Pro Photography on a Budget – Gear Guide

Last Updated on October 12, 2021 by PixelPluck

Photography equipment is expensive. Most professional DSLR and mirrorless cameras cost thousands of dollars. The professional lenses cost more than the camera itself. How often do we see the work of professionals and wish to have the same gear and create amazing Photos! In reality, it takes more than professional gear to get those amazing photographs. In this blog post, you will find how to do pro photography on a budget. You will find the list of the best value for money photography gear that you will get on a budget.

Experience and expertise are the most important qualities of professional photographers. The photography gear would come at last position for them when it comes to creativity. The creativity and thought process is what make those beautiful photographs. But there’s a way to get the best camera gear at a budget price.

But still what if we just can not afford those professional and ultra-expensive gear? Is there an alternate way to be a professional on a budget? Most of being a great photographer come from being good with light and having a good visual acumen. Let us check out the best value for money budget alternatives for expensive photography gear.

Professional photography gear on a budget.
Bear Value for Money Photography Gear

Best Camera Body on a Budget

You don’t have to buy a super expensive and professional-grade Canon 1Dx or a Nikon D5 camera to get the best out of your photographic ability. It takes years to master a professional camera as they come with so many options that you can’t explore over a week or month. But there is a reason why professional cameras should be limited to professionals or those who have enough money to waste. It is a wise idea to get a mid-level camera and pro lens than to spend on a pro camera body and then getting a mediocre lens.

There are plenty of options in the market depending upon your budget and requirements. Nikon options start with the very popular entry-level budget camera the Nikon D3500 and Nikon D5600. Both are very capable cameras with D5600 having a slight technical edge over the Nikon D3500. If budget is not a constraint then just directly go for the Nikon D7500 DSLR camera. The D7500 from Nikon is an absolute beast for amateurs and hobbyists. It can very well handle the tasks under trying conditions. The Nikon D7500 is the best crop sensor DX camera in the Nikon lineup.

If you are a Canon fan then go for either Canon 1200D or the slightly expensive Canon 80D. The Canon 80D is the equivalent of the Nikon D7500. Both of these are mid-level enthusiast cameras. If budget is not a constraint then the best value for money you can get will be Canon 6D Mark II which is a full-frame camera.

Read about DX, FX, crop sensor, and full-frame here in detail.

Best Lens on a Budget

The camera body is only half the part of photography. Lenses are more important than the camera body. A pro lens with a cheap camera body may outperform a cheap lens with a pro camera body. Which type of photography will you be doing? This will determine the type of lens you need. For each genre of photography, there will be different lenses. For beginners, the best budget option is to go for the kit lens which provides a decent all-around capability. You can always start with the kit lens but that’s surely is not the way forward. You must upgrade your kit lens to something that gives you professional results without breaking your bank.

One of the cheapest but remarkably popular upgrades from the kit lens is the 50mm f1.8 lens. It is designated as the ‘Nifty-Fifty’. Anyone upgrading from a kit lens will see an immediate improvement in the sharpness and background bokeh in the photos. 50mm f1.8 is the most popular lens in the world. However, it comes with shortcomings. Being a fixed focal length lens you need to move closer or far from the subject to get the correct composition. 50mm f1.8 is usually good for shoulder and above portraits and product photography.

Lenses from third parties such as Tamron and Sigma are reliable and cheaper. For anyone looking for the best all-around capable lens with variable zoom, there are a few choices.
The best options at budget are the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 DC. Both these lenses are leaders in their category with fast aperture throughout the focal range. The constant f2.8 aperture translates into creamier bokeh, sharper photos, and improved low-light performance.

Best External Flash on a Budget

Most entry and mid-level cameras come with an Inbuilt flash. These flash are not capable of giving a professional-looking result. In most cases, you will have harsh shadows when you use the built-in flash. This is why professional camera bodies do not come with an inbuilt flash that rises on each occasion like a gimmick. Photography is all about light and how you control it. The angle, intensity, and color of available light decide the visual strength of a photograph. Learning to use an external flash will immediately improve your photography.

An external flash not only compensates for the low light but also gives you great creative control. Professionals use branded Speedlites from Nikon and Canon which may cost you as much as an entry-level DSLR itself. There are many budget alternatives for professional flash. Some of the most popular brands of budget external flash are Godox, Altura, Yongnuo, etc. Read this detailed guide to get the best external flash. Even professionals have started to use these cheap alternatives on regular basis because of their strength and reliability. The best value for money budget external flash is Yongnuo YN560 IV and Godox V860II TTL.

Best Tripod on a Budget

Most beginner photographers seem to ignore the importance of a functional and reliable Tripod. A tripod is an essential tool, especially if you are into landscapes and long-exposure photography. You can find dirt cheap tripods on various websites but never compromise with the quality of a tripod. A bad tripod is as good as not having a tripod at all. Cheap tripods become unstable after a little usage as the joints start to dislocate.

One of the most popular and highly recommended Tripods which is also the best budget tripod is the K&F Concept 62” DSLR Tripod with Ball-head. There is no second thought required when picking up the most budget-friendly but reliable tripod. The body is made up of aluminum which makes it lightweight and sturdy. A ball head ensures quick directional change as well as a 360-degree angle to shoot from.


The following table summarizes the Pro Photography on a Budget – Gear Guide. You can always choose to go for more expensive photography gear. However, this list is the best value for money budget products that you will get in photography.

Best Gear on a BudgetProduct
DSLR Camera BodyNikon D5600 and Canon 1200D
DSLR Lens50mm f1.8 and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
External FlashYongnuo YN560 IV and Godox V860II TTL
Best Tripod on a BudgetK&F Concept 62” Ball-head Tripod
Pro Photography on a Budget – Gear Guide

Read More Guides:
KIT LENS UPGRADE: Kit Lens Upgrade Guide
ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES: Essential Accessories Guide

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