The best beginner cameras listed below have been selected by Demystifying Digital because of their ease of use, easy setup, convenient features, functionality, and use of the best manufacturers.
Have you decided to become a professional photographer?
The question of choosing the best beginner camera can be difficult, especially if you took photos only on your smartphone.
Well, it’s time to learn. But it’s better to do this with the entry-level cameras that we have chosen for you.
Not sure where to start? Read on for our top picks for the best cameras for a beginner around.
The Best Beginner Camera
Therefore, you might find it hard to choose only the best beginner camera from the crowded market, and this is where we come into play. Demystifying Digital has reviewed the top 2 best beginner cameras the market today and has given you a buyer’s guide to help you out. Here they are:
1. Fujifilm X-T100 Best Beginner Camera
Do you need the best mirrorless camera for beginners? Fujifilm X-T100 is for you.
This camera has the simplest for beginners fully automatic shooting mode Advanced SR AUTO (SR + on the mode dial). You do not have to think about the settings: the electronics will select them on their own, recognizing the type of scene being shot.
On the mode dial, there are positions for the automatic intelligent mode SR +, the mode of working with Adv. Filters, for the classic story programs “Portrait”, “Landscape”, “Sports”, “Night Scene”, “Panorama”, SP for a set of other scene programs (total 10), as well as the modes of the so-called creative zone: aperture priority (A), shutter priority (S), program (P) and manual (M). That is, beginners and experienced photographers will find suitable options.
In addition to the two control disks on the top panel, the FUJIFILM X-T100 also has a control wheel on the rear panel – its function differs in different modes. And to call up the quick setup menu, use the Q button.
The quick menu contains all the basic shooting options. The button navipad located to the right of the LCD screen helps to switch between them, and the rear or right control dial adjusts the value. The contents of the quick menu can be customized.
This is the most affordable beginner camera in its series. Although its management is not as vintage and visual as the older models in the series, it will be more understandable to owners of smartphones, and its LCD screen with a swivel design will give them clear advantages when shooting self-portraits and video broadcasts.
As photographic skills grow, you will certainly need to acquire additional interchangeable lenses.
2. Canon EOS 4000D Beginner Camera
Looking for the best entry-level DSLR? Look no further than the Canon EOS 4000D.
This compact camera makes it easy to take photos that cannot be repeated using a smartphone. There is a large sensor format APS-C, interchangeable optics, the ability to use external flashes and manual settings.
The case is made of matte plastic and equipped with a comfortable grip, thanks to which the camera lies very securely in the hand of medium and small size.
The viewfinder is not too large, but convenient enough even for shooting with glasses. Its increase is 0.8x, and the coverage of the frame area is 95%.
2.7-inch LCD has a resolution of about 230 thousand pixels. It is stationary and without a touch layer, so the camera is controlled only by buttons on the rear panel. The viewing angles of the display make it possible to shoot with arms extended above the head and from the ground level – the image on the display is visible at any comfortable angle.
The first and main impression of the Canon EOS 4000D is that it’s very easy to shoot. It is enough to turn on the camera, point to the stage and press the shutter release. Of course, to get an adequate result, the camera must be in a mode suitable for the plot.
The camera turns on quickly: you just need to turn the mode dial to any working position, bring the viewfinder to your eyes, and you can already take it off. This is useful when the plot unfolds right in front of your eyes, and you need to shoot immediately. This best beginner camera DSLR has a clear advantage over smartphones and point and shoot cameras with an integrated zoom lens: you do not need to wait until the camera application fully loads or the zoom lens extends to its working position.
When aiming through the viewfinder, autofocus does not create difficulties.
In burst mode, the camera operates at a speed of 3 frames per second. If you shoot in RAW, then with the maximum speed you will be able to take only 7 frames, after which the camera takes new pictures as it records the pictures taken to the memory card from the buffer.
The auto mode, which the manufacturer refers to as “Scene Intelligent Auto”, is the easiest and most convenient shooting mode in which the EOS 4000D camera adjusts everything itself. Manually, the photographer can set only the image quality, file format for recording and the autofocus method, as well as enable vignetting correction or activate the self-timer.
This is what a beginner should do: an ISO automatic machine works neatly and increases sensitivity only as a last resort.
Intelligent mode confidently copes with the definition of scenes being shot and setting the optimal settings. Automation also responds adequately to evening lighting, correctly conveying the warm colors of the setting sun.
As befits modern cameras, the Canon EOS 4000D can shoot video. The process is extremely simple: to shoot a video, you need to turn the mode dial to the video position and click on the Live View button, which turns the video on and off in this mode.
