For Photographers // Choosing Your First Serious Camera & Lens: Part 1

People are always asking for suggestions on what camera to get to capture moments with their family, or what kind of tips we can give on getting a certain image. We love to help our friends and family figure out the best fit for them, and we figured there may be some other people out there wanting to know the same thing!

So we’re starting a series of blog posts titled “For Photographers”! In this ongoing series, we’ll discuss fun camera tips for enthusiast photographers, product suggestions and reviews, plus anything else we think might be helpful. And the plan is to have a new topic each month!

This month’s topic will be our recommendations for great introductory cameras. Every week this month, we’ll suggest a good camera and lens combo for people who are serious about getting good photos. This is a popular question that moms ask when they have their first child, as it should be! Time goes by so fast, and it’s such a great idea to capture these priceless moments with a great quality camera… it’s definitely money well spent!

As for our suggestions, be aware that there are “better” and there are cheaper camera/lens combos out there, but this group hits a nice sweet spot. With these cameras you’ll be able to capture great photographs without breaking the bank. Without further ado, here is this week’s suggestion!

Nikon D3300* : Introduced just last month and officially available on Feb. 6, this model is a minor update over the older (but still excellent) D3200. Why do we like it? It has a 24 megapixel sensor (that’s good), shoots up to 5 frames per second, records movies in Full HD and even works with Nikon’s Wi-Fi module (WU-1A), with all these features being built into a nice and tight little package. It will even mount those old manual Nikkor lenses your parents still have from the ’70s.

Like other introductory Nikon cameras, though, this one lacks a built in lens focus motor, meaning it will only autofocus with AF-S equipped lenses. And although it comes with a decent (but slow!) compact 18-55mm zoom lens, you’ll want to pick up a capable entry-level prime lens to go with it… either the Nikon 35mm f/1.8Gor the Nikon 50mm f/1.8Gwill fit the bill perfectly (hint: get the 35mm if you tend to have more than one person in your photos). With either setup you’ll be able to capture wonderfully detailed portraits and candids even with little light.

Don’t need the latest and greatest? If you don’t mind having “last year’s model”, go for the older Nikon D3200(and save a bit of cash, too). And don’t worry if Nikon is not your cup of tea… tune in next week for a different suggestion on another great camera!

*Just a note: we link to Amazon because it typically has great prices and we get a small advertising credit when you purchase through the above links. But shop around! The gear we recommend is great and whether you get it used, refurbished or new, you’re going to love it!

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