It's a question I get asked a lot online, "What gear did you start with?".
I've always tried to keep my gear light and simple on the account that I always have my two toddlers and my dog in tow, so carrying a whole lot of stuff is just not going to happen. Another thing is I am a single mother and my budget is limited, I was still able to buy some awesome gear and little things to help take better photos.
I started shooting on film back in the 90's, my first camera was a disposable one with 10 shot in it! The days when you had to really think about your shot before you took it.
There's a misconception in digital photography, it seems that the idea is to have all these types of gadgets and pieces of equipment, sure some are helpful, but I believe all you really need is the camera, and to know your camera and to advance your skill, always. Another piece of advice I can give is to learn how to shoot in manual mode.
1. My Camera: is a Nikon D5500 and my lens was the 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 that comes with the basic package and that I still use most of the time. I bought this camera because I've always been a fan of Nikon but also because of the flip screen, it's pretty useful for creating different angles and it's practical when shooting self videos because you can watch yourself and see what it all looks like live. It's a great camera, mine has been through a lot of "oups" moments and it was dropped by my two year old and survived! Quick tip: If you shoot in manual mode, you will find that your camera can do much more and that the magic really happens in the lens that you are using. Different situations need different lens.
2. My traveling tripod: I purchased it on Amazon and it is made by Amazon Basics. You could go out and buy a very expensive tripod, which would be awesome if you can afford them, but I find that this low priced one is good enough to start with. I don't use my tripod very much, unless I am shooting a long exposure, it usually doesn't come out of it's bag but for it's price, it is awesome and I highly recommend it for beginners who want to save money like I did.
3. No remote, I use an app. Bare with me, I will explain. The Nikon D5500 is WiFi compatible so instead of buying a remote (I know they are cheap, but every penny counts when you first start out, am I right?) I use a Nikon app on my Android. With WiFi, the app connects my camera and my phone together then I use my smart phone as the remote. P.S. All major brands that manufacture WiFi enabled cameras will also have an app like this.
4. My camera strap: I didn't like the Nikon strap and I needed a bit of color and style! I bought this strap for 10$ CAD, and I love it. It is sturdy and well made, I've had it for a while now and it is still in great shape. Definitely a great buy!
5. My camera bag: I love this bag's style, maybe it's because I was in the military before, but anyways, this bag is awesome. It can hold all my stuff and it's comfortable to carry. It does come in other colors and styles, I think Amazon has the largest inventory of camera bags, I recommend shopping there for one!
6. My filters: Like I previously said, I don't have a huge budget for gear and so I found this little kits with a few helpful tools for a very good price. Sometimes, you pay what you get for and sometimes things are just well priced. Be careful if you purchase a kit like this and make sure you check your camera's lens thread size before ordering. The kit includes an Ultraviolet UV, Circular Polarizer CPL, Fluorescent FLD, Neutral Density Set (ND2, ND4, ND8), Carrying Pouch, Collapsible Rubber Lens Hood, Snap-On Lens Cap and a few cleaning things. The neutral density set I use for long exposures, and the lens hood helps to diminish light glare in your photos.
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Feel free to get in touch, I am here to help!
-> Got a tip that can save a photographer some money? Share in the comments, I would love to know! :)
Peace & Love,