I'm often asked what type of camera to get. This section is for you.
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 compact and mirrorless cameras along with excellent battery life and the intuitive operation of a DSLR. Plus, sometimes the size-benefits of mirrorless cameras fade away as you add lenses. The SL3 is everything that most will ever need (including DIGIC 8 Processing for exceptional low-light performance and the very advanced Dual Pixel Autofocus).
The only criticism of The SL3 is that Canon eliminated the center rail on the flash mount making it incompatible with non-Canon lighting systems. Probably a non-issue, but you might otherwise consider The Canon T8i; which has a few extra features like Back-Button Focus (for sports). And you'll find some tremendous (I would say essential) Canon T8i instruction Here on YouTube.
Check out too, if you like, my Blog Post on video with your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
For inquiring minds - scroll down to the bottom of the page to view my setup.
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.
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.
An extremely simple "mini softbox" that sits on top of your flash for when there's nothing to bounce off of. Produces beautiful soft light. Rotates 360 degrees. Made of silicone and will fit anywhere. Comes with MagGrip.
This is a stunning option. Possibly all that you'll ever need and a tremendous value. Just be sure to turn the image stabilization off on your lens when on a tripod. Superior lever-lock design and extends to 59.45". 15.75" closed.
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).
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. An extremely cool device and is very simple and precise. Essential if you get into shooting in RAW one day.
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.
I often use this for fill light, but will sometimes use the silver side for separation on the hair from the side/rear. Really nice and easy to use. Many times you might want to reflect from above to simulate natural light.
This is the secret for blocking out harsh sunlight for portraits. Duty calls and sometimes you have to do your best regardless of conditions. Requires an assistant, but you can train them on the spot. Just the right size.
One of the Canon lens unsung heroes. The image quality is exceptionally great. Also doubles as an extraordinary portrait lens. Works on crop-sensors only and you would typically not use a hood for macro.
This is a very good lens when you need the ultimate in reach. Essentially becomes 960mm on your crop-sensor camera. The variable aperture starts at f/6.3 at 600mm, but that's what you'd use anyway for birds-in-flight, etc.
If you're going to go mirrorless you might as well consider one that's small. Most lose the "size" advantage with lenses, but the Canon M50 has it all. Also, it's phenomenal for video and is extremely intuitive.
You may want to consider one or two extra batteries; especially when traveling. This is one of the challenges of smaller cameras although it's not a terrible thing. Especially important if using this great camera for video.
This 2 light kit is probably the best value of all time for video lighting. Two 24"x24" softboxes each with an 85W 5500K (which is perfect) CFL bulb and stand. Comes with carrying case and is everything that most will ever need.
Full-frame cameras aren't necessary, especially with modern crop-sensor technology, but full-frame image quality wins if you're very picky. I like the simplicity of this over other full-frame options; even if they're "better".
The lens for taking that "dreamy" professional look to the extreme. There is none better. 50mm on full-frame closely approximates the human visual perspective and I prefer prime lens quality over zoom convenience.
"The Lord of the Red Rings"; some say Canon's best lens. Equivalent to 85mm on a crop-sensor this can be a very useful medium-telephoto focal length. Interesting, too, for creating very natural looking portraits.
Most will prefer the best telephoto zoom lenses, but I prefer the professional look produced by this at half the price. You'll be shooting at 400mm anyway. Just use a fast shutter speed and good technique.
The quintessential webcam to keep it simple, high quality and great value. A nice update to the C920.
Tremendous for those wishing to add 4K, zooming capability, HDR and low light. Sort of AWESOME.
A very significant upgrade to your webcam or computer microphone. Super easy and highly recommended.