Posted by Glyn Wade

Where to start…. Price! How much can you afford to spend on your amazing new toy? It’s no use looking at cameras that are way out of your price league so have a set figure in your head. Prices vary wildly especially if you start with secondhand cameras on ebay and look up to brand new models from high street shops.

The second thing to think about is what do you want your camera to do? Do you want to do bracketing? Do you need a wide range of ISO? Do you want to use exposure compensation? Have a think about these things and do some research. The internet is a goldmine of information from comparison sites such as to forums such as Even facebook is a great place to question seasoned snappers as there are many groups dedicated to taking pictures just in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire let alone worldwide. And then there’s Willfield Camera Club where Nikon and Canon owners sit together in, ahem, perfect harmony. Anyone here will give you help and advice on which camera to purchase but we’ll leave the main battle up to you!

I would also take into account how much use you are going to get out of your camera. If photography is just something you do every now and then and programmes such as Photoshop and Lightroom are something you’re not interested in then maybe a digital SLR isn’t necessary. Simple snapshot cameras can take great pictures these days (even phones to be honest!) and bridge cameras are competitively priced with excellent results.

If you want to mess around with aperture, shutter priority etc and have pictures worthy of getting to know what scrubby zoom is then it’s worth spending a little more.

There are a few manufacturers such as Nikon, Canon and Sony that have systems where you can change your lenses. To be honest that’s where the costs start to mount but that can be done later and you can build a collection over the years. You can stick with the same camera body and/or make but eventually have the lenses to suit every situation. The basic lens, such as an 18-55, that comes with a camera kit is a perfect way to start and is a very useful lens in its own right.

Well that’s where to start before we even start to look at full frame cameras (down to how much you can afford of course) and without even touching on accessories such as tripods, flashguns, filters etc etc

Wherever you do start….it’s going to be a fun and fulfilling hobby. We all think so anyway!

Some suggestions of where to buy and get advice: