It isn’t limited to just portraits, it is incredible for getting that blurry background and a narrow depth of field for flowers, jewellery and lifestyle shots.

10-20mm wideangle lens. This is ideal for anything big – architecture, landscapes, seascapes – anything you wish to capture a large view.  Not ideal for people as it distorts people by squashing them down!

75-300mm telephoto zoom lens.  If your lens isn’t getting close enough to the action, then a zoom lens would be the best choice.  If you are into wildlife, sports or street photography, then a zoom lens will get your super duper close.

100mm macro lens. This is more of a specialist lens rather than a standard lens where it is ideal to photograph close up images such as jewellery, flowers; anything tiny. You know those amazing close up shots of butterfly wings and ladybugs; this is the lens to use.

Memory Cards and Batteries:

I cannot recommend having enough memory cards and spare batteries. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket – make sure you have spares.

The SD card is the universal memory card (size of a stamp), some cameras will use a CF card (half the size of a credit card).  You can get many different sizes of memory cards – a good choice is a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.   It depends on how many photographs you would like on the card – again – if it is a big, important holiday – spread your images over some cards incase one corrupts.

The other choice to make is with regards to the writing speed on the card.  The higher the MB/s (megabyte’s a second), the faster the card will write the photograph to it.  The cheaper cards are around 80MB/s and the mid range / pro are around 95MB/s.

You need somewhere safe to store your memory cards, consider a memory card pouch like this one which is shock and waterproof incase something drastic happens to your cards.

Batteries – make sure you check what battery your camera uses, it’s not universal and they are all different shapes. However the battery model listed is for the first 3 Canon cameras above.

Camera Bags:

When spending a good amount of money on a camera, please don’t put your brand new toy in a sock or carrier bag! Invest in a camera bag to keep your camera as new. It doesn’t have to be black nylon bags that stand out as camera bags, there are so many options out there now that look like backpacks or handbags. Here are a selection of our favourites.

Tripods and Across Body Camera Straps:

You may not need this yet, but perhaps in time as you develop your photography hobby.  A tripod is a must have if you want to do creative photography such as traffic trails, fireworks and waterfalls.

If you have a bad back or neck, then I would recommend not using the strap that comes with your camera, but perhaps look at an across body strap to spread the weight over your body.

As you can see there are so many options out there, but I hope this buying guide makes things a little easier for you to make your decision!

Once you have your new camera kit, have a look on our website for beginner photography courses at to get you up and running in no time.

If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you, drop a message in the comments or send an email to [email protected]

*Please note we are not sponsored by Canon or any other manufacturer.  This is a personal list of items that we do recommend.


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