Best Camera For A Beginner Photographer

By | 21/10/2022

I decided to put together this article on the best photographic camera for beginners after receiving and so many emails from Shotkit fans.

Although Shotkit is focused more on the professional photographer, it seems that more and more visitors come to the site looking to learn photography.

Writing about the best camera for beginners is important to me since I was in the same place as you are now a few years ago.


Nikon D3400

Groovy image quality, features and value for money make this DSLR an fantabulous pick for a beginner.

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Everyone has to commencement somewhere – yous’ll need a suitable camera to aid y’all learn the basics and help yous get into photography.

I’d similar to help you choose the best photographic camera for learning photography to brand sure you get off to a head outset with your newfound hobby.

[Related: Become to grips with the basics of photography with these handy cards.]

All-time Beginner Photography Cameras in 2022

Paradigm Product Details
shk2-table__image Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm Lens
OUR #1 Choice
  • Megapixels: 24.7
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 445 g (15.vii oz)
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shk2-table__image Sony a6000 with 16-50mm Lens
  • Megapixels: 24
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 344 g (12.xvi oz)
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shk2-table__image Fujifilm X-A5 with 15-45mm Lens
  • Megapixels: 24.2
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 361 thou (12.vii oz)
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shk2-table__image Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with xiv-42mm Lens
  • Megapixels: 16.1
  • Sensor Size: four/iii
  • Weight: 390 thou (xiii.7 oz)
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ane. Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm Lens – Best Photographic camera for Beginners (DSLR)

Nikon D3400 as a camera for beginners

Sensor Size:

4.9 x three.9 x 3 in. (124 ten 98 ten 75.5 mm)

445 g ( oz )

At this point in 2022, ‘DSLR’ cameras are nevertheless a very popular choice for beginners. Their master advantages over ‘mirrorless’ cameras is affordability, battery life and ergonomics.

Whilst I’d usually recommend mirrorless cameras to beginners who wish to learn photography, due to budget restrictions, it’s not ever possible. Around the $500 marker, information technology’s hard to beat a beginner DSLR camera.

So if you’re looking for the all-time DSLR camera for beginners, await no further – the Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm lens is information technology.

After spending a calendar month shooting with it terminal year, I felt compelled to write a full review on the Nikon D3400 – information technology impressed me that much! Almost notably, I was surprised at how great the image quality was from such a budget camera.

(I also put together a guide to the best Nikon D3400 lenses hither.)

As for the brand of the camera, in that location’s ever going to be a battle between Nikon and Canon. Even so, at this price point, the question of the which is best DSLR camera for beginners: Canon or Nikon, is answered merely – the Nikon D3400 beats the closest Canon rival (the Canon T6) in every regard.

Buying into the Nikon brand also opens the doors to endless creative opportunities with a large number of great Nikon lenses on offering. (If for some reason you lot decide to commencement with a Catechism DSLR, there are obviously many great Canon lenses to choose from too.)

Every bit a novice photographer, it’southward confusing enough trying to cull the best camera to learn photography, allow lone the best lens. While I exercise recommend investing in unlike lenses later downward the line, your best bet when merely starting out with photography is to stick with the ‘kit-lens’.

This Nikon D3400 comes arranged with an xviii-55mm kit lens, which offers a good range from ‘wide-bending’ to ‘telephoto’ field of view. This means y’all’ll be able to shoot landscapes (or groups of people), as well as flattering portraits or things at a altitude.

Aside from offering first-class image quality and a versatile kit lens, the Nikon D3400 is the
smallest and lightest DSLR
you’ll come beyond.

As a photography beginner, you should be taking your photographic camera with you wherever y’all go, and unless information technology’s minor and light, it’ll quickly get a burden.

The D3400 is a joy to hold or carry, and the push/dial placement is logically and comfortably arranged for whatever size manus – I’m 6ft 4″ with giant easily and found it fine to utilise, every bit did my wife who has much smaller hands than me!

Nikon D3400 + 18-55mm f/three.5-5.6G | 1/640 at f/4.8 ISO 800 @18mm

Other features that aren’t necessarily essential to beginners learning photography merely exercise make the shooting experience on the Nikon D3400 more fun include: 5 frames-per-second continuous shooting mode (to shoot a quick sequence of photos); Bluetooth (to quickly share a photograph to your telephone); 24.ii MegaPixels (in case you demand to print a big photo; 60P Full Hard disk drive video recording, and great battery life (upwards to i,200 photos per charge!)

