Do you want to dip your toes into the world of photography, but – other than your smartphone camera – you have no idea where to begin? No matter if you are trying to learn photography for professional purposes, or if you just want to have some fun snapping photos, we advise picking up an actual camera and not depending solely on your smartphone.
Smartphones are not the best cameras for beginners because…
Even the flashiest smartphones on the market simply cannot compete with what a dedicated camera can offer. The difference in what is physically possible with lens options, sensor sizes, and optical zoom, as well as differences in functionality with options like burst mode, better dynamic range, and much higher resolution, will always give the upper hand to actual cameras.
Hold on, though…
With so many different sizes and types of cameras, it can be confusing to work out exactly which camera is best for you, though, right?
Perhaps you are looking for the convenience of an instant prime camera (such as a Polaroid camera) or one of the best point and shoot cameras that you can slip in and out of your pocket with ease if it’s small enough. Or possibly you’re looking for a camera with more functionality, which in turn will give you more room to grow and learn as you progress as a photographer.
In this case, you’re looking for either a DSLR or a mirrorless system…
Even the most advanced cameras have point and shoot capabilities, so we always suggest buying the best grade of camera that you can afford.
We are here to take the confusion out of the whole process for you and guide you through our top picks for the best cameras for beginners on the market today! So let’s get started reviewing these models and see if we can find the right one for you.
- 1 Top 8 Best Cameras For Beginners In 2021 Review
- 1.1 1 Nikon D3500 (AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6G VR Kit Lens) – Best Compact Camera for Beginners
- 1.2 2 Canon EOS REBEL T7i – Best Guided User Camera for Beginners
- 1.3 3 Sony Alpha A6100 Mirrorless Camera – Best Camera for Beginner Vloggers
- 1.4 4 Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera – Best Ultra Zoom Camera for Beginners
- 1.5 5 Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera – Best Panoramic Camera for Beginners
- 1.6 6 Nikon D5600 24.2MP DSLR Touchscreen Camera with SnapBridge Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC – Best Small Camera for Beginners
- 1.7 7 Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless Camera with 16-50mm and 55-210mm Lenses Bundle (10 Items) – Best Value Camera for Beginners
- 1.8 8 Canon EOS 200D / SL2 Camera with EF-S 18-55mm Lens (Black) – Deal-Expo Essential Accessories Bundle – Lightest DSLR Camera for Beginners
- 2 Best Cameras For Beginners Buying Guide
- 3 Was This Review Helpful?
- 4 So, What Are The Best Cameras For Beginners?
Top 8 Best Cameras For Beginners In 2021 Review
1 Nikon D3500 (AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6G VR Kit Lens) – Best Compact Camera for Beginners
First up, we thought we would jump straight in with an entry-level DLSR. And there is none better to start with than the Nikon D3500. This is a kit package and comes with the standard 18-55mm AF-P (auto focus-pulse motor) lens, which means you can start shooting straight away while having the option to add additional lenses whenever you need to!
The Nikon D3500 is a compact and ergonomically designed DSLR that is as easy to use as a point and shoot camera, just with much better results. With an image sensor (the 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor) that is, on average, 15% bigger than the ones found on smartphones and a whole range of lenses and shooting modes at your fingertips, your photos will look better than you could have imagined.
Great for all levels of photographer…
The D3500 is an excellent camera for beginners and professionals alike. Fast, responsive, and a breeze to use, the results you get on Auto Mode will amaze you, and once you are ready to explore the camera’s other modes, just switch on Guide Mode and follow the simple on-screen instructions.
Some of life’s best moments are here and then gone in a flash…
With the D3500’s ability to take up to 5 frames per second, you are sure to catch all the critical details. And in terms of size, this is one of the smallest DLSR cameras on the market right now, but still being durable enough to withstand the harshest conditions.
One thing to point out is that this is not a full-frame sensor, which means all shots will be slightly cropped compared to a full-frame DSLR camera. Not something to worry about too much as a beginner, but worth noting.
- Very beginner-friendly.
- ISO range of 100-25600.
- All-round image quality.
- Responsive autofocus.
- 5fps burst shooting.
- Lens included.
- No 4K video option.
- AF slows considerably when using live view.
