Best Camera for Beginners

Best Camera for Beginners

In Photography Equipment by Stefano CaioniLeave a Comment

What is the best camera for beginner photographers?

If you’re reading this article, it means that you’re thinking of buying a new camera. Exciting times ahead for you!

Best Camera for Beginners

When it comes to choose the best camera for beginners, the first thing you have to consider is… well your budget, of course.

The second question is: what type of photography are you going to take?

Are you into landscape photography? Do you like portraits, street photography, family photos, or maybe you’re not sure yet, and you’d like to discover your favorite genre as you go?

I recommend getting an interchangeable DSLR or mirrorless camera. Shooting with an interchangeable lens camera is so much fun, it will push you in learning more about photography and give you much better results immediately.

So, let’s talk about cameras first.

Mirrorless vs. DSLR Best Camera for Beginners

More questions to ask yourself first: DLSR or Mirrorless body? 

Mirrorless is the new frontier, today they can deliver the same quality as DSLRs and sometimes surpass them in terms of features.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly mirrorless camera take a look at my recent article: Cheapest Mirrorless Camera: My Top 10

Best Camera for Beginners

Pros of Mirrorless

  • Smaller and lighter (they don’t have a mirror mechanism inside). They can be completely silent. Very bright electronic viewfinder (excellent at night).
  • Better video capabilities.

Cons of Mirrorless

  • while you change the lens, the sensor is more exposed to dust.
  • Battery life.
  • For most brands, this is a New lens mount hence a limited number of lenses available (unless you buy an adaptor).

DSLRs most people say that they’re dead. Don’t get fooled, it’s not that simple. Especially when we talk about Canon.

Pros of DSLRs

  • 30 years worth of lenses. 
  • Some people still prefer their viewfinder
  • Better grip. 
  • More extended battery life
  • Easier to find good quality at a better price. 
  • wider selection of lenses.

Cons of DSLRs

  • Chunkier and havier. 
  • Lower video quality. 
  • Tend to be louder. 

Best Camera for Beginners: Camera Sensor

camera sensor

Both Mirrorless and DSLRs can feature either Full-Frame or APS-C sensor

Full-frame sensors are the equivalent of old 35mm films. They have higher resolution, better in low light, they cost considerably more.

APS-C sensors: they have a crop factor due to the relation to the size of 35mm film. Canon’s APS-C crop factor is 1.6x, meaning that if you use a full-frame lens with a focal length of 50mm, it’s as if you are using an 80mm (50×1.6). They are more affordable. 

Please note, you can use lenses for full-frame cameras on APS-C bodies.

Canon call EF their full-frame lenses and EF-S lenses are for APS-C cameras.

EF lenses work on APS-C cameras too.
EF-S lenses work ONLY on APS-C cameras and NOT on full-frame cameras.

To complicate things a bit more, Canon also created the EF-M mount. For mirrorless cameras.

You can mount EF and EF-S on mirrorless cameras by using an adaptor.
Or you can stick to EF-M lenses.

Best Camera for Beginners: My Advice

Camera

I hope you’re still with me because here’s the first big advice.

While people tend to change camera bodies after a couple of years, lenses will last forever (well not forever but a decade for sure).

Lenses are an investment and depreciate less compared to camera bodies. 

So if you want to save money now, in my opinion, go with an APS-C body.

With what you save, you can get better lenses. Lenses depreciate less because they become less obsolete. They are “just” optical elements made of glass, that refract and direct light towards the sensor. 

Camera bodies change because they evolve as technology evolves. They are mini-computers that manipulate the light that lenses let through.

That’s why we have mirrorless cameras today, and that’s also why smartphones are capable of delivering stunning photos.

Can APS-C cameras deliver pro-quality?

portrait shot lady with glasses

They sure can. 

The photographer makes the difference, cameras are tools.

As I said before, full-frame cameras deliver higher resolutions (more megapixels). Still, more image resolution does not necessarily mean better quality.

I also shoot with Micro Four Thirds systems that have smaller resolution than APS-C. Unless you are a fine art photographer and need to print large photos, no-one will ever notice the difference.

With all that being said here are my camera recommendations:

Best Camera for Beginners: Mirrorless

Find it on Amazon

If you choose Mirrorless, I love the Canon EOS M50.

I’m part of the Amazon affiliate program, so I earn a small commission at no additional cost for you if you buy after clicking my links. That would help me a lot and I’d be really thankful!

Anyway, on Amazon, you can get it body only or with:

Depending on what configuration you choose, several accessories are also included: memory card, small tripod, camera bag, neck strap, and wrist strap, cleaning kit, etc.

I would get the camera body with one lens.

Key features of the Canon EOS M50:

  • Mirrorless APS-C sensor 24.1 Megapixel
  • Great Auto Focus – if needed 😉
  • 4k video quality
  • Good in low light ISO 100-25600
  • Excellent electronic viewfinder 
  • Vary angle LCD flip screen

Best Camera for Beginners: DSLR

Find it on Amazon

If you choose to buy a DSLR, I really like the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (or EOS 250D)

You can get it on Amazon as body only or:

Same as before, I’d get the body + 18-55mm lens.

Key features of the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (or EOS 250D):

  • DSLR APS-C sensor 24.1 Megapixel
  • Probably the Lightest DLSR camera
  • Great Auto Focus – if needed 😉
  • 4k video quality (excellent for an entry-level DSLR camera)
  • Good in low light ISO 100-25600
  • Vary angle LCD flip screen

Best Camera for Beginners: What About Lenses?

First of all, if you’re interested I have recently updated the article Best Canon Lenses for 2020

For now though, if I were you, I’d stick to the starter kit lenses that come with the camera or with the bundle you buy.

Lenses are essential and can be expensive. Much more than a camera body sometimes. So before wasting money, you want to practice a bit and understand what type of photography you like.

Brief Intro to Different Types of Lenses

Wide-angle Zoom lenses: 10mm focal length to 35mm. They’re used mainly for landscape photography, street, astrophotography. With exceptions, of course. Photography is art…

Standard Zoom lenses: 18-55mm or 15-85mm, for example, allow you to shoot from landscape to portrait, to street photography, and more. (For portrait 35mm to 85mm work great). This is an all-round range. 

Telephoto Zoom lenses: from 70mm up. Suitable for wildlife, portrait, street, sports.

Notably, Prime lenses are better than zoom in terms of sharpness. Still, they will limit you in the beginning, and I don’t recommend it since it’s your first interchangeable lens system.

My advice is to start with a zoom lens.

Prime vs. Zoom lenses article for you if needed: Prime vs. Zoom Lens 

Bonus Tip

Once you are a bit familiar with what I’ve described above and you did your research, go to your local camera store and ask them if they have those models.

Hold them in your hands, feel the grip, and ask the shop assistant if you can try the camera with a specific lens.

I would go with an 18-55mm, it will take you far.

It’s crucial to try those models because despite having very similar characteristics, they feel totally different when you shoot with them. The camera menus are very different too. 

When you’re sure, here are the links to get your camera:

And I think this is all I have for today. 🙂

Before You Go

Ok, this was a bit long, but trust me, it’s better to spend a bit of time knowing a more than spending money and regret it later.

I hope it all makes sense and that you can make a more informed decision now.

Feel free to send me some photos once you’ve bought your new camera or let me know if you need help with it.

Please ask me your questions in the comments below or in the Facebook group right now.

Good luck with your choice, and I look forward to knowing what amazing camera you end up buying!

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