12.12.13 | Canon DSLR Gift Guide

It’s always this time of year that people start to ask me about cameras.  They either want to buy one as a gift or one from themselves.

Of course in January the most popular question I get is “I just got a new DSLR and I have no idea how to use it”   – which is a topic for another day. 

I’ve put together this little gift guide to hopefully help all of you that are eyeing to buy a new camera!    And because I am a Canon girl – all my references and links are going to be Canon or work with a Canon camera.  I know there are good Nikon products out there – but I just don’t know much about them.

So first the camera!  I started out with an older model Canon Rebel. They don’t even make the model that I used anymore.  There are several Rebel’s on the market right now…

Canon EOS Rebel T3

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Canon EOS Rebel T4i

Canon Rebel T5i

The Rebel I had is probably comparable to the T3.  They all have a little bit different capabilities and price ranges – but the Rebel is an excellent place to start when wanting to get into DSLR photography.

Last year I upgraded to the Canon EOS 60D.  I love everything about this camera! Best purchase I made all year!

Of course if you have a little more to spend – or want a higher end Canon DSLR there are more options!

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

I am planning to keep my 60D for several years…but I am always looking at what I might want to upgrade to. By that time there will probably be new choices!

As for the lens… you can purchase the Canon with or without a kit lens.  Most of them (lower and middle range) come with a 18 – 55 mm or 18 – 135 mm lens.  These lens are OK.  Not really my favorite, only because the f/stop isn’t low enough for me.  It didn’t take me long with my Rebel to relize that I needed to ditch the kit lens if I want to get better pictures.

I do recommend the  Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 .

I shot with this lens a lot before upgrading to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

Keep in mind that both of these lens are prime lens. Meaning you can’t zoom in and out with them.  You are the zoom by walking back and forth.  But they will give you that awesome blurry background.   I don’t mind not having a zoom – it forces me be more creative and actually move my body to get the shot that I want.   I use my 50 mm 1.4 for all (well 99%) my portrait photography.

However, I realize having a zoom lens does have its advantages! Sometimes I need a wider angle or can’t physically get closer to take a picture.   When I purchased my 60D I didn’t even bother buying the camera with  kit lens, instead I just purchased the camera body and the Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8

Which has been a great everyday lens.  Almost all (99%) of my everyday shots of my family come from this lens.   If you can purchase a camera body without the kit lens and get this lens instead  – go for it!  If you can throw in one of the 50 mm lens as well – you will have a great little photography toolkit to start with.

I also purchased the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

I thought I would use this lens a lot for my portrait sessions, but it turns out that I like the 50 mm better for that type of photography.  Only because I like to be close to my subject and be able to interact with them. The 85 mm is great for times when I am far away and just can’t get closer. I have used this lens a lot for sporting events and the kid’s programs at school.  This is also a prime lens which means no zoom!

Of course there are always more lens that I would like to purchase!  How about the:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8

or the: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8

I better start saving my money to get one of those!

Ok – I better stop with the links because it’s just making me want to buy more and more equipment!  But I hope this helped anyone that might be looking or wanting to start with a DSLR  (at least the Canon line).  If you have any questions please let me know.

Happy Shopping!

*All links above are through Amazon.com. I receive a small commission when products are purchased through these links



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2 Responses to 12.12.13 | Canon DSLR Gift Guide

  1. Joshua says:

    Which of these do you recommend as best for entry level? Thanks.

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