Best Camera For Beginner Photography Class

By | 27/10/2022

I decided to put together this commodity on the all-time camera for beginners after receiving so many emails from Shotkit fans.

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

Writing nearly the all-time camera for beginners is of import to me since I was in the same identify as y’all are now a few years ago.


Nikon D3400

Bang-up paradigm quality, features and value for money make this DSLR an excellent choice for a beginner.

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Everyone has to start somewhere – you’ll need a suitable camera to assistance you learn the basics and assist you become into photography.

I’d like to help y’all choose the best camera for learning photography to make sure y’all get off to a head start with your newfound hobby.

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

All-time Beginner Photography Cameras in 2022

Image Product Details
shk2-table__image Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm Lens
OUR #1 Pick
  • Megapixels: 24.vii
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 445 chiliad (xv.7 oz)
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shk2-table__image Sony a6000 with xvi-50mm Lens
  • Megapixels: 24
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 344 yard (12.16 oz)
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shk2-table__image Fujifilm X-A5 with 15-45mm Lens
  • Megapixels: 24.2
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 361 g ( oz)
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shk2-table__image Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marker II with 14-42mm Lens
  • Megapixels: sixteen.1
  • Sensor Size: four/three
  • Weight: 390 m (xiii.7 oz)
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1. Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm Lens – All-time Camera for Beginners (DSLR)

Nikon D3400 as a camera for beginners


Sensor Size:

4.ix ten 3.9 x iii in. (124 x 98 ten 75.5 mm)

445 grand ( 15.vii oz )

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

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

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

Afterward spending a month shooting with it last year, I felt compelled to write a total review on the Nikon D3400 – it impressed me that much! Most notably, I was surprised at how corking the image quality was from such a budget camera.

(I as well put together a guide to the best Nikon D3400 lenses here.)

As for the make of the camera, there’s always going to be a battle between Nikon and Catechism. However, at this price signal, the question of the which is best DSLR photographic camera for beginners: Canon or Nikon, is answered but – the Nikon D3400 beats the closest Canon rival (the Canon T6) in every regard.

Ownership into the Nikon make likewise opens the doors to endless creative opportunities with a big number of great Nikon lenses on offering. (If for some reason you lot determine to start with a Canon DSLR, there are plainly many bang-up Canon lenses to choose from too.)

As a novice lensman, it’southward confusing enough trying to choose the all-time photographic camera to learn photography, let lonely the all-time lens. While I exercise recommend investing in dissimilar lenses after down the line, your best bet when just starting out with photography is to stick with the ‘kit-lens’.

This Nikon D3400 comes bundled with an 18-55mm kit lens, which offers a adept range from ‘broad-bending’ to ‘telephoto’ field of view. This ways y’all’ll be able to shoot landscapes (or groups of people), equally well as flattering portraits or things at a distance.

Bated from offering excellent paradigm quality and a versatile kit lens, the Nikon D3400 is the
smallest and lightest DSLR
you’ll see.

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

The D3400 is a joy to concord or carry, and the button/dial placement is logically and comfortably arranged for whatsoever size manus – I’m 6ft 4″ with giant hands and found it fine to use, every bit did my married woman who has much smaller hands than me!

Nikon D3400 + 18-55mm f/3.five-5.6G | 1/640 at f/4.viii ISO 800 @18mm

Other features that aren’t necessarily essential to beginners learning photography only do 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 speedily share a photo to your phone); 24.ii MegaPixels (in instance you demand to impress a large photo; 60P Full HD video recording, and great bombardment life (up to 1,200 photos per charge!)

What makes the Nikon D3400 stand up out the near as a camera for beginners is the inclusion of both manual controls and something chosen ‘Guide Fashion‘.

Guide Mode helps new photographers create better images with proper exposures. It’s aimed directly at beginner photographers, helping you lot to take the guesswork out of photographic camera settings and permit you to
focus more than on getting the shot.

Whereas ‘Scene Modes’ (i.e. the little symbols on the top dial of nearly cameras which show icons of fireworks, flowers, people, etc.) are prepare for you by the photographic camera, Guide Modes are more intuitive, allowing you the photographer to adjust settings – it’due south nigh like having a photography tutor with yous 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 18-55mm lens really is an unbeatable offer. Don’t be concerned about the Nikon D5600, D3500 or whatever newer model – the D3400 offers the best bang for the buck.

Aside from offer excellent image quality and a versatile kit lens, the Nikon D3400 is the smallest and lightest DSLR you’ll come across.

