New to photography? The world of photography can be daunting and even confusing but fear not. First things first; you’ll want to get your hands on a good camera to start your journey on the right footing. We’ve found you 15 of the best cameras to help you get into the groove of photography and tips on how to choose the right camera for you.
Camera Qualities to Look Out For
Regardless of the make and brand of your camera, there are a few qualities you’ll want to take note of on your search and we’ve listed them below:
This is probably the most important property of any camera. The number of megapixels (MP) and the sensor and lens sizes are important determinants of image quality. Generally, DSLR cameras are best known for their superb image quality.
This has a lot to do with the fact that DSLR cameras are outfitted with quality sensors and lenses, although these do come at an expensive price. Even if budget cameras happen to boast good image quality, you can expect these to be offset by limitations in other areas.
Shutter lag is an issue that all cameras have; while this only happens on occasion, it will hamper your ability to take a good shot. This problem may lead to a whole slew of other issues, such as slow startup time, lack of autofocus, and slow shot time.
Some cameras with decent shutter speed are offset by a lower image quality. Ideally, you want to get yourself a camera that strikes a good balance between fast shutter speed and good image quality. This will enable you to take photos quickly without compromising on speed and quality.
Design and Size
And now we come to design and size. While these superficial factors may not seem very important at first sight, it’s still important to pay attention to them. Ideally, you don’t want to lug bulky cameras that are too big and heavy—these are far too much trouble to carry around with you.
While portable cameras are a viable option, they are often deficient in other areas like shutter lag and image quality.
Battery life is another essential factor to take into consideration. If you want a camera for travel, you would ideally go for one with long battery life. The more features a camera uses at once, the shorter its battery life will be.
Most cameras have rechargeable batteries. Older ones use standard AA batteries, some of which are rechargeable. However, the cameras that don’t utilize AA batteries usually have a longer battery life compared to those that do.
Best Cameras For Beginners
With the above factors in mind, we now come to our list of recommendations for beginner-friendly cameras. Check out our picks below:
Canon EOS M50
- – Quick autofocus
- – Intuitive touchscreen
- – User-friendly
- – Subpar battery life
- – Cropped 4K footage
- – Cheap construction
- – Few native lenses
The Canon EOS M50 is considered one of the best cameras for beginners because of its compactness. Don’t be fooled by its small stature, as it comes equipped with similar functionalities as a higher-end product; some of these include a high-resolution 24.1 MP APS-C size CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 8 image processor that lets this little guy handle intensive processes quickly and accurately.
This camera also has a retractable viewfinder that lets you look at yourself—great for HD selfies for the ‘gram. The Canon EOS M50 is also great for videography with its ability to record in 4K quality. On top of this, the camera has a guided interface designed specifically to ease beginners into photography.
Priced at a cool range of $570 to $600, the Canon EOS M50 is a fantastic entry-level camera to pick up.
Canon EOS Rebel SL3
- – Big LCD touchscreen
- – Lightweight
- – Good battery life
- – Has only nine focus points
- – Expensive
The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is pricier than the EOS M50 at $700, and it even shares similar features like 24.1 MP resolution, 4K video resolution, and a guided interface for newbies.
Why, then, would you choose the Rebel SL3 over the EOS M50? This would all boil down to viewfinders; the Rebel SL3 has an optical viewfinder on top of the typical electronic ones. This one is a pretty basic one with nine dots that let you or your camera choose how the subject is focused.
In short, if you prefer a more traditional manual autofocus experience instead of using an electronic display to see what you are capturing, then the Rebel SL3 is a good camera to get.
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
- – Can shoot in full HD and 4K
- – 30 fps raw burst mode
- – Great for livestreaming
- – Affordable price point
- – 4K video limit capped at 10 minutes
- – Poor battery life
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a very slim compact camera that is excellent for still shots, and it boasts the ability to shoot in full HD as well as 4K. The quality of the photos produced is good no matter the lighting and distance. Its price is also reasonable, starting at $640 on Amazon.
The best part about this camera is its ability to film live streams, and it is used by many live streamers on both YouTube and Twitch. So if you’re interested in both photography and live streaming, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III is suitable for you.
Canon Rebel T8i
- – Quick and steady autofocus
- – Good picture quality
- – Limited 4K video
- – Expensive
The Canon Rebel T8i stands out for being a DSLR in a world that has become increasingly saturated with mirrorless cameras. This doesn’t take away from its functionality, coming equipped with the standard 24.1 MP resolution, along with a rear control button and AF (autofocus)-On button. The Rebel T8i costs $749 on Amazon.