2 Canon EOS REBEL T7i – Best Guided User Camera for Beginners
The Canon EOS REBEL T7i (or Canon EOS 800D, depending on where you are living) is by no means a new camera body. Hitting the market more than five years ago, there have been some minor changes and upgrades, but for the most part, this is the same camera.
And you know what that means, right?
It means that the Canon EOS REBEL T7i has withstood the test of time and continues to be one of the premier entry-level DSLRs today! With a high-usage battery (600-shot capacity), the ability to shoot 6 frames per second, fantastic usability, and the multipoint autofocus system that Canon uses in all their DSLR cameras, this is still a rock-solid choice for budding photographers.
The new user interface is better than most’ Guide Modes’…
One of our favorite recent additions is the new UI, and in particular, the clean-looking graphical interface that Canon has introduced. This is as good as the Guide Mode on the D3500 (if not better) at explaining the ins and outs to new users.
A great choice in the entry-to-mid-level DSLR family, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, takes excellent photos, no matter your skill level.
- High ISO handling.
- Excellent image quality.
- Speedy autofocus.
- External microphone jack.
- Continuous shooting up to 6fps.
- Full-featured, easy to use mobile app.
- No 4K video.
- Not as sturdy feeling as others.
3 Sony Alpha A6100 Mirrorless Camera – Best Camera for Beginner Vloggers
Sony’s Alpha A6100 has been long-awaited. The highly acclaimed A6000 was released in 2014, and is still considered one of Sony’s best entry-level cameras, but is slightly behind the times in terms of functionality. The Sony Alpha A6100 puts that to rest though, with the welcome additions of superb new autofocus technology, 4K video recording, and an easy to navigate UI and touch screen.
Budding vloggers with love the 4K video…
The upgraded video recording optionality is the first thing we dove into. Perfect for aspiring filmmakers and vloggers, the quality when filming in 4K is top-notch, and the built-in mic does a great job in low noise environments.
A small package that packs a punch…
With access to all 54 native lenses from Sony, plus more from third parties like Zeiss, Tamron, and Sigma, the choices are almost endless.
There’s also the addition of an electronic viewfinder, something that is often lacking from this class of cameras. The LCD can tilt a full 180 degrees too.
Unequaled image quality…
The image quality is unmatched in its class, with the 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which is almost unchanged from the previous models, doing as good a job as ever. Solid as a rock build quality is also what we always expect from Sony devices, and the Alpha A6100 does not buck the trend.
- Small and lightweight build.
- In-built electronic viewfinder.
- Best in class autofocus.
- Great video quality.
- Lacking in-body sensor-shift stabilization.
4 Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera – Best Ultra Zoom Camera for Beginners
If you’re looking for a trustworthy, ultra-zoom point and shoot camera with next level optical zoom, plus the inbuilt stabilization needed, then hold up a second and take a quick look at the Sony DSCH300/B.
Ultra zoom means…
With features including a 20.4 megapixel Exmor R CMOS optical sensor, a Carl Zeiss designed 35mm equivalent 50x zoom lens with f2.8-6.3, burst shooting speed of 10 frames per second, inbuilt flash, Smile Shutter technology (automatically catching smiles), and Sony’s user-friendly and straightforward UI, you will be capturing those rare moments before you know it.
The Carl Zeiss designed lens is a significant improvement over Sony’s previous attempts at an ultra-zoom point and shoot camera. The enhanced optical image stabilization does a really great job, and the autofocus is about as quick as any we have tested in this class.
Still not convinced?
The Sony DSCH300/B is comfortable in hand and is built to last. By using innovative tech in this camera, Sony has enabled it to operate in temperatures ranging from Saharan desert level heat to well below freezing (-4°F to 140°F). While we weren’t able to thoroughly test this, it did survive a month’s testing in wintertime in New York City, which is pretty impressive in itself.
Also included is one of the best features from cellphone cameras: 360° Sweep Panorama mode. Who needs a specialty wide-angle lens these days when all you have to do is hold down the shutter and sweep the lens past whatever you want to capture? The DSCH300/B will then seamlessly stitch the images together and automatically adjust the position to create a single panoramic image.
- Smile Shutter technology.
- Best in class optical image stabilization.
- 50x Zoom.
- Strong and sturdy.
- Easy to use UI.
- Single-lens is restrictive.
