Going the DSLR Route: Blogger’s Share Their Favorite Digital Cameras
By: Taylor Davies

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There’s been a long-standing debate in the blogosphere as to whether or not you really need a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. Combining the single-lens reflex capability with a digital interface, photography pros around the world use DSLRs because the control and customization you get from a DSLR can’t be beat. From shutter speed to aperture, a DSLR is literally an extension of your eye – you control everything. However, these days, point-and-shoot cameras (and even camera phones) have the ability to take quality photos with great resolution, that work well for blogs and digital photo albums.

For IFB, we use the Canon Rebel T3i, with a 50mm lens. With the right settings, even a novice can take gorgeous photographs with this lens and camera – no talented boyfriend required! We know many of you wonder about what kind of camera is best for bloggers, and if it’s worth the investment to purchase a DSLR. While we can’t peek into your bank account and tell you if it’s a smart move financially, there’s no doubt that if you’re serious about blogging, love photography and want to step your game up with your images, a DSLR camera is a smart spend.

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Here’s our cheat sheet of bloggers & the DSLR cameras they use:

Emily, Cupcakes & Cashmere

  • Nikon D700 with a telephoto lens, prime lens and wide angle lens.

Naomi, Rockstar Diaries

Laura, On The Racks

Maegan, …Love Maegan

Jessica, What I Wore

Lindsay, Saucy Glossie

Anna, Tulip Louise

Meghan, Wit & Whimsy

  • Canon T1i

Anabel, Blushing Ambition

Julia, Gal Meets Glam

Kristina, Pretty, Shiny, Sparkly

Taylor, Sterling Style

 

Tell us, what camera do you use? Do you think you need a DSLR to get the best photographs? Let us know your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!

 

image credit: Naomi for Refinery29, Emily & Kristina
 

Comments

  1. Joy D. says:

    Nikon D5000 all the way! I would like to start using my film camera (Minolta) for the blog for travel posts but we shall see.

  2. I have a Canon EOS 550D. It’s the range I’ve been used to using at college where I studied Photography the last couple of years so I knew I liked it and how it worked. I picked the best one I could within my budget (it does video too) but I’d really like to buy the 50mm f1.8 lens to for the super low aperture :)

    I’m always so curious about what bloggers use! Really interesting post.

    Florrie x

  3. KC says:

    I also have a rebel and a fuji. They are great! They are small enough to fit in a bag and catch great shots! I also have another smaller camera which I believe is a cannon and not a dslr but it works wonderfully!

  4. Jenny says:

    I use the Canon T2i Rebel with 50mm lens. My boyfriend has no interest in photography, and even he can take some pretty good photos with the camera/lens. He literally picks up the camera and shoots.

  5. Shay Lianna says:

    I just got a Nikon D60 for my birthday last week and am having so much fun playing with it! All I’ve done since I got it is look at accessories and lenses.

    I’d love to hear which lenses people recommend. I’ve got the kit lens (18-55mm) and a 55-200mm, but I know a lot of people swear by the 50mm prime lens, too!

    xoxox Shay

  6. Sam says:

    Can anyone recommend a good point-and-shoot camera for those of us who can’t quite afford a DSLR? Thanks!

  7. I’m cracking up because I use my iPhone 4S… 8 megapixels, f/2.4 aperture, backside illumination sensor, A5 chip, iOS 5, face recognition, & HDR make my photo-taking SO easy. Oh, and I can open any photo editing app, edit my photos accordingly, and send them directly to my Box to upload on my blog.

  8. I found it helpful to test-drive cameras by renting them for a few days (~$50 for 3 days + insurance at my local store) to give it a test run before committing to a purchase. I want to try a Leica. Has anyone used/tried one to date? Cheers!

    And @ Sam – Nikon’s CoolPix are a solid line and less pricey.

  9. Tandrika says:

    I use to the Nikon D3000. I don’t see many people using that camera but I was told it’s pretty much the same as the D3100 but with out video. I haven’t been able to set my camera to favorable photo-taking settings however I love the pics I am able to take. I wish I could find more information about adjusting the settings…

    • I use the D3000 and I’m an up and coming photographer in Dallas. If you check out my photography website you will see that all the photos I have taken are with a Nikon D3000. In fact I will be post an engagement session tomorrow on my blog.

  10. Emmy says:

    I love this post, just cause I always wonder what cameras the big-time bloggers use. To add, I think Garance Dore and Bryanboy both use the Canon 5D.
    As for me, I just use a Canon s95, which I do love.

  11. lei ann says:

    i use both nikon (d40) & canon (5d mark ii) & i like how just like most bloggers on the list, i’ve also found 35 or 50 mm lens work best for me too :) cool to know!

  12. Aves Gry says:

    I use a Nikon D3100 and honestly, having a dslr was a great decision for the blog. The photos are much crisper and appealing. A nicely taken photo also tend to grab new readers attention which just makes them want to continue looking through your blog-I do anyways.

  13. Linda says:

    This post is so helpful! I’m looking into getting an SLR camera soon but don’t know where to start. This will make my search SO much easier!

    I’ve noticed that Nikons and Canons seem to be the top two choices for photographers- is there an advantage of one over the other? I hope you consider making a post about this Taylor! :-)

    XO, Linda at The Style Moodboard

  14. Ladies, Just so you know… don’t go out and purchase one of these expensive cameras thinking that your photography is automatically going to get better. A camera is not a magic wand. A camera to a photographer is like a paintbrush to Monet. You have to learn how to use it in order for it to be effective.

    Instead of running out and buying a pro or semi pro camera that will run you between $650-$2500, I suggest purchasing a Nikon Coolpix or Canon Elph. These cameras will give you AMAZING quality for the price.

    If you still feel the need to dip into your savings account remember it’s not really the body of the camera that matters, it’s the lens… and the lenses are the part of the camera that matter the most. A good lens typically cost more than the body of a camera.

    Hope this comment helps!

  15. I still have my old but durable Canon 400D. I’ve decided to invest in lens instead which has made a huge difference in the clarity and color of my photos. After a number of trial and error, I’ve finally settled on a Canon 50mm f1.8 (super cheap, super sharp), Canon 55-250mm IS (cheap but vibrant colors & clarity) and my workhorse, Canon 17-55mm IS (rather expensive and heavy but an incredible lens).

    I think that there are incredible talents out there. I’ve seen breathtaking photos from bloggers which are far superior to professional photographers. They’re my inspiration :)

  16. Meghan says:

    Hi guys, I’m looking to upgrade to a DSLR but am really unsure which brand to pick. I was looking at Olympus, but from the comments and post, it seems that Canon and Nikon are the way to go. Can anyone recommend a brand/type for a beginner photographer? My budget is 500.

  17. Mariana L says:

    I have a Canon sx30. It has all the functionality and features of a full size camera, but at 3/4 weight and size. I come from a family of photographers and this was their gift to me. It has an amazing zoom of 2500x (great for playing papparazzi during celebrity filled fashion events).

    The colors look beautiful for when I use it to photograph my own designs, but has great functionality for shooting from the pit at the end of the runway during fashion week.

  18. Chesley says:

    I lovee my Canon 5D Mark II! We use the prime lenses for amazing quality :)

  19. I use a Canon 7D but I don’t think it’s about the camera to start with. You need to have a good eye for what you are shooting and if you are just starting out look into the rule of thirds. You can shoot on anything from a mobile phone, film camera, snap shot camera or dslr but it’s the content that matters as opposed to what you are shooting on.

    I think that anyone looking to get an entry level DSLR should go for the Canon 550d, it’s a little cheaper that the 600d (which is the new version with a twisty screen) but has all the same features. If anyone has any questions I am happy to answer them and my email can be found on my blogs. :)

    Also, don’t forget about Lumix cameras.. they have some fab entry levels too.

    Daisy x
    http://www.prettygreentea.com
    http://www.prettygreenteaphotography.com

  20. three wonderful post… love the clothings..

  21. Cynthia says:

    I had a point and shoot up until recently, but have started using the Sony NEX-5N – a compact interchangeable lens camera that’s not really a DSLR, but not a POS either. So far, I’ve only used the lens the camera came with, but am considering others as well.

    • We currently use a Sony Nex 5 for all our street style photos and it’s been so much easier on our shoulders when we go style hunting, but still gives us the ‘DSLR’ look we want (bokeh!). Invest in a prime lens for it and you’ll be happy with the results – we use a Zeiss 50/2 ZM with an adapter (but learn from our mistake and don’t buy a cheap adapter). While the lens is manual focus and was pretty pricey, you can’t really go wrong with a Zeiss! Colours are popping. Mirrorless system cameras are definitely the future… But with the right lighting and location, personal style bloggers using their smart phones for photos can work so well too!

    • We currently use a Sony Nex 5 for all our street style photos and it’s been so much easier on our shoulders when we go style hunting, but still gives us the ‘DSLR’ look we want (bokeh!). Invest in a prime lens for it and you’ll be happy with the results – we use a Zeiss 50/2 ZM with an adapter (but learn from our mistake and don’t buy a cheap adapter). While the lens is manual focus and was pretty pricey, you can’t really go wrong with a Zeiss! Colours are popping. Mirrorless system cameras are definitely the future… But with the right lighting and location, personal style bloggers using their smart phones for outfit posts can work so well too!

  22. Ines says:

    What about the Nikon 1? It just looks soooo good!

  23. I think it’s worth the investment, if you’re willing to learn your camera. Editing goes a long way as well. I noticed an increase in traffic when I upgraded my photos – lets face it! People like pretty things!

    I use a Nikon d3100 with a 35mm 1.8f prime. I think you can see a noticeable difference in my blog pics after I switched to that lens from the kit lens. The colors are great and the pics are sharp. I recommend shooting on aperture priority at the lowest fstop unless lighting is tricky. That’ll give you the best results with little effort. Then if it doesn’t look exactly how you like (too dark) look at the settings and dial them in manually.

