Canon 600D/T3i 18-135mm lens

Can You Take Fantastic Photography on a Budget?

Can you take fantastic photography on a budget? Yes, I think so….

That’s one of the reasons I run this site, to show you how it can be done.

I love my photography, I get so much enjoyment out of it and in so many ways.

But my photography is on a budget!

Why should that stop me creating great shots? (I could be biased!).

Faulty Lens

So a couple of weeks ago I was faced with the unthinkable, the auto focus on my lens broke!

It would still work in manual focus, but on the 18-55mm kit lens it’s very slow and very fiddly…

I have one other lens a 50mm f1.8 so thankfully I wasn’t completely stuck.

And although I was having a great time taking photos with a 50mm (it really changes the way you think and shoot). I was missing the flexibility of a zoom.

*Before I say anything else, for photography on a budget I think the best lens choice is a good zoom lens and a prime lens. And money wise I think there is no better choice than the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.*

The Decision

I knew I didn’t want to buy another 18-55mm kit lens.

So I was shopping for a zoom lens, I always try to get the very best I can with my budget and I like to research thoroughly to make sure I do.

After a lot of searching and reading reviews I decided on the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens, it ticked all my boxes. I wanted a good walk around zoom that incorporated a wide angle for landscapes and had a longer range than the 18-55, and the price was in budget.

I know I’m going on about budget and money but at the end of the day photography is an expensive hobby and it does come down to money…. and lenses aren’t cheap!

And on that point, when I was shopping for a lens it did start to raise a question over my camera body? I have a Canon 450D.

The 18-135mm lens just happens to be the kit lens with a Canon 600D/T3i. Should I upgrade my camera body at the same time, and sell my old one second hand before it gets too old and loses too much money?

Photography Advice

So if I was to follow general photography advice then…..

  • I should buy better Glass (lenses) over camera bodies.
  • I shouldn’t just upgrade within my existing camera range (xxxD), I should move up in the DSLR range (xxD).

Anyway I blew it! I ignored all the normal photography advice and went for what I think fitted me the best for my photography…


Getting the New Camera

I bought the Canon EOS 600D/T3i 18MP DSLR Camera and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens.

Canon 600D/T3i 18-135mm lensBut I do agree with that photography advice.

I think it’s good advice as a guideline, and if I wasn’t on such a budget I would probably follow that advice. But that’s why the standard advice isn’t always a good fit because each photographer has individual needs.

If I had a larger budget and in an ideal world I would have gone for a Canon 7D with EF-S 15-85mm Lens.

I may even have looked at the Sony NEX-7 mirrorless system if I’d had bigger pockets.

And if money was no object I would have gone for a Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105mm L Lens.


They are wonderful gadgets, but not essential to take great photographs with.

It’s the photographer that presses the shutter button not the camera.

I think it’s more important to learn how your camera works better, and understand composition and light, and develop your photographers eye for the situation.

And that’s exactly what you can do with these entry level DLSRs.


So just because your photography is on a budget doesn’t mean it has to suffer.

There’s some great mobile phone photography out there never mind anything else!

I’m very happy that I upgraded to a 600D/T3i and I’ll write a full review soon to explain exactly why.

I’d also love to hear your views on photography budgets, do you have one? Feel free to add your views in the comments.


Comments 5

  1. Very true! I love photography and I do not have the biggest best camera out there. There are some things I haven’t figured out how to do without spending more money; however, I still get complimented on my photography. I just take pictures for fun and because I love to capture that special moment.

    Thanks for a great blog!


  2. Post

    Yes, sometimes you just can’t get away from spending some money!

    And just because you haven’t got the ‘best’ camera doesn’t mean you can’t take great photos….

    I’m glad you are having fun – keep enjoying your photography!

  3. i have a 450D currently and got a chance to hold a friend’s 550D… i felt the newer body more plasticky than 450D.
    can you share your feedback on the difference between the quality of the 2 bodies,, 450D vs 600D. has canon dropped down the plastic quality on these bodies??

  4. I am currently using a Canon PowerShot SX160 which even though it is a point and shoot has several features often associated with DSLR cameras (like Av/Tv/manual modes, flash intensity, manual white balance, and slow synchro). No RAW though. Obviously a $150 point and shoot isn’t going to be anywhere near as good as a decent DSLR (very grainy at 1600 ISO for example) but it’s not bad if you are just starting out and don’t want to spend very much.

  5. I own a 600D and love it. I have the canon 50mm f1.8 and it is a great lens thats capable of taking fantastic photos. I have just purchased the Sigma 30mm f1.4 and can not wait till it arrives. I have also heard good things about the Sigma 18-250mm lens, which I may purchase in the future.

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