Canon Community Canon Community

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-06-2014

New photographer

[ Edited ]

Im new to photography and I just got a Canon EOS Rebel t3i 600D. Any suggestions on equipment or lens to help me start out and learn more about my camera?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: New photographer

[ Edited ]
I'd ditch the neck strap and get a shoulder sling strap. This one is the Cinch strap by Luma Labs:

I'd start watching digital photography tutorials on Google Videos on various topics starting with "the exposure triangle". Very simple, but it is THE central concept in photography.

I would get post processing software like Adobe Lightroom 5 and gradually get used to shooting in RAW rather than JPEG because it gives you so much more room to correct exposure and white balance in your images.

Good luck!

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Forum Elite
Posts: 14,325
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: New photographer

You just bought a body?  No lens came with the Rebel?  If not go buy this lens today. EF-S 18-55mm  <--- click me.

Does your local community colleg give photography course?  Way, way much better than Google or Youtube.  Even better than just reading books or the internet like some of the postes here do.

A real live person you can talk to and ask questions is always best.  Not to say this forum will not help as there are some very knowledgeable folks here.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,388
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: New photographer

To start with photography is a monsterous topic with far more venues than any of us can ever learn to master. Besides learning how to use your camera & it's controls you also need to decide on what interests you & why. There are different rules for what is considered proper technique when shooting certain things like motorsports & aviation vs sports & action. Macro is another very different field some persue & it calls for different lenses & technique due to the very shallow depth of field.

Start by reading the manual, CAREFULLY, & absorb each section enough to get the message it's trying to teach you. Learn about aperture & how it effects depth of field, Learn why faster shutter speeds are needed to freeze action, but also when you can't freeze an action you think you want to. (in motorsports you want to freeze the car but not the wheels / tires / background to imply fast speed). If you freeze the entire scene the vehicle looks parked. PRACTICE & compare results, learning what worked & why. Don't be afraid to experiment & don't expect pro quality results because you've bought expensive equipment, Good equipment helps but in order to get the most from it you need to learn how to use it to it's potential. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,854
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: New photographer

There are quite a few lenses in the Canon lens line-up... as well as a number of 3rd party choices as well.


The beauty of having a camera that allows you to swap lenses is that no lens is "best" for everything... but you can use a lens which is more optimal for the type of shooting you need to do at the time.


So I can't give any general recommendations without a sense of what sorts of things you really enjoy shooting.  


If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest learning a few basics about exposure.  This is fundamental to cameras which allow you to control exposure settings.  There can be many ways to get an exposure that collects the same amount of light, but certain exposures will look better than others.  We refer to these as "equivalent" exposures only because they produce an image with the same effective amount of light... but they wont look the same.


Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure" is an excellent first book and written in such a way as to avoid terminology without introducing the terms and what they mean (you don't already need to know photography to understand his book.)  Though I learned photography many decades ago, I picked up the book because I was interested to see if it's something I should be recommending.  It is a good book.


Scott Kelby has a Digital Photography book series (it was 4 volumes but now I think he's added a 5th book).  I have not personally read these books but they also tend to be highly recommended.


As you learn the basics, you can up your game by learning more about lighting and how the interplay of light and shadow (you can't have "good" light without "good" shadow), composition, and other artistic elements -- but start with those basics of exposure.


As for gear... other than owning a camera bag... I'd hold off buying too much gear too quickly.  Get a feel for what you enjoy and what you want to do that your current equipment isn't doing.  That will help you decide whether you need telephoto zooms... or low focal ratio prime lenses (primes are lenses that do not "zoom", etc.)



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
powered by Lithium

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement