Best Camera to Buy in 2022 for the Hobby Photographer

Tips and Tricks from Tallahassee Photographer, Sarah Gray

Best Camera to buy in 2022 | Tallahassee Photographer Sarah Gray

I just got off the phone with a former client who is wanting to gift a camera to her daughter for her college graduation. I know it can be overwhelming to try to purchase something you aren’t familiar with or for someone else who IS familiar with photography. Here, I’ve done the digging and put together my recommendation for the best camera to buy in 2022.

I’m often asked what gear I recommend for someone who is interested in moving beyond their iPhone camera. When most people are ready to make the move to a “big” camera, they are referring to a DSLR which stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex.

No matter what camera you purchase, having an understanding of how to use that camera is absolutely the foundation for any photography. I’ll make some recommendations and offer a discount for education at the end of this post.

My camera recommendations for a hobby photographer and photography lover in 2022

First, I’m a canon shooter. There are other big names for DSLR cameras with Nikon and Sony being the most well known. They make great cameras as well and I’ve used both those brands a little bit, however, I love my Canon and have used a Canon my whole career. Because I’m most familiar with the Canon family and can confidently stand behind it, my recommendations are for Canon cameras.

Most beginner cameras are sold with a basic lens, often called the “kit lens” because it comes as a kit along with the camera body. Buying a kit means that you’re able to start taking photos as soon as you open the box and put a battery and memory card into the camera. These kit lenses aren’t the best quality but are necessary when learning photography because they will zoom a little bit. This allows you to take photos both indoors in smaller rooms, and outdoors.

Best Camera:

  • Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) comes with an 18-55mm kit lens. Price is about $730
  • Another great camera would be Canon EOS Rebel T8i . The reviews on this one were great, but it does not include a kit lens. Cost $750


If you’re wanting to go beyond the most basic (and you likely will) then I highly recommend adding one additional lens to your camera bag.

Canon 50mm F1.8  Price about $130


  • She’ll also need SD Cards. HERE are the ones I recommend. $30
  • Adobe Lightroom Editing Software. If you’ve been doing photography on your phone, you may likely already has the mobile version of this app and are paying the $5 per month for the mobile version. The desktop version isn’t much more at $10 per month.
  • Education! I highly recommend this Starter Course.  It’s really the most important piece for any photography you’ll want to do, no matter what camera you decide to purchase. The photographer who teaches this course is great at explaining the basics and will take you really far in your understanding so you can put it into practice and not get frustrated with the tech side of photography. And there is a lot of tech to understand in order to take the photos you’ll want to know how to take. Cost for the course $199

The Breakdown for Best Camera in 2022:

In summary, here’s the cost breakdown of recommendations for the best camera to buy in 2022 to get you started as a hobby photographer for around $1000:

$730 Canon Camera, Rebel SL3 DSLR
$130 Canon lens, 50mm f1.8
$30 SD memory cards
$199 Photography Starter Course
$10 p/month Lightroom Editing Software

$1069 Total

Interested in working with me to create your own family photos or book me to teach you how to use your new camera and see light in the best way to create the photos you really want to take? Email me through the contact page and let’s talk!

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    Classic Lifestyle Newborn Session

    What a beautiful classic lifestyle newborn session. That intersection where the warmth and connection of lifestyle photography meets the aesthetic of crisp, classic welcoming, lived in decor is my favorite vibe. Sign me up for all of them! These are my favorite sessions.

    Mom and dad wanted to recreate a photo with their pup from when big brother was born. Ya’ll, I’ve NEVER had such a cooperative dog for photos with a baby. Setting up pet and baby pictures always make me a little nervous because… paws and claws, but he was so gentle! He definitely earned that treat that mom was dangling just above my camera lens.

    Can we talk about these Beaufort Bonnet Company swaddles? They make me imagine classic nursery book paintings of storks flying their baby deliver to the doorsteps of excited parents and curious older siblings. There’s nothing sweeter than a baby wrapped in a big bow.

    Classic Lifestyle Newborn Session 1
    classic lifestyle newborn photography
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    classic newborn photography
    classic lifestyle newborn photography
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    classic newborn photography

    If you’re interested in booking me for your own newborn session, I’d love to talk with you about my process and how I can help you prepare to make the most of your session. As a mom of 4, I know how quickly the time goes. The memories of those early days will become harder to recall as time passes. Newborn photography helps you remember your perfect little babe just as they arrived to your arms. These classic lifestyle newborn sessions really the heart of my business and are pure fun for me. Contact me here to learn more.


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      Truth in a Hazy Family Photograph

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        Sarah Gray Photography is a natural, lifestyle photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, motherhood, and family photography.

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        Sarah Gray Photography | Professional Photographer of America Member
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        Sarah Gray creates timeless and joyful images that are designed for living room walls and photo albums. A tallahassee photographer, Sarah Gray also serves Thomasville, Crawfordville, St. Marks, Gainesville and throughout the panhandle of north Florida and south Georgia.

        email us | sarah@sarahgray.net

        telephone (850) 321-0208

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        located in tallahassee, florida