Despite the standard zoom lens being the mainstay of entry-level DSLR kits, in the modern age, more and more photographers - beginners and enthusiasts alike - are returning to the fixed lens for a wide range of uses.
The word is out about high-quality, low-budget options from several big brands, including the Canon 50mm f1.8 STM or the Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.8 G. These lenses don’t cost that much more than a high-capacity memory card, and their bright f1.8 maximum aperture delivers incredible bokeh which far supersedes that of the common zoom lens.
Smaller format mirrorless cameras can be commonly found with travel-friendly pancake lenses mounted. “Pancakes?”, you say! That’s right - pancake lenses are not just notable for their delicious name, but are also highly regarded for their impressive optics, wide-angle focal lengths, and incredibly compact build. This allows interchangeable lens cameras to remain as portable as possible.
As another example of the fixed focal lengths resurgence in the photographic world, certain manufacturers now include them in their higher-end Advanced Compact Cameras. The Fujifilm X100V is the most notable of these models currently on the market, with both cameras being popular - largely due to their high-end optics that have been optimised to perfectly match the camera’s image sensor.