Photography & Filming

A Camera (Or Phone) For Every Budget

It’s the holiday season, and that means that many folks are considering a new camera. That doesn’t mean you should run out and by the cheapest DSLR or mirrorless camera, and photographer and YouTuber Tony Northup explains why.

The majority of folks see a large, bulky camera with a detachable lens and assume that the image quality is going to be significantly higher than a phone. While it can be, depending on what camera and lens you buy and how you use it, a bargain basement EOS Canon Rebel T100 and 18-55mm kit lens won’t really get you there. These types of cameras, Northrup explains, are often hamstrung by their kit lenses.

Instead, Northrup recommends ponying up for a better kit lens that opens up more options, such as a Canon EF 18-135 f/3.5-4.6 IS USM lens that can give you far more zoom and background blurring capability for nice portraits. There are also older, cheaper options and the used market as well.

The big thing to consider is what you’ll use the camera for. For a good many folks, a phone camera can serve the function that most cameras would, and so, short of shooting a specifically challenging genre such as sports or wildlife, this is probably the best place to spend money, Northrup says.

The other group of folks that could benefit from a proper camera are hobbyists that love the feel of shooting with mechanical dials and buttons, and this is where DSLR cameras and mirrorless systems are unmatched. Tapping a screen on a phone doesn’t have the same satisfying feeling as the “click” of the shutter.

But after all that, which system or camera is right for you? Northrup takes a look at a lot of good used and new options to fit almost every budget (spoiler alert, if you’re not prepared to spend $1,000 or more, watch with caution). Any of these cameras would make an excellent choice, but watch the video above to hear Northrup’s specific recommendations.

Do you have a camera you think should have made the list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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