My husband owns a media business and I want to buy him a great camera as a gift. I was thinking of buying him the 5D Mk III, but it does not come with lenses. Is that a good camera to buy him and what lenses should I add to make the gift whole? Or is there a lenses kit that has all the lenses necessary to use with the camera?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Without knowing more about what your husband's interests are and skill level it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, to make any sensible suggestion. \$\endgroup\$
    – ChrisF
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally I would not be disappointed if my wife gave me the Hasselblad H4D-200MS with HCD 4/28 and the HC 3.2/150 for the starters... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 13:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've advised this before. Just print out a pretty gift certificate for a camera and accessories, give it to him. Then go shopping with him! He gets the camera he wants, you get time with him. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 14:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I hate to say it, this particular question is extremely subjective, and requires knowledge of a single individual (your husband) to offer any kind of useful advice. I'm inclined to close it, however I'd like to give you a chance to make it more viable. If you could generalize your question, remove references to gifts and individuals, and simply ask about gear-specific details, we may be able to let the question stay. We may also already have a question that has answers that cover what your asking as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 14:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a related gift-camera question: What camera should I buy for a Photography College student? I realize your husband isn't a student but the same advice (given by Paul Cezanne) applies. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


The 5D-III is, indeed, a very, very nice camera. The "best" camera (and lenses), though, are 100% dependent on the photographer, skill level, and subject(s) of photos. In other words, it tends to be a very personal choice, and it's very likely to evolve over time. Given the huge selection of available Canon lenses, there's also no single choice for "best", short of picking up one of everything!

Since equipment choice is so personal, it can be difficult to buy a camera as a gift. This is more true as you move into higher-end equipment, because the equipment tends to become more and more specialized (this is part of why there are so many lenses available). I think you'll find that there are a host of really knowledgeable people here who might be able to help with this, but it may be difficult to walk though the decision in a structured Q&A format -- this is a process that works best interactively.

Having said that, most manufacturers offer DSLR's in "kits" that include one or two lenses to get you started. Typically, these lenses are chosen to be general-purpose lenses that are suitable for the camera body they're matched with. Since the 5D-III is a fairly high-end camera, the most common "kit" lens for this camera is the EF 24-105 f/4 L lens, which is a well-regarded pro-grade lens (Canon designates this with "L" in the product name). Again, it's a very nice lens, but it's absolutely impossible to say if it's the "best" lens without knowing a lot more about your husband's skill level and how he's going to use the camera.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. I toyed with the idea of exploring a body w/ built-in flash, but I have no earthly idea if that makes sense in this case. \$\endgroup\$
    – D. Lambert
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 15:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Learning flash photography on top of learning the basics of photography would be a lot to take in at once. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 16:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd recommend a good flash, too (580EX II or thereabouts). I think that the idea of a flash makes sense, but if you are spending the kinds of money that a 5Dm3 takes, you want to get the 600EX-RT. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I couldn't agree more, which underscores the need to know something about the skill level of the gift-ee. \$\endgroup\$
    – D. Lambert
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 18:56

don't think that buying a 5D mark 3 as a gift is a good idea. The bare body is $3500, a matching-class lens will be well over $1000. While I'd love someone to give me a $5000 camera setup, I'd want to pick the details.

Your husband may prefer the Canon 1Dx or a Nikon D800, or even a Nikon D4. And suitable lenses to match.

I have bought my wife expensive gifts of jewelry, but over 25+ years, I have learned her taste in jewelry. I can't predict what her personal pick would be in gear for one of her hobbies.

Someone up-thread suggested making a "good for one camera" gift certificate, and letting him pick out the details. I think this is a better plan


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