What makes the Nikon D3400 stand out the most as a camera for beginners is the inclusion of both manual controls and something called ‘Guide Way‘.

Guide Style helps new photographers create ameliorate images with proper exposures. It’southward aimed directly at beginner photographers, helping yous to accept the guesswork out of camera settings and allow you to
focus more on getting the shot.

Whereas ‘Scene Modes’ (i.e. the little symbols on the top dial of almost cameras which show icons of fireworks, flowers, people, etc.) are set for yous by the camera, Guide Modes are more intuitive, assuasive you the photographer to arrange settings – it’s almost like having a photography tutor with you lot at all times 😉

If you’re looking for the best DSLR for beginners that is currently available with a lens for under $400, the Nikon D3400 with eighteen-55mm lens really is an unbeatable offering. Don’t exist concerned about the Nikon D5600, D3500 or any newer model – the D3400 offers the best bang for the cadet.

Aside from offering fantabulous prototype quality and a versatile kit lens, the Nikon D3400 is the smallest and lightest DSLR you’ll come beyond.

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ii. Sony a6000 with xvi-50mm Lens – All-time Camera for Beginners (Mirrorless)

Sony a6000 for beginners


Sensor Size:

ane.77 ten 4.72 ten 2.64 in. (44 x 120 x 191 mm)

344 one thousand (12.xvi oz )

If you can stretch your budget to around $550, you can get an the splendid Sony a6000 with 16-50mm lens.

The Sony a6000 is what’s known as a ‘mirrorless camera’, which brings a huge advantage to beginners in what I call ‘WYSIWIG photography’ (what-you-run across-is-what-you-get).

With a DSLR camera, the hole your eye peers through when taking a photo (aka the viewfinder), is basically but similar a window – you’re seeing the world as it is in front of you. With a mirrorless camera, however, you’re looking at a tiny LCD screen, which is showing yous a ‘digital projection’ of the earth.

Here’southward the key – whatsoever adjustments y’all make with your camera’s settings prove up every bit exposure adjustments inside that little LCD screen…
you take the shot. As a beginner learning photography, this is an invaluable lesson on how ISO, Aperture and shutter speed can change the way a photo looks… all
in real-fourth dimension.

There are lots of slap-up mirrorless camera bachelor in 2022, simply unfortunately, most of them are priced exterior the budget of beginner photographers.

The Sony a6000 however, is the
best value for money mirrorless camera, and also happens to be the most pop mirrorless camera e’er fabricated.

It may exist several years erstwhile, and newer models continue to exist released, but don’t get distracted – this is a great camera and one of the best cameras for beginners you lot can buy this year.

If you handled a DSLR in your search for a beginner’due south camera and found it to be a footling too bulky, then the graceful Sony a6000 should be perfect.

With the versatile 16-50mm power zoom lens attached, it’s however compact enough to sideslip into a pocket, and definitely light plenty to be carried around all day.

The 16-50mm focal length offers neat versatility for a beginner and allows you lot to meet the departure betwixt composing with a wide-bending field-of-view vs a tighter telephoto one.

There are so many great Sony lenses to cull from when you showtime getting more avant-garde with your photography, but this kit-lens is a adept place to first for beginners.

Sony Alpha a6000 Lenses Reviewed

Usually, I prefer the bulkier ergonomics of a DSLR photographic camera for my professional work, with the more pronounced handgrip and sturdier feel, only I nevertheless prefer compact cameras for traveling, or for when I just want something small to skid into my jacket pocket.

Every bit I mentioned before, a camera must have a Manual manner to exist considered relevant for a beginner to photography. Beingness able to manually control all the elements of exposure is an essential learning footstep, and thankfully, the Sony a6000 supports total manual control – I particularly liked the power to control aperture and shutter speed using its dials, which are comfortably placed.

The area where the Sony a6000 really stands caput and shoulders above any DSLR for beginners is in its
incredible AutoFocus. With 179 AF points and 11 frames-per-2nd, you won’t exist missing any shots of fast moving activity.

Sony a6000 review sample image

Sony a6000 | 1/320 at f/5.6 ISO 2300

Is it essential to accept such lightning-fast AF on a camera for beginners? In my stance, no. Learning the ‘focus and recompose’ technique is a valuable step, and fast AF isn’t necessary here.

However, it is a luxury to accept such cracking AF in a photographic camera at this price, so nosotros’ll take it if information technology’s in that location!

Other luxuries on the Sony a6000 include 60P full HD recording, WiFi (to share photos) and a tilting LCD brandish.

