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Entry Level Camera Cost Comparison

Entry Level Camera Cost Comparison

Photography can be expensive but, specially if you’re just starting. Let’s see how expensive it is for a novice photographer.

Some time ago I made a camera system cost comparison which worked for a specific scenario: a working photographer who’s getting paid and needs high end cameras, lenses, flashes and other accessories.

The Rules

But, what about novice photographers? Some people asked me this question so I decided to make the same analysis for a beginner photographer, with the following constraints: This photographer needs an entry level camera with a zoom kit lens, a normal lens and the smallest flash with tilt and swivel capabilities. Everything should come from the same camera brand.

Up to October 2018, with prices from the B&H website, the updated cost table looks like this:

Entry Level Camera Cost Comparison (October 2018)

ItemCanonNikonSonyFujifilmOlympusPanasonic
Total$948$891$1,124$1,159$1,048$973
Entry level camera body w/zoom kit lens$449$447$548$600$500$498
Normal lens$299$197$278$399$249$248
Small Flash w/Tilt and Swivel$200$247$298$160$299$227

The Gear

The gear used for this comparison was the following:

Canon
EOS Rebel T6 Camera Body
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM II Lens
EF-S 35mm f/2.8 IS USM Macro Lens
Speedlite EL-100 Flash

Nikon
D3400 Camera Body
AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR Lens
AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Lens
SB-500 AF Speedlight Flash

Sony
Alpha a5100 Camera Body
E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
E 30mm f/3.5 Macro Lens
HVL-F32M Flash

Fujifilm
X-A5 Camera Body
XF 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ Lens
XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens
EF-42 Flash

Olympus
OM-D EM-10 Mk II Camera Body
M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ ED Lens
M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 Lens
FL-600R Flash

Panasonic
Lumix DMC-G7 Camera Body
Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS Lens
Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens
DMW-FL360L Flash

The Conclusion

As you can see, Nikon is the least expensive system to get started in photography, while Fujifilm is the most expensive. In general terms, all systems are close to US$1,000. Please remember that these costs apply to the considerations and assumptions made at the beginning of the post, and you can save by using third party lenses and flashes.

I really hope this camera system cost comparison was helpful to you, so I’ll keep updating it regularly.

Would you like to add to the conversation? Leave a comment below!