10 Best Cameras for Beginners in 2021

By Tati Taylor 5 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

Cheap and efficient cameras for beginners to use instead of a smartphone.

best cameras for beginners

Have you just started out as a photographer? Then you are probably looking for the best camera for beginners. You should consider the camera with interchangeable lenses, simple controls and the ability to support your progress.

Top 10 Beginner Cameras to Buy

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 - Our Choice
  2. Nikon D3500 - The best Nikon digital entry camera
  3. Nikon D850 - The best price
  4. Nikon D5600 - Nikon entry-level camera
  5. Sony RX100 VII - Compact entry camera
  6. Canon EOS 90D - The best Canon starter camera
  7. Fujifilm X-T30 - Beginner mirrorless camera
  8. Fujifilm X-A7 - Universal model
  9. Panasonic Lumix G7 - The best Panasonic starter level camera
  10. Canon EOS REBEL SL3 - Lightweight and 4K camera

You need to find a user-friendly device with intuitive controls. Modern smartphones with built-in cameras may be a perfect option for beginners. They all have decent cameras with adjustable parameters. However, if you are thinking about pursuing a career in photography, pay attention to these cameras for beginners.

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7

Our Choice
canon camera for beginners

Type: Compact SLR | Sensor size: CMOS (APS-C) | Resolution: 24.1 MP | Lens: EF 75-300mm | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 3 fps

⊕ Onboard Wi-Fi
⊕ Built-in NFC
⊕ Internal flash
⊕ Compact
⊖ Low continuous shooting speed
⊖ Doesn’t include microphone jack

Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an ideal camera for novice photographers since it offers all the necessary tools to bring your photography skills to the whole next level. Regardless of the location, you have chosen for your photoshoot, you can rely on the amazing 24.1MP CMOS sensor with 100–6400 (H: 12800) ISO range that allows you to take stunning pictures even in poor light conditions. This beginner photography camera uses a 9-point autofocus system that contains a center cross-type AF point.

Canon EOS Rebel T7 comes with a 3"" 920k-Dot display and optical viewfinder. Also, you can enjoy different artistic filters and scene modes, for example, a Scene Intelligent Auto mode. EOS Rebel T7 can record breathtaking Full HD videos at 30p or 24p. Moreover, this model offers Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity options to easily share your files via Canon's Camera Connect app.

2. Nikon D3500

Nikon DSLR beginner camera
nikon d350 camera for beginners

Type: Digital SLR | Sensor size: CMOS 23.5 x 15.6 mm | Resolution: 24 MP | Lens: Zoom 55-18 mm | Viewfinder: Yes Penta mirror | Screen type: SLR | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5 fps

⊕ Small size
⊕ Exceptional image quality
⊕ Continuous shooting at up to 5fps
⊕ Automatically transfer images
⊖ Lacks 4K video recording
⊖ No microphone jack

If you are on the lookout for the best beginner DSLR, Nikon D3500 will be an optimal variant. First off, you will be impressed with the Guide Mode which will help you figure out all the peculiarities of using the camera. Since the Guide Mode is built into the device, you can always have it at hand which is more convenient than to always approach a smartphone app.

Nikon D3500 incorporates the latest technologies in its body. It comes with a powerful CMOS sensor and AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6G VR kit lens. Also, this model boasts Auto ISO options ranging from 100 to 25600 ISO. With Nikon D3500, you can record either 1080p HD or 720p HD videos. Also, this model is compatible with multiple types of memory cards, including SD, SDHC, and SDXC.

3. Nikon D850

FX-format digital SLR camera
nicon premium camera for beginners

Type: Single-lens reflex | Sensor size: 35.9 mm | Resolution: 45.7 MP | Lens: Instant-return type | Viewfinder: Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 120 fps

⊕ Impressive resolution
⊕ Great dynamic range
⊕ Astonishing AF speed
⊕ Easy to install software
⊖ No in-built AF illuminator
⊖ Comes without flash

The camera has Nikon’s signature design, high resolution and speed. The earlier DSLR models, the D800 and D800E, set a new standard for image quality and offered a stunning resolution. Five years later, Nikon presented the new-generation DSLR camera. With this best camera for beginners, you can take fast-action photos in 45.7 megapixels. The Nikon D850 comes with an impressive set of specs and can be used to capture photos of any subject. Whether you are a landscape or portrait photographer, the D850 is suitable for any task. While most similar cameras don’t deliver high resolution and speed at the same time, this DSLR is a full package worth its price.

