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Best Photography Equipment for Beginners

If you're just starting out in photography or you already have some experience and wish to take the hobby more seriously, the wide range of equipment available can be somewhat bewildering ....
  • What sort of camera to buy?
  • Do I need extra lenses?
  • What other equipment might I need?

These are questions that every enthusiast will ask him or herself before taking those first steps into the fascinating world of photography. But do not despair, as there's plenty of good advice available and you need not spend a fortune when assembling a decent set of photographic equipment.

How to Choose the Best Photography Equipment for Beginners

Most individuals that buy a camera these days will purchase a digital model. There are still those that stick doggedly to the use of film but this is increasingly being seen as a minority interest.

Most professionals have moved over to digital because of cost savings, convenience and the versatility that post-processing, via sophisticated computer programs such as Adobe's Photoshop, allows them.

Digital cameras range enormously in price, starting from around £50, up to thousands of pounds for the professional quality models with a range of interchangeable lenses.

For a beginner, a compact digital camera is probably the best choice. These are very sophisticated but are relatively easy to learn to use.

They also have the great advantage of being light in weight and small enough to be easily carried when travelling. The last thing you will want when travelling on holiday is a bulky camera bag filled with weighty camera equipment.

However, if you are really serious about travel photography then you will need to think about spending more money to purchase a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR), with some additional lenses.

Camera

Beginner photographers can buy a digital camera that grants them full manual override over any automatic function - a useful feature when you become more advanced.

It is useful to be able to use manual focus and to be able to set the lens aperture and shutter speed independently of the camera's automatic modes. It is also a good idea to buy a camera with a tripod mount screw on the bottom and some sort of hands-off shutter release.

Whilst not essential, cameras offering a preview of the depth of field and a good viewfinder display that gives full exposure information are a good buy.

A high continuous shooting rate (for sports photography and other action shots), a manual ISO set-up and an exposure compensation facility are also desirable features.

Lenses

For travel photography in particular it is almost essential to have more than one lens.

If you have purchased a more expensive digital camera it will almost certainly be a DSLR. Such a camera will have a body that allows different lenses to be mounted on it. This makes the camera far more versatile.

Beginners should ideally start off with two lenses: a wide-angle zoom lens and a telephoto zoom lens.

A wide-angle zoom lens should begin at around 28 mm and reach up to between 70 and 105 mm. A telephoto zoom lens, on the other hand, should begin at around 70 or 100 mm and reach up to around 300 mm. Such lenses will not be cheap but today's models will return superb results.

Tripod

A tripod is essential for high quality work. Those who have chosen a basic lightweight body can purchase tripods of around one or two kilogrammes in weight. A good tripod should cost around £100 and should be light enough to carry with ease.

Top Destinations to Practice Travel Photography

UK - If you are based in the UK then you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to travel photography locations.

The beautiful Lake District and the Scottish Highlands are two locations that spring immediately to mind. The UK is also blessed with thousands of miles of stunning coastline: a landscape photographer's dream.

If you are more adventurous the world offers enormous opportunities for stunning travel photography.

Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. - Best visited from May to late September, Yellowstone National Park is a travel photographer's ideal location. Offering geological wonders, such as hot springs, waterfalls and a plethora of wildlife, this destination is a must-visit location for budding photographers.

Hong Kong, China - The skyline of Hong Kong is a mixture of colour and lights and it just asks to be captured in photographs. The best time to visit is from October through to March.

Venice, Italy - This city of bridges and canals is one of Europe's most beautiful. Photographers should not miss out on capturing the Carnival of Venice, which takes place in February.

Where to Get the Best Deals on Photography Equipment

The best deals on photography equipment can be found through price comparison websites. Photographers should also seek out popular photography blogs, as it is here that they may discover a retailer offering an outstanding deal on photography equipment or find an alternative piece of equipment to the one that they had been looking for.

Photographers should look towards their favourite photography stores directly and should seek out deals that will grant them a discount on their purchase. Visiting a reputable photography store also allows customers to compare products and hold them - some camera gear just fits better in your hands and feels more comfortable than the competition.

For additional information on Best Photography Equipment for Beginners, see also Tips on How to Buy Digital Cameras.

Return to Photo Info page for more photography articles.

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