MomTog Mentors- what to put in your bag.
I've been focusing and loving on mamas for three years now.
In the midst of my focus I found a love for teaching moms how to take better photographs of their kids. I fell deep into this passion about a year and a half ago and it’s evolving and growing by leaps and bounds.
While stumbling upon MomTog Mentors I starting receiving a common question-
“What camera should I buy?” & “What is the best, yet most affordable lens to capture these moments?”
So I decided to research and study in order to give you the best answers. Let’s review some basic, yet confusing basics and what I believe you should put in your camera bag.
Let’s start with camera bodies.
I am going to go over some great recommendations for a DSLR. But what does that mean? DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex, which pretty much means- high resolution camera beast that produces digital images. You can typically change lenses to your liking on these cameras (we will go over that in a few).
The first thing to remember is that your camera body is a tool. It is not a magical wonder that gives the most glorious photos right off the bat. A nice DSLR will provide higher resolution images with a nice, sharp look but all of the details that pour into a gorgeous image are intricate and takes some knowledge on the bases of photography. You can learn so much on how to use your DSLR by attending my in person workshop called MomTog Mentors.
I know that budgets are huge, especially if this is to simply write love letters to your kiddos through photography. You should budget $600-$1,500 for your DLSR camera body and lens combined. I must encourage you to NOT purchase the camera and lens sold as a kit. You will never use the bells and whistles that come along with it and the “kit lenses” stink. Just don’t. Also, I find it to be more of a risk to purchase a used camera body. Lenses are great to buy used! Just grab that body new. I suggested these bodies to you because they are great machines and affordable in the eyes of a parent who doesn’t foresee a career in photography.
Here’s some great suggestions. Keep in mind that these are the camera body only! Lenses should be purchased separately.
Canon Rebel t5i - $488.00
Canon Rebel T7 - $749.00
Canon 70D - $822.00
I was able to find a great website that did a side by side comparison for you so you can see the differences in these camera bodies. See it here.
Let’s move onto lenses.
This is where things can get a little complicated. The above bodies have a crop sensor. Long story short, this means your focal length of your lens (ex: 50mm) will not be true to perspective. The focal length is cropped. Confusing, I know! But we can work through this as simply as possible. I primarily work off of prime lenses (this means that the lens does not zoom) so that’s what I will be recommending to you. The focal length below will be the TRUE focal length that is found on your lens. I will state the approximate crop sensor length next to the true number. Focal length is how WIDE your image will be. So, for example, a 24mm is considered a wide angle and a 50mm is considered a portrait lens.
Now let’s talk about aperture. Aperture is a part of your exposure triangle - something that you use in order to learn how an image is properly exposed. Also something that is taught in MomTog Mentors. Aperture is controlled through your lens where shutter speed and ISO is controlled through your camera body. It’s a nice, yet very confusing marriage. The decimal number that you see next to a lens focal length is your lens aperture range, it is also read with an “f” in front of the decimal. Aperture not only controls your depth of field (blurriness in the background of an image) but it also controls how much light the lens allows into your camera body.
So with alllll of that said- here’s some suggestions:
35mm f/2.0 by Yongnuo - focal length on a cropped sensor is 56mm
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 - focal length on a cropped sensor is 38mm
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 - focal length on a cropped sensor is 80mm (some people love this lens but I don’t recommend it on a crop sensor! Especially if you’re wanting to take lifestyle images of your children!)
I hope I didn’t make your brain explode. HA! Just bear with me here.
DSLR cameras are incredible machines. I absolutely love mine! I just find that it can be a nuisance to travel with since they can be heavy and bulky. For this reason and recognizing personal preference I’m going to go over a few mirrorless “point and shoot” camera bodies. They are amazing little things, very light and very friendly to travel with.
Here’s my favorites:
Fujifilm X100F This camera has a fixed lens that is not interchangeable but she’s a tiny mighty beast. I love mine!!
FujiFilm X-T100 - body only (lenses can found below- you must use Fujinon lenses with this body!)
I really hope this answers the common questions that I often receive. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any other questions!