4. Nikon D5600

DX-format digital camera
nikon camera for beginners

Type: Body Only | Sensor size: 24x16mm | Resolution: 24.2 MP | Lens: 18-55mm | Viewfinder: flexible LCD | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5 fps

⊕ Portable and lightweight
⊕ First-class high ISO performance
⊕ Fast AF system
⊕ Create in-camera time-lapse videos
⊖ Lacks 4K recording
⊖ Viewfinder yielded 95% coverage

As you master the basic skills, Nikon D5600 offer a lot of opportunities to develop your photographic eye with the first-class image quality, easy to use features, and advanced tools. Unlike rivals, this camera for beginners includes a solid battery that can handle more than 970 shutter clicks per charge meaning you can explore your artistic talent all day long.

Despite being compact and lightweight, D5600 boasts a massive 3.2"" 1.037m-dot vari-angle touch-sensitive display that gives you additional flexibility to shoot from high and low angles.

With the SnapBridge app which uses the Bluetooth Low Energy technology, you can instantly share photos between the Nikon cameras and your portable device. If you want to transfer large files such as movies to other NFC-compatible devices, you can use built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

5. Sony RX100 VII

Premium and compact Sony camera
sony camera for beginners

Type: compact | Sensor size: 1.0-type stacked CMOS | Resolution: 20.1 MP | Lens: 24-200mm | Viewfinder: Electronic | Screen type: 3.0-inch tilting touchscreen | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 20 fps

⊕ Exceptional image quality
⊕ Manually control the device
⊕ Great video recording capabilities
⊕ Compact
⊖ Doesn’t offer front grip
⊖ Inconvenient buttons

Aside from 20.1MP 1.0-Type stacked CMOS sensor, and well-developed autofocus system, Sony RX100 VII features a 24-200mm zoom lens, live tracking, and automatic detection of the people’ and animals’ eyes. Also, it offers the ability to shoot without blackouts at up to 20fps, record 4K videos, Single Burst Shooting, and 4K Active SteadyShot modes.

All these features are complemented with amazing capabilities of Mark VI along with speedy continuous shooting and first-class 4K video recording. Mark VII is the first model in the series that comes with a microphone jack which considerably enhances audio recording. All these perks and improved autofocus system makes Sony RX100 VII map its competitive position on the market.

6. Canon EOS 90D

DSLR camera with Wi-Fi
canon eos camera for beginners

Type: Body Only | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 32.5 MP | Lens: DSLR | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps

⊕ Support for 4K video recording
⊕ Robust construction
⊕ Good battery life
⊕ Improved live view autofocus
⊖ Doesn’t support USB charging
⊖ Kit lens doesn't work well in low light

You can use Canon EOS 90D to either memorize special moments or document high-speed sports events. It offers a rich array of flagship features such as 32.5MP CMOS (APS-C) sensor, advanced DIGIC 8 Image Processor, ability to shoot in 4K at 30p, and more. EOS 90D delivers crisp and breathtaking JPEG and RAW images no matter which location you are shooting at. The camera comes with an improved Live View AF system which amazes with its excellent performance.

Canon EOS 90D is an ergonomic-friendly device with a convenient location of external controls. The camera neatly fits the hand, but it is mostly designed for right-handed use. Well-constructed and weather-sealed body, stunning image quality, excellent video recording capabilities, and a capacious battery make EOS 90D the best digital camera for beginners.

7. Fujifilm X-T30

Mirrorless digital Fujifilm camera
fujifilm x-t30 camera for beginners

Type: Body Only | Sensor size: X Trans CMOS 4 | Resolution: 26.1 MP | Lens: Fujifilm X mount | Viewfinder: electronic | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8 fps

⊕ High image quality
⊕ Fast AF system
⊕ Records 4K videos
⊕ Customizable settings
⊖ EVF maintains only 0.62x magnification
⊖ Doesn’t support UHS-II

Fujifilm X-T30 comes with an array of brand-new features, making it the best starter camera for those, who are looking for mobility but still powerful in-camera capabilities. This model deserves praise due to its 26.1MP 4th gen image sensor and high-speed autofocus system. Although the AF algorithm emulates that included in X-T3, the manufacturer considerably improved it in X-T30 for the best AF-tracking performance. For an affordable price, you can get a robust body, smooth AF performance, fantastic image quality, and ability to record stunning 4K clips.

