Whether you’re a hobbyist or planning to step into professional photography, this guide helps you find the perfect camera to start your journey. Explore top picks, expert reviews, and tips on selecting a camera for beginners that fits your creative vision and budget.
Which camera would you recommend for someone just getting started with photography? We feel that it is a camera that can be acquired for an amount of money that is affordable, even though it still provides outstanding image quality and the chance to experiment with more complicated photographic tactics and styles as your understanding of photography improves. And that can only mean one thing for us: a mirrorless camera or a digital single-lens reflex camera!
However, starting photography with any camera is a terrific way to learn the ropes, which is why we’ve included material on both DSLR and mirrorless cameras in our book. There is a never-ending dispute regarding which type of camera is superior: DSLR or mirrorless.
A DSLR camera will often be bulkier, but it will also have a longer battery life than other types of cameras. You will have a wide variety of lens options to choose from, and the overall cost of the purchase could be a little bit more affordable. Because of its more compact size and lighter weight, a mirrorless camera will make video recording and vlogging much more convenient.
Digital single-lens reflex cameras, sometimes known as DSLRs, are an endangered species, and virtually all major camera manufacturers have shifted their focus to producing mirrorless system cameras.
On the other hand, if you buy a digital single-lens reflex camera from Canon or Nikon, you will have many lens options to select from. Your camera will likely continue to function flawlessly for another year after the purchase.
When purchasing a camera for a beginner, the three most essential aspects to consider are the camera’s price, versatility, and ease of use. However, after this piece, you’ll find a few more pointers to help you choose the ideal camera for beginners.
Top Cameras for Photography Beginners on a Budget
Sensor: Live MOS | Resolution: 20.3MP | Autofocus: 121 point Contrast Detection AF | Max ISO: 25,600 | Video: 4K at 30p, 25p, 24p, Full HD at 60p, 50p, IPB (F,N) | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360K dots | Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS I/ UHS II) | Maxburst: 8.7fps | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Camera Size: 121.7mm x 84.4mm x 49mm | Weight: 383g | User level: Intermediate
- Capable 20MP sensor
- Impressive image stabilization
- Handy flip-down touchscreen
- No microphone input
- Video maxes out at 4K/30p
- No USB-C port
Our preference has shifted toward the Olympus MFT system due to the small nature of the cameras and the lenses included in that system.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV has many new features to brag about, including an upgraded in-body image stabilization system, a display that can flip down and tilt, and a new 20-megapixel sensor. The Canon EOS Mark IV is an excellent pick for anybody seeking an entry-level camera capable of doing everything because it maintains the 4K video and beautiful aesthetics that make the Canon EOS Mark III so appealing to customers.
This is one of the most impressive little cameras we’ve ever seen; despite its diminutive size, it packs much more power than you’d expect. The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a camera that may stay with you for a significant amount of time in the future
Sensor: 5568 | Resolution: 5568 x 3712 | Autofocus: Contrast Detect (sensor) | Max ISO: 100-51200 | Max image size: 5568 x 3712 | Video: MPEG-4, H.264 | Viewfinder: TFT LCD, 1,040,000 dots | Connectivity: Bluetooth| Camera Size: 4.98 x 3.68 x 2.36″ / 126.5 x 93.5 x 60 mm | Weight: 395g | User level: Intermediate
- Great handling
- Good value
- Impressive viewfinder and screen
- Just a single UHS-I card slot
- No joystick for selecting AF points
- The tilt screen can’t be used with a tripod
Even if we like the look of the Nikon Z FC (seen in the image to the right), we cannot deny that the Z50 accomplishes the same performance at a lesser price.
The Nikon Z50 has a good grip, and solid exterior controls despite its tiny size, and the retractable 16-50mm kit lens is notable for its pancake lens proportions and overall performance. The Nikon Z50 has a solid grip and good external controls despite its small size. The ability to record in 4K resolution, as well as 11 frames per second during burst shooting, and the fact that its Z mount is the same as that found on larger cameras mean that you can use dedicated Nikkor Z DX lenses, full frame Nikkor Z lenses, and regular Nikon DSLR lenses with the help of an FTZ adaptor.