3. Nikon d3400 Beginner Camera
The main advantage of the Nikon D3400 SLR camera is that it provides the image quality and speed that the buyer has been waiting for so long at a low price. The disadvantage is that there are many minor complaints about the quality of previous models. This applies to pixel AF points in the viewfinder and self-timer mode. Plus, Bluetooth is not very good.
This best beginner camera delivers very high-quality photos and videos for its price. Thanks to the new sensor, it has the same resolution as the D3300, but without a smoothing filter. In addition, the Nikon D3400 provides sharper images in low light conditions and has a better range of tones in shadows and light than its predecessor.
Although you can’t get the best noise reduction results with this camera by processing the source files, JPEG processing is pretty well tuned. Thanks to AF-P lenses, Nikon has now taken a leading position in developing innovations in the photo industry. And fast and smooth autofocus when shooting video makes the D3400 much more attractive in the eyes of video recording enthusiasts.
In addition to the disadvantages associated with autofocus points, there are other nuances that continue to bother. The image stabilization settings for AF-P lenses are in the menu, and there is not even an indicator on the screen or in the viewfinder that would indicate whether it is turned off or on.
First of all, it is disappointing that Nikon did not take care of connecting the camera to the phone. There is not only Bluetooth, but the Nikon D3400 does not even support modern Wi-Fi standards. This means that camera for beginners has a low-power connection to the phone, and is not designed to automatically transfer photos.
The low speed, when connected to the phone, means that you can transfer only very small files up to two megapixels in size. This is even less than a normal selfie. On the one hand, this is an inexpensive DSLR and as a rule, there is no connection in general. But this is not a reason not to buy a camera if the price fits in your budget.
4. Nikon d3500 Beginner Camera
The manufacturer presented the Nikon D3500 as the latest entry-level DSLR camera. At the same time, it seems to us that the word “newest” has been somewhat exaggerated. A pedantic comparison of technical characteristics with the previous model does not reveal serious differences. Can the Nikon D3500 even offer anything new?
It will take very little time to list the most important characteristics of the best beginner camera, but some of the noteworthy features include 24 megapixels on a DX/APS-C matrix and Full-HD video at a speed of 60 frames per second, an optical viewfinder as well as a clear 3-inch display for preview, 11 autofocus fields, and burst shooting at a speed of 5 frames per second.
All this is packed in a compact case, which weighs only about 360 grams. Apparently, the Nikon D3500 is indeed a solid entry-level DSLR camera. However, compared to the previous model, surprisingly few changes can be noticed. At least that’s how it looks from a technical point of view.
Perhaps, the reasons for criticism that we noticed while testing the Nikon D3400 remained relevant. For example, the viewfinder is a little small and covers only 95% of the frame, thus the size of the image is slightly larger than the photographer can assume from what he saw in the viewfinder.
Also, it should be noted that the display lacks the ability to rotate, and the touch input function is not present. The same goes for Ultra-HD, which almost every mid-range smartphone boasts today. In fairness, it should be noted that the quality of the best beginner camera photos should significantly exceed that of smartphones.
Due to the wide range of ISO sensitivity from 100 to 25600, detailed images should succeed even in low light conditions. After taking photos, you can copy directly via Bluetooth or WLAN using the free SnapBridge app for Android and iOS. This function works much better than 2 years ago when the technology just appeared.
5. Sony a6000 Beginner Camera
“What is the best camera to buy for a beginner photographer?” – asking such a question, the Sony a6000 can serve as an excellent answer, and here are a few reasons why: The main feature of the Sony Alpha 6000 is fast and clear autofocus. The manufacturer broadcasts that the camera in this case surpasses many SLRs, requiring only 0.06 seconds for focusing.
179 + 25 points of hybrid AF allow you to cover the entire field of the frame, plus focus on the eyes and other useful buns. In the autofocus menu, you can choose from four settings namely auto mode, autofocus for one shot, continuous focus when shooting a moving subject, and direct manual focus.
The case of the best beginner camera is made of magnesium alloy and durable plastic, and it looks nice to say the least. The only thing is that no dust and moisture protection are provided. In both the female and male hands, the camera fits perfectly with a very comfortable grip.
By the way, in front, in addition to the protrusion for the grip, only the button for disconnecting the lens is available. As expected, the user can choose the priority of shutter speed or aperture, manual mode and many scenes, including night, portrait, macro, sports and others. But the owner of the camera most often shoots in auto mode, periodically using HDR.
Look for dynamic range settings in the DRO/Auto HDR menu section, where DRO is a more modest alternative to HDR. With Dynamic Range Optimization, only one frame is taken, and the shadows on it are programmatically brightened. Whichever of the two options you choose, you can leave the car or set the correction level.
