Aaron Jeffels Photography | Wedding and family photographer based in guisborough

My Top Tips For Buying That Camera For Christmas!

So, little jimmy wants a camera for Christmas, but you just haven’t got a clue where to start? You don’t know your burst speeds from your mega pixels? Canon or Nikon….but what about Sony? Then theres crop sensors, full frame and don’t forget mirrorless! Well let me help you with some of my top tips. Remember these are my own views and everyone will have their own views, but fingers crossed we can at least help you clear a few things up.

My Top Tip

Don’t buy that camera! Everyone thinks you should put all your money into a nice shiny new camera with all the gizmos. WRONG! Don’t do it and save the cash! Don’t get me wrong, cameras have come a long way over the years but that doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands on the top cameras when little jimmy is just starting out.

So What Should You Do?

My top tip for buying a camera is to buy second hand OR buy a refurb/display model. Why should you do this? Well firstly when starting out you don’t need the top specs simply because you will not need them! If you love photographing landscapes you don’t need high ISO or fast burst speeds. Nearly all cameras will shoot exactly the same in regards to long shutter speeds and low ISO. There will be some difference in dynamic range but when starting out it wont be noticeable

Image Quality… Its Not What You Think

This is where my above tip becomes useful. With the money saved on the camera body I would 100% recommend you invest it in some good quality lenses. A lens that is well looked after will last you for years. It is the lens that produces image quality. What lens/lenses you need totally depends on what you want to photograph.

If you are photographing Landscapes you don’t need a lens with a low aperture (F Stop) because you will not be photographing landscapes with a shallow depth of field. Its pointless having a lens that can be opened up to F1.2 when you will mostly be shooting between F8-F16. Now if you want to photograph the stars at night then this is where you need at wide lens with a wide aperture…the lower the better.

Good lenses cost good money, but think of them as more of an investment because they last.

 Aaron Jeffels Photography - based in guisborough - Wedding Photography


The best way I find when picking a camera is to narrow your price range. If you have a budget of £1000 you may well be over whelmed with options, but if you narrow it down to say £800-£1000 then you will find a good selection of cameras for your needs.


I have already touched on it a little, but the ISO reading is how sensitive your camera is to light. Why is this important? Well if you are buying a camera because you love going to music gigs and you want to take some great images of the band the you will need a high ISO, 6400 for example. If you buy a camera with a small ISO range 100-6000 iso for example and you try to photograph a gig at iso 6000 your images will be very poor quality. The higher the ISO reading the more noise is added to an image (grain) Now like I said before, if you are photographing a mountain range then you will normally be shooting at low ISO ranges 100-400 for example. When picking a camera, you need to be clear on what you want to photograph.


I don’t fully believe in the full frame vs crop sensor argument. Crop sensors have come a long way over the last few years. The only thing I would recommend is that you should go with a mirrorless camera. Sony are leading the way in this regard, but Fuji are making some amazing cameras of their own. It all comes down to price and what you can afford.


Firstly set a budget! Cameras these days are as varied as what they are being used for. It seems like theres a camera for everyone these days. When anyone ever asks me what camera to buy I tell them to have a good look around because each brand has its own pros and cons. Sony are leading the mirrorless race, but their cameras and lenses are expensive. Fuji are right behind them with some amazing mirrorless cameras, but they are use crop sensors. Nikon and canon have such a huge array of cameras and lenses that theirs something for everyone, but they are lagging behind Sony and Fuji when it comes to mirrorless cameras.

Remember, Invest in lenses and save on the bodies!

Happy Christmas