My current camera is the Nikon D5300. (Not that I am biased towards Nikon. It was the first brand of camera I used and I’ve grown accustomed to it.) I would like to know if you have a preference?
I have 3 lenses at the moment. The lens I’ve used the most is the standard 18-55mm kit lens. It has served me very well and still continues to do so. Especially because it’s so versatile. You can take anything from landscape, macro, portrait, animals, cars, near and far.
I also have a Sigma 70-300mm. It’s great for wildlife photography. I’ve used a few times in Namibia. Other than that, it rarely sees any action.
Like many others, I’m a huge fan of a shallow depth of field. (That’s the strong blur in photos). Two years ago I bought a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8. It was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It drastically changed how I take photos. I can now take pictures with a much shallower depth of field which means I can emphasise where I want you to focus when you look at the picture.
Because it’s a prime lens, (which means it can’t zoom in. If you want to zoom in you have to use your feet), it challenges you to think differently.
A question that eventually comes up for new photographers is – a new camera or a new lens?
For me, a new lens. Having an excellent camera with a terrible lens is absolutely pointless, but having an okay camera with a good lens can change everything.
It’s better to have a $1000 lens on a $100 camera, than a $100 lens on a $1000 camera.
Because it’s pointless to have a good camera/sensor shooting through a low-quality lens. The good camera becomes redundant. On the other hand, having an okay camera shooting through a high-quality lens can drastically improve your photos.
Don’t buy expensive gear thinking it will automatically improve everything. Make sure there’s a reason why you buy your gear. The reason not being, “because I want to take better pictures or videos”.
Maybe you want to take pictures of wildlife, then buying a telephoto lens is a good choice. What if you want to up your portrait game? Buying a 35mm(if you have a crop sensor) or a 50mm(if you have a full-frame) can be a good buy.
But never allow the reason to be, “I want to improve my photos, this means I need to buy the most expensive gear I can find.”
Every piece of your gear is a tool, and it’s how you use it that makes all the difference.