5 Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera – Best Panoramic Camera for Beginners
If you have been searching for a compact, easy to use camera that you can use to progress your craft and has a massive bag of tricks, then we reckon the Fujifilm X-A5 is the camera for you. This trailblazing piece of tech has been optimized for effortless operation, taking away a lot of the stress a novice sometimes experiences when first upgrading to a new camera.
The leather-bound aluminum shell is gorgeously designed, with a vintage feel to it. The compact and lightweight design adds to the usability, and the battery holds enough juice for up to 450 photos. If you like editing on the go, the addition of Bluetooth is perfect, as you can instantly share photos and videos to your phone where ever you are.
The 24.4 MP ASP-C CMOS optical sensor is efficient and works wonders in low light, as does the advanced 91 point autofocus and ISO. Ultra HD 4K video capabilities with a flip-up-and-over screen, put this near the top of the class for vloggers and videographers alike.
The screen is very, very good, making it a valuable upgrade alone from your smartphone. If you are used to shooting mostly on a smartphone, then shooting with this will feel like second nature.
Best panorama mode…
And the features just keep on coming with a selfie mode, portrait enhancer, eye-detection AF, macro capabilities, advanced live photo, and video filters, 4K burst shooting, and the best panorama mode we have tested. With all of these extras, you can be sure of getting the type of quality shots you’ve only dreamed of before!
- Super easy to use.
- Great image.
- 4K video and burst mode.
- AF could be faster.
6 Nikon D5600 24.2MP DSLR Touchscreen Camera with SnapBridge Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC – Best Small Camera for Beginners
Ask users of the Nikon D5600 what their favorite thing is about this camera, and we bet you at least 50% will start talking about its size.
‘Why?’ you ask?
Simple. This diminutive DSLR is one of the smallest on the market, and using it feels totally different to the much bulkier top-end units. We are the first to admit that yes, being lightweight doesn’t always signal good things. But Nikon has worked some magic here, with the D5600 being an excellent choice for a step-up camera.
Connectivity options are varied here, with Bluetooth or NFC for on the go wireless transfers and Wi-Fi capabilities for when you are back home or in the office. Nikon also offers free cloud storage with the Nikon Image Space. The articulating touchscreen works just like a smartphone, with the ability to swipe, pinch, zoom, and even set focus with your fingertips.
Can’t beat this wonderfully portable, small Nikon’s picture quality…
This is truly a sum of its history and parts. If there is one thing you can always be confident of when buying a Nikon DSLR, it’s that quality will never be overlooked. Just like every other Nikon we have ever tested, the picture quality is second to none.
This is especially true in low light, with the excellent APS-C CMOS sensor (with 24.2MP resolution) really pushing the limits on what we thought was possible out of a system like this.
- Impressive touch screen and live view.
- Small and portable.
- Comfy handgrip.
- Decent AF system.
- Only 1080p video recording.
7 Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless Camera with 16-50mm and 55-210mm Lenses Bundle (10 Items) – Best Value Camera for Beginners
The revolutionary Sony Alpha A6000 changed the market when it was introduced in late 2014. And, although it is getting on in the years a little, it is still legitimately one of the best in its class.
And the prices have never been better…
With access to the full library of Sony interchangeable lenses, its APS-C format 24.3MP image sensor, and amazing Sony software, the image quality in almost every lighting situation we threw at it was downright impressive. The viewfinder does feel a little underwhelming when compared to newer models, but the screen works perfectly fine.
Even with these slight negatives, in terms of image quality per size and per dollar, the a6000 is hard to beat.
The value offer here is pretty unbelievable…
On top of the great camera, you get two fantastic lenses and (literally) everything you could ever want or desire when it comes to accessories.
In the box, you get the camera, a Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens, a Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS E-Mount lens, a 40.5mm UV protector, a 3-piece filter kit, flexible 12-inch spider tripod, SanDisk 128GB Ultra UHS-I Class 10 SDXC memory card, Koah PRO twin pack rechargeable 1300mAh batteries and charger, and so much more.
- One of the best in class 24 MP APS-C sensor.
- Amazing package deal.
- Great usability.
- No touchscreen.
8 Canon EOS 200D / SL2 Camera with EF-S 18-55mm Lens (Black) – Deal-Expo Essential Accessories Bundle – Lightest DSLR Camera for Beginners
If the idea of a bundle deal sounds useful to you, but you are looking purely at DSLR type cameras, then check out this deal right here.
