Which SLR camera should I buy?


This was the question two friends have asked me in the past month so I’ve done some research and come up with this mini review.

Well actually, it’s not so much a review as a recommendation. I did start writing a page or two about different models and the slight differences between them but when I came back to this I figured the reason my friends came to me is for my opinion, so here it is.

First, a question.

Do friends or family have either a Canon or Nikon SLR camera?

The reason I ask is that it makes a lot of sense to stick to what others around you have. A friend of mine and his Dad both have Canon 600Ds and they are able to share lenses and other kit between them (that reminds me I still have one of their lenses in my cupboard). Also as they’re working out how do things they can help each other, far more fun.

Now that’s not set in stone but worth considering, especially if the friend knows what they’re doing.

Ok, if you’re not bothered which brand to go for I’m going to cut through the long-winded review and recommend a Canon. True, there’s little difference between Canon and Nikon but in my opinion and based on my experience of working with both on my training workshops I still believe the Canon is a better camera. No don’t get on your high horse Mr Nikon user, this is purely my opinion and recommendation to friends.

Why do I prefer the Canon over the Nikon?

The layout seems more intuitive, the screen is definitely sharper and more vibrant, and if you’re looking at second hand lenses on Ebay, you’ll find twice as many Canon fit lenses as Nikon.

If you want to see what Nikon models are available I’ll write a second post very soon but for now I’m going to get right to it


I recommend the Canon 700D

Canon 700d

Everything is great about this camera, the spec is top notch, the build is lovely and it has the swivel mounted touch screen that’s brilliant. I could give you a full rundown on the spec but I’m guessing if you’re new into this you’re not going to be too interested in the ISO range or care how many autofocus points it has. If you do then here is the link to Canon UK

Canon are shipping this now with a brand new STM lens for £489 on Amazon.

If that’s not too scary then I’d definitely opt for this new lens, it will certainly come into its own when you start shooting video and whatever you say, you will! With this camera and new lens you’ll be able to shoot cinema quality video with the ease of a camcorder.

Find the Canon 700D with STM 18-55mm lens on Amazon

If you’re outside the UK this model is going to be called the Canon Rebel T5i and you can

Find it here on amazon.com with the same lens.


What about the Canon 100D?

Now if you’re looking around you might have come across the Canon 100D and spotted it’s £50 cheaper, and to be honest it’s pretty much the same spec but I think the swivel screen and other upgrades are well worth the extra cost so I’m not dwelling on it here.

Finally, I will mention the Canon 1200D

This is the smallest lightest SLR camera on the market. Canon are promoting it as a ‘take anywhere’ camera that’s not much larger than a compact. Now it you’re a guy with large hands you might find this frustrating but the current price tag of £289 is VERY attractive, especially if it’s a first camera for a teenager or a lady.

The camera comes with an app for your iPhone that tells you everything you want to know about your camera and some photography tuition too.

This is a great entry level camera for a smaller budget and smaller hands. When I think I paid just under £1000 for an equivalent camera 11 years ago they’re certainly becoming affordable.

Here it is, the Canon 1200D on Amazon.co.uk

Again, this has a different name outside the UK, it’s a Rebel T5.

Here it is on Amazon.com

So there’s a couple of great cameras to suite two different budgets.


Then what else will you need?

If you can, while you’re getting your self sorted out I would look to add the following:

A Zoom Lens for £87

My preference would be to go for this 70-300mm Sigma lens, it’s great quality and under £90 at the minute. It doesn’t have the same new lens for video but you’re less likely to be recording video with a zoom so I reckon you’ll be safe.

I don’t own this lens but I recommended it to a friend and have had the opportunity to play with it and I’ve been impressed with the results. It’s a bargain at this price.

Find one here on amazon.co.uk

I have another blog post about this lens here


A Flashgun (speedlight) for just £38!!!

Now I’m not going to go into detail about this as I have mentioned it in this post but here’s the link and it, like the lens is at a great price at the minute.

Find one here on Amazon.co.uk

Find one here on Amazon.com


A Pro Memory Card for £18

There are so many options for cards but I would recommend staying with a reputable brand like Sandisk, after all this is your photos being stored on here!

Find one here on Amazon.co.uk

Find one here on Amazon.com

TIP: Please take your images off the camera regularly, dont leave them in the camera for months.


A Canon Bag for £38

Now initially a small bag will do and I like this Canon sling bag that I used and reviewed here.

Find one here on Amazon.co.uk


A Tripod for £35

Here’s a trusty tripod that I bought and love. The Hama Traveller Compact Pro

If you really wanted to go crazy why not grab a 50mm prime lens while they’re just £67!


So what have you spent…

Well, even with the 50mm lens included (highly recommended) you’ll have spent under £700 and will have a great set of kit that you won’t grow out of for a good few years.


I do hope these recommendations are useful and would love to hear from you in the comments below, especially if you have alternatives to recommend or can agree with what I’m saying.