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2. Sony a6000 with xvi-50mm Lens – Best Camera for Beginners (Mirrorless)

Sony a6000 for beginners


Sensor Size:

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

344 one thousand (12.16 oz )

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

The Sony a6000 is what’s known as a ‘mirrorless photographic camera’, which brings a huge reward to beginners in what I call ‘WYSIWIG photography’ (what-you-see-is-what-y’all-go).

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

Here’s the primal – any adjustments yous brand with your camera’due south settings show upwardly every bit exposure adjustments inside that little LCD screen…
you accept the shot. Equally a beginner learning photography, this is an invaluable lesson on how ISO, Discontinuity and shutter speed tin can change the manner a photograph looks… all
in real-time.

There are lots of keen mirrorless camera bachelor in 2022, but unfortunately, most of them are priced outside the budget of beginner photographers.

The Sony a6000 nonetheless, is the
best value for money mirrorless camera, and besides happens to be the nearly popular mirrorless camera ever fabricated.

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

If you handled a DSLR in your search for a beginner’s camera and institute it to be a piddling too bulky, then the svelte Sony a6000 should exist perfect.

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

The 16-50mm focal length offers great versatility for a beginner and allows you to see the difference between composing with a wide-angle field-of-view vs a tighter telephoto 1.

In that location are so many great Sony lenses to choose from when you start getting more avant-garde with your photography, but this kit-lens is a good place to start for beginners.

Sony Blastoff a6000 Lenses Reviewed

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

As I mentioned before, a camera must have a Manual mode to be considered relevant for a beginner to photography. Being able to manually command all the elements of exposure is an essential learning step, and thankfully, the Sony a6000 supports full manual control – I particularly liked the ability to control discontinuity and shutter speed using its dials, which are comfortably placed.

The area where the Sony a6000 actually stands head and shoulders higher up any DSLR for beginners is in its
incredible AutoFocus. With 179 AF points and eleven frames-per-second, y’all won’t be missing any shots of fast moving activeness.

Sony a6000 review sample image

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

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

Even so, information technology is a luxury to have such great AF in a photographic camera at this toll, and then nosotros’ll take it if it’s there!

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

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

Finally, I should too mention that in my review of the Sony a6000, I found it to exist a hugely fun photographic camera to shoot with. This is a purely subjective argument, simply having a fun camera for a beginner is a great affair since you’ll want to choice information technology up to shoot with more and more.

The only negative of the Sony a6000 is that you may not find it available for much longer – since it’s an older model, there’due south always a adventure that Sony volition halt production completely. I’d recommend getting one sooner rather than afterwards…

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

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3. Fujifilm Ten-A5 with 15-45mm Lens – 2nd All-time Camera for Beginners (Mirrorless)

Fuji X-A5 for beginners


Sensor Size:

4.six x 2.7 x 2.6 in. (116 ten 67 x 40 mm)

361 thou (12.7 oz )

I thought long and hard well-nigh whether to include this adjacent mirrorless camera in my selection of the all-time cameras for beginners.

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

Seeing the world through that minor window, be information technology an actual window (an OVF or ‘optical viewfinder, as found on DSLRs), or an LCD (an EVF or electronic viewfinder, as found on mirrorless cameras), is considered past some to be an of import pace in learning limerick…

With mirrorless cameras though, yous could argue that in that location’s actually no difference between seeing the world through that small EVF, or just looking at the rear LCD display – both methods show
exactly the aforementioned digital image.

Fujifilm makes excellent cameras, and their Fujifilm X-lenses are some of the all-time available today. I’thousand likewise a big fan of the paradigm quality produced by the unique Fujifilm sensor, and also the fun film-look filters that perfectly replicate one-time flick stock.

I really wanted to include a camera from Fujifilm in this roundup of the all-time cameras for beginners, but due to their college prices, information technology’due south hasn’t been possible… until now! Released earlier this twelvemonth, the Fujfilm X-A5 with 15-45mm lens now gives beginners a great camera + lens combination for a slap-up price.

And so with a beginner-friendly price accounted for, how are the Transmission settings on this dinky pocket-sized camera? Well, every bit you tin expect from a company that made so many great film cameras back in the day, the Transmission settings are all in that location.

One bang-up characteristic of the X-A5 is the dedicated Exposure Compensation shooting manner, which allows you to adjust exposure using the principal punch – it’s kind of a semi-transmission mode, which is a good mid-point for when yous’re comfortable with both the auto and fully-manual modes.

