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Beginner Photography Equipments

Updated on September 29, 2010
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Buying Guide for Beginner Photography

Photography can be a very fun hobby, but it can also be an expensive hobby. Almost all photography equipment is expensive, and it's difficult to know what to buy when starting out. Before investing a lot of money into your hobby, read reviews of equipment you are going to buy. Know what kind of photography you are going to be doing, as each type has different needs.

The camera you choose is the most important investment. A digital single lens reflex (DSLR) is the standard for professional photographers. DLSR cameras have larger image sensors which produce photos with more megapixels for high quality pictures. Focusing speed is much faster on a DSLR camera and shutter lag is low, which means you can get good photographs from high action settings or low light scenes. The ISO range is also much higher which gives you more flexibility in shooting different conditions. For a great depth of field, a DLSR is almost a must.

Different lens sizes are available for DSLR cameras which gives you more flexibility in your photography. Lenses are available for everything from wide angle to long focal lengths. The ability to change lenses will give you the option to shoot landscapes, nature photography, fast action sports, portraits, and still life all with one camera. There are even lenses available that will allow you to do creative photography with special effects.

Before buying lenses, it's imperative that you know what type of photos you will be shooting. Lens are specific to one or two types of photography. While lenses are probably the most expensive DSLR accessory, they are the most important purchase you will make other than the camera itself. They might be able to be used on your next camera if it is the same brand name. They also hold their value, so if decide you don't need it later, you can recoup most of your money. Your photos will only be as good as the lens used to shoot it, so you should read reviews and buy the best you can afford.

Wide angle lenses are used for landscape photography as are telephoto lenses. Shorter lenses in the 50mm to 85mm range are best for portraits. Still life or product photography will require a macro lens. General every day photos are best shot with a lens with a range from 35-55mm or something similar.

DSLR cameras will come with a built in flash, but this flash is not very powerful. It is difficult to control and does not offer much light. An external flash can be purchased and will give you more flexibility. An external flash has settings for time and brightness. You can also bend the flash at different angles and move it left to right to aim the light at your subject. If you are doing indoor photography, you will most likely want an external flash. If you are shooting landscapes or mainly outside, you might not need an external flash.

Photography lamps are useful for portraits or product photography. They have a filter or an umbrella to soften the light so the light is not too harsh on your subject. They are portable and can be positioned in different areas around your subject.

Backup Battery
Your camera will come with one battery, but if you work in the field or travel with your camera, you will want a spare battery. Batteries take a few hours to recharge, so you do not want to have a dead battery in the middle a photo shoot. You will also want to purchase a few extra memory cards. Since DSLR cameras can take such large photos, memory cards can fill up fast. Some photographers like to keep many cards on hand so they can use one per subject until they are uploaded to a computer.

Camera Bag
A camera bag is essential if you are going to travel. Look for one that has adjustable compartments to separate lenses, flash, and your camera. These compartments should be padded to keep your equipment safe. A backpack style bag is convenient for walking with your camera. Some bags will even hold your laptop, mp3 player, and have extra compartments.

To protect your expensive lens, you will want to purchase an inexpensive UV filter. This is a small, flat disc that screws on the end of the lens. It filters UV light and reduces glare to protect your camera and your eyes. It also protects your expensive lens against scratches and dust. Other filters are also available and can alter the look of your photos. You can get different colors or special effect filters for most lenses. Some filters can act as a faux macro or fish eye effect.

A computer is also needed for digital photography. Once you upload your photos, you can use a graphic program for post processing your photos. You can adjust the exposure, colors, and even add special effects. You will need a computer with plenty of hard drive space or an external hard drive. You will also need a good graphics program for the best post processing results.

Beginner Equipments under $1,000

For learning basic photography you need some basic gears including:

  • DSLR Camera
  • Lenses
  • Flash
  • Tripod
  • Other accesories like camera bag, camera cleaner, filters, etc.

That are basic equipments you should have if you want to learn photography.

Following are beginner photography equipments you can afford under $1,000.

DSLR Camera + Lens
Canon 1000D + Lens Kit
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS
Nissin Di466
General Compact Tripod
Camera Bag
General Camera Bag
Media Storage
General 4GB SD Card
Other accessories like filters, lens hood
General accessories
Canon Rebel XS / Canon 1000D
Canon Rebel XS / Canon 1000D

Canon Rebel XS / Canon 1000D

In US this camera named Canon Rebel XS. Outside US, this camera known as Canon 1000D. It is cheapest Canon DSLR camera available on the market. It is new entry camera, with easy menu, and easy shooting mode; targeting for beginner photographer. Canon 1000D is a compact and good value camera. It costs about $500

This camera sold with lens kit EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. You don't need to buy a new lens again. This lens is good for beginner. If you want to learn photography use this lens first. After you know basic technical of photography, you can buy new lenses.

