The Best Cameras For Beginners
Today we’re looking at the best camera for amateur photographers. Literally, anyone can become an amateur photographer. If you love photography and are tired of using the low-quality camera on your smartphone, you probably want to step your game up. This can be great for traveling, for people who frequent sporting events, for hikers, for divers, or even just for urban explorers who want a great way to capture their city.
But you are probably wondering where exactly you should start. How much money do you spend on a new camera when you have no experience? Which brand is the best? Which features are more important for what you’re doing? There are all kinds of things for a beginner to get through. You have to learn about shutter speed, megapixels, autofocusing, zoom range, macro photography, and so much more.
If you are completely unfamiliar with anything beyond taking a photograph with your phone, some of the best amateur cameras are going to be standard point-and-click cameras or DSLRs for beginners with easy features. You’re going to want to use something that has excellent manual control, you don’t want to fuss with changing lenses right away, and you want something that has great autofocusing and stabilization control. The camera should feel natural in your hands, and you should feel comfortable taking photos.
You could not find an easier camera to get into photography with than the Nikon D3500 NIKKOR. Not only does this camera take fantastic pictures with 24.2 megapixels, but you don’t need to know anything to use it. This is the best amateur camera for people who really don’t know much about photography. All you need is to point at your target and push the button. You can take 1080p videos, it feels natural and comfortable in your hands, and all the simplistic controls are right at your fingertips. There is absolutely nothing overwhelming or boggling about this camera, and you can pick it up for an incredible price.
The D3500 is sturdy, it’s compact and lightweight, it’s super durable, and it’s great for a wide variety of different types of photography. It’s easy to travel with, it comes available with lots of great equipment, and it’s compatible with smartphones so that you can quickly and efficiently share your photos with all your friends who are half a world away. If you have never used anything except your smartphone to take pictures, this is the first step to becoming a photographer.
- Extremely Lightweight
- Great Battery Life
- Bluetooth Capable
- Fantastic ISO
- Comfortable Shooting
- GPS is Finicky
- No Microphone Port
- Fixed Screen
The Canon EOS REBEL T7i is one of the more expensive cameras for beginners, but it has all the quality to really boost your photography skills. The camera is easy to use, it features a 45-point all cross-type optical viewfinder AF system, it has phenomenal image quality with its 24.2-MP sensor, and it gives you stunning continuous shooting at about 6.0 frames per second. This camera is also great to learn how to properly use a viewfinder, as the controls are simple and it works like a normal touchscreen. You can tap the part of the image you want to focus on to get a cleaner and clearer photo.
You get easy connectivity with Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. The touchscreen LCD viewfinder can be manipulated 180 degrees. The colors are truly fantastic with the DIGIC 7 Image Processor, delivering you photographs 10x what you would get with your smartphone. The camera even comes included with a feature assistant that will explain to you any of the features of the camera that you don’t quite understand.
- 2 Megapixel CMOS Sensor
- High-Speed Continuous Shooting
- 45-Point AF
- Variety of Available Lenses
- Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
- Slightly Expensive
- Not Great w/ Low Light
- Feels a Little Awkward
This is probably one of the most affordable cameras you will ever see produced by Sony. It’s currently available for under $200, but you can probably find a used model for under $100. It’s a great camera for beginners, as it comes with minimal features, there’s almost no learning curve, and it still has a 20.1-megapixel sensor that can take high definition videos. You still get good photos, the camera has a 35x optical zoom, and the color is incredible. This is not a fancy piece of equipment by any means, but it will give you better pictures than you ever took on your phone. It handles like a normal DSLR, and it’s a good stepping stone to something more expensive and better in quality.
The downside is that it uses AA batteries, it can only actually shoot 720p video, and it doesn’t have any great connectivity settings. You still have to use a memory card like it’s 2008. But the camera is a great learning tool that you can take on vacation, or to that next wedding, or even on a camping trip to really see how you like handling a professional digital camera.
