Below are recommended camera bodies and lenses for photographers of all skill levels and experience.

Camera Bodies

Camera bodies are displayed left-to-right as “Good,” “Better,” and “Best.” While the camera body you use is certainly not the only piece of equipment that affects the impact and quality of your images, it is an important building block. The main correlation between a camera body and its price is how the camera performs in low light situations. With pricier cameras, the noise (speckled dots appearing in the image) that results from a high ISO setting is less distracting than the noise from a less expensive camera.


  • Canon T6i

    Canon “T#i” Series

  • Canon 70D

    Canon “##D” Series

  • Canon 5D Mark III

    Canon “5D Mark #” Series


  • Nikon “D5###” Series

  • Nikon “D7###” Series

  • Nikon “D8##” Series


Focal Length: The first part of a lens’ description is its focal length, which is measured in millimeters. This number describes how close or far you will feel to your subject when looking through the lens. The lower the number, the farther you will feel, while the higher the number, the closer you will feel.

Aperture Matters: The wider a lens opens, the more light it lets in. When lenses are labeled with low aperture numbers (such as 1.4, 1.8, or 2.8) they have the ability to open wide. In plain terms, this means that the lens can produce a higher shutter speed as well as a blurrier background.

Fixed vs. Zoom: When a lens is described by two focal lengths (ex: 24-70mm), it is considered a “zoom” lens. This means you will feel closer or farther to your subject depending on how you turn the zoom ring. Lenses with a single focal length (ex: 50mm) do not have the ability to change. However, fixed lenses tend to be sharper than zoom lenses and offer wider apertures.

Starting Out: The best lenses for those starting out are the 50mm f1.8 fixed lenses for both Canon and Nikon.


  • Canon 50mm f/1.8

  • Canon 35mm f/1.4

  • Canon 50mm f/1.4

  • Canon 50mm f/1.2

  • Canon 85mm f/1.2

  • Canon 100mm f/2.8

  • Canon 17-55mm f/2.8

  • Canon 24-70mm f/2.8

  • Canon 70-200mm f/2.8

  • Canon Lensbaby Sweet 50 f/2.5


  • Nikon 50mm f1.8

  • Nikon 35mm f1.8

  • Nikon 35mm f1.4

  • Nikon 50mm f1.4

  • Nikon 85mm f1.8

  • Nikon 85mm f1.4

  • Nikon 105mm f2.8

  • Nikon 17-55mm f2.8

  • Nikon 24-70mm f2.8

  • Nikon 70-200mm f2.8

  • Nikon Lensbaby Sweet 50

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