The best part is that the Z50 is available at an excellent price, especially when purchased as part of a kit that includes two lenses. However, long after its launch, it still only has three native DX-format lenses, so that’s a disappointment. This means that you’re stuck using older DSLR lenses via Nikon’s FTZ adaptor for the time being or more extensive and more expensive full-frame Nikkor Z lenses, which are limited for wide-angle photography because of the smaller sensor’s ‘crop factor.’
Sensor: APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor | Resolution: 6000 x 4000| Autofocus: 1.5x | Max ISO: 100 to 25600| Max image size: 3:2, 16:9 | Video: 1080p| Viewfinder: Electronic viewfinder, 0.39 inches, 1,440,000 dots| Max burst: 11fps | Connectivity: wifi, Bluetooth | Camera Size: 120 x 66.9 x 45.1mm| Weight: 44g | User level: Intermediate
- Small size
- Built-in Wi-Fi & NFC
- Great EVF
- Frustrating AF set process
- The screen is not fully articulated
- No touchscreen
Because of the high regard in which we hold this, our Reviews Ed was the one to make the acquisition. The A6000 is an excellent camera for taking static photographs, but it is not very good at capturing moving pictures.
The A6000 is still one of the best entry-level cameras that Sony has to offer, even though it is now six years old. This is especially true when considering that it is frequently available at a price significantly lower than that of the more recent A6100, A6400, and A6600 models. In terms of stills photography, the A6000 is roughly on par with these more recent models. It has the appearance of a little compact camera, yet it can use any of Sony’s interchangeable lenses, making it a powerful piece of equipment despite its diminutive size.
The quality of the 24.3-megapixel picture sensor is excellent, but the 1,440k-dot resolution of the electronic viewfinder is a little low by today’s standards. Additionally, the tilting screen’s resolution of 921k dots makes the camera seem somewhat cramped. It cannot capture movies in 4K resolution, and its autofocus system is not as advanced as Sony’s most recent A6000-series cameras. However, suppose you can go without these features. In that case, the camera’s sturdy construction, image clarity, ability to take continuous shots, and focusing performance are far superior to what one would anticipate, given its price point.
Sensor: 20.9MP APS-C CMOS | Resolution: 5568 x 3712 | Autofocus: 209p| Max ISO: 100-51,200 (expandable to ISO 204,800) | Max image size: 5,568 x 3,712px | Video: 4K UHD up to 30p| Viewfinder: 0.39-in 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF| Max burst: 11fps | Connectivity: Wifi, Bluetooth| Camera Size: 134.5 x 93.5 x 43.5mm | Weight: 445g | User level: Intermediate
- Beautiful design
- A well-struck balance of old and new
- Useful vari-angle touchscreen
- It needs more native lenses
- No UHS-II support
- Grip less suited to large lenses
We are in complete awe of the retro appearance of the Nikon Z fc, and we believe that it is the best option for people who think that cameras are boring. However, a higher number of lenses is required to complete the process.
The Nikon Z FC is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most hip-looking camera that can be found on this list. It has a vintage design with dial-based controls and is a delight to touch, operate, and be seen using. It is a mirrorless machine with a retro design. Internally, it is identical to the Nikon Z50, sharing the same APS-C sensor, CPU, and many other specifications.
It is more costly than the Z50 and lacks a few additional functions like a built-in flash, so if you don’t care about looks, the Z50 is the better option among Nikon’s DX-format cameras. But if you can’t say no to the allure of the most outstanding vintage cameras, then the Nikon Z FC will be a perfect fit for you. It is not the least expensive camera for beginners, but you get a lot of functions for your money, and just how it looks can encourage you to take up photography on a more severe level.
Sensor: 24.1MP APS-C CMOS, 22.3 x 14.9mm | Autofocus: 9-point phase detection (viewfinder), xxx | Max ISO: 100 to 25,600 (exp. 51,200) | Memory card slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS I compatible)| Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000 | Video: 4K UHD at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p| Viewfinder: Optical pentamirror, 95% coverage, 0.87x magnification| Max burst: 5fps | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth| Camera Size: 122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm (body only) | Weight: 15.9oz/451g | User level: Intermediate
- Great Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
- Excellent battery life
- Small, light body with good handling
- 4K video crop and rolling shutter
- Awkwardly designed power control
- Dated 9-point AF system
Even though the camera has been around for years, this Canon DSLR offers the best value for the money, and we are big fans of the flip-out screen.
This is not the least expensive DSLR you can purchase, by any stretch of the imagination. Still, very frequently, it is well to invest a bit of additional money in obtaining a far better variety of features, which is the ideal illustration of that principle in action. Brilliant Live View shooting is possible with the EOS Rebel SL3 (also known as the EOS 250D or the EOS 200D Mark II), which features Canon’s highest-end APS-C sensor with a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, as well as a fully-articulating touchscreen display and Canon’s fast Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus.
We would go so far as to claim that this is one of the only DSLRs on the market where framing photographs through the screen is superior to doing so via the viewfinder. Although if it’s an introductory video you want, one of the SL3’s mirrorless competitors will do a better job than the SL3; Canon has 4K video recording capabilities in the most petite DSLR body you’re likely to find.
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS 4, 23.5 x 15.6mm | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 | Autofocus: 11-point AF, 1 cross-type | Max ISO: 100 to 25,600| Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000px | Video: 1920 x 1080 at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p| Viewfinder: Optical pentamirror, 95% coverage| Max burst: 5fps | Connectivity: Bluetooth| Camera Size: 124 x 97 x 69.5mm | Weight: 415g | User level: Intermediate
- Value for money
- All-round image quality
- Beginner friendliness
- No 4K video
- Relatively slow live view AF
- Fixed rear screen
We know that the Nikon D3500 is a straightforward camera, yet, we admire its mobility, ease of use, and attractiveness, in addition to its reasonable cost.
Do not be concerned by the complexity of DSLR cameras if you are afraid about using one. The rear LCD screen of the Nikon D3500 features an outstanding shooting mode called “Guide,” which is an entirely interactive guide to photography and camera settings. This mode may be accessed by pressing the “G” button. The controls of the D3500 are uncomplicated and straightforward to become accustomed to using.
Because of its pricing, it lacks some of the more complex features offered by comparable products. For instance, no Custom Settings menu allows you to modify the camera settings to your tastes, and it is present on every previous series of Nikon DSLRs. The focus in Live View and video recording modes is relatively slow; however, the Nikon AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens speeds things up and is the best kit lens to use if you are looking to purchase one.
The image quality and performance of the Nikon D3500 are both incredibly good for the price, and the camera’s burst rate of 5 frames per second is somewhat athletic for an entry-level DSLR. Take a look at some of the many other excellent Nikon lenses that can be used with this DSLR system.
Sensor: 20.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor | Resolution: 5184 x 3888 | Autofocus: 49-area DFD contrast AF| Max ISO: 200 to 25,600 (exp ISO 100)| Max image size: 5,184 x 3,888 | Video: 4K/30/25/24p, FHD/60p/50/30/25/24p| Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dots| Max burst: 10fps (electronic shutter) 6fps (mechanical shutter) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth| Size: 115.6 x 82.5 x 54.2 mm| Weight: 303g | User level: Intermediate
- Well priced
- Useful optional tripod grip
- Compact, travel-friendly design
- Video crop when shooting 4K
- Better options for stills shooters
- Smaller sensor than some rivals
Our top recommendation is the compact camera manufactured by Panasonic that excels both in video blogging and in more traditional forms of photography.
Are you intrigued by the prospect of starting a video blog? The Panasonic Lumix G100 is an excellent substitute for the Sony ZV-E10 in many ways. It features a smaller Micro Four-Thirds sensor, but it does have an electronic viewfinder, which the Sony does not, so it’s a very even matchup. Those who use the Lumix G100 for photography or video blogging will like its ease of use.
Because of the user-friendly structure of its buttons, it makes it simple to take stills and videos of good quality. This camera will allow users who are uninterested in the technical aspects of shooting high-quality movies to get the desired results still. Panasonic has given the G100 an advantage in the highly competitive market by giving it the appearance of a mini-DSLR and equipping it with an electronic viewfinder.
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS | Autofocus: 425 phase detect + 425 contrast detect| Max ISO: 100-32,000 | Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000px | Video: 4K UHD up to 30p| Viewfinder: no | Max burst: 1fps for 116 JPEGs | Camera Size: 113.0 x 64.2 x 44.7mm| Weight: 346g body only | User level: beginners
- Great autofocus
- Compact size
- Articulating screen
- No 4K/60p video mode
- Rolling shutter while panning
- The menu system isn’t touch-optimized
Finally, Sony has introduced a mirrorless vlogging camera that does not break the bank, and its user-friendly layout is one of the many reasons we are so impressed with it.
If you are equally interested in photography and video, then a specialized vlogging camera, such as the new Sony ZV-E10, is an excellent choice. It doesn’t have an electronic viewfinder, a drawback for photography. Still, it makes up for it with an utterly variable-angle screen and the ability to record 4K video. In addition, it features a large and high-performing internal microphone (complete with a muffler clip), Sony’s superior focusing, and an attractive price tag.
It’s a bummer that there isn’t any in-body image stabilization, and the menus can’t be operated by touch (a very conspicuous absence for a vlogging camera, maybe). Still, starting with video won’t be much of a problem if you’re starting with video. The fact that it utilizes the Sony E mount makes it possible to work with various lenses manufactured by Sony and third-party companies. This is the essential aspect of the camera.
Sensor: 24.1MP CMOS APS-C| Resolution: 6000 x 4000 | Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF (contrast detect only in 4K) with 3,975 focus positions | Max ISO: ISO100-25600 (exp. to 51200) | Video: 1080p up to 60p, 4K (with 1.6x crop) up to 25p | Viewfinder: 0.39-type OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots | Max burst: 10fps | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz), Bluetooth (4.1), micro USB, micro HDMI, microphone | Camera Size: 116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm | Weight: 387g (black) / 388g (white) including battery and memory card | User level:
- Great stills
- Vertical video recording
- Eye AF for stills and video
- Heavily cropped 4K video
- 100fps shooting at only 720p
- Limited native lenses
We had hoped that the 4K video would be a little more developed, even though the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is an excellent camera with a price that is not too expensive.
Although it may appear to be only a slight improvement over the original Canon EOS M50, the new features make this camera version more desirable to purchase than its forerunner. These include enhanced focusing (along with eye recognition in stills and video) and significant improvements for video shooters, such as a clean HDMI out, the option to record vertical video, and the capacity to Livestream directly to YouTube.
Unfortunately, even though it is an outstanding 1080p camera, it is not a good choice for recording in 4K because it does not have Dual Pixel AF (instead, it relies on contrast detection), and the image is cropped by 1.6 times. Despite this, it has a superb sensor with 24.1 megapixels, can shoot at ten frames per second, and even has a viewfinder.
This is packed into a relatively small body (which many similarly priced mirrorless cameras lack). This camera is adorable, simple to operate, and packs a surprising amount of versatility. It is an excellent mirrorless alternative to the Canon Rebel SL3/EOS 250D, yet it delivers comparable functionality in a more compact body.
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS | Resolution: | Autofocus: Hybrid phase/contrast AF | Max ISO: 200-12,800 (exp. 100-51,200)| Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000 | Video: 4K UHD, 30/25/24p | Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36m dots | Max burst: 8fps | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Camera Size: 121.0 x 83.7 x 55.1mm | Weight: 370g (including battery and memory card)
- The sharp 3.5-inch rear touchscreen
- Excellent colour and dynamic range
- Reliable autofocus performance
- Shallow buffer depth
- Lacks subject tracking in video
- The joystick is not well placed when using
The Fujifilm X-T200 is becoming harder to find, which is a pity because we enjoy this camera for its uncomplicated and ageless design and its big 3.5-inch flip-out screen. However, finding one of these cameras is becoming increasingly difficult.
