One of the questions I get a lot if what kind of starter photography kit to buy. Well, that is a simple question: the best your money can buy of course! So my first question back is how much money they are willing to spend.
In this series of posts I will lay down the ultimate kit for a starter in extreme sports photography, because I know what you need in that department. If you’re not going to shoot skateboarders, snowboarders or any other fast moving athletes, then this list is not for you.
Actually I wanted to start with a 500 euro kit, because that was the amount of money people had available in the last two times I asked that question, but that would have made my job so difficult to explain which choices to make before you can make such a decision, that I decided to go with a somewhat better budget, although still very limited, but no in making great photos with it!
1000 euros… It’s a lot of money! Photography gear is an investment. And like I told before, if you’re not sure photography is for you, just start with a cheap canon ixus or powershot camera or something a like.
The most basic gear you will need is of course a DSLR body, a good to great lens (you don’t buy medium or poor performing lenses if you shoot extreme sports, period!) and a storage card to put the photos you take on.
I’m a Canon guy. No clear reason why. I think Canon is just more sexy then the other brands with regards to photography. Maybe the looks, maybe the advertisements, I don’t know. I’ve shot with some other brands in the past and tried out a Nikon 1 or 2 times, but it didn’t feel as sexy as the Canon. 😉
The best thing to look for if you want to buy a DSLR body is a good kit set. The kit that I would recommend would be a Canon 650D with a EF-S 18-135 IS STM lens.
The Canon EOS 650D is great camera with 18 megapixel 1,6 crop sensor. It has the Digic 5 processing chip in it so that high ISO shots are still possible. The body is compatible with STM lenses so that when you shoot video you can automatically focus on the subject, which is a big plus if you are a beginning photographer that also sometimes wants to shoot video.
With 5 frames per second photo burst it’s enough to create some great sequence shots and the variable viewlcd screen you can move in all angles so you can create some low shots and still look what your shooting.
The EF-S 18-135 IS STM lens is a mouthfull but in shot it means that you have a 18mm view on the one hand, which is pretty wide angle. And you have 135mm oin the other end so that you can zoom in to those athletes on the other side of the park or to get a good close up. The IS stands for Image Stabilization and is great when you are shooting without a tripod or moving the camera all the time. STM stand for STepper Motor, which is just an not so easy way of saying that this lens can auto focus if you’ve got a body that also supports STM with video shoots.
This kit is currently for sale for 859 euro at one of my favorite online stores.
Next on the list, because your are moving between athletes, you need a good handling bag to take all the stuff with you and take it out quickly when the action happens.
My personal choice for a good bag would be a Kata Slingshot bag. It’s a bag you carry on your bag around your shoulder, but you can easily swing in front of you. The Kata Pouch Backpack Sling 3N1-10 is a perfect weather resistant, light bag for your needs. And at a price of 100 euro it’s pretty much the best you can get for that kind of moneyl.
And of course you will need some SD cards for storage. Never trust on only 1 memory card and always have a spare one extra. Or even after some hours of shooting it’s smart to put that one safely away and start using another one.
My recommendation would be to get 2 Lexar SDHC Full-HD Video 8GB cards. They cost 20 euro each and are fast enough for burst shots and full hd video work
So what do we have:
- Canon 650D with a EF-S 18-135 IS STM – 859 Euros
- Kata Pouch Backpack Sling 3N1-10 – 100 Euros
- 2x Lexar SDHC Full-HD Video 8GB – 40 Euros
Total amount of money: 999 Euros!
You’ve got a great set with this one! You will have absolutely no reason to not get great photos and some videos. Just invest a lot of time getting to know this camera, the lens, all its functions and shoot as much as possible. Ask questions to other photographers who already have more eperience. I have yet to meet a photographer who isn’t willingly to talk about photography to a newbie in the field. Enjoy!
If you’ve got any other questions or have another budget in mind. Leave it in the comment and for sure I will try to answer each question!