This best beginner camera supports video shooting at up to Full HD 60 fps, a tenacious tracking autofocus is promised. Tracking duration and autofocus speed can be adjusted. The camera settings also include microphone noise reduction, where the owner of the device always keeps this option turned on. There is a certain effect from it, especially when it is windy.
There are a number of additional Sony PlayMemories applications for the camera, such as Time Lapse, which allows you to adjust the interval, shooting format and exposure, as well as either get the finished video in place, or upload the captured files, and create a clip using other software.
Data transfer from the camera to other devices is performed via Wi-Fi and NFC using a proprietary application. Everything happens quickly enough, where the only pitfall is that you cannot send the footage for several days at once. You can transfer one day or selected photos/videos of that day at a time.
6. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80 Beginner Camera
Bringing the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80 to the market is a successful and bold move by the manufacturer, given that it is a rare case that you can get so much performance for such little money. It seems a little surprising what a cool camera you can get for that price.
Take for example, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80 package bundle, which includes Ultra HD video, an electronic viewfinder, a touch screen and Wi-Fi, and it would seem that there is nothing more to wish for. Due to the low price, we can assume that the manufacturer will be limited to a minimum, but as we can see, the opposite is true.
Full-HD quad-mode video pleases the eye with crisp and detailed images. The package also includes 4K photo modes, which in terms of photo terms is a serial shot at a speed of 30 frames per second with a resolution of 8 megapixels.
In addition, Panasonic developers have equipped the best beginner camera with a post-focus function. In this mode, the camera writes video for about a second long with different focal planes, and after shooting you can choose the desired focus point and extract the photo in JPEG format. A kind of reminder of Lytro’s light field technology.
For convenience, the Lumix GX80 camera has a touch screen, which is a 3-inch display with excellent resolution of about a million subpixels, and has a total rotation angle of 135 degrees, which is not entirely suitable for creating a selfie. An electronic viewfinder with an impressive frame rate is very convenient for taking pictures.
A small, sun-protected display with 0.7x magnification, and a resolution of about 2.8 million sub-pixels almost reaches the level of optical viewfinders of full-frame cameras. It is also surprising that the best beginner camera has two wheels for changing the aperture value and shutter speed.
For a camera of this price category, its presence is far from a matter of course, but they make shooting in P S A M modes more convenient. Fans of art effects can come off working with 57 creative modes, for example with the sepia or diorama effect. If however, you aren’t sure that you will be able to properly configure the camera himself, you will likely find a suitable mode among 25 plot programs available.
7. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D Beginner Camera
With the dimensions of the case (without a lens), the model weighs 449 grams (taking into account the battery and SDXC card). The specifications are very similar to the Canon EOS M50 mirrorless. This camera is equipped with the same 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, DIGIC 8 processor, 3.0-inch folding touch screen for fans of video blogs and self-portraits, as well as support for 4k video (with some very significant restrictions).
Most importantly, this is the first Canon EOS model with Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus and eye recognition in Live View mode (143 automatic AF points). Beginner photographers often prefer digital SLR cameras, which use separate autofocus systems based on phase difference detection, which sometimes allows you to shoot objects faster than mirrorless ones.
In the case of the 250D, an optical system with 9 AF points is offered when shooting through the optical viewfinder. In addition, there is the aforementioned Canon Dual Pixel system, which is built directly into the sensor and provides fast and accurate autofocus for 1080p video and shooting in live image mode.
Even if it’s not so fast, the very presence of tracking autofocus is already a big plus for a budget digital SLR camera. The EOS Rebel SL3 is also the first Canon camera to support 4k video (25 frames/s). Unfortunately, in this mode it is impossible to use the pixels for determining the phases built into the image sensor, but you have to rely only on autofocus in contrast.
This significantly undermines autofocus performance and movie shooting. There is built-in support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, PAL/NTSC outputs (integrated with USB), mini-HDMI, an external flash connector, and a 3.5-mm stereo port for an external microphone.
8. Fujifilm X-A3 Beginner Camera
The Fujifilm X-A3 is a camera for amateur photographers who have already exhausted the capabilities of smartphones and all-in-one systems, and who want to use interchangeable lenses, including professional ones. Despite the more than affordable price, which is slightly less than half the cost of a modern “sophisticated” camera phone, the Fujifilm X-A3 has almost all the main advantages of a modern mirrorless camera.
The display of the best beginner camera is touch-sensitive, which makes it possible to control the choice of menu options, the movement of the focus area, paging and zooming. Autofocus redesigned and operates with 77 sensors. The dimensions remained the same, and the weight decreased slightly compared to the previous model.
