Cameras forum


Best DSLR camera for beginner in professional photography?

by michaelabyers / September 7, 2012 1:40 AM PDT

I am a licensed and professional hair stylist and makeup artist, but have always had an eye & a passion for photography! I want to break into professional photography and pair that up with my hair styling and makeup artistry.

To start I would like to do senior photos, family portraits, engagement shoots, etc.

What is the best professional camera set up I should invest in? My budget is around $1000 - $1500

I'd greatly appreciate suggestions, tips & advice on the equipment I'll need and to get started in this business!

Thank you!!!


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All Answers

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by PistonCupChampion / September 7, 2012 4:36 AM PDT

You can use any DSLR to start, but most people choose a Canon or Nikon because they're the easiest to find and have the largest systems. The camera body is just one tool you will need. Lens(es) and lighting will be more important than the body.

Learn to shoot first before you even think about turning photography into a business. Even when you become proficient, your skill at running a business will be more important than your skill as a photographer. You should take some courses on photography and running a small business.

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Here's a contender for you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 7, 2012 5:13 AM PDT

But first, YOU TAKE THE SHOT. Not the camera. If this is your first foray into photography, I'd look at models like the one at

It's about half your budget so later you can entertain another lens.

Why this one? The comments and reviews about skin tone and color which is in line with your post.

HOWEVER. Any one I've seen in this business does not carry one camera. They learned early on to carry at least two since you're never sure if one will fail or not get the great shot.

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DSLR photography
by jnuss / September 15, 2012 12:26 AM PDT

If you haven't done so already, I'd use a small portion of your budget and attend a beginning photography
class at a local community college. Also, investigate photo clubs in your area. You always learn from
someone who has been down the road before. There are numerous websites that contain ratings and
writeups of DSLR bodies and lenses. One good one is Additionally, you might visit a
local camera shop to help you become knowledgeable about what equipment is available. Generally,
you'll get a better price for new equipment by ordering online. B&H has a well earned reputation. I've
purchased 90% of my photo gear from them. As to specific cameras, do your homework! I would start
with something basic (perhaps a Nikon D3100), with a kit or 50mm fixed lens. If you lose interest,
you won't have a lot invested. Good luck! You've chosen a great and challenging hobby.

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Canon, Nikon & Sony Options & Other Considerations
by ghicker / September 17, 2012 8:27 AM PDT

Canon and Nikon are obviously the most popular, especially around the serious professionals. But a professional full frame sensor DSLR camera is outside your budget and probably more camera than you need (as a beginner). Buying an expensive camera does not make you a better photographer, just as buying an expensive hair brush or makeup kit doesn't make you a better makeup artist. The art comes from the person, not the tool.

When choosing the right tool for your trade, you need to make sure the tool fits your hand and is comfortable for you to use. The grip on cameras do vary considerably between models and manufacturers. Sony recently changed some of the technology in the DSLR cameras, which reduced the moving parts and changed the weight (feel) of the camera. I know a few people who feel more comfortable with the fit and feel of a Sony, rather than the Canon and Nikon. But I've also heard people complain about the feel of the Sony, so it truly is a personal choice based on many factors. That is why I strongly recommend that you visit a camera store and hold each camera for several minutes to get a good feel for it. Try taking pictures with the cameras in different positions, angles and orientations...similar to what you would do in real life. For example, hold the camera in portrait orientation versus landscape, paying attention to how comfortable it fits your hands, face and eye. Take note of how easy it is to adjust the dials, press the buttons and navigate the camera features. People who are paying for your services, don't want to wait while you spend a huge amount of time trying to change a camera get a feel in the store on how fast you can adjust the settings.

The camera body is an important piece of equipment, but if you are seriously looking into making money as a photographer then you need other photography tools. Lighting and tools to control lighting are important. You don't want to rely on the pop-up flash for a professional picture. Hot-shoe flash, umbrella lighting, reflectors and soft boxes are just some of the other tools you may need to consider. A good tripod or monopod is often important for steadying the camera. Picture editing software is very important in producing a finished image rather than a raw photo. Some other items to consider are extra lenses, cleaning tools, filters, reflectors, white balance cards, back drops and a camera bag to store your equipment. When you add up the cost of these other items, they can be as much or more than the camera body. I could easily argue that some of these extra items are just as important as the camera. For example, poor lighting can ruin a picture, but most point-&-shoot cameras can take a good picture if it has good lighting (not that I'm advocating for a point-&-shoot).

To be honest, a $1500 budget is not much to start with, if that is your total budget for all your photography gear. A good camera bag to protect your investment will cost between $50 and $100. Good photo editing software will cost roughly between $100 - $600. A good flash or portable lighting will start around $200. You may need an extra battery, cleaning tools and other small items that would easily add up to $100. That leaves about $1000 or less for your camera body and lenses.

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Best DSLR camera for beginner in professional photography
by nathanscot / September 24, 2012 10:07 PM PDT

Try nikon D7000 or canon T3i they are best and in your budget <span class="GRcorrect" id="GRmark_80584ad24dacabf89a5089140dcf7577f7cf97d5_to:0" grphrase="80584ad24dacabf89a5089140dcf7577f7cf97d5" grtype="null">to. Wink


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Your spell checker is showing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 25, 2012 3:41 AM PDT
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