Destination Wedding, Las Palmas, HuatulcoDestination Wedding, Las Palmas, Huatulco

What Camera Should I Buy? 2020 Edition

February 02, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

A new year begins, and with it the resolution to become a better photographer. And for many that means taking the leap to owning an interchangeable-lens camera.

Friends, workshop students and clients ask, What camera should I buy?

The answer is ... THIS ONE!

But...if you don't have six and a half grand to blow on a camera, and you wouldn't know what to do with a camera like that even if you did, what other options are there? What's the best camera for a beginner?

I'll try to give you a useful answer, with some of the basic info you need to make a good decision.

First, the question most people ask when they approach a pro's camera with a curious peek, is: Canon or Nikon?

It is true, Canon or Nikon is usually what a pro will be using. So, should it be what you're using?

Not necessarily. For beginners especially, camera makers like Sony and Pentax have come up with attractive DSLR alternatives, and even more enticing micro 4/3 mirrorless options. What is a micro 4/3 mirrorless? See the explanation here. There are advantages and disadvantages to this new camera type. Suffice it to say, I will only be recommending DSLRs in this post. 

So, given this incredible competitiveness driving the digital photography market these days, are Canon and Nikon still kings of the hill? In a word: Yes. If you're looking for an alternative to these two, I'd go with Sony. Lots of pros are now shooting with Sony. Why do I narrow my recommendation to these three?

It is not that other brands are going to offer lesser quality. There is another factor to consider: System. When you are ready for a camera that allows you to change lenses, you're becoming part of a family. Not just socially, like, Hey you shoot Canon too? Cool! But gear-wise. Here are the questions you need to ask when you make an investment like this: What if I want other lenses? What if my uncle has an old lens he wants to give me? What if I break a lens and need to ask a friend to lend me one till I replace it? What if I want a flash or other accessory for my camera, but not one my camera brand makes? (Like a third-party flash at a much more accessible price.) 

Given all the possible scenarios that could come up, you want to go with the best bet. The brands that 3rd party flash and accessory makers are most likely to be focused on, the brand that most of your photography friends use, the brand that, if you were to inherit a lens, would most likely work with your camera. Some scenarios, you may never run into. But by going with a brand with a long history, lots of lenses, a brand that third-party accessory makers always give top priority when releasing their new offerings, then you're back to the two giants: Canon and Nikon. With Sony taking bronze. You could hand the bronze to Pentax, as this reviewer has done. It's a close one, but Sony has been making great strides lately.

So here are my final recommendations. Each of these is the top beginner DSLR for each of the top brands. Each comes with plenty of manual controls to take your photography skills to the next level, and loads of presets and program mode, for when you're tired of thinking about it and just want to shoot. 


1. Nikon D3500

2. Canon Rebel T8i

3. Sony Alpha a68




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