Camera control, in general is modestly organized. There is neither a mechanical ISO value selector nor an exposure compensation wheel. It is likely that beginners will not need either one or the other. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the disks allow you to control the aperture and shutter speed, and the light sensitivity can be changed using a programmable button, so that in manual mode, this camera for beginners is controlled quite quickly.
The speed and accuracy of autofocus, of course are far from the top “mirrorless” devices, but better than some SLR cameras. It can be said that the overall score of the X-A3 is the same as that of the Canon 7D Mark II contrast autofocus. The camera is ready for use about a second after turning on the power.
Sighting on the display suffers from the same disease as when using all the analogs, wherein bright sun the screen completely “goes blind”. This sometimes forces you to re-shoot the scene several times, and correcting the shortcomings of the composition. This best beginner camera allows you to shoot video, but only Full HD resolution.
However, it supports a high frame rate (60 fps) even at maximum resolution. The quality of the video is fully consistent with the needs of beginners towards whom this camera is designed for mostly.
9. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ100 Beginner Camera
Nothing beats the feeling of freedom. Explore the world and save every moment with the camera, which is always with you. With the TZ100, you can shoot both in the city during a short break in work, and when outdoors. Thanks to the highly sensitive 1-inch MOS sensor and powerful 10x zoom, it’s easier to save moments from travel than ever before.
The LUMIX TZ100 is the perfect combination of power and functionality. The bright LEICA zoom lens combines with the stylish, portable camera design. Bulky photo bags or heavy equipment are no longer needed!
If the sun went below the horizon, this does not mean at all that your camera for beginners has stopped working as expected. Continue shooting at night with the powerful 1-inch, 20.1MP high-sensitivity MOS sensor. Even more detail, more color and clarity, and even in low light.
This best beginner camera has the same image processor as the top LUMIX G. This allows you to take high quality pictures and provides the fast processing needed to record 4k video. An advanced noise reduction system allows the LUMIX TZ100 to take clear pictures with maximum sensitivity of ISO12800/ISO25600 (advanced). High sensitivity, hue gradation, and color reproduction are greatly improved to achieve uncompromising image quality.
When there’s no way to get closer, the powerful 10x zoom of the LUMIX TZ100 helps you take a picture. Thanks to the use of the world-famous LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens in the camera, its zoom provides exceptional flexibility in the range from 25 mm to 250 mm (equivalent to a camera of 35 mm). This makes it ideal for shooting what you see, both close and at a distance.
Thanks to the amazing power of 4k video shooting with the LUMIX TZ100, you can record your journey with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4 times higher than Full HD. More experiences, more details and even memories that you can return to again and again.
10. Olympus Tough TG-5 Beginner Camera
Traditional compact cameras are being superseded by smartphones, and manufacturers have to adapt, and instead of conventional cameras have to produce specialized cameras with features inaccessible to smartphones such as the Olympus Tough TG-5. This best beginner camera offers a high degree of protection, where it can withstand immersion to a depth of 15 meters, a drop from a height of 2 meters and a negative temperature of -10 ºC, and it is resistant to dirt and dust as well.
In the 2017 model, Olympus boosted performance and added a number of new features. I examined them in more detail, and here are my impressions. Tough series cameras can be taken with you anywhere, unlike smartphones. Despite the robust construction, the new TG-5 has remained compact and weighs only about 0.2 kg.
The housing of the Olympus Tough TG-5 is made of high-quality plastic, which in the hands feels strong and reliable. Splashes of water will not damage the hardware of the camera, although they must be brushed off the lens, so that there are no cloudy spots in the pictures.
The 3-inch Tough TG-5 LCD with a resolution of 460k dots occupies most of the back of the camera. Here, unfortunately, the low resolution of the previous model was preserved and in bright sunlight or underwater is sort of difficult to distinguish the picture on the display, and the possibility of tilting the screen is also absent.
The Olympus Tough TG-5 has several additional modes, including those borrowed from the OM-D series of premium cameras. In the Live Composite, capturing a Light Painting is almost as easy as using a regular one, where you only need a tripod. The first image sets the basic exposure for subsequent frames, and the system itself calculates the brightest areas and combines them.
This mode from Olympus can be used even by a photographer who does not understand the exposure settings. On digital SLR cameras for beginners, it would take a long time to separately process the images. In the best beginner camera, the Pro Capture mode appeared, which is familiar to us from the Olympus OM-D Micro Four Thirds mirrorless mirrors. Pro Capture – an option for serial shooting is available in most other modes. The camera takes a short series of photos from which the user can choose the best. If someone wondered: “What is the best camera for a beginner wildlife photographer?”, Then the Olympus Tough TG-5 is possibly the best option for them!
Hope we helped you choose the best beginner camera.
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