I don’t think any post has ever been more highly requested! Today, I’m giving you all of the details on my camera, the process I went through when looking for one to buy and some tips for choosing your first or next camera.
I’ll start off my answering two of the most asked and obvious questions before we dive into the deep stuff.
One: The camera I use to record videos for YouTube and take photos for the blog is the Canon EOS M10. I currently only shoot with the kit lens (15-45mm) which gets the job done. I also use this Amazon brand tripod, which is lightweight and good for capturing lifestyle shots and simple video. Eventually, I’ll be upgrading to one that’s more heavy duty.
Two: Yes, I love my camera. It was definitely one of my favorite purchases of 2017 and my greatest blogging investment to date.
I took me about 2-3 months of research to find which camera would be right for me and my needs. There are so many brands, posts and options out there it can be super overwhelming to make a choice! I’ll break down the other options I considered and why I didn’t choose them, what I wanted in a camera and some resources that helped me decide.
What I wanted in a camera
I decided to invest in a camera because I knew I wanted to include more original photography on the blog and I wanted to get started on YouTube. The later was my biggest consideration. I didn’t know what kind of videos I would end up doing at first, so I wanted something that would be good for either vlog or sit down style videos.
A lightweight camera that I could (gently) throw in my bag was also something I really wanted. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by a huge kit just starting out, because even though I love creating photo content, it’s not my main priority. I didn’t want a learning curve to stop me from using my investment.
Lastly, I needed something that could grow with me and be useful even after I upgraded to other gear. I wanted my first camera to make me fall even more in love with photo and video and get a handle on the basics.
Cameras I Considered
I learned quickly that what I wanted was a mirrorless camera. These are also known as compact cameras. They have smaller bodies than DSLRs but have the option for interchangeable lenses (which is important)!! They tend to be cheaper than DSLRs and are great for video.
Here are some cameras I considered:
All of these are in the $500-700 range, and the camera I bought came up slightly under at around $450 –the most budget friendly mirrorless option! In the end my choice came down to price point, use-ability and other research that I’ll mention below.
I bought my camera on Amazon and used Prime so that I wouldn’t have to wait long for delivery. I’ve never tracked a package more aggressively in my life!! I’ve had it for nearly a year now and have taken tons of photos and videos (even some that were deleted and never posted). Here are some pros and cons of the Canon EOS M10:
– Budget Friendly
– Interchangeable Lenses
– Great photo and video quality (the photo above was taken with my camera)
– Wifi enabled (so you can quickly get photos from camera to phone or computer)
– Slower autofocus
– Requires an adapter to use other Canon lenses
– Not great in low light situations
Some resources and tips
I know there are an overwhelming amount of blog posts and videos on buying cameras, but here are some that really helped me make the choice, others I’ve found since purchasing and some other tips.
- Cameras for bloggers and Instagramers (even explores smart phones!)
- Best Cameras for YouTube Videos
- Mirrorless Cameras for Bloggers
- If you’re looking to step up your tech and especially if you’re curious about video — subscribe to the Video Influencer and Think Media Channels
- Obsessively stalk your favorite bloggers, Instagramers and YouTubers and see what they use! Check every bio, description box and about page –especially photographer/videographer pages!
Before You Buy
If you can, go to your local Best Buy or big box store (Walmart, Target, etc) to actually hold and play around with the camera in person. I knew within a few minutes of holding the Sony a5100 that I didn’t want it because it didn’t feel as natural to hold as other cameras did.
Once you have a few cameras in mind, search YouTube for unboxing videos and reviews to see what others think. Try to find reviews of people who’ve had the camera for a while and those who just got it to see if opinions change over time. Remember that a negative review may not be negative to you. The Sony camera didn’t feel right to me, but feels perfect to other bloggers.
I also recommend watching video tests and photo tests of your camera. Just search “X Camera Name Video Test” on YouTube and tons of options should come up. You should look for videos that test in good and lower light situations, use the cameras native sound and disclose the lens being used so you know what you’re getting into.
I know I just threw a ton of information at you, so feel free to send any questions you have my way. I’m working on a separate posts about tech and gear upgrades and additions I’ll be making in 2018.
If you already bought your first camera, share any tips you have that I may have missed for making that first purchase!