The tilting display isn’t a prerequisite for a camera for beginners either, only I do like its inclusion here. Beingness able to tilt your camera’s rear LCD can encourage exploration of more than creative compositions since you’re able to get low and loftier much easier.

Finally, I should also mention that in my review of the Sony a6000, I found information technology to exist a hugely fun camera to shoot with. This is a purely subjective statement, just having a fun photographic camera for a beginner is a great affair since y’all’ll want to pick it upwardly to shoot with more and more.

The just negative of the Sony a6000 is that you may non find it available for much longer – since information technology’s an older model, there’due south e’er a chance that Sony volition halt product completely. I’d recommend getting one sooner rather than afterwards…

The best value for money mirrorless photographic camera, which brings a huge advantage to beginners in ‘WYSIWIG photography’ (what-you-run into-is-what-y’all-get).

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3. Fujifilm 10-A5 with 15-45mm Lens – 2d Best Camera for Beginners (Mirrorless)

Fuji X-A5 for beginners


Sensor Size:

4.half-dozen x 2.7 ten in. (116 10 67 10 twoscore mm)

361 m (12.vii oz )

I idea long and hard about whether to include this next mirrorless camera in my pick of the all-time cameras for beginners.

You lot see, while the Fujfilm X-A5 ticks all the right boxes in the beginner photographer category, it lacks 1 feature that some diehard photographers consider to be somewhat standard on a camera for someone learning photography – a viewfinder!

Seeing the world through that small window, be it an bodily window (an OVF or ‘optical viewfinder, as found on DSLRs), or an LCD (an EVF or electronic viewfinder, every bit found on mirrorless cameras), is considered by some to exist an important pace in learning composition…

With mirrorless cameras though, y’all could debate that there’southward actually no deviation between seeing the world through that small EVF, or merely looking at the rear LCD display – both methods show
exactly the same digital prototype.

Fujifilm makes fantabulous cameras, and their Fujifilm Ten-lenses are some of the best available today. I’m too a big fan of the image quality produced by the unique Fujifilm sensor, and also the fun film-wait filters that perfectly replicate one-time moving picture stock.

I actually wanted to include a camera from Fujifilm in this roundup of the best cameras for beginners, only due to their college prices, information technology’s hasn’t been possible… until now! Released earlier this twelvemonth, the Fujfilm 10-A5 with 15-45mm lens now gives beginners a great camera + lens combination for a great price.

So with a beginner-friendly price accounted for, how are the Manual settings on this dinky pocket-size camera? Well, as you can expect from a company that made so many bang-up picture cameras back in the solar day, the Manual settings are all there.

One neat feature of the X-A5 is the dedicated Exposure Compensation shooting mode, which allows you lot to adjust exposure using the chief dial – it’s kind of a semi-manual manner, which is a skilful mid-point for when you’re comfortable with both the motorcar and fully-transmission modes.

Due to the compact size of the Fujifilm Ten-A5, the buttons are a trivial closely packed together for my big fingers, and the second dial placement is a little unusual, but all the main buttons/dials are in easy reach and stick out prominently plenty from the camera body to let for easy functioning.

The 15-45mm lens that comes with the Fujifilm X-A5 is a ‘ability zoom’, much similar the aforementioned Sony. This is a first for a Fujfilm X lens, and basically means you lot get a pocket-size, lightweight lens with a versatile field of view.

Then having fulfilled my 3 chief criteria equally a great camera for a photography beginner, what else has the Fujifilm X-A5 to offer? Well, since it’s the newest camera on this list, information technology has some features that the others don’t.

The selfie manner on the Fujfilm X-A5 may seem like a gimmick but for some photographers and vloggers its an invaluable feature.

Aside from splendid image quality, 24.2 MegaPixels, Avant-garde Filters, 4K video, and Bluetooth image sharing technology, the Fujifilm X-A5 is the all-time camera for selfies in its grade, thanks to a touchscreen, 180 degree rotating LCD monitor.

While other cameras might offering a 180 degree rotating LCD, its the Portrait Enhancer and Center Detection AF functionality which makes the Fujifilm X-A5 the best camera for selfies I’ve e’er seen. Are selfies essential for beginners? No, of course not… merely they are fun 😉

The way you lot can view yourself so hands with the rotating screen also makes the Fujifilm X-A5 the best camera for beginner vloggers. Eye Detection volition help to ensure your eyes are always in sharp focus, while the groundwork falls out of focus for a more professional-looking video.

