The Best Camera For Beginners (And The 4 Runners Up)

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When your interest in photography has advanced beyond the abilities of your smartphone, it may be time to consider a dedicated camera body to take your photos to the next level. Finding the best camera for beginners is really an exercise in uncovering the perfect camera for your needs. To do that, we will explore the photos you are interested in shooting, the conditions you are shooting in, and the interest you have in the technical aspects of photography.

Examples are, if you are shooting still life photos or if you’re interested in pursuing sports photography, the camera and package you’ll need are different. If you are considering shooting video with your camera, you will pay extra for the option, but be glad you did when you see the quality of footage your camera can handle compared to your smartphone.

Finally, if you're a traveling photographer, you will want a camera that is light and durable, as compared to a fragile but more powerful camera to be used when wandering around your home. In our list today, we are breaking down some of the best cameras available today and describing them regarding their particular affinities and abilities as they apply to your shooting needs.

Product FAQ

Below is a series of quick look questions designed to answer specific considerations you might have when purchasing a camera. Obviously you may have more than these but for now, this should be a good entry into exploring the best camera for beginners and ultimately the best camera for you.

1. What Is The Best Camera For Beginners?

The best camera for beginners really comes down to your interest in various photographic fields. DSLRs offer versatility and control like no other cameras do, but they are heavy and may discourage new users to pick up. Mirrorless cameras are lightweight but can be more fragile if shooting in sports scenarios. These are all questions you need to consider when selecting a camera that works best for your needs.

2. What Kind Of Cameras Are Available?

Camera bodies and styles can vary nowadays. A DSLR is the common ground floor for shooters and comprises a camera body and a mount for removing and reattaching your lens. The acronym stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex and highlights that this camera is adaptable with a lens whose mounts are compatible with your own. A mirrorless camera is a modern upgrade of the same style and merely points out that the body is now smaller, as the mirrored shutter, designed to reflect light into the shutter, has been removed so that your viewfinder is now level with what your lens is receiving, thereby decreasing the size of your camera body. The viewfinder, instead of glass, is now a small screen that transmits what the camera is seeing live. This becomes a point of interest for many photographers exploring a mirrorless option.

Finally, a compact camera is the simplest camera upgrade possible; its lens is permanently affixed to the camera, simplifying the choices to the range that the built-in lens provides and ultimately allowing the photographer to focus on composition over exposure, focal length and shutter speed. Each of these types of cameras offers advantages and disadvantages when searching for the best camera for beginners, but none are necessarily 100% better for your distinctive needs.

3. How Much Does A Beginner Camera Cost?

Cameras are a complicated field to price and for many new photographers, costs can be the primary deterrent for purchasing cameras of a higher power and degree. For shooters interested in the compact route you can expect starting costs at around $300 and up. This price is all inclusive though, which makes it appealing to new shooters. As you move to DSLR cameras, you’ll be starting at closer to $320 but for the body alone. Then you must consider your lens, which will take you up another $100 or more. As you proceed into mirrorless camera technology, prices will rise to closer to $400 for the camera body, which will still require you to purchase the lens. Overall, when purchasing the best camera for beginners, expect to pay a starting price of about $300 for the basic option and closer to $1000 for a good option that’ll last you a while.

4. Where Can You Buy A Beginner Camera?

The best camera for beginners can come from several outlets and sources. Outlets like Best Buy and Precision cameras offer a hands-on opportunity to examine the camera you are interested in and to ask questions from a salesperson who can better guide you to a camera and a package that suits your needs. Meanwhile, online distributors like Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and B&H Camera offer exceptional deals and wonderful warranty plans.

5. What Are The Reasons For Higher-Priced Cameras?

Cameras can quite a long term investment for photographers. Once you purchase a reliable camera body, expanding your abilities in photos and your compositions often comes from new lenses and gear rather than re-buying a brand new camera body. You want to make sure that when you are buying the best camera for beginners, you’ve considered if you will buy a new camera once you have advanced in your photographic field, or if you have instead adapted to your camera and would prefer investing in better support gear and new lenses when advancing in your shooting abilities. In either case, if you're sure you will continue photography for years to come, it may be best to consider a camera that is more adaptable, so you don’t have to cycle lenses, lights, and tripods for your next camera purchase.

How We Reviewed

Below is a series of cameras we reviewed on based on features, prices, pitfalls and overall access for new users. The best camera for beginners would be one that is affordable, functional, and user-friendly, so we tested with that in mind and have produced a list that should aptly guide you to a camera able to handle whatever photography you are trying to pursue.

Overall Price Range Of This Product

The overall price range of each of these cameras falls somewhere between $ and $$$ but accessories and lenses are definitely worth considering for whatever selection you undertake.

Canon EOS 200D Rebel SL2

Canon EOS 200D Rebel SL2 Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 is STM Lens Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (International Model No Warranty)
  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor DIGIC 7 Image Processor
  • 3" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • 9-Point AF System; Dual Pixel CMOS AF Native ISO 25600, Extended to ISO 51200
  • Up to 5 fps Continuous Shooting Feature Assistant; Microphone Input
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens


Features

We’ll start with the Canon EOS 200D Rebel SL2, the best camera for beginners if you are interested in a versatile DSLR that also shoots exceptional video. The articulated screen will help you easily compose photos while the guided interface will help you enter this exciting new field with confidence. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system will keep you autofocus swift and accurate while the often included  EF-S 18-55mm will give you plenty of range and flexibility when shooting. Overall it’s a great camera to start on and continue with as you advance in whatever capacity of photography you pursue.

