So You Want To Buy A DSLR | Baton Rouge LA Posed Newborn Photographer » Isabelle Rose Photography

So You Want To Buy A DSLR | Baton Rouge LA Posed Newborn Photographer

Photography tips

Meet Mariko

Baton Rouge Wedding Photographer, mom of 3, lover of Harry Potter, The Office, and frequent Sephora shopper.

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Buying a DSLR can be overwhelming. So many options. So many brands. What do you choose? As a Baton Rouge LA newborn photographer, I’ve been through a few DSLRs myself. I even jumped brands. Then I jumped right back. Here are a few things I learned along the way.

Should I buy a starter kit?

First and foremost, I think the most important thing I learned when buying a DSLR was DON’T BUY A DSLR STARTER KIT. I know they seem appealing because they usually include one or two lenses. It seems like a one and done. The reason I’m against the starter kits is that I’m not a fan of kit lenses. Now don’t get me wrong, a good photographer can create beautiful photos from any lens. But I feel like kit lenses are very limiting. You want those pretty blurry backgrounds (known as bokeh)? It’s not as easy to get that with kit lenses. They typically have higher apertures and the aperture usually is dependent on the how far you are zoomed in or out.

Quick camera lesson: What’s “aperture” you might ask? Aperture is the opening in the lens where light passes through. The lower the aperture, the more light. Higher apertures let in less light. Aperture effects depth of field (how clear or blurry the area is behind your subject). There are other factors when it comes to getting that pretty blurry background, but aperture is a very important factor.

So what do I recommend instead?

I recommend you buy the camera body and the 50 mm 1.8, otherwise known as the nifty fifty. This lens is a prime lens (it doesn’t zoom in or out). The low aperture allows for lots of light to come into the camera. It’s a good basic lens to learn with and it’s one of the cheaper lenses at about $100-200 depending on the brand.

So now which brand do you pick? This is really personal preference. The entry level DSLRs are all about the same when it comes to features. The two biggest and most well known brands are Canon and Nikon. Sony is also making some waves with their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. For most people, it’s between Canon and Nikon. Personally I use Nikon. But I recommend going to a camera shop or anywhere that carrier DSLRs so you can pick one up and really get a feel for it. You should look at the button placement to see how comfortable it is for you to use.

So you’ve picked a brand, but which model?

Both Canon and Nikon have entry level consumer DSLR lines. For Canon, it’s the Rebel series. For Nikon there’s the 3000 and the 5000 series. I personally started with a Nikon d3200. That was a few years ago and so there have been updates and new models.

Should you buy new, refurbished, or used?

There are pros and cons to whichever way you choose to buy your DSLR. If you buy new, you don’t have to guess at what that camera’s been through. The shutter count will be at zero. DSLRs stutters have a limit and eventually need to be replaced. If you’re just taking personal photos, it probably won’t be as soon as if you are a pro going out on regular photoshoot. Buying new means you get a warranty. Buying refurbished is another option. Factory refurbished DSLRs are are a little cheaper than new. These are cameras that have been returned to the manufacturer. They’ve been cleaned, any defective parts fixed, and tested. The up side is it’s not as expensive. The downside is you have no idea why it was returned. Refurbished camera usually come with a limited warranty, usually 60-90 days. Used cameras are usually the cheapest. But it really depends on how old the camera is, the shutter count, and the wear and tear on the DSLR. With used it’s good to ask lots of questions and get a good look at the whole camera. If buying online, ask for photos from all angles. Again with used you have no idea what it’s been through. There is no warranty.

My advice on what condition you should buy your DSLR depends on what your future plans are. Do you think you’ll keep this as your only DSLR until it eventually dies? If so, buy whichever condition you choose and your wallet allows. Do you plan to upgrade in the next few years? I’d go with either refurbished or used. I personally have bought both new and refurbished with no complaints.

I really hope this has helped out even just a little when shopping for a starter DSLR. I know it can be confusing with all the things to think about before buying. If you’re looking for DSLR reviews, I recommend heading over to kenrockwell.com and reading the reviews. He has the specs, sample photos, and a review for tons of DSLRs.

Baton Rouge LA posed newborn photographer, Mariko Searing, specializes in newborns through through the first year and serves the greater Baton Rouge area. IF you would like more any questions or more information, please email me at [email protected]

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  1. Nancy

    January 29th, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Very informative!

  2. Samantha

    January 30th, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Some great advice from one of the best Newborn Photographers in Baton Rouge!

  3. Amanda

    January 31st, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    These are such great tips for your Baton Rouge clients who are looking into purchasing a camera! Of course they would turn to the best newborn photographer in the area for advice!

  4. Katie lynn

    January 31st, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    These are some awesome tips. Thanks for sharing. Baton Rouge is lucky to have a newborn photographer that is not only super talented, but willing to give camera advice.

  5. Christie

    February 1st, 2018 at 8:24 am

    This is such an informative post! So happy I came across your site in my search for a Baton Rouge newborn photographer for my cousin!

  6. Joy

    February 5th, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Forgive my weird fan girl obsession please but you are so generous with your knowledge and I adore how you truly practice in a caring non-competitive way. So many photographers would fear losing business by guiding their readers toward getting started in photography but not you! You are already the very best newborn photographer in Baton Rouge both because of skill but also your caring nature evident in this post <3 <3 <3 <3

  7. Christie

    February 7th, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    I could sit and read your blog for hours! Thanks for being such an awesome Baton Rouge newborn photographer!

  8. Katerina

    February 21st, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Great tips from a Denham Springs newborn photographer!

  9. Lindsay Zilke

    May 8th, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    What wonderful tips from a Baton Rouge newborn photographer!! I know a lot of people do not even know where to start when looking to buy a camera!