As I mentioned before, having a fun photographic camera is important for a photography beginner, since information technology’ll make you desire to pick it up and shoot with it more than and more. Anything that makes the photography experience more enjoyable for a beginner is a big plus in my volume.

I should as well mention the styling of the Fujifilm Ten-A5, which will no dubiety appeal much more than to the younger, or more fashion-axial generation of beginner photographer.

With retro aluminum styling and pink, black or brown leather accents, this is going to be one popular camera for beginners in 2022.

4. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marking II with 14-42mm Lens – Best Photographic camera for Beginners (Micro Four Thirds)

Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark II


Sensor Size:
Micro Four Thirds

4.7 x x iii.3 in . (119 10 83 x 46 mm)

390 g (xiii.7 oz )

Call back at the first of this article when I said that there’s trivial point worrying about factors such every bit megapixels and sensor size when choosing a camera for a beginner? Well, case in point, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marker II with fourteen-42mm lens – the camera with the longest name… and the smallest sensor!

It used to be the case that the fewer the megapixels or the smaller the sensor, the lesser the photographic camera. Still here in 2022, this is definitely non the case. With modernistic sensor applied science, the difference in the number of megapixels or sensor size at this price signal is largely irrelevant.

Long story brusque, the Olympus OM-D Eastward-M10 Mark II has a lot to offer at a great price, making it an ideal camera for a beginner who’s merely picking up photography, but still offer enough room to grow far beyond that.

Don’t be alarmed that this isn’t the latest model – the Olympus EM10 Mark III is also a not bad camera, but in my opinion, the best blindside-for-your-cadet is to be had with this Marking Ii version.

The Olympus OM-D Due east-M10 Mark II is a unique grade of mirrorless camera called a Micro-4-Thirds sensor camera (MFT or M4/3). This refers to a sensor that’s pocket-size enough to be housed in a compact body, while offering the ability to adhere smaller/lighter lenses, without sacrificing paradigm quality.

I wrote a whole article on the best micro 4 thirds lenses, but in a nutshell, all the lenses available to Micro Four Thirds cameras such as this Olympus OM-D Due east-M10 Marking 2 are
smaller, lighter and cheaper
than the equivalent lenses in other photographic camera systems.

In other words, when you want to buy another lens for your photographic camera, yous should exist able to observe a smaller/lighter/cheaper version for this Olympus than you would for the Sony, Fujifilm or Nikon mentioned above.

Whether this is a major consideration for photography beginners is questionable, since the kit lenses that come with each camera in this article are more than adequate. All the same, if you see yourself growing rapidly with photography and investing in a lot of lenses, this could exist something to think about.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marking II is a beautifully styled photographic camera. It takes all the best technology from mirrorless cameras and combines it with the ergonomics of a DSLR camera. There are large buttons and dials all over the trunk, making certain your first Manual Manner experience in photography is a fun one!

Information technology’south also the but camera in this article that offers two separate top-mounted dials to command aperture and shutter speed. This isn’t an essential function past any means, but as a professional reviewing entry-level cameras, I really appreciated this inclusion on the Olympus OM-D East-M10 Mark Ii – this being the exact prepare up I have on my pro-grade cameras.

[If y’all’re just getting into photography, you may observe this article on what is discontinuity useful.]

Aside from excellent ergonomics and stellar epitome quality, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marker II also offers v-axis image stabilization, which is unusual for a camera at this price signal.

Olympus O-MD E-M10 Mark II sample image

Olympus O-MD E-M10 Marking II | ane/160 f/one.8 ISO 800

This basically allows you to employ a slower shutter speed, or lower ISO when shooting handheld in low light similar in the photo above. Don’t worry – if those terms confuse you, you’ll discover what I’m referring to when y’all commencement to learn photography.

Other great, but non-essential features on the Olympus include viii.5fps burst fashion (for freezing fast-moving activity), silent shutter way (to shoot incognito), Wifi (for prototype sharing), art filters (for that Instagram expect!), total Hard disk drive picture show mode, and something chosen ‘touch-to-shoot’.

It’s this bear on-to-shoot that’due south near exciting for me since information technology offers such rare functionality for a camera these days – I wish all cameras had information technology! It ways that y’all can just touch the rear LCD screen to make the photographic camera focus and shoot

While it’due south of import for a beginner to learn how to focus on subjects using regular AutoFocus, having this touch-to-shoot role is a neat short-cut for when you’ve learned the basics and just desire to enjoy what the camera has to offering you to brand your life equally a lensman easier!