This camera also has a fast image processor that boosts its burst performance. Compared to its predecessor the T7i, its viewfinder performs well at 7 frames per second or 7.5 fps in live view mode.
The Canon Rebel T8i also allows greater customization by letting you attach a wide range of EF lenses to its body.
4K video capture is where this camera is lacking. That’s because it lowers the frame rate, crops the footage, and foregoes the autofocus.
- – Excellent photo quality
- – Big LCD touchscreen
- – Full manual controls
- – No image stabilization
- – Missing headphone jack
- – Slightly expensive
The Fujifilm X-T200 is a great mirrorless camera for beginners, starting from its 3.5-inch vari-angle touchscreen that is larger than most cameras—great if you have fat fingers! The camera is also lightweight, making it ideal for carrying around on longer photography expeditions. To help you better see what you’re shooting, the X-T200 has an electronic viewfinder.
The camera is pretty affordable at $700 too, making it very accessible for the budding photographer.
- – Nice controls and construction
- – Well-rounded
- – 4K video support
- – No stabilization
- – Subpar battery life
This APS-C camera takes some high-end features and puts them on a budget. The Fujifilm X-T30 is a budget camera that functions much like a mid-range camera. It’s arguably among the best for still shots and also boasts fast autofocus functionality.
You don’t need to worry about lighting conditions with this camera either. It can shoot in poor light just as it would under good lighting. The color combinations are also quite nice, as you can apply some filters to imitate retro film stocks from the ’50s.
- – Guide Mode is very beginner-friendly
- – Compact and lightweight
- – Long battery life
- – No touchscreen controls
The Nikon D3500 is a classic entry-level DSLR that is well-suited for beginners to photography. It’s also one of the cheaper cameras on this list, starting at $530 on Amazon.
The Nikon D3500 has a very friendly Guide Mode that teaches you the basics of photography. With this mode active, you’ll be able to tell the camera what kind of photos you’re trying to take, and it’ll inform you of the appropriate adjustments it’ll make to its shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation.
This camera is also pretty compact and lightweight, making it ideal for carrying around with you on long photography trips. Coupled with its long battery life, you can take your time to learn the basics of photography with this camera on hand.
Nikon Z 50
- – Compact & light
- – Nice handling
- – 180-degree tilting screen
- – The tilting screen is unusable with tripods
- – Only one card slot
The Nikon Z 50 is another small camera that packs a solid punch. Despite its small size, it has a great ergonomic design that makes it easy to handle. In terms of shooting speed, it may be a contender for the fastest out there, with its 11 fps continuous shooting speed. This camera also comes with 4K video recording functionality too.
As the Nikon Z 50 is a mirrorless camera, it’s more expensive than your average DSLR camera. It’s priced at $860, rising up to as high as $1000. Nevertheless, it has excellent value and can use a range of Nikon’s DSLR lenses.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
- – Compact and easy to carry around
- – Reliable sensor
- – Great image stabilization
- – No USB-C port
- – No microphone connector
The Olympus OM-D is a decent mirrorless camera that is well-suited for beginners, coming with standard features like fast shooting speed, an electronic viewfinder, and 4K video resolution. With this camera, you can shoot still photos even under bad lighting and perform burst shots effectively. Like most other entry-level cameras, the Olympus OM-D is compact and lightweight.
This camera is one of the cheapest on the list with a starting price of $650—ideal if you’re on a budget.
Olympus PEN E-PL9
- – User-friendly
- – Beautiful construction
- – Great image quality
- – Basic controls
- – No viewfinder
Affordability is paired with functionality to bring you the Olympus PEN E-PL9. This sleek and stylish mirrorless camera has a cool starting price of $500, yet it doesn’t lose out on performance and functionality.
Capable of capturing fantastic JPEG shots, this camera also boasts 4K video recording capabilities. Add the fact that it corrects noise and stabilizes images well, and you’ve got a winner on your hands.
The E-PL9 is another mirrorless camera from Olympus that has excellent value. It’s one of the cheapest mirrorless cameras that money can buy, priced at $500. Don’t underestimate its low price, as it is a very capable device.
Panasonic Lumix G100
- – Compact and portable
- – Helpful tripod grip (optional)
- – Value for the money
- – Less-than-fast autofocus
- – No headphone jack
While the Panasonic Lumix G100 is not exactly a beginner-friendly camera with a price tag of $797.99, it still does a pretty decent job. For one, this mirrorless camera has interchangeable lenses, letting you swap out lenses as and when you feel like it. It also comes with a fully-articulated screen and a solid mic setup—great for audio recordings when you’re taking videos.