Due to the compact size of the Fujifilm X-A5, the buttons are a footling closely packed together for my large fingers, and the second dial placement is a trivial unusual, but all the primary buttons/dials are in piece of cake reach and stick out prominently enough from the camera body to permit for easy functioning.

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

So having fulfilled my 3 master criteria as a great photographic camera for a photography beginner, what else has the Fujifilm 10-A5 to offering? Well, since it’southward the newest photographic camera on this list, it has some features that the others don’t.

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

Aside from excellent image quality, 24.2 MegaPixels, Advanced Filters, 4K video, and Bluetooth image sharing technology, the Fujifilm X-A5 is the best camera for selfies in its grade, cheers to a touchscreen, 180 degree rotating LCD monitor.

While other cameras might offer a 180 degree rotating LCD, its the Portrait Enhancer and Eye Detection AF functionality which makes the Fujifilm X-A5 the best camera for selfies I’ve ever seen. Are selfies essential for beginners? No, of course non… simply they are fun 😉

The way y’all can view yourself so easily with the rotating screen likewise makes the Fujifilm Ten-A5 the best photographic camera for beginner vloggers. Eye Detection will assistance to ensure your optics 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 camera is of import for a photography beginner, since it’ll make you desire to option it up and shoot with it more and more. Anything that makes the photography experience more enjoyable for a beginner is a big plus in my book.

I should also mention the styling of the Fujifilm 10-A5, which volition no doubt entreatment much more than to the younger, or more fashion-centric generation of beginner photographer.

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

four. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Marker II with fourteen-42mm Lens – Best Camera for Beginners (Micro Four Thirds)

Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark II


Sensor Size:
Micro Four Thirds

4.7 10 3.6 ten 3.3 in . (119 x 83 x 46 mm)

390 g (thirteen.7 oz )

Remember at the beginning of this commodity when I said that there’due south piddling point worrying most factors such equally megapixels and sensor size when choosing a camera for a beginner? Well, case in point, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 2 with fourteen-42mm lens – the camera with the longest name… and the smallest sensor!

It used to exist the case that the fewer the megapixels or the smaller the sensor, the lesser the camera. However here in 2022, this is definitely not the case. With modern sensor applied science, the departure in the number of megapixels or sensor size at this toll point is largely irrelevant.

Long story short, the Olympus OM-D Eastward-M10 Mark 2 has a lot to offer at a smashing price, making information technology an ideal camera for a beginner who’southward just picking up photography, but nonetheless offering plenty room to grow far beyond that.

Don’t be alarmed that this isn’t the latest model – the Olympus EM10 Mark Three is also a great camera, but in my stance, the best bang-for-your-buck is to exist had with this Marker II version.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 2 is a unique form of mirrorless camera called a Micro-Four-Thirds sensor photographic camera (MFT or M4/3). This refers to a sensor that’s modest plenty to be housed in a compact torso, while offering the ability to attach smaller/lighter lenses, without sacrificing image quality.

I wrote a whole article on the all-time micro four thirds lenses, but in a nutshell, all the lenses bachelor to Micro Four Thirds cameras such as this Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 2 are
smaller, lighter and cheaper
than the equivalent lenses in other photographic camera systems.

In other words, when you desire to buy another lens for your camera, you should be able to find a smaller/lighter/cheaper version for this Olympus than y’all 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 up with each photographic camera in this article are more than adequate. However, if y’all run into yourself growing rapidly with photography and investing in a lot of lenses, this could be something to think about.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a beautifully styled camera. Information technology takes all the best engineering science from mirrorless cameras and combines it with the ergonomics of a DSLR camera. At that place are large buttons and dials all over the body, making sure your outset Manual Mode experience in photography is a fun one!

Information technology’southward too the only camera in this commodity that offers two carve up pinnacle-mounted dials to control aperture and shutter speed. This isn’t an essential part by any means, but every bit a professional reviewing entry-level cameras, I really appreciated this inclusion on the Olympus OM-D East-M10 Mark Two – this being the exact set up I have on my pro-class cameras.

[If you’re just getting into photography, you lot may find this commodity on what is aperture useful.]

Aside from excellent ergonomics and stellar image quality, the Olympus OM-D Due east-M10 Marker II likewise offers 5-axis image stabilization, which is unusual for a camera at this price point.

Olympus O-MD E-M10 Mark II sample image

Olympus O-Md Due east-M10 Mark 2 | one/160 f/i.8 ISO 800

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

Other great, only not-essential features on the Olympus include 8.5fps burst manner (for freezing fast-moving action), silent shutter mode (to shoot incognito), Wifi (for prototype sharing), art filters (for that Instagram look!), total HD moving picture style, and something chosen ‘touch-to-shoot’.

It’southward this touch on-to-shoot that’s well-nigh exciting for me since information technology offers such rare functionality for a camera these days – I wish all cameras had it! Information technology ways that you can simply bear on the rear LCD screen to make the camera focus and shoot

While it’southward important for a beginner to learn how to focus on subjects using regular AutoFocus, having this touch-to-shoot function is a great short-cutting for when you’ve learned the basics and but want to enjoy what the camera has to offering you to make your life as a photographer easier!

As I mentioned at the outset of this commodity, getting a feel for each camera is a very important step in choosing the photographic camera that suits y’all all-time as a beginner lensman. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is similar a mini DSLR, just with the advanced technology of a mirrorless – the
best of both worlds
in a torso akin to a compact camera.

I spent a month shooting with its large blood brother the OM-D E-M5 Mark Two (reviewed here) and was impressed by the image quality. The prototype sensors in both cameras are the same, meaning the more than affordable Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark Two represents great value for coin. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone learning photography.

Information technology takes all the all-time technology from mirrorless cameras and combines it with the ergonomics of a DSLR camera.

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Choosing the Best Camera for Beginners – FAQ

  • What is the all-time photographic camera to buy for a beginner photographer?

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 also excellent cameras. In all cases, there are newer models available, but choosing a photographic camera from these 4 models offers the best blindside for your buck.

Is Canon or Nikon ameliorate for beginners?

The chief divergence between Canon and Nikon is the number of lenses available – Canon tend to cater better to professional photographers who require certain types of ‘exotic’ drinking glass. For beginners to photography, it really doesn’t matter whether you start with a Canon or a Nikon photographic camera, or indeed, Sony, Fujifilm, or any other brand. The principal concern is whether the camera suits yous and whether the body and the lenses y’all require are in your cost range.

What should I expect for in a beginner photographic camera?

1. Price

As a beginner buying a photographic camera, the price will be a main business concern. Not spending also much is obviously the goal, but investing sufficient money into a camera that allows you to larn and grow is platonic.

2. Manual Setting

Diving headfirst into the Transmission  (G) setting on a camera as a beginner learning photography can be daunting. However, it’due south essential that your first camera has the M setting.

3. Interchangeable Lenses

Whilst point-and-shoots and compact cameras accept their place, information technology’s much better to get a photographic camera that supports interchangeable lenses when learning photography. Learning nigh lenses goes hand in paw with learning nigh cameras.

What is the easiest photographic camera to use?

Well-nigh digital cameras these days have a slight learning bend, but nosotros tend to find the Canon menu arrangement the simplest to understand, followed closely by Nikon, so Fujifilm, then Sony. Some camera bodies have dedicated physical buttons, while other ‘hide’ options in their menus. Ane of the reasons we chose the Nikon D3400 as the best photographic camera for beginners is that information technology’southward relatively easy to use – there’south even a helpful guide system to walk beginners through the features.

Practise more megapixels mean ameliorate photograph quality?

No, not necessarily. Beginners needn’t be concerned virtually the number of megapixels that a camera offers. The models we’ve reviewed for this guide to the best camera for beginners all offer plenty megapixels to allow users to print their photos at A4 size (at to the lowest degree), without any noticeable degradation in print quality. There are besides some bang-up tools available to enlarge your photos too, such every bit Gigapixel AI.

What you lot demand to know before buying a DSLR photographic camera?

Even if you invest in the very best photographic camera for beginners, without the right lenses, y’all’ll never exist making the most of what y’all’ve got. Before buying a DSLR camera, y’all demand to budget for at to the lowest degree ane good lens. It’s likely that your camera volition come with a ‘kit lens’, which is fine initially simply investing in a prime lens shortly afterwards is a practiced idea.

Best Beginner Cameras | Final Words

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

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

Starting out with photography shouldn’t be fraught with numerous buying decisions. Most cameras in 2022 offering very similar features and having also many options for you to consider tin lead to decision fatigue, not to mention an unenjoyable purchasing experience.

Past whittling the options down to but iv cameras from 4 trusted brands, I’ve tried to offer y’all as the novice photographer an easier way to choose your first camera.

If you can, selection up each beginner camera  and run across which one feels best in your hands. As long as you lot find one that feels skilful to you, you can remainder assured that all the other factors take been taken into consideration, and yous’ll be left with the perfect camera to starting time your photographic journey. Good luck!


Nikon D3400

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

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