As a beginner photographer or filmmaker, you always start thinking about what gear you actually need. There are some essentials you need to buy in order to produce crisp images and short movies. So the question is, what camera gear to get as a beginner and buy first?
In this short article, we are going to discuss which gear is necessary, gear that is recommended and which is nice to have.
My first short film & experience movie for a bigger client was mainly shot on a Sony Alpha 7 III and the Zeiss 24-70 f4.0.
I can already hear you screaming at me since both of the above items aren’t exactly low budget. But let me tell you this. A solid full-frame DSLM or DSLR combined with a sharp lens will get you pretty far. All other future items aren’t too important if you are just starting out.
Bodies to get
- Modern DSLM/DSLR capable of 4k and 1080p @ 120fps:
Lenses to get
Probably everybody out there has different opinions when it comes to buying your first lenses. So I’m trying to make this short. There are in general two options you can go for. Firstly, a zoom lens kit, to be more versatile. Secondly, a prime lens kit to be able to capture more light or thirdly a mix out of both. (All Sony Lenses are to be used on the E-Mount System.)
- A solid 24 -70 at f2.8 or 4.0 to cover your daily work and most of your scenes
The 24-70 basically covers most of your photography and even videography when you are just starting out.
- A wide angle lens
- A Tele Lens 70-200 or above
- 24 – 35mm prime lenses to get that nice angle and shoot wide angle images
- Sigma 35mm f1,4 DG HSM Art for Sony E
- Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC Contemporary for Sony E
- Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN for Sony E
- Canon 24mm f2.8 Pancake Lens
- 50mm f1.8 or below (depending on your budget) for shooting b-roll and portraits
- For Sony
- For Canon (Nifty Fifty)
- 85mm portrait lens
Other Equipment & Essentials
Next to a camera and a kit of lenses every photographer and film-maker needs additional key elements to get some nice and crisp images & footage.
- ND Filters (Neutral Density): One essential film making item you will need are ND Filters. Blocking extra light to keep your shutter speed at a fixed rate (2x your frame rate) and maintain a cinematic look.
- Polarization Filter: If you are shooting landscapes or other types of photography and ever wondered how to reduce those nasty reflections and bright surfaces.
- No need to go fancy. Use this one
Something to mention
What camera gear should you get as a beginner then? Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of options when it comes down to choosing your first lenses when you are just starting out. This short list of camera bodies and lenses is just based on my experience. But I also do have to say that I mostly shoot on a 24 – 70 f2.8 or even just on an f4.0.
Mainly shooting on zoom lenses will be much more convenient and easier to use. Shooting on primes does have the benefit in having more light, but it also means you have to get even more creative.
If I have to give you only one certain advice. When you’re just starting out, get a 24 – 70 f 2.8 or 4.0 (Depending on your budget). There’s still plenty of time to build upon this first kit. When we are talking about primes and you are a canon shooter don’t skip the 50mm f1.8 (NiftyFifty). This lens is basically the best bang for the buck you can get.