The world’s lightest DSLR…
The Canon EOS 200D / SL2 camera is the world’s lightest DSLR and a perfect entry-level camera by anyone’s standards. By combining traditional DSLR elements with features more commonly found on a smartphone, Canon has successfully done what many of the competitors have tried and failed at.
That is, to keep entry-level DSLR cameras as accessible to the broader public as possible. This is the first EOS camera to be released with automated functions like skin smoothing, selfie mode, and background blurring.
Adding to this is an always-on Bluetooth connection…
The image sensor is the all-new 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS with 25.8 million photosites (24.2 megapixels effective) with a fixed low-pass filter. There are several in-camera processing modes, creative filters, color space modes, flash options, and focus modes.
And, the guided UI menu rivals Sony for the best beginner UI…
Although the bundle is not quite as extensive as the last on the list, there is really nothing to complain about here at all! On top of the camera body, you get a Canon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 III lens, a 16GB SD card, an SD card reader, the i3e-Pro 58mm 3pcs filter set, a high-quality case, and a lens pad.
That’s excellent value!
- World’s lightest DSLR.
- Great guided UI.
- Fast-focusing output in Live View.
- Amazing package deal.
- Button arrangement could be better.
Best Cameras For Beginners Buying Guide
What is the best beginners camera? While this seems like a seemingly straightforward question, it is actually a lot more complicated than you might first realize. So, let’s break it down and go through what makes an excellent camera for beginners, and why some may be more suited to the style of photography you are looking to explore than others.
Let’s start by looking at the types of cameras you should consider…
What most people would consider the most “professional-looking” type of camera. They provide top image quality with ease for beginners, but this quality is also dependent on getting a good lens.
The interchangeability of the lens is one of the most significant advantages over other cameras, as you shoot literally any style you like, as long as you have the right lens. The ability to grow as a photographer is massive when using a DSLR camera.
But, they do come with some drawbacks…
With multiple parts and complicated shooting modes, they can be intimidating for newbies. Size and weight can be an issue, as can the price of lenses.
Being the relative newcomer on the block, these offer similar useability to a DSLR while being more compact and lightweight. The lack of an internal mirror means that the image shown in the viewfinder or on the screen is a digital representation of what the camera is actually seeing, which can take a little getting used to.
But, like DSLR cameras, they possess excellent image quality, flexibility, growth opportunities, plus other great features too.
Ultra-Zoom Point And Shoot Cameras
These non-interchangeable lens cameras are bulkier than the pocket-sized point-and-shoot cameras we are more used to seeing. They have massively expansive zoom lenses that can go from wide-angle to telescope-like telephoto. While the image quality may not always live up to other camera types, in this day and age, even slightly lower-res cameras do a fantastic job.
Point And Shoot
This is a market that has, without a doubt, been overtaken by smartphones. Although there are still some great offerings on the market, which will blow your cellphone camera out of the water, smartphones are getting better and better at cornering the casual photography market.
These are the most convenient and lightest, but that comes at a direct tradeoff for image quality and lens speed.
Was This Review Helpful?
If you’re not sold on any of these cameras, we recommend you check out a few of our other reviews, such as our Best Compact Cameras Reviews, our Best Mirrorless Cameras Reviews, our Best Instant Cameras Reviews, our Best Camera Phone Reviews, our Best Camcorders Reviews, and our Best GoPro Camera Reviews. These may well have a model more suited to you and your purposes.
For the best camera accessories, head on over to our Best Memory Card for Camera Reviews, our Best Nikon Lenses Review, our Best Camera Backpack Reviews, and our reviews of the Best Tripods currently available.
Now for our top pick for the best beginner camera in our review…
So, What Are The Best Cameras For Beginners?
Now that it’s all said and done, have you been able to choose a favorite? Well, for us, the top pick award goes to the…Canon EOS 200D/SL2 Camera with EF-S 18-55mm Lens (Black) - Deal-Expo Essential Accessories Bundle
This is a feature-packed camera with a great lens and everything a budding photographer could ever want. But don’t let us sway you if another has caught your eye, as these all deserve their place on our list! Either way, we hope this has cleared up any confusion and helped you choose the right beginner camera for your needs.