Thinking about creating a photography blog? Maybe you’ve been taking some great photos on your smartphone and you’re ready to take your photography to the next level? Perhaps you’ve found a photographic niche you want to pursue (think “Humans of New York”) and you want to get the right gear for it. Whichever is true, you’re ready to invest in a dedicated camera.
Here are my top picks with the photography blogger in mind.
Compact cameras (otherwise known as point-and-shoot cameras) are a great way to get your feet wet in the world of photography. They’re inexpensive, offer much more control than a smartphone, and feature optical zoom lenses.
This little camera is perfect for those who want a camera that will in their pocket, yet is more powerful than the standard smartphone. Its greatest asset is its 10x optical zoom lens—with a range from a whopping 25 to a full 250mm. That’s quite a spread! It comes with an 18.2 mega-pixel sensor that performs well in low-light, an assortment of digital filters, built-in Wi-Fi, and Full HD video recording. It even has image stabilization. For the price, you can’t go wrong.
Also known as a “travel compact,” the ZS100 features a large 1” sensor, OIS Image Stabilization, a fast lens, and a whole lot of zoom. It’s large sensor size totally outguns the competition, helping it perform well in low-light conditions with a high ISO range. The functions modes include aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure, and you can save files as both Raw images and Jpegs. It even has a “Post Focus” feature that allows you to take the shot and choose what’s in focus later. If you’re looking for a pocket-size camera that packs a wallop, the ZS100 might just be for you.
If you’re wanting more control over your settings and the versatility of interchangeable lenses, but not wanting the bulk and heft of a full-fledged DSLR, then a mirrorless camera might be for you. These tend to have all the features of a conventional DSLR, yet are both smaller and lighter since they don’t have a mirror.
This feature-packed camera feels great in the hand, yields stunning images, yet doesn’t take up much space. While it’s just 16 megapixels (thankfully megapixels aren’t everything), its amazing TruePic VII image processing makes up for the lapse with a brilliant low-light shooting. Other features include amazing in-body image stabilization, a quality viewfinder, and a 3” LCD touchscreen on the back. And like most cameras in its milieu, you can record both 4k and full HD video. The one thing other brands don’t have, however, is Olympus’ famed art filters, all designed to set your creativity alight.
This compact mirrorless boasts excellent image quality, a great set of features, and superb auto-focus performance. It has an impressive image stabilization system that works for both video and stills. Other features include 4K video, a 3”high-resolution touchscreen, and no less than 6 autofocus modes. You can also use the touchscreen to focus—even while looking through the viewfinder! And like the other Panasonic models, it has the “Post Focus” feature, allowing you to choose the focal area after you’ve made the shot.
Sleek and powerful, this full-featured little camera comes with a 24.3-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-51,200, excellent 4k and Full HD video capabilities, and film simulations. You can shoot in both Raw and Jpeg, even up to the highest ISO ranges. It’s 3” touchscreen is lacking in a few features, but the overall performance and image quality by far make up for it.
If you’re looking to step into the world of “serious” photography, then investing in a DSLR may just be the way to go. Their large sensors set them far apart from the rest of the pack, delivering a much higher image quality. You also get a full set of controls—from auto to manual—giving you the greatest amount of versatility and control in how your images turn out. The cameras below are our favorite entry-level DSLRs to date.
Sporting a compact, lightweight body, this little Nikon is supremely easy to use. It comes with a Guide mode for the first-time user, has a superb battery life, and a well-performing auto-focus system. What’s more, any lenses you buy for the D3400 can be used on future Nikon DX camera upgrades, so when you’re ready for a pro camera, you’ll have the lenses. As far as bells and whistles are concerned, the D3400 has no Wi-Fi or touchscreen, but at this price that’s not surprising. Overall, a superb investment for the funds, especially for one’s first DSLR.
If you’re into outdoor photography, this is definitely a camera to consider. The K-70 is compact and made for the weather—it’s water-resistant, dustproof, and cold-resistant down to -14 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to all the standard features one would expect in a camera of this price range, the K-70 sports a 24.2-megapixel count, Pentax’s 5-axis Sensor-Shift image stabilization, Wi-Fi, and Motion Correction. One of the more unique options is the “Astrotracer,” a feature that prevents star trails when photographing the night sky.
This entry-level Canon comes with all the bells and whistles of modern DSLRs: built-in NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth; a vari-angle 3” touchscreen, and image stabilization. On top of these, you also get HDR and time-lapse movie capabilities, creative filters, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to take your lenses with you when you upgrade. If you’re looking to enter the Canon scene, this is a great place to start.
Enthusiast DSLRs offer more power, control, and robustness than typical entry-level DSLRs, and the price reflects that. But they’re worth the investment if you want to really dial in your settings and/or are shooting a range of subjects in a variety of conditions.
One of the features that makes mid-grade cameras worth their investment is their faster shooting rates and super-quick, pin-sharp auto-focus. Here the Canon 80D doesn’t disappoint. Its Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor is a couple of steps ahead of just about every entry-level DSLR and can pull off its focus magic in just about any kind of light. Its high-speed continuous shooting goes up to 7.0 fps—enough to please any sports or wildlife enthusiast. So if you’re looking for added control, superb autofocus, and a sensor that can literally snatch images out of the dark, the 80D is worth a look.
These days a top ten camera list wouldn’t be complete without at least one action photography option. Unsurprisingly, GoPro still has this field nailed.
You might think a video camera a strange choice to include in a list dedicated to still photography, but the Hero 6 actually has the capacity to capture amazing stills as well. And let’s face it, Gopro is still the industry leader when it comes to small, resilient cameras that you can attach to just about anything. The Hero 6 is waterproof down to 33ft (without a housing!), can be operated by voice command, shoots stills in both Raw and Jpeg, and has advanced its low-light capabilities (it even comes with HDR capabilities).
Let me know which one is your favorite camera for photography a in a comment below.