Cameras For Christmas :: An Expert Guide to Camera Buying

Now here is a question I get asked all. the. time:

“I need a new camera, what camera should I buy?”

This isn’t a easy peasy lemon squeezy here is what you need to do answer, because it depends all on what you want to do with it. I know basically nothing about non-DSLR cameras, even though I used to have one myself. I even often get people handing me their point and shoot cameras and saying, “Your the photographer! You can take the picture!” Which is fine, until I tell them I can’t figure out how to turn it on hahahhaha.

So, to answer the question of what camera would I have for a camera you can just put in your purse and go with it would be the Fujifilm X-pro 1. But at the sound of $1,400 BEFORE you buy any lenses I’m sure that is not what your looking to buy. Even though it is a BAMF camera.

I would suggest NOT to get a point and shoot camera for sure. If your main reason is to get good pictures of your kids on a day to day bases (since having a photographer around 24/7 obviously isn’t an option) to capture all the moments from first steps to first day of school, I would say you need to get a DSLR. Now I’m a Canon girl, so I’m going to give Canon advice, but realistically you just need to hold each of them in your hand and see what FEELS best to you. If your not thinking of going too far with photography I’d say you don’t need to get a model higher than a Rebel T4i. And yes I would get the 18-55 kit lens with it. I know, I know, thats $900. BUT these things last. Any point and shoot I ever had never lasted me more than 4 years, if it lasted that long. But I still have my first DSLR and its… gosh… been a really long time. Yes I have gotten new cameras since then but only because I wanted to upgrade, not because that camera doesn’t work.

One thing I would say that also is a MUST get for getting GOOD images of your kiddos, or just life in general, is the 50mm 1.4. (even the 1.8 will do, but I’d spend the $250 more for the 1.4 any day of the week).  But even the T3i comes in a great kit with the 50mm lens if you are OK with not having a zoom lens. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT!!! — Make sure when buying a lens it has the correct MOUNT for your camera. If you have a Canon DSLR make sure the lens has a CANON mount. If its made by Canon your good to go, but if it is any other off brand make sure its for the correct camera. I don’t usually go for off brand, it doesn’t work as well for me, but some people like it.

The 50mm lens is what I have on my camera about 90% of the time. Seriously. Its a game changer and you don’t have the option. If you want a good camera, you need to get good glass (lenses). Period.

If you don’t like that it doesn’t zoom remember, your legs can do the zooming for you. 🙂

All of this said I know everyone who comes to me with this question does so because they love the art of photography. They know that they aren’t trained to, and may not have the artistic mind to take the pictures that you hire a good photographer to take. But they also know that having your child grow up with only photos from your cell phone is really really sad, especially if you drop your phone in the sink and haven’t backed up your photos. So get yourself a good camera, train yourself how to use it right.*** But don’t forget that you don’t always want to be behind the lens. You want your kids to grow up with pictures of them WITH their parents. You want to look back at your life and have professional pictures done every couple of years and see yourself photographed at your best by the best. I don’t need to convince anyone who has come to me asking which camera to get of this. However, this is going out to everyone. And it is great to have a DSLR. But I would no means call it a “professional camera”. The only thing that makes a camera professional is the learned and artistic person behind it. Not the “P for professional” setting 🙂 heheheh, just a little photog joke ;).

All this said. I know your awesome. And you need to make the right decisions for you. But if you read this you value my opinion and were looking for an answer. I hope I helped.

Merry Christmas!!!!


-Jenni O

*** P.S. – For video tutorials on the Canon Rebel cameras go to Creative Live! They are awesome! Rebel t2i Rebel t3i Rebel t4i (which also give you the Nikon equivalent) and if you really wanna learn how to use a DSLR buy The Fundamentals of Digital Photography!

**** Best websites to go to for buying cameras and equiptment are: and !


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