8. Fujifilm X-A7

Mirrorless digital camera
fujifilm camera for beginners

Type: Rangefinder-style mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm) | Resolution: 24.5 MP | Lens: FUJIFILM X mount | Viewfinder: optical | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 6 fps

⊕ Lightweight and portable
⊕ Rotatable LCD touchscreen
⊕ Excellent starter zoom
⊕ Large selection of lenses
⊖ No internal sensor stabilization
⊖ Average battery life

Fujifilm X-A7 surpasses any camera in its class due to 24MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor, fast AF system, accurate face detection, and ability to shoot at 8fps. This camera has a convenient 3.5” touch-sensitive display with an intuitive interface that allows you to easily adjust the necessary parameters. Although Fujifilm X-A7 is an entry-level camera, it has amazing capabilities, including excellent performance and improved AF system. This model produces first-class images and demonstrates impressive 4K video recording capabilities. Being compact and lightweight, Fujifilm X-A7 will be the best beginner camera for traveling.

9. Panasonic Lumix G7

4K mirrorless Panasonic camera
panasonic camera for beginners

Type: SLR-style mirrorless | Sensor size: Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) | Resolution: 17 MP | Lens: 14-140mm | Viewfinder: High Resolution | Screen type: LCD | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8 fps

⊕ Convenient handgrip
⊕ Great electronic viewfinder
⊕ 4K quality
⊕ Responsive display
⊖ Poor resolution
⊖ Unimpressive processing speed

The Panasonic Lumix is a pro-level interchangeable lens camera that supports more than 30 compact lenses. It meets the Micro Four Thirds standard developed by Panasonic. Being a mirrorless camera, it doesn’t weigh much and has a portable body. It offers stunning video quality, advanced controls, wireless connectivity, a smart focusing system and newest exposure technologies.

Among other mid-range mirrorless cameras that allow for 4K resolution, the Lumix DMC-G7 is a decent offer from Panasonic that comes with upgraded specs and impressive video recording capabilities. This best camera for beginners is equipped with an integrated 2,360k-dot OLED viewfinder, articulated 3"" 1,040k-dot LCD touchscreen, advanced AF and a Wi-Fi module. The camera supports 8 fps burst shooting and 6 fps continuous shooting.

10. Canon EOS REBEL SL3

Cheap but efficient beginner camera
canon rebel camera for beginners

Type: ultra-compact DSLR | Sensor size: CMOS AF | Resolution: 24.1 MP | Lens: EF mount | Viewfinder: pentamirror | Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5 fps

⊕ Wi-Fi support
⊕ Decent image quality
⊕ Tiltable touchscreen
⊕ 4K video quality
⊖ Doesn’t have a lot of AF points
⊖ No customization settings

This camera from Canon is equipped with dual-pixel autofocus and a fully articulated LCD. Thanks to it, you can take photos from any angle. The 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor together with the DIGIC 8 processor account for powerful performance. To further enhance your experience, the EOS Rebel SL3 offers such features as 4K Time-lapse movies and Creative Assist.

There are several portable DSLR cameras released by Canon. This camera for beginners has the same sensor, processor as well as some features available in the EOS M series of mirrorless cameras. While they deliver pretty much the same image quality, the main advantage of the Rebel SL3 over the Canon EOS M50 is its viewfinder.

This best camera for beginners comes with an optical viewfinder comparable with electronic ones that can be found in mirrorless cameras.

Image Name Features  
canon camera for beginners
Canon EOS Rebel T7
OUR CHOICE
  • Type: Compact SLR
  • Sensor size: CMOS (APS-C)
  • Resolution: 24.1 MP
  • Viewfinder: Optical
CHECK PRICE
nikon d350 camera for beginners
Nikon D3500
Compact
  • Type: Digital SLR
  • Sensor size: CMOS 23.5 x 15.6 mm
  • Resolution: 24 MP
  • Viewfinder: Yes Penta mirror
CHECK PRICE
nicon premium camera for beginners
Nikon D850
Premium
  • Type: Single-lens reflex
  • Sensor size: 35.9 mm
  • Resolution: 45.7 MP
  • Viewfinder: Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose a Starting Camera?

best camera for photography beginners

With the help of this guide, a beginner photographer can choose the right camera, either he/she needs a camera for sports, wedding photography, etc. As there are several sensor sizes available, it’s important to learn what makes them so different to choose the best beginner DSLR. Here, you will find the section describing common misconceptions regarding the number of megapixels.

Point-and-shoot Cameras

There is a wide selection of cameras of this type. They are quite portable, inexpensive and easy to master. There are also pro-level options featuring long-distance zooms, large sensors and well-thought-out manual controls. All these cameras come with an unremovable lens. With the rise of smartphones, point-and-shoot cameras became increasingly less popular, so manufacturers started offering more advanced options. You can easily purchase the best beginner camera model for $100-$200, however, it is unlikely to deliver better image quality than your smartphone. What makes them different from mobile devices, however, is their zoom lenses.

Price

For budget-conscious photographers, a price is a decisive factor while making a purchase. However, if you have some cash laying around, I advise you to take a look at the Leica M Series. Otherwise, you need to decide how much you can afford to spend and choose an option from that price range. If you can buy the best starter camera under 1000 dollars, you are likely to face a difficult choice as there are too many offers on the market. The choice at the $800-$1,000 price range is much more limited. While choosing a camera, remember to think about which accessories you may need to use. Make sure not to spend all of your money on a camera body as you will also need to buy a high-quality lens.

Types of Cameras

Point-and-shoot cameras don’t take much space and can be carried around easily. They have non-interchangeable lenses that cover an impressive zoom range. As for the image quality, there are low-end cameras with poor resolution and more advanced models, such as the Canon G1. If you need to buy the best camera for photography beginners, pay attention to the fact that mirrorless cameras come with interchangeable lenses comparable to the ones used in DSLRs. They deliver high quality and can be used for multiple purposes. Such high-end models as the Olympus OM-D boast high resolution.

Bigger Sensor Better Quality

best camera for photography beginners

When you choose a camera, it’s important to pay attention to the size of a sensor as it contributes to the overall image quality more than the number of megapixels. A large sensor allows taking high-contrast photos with better brightness and more pronounced shadows.

Up to the mid-level, DSLR cameras are usually equipped with APS-C sensors, while high-end models come with full-frame sensors. It allows taking a photo of the same size as a 35mm film frame. Such sensors gather more light and produce detailed images that can be cropped and printed in an extra-large size.

An APS-C sensor is 3/4 of the size of a full-frame one. It also allows taking photos for high-resolution prints.

FAQ

  • • Does my first camera need to be expensive?

If you are a beginner, you can buy the best mirrorless camera for no more than $300. With it, you can quickly master the ropes. While there is no need to buy an overly expensive camera, there are pretty impressive models under $1000 that will help you become a professional.

  • • Do I need a camera if I have an iPhone

If you like taking photos on-the-go, you need to carry a camera with you all the time. For this purpose, an iPhone might be a more convenient option. If you need a camera with great zooming in capabilities, decent flash and high image quality, make sure to buy a digital camera.

  • • Is it worth investing money in a camera?

Yes, as you can use an interchangeable lens to take photos of different subjects. Lots of point-and-shoot cameras for beginners have zoom features, however, they can’t compare with DSLR camera capabilities.

  • • Why do I need to buy a DSLR camera?

Such cameras enjoy wide popularity thanks to several reasons. For instance, they come with interchangeable lenses. However, most photographers who buy DSLR cameras have a photography business. If photography is your hobby, there is no need to buy an overly expensive camera.Such cameras enjoy wide popularity thanks to several reasons. For instance, they come with interchangeable lenses. However, most photographers who buy DSLR cameras have a photography business. If photography is your hobby, there is no need to buy an overly expensive camera.

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