In 2007, I got my first Digital SLR camera, a Canon Rebel xti! Hellooo, first love!!! I had been wanting a camera that took good pictures. You know, One that could give me that “blurry” background look that always caught everyone’s attention. So, naturally, I believed had to get a “fancy” camera! The fact that the DSLR (mirrorless wasn’t around then) could change lenses and couldn’t fit in my pocket, made me feel like a pro, and I believed that I’d have the BEST pictures out there! Wrong.
For years I only shot my Rebel on AUTO—you know, where the camera does absolutely all the work for you. I would shoot and hope that AUTO came through for me. Sometimes it did and other times it was underwhelming. But it wasn’t the camera’s fault. The reality was, I didn’t know what I was doing. Even more painful to admit, I was using only about 5% of the camera’s capabilities! Yikes. That expensive camera of mine could do so much more!
DSLR and mirrorless cameras are expensive for a reason—they’re high tech! Yes, you can just point and shoot them, but they’re made for the photographer to CONTROL them by exposing manually and changing out lenses. So, when considering purchasing one, make sure it’s the right fit and worth your hard earned dollars! Here are some things you may want to consider 🙂
A DSLR or mirrorless camera is for you if:
- You’re interested in learning the technical side of photography (e.g. aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, etc.)
- You already have technical knowledge of photography and want high quality images.
- You’re willing to purchase additional expensive lenses (likely much more than what you’ll pay for your DSLR/mirrorless camera body).
- Your end game is to become a professional photographer. I must say, I have no experience using a mirrorless camera for professional portrait photography. Nor do I have the inkling to. I LOVE shooting with my DSLR!
Save your dollars if:
- You don’t have time or the desire to learn the technical side of photography.
- You don’t want to spend more on expensive lenses (likely much more than what you’ll pay for your DSLR/mirrorless camera body).
- You want a fast, consistent way to take high quality images.
- You want ease of portability to take your camera with you everywhere (though this is much easier with a mirrorless camera body depending on the size of the lens attached).
If you’re noticing that maybe a DSLR or mirrorless camera isn’t the right fit for you, no worries! I’m glad I could help you not spend nearly three times as much as you need to! 🙂 There are tons of quality options in the point-and-shoot camera world, especially in the Canon world! (Can you tell I’m tried and true Canon lover?) Not to mention, they’re lots cheaper! My favorite point-and-shoot camera in the past has been the Canon Powershot series, and the newer models have only gotten better!
If you believe you and a DSLR or mirrorless camera are a match made in heaven, yay! I recommend starting with a Canon Rebel! (Again, I have no experience using a mirrorless camera for professional portrait photography. Nor do I have the inkling to. I LOVE shooting with my DSLR!) My Rebel xti served me for years. What I came to learn is the importance of quality “glass,” or the lens. This is what I saved my dollars for prior to purchasing a higher-end DSLR. But that’s for a future post! 🙂
Friend, this is just my opinion. I only write this to help you make the decision to invest or save your dollars. Just please, oh please, don’t be like me and spend tons of money to only use 5% of the camera’s capability, unless, of course, you’re ready to use it! I’d love to answer any more questions you may have! Send them my way! 🙂