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First Time DSLR Purchase – What Canon Model To Get For $900 Or Less?

Canon SL1

Image of Canon SL1 from Canon USA

The Instagram message that I received below is what sparked this blog post.

"Do you think canon Rebel t6i is good for professional use? I'm an amateur, interested in portrait and fashion photography. This is my first time buying a DSLR and my budget is $900."

Rather than list numerous options compared to the Canon t6i, I've decided to focus on the Canon SL1 vs. the t6i.

Here is a a comparison link to the two cameras. Although the t6i got 72 points compared to the SL1 at 61 points, there are things that don't matter to me personally as much like the touch screen, higher ISO and wi-fi of the Canon t6i. I do admit that I like more focal points which is 19 on the t6i vs. 9 on the SL1. However, for portrait shooting vs. action shooting, I could live with the 9 for portrait photography.

As of this post, the Canon t6i is listed on Amazon with the 18-55mm STM lens for $749 which on a $900 budget leaves $151. On the other hand, the Canon SL1 with the 18-55mm STM lens and the 55-250mm STM lens is $559 which on a $900 budget leaves $351 allowing more room for some other items that I have listed below.

As a full time professional, I think getting these other 3 items within the $351 left makes the SL1 a better overall starting DSLR because the $559 kit also comes with the 55-250mm lens which is $299 by itself: 1) Yongnuo 600 Hotshoe Mountable Flash for Canon 2) A Rogue Flash Bender to use on the Yongnuo Flash for some nice bouncing of the light. 3) A 50mm f/1.8 lens which becomes an 80mm lens on a crop sensor SL1 or t6i.

The 3 additional items above which I think are important to a starting DSLR kit are $286 total which leaves $65 out of the $351. $65 is enough room to buy some SD cards.

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David Williams

Short Bio About The Author: I'm David Williams a professional commercial photographer focusing on corporate and business clients with some personal branding, lifestyle photography in the mix. My love for photography began in late 1981 while still in High School. I started making money with his camera in 1982. Brenda, my wife, and I started working together in photography in 1988 shortly after we met. Brenda and I married in 1989 and have two adult daughters. Please be sure to get a quote for services if needed. Call or Text: 919.723.8453. Please reach out to connect with me on LinkedIn.