Photography Equipment List for Beginners
Every professional photographer has equipment in their kit that they “had to buy” at the time, but that they’ve never actually used. Check out our photography equipment list for beginners.
There is a lot of noise out there about all of the things photographers must have from the essentials like a camera body, to shoot through umbrellas, light metres and tripods that are only useful in certain styles of photography.
From conversations we’ve had with hundred’s of photographers at VENTH Studio we’ve put together this photography equipment list for beginners that you’ll use time and time again without breaking the bank!
- Camera Body
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM L series glass
- Camera Bag
- Camera Batteries
- Memory Card
- Memory Card Reader
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Reflector Panels
- Air Blower Cleaner
- Lens Pen
1. Select a Camera Body
Firstly, the most important thing to always remember is that it’s not the gear, but what you do with it that counts. If you think that there is a magical camera that will make you a successful photographer, you will be searching forever. That being said, the camera’s listed below will help you get started on the right foot ready for you to find your unique photography style.
Best in studio
|If studio photography is your caper then the Canon EOS 5DsR is the camera for you!
The 50 megapixel camera is not only ideal for in studio use but also for shooting portraits giving a similar result to medium format cameras (without the price tag). If you shoot a lot of beauty shots, heavily retouch your photos or simply want sharpness with out the medium format price tag check this camera out.
|With a full-frame 22.3 Megapixel sensor the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is ideal for commercial photographers working in a studio as well as on location.
This camera will appeal to a wide range of photographers and filmmakers so if you are after a versatile camera that packs a punch in and out of the studio without the 5D Mark IV price tag give this model a look.
|With an outstanding 42.4-megapixel count, the Sony α7R II lets you create clearer, more vibrant images all in the palm of your hand.
This lightweight camera solution gives you the benefit of live preview in the view finder.
While the AR72’s live view can cause some issues when shooting in studio with strobe lighting, this camera would be our top pick if we were starting our kit from scratch.
| 50.3 megapixels Full frame (36 x 24 mm) CMOS sensor
5 fps continuous shooting
ISO 100 – 6400 (expandable to 50 – 12,800)
Full HD video
Magnesium alloy construction
| 22MP full frame CMOS sensorISO 100-25600 standard, 50-102,800 expanded
6 fps continuous shooting
Shutter rated to 150,000 frames
1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
61 point AF system
63 zone iFCL metering system
100% viewfinder coverage
1040k dot 3:2 LCD
Dual card slots for CF and SD
| 42MP Full Frame BSI CMOS sensor399 on-sensor Phase Detection points
Picture Profile system including ITU-709 and S-Log2 gamma
Internal 4K recording from full sensor width or ‘Super’ 35 crop
5-axis image stabilization
Full magnesium alloy construction
2.36m dot OLED viewfinder with 0.7x magnification
High speed AF with non-native lenses
** If you are thinking of jumping ship from Canon to Sony but don’t want the expense of replacing your whole kit of lenses the Metabones 2 adapter is a great addition allowing you to use any existing Canon lenses you have to basically the same standard as native.
2 & 3. The two lenses that will cover all of your bases
|Zoom or Prime? What focal length…? When it comes to which lens to buy the options are endless.
These two lenses cover wide angles through to pretty tight zoom giving you complete versatility. The 70mm-200mm will be your workhorse for events while the 24mm-70mm is a great lens for cinematography.
Another benefit of this lens setup is that by covering a large range of focal lengths you will start to get a good feel of focal
Some prime lenses you might consider down the track are the Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 IS USM Standard Prime Lens, great for street photography with some people even saying that it’s not street photography unless it’s shot on 35mm, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens, one of the most popular portrait lenses, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, another great lens for portrait photography and the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM for those wide angle landscape and architecture shots.
Learn more about the two lenses all beginners need.
4. Camera Bag
|There is no point spending thousands of dollars investing in camera gear just to store it in a dusty cupboard or to carry it around in an old gym bag.
You’ll want to invest in something sturdy enough to protect your gear that is easy to carry and transport. Generally speaking, there are three options for camera storage – a pelican case, backpacks or messenger bags. While a pelican case is the most secure option for storing your equipment, it’s also the most difficult to lug around on a day to day basis.
For us, comfort is right up there with protection which is why we choose to use a backpack rather than an over the shoulder messenger bag. Another thing to consider is that you might find you prefer a messenger bag if you need to access your gear fast, or if you want to look less like you are carrying around expensive equipment.
We recommend the Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera Backpack in our photography equipment list for beginners because it is large enough to fit both your camera gear and accessories, as well as a laptop up to the size of a 17″ Macbook Pro.
5. Camera Batteries
|Trust us, you need at least one spare set of batteries for your camera. If you consider that starter photography kits typically supply a charging port that will only fit one battery at a time, having a spare set that can be on charge while your camera is in use is super useful. Further to that, if you plan on shooting two days in a row, if you want to take any video, if you are even slightly unorganised, buy a second set. The Canon LP-E6N is the battery required for both the Canon EOS 5DsR and Canon EOS 5D Mark III.|
6. Memory Cards
|Any good photography kit will have at least 2 high speed memory cards. There will no doubt be times when you haven’t had a chance to import photos from a shoot onto your computer before it’s time to shoot again, having two memory cards will reduce the likelihood of running out of memory to prevent any need to delete photos from the camera, which is really not good for the memory card and can cause format errors.
We recommend the Lexar Professional 64GB CF Memory Cards. We’ve been using them for years shooting both stills and videos and have never had a corrupt card.
7. Memory Card Reader
|This one is pretty simple, you have to get the images onto your computer somehow right? While you might find your computer has a SD card reader but if you are shooting on a CF memory card this purchase is pretty much non negotiable.
We use the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader which reads both SD and CF memory cards. Like with the memory cards, we’ve been using the same Lexar products that we invested in years and years ago and have never had an issue.
8. Image Editing Software
|Our photography equipment list for beginners wouldn’t be complete without some kind of image editing software. As a minimum all professional photographers will need Lightroom for basic colour corrections, blemish removals and image selection.
I know, I know… What about Photoshop right? Photoshop is an excellent tool for more complex retouching where the ability to control layers comes in handy. Additionally it’s also an awesome tool for more major image adjustments like removing a particular object or even the whole background to an image.
This is why many photographers like to pair Lightroom and Photoshop; so much so that Adobe has introduced a package designed for photographers!
|If you plan on charging people for portraits or are going to be shooting any events you HAVE to buy a flash. You will find that it is not possible to rely on the sun being in the perfect position all of the time and without some kind of lighting you will either be rescheduling a lot of photoshoots or producing sub par images that customers will not be happy to pay for.
We recommend the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight Flash because simply, it is the best.
10. Reflector Panel & Light Diffuser
11. & 12. Cleaning Supplies
|Camera’s get dirty. In order to keep it clean you will need a little airblowey thing (techinical, we know) and some lens pens. If you’ve taken nothing else away from our photography equipment list for beginners, listen to this… If you cannot clean your camera using one of these two tools, get your camera serviced. Furthermore if you start poking around trying to find that spec of dust you will ruin your camera and you will cry.|
Thanks for supporting the brands that support VENTH Studio. Leave any product recommendations in the comments below that we missed in our photography equipment list for beginners.