Equally I mentioned at the first of this article, getting a feel for each camera is a very important footstep in choosing the camera that suits you lot all-time as a beginner photographer. The Olympus OM-D East-M10 Mark II is like a mini DSLR, but with the advanced engineering of a mirrorless – the
best of both worlds
in a torso alike to a compact photographic camera.

I spent a month shooting with its big brother the OM-D E-M5 Mark II (reviewed hither) and was impressed by the image quality. The image sensors in both cameras are the same, pregnant the more affordable Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marker 2 represents great value for money. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone learning photography.

It takes all the best applied science from mirrorless cameras and combines information technology with the ergonomics of a DSLR camera.

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Choosing the Best Camera for Beginners – FAQ

  • What is the best camera to buy for a beginner lensman?

The best camera for beginners is the Nikon D3400, followed closely by the Sony a6000. The Fujifilm XA-5 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 Marker II are as well fantabulous cameras. In all cases, there are newer models available, only choosing a camera from these 4 models offers the best blindside for your buck.

Is Catechism or Nikon meliorate for beginners?

The main difference between Catechism and Nikon is the number of lenses bachelor – Canon tend to cater better to professional person photographers who crave certain types of ‘exotic’ drinking glass. For beginners to photography, it really doesn’t matter whether you get-go with a Canon or a Nikon camera, or indeed, Sony, Fujifilm, or any other brand. The main business organization is whether the photographic camera suits you and whether the trunk and the lenses you lot require are in your toll range.

What should I expect for in a beginner camera?

i. Price

Every bit a beginner ownership a photographic camera, the price will exist a primary concern. Not spending too much is obviously the goal, but investing sufficient coin into a camera that allows yous to learn and grow is ideal.

2. Manual Setting

Diving headfirst into the Manual  (Chiliad) setting on a camera as a beginner learning photography can be daunting. However, it’s essential that your offset camera has the M setting.

3. Interchangeable Lenses

Whilst point-and-shoots and meaty cameras have their place, it’southward much improve to get a camera that supports interchangeable lenses when learning photography. Learning about lenses goes hand in paw with learning virtually cameras.

What is the easiest photographic camera to use?

Most digital cameras these days have a slight learning curve, but nosotros tend to find the Canon menu system the simplest to sympathize, followed closely by Nikon, then Fujifilm, and so Sony. Some camera bodies have dedicated physical buttons, while other ‘hide’ options in their menus. Ane of the reasons nosotros chose the Nikon D3400 equally the best camera for beginners is that it’southward relatively easy to use – there’s fifty-fifty a helpful guide organisation to walk beginners through the features.

Do more than megapixels hateful ameliorate photo quality?

No, non necessarily. Beginners needn’t be concerned near the number of megapixels that a camera offers. The models we’ve reviewed for this guide to the best photographic camera for beginners all offer plenty megapixels to allow users to print their photos at A4 size (at least), without whatsoever noticeable degradation in print quality. There are too some great tools available to overstate your photos too, such equally Gigapixel AI.

What y’all need to know earlier buying a DSLR camera?

Even if you invest in the very best camera for beginners, without the right lenses, you’ll never be making the most of what yous’ve got. Before buying a DSLR camera, you demand to budget for at to the lowest degree one practiced lens. It’due south likely that your camera will come up with a ‘kit lens’, which is fine initially but investing in a prime lens soon later on is a good idea.

Best Beginner Cameras | Final Words

With this article, I tried to simplify the procedure of finding the best photographic camera for beginners to just 4 models.

I’m aware that there are other Internet guides on choosing a photographic camera when you’re learning photography that include many more options, but I’ve deliberately tried to simplify things here on Shotkit.

Starting out with photography shouldn’t be fraught with numerous buying decisions. Almost cameras in 2022 offering very like features and having too many options for y’all to consider tin can lead to conclusion fatigue, non to mention an unenjoyable purchasing experience.

By whittling the options downwards to simply 4 cameras from 4 trusted brands, I’ve tried to offer y’all every bit the novice photographer an easier style to choose your first camera.

If y’all can, pick up each beginner photographic camera  and run into which one feels best in your hands. As long as you find one that feels good to you, you can rest assured that all the other factors have been taken into consideration, and you’ll be left with the perfect camera to kickoff your photographic journey. Good luck!


Nikon D3400

Great image quality, features and value for money make this DSLR an excellent choice for a beginner.

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