I own a Nikon D800 DSLR, and use it for all photos on Dolly and Oatmeal, except when otherwise noted (sometimes my husband pops in with a few film photos). I’ve always used Nikon cameras, and to me, they’ve always been super reliable and easy to use. When I was starting, I used a lower end model, and as I got more discerning with what I wanted, my husband and I looked at what I should upgrade to, and purchasing the newest model made sense for what I wanted. When it comes to purchasing a camera, you should really assess your own needs, as well as what and how you plan to use it:
- Will you be traveling with it, or be in your home or a studio?
- Doing Food photography? Portraiture? Landscape? Lifestyle?
- Do you plan to shoot video?
- Do you need good low light capability?
- What kind of lenses and accessories will I need?
For instance, when we are out and about with Amesy, I rarely take my camera with me because it’s quite large and heavy. I say this because you have to think about what context or situation you’re going to be shooting in. If you can, try getting your hands on a camera before you decide on one to purchase to see what feels comfortable to shoot. Nikon or Canon, they're both great, and there are other great options out there too. Getting great photos is going to be more about what you’re comfortable shooting with, your preferences, and ultimately what you want your photos to look like. So looking at a camera in person, and comparing the models with what you want your outcomes to be is the best way if it's possible for you.
I have a few lenses, but my primary lens is a fixed focal length Sigma 50mm 1.4. The 1.4 maximum aperture lets in more light, so it allows me to shoot in lower light without having to increase my ISO or slow my shutter speed too much. This helps my photos stay sharp, lit, free of any motion blur, and all without becoming too grainy. The lens is a bit of a beast, but I love her! I also have a Sigma 35mm 1.4, but I use it mainly for travel and outside/landscape photos. Purchasing a lens should be an investment, so my biggest piece of advice would be to have a good idea of what you want to do with it, and don't skimp. The lenses you use really have a huge impact on the look of your photos. If you don't want to purchase more than one lens, you can look into a zoom lens which will allow you to adjust the focal length, whereas a fixed lens does not. They each have their pros and cons, which is why I say you need to think about what you want your outcome to be before you purchase a lens. You might want to take into consideration that you'll never get a zoom with as wide an aperture for lower light as you would a prime, and a good zoom with a bigger aperture will be bigger and cost more, but being able to change focal length without changing a lens can save a lot of time, and sometimes makes the difference in getting the shot you want or not.