Best digital cameras for those starting out

Are you looking for the best beginner camera you can buy? Whether you’re a novice photographer looking to learn the basics or an experienced Instagram snapper, the list below features the best beginner cameras to suit every skill level and budget.

There is a lot to think about when buying your first camera. You probably want a model that can shoot high-resolution images in a wide range of scenarios, but a good camera offers a lot more than a decent number of pixels. You have to decide which zoom range is most useful for you, the amount of manual controls you want and if you need to shoot video.

The best cameras for beginners covered most of these demands, so it’s important to consider usability and design as well. Smartphones are pocket-sized and easy to use, while the best digital SLRs for beginners offer unmatched handling and accessible controls. Mirrorless models, meanwhile, tend to blend performance and portability. The right option for you depends on how and what you like to photograph. 

Budget is also a key factor. The following tips cover a range of prices. Smartphones may offer affordable access, but they tend to favor point-and-shoot photography. A mirrorless or DSLR model costs more, but allows you to contend with more advanced techniques as your skills improve, as well as the ability to try out different lenses. 

Each model featured in the guide below was chosen because it is ideal for novice photographers, offering an accessible experience and the right features to learn the basics and grow as a photographer, as well as shoot higher quality images than those. that you could capture with a smartphone.

Our current pick for the best beginner camera is the Fujifilm X-T200. It is the perfect meeting point between smartphone accessibility and the versatility of mirrorless cameras. It’s also a pretty practical camera, but it’s not necessarily the perfect choice for everyone.


Bridging the gap between smartphone photography and the world of interchangeable lens cameras, Fujifilm X-T200 offers a great mix of physical controls and touchscreen functionality. In addition to a decent viewfinder, which makes it easy to take pictures in bright sunlight, the X-T200 has a 3.5-inch display, which is the largest in its class. This display can be flipped forward, perfect for selfies and vlogs. 

Having access to settings via a touchscreen makes the use familiar for those coming from the world of smartphones. But this camera also offers physical controls, including three dials and joysticks. It has an easy-to-use layout and has helpful on-screen instructions.

Fujifilm mirrorless cameras are famous for producing stunning JPEG images that don’t need post-production. This is also partly due to the ability to simulate the appearance of some films.

If you are looking for a significant improvement over a smartphone, on a camera that offers decent photographic performance with video capabilities, the X-T200 is a choice to consider. As an entry-level camera, the X-T200 comes with the Fujinon XC15-45mm f / 3.5-5.6 lens, a great stabilized lens for major situations.

The X-T200 also gives access to a wide range of stunning Fujfilm lenses. This makes it an ideal choice if you are ready to invest in a system that can grow with your capabilities. 


The Nikon D3500 is the only DSLR on this list. Because unlike their mirrorless rivals, with their optical viewfinders they are slowly being phased out by many major camera manufacturers, in favor of more advanced mirrorless models. But if photography is your primary business and video specs don’t really matter, the Nikon D3500 is a great low-budget beginner camera. Equipped with a quality 24.2MP APS-C sensor, the D3500 can capture detailed and richly toned images.

At first glance it seems short on features, but the Nikon D3500 includes a handy Guide mode. A virtual photography tutor who will guide you through all the functions of the camera, including the photo editing to be processed with it.

Two kit lenses are available with the D3500, but we recommend opting for the DX 18-55 VR lens. VR stands for Vibration Reduction and costs a little more than the other option but with VR enabled you’ll get better handheld shots, especially in low light conditions. 


If you are looking for a simple and compact mirrorless camera that captures high quality images, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is definitely worth a place on your list.

It may lack some of the more advanced features of its more expensive competitors, including microphone and USB-C ports, but it does a great job as a camera. Its ergonomic handle, accessible button layout and practical flip-up touchscreen give it good versatility, without cluttering too much.

An Advanced Photo mode allows you to try advanced techniques such as long exposures, while the present image stabilization system is excellent. The sensor resolution is decent (20.3 MP) and it has one of the largest lens catalogs on the market. 


Canon is perhaps the most recognizable brand in the world of cameras. For this reason it is one of the reference points for people looking for a “suitable camera”. And for good reason. Canon cameras are known for producing brilliant photos, particularly when it comes to portraits. The mirrorless EOS M50 is no exception.

The camera user interface is simple and offers helpful explanations and tips within the settings menu. Ergonomic, the Canon M50 is an accessible camera, light on physical controls. It also benefits from Canon’s award-winning Dual Pixel AF, which follows subjects quickly and consistently. This makes it suitable for keeping up with fast-moving action and restless pets.

The EF-M 15-45mm lens kit comes with the M50, suitable for everyday use. But lens range is one of the areas where Canon M-series cameras are still slightly lacking compared to the competition. However, an adapter is available to allow use of Canon’s popular EF lenses.

