The Ideal Camera to Begin Your Photography Journey

As a working photographer, I often receive messages from beginners who need camera-buying advice. While my technological ignorance is nothing to be proud of, I just don’t consider this knowledge crucially important to being a successful photographer. Beginners often already have a subject choice, but they are looking for the right piece of equipment to capture that subject with. Should they buy a Sony, a Canon, or, God forbid, a Nikon? Which lens should you pick, which camera body? Is full frame worth it in 2023? Should you buy an entry-level camera or go pro immediately? So many questions, all of them have a simple answer: use what you have.

A beginner photographer needs a camera that is simple to use and practice the skill of photography on. Smartphones offer just that. You don’t need to mess with a plethora of unnecessary settings. Most beginners can get by without advanced features that a traditional camera offers.

What is more important for someone who is starting out in photography is to have a camera that they can use every day and that they can take with themselves in order to practice photography. Practice makes perfect, and I am a big believer in the 10,000-hour rule. Just owning a camera does not make you a better photographer.

I am a strong believer in the fact that there has not been a bad camera since the release of the Canon 5D Mark II. The requirements for stills have not changed since then as well. What is important when starting out in photography is not so much the image quality of your work, but rather the content of the image itself. As long as the camera fulfills the core functionality, you can practice capturing moments and developing your style with any tool.

So, what can you do to practice the ability to have a style and the ability to see and capture moments? You can start with an example that’s closest to me: people photography. You can use your phone to take street images, capture street styles, and even do some basic portrait shoots with it. The limitations that your phone sets will make you more creative when it comes to composition, angles, etc. You can also practice capturing street and landscapes with your phone. Just by having a phone camera with you, you can become more observant and end up a much better and experienced photographer.

So, as we can see, the best camera for a beginner photographer is the one they have already and ideally a good smartphone. Given that the core of photography is capturing moments with a sense of aesthetic and artistic vision, you need a camera. This camera is built right into your smartphone. So, instead of getting into a camera system just now, spend a few months shooting and practicing on your phone.