- Super Affordable
- 35x Optical Zoom
- SteadyShot Image Stabilization
- 1MP Sensor
- Comfortable & Intuitive
- Requires AA Batteries
- No Connectivity
- Zoom Not Great
Probably the best pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera is the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II. It is one of the best cameras for taking around town, for going on vacation with, and for pulling out at random moments to capture the best photographs. It has an amazing image processor even though it’s so small, it has pretty solid ISO settings so that you can take photos of the city at night, and it has pretty good detection capabilities so that you can get those perfect action shots at the next sports game. It’s in the medium price range, meaning it’s affordable for just about everyone.
If you feel more comfortable using a standard digital camera than a big, bulky DSLR, this is the unit for you. It can shoot in macro mode, it can connect to the Canon app so that you can track your GPS location and tag your photographs, and it does continuous shooting up to 8.2 frames per second. It also comes in two different colors, both of which are retro and stylish. Basically, if you want an attractive pocket camera that you can take everywhere and get next-level pictures with, the Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II is a great choice.
- Fits in Your Pocket
- Super Stylish
- 1 Megapixel
- 3” Touchscreen Panel
- 3x Optical Zoom
- Small Learning Curve
- Hard to Connect
- No Electronic Viewfinder
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is a fantastic mirrorless camera that is going to be great for any amateur photographer. It comes with an incredibly strong 16-megapixel sensor and includes next-gen intelligent image processing. What this means is that your videos and photos will always turn out perfect and there will never be any degrading in image quality. This camera can create amazing 4K movie recordings, giving you better detail and superior definition in all your home videos. And to make everything easier for you, the G7 comes with an OLED Live Viewfinder that you can use even in direct sunlight. You don’t have to worry about the glare when you’re out on a sunny afternoon taking amazing photographs. The viewfinder also tilts, swivels, and has a touch display.
The only issue for beginners is that you might be a little confused by the ridiculous amount of settings. There is a lot you can do with this camera, and all the strange shapes, patterns, and settings might be a little overwhelming at first. But once you understand the basics, the controls become intuitive. You can control everything on the front and rear dials, including the aperture and the shutter settings.
And finally, this camera is ridiculously affordable for what you get. It has a connection with Wi-Fi, it works great at night to capture photographs of the stars, it has tons of expandability options including an external flash and a shotgun microphone, you can shoot in almost complete silence, and it has impressive high-speed autofocus tracking. This is honestly one of the best cameras for any beginner because of its versatility and incredible technology, and it’s dirt cheap!
- Fantastic Price
- Amazing Image Resolution
- 4K Video
- High-Visibility Viewfinder
- Precise Autofocusing
- A Lot of Confusing Settings
- Plastic Build
Buying a new camera when you’re a beginner can be extremely confusing. Before you even start to shop, the most important thing is that you understand what you’re using the camera for. Is it just casual shooting? In that case, you might want to consider a prime camera. Are you going to be hiking a lot, going on nature walks, or spending extended times outdoors? If so, you need to get a camera that’s great for landscape photography.
Or maybe you’re interested in the night sky. If you want to take pictures at night, you’re going to need to focus on ISO settings and capabilities, that way you can get an awesome camera for astrophotography. As you can tell, there are tons of different types of photography, and different cameras will work better for different types. Before you start shopping, understand what kind of pictures you will be taking.
And of course, it comes down to price almost all the time. Sure, there are some cameras that can literally do everything from landscape to portrait, but they’re going to cost you thousands of dollars. You don’t want to blow all your money on becoming an amateur photographer only to realize you don’t actually want to be an amateur photographer. Always stay within your budget!
That said, there are tons of good options for under $1000. And a lot of older DSLR cameras can be upgraded by simply adding a lens. This means that your cheaper DSLR camera can be upgraded for a bit more money in the future if you want to continue taking photos. At the end of the day, just do what feels right for you.