SONY A6000

Despite being more than five years old, the award-winning Sony A6000 is still a fantastic option for photography enthusiasts. Despite its compact size, the A6000 houses a superb 24.3MP APS-C sensor capable of capturing detailed photos up to 11fps.

Its autofocus system, while dated, works quickly and uses 179 points to follow moving subjects. This combination makes it a good choice for those who want to take photos of wild animals, fast-moving subjects (small children) and sports.

Most cameras of this size only offer an LCD display, but Sony has somehow managed to put in an electronic viewfinder. This increases the A6000’s usability when taking pictures on sunny days and also improves stability. Unfortunately, the A6000 shows its age by lacking touch functionality on its LCD screen.

One of the first criticisms of Sony Alpha series cameras was that they lacked a fairly wide range of lenses. A lot has changed since the A6000 was originally released. Now you can choose from a myriad of high-quality Sony-made lenses as well as third-party EF mount lenses using Sigma’s MC-11 adapter.

If photography is your goal and you just need to be able to record Full HD 1080p movies, then the Sony A6000 is a great choice. 


If you want a great camera for both movies and photos, then the Lumix G100 is your best choice. 

First, the Lumix G100 is the first camera in the world to incorporate OVO Audio technology, developed by Nokia. Using facial recognition software the G100 can “see” where the sound is coming from. The result is the capture of better sound than the competition, without the need for external microphones.

It’s also super compact, making it a great camera for travel and for taking photos on the go. As a camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor, it has access to a large number of relatively inexpensive, equally compact lenses. The only downside to using such a small sensor (compared to APS-C models, like the Fujifilm X-T200) is that it doesn’t offer the best performance in low light conditions. On the other hand, it offers five-axis hybrid image stabilization, with compatible lenses, to keep images stable and also has a built-in flash.

The G100 pairs easily with smartphones and is perfect as a first camera for those who love videos and photos alike. It is also suitable for families who want a camera that is easy to use and does just about everything. 


Focused almost entirely on vlogging, the Sony ZV-1 is one of the best compact cameras for creating videos. Its combination of a bright f / 1.8-2.8 lens, intelligent AF and swiveling screen make it a compelling choice for people who love to create video content and want to take a significant step up from smartphones.

Its advanced focus tracking includes Eye AF, a fantastic system to follow faces and keep everything in focus. Thanks to its 3.5mm microphone input, you can easily capture high quality audio with an external microphone, while still having a good built-in microphone.

A beginner may need some time to adjust to the ZV-1, due to its limited touchscreen functionality and slightly more advanced video capabilities, but features like S-Log2, AF sensitivity controls and a built-in ND filter are great. not indifferent details for those who are more familiar with videos or for those looking for a reliable vlogging partner who can accompany them. 


With an attractive, highly pocketable design, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 uses a proven 16.1MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS imaging sensor that captures stunning photos in a wide variety of scenarios. One of the advantages over this camera’s modest size is that it doesn’t attract too much attention, allowing people to capture more natural images.

Despite being compact, it also has a 3-axis image stabilization system. Unfortunately, the trade-off in terms of size involves the lack of an electronic viewfinder.

Ergonomically, the PEN E-PL9 is a pleasure to use thanks to its direct controls and comprehensive menu.

There are even cheaper alternatives, but none offer a better combination of attractive design, simple operation, creative effects and image quality. 


Do you need to know where to start? Here are five things to choose a beginner camera:

1) Resolution

Referred to as “megapixels” or “MP”, the resolution indicates the maximum size of images a camera can capture. The higher the number, the higher the resolution. For this reason, many camera brands use megapixels to attract customers, but resolution isn’t everything. 12 MP is more than enough to produce a high quality A3 paper size print.

2) Design

There is no point in buying a camera that you leave at home and don’t use frequently. Maybe you want a bigger camera with physical controls or maybe a smaller camera with a touchscreen, it would make you feel more comfortable.

3) Dimensions of the sensor

Size matters, when size matters! Not all sensors are created equally. Unlike the megapixel count, the larger the sensor, the better the image quality, in general. Smaller sensors have a harder time picking up light, which means more noise (image grain) in images captured in low-light conditions. Larger sensors typically produce better tone and depth.

4) Connectivity

All the best cameras for beginners offer a way to connect to your smart device or favorite apps. The cameras on this list all benefit from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or NFC connectivity, or a combination of all three.

5) Lenses

A decent quality lens is essential for capturing good images. All the best cameras are usually equipped with a kit lens with a standard focal length. Subsequently, after gaining more experience, it is better to switch to higher quality and more specific optics for what you intend to do. Cameras with built-in lenses are usually chosen by those who want to be smarter without having to carry extra lenses!