Almost all professional DSLR features available on this camera. You can set shutter speed, set aperture, and change the lens. With all its features you can learn digital photography much. If you are amateur photographer with low budget and need good camera, you can consider this one.

Canon Rebel XS / Canon 1000D Specs

Sensor Size
22.2 x 14.8 mm
Image Sensor
CMOS sensor
Effective Pixels
10.10 MP (Total: 10.5MP)
Lens Mount
Canon EF mount
Compatible Lenses
Canon EF (including EF-S lenses)
Shutter speeds
30-1/4000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
3 shots per second
Pentamirror; 95% coverage; 0.81x magnification
Manual; autofocus (quick mode; live mode)
7 point; 1 cross-type (F5.6); -0.5 to 18 EV
Evaluative; Partial; CWA (1 to 20 EV)
SD memory card; SDHC memory card
Image Type
JPEG; RAW (12-bit Canon original); RAW+JPEG
2.5" TFT LCD (230k dots)
LP-E5 battery pack
126 x 98 x 62 mm
502 gr
Nissin Di466
Nissin Di466

Nissin Di466 Speedlight

It's recommended flash for beginner photographer. It's cheaper and almost half price of Canon Speedlite 430EX II (with almost same features). It costs about $140.

It's great flash with such professional features like bounce up from 45-90 degree, wireless remote, catch light reflector, wide angle diffuser and slave feature. It works on Canon's E-TTL, E-TTL II system, and Nikon's i-TTL system. Wireless remote flash system of Di466 works for either analogue and digital flash systems.

It does not have a swivel flash head. If you want more professional features with higher price, you can try its big brother Nissin Di622.

Although there are limitations like slow recycle time and limited rotation flash head, Nissin Di466 is great for beginner photography. If you need a low budget flash, this flash is recommended. It's great entry level flash for the money.

Nissin Di466 Speedlight Specs

Guide Number
109ft (ISO100); 150ft (ISO 200)
Variable Power
Full; 1/2; 1/4; 1/8; 1/32
Exposure Control
4 AA alkaline or NiMH
Recycle time
0.2-4.5 sec with alkaline batteries; 0.2-3.8 with NiMH Batteries
Number of Flashes
200-1500 depend ot the batteries
Illumination angle
24mm-105mm (autoset)
Energy Saving
Auto Off after 5 minutes idling
Sleep mode
after 30 seconds idling
Exposure Verification
In camera's viewfinder
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS

It is designed for entry level photographer that need telephoto zoom lens. It's a light weight and low price telephoto zoom lens with image stabilizer. This lens can be used on Canon EOS with EF-S mount. It cost about $230.

It's not good for indoor or low light conditions. This lens is good for outdoor photography especially wildlife or other outdoor activities with great light conditions.

With good light conditions, you will get sharp image. Since it has image stabilizer, you still can get sharp photo even with handshake conditions.

With this price, it is the best telephoto lens for beginner photographer.


  • Focal length: 55-250mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/4 to f/5.6
  • Lens Construction: 12 elements in 10 groups, including one UD-glass element
  • Diagonal angle of view: 27 degrees (at 50 feet) to 6 degrees (at 15 feet), with APS-C image sensors
  • Focus Adjustment: DC motor, gear-driven (front focusing design)
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 3.6 ft./1.1m (maximum close-up magnification 0.31x)
    Filter Size: 58mm
  • Dimensions: 2.8 inches in diameter and 4.3 inches long
  • Weight: 390gr

Last Words

Photography is a very fun hobby for almost anyone to enjoy. With different lenses, filters, and lights, you can be very creative in the type of shots you can take. There are many different accessories available for different camera, but not all are needed for each type of photography. Once you know what type of photography you will be taking, you can select the lenses and lights for your needs. Reviews are helpful to know how other real photographers like their equipment and how well it works during use.


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    • profile image

      ANTHONY 4 years ago

      thank's for the simple and reliable information....XD

    • profile image

      Colonialmaster 5 years ago

      Great pieces. Very simple and well connected write up. It can be better thank this. Stumbled on this at a time when i'm considering quitting my salary job for photography i like so much. Thanks so much

    • animshare profile image

      animshare 7 years ago from I

      Thanks for your comment jennyjenny.

    • jennyjenny profile image

      jennyjenny 7 years ago from Somewhere in Michigan

      Wow! This is great! Thanks for all or your hard work and very informative information! I am voting you up! :)