“What do I buy?”

The most common question I get. “What should I buy?”.

That’s a tough one to answer. It’s a little like asking “what car should I drive?”. It depends entirely on your needs, wants, budget, and many other factors.

“Wildlife” – of sorts

Someone just asked:

My wife is wanting to get into wildlife photography.

What would be a camera to start her out with? Thanks!

So without knowing anything, I would at least say this.

Get a camera that is not too heavy for you, but that does have a traditional viewfinder – an SLR. A Canon DigitalRebel (like a T5i or similar) would do just fine. Or a 7D Mark 2 if you have the budget. (Weatherproofing, dust-proofing: if these are important, spend a little more.) If you want “full frame”, a Canon 6D Mark 2 would be great.

Then the most important thing: the lens. A long lens. But it does depend on the kind of wildlife. Small bugs? A Macro lens. Deer? A 70-200 mm lens should do. Birds? Something longer – or a 200mm lens with a 2x tele-extender (that makes it into a 400m lens). In any case: the “faster” the lens (meaning, the lower the minimum “f-number” that lens can go to), the better. That way you can get fast shutter speeds without high ISO values, and blurry backgrounds, and you can use a tele-extender and still have useful aperture left.

Then do carry multiple memory cards and a spare battery or two; a flash just in case; and maybe also a tripod, depending on, again, your wife’s circumstances. And finally, a hood loupe. And have fun!

I teach photography. Take my courses in Ottawa/Orléans to learn all about this: cameras, lenses—and what you do with them, and how. See www.michaelwillemsphoto.com and kick start your photography today!

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