  24. Zarna says:

    I use a Nikon D60 with a 35mm f/1.8 lense.

    I must say, if you’re going to invest in a DSLR camera, be sure to take the time to learn how to use it or it’s essentially just a point and shoot. For the first year, I just shot on automatic, but once I took a few classes and learned more about lighting, shutter speeds, and aperture settings – my mind was blown!

    These days I usually have who ever is photographing me stand in the spot I plan on being in and I set all of the manual settings up. Then I just give them the camera so they can click away. If the lighting changes, I go back fix the settings and then we start again!

    I love blogging for teaching me so much about photography!!

  25. LIVY SMITH says:

    I use a fujifilm s1000, and a fujifilm z90. the first one is a no-so-compact digital camera and the second one is compact. With the s1000 I feel that I get good results that equal the quality of my Canon rebel Ti SLR (film) camera. :)

  26. phiphisblog says:

    canon t3i rebel here with 50 mm lens, here.

  27. This article comes at such a timely point in my blogging life. For my personal style posts and product shots, I’ve been using a simple Canon PowerShot (E1) and for fashion events my Canon Rebel DSLR. I’m tired of going between the two and tired of the weight of my DSLR (I often carry two lenses), and so I have decided to chuck them both in exchange for the Canon G1 X, so I can have the compact size of a PowerShot but the strength and abilities of a Rebel. And I’m paying for it with the money I make from blogging. So it’s a tax write off!

  28. Joy says:

    I use Panasonic FZ38. Its a nice hybrid and fits on even the smallest bag

  29. Erin says:

    I use a Canon T2i. It’s a fantastic DSLR that received rave reviews when it came out. I’ve been told that it’s the consumer/non-photographer’s camera. I absolutely adore it! It probably runs around $700 for the kit. I don’t intend on purchasing any camera over $1000. This one is fantastic, and my pictures look professional (to me).

  30. Emily Jayne says:

    I’ve been wanting to upgrade my camera as currently I have the choice between a rubbish casio point and shoot or my iphone.

    Can’t afford a dslr right now, so which compacts do people recommend? I’m wondering about the Nikon J1 or an Olympus PEN 3?

  31. I shoot with a canon xsi but Im definitely lusting over the T2i and getting a 50mm lens because Im obsessed with bokeh!

    I just did a whole post on photography on my blog commecoco.com

  32. THANK YOU for this post!! I have been toying with the idea of upgrading to a DSLR and my husband is finally on board (woohoo!). This post has really helped me narrow it down… I’m thinking about getting a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.

  33. LaurenH says:

    Canon Rebel T3i with 50mm lens all the way!

  34. I use the NikonD5100! I love that it has a flip out screen so it’s great for filming HD video :)

    katiesbliss.com

  35. I use the Canon 5d with a Canon 135 mm 2.8 lens or a Canon 50 mm 1.4. Works beautifully.

  36. Travelle says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a Nikon D600 and a old film medium or large format camera. Dream big, right?

  37. Avatar of Vintage Danielle

    I’m ready to purchase my first professional camera. Using my iphone 4s for the photos on my blog isn’t cutting it anymore.

  38. Andy says:

    hey guys! please suggest me the best option from canon brand, am a learner and very fond of photography.. wana enjoy the features of dslr!very comfortable handling is the first priority,weight doesn’t matter for me!!!! my budget is 1000 AUD max! please suggest;-)

  39. Tynette says:

    I use a Sony a330 with a 35mm f/1.8
    Great pictures!

  40. Chris says:

    I still love my Samsung Digimax EX1 / Samsung EX1 Digital Camera, what else clearer can you get. It’s one of the best in the market today. It will help you get the memories saved.

  41. Mike Chase says:

    This blog is so informative, thanks for sharing as I have gained great insight on camera selection and guide. This gives me a chance to know the product fully and its usability as I plan to buy one. I also went through a similar blog that gives full details of digital photography and a wide range of digital cameras from which to select. Check it out here…..http://shootdigitalpicslikethepros.com/blog/go1/photography-blog

  42. Matthew Smiths says:

    Hi,
    Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.
    I am looking to purchase my first DSLR digital camera . If anyone has any suggestions on an entry level camera that will work as well as the D7000?

    Thank you!

  43. Amy says:

    Hi there!
    Can you share your settings on your canon t3i?

  44. Ernie Basher says:

    I used my DSLR Nikon D700 Camera and I bought it here http://www.buyadslrcamera.org. How stylish and fashionable bloggers I must say. I do prefer Nikon Camera’s for their durable, high quality performance. Aside for the superb features, I can recommend this to everyone. I rate it 10/10

  45. Mark G says:

    Amazing Holiday Steals on Cameras and Photo Equipment!

    http://www.ritzcamera.com/holiday-2013-home.htm

    Enjoy!

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