While the camera body you use is certainly not the only piece of equipment that affects the impact and quality of your images, it certainly is an important building block. The main correlation between a camera body and it’s price is the camera’s ability to perform in low light situations. In more expensive cameras, the noise that results from a high ISO is less distracting than that from a less expensive camera.
Canon camera bodies
Nikon camera bodies
First time around?
If you’ve never purchased a lens other than the one(s) that came with your camera, the wide range of choices could easily feel overwhelming! Our advice is to choose a single, fixed lens with a low aperture number as your entry point into the world of camera lenses. A 50mm f/1.8 lens (marked below with a red star) is an economical but effective way to begin creating ultra-clear images with extra-blurry backgrounds.
Top Row: Canon 35mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 50mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 85mm 1.2, Canon 100mm 2.0 macro
Bottom Row: Canon 17-55 2.8, Canon 24-70 2.8, Lensbaby Sweet 50 for Canon, Canon 70-200 2.8
Top Row: Nikon 17-35mm 2.8, Nikon 35mm 1.4, Nikon 35mm 1.8, Nikon 50mm 1.8, Nikon 50mm 1.4, Nikon 85mm 1.8,
Bottom Row: Nikon 105mm 2.8, Nikon 85mm 1.4, Nikon 24-70 2.8, Lensbaby Sweet 50 for Nikon, Nikon 70-200 2.8
MORE ABOUT LENSES
The first part of a lens’ description is its focal length, which is measured in millimeters. This number describes how close or far you will feel to your subject when looking through the lens: the lower the number, the farther you will feel, the higher the number, the closer you will feel.
The wider a lens opens, the more light it lets in. When lenses are labeled with low aperture numbers, such as 1.4, 1.8, or 2.8, they have the ability to open wide. In plain terms, this means that the lens will produce a higher shutter speed as well as a blurrier background!
Fixed v. Zoom
When a lens is described by two focal lengths (ex: 24-70mm), it is considered to be a “zoom” lens. This means that you will feel closer or farther to your subject depending on how you turn the zoom ring. Lenses with a single focal length (ex: 50mm) do not have the ability to change focal lengths. However, these lenses tend to be sharper than zoom lenses and offer wider apertures.