What kind of camera do I need to get started taking landscape images?

 We have all seen beautiful landscape images that inspire you to want to create images that will wow other people and be put on our wall. It’s this fire that puts you on a path that can change your life.

The first question usually is, what camera do I need to buy to create like that? Most people think they need to run out and get the most expensive camera and that will make them a great photographer. This could not be further from the truth. While learning in the beginning, it’s better to be practical and work your way up from there.

Once you begin the journey of learning your basic camera skills, there is a lot to learn. I recommend starting out with what you can afford and learn on. I started out on a Nikon D3100 with two kit lenses and that’s all I shot on for two years. While it’s a crop sensor camera, it’s inexpensive and with the kit lenses it is a great start. If you have the budget, sure get a base model full frame camera. What’s a full frame camera and a crop sensor?

 

So, full frame means the sensor that captures the images is based on the 35mm format and the crop sensor, also called an APS-C.  An example to help you understand is, on a full frame, if you are taking a picture with a 50mm lens, you are shooting at the 50mm focal length. Now, if you put that lens on an APS-C crop sensor, as it’s sensor is smaller than the full frame, it’s focal length has a 1.5x multiplier, effectively making it act like a 75mm lens on a full frame camera.  The example below from Wikipedia, shows in red what an image would look like if taken from a full frame and in blue what that same image would look like from an APS-C crop sensor. They both have their pros and cons but again, this all comes back to your budget and what you can afford.

Red is what a full frame camera would capture and blue is what a APS-C crop camera would capture.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_factor#/media/File:Crop_Factor.JPG

Red is what a full frame camera would capture and blue is what a APS-C crop camera would capture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_factor#/media/File:Crop_Factor.JPG

 The only other part of buying a camera I would like to talk about and it's important is megapixels. You’re going to see tons of advertisements highlighting how many pixels they have.  Now a lot of people go crazy, wanting the biggest and the best.  In the beginning, there is a lot to learn and you don’t need a 45.7 megapixel Nikon D850. You can take a Nikon D7100 and use your kit lenses and go out and start learning and take some great pictures. Will the D850 take better images you ask? Well, sure it will, it’s a better camera and has a lot of dynamic range. But does this meet your needs? You can have a 20-megapixel camera and take thousands of great images. The point I’m trying to make is, get what meets your needs and grow into the camera while you’re learning.

 

I wanted to keep this short as when you’re starting out, all the specs and acronyms and megapixels can make you crazy. Set your budget, figure out what your goal is and go for it! It’s a journey, enjoy the experiences along the way and most of all have fun!