1. Quick Recommendations
Before we get started with our step by step guide, here is the best entry-level dSLR camera for an amateur or beginner photographer, and a couple of really cool and cheap interchangeable lenses:
The Best Amateur Camera
As of May 2016, the best entry-level dSLR camera for an amateur or beginner photographer is the Nikon D3300. The D3300 is also the best deal you can get on a new a dSLR camera under $400 from Adorama. It is light, easy to use, very well built, and has powerful 24MP sensor that produces fantastic photos in any type of light.
Best Value Kit For Beginners:
Best pro wedding/portrait camera: Nikon D750 (comes with 24-120mm VR lens).
Best lens for taking indoor photos of your kids
Assuming that you already have a kit lens, or are purchasing a camera that includes one, here are a couple of my favorite lenses that will make a huge difference when you take indoor portraits:
Best Lenses under $250
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 – (G AF-S version) Nikon DX and FX bodies – $200
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 – only works on Nikon DX bodies: D3300, D5500, or D7200 – $200
Canon 50mm f/1.8 – (STM version) works on all Canon bodies – $125
Tip: the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is the ideal every-day lens on full frame FX cameras, and it’s a great portrait lens on DX cameras. The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is my top choice for all day, every day photos of my kids.
The wider aperture on these lenses (f/1.8 vs. f/5.6 on your kit lens) allows you to take photos indoor at a much faster shutter speed, and also softens your backgrounds beautifully. Check out the lenses section for more details and other awesome lenses.