The Fujifilm X-T200 is a lightweight and tiny camera, but it looks and feels like a traditional 35mm single-lens reflex camera. The best part is that the X-T200 features a large new 3.5-inch touchscreen that can be viewed from various angles. It has double the resolution of most competitors and a 1:6 aspect ratio, ideal for video. Additionally, it includes an electronic viewfinder and can shoot stills and video at a resolution of 24 megapixels and 4K, respectively.
Its 15-45mm primary lens is electrically driven. It requires a bit of getting used to. Still, it is tiny and gives a significantly more comprehensive range of views than other kit lenses, making it an excellent choice for taking pictures of buildings and significant landmarks. Even though the global pandemic appears to have produced supply shortages, making the X-T200 more challenging to locate at the moment, we still adored it when it was initially released, and we continue to do so now.
What should I buy as a beginner photographer?
As a beginner photographer, finding a camera that is easy to use and allows you to learn photography fundamentals is essential. Some factors to consider when selecting a camera include the following:
Budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on a camera and choose one that fits your budget.
Image quality: Look for a camera that produces high-quality images with good detail and low noise.
Autofocus performance: Fast and accurate autofocus is essential for capturing sharp images of fast-moving subjects.
Low-light performance: Consider a camera that performs well in low-light conditions, as this will give you more flexibility in your shooting environment.
Ease of use: Look for a camera with a user-friendly interface and a range of automatic and semi-automatic shooting modes to help you get started.
Several types of cameras are to consider, including point-and-shoot, mirrorless, and DSLR. Ultimately, the best camera for you will depend on your budget, goals, and preferred shooting style. It’s a good idea to research and try out different cameras to find the one that works best for you.
What camera should a beginner start with?
As a beginner, choosing a camera that is easy to use and allows you to learn photography fundamentals is essential. Point-and-shoot cameras are compact and easy to use, making them a good choice for beginners.
Mirrorless cameras offer more advanced features and better image quality but are still lighter and more compact than DSLR cameras. DSLR cameras offer a wide range of manual controls and interchangeable lenses but may be more expensive and harder to use for beginners.
Is a Mirrorless or DSLR camera better for beginners?
Both mirrorless and DSLR cameras can be good choices for beginners, depending on their individual needs and preferences. Mirrorless cameras are generally easier to use and more compact than DSLR cameras, and they offer many advanced features and better image quality. They also have a more intuitive interface and provide a range of automatic and semi-automatic shooting modes.
On the other hand, DSLR cameras offer a wide range of manual controls and interchangeable lenses, which can be helpful for those who want to learn more advanced photography techniques. Ultimately, the best camera for a beginner will depend on their budget, goals, and preferred shooting style.
What is the best camera for beginner wedding photography?
When it comes to beginner wedding photography, choosing a reliable, versatile, and easy camera is essential. Both mirrorless and DSLR cameras can be good choices, depending on your individual needs and preferences. Some factors to consider when selecting a camera for beginner wedding photography include the following:
Image quality: Look for a camera that produces high-quality images with good detail and low noise.
Autofocus performance: Fast and accurate autofocus is essential for capturing sharp images of fast-moving subjects.
Low-light performance: Weddings often occur in low-light conditions, so look for a camera that performs well in these situations.
Versatility: Consider a camera with a good range of focal lengths and shooting modes to help you capture various subjects and compositions.
Ease of use: Look for an intuitive camera that is easy to operate, especially if you are new to photography.
What should I do as a beginner photographer?
As a beginner photographer, there are a few things you can do to improve your skills:
Practice, practice, practice! The more you shoot, the more comfortable you’ll become with your camera, and the better you’ll understand how to use it.
Learn the basics of photography. This includes understanding exposure, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Experiment with different subjects and compositions. This will help you find your style and better understand what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Photography is a learning process; you’ll improve with time and experience.
Consider taking a photography course or workshop to learn from more experienced photographers and get feedback on your work.
Can beginners use mirrorless cameras?
Yes, beginners can use mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are a type of digital camera that offers many of the same features as a traditional DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera.
Still, they do not have a mirror inside the camera body. This makes them lighter and more compact than DSLRs, which can be a good option for beginners who are just starting and may not want to invest in a large, heavy camera.