Whenever people find out that you’re a photographer, the first question they’ll probably ask you is going to be something along the lines of, “What camera do you use?” If it’s your first time being asked this question, you’ll probably tell them the actual name and model of your camera, and the majority will pretend to know what you’re talking about. You get asked enough times and you’ll realize it’s not worth answering or it’s more fun to tell them something like the Nikon Di1D0 and watch them nod their heads and tell you it’s an amazing machine (shout out to Lance). Inevitably, the conversation will lead to, “What camera should I buy?” or “What’s the best camera out there?” So I, being ever enthusiastic and eager to help lazy people, have decided to answer this question for anyone who wants to get into photography.
I have developed a complex, two-pronged answer to your enquiry and the first prong is to go fuck yourself, possibly with said prong. Yes. GO. FUCK. YOUR. SELF. Look in your kitchen to see if you have two bananas. If you do, great; you can skip this next step. If you don’t, go to the grocery store and don’t come back until you have two bananas. While you’re there, you might also want to pick up a stick of butter. Now that you have the two bananas and optional stick of butter, you’re going to want to eat both of the bananas because they are an excellent source of fiber and potassium. You can save the butter for later use. Then go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself if you think my camera somehow just turns itself on, thinks about how it wants to compose a photo, points itself at the subject, and presses its own buttons. Go fuck yourself if you have the notion that whatever expensive camera you buy is going to help you take better pictures, because it isn’t. Just like buying the best paintbrushes won’t magically make you a better painter, or buying the best shoes won’t make you run any faster. A camera is merely a tool and it is much more important to learn how to use one with time and practice than it is to have the best tool. I’ve seen people who have taken incredible photographs on their iPhone cameras (much thanks to Kevin, whose photo I used below) and I’ve seen people with above $1,000 cameras who still haven’t figured out shutter speed and every photograph they’ve ever taken is out of focus (looking at you, thing-under-mouth-tografy).
With all of that being said, if you’re not a tool whose only intention is to try to impress people with your camera, then I may have actual advice to you on the matter. Your gear does not matter, but I would still much rather have a Ferrari than a Ford Fusion, so fuck a beginner camera. It’s pointless and a waste of money and if I have any regrets, it’s buying a dumb fucking beginner camera because there is literally no difference in learning with a beginner camera and an “intermediate-pro”-level camera and you’ll soon realize that it won’t serve you for very long due to its limited capabilities. So first, figure out what type of content you want to create with your camera and do your research. What works for one person might not work for the next. Do you need a full frame with high ISO capabilities and fast autofocus for weddings? Do you need 4k recording capabilities? What is your budget? Then go buy your camera and learn how to fucking use it. Oh, and save some money for good lenses, because having a great camera with shitty lenses is like having a big penis and no hands. #badanalogy