This camera does fall a little short of its videography capabilities. However, while it does a superb job with filming in 1080p by making full use of its sensor, its 4K functionality can’t go wider than 30mm. This will render vlogging a little difficult, as you won’t be able to capture large indoor subjects within the frame.
That said, if you’re okay with filming in 1080p, this camera is ideal for the casual YouTube and Twitch streamer. On top of this, it has an ergonomic design that ensures that it won’t fall out of your hands when you’re taking pictures or recording videos.
Panasonic Lumix GX9
- – 4K photo modes
- – Tilting screen
- – Mostly digital controls
- – Tiny physical controls
The Panasonic Lumix GX9 is a simplistic mirrorless camera that is priced at $700. This little camera can shoot high-quality photos with its 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor, making its image quality among the best for mirrorless cameras.
In addition to this, the Lumix GX9 also has a tilting electronic viewfinder that lets you see what you’re capturing, regardless of whether you’re shooting scenery or yourself. This camera also boasts 4K video resolution at 30p and also supports 6 fps burst shooting with continuous autofocus—really good for taking those tricky motion shots.
- – Good autofocus
- – Battery life
- – Classic polaroid
- – Bulky
- – Inconsistent
- – Expensive film
While the Polaroid Now is not exactly a professional camera, it’s still a great way to enter the world of photography. This instant camera does have some professional functionality, including an optical viewfinder and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Polaroid Now is also very affordable at just $100, helping you get started on casual photography without busting your wallet. The film can, however, be a bit pricey if you shoot too much, so be sure to use this camera sparingly if you’re on a budget.
- – Good physical controls
- – Compact
- – 11fps burst mode
- – No touchscreen
- – Battery life
- – FHD video only
Some enthusiasts like to call the a6000 the old reliable. It’s been out for quite a while but still remains a top-tier model on the market. This mirrorless camera is small and lightweight and also comes with an electronic viewfinder.
The only problem with the a6000 is that it’s a really old model, so some newer features are not supported. For instance, it doesn’t support 4K video and the resolution is a bit weak compared to newer models. Beyond that, it’s a great and reliable camera for daily use.
- – Flippable screen
- – Excellent autofocus
- – No headphone jack
- – Poor video stabilization
Priced at $750, the Sony ZV-1 is considered to be the best camera for beginners. It’s compact and beginner-friendly and boasts a flippable screen. For recording videos, this camera only has few competitors. It has excellent autofocus capabilities and amazing image quality.
Despite it being one of the most popular cameras for vlogging, the video stabilization is occasionally off the curve, with the video quality fluctuating occasionally. It also doesn’t come with a headphone jack, which can make audio recording a bit difficult. But if you can look past these cons, the Sony ZV-1 does a good job at taking videos.
Canon EOS 2000D
- – User-friendly
- – Good image quality
- – Inexpensive
- – No touchscreen
- – Subpar autofocus system
The Canon EOS 2000D is a solid DSLR camera for beginners if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use. It is outfitted with a 24-MP sensor, delivering good image quality using the 24-MP sensor is standard coupled with decent 1080p video recording. It also provides a decent amount of control over many of its settings and features.
The Canon EOS 2000D is a pretty basic camera. However, it does stand out because of its brand. This allows you to access a wide assortment of accessories. Hence, it’s great if you ever need lenses with better focal length or other features.
Of course, there’s not much that’s particularly special about the EOS 2000D. It doesn’t have fancy features like 4K shooting or a touchscreen LCD. However, it’s good enough if you’re a new photographer.
Canon EOS 250D
- – 4K video
- – Relatively affordable for what it offers
- – Great JPEG image quality
- – Outdated 9-point autofocus
- – 4K shooting triggers heavy rolling in the shutter
The best camera for beginners can be difficult to qualify. A good place to start is whether the camera offers good manual control over basic settings. This includes everything from shutter speed and aperture to ISO and more.
The Canon EOS 250D is the best camera for beginners on that front. It’s a good performer overall. However, it shines the most in 4K video recording, especially for the small asking price. It’s certainly the best camera for beginners if you’re looking for a reliable budget video camera.
The Choice Is Yours
With the widespread availability of so many cameras in the market, it can be difficult to figure out which one to get to start your photography journey. Factors like image quality, autofocus, and even the brand and model numbers often have little bearing unless you’re a professional in the field. And so now that you’re armed with this list of the best cameras for beginners on hand, the choice is yours to make: which of these cameras will you pick as your budding photography companion?