I'm often asked what type of camera to get. This section is dedicated to you.
The choices are DSLR, mirrorless or compact. Personally, I just can't get past the superior handling of a DSLR, excellent battery life and intuitive operation. Others will have perfectly valid different opinions.
In my humble opinion the best choice is the Canon SL3. It is the smallest DSLR available today so you have some of the "size" benefits of the other camera types along with the benefits of a DSLR. The SL3, too, is remarkably intuitive. It, for the most part, has everything that most will ever need (including the very advanced Dual Pixel AF in 1080p and DIGIC 8 Processing for some really good low-light/high-ISO performance). I just can't say enough about its quality, design and value.
While on the topic of instruction it wouldn't be a terrible idea to begin your photography journey by reading "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It's sort of the foundation of all things.
The only criticism of the SL3 is that Canon eliminated the center rail on the flash mount making it incompatible with non-Canon flashes and lighting systems. Probably a non-issue for most.
If an issue, though, you might consider the Canon 77D (on the bottom of this Page). The 77D is still compact, has a few extra features (like Back-Button Focus/AF-ON) and "better" build quality. It sits in between the Rebel Series and the 90D (but really only lacks a headphone input.
A word of caution about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). If you start getting really into it you may have an urge to try out all kinds of lenses and gear and look to frequently update. This natural phenomena must be resisted. This SL3 kit lens, for example, is surprisingly GREAT. Stick with that for awhile. You can get an ultra wide angle and not use it a lot and/or various "better" zoom and prime lenses that are incrementally better, but it can get out of control fast. Improving skill is your friend.
Enjoy and please don't ever hesitate with any questions about anything.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC Card is probably the best one and 32GB is A LOT of space. Many prefer a few of these vs. one larger card. I tend to have 3 on hand at all times (even though I mostly just use one).
This is an amazing bag. Fits everything, is super-durable, very stylish and is uncannily not wide. The zippered pockets and extra compartments really top it off. It's less expensive to do it right the first time.
Boost saturation and contrast (and reduce haze) for rich landscape and sky colors in bright sunlight. Also used to reduce reflections. Rotate clockwise (so you don't accidentally unscrew) for desired effect.
One of the many advantages of DSLRs is the great battery life so chances are that you won't need a 2nd battery, but something to possibly consider for extended trips or vacations. Always buy original Canon.
You'll always need an on-camera flash so I'd keep it simple and start here. Even if you go all-in one day with off-camera lighting you'll still get a lot of use from this one. Very easy to operate and the ideal place to start.
The Panasonic eneloop pro Batteries are the best rechargeable batteries that I'm aware of. They seem to never run out, but the charger is included anyway. This charger also works with eneloop pro AAA batteries.
This is a stunning option. Possibly all that you'll ever need and a tremendous value. One leg screws off to become a monopod. Just be sure to turn the image stabilization off on your lens when on a tripod.
The Canon RS-60E3 Shutter Release will come in handy when on a tripod. You can use the camera's timer, but this will ensure that there is no camera-shake. And I personally prefer the simplicity of wired (to bluetooth).
The highest-quality neutral density filter available (from Breakthrough Photography) for long exposures - flowing water, clouds, etc. 6-stops is the one to get if you get just one. Works with both 58mm sizes above.
This is worth it (if you don't mind the high cost). Use your camera's White Balance settings or do a Custom WB to calibrate your camera to mixed lighting for spectacular results. It's easy and periodically important.
The SpyderX Pro calibrates your computer's monitor to the room's lighting for accurate colors. It's an extremely cool device and is very simple and precise. Probably essential if you get into shooting in RAW one day.
If you're going to get into video you might as well go all-in with this mic (for superior audio). It's the industry standard for consumer mics. The instruction is excellent, but I'll soon be writing a nice tutorial for this.
The Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney is a very nice and easy-to-carry smaller bag for travel or anytime you'd like to travel light. This is the brand new version. You're covered with this and the one above or just this.
There's different ways of downloading pictures and video; with the SanDisk UHS-I SD Card Reader a favorite of many (for those who use a card reader). Fast (up to 170 MB/s), easy and very high quality.
An external hard drive is not a bad idea for backup and this is a great option. They all say to get at least 2 TBs. More seems like a little overkill. Compatible with Windows. Requires a simple reformatting for Mac.
Formatt-Hitech makes the best value graduated neutral density filters. Often used to balance out a bright sky with a darker foreground. A 2-stop soft is probably the most common if you were to get just one.
Cokin sets the standard for the best value in GND accessories. This "wide" version prevents or minimizes vignetting with very wide angle lenses so you'll be completely fine with any 18-55mm lens.
Screw this onto your lens with 58mm threads to attach the filter holder to. Different size adapter rings allows you to use this type of filter with any lens. Cokin, again, setting the standard for value and quality. Super easy.
Often used for fill light both indoors and out and/or to focus on and define the subject. The white side is normally the default option, but silver is sometimes great for a brighter look. Collapsible and some say essential.
I'll keep my finger on the pulse for the best option for a video light, but this is currently my #1 pick. The softbox has 3 diffusers for a profoundly outstanding look for video. A crazy value for what you get.
This heavy duty light stand has a minimum height of 3.6' and extends to 13'. A shocking value for what you get and will serve you well for years to come; including being a good stand if you get into off-camera flash.