Lounge Talk With Laz Episode 7 Recap

Hi there and welcome to another exciting episode of Lounge Talk With Laz! In this week’s episode I explore photography and what to look for in entry-level DSLR cameras.

Like I mentioned in my most recent blog post, one of my goals for the year was to get back into photography and shoot on a weekly basis. As a result I’ve had quite a few people asking me about camera features, what to look for, where to buy and which models are the best for someone who’s just starting in the hobby.

In the past I wrote a comprehensive guide to purchasing a DSLR camera, but I wanted to take a moment to discuss some other considerations that aren’t listed in the guide.

My first suggestion would be to figure out what your price point is. For a beginner, a cheap DSLR camera is all that you’ll need as you become accustomed to shooting and the various features that a DSLR offers in comparison to a smart phone.

Technique and experience are the most important aspects of shooting good photos, not the equipment you have, and a lot of hobbyists often become discouraged at the learning curve in effectively using a DSLR.

This discouragement is another reason to factor in pricing, because there is a possibility that you don’t like using a DSLR to shoot photos or your needs may change in the future. It’s better to spend less money on a cheaper DSLR on the chance that it will gather dust in the corner of your room in years to come.

Speaking of your needs, another factor to take into consideration is what you’re using the camera for. Are you shooting vacation photos or looking to jump into the hobby? Are you shooting videos or taking portrait pictures?

Depending on your needs, different cameras will fill that niche better than others, but if the objective is to primarily take photos the Pentax K-50, Rebel T-5 or Nikon D3300 are perfect for the entry-level photographer.

The only thing that I would caution is that there are different upgrade paths for different brands of cameras. Certain lenses will only fit on certain camera mounts; the Nikon D3300’s lenses don’t upgrade to the Nikon D650, which require a full mount lens. Inversely, the Pentax K-50’s lenses won’t fit on the Nikon D3300 because they only fit on the Pentax-specific K-mount.

To sum that up, lenses only fit on certain cameras and it’s important to know if your lenses will fit on newer camera bodies so you aren’t investing hundreds of dollars into unusable lenses for the future.

A great way to save money on lenses and camera bodies is to purchase them used and refurbished. I bought my used Pentax K-50 and two lenses from KEH for $260 in 2016 and have had no reason to upgrade. I received the camera in near perfect condition and have never had issues purchasing from KEH.

If you do want to buy brand new, I would encourage you to avoid buying from Microcenter and Best Buy, who often mark up their prices or attempt to upsell you into a newer camera that you don’t really need as a beginner. B&N and Adorama are good vendors to purchase from, or you can buy straight from the brand itself as many vendors will follow their pricing when it comes to monthly specials.

Be sure to check out the full podcast episode for a more in-depth look into purchasing a DSLR and stay tuned for next week’s episode of the latest and greatest in digital marketing and social media news!