Congratulations on taking a step toward better image quality and purchasing a DSLR. Now that you've got that big sensor and big camera, don't expect that your images will instantly be leaps and bounds better than a point-and-shoot. This is a totally different league. Buying into the system will make your camera less and less future-proof and learning how to take better images is the only thing that will really set you apart from a point-and-shoot user.
Great images are made - besides the right gear they require the correct lighting, attractive composition, unique perspective and great subject content. Part of all this is keeping in mind what makes your subject unique and could also require playing with the subject and camera a bit. Here are some essential upgrades for your DSLR.
Your First Prime Lens
The purchase of your first prime lens is one that will give you memory cards and memory cards full of great image creating potential. For the uninformed, a prime lens has a fixed focal length. For example, a 50mm lens or an 85mm lens. There is no zoom range of any sort.
You're probably asking yourself, "Why the heck would I want that?" Because even though you only get a fixed focal length, this lens is bound to be the sharpest in your camera bag for a little while until you make the purchase of a more expensive and better quality lens. Besides this, the aperture is likely to be much larger, which means that you'll be able to take images with a shallower depth of field and in lower light without having to raise your ISO sensitivity too much.
With the addition of a prime lens to your kit, expect to capture some breathtaking night photos as well other subjects. Though the purchase of your first prime lens will allow for more creativity than a zoom, it should be noted that new users usually get caught in what is called, "The Bokeh Trap." This is when users shoot images with their aperture wide open all the time and end up making silly mistakes, like losing very important and essential details in their photos.
Most of these lenses are around the $100 range or a bit more. I personally call the purchase of your first prime lens the first step towards liberating your photography because of the potential of some of these little pieces of glass surrounded in plastic.
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