Warranty

For an additional $ or $$, you can add a 3 or 4-year protection plan for this product.

PROS

  • Articulated TouchScreen
  • Guided new user access
  • Superb Video Function

CONS

  • Somewhat expensive for an entry camera
  • The included kit lens only reaches F4 aperture
  • Autofocus only has 9 points of focus

Canon EOS 800D Digital SLR

Canon EOS 800D Digital SLR with 18-55 is STM Lens Black (International Model No Warranty)
  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor DIGIC 7 Image Processor
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • 45-Point All Cross-Type Phase-Detect AF Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Up to 6 fps Shooting and ISO 51200 Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC, Bluetooth
  • HDR Movie and Time-Lapse Movie EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens


Features

A big brother to the Canon EOS 200D Rebel SL2, this is the best camera for beginners who have money to spend. The autofocus system has definitely seen an upgrade, with now 45 points of autofocus functionality and a 24.2MP sensor that delivers high ISO performance that outshine older models significantly. If you’re ready to pay the extra bucks for it, this is an exceptional camera to start with.

Warranty

For an additional $ or $$, you can add a 3 or 4-year protection plan for this product.

PROS

  • 24.2MP sensor
  • Exceptional touchscreen
  • Advanced Autofocus system

CONS

  • Much more expensive than other cameras on this list
  • The plastic finish makes it feel less sturdy
  • Lack of 4K video capability

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera


Features

With an 18MP sensor, friendly interface, and now an even cheaper asking price as new models continue to bloat the market, this is a great camera to cut your teeth on and develop your photography with. It is a dated camera, and you might find you will miss aspects like Wi-fi and touchscreen interface, but for a classic approach to a classic skill, this is a great camera to explore.

Warranty

For an additional $ or $$ you can add a 3 or 4 year protection plan for this product.

PROS

  • Great Price
  • Affordable Accessories
  • Quality Images

CONS

  • No Touch Screen
  • Slow live view focusing
  • Now obsolete when compared to the upgraded T7

Canon EOS 750D Digital SLR Camera

Sale
Canon EOS 750D Digital SLR Camera - International Version (No Warranty)
  • Effortlessly take your pictures to the next level with the latest DSLR technology and Scene Intelligent Auto mode
  • Achieve stunning shots in any situation thanks to the 24.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor and DIGIC 6 processor
  • Easily shoot cinematic Full HD movies with Hybrid CMOS AF III to track movement and focus smoothly between subjects
  • Share your results online or transfer images to your smart device or Canon Connect Station instantly using NFC and Wi-Fi
  • Explore your creativity in photos and movies using a full suite of shooting modes and creative effects.


Features

A slightly obsolete camera now with introducing the T7, this camera may be a considerable best camera for beginners due to its functionality now with its now discounted sales cost. A multi-angle touchscreen means easy composition while video features and a decent sensor means you won’t have any problem creating quality imagery with this little powerhouse of a camera.

Warranty

For an additional $ or $$, you can add a 3 or 4-year protection plan for this product.

PROS

  • Wi-fi Capability
  • Articulating Touch Screen
  • 24.2MP Sensor

CONS

  • Less than impressive battery life
  • Low Functioning Autofocus System
  • Now obsolete when compared to the upgraded T7

Sony a5100 16-50mm Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sale
Sony a5100 16-50mm Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)
  • Ultra-fast auto focus with 179 AF points and 6Fps
  • Capture life in high resolution with 24MP APS-C sensor.Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
  • Instant sharing via smartphone with Wi-Fi and NFC1
  • Record Full HD 1080/24/60P video3 up to 50MB/s. Compatible OS - Windows Vista SP2*6, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Mac OS X (v10.7-v10.9)
  • Contains- Rechargeable Battery (NP-FW50) AC Charger (AC-UB10) Lens cap Shoulder strap Micro USB cable. BIONZ X engine for superb detail and noise reduction


Features

For a mirrorless contender which continues to pack a punch even now years after its inception, this is like the best camera for beginners if you are interested in exploring what new abilities technology is bringing to the field. This camera is a powerhouse in functionality, with its exceptional autofocus system, fold out touch screen and 6fps burst-shooting mode. Meanwhile, with its massive sensor, this is an exceptional camera that is budget friendly and fun for beginners to use.

Warranty

For an additional $ or $$$, you can add a 3 or 4-year protection plan for this product.

PROS

  • 179 phase-detect AF points (Very Fast Autofocus)
  • Large 24.3MP APS-C sensor
  • Wi-Fi and NFC capability 

CONS

  • No Viewfinder
  • The screen does not flip
  • Lenses for Sony E-Mount can be harder to find used


The Verdict


The best camera for beginners is a matter of determining your budget as it compares to your needs. For a mirrorless option, you won’t find better than Sony a5100 16-50mm Mirrorless Digital Camera, but for quick entry in the field and superb video quality, the Canon EOS 200D Rebel SL2. Consider We recommend the Canon EOS 200D Rebel SL2 as the most accessible option for new users across many degrees of application. Its functionality, low-cost entry into the field and quality image production along with ergonomic features like the articulating screen will keep you shooting long enough to find what specifics you love in this amazing field and guide you into the photographer you wish to be.

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