Beginner Photographer? 5 Reasons to NOT Buy an Entry-Level DSLR

Buying your first professional camera? You’ve probably scoured photography websites, YouTube videos and forums to decide on your first big camera purchase. There are many types, ranging from crop-sensor, full-frame, mirrorless and even the trypophobia-inducing Light L16. However, this post’s sole focus is on entry-level vs. semi-pro or pro DSLRs and to guide you towards making the right DSLR purchase for the long run.


You’re probably receiving a ton of advice to buy an entry-level DSLR like the Nikon D3400 or the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, but that's not the most advantageous option. My first camera was entry-level and two months later, I regretted its purchase. From my experience and speaking with a few photography professionals at Henry’s, here are 5 reasons to not buy an entry-level DSLR:

1. Short-lived satisfaction

You’ll grow out of your entry-level camera in a few weeks or months and want a camera with more features and capabilities. It’s better to invest in a camera you’ll continue to use in the long run.

2. Lack of photography experience is no excuse

You’ll read a lot on the internet that beginner photographers will eventually make their way from an entry-level crop-sensor to full-frame camera as they grow more comfortable with photography and the manual mode. Both crop-sensor and full-frame cameras can produce spectacular images, but full-frame cameras do offer more advantages, such as better image quality in low-light. Think of it this way—why not just buy a full-frame camera now, if you think you may have to buy one later on?

3. Any DSLR can teach you photography basics

I bought the Nikon D3400 kit lens bundle after watching countless YouTube videos and reading forums that recommended it. It was great for teaching me how to use manual mode, however I was soon curious about all the things a full-frame DSLR could offer. You can always learn how to set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO in manual mode while using a semi-pro or pro DSLR, and then explore its more advanced functions later on.

4. Financially not worth it

Alongside my Nikon D3400, I bought an extra battery, USB cords, camera case, you name it. I spent a lot only to end up dissatisfied with it a couple months later. It’s better to financially invest in a camera you’ll be satisfied with in the long run. You can rent cameras at most camera stores and try them out before making a purchase.

5. Kit lens are underrated—for good reason

What I’ve never heard: “I took this amazing image using my 18-55mm kit lens.” If you decide on an entry-level camera, I suggest buying it without the kit lens. Buy the DSLR body, think about what type of photography you’re into, do some research and buy a lens accordingly. The best quality lenses are made for full-frame cameras. Again, you can rent camera lenses to try before you make a purchase.

Entry-level and crop-sensor DSLRs have the advantage of being lightweight and more affordable, along with crop-sensor lens. Your camera purchase relies on what you put more weight on, however it’s important to think about your long-term photography goals when deciding on a camera. And remember—photograph quality is more about the photographer than the camera.