Everybody is a photographer these days. Cellphone cameras have made it so easy for everyone to click photographs and with 3G, 4G (& 5G ) data, those pics can be shared instantly with the entire world. A few get obsessed with photography and decide to take it further. The first question they ask, “what is the best camera for a beginner photographer?”
Well, let’s try to find the answer to this question.
Any camera that is in your hand is the best camera (assuming you know how to use it). This answer is true from the beginners to amateurs to professionals. You must have a camera with you to document the memory.
So any camera that you are comfortable with is the best camera for you.
My honest recommendation is not to get obsessed with the camera. While a good camera can certainly make a difference, it is the eye & mind behind the camera that takes the great photographs.
Having DSLR won’t improve your quality drastically if your photography knowledge is zero.
And if you are serious about photography then you will outgrow your entry-level camera in just a few days and want to upgrade to the higher version of your camera.
I get that you want to know the answer from taking your photography to the next level. So instead, I will give you a more practical approach in selecting the camera & take your photography to the next level and save some money while doing it.
Would you be interested in that?
Step By Step Approach In Selecting The Best Camera
Step #0: Learn The Basics
The following steps I assume that you know the basics of photography. You understand what is Aperture, Shutter & ISO. You understand the relationship among these three. You understand the purpose of various lenses.
If not, then sorry to disappoint you but you are not yet ready to buy the camera. If you can’t understand the symbols and the text on the pic below, stop reading right here & go back to the basics.
Step #1: Decide What You Want To Do First:
Photography has many branches. Wedding, travel, fashion, wildlife, sports, Industrial are just a few known branches of it. Figure out what exactly you want to do. Have an end goal in mind. Doesn’t matter whether you want to earn from your photography or not, having this purpose sorted is important.
That’s because each branch has a particular requirement when it comes to owning a camera. For e.g. you need lighter cameras for street photography and silent cameras for wildlife. You need heavy lenses for sports & many different lenses for wedding photography.
Step #2: Research About The Features The Camera Should Have For Niche In Step #1.
No, I am not talking about Canon Or Nikon Or Sony or any other camera in this step. Just research the features that a camera should have and the most useful lenses for your niche.
Create a list of all features & lenses that you wish to have. Remember, we are still not talking about camera brands.
Step #3: Find Cameras & Lenses Matching Features in Step #2.
Now we are talking about the brands. You will not find a camera that matches all your features. Prioritize your features and go for the brand having most of your priority features.
For eg. If you are a sports photographer then fast shutter speed is a must for you. If you are a wedding photographer, then capturing photographs easily in the dark may be the most wanted feature.
It may so happen that a particular brand offers most of the features but they don’t have the compatible lenses. This may sound confusing if you are just starting out but stay with me here. There are cameras like Sony which let you use Canon / Nikon lenses with a small adapter.
Explore that possibility too. Hope you understand the importance of step #1 here.
In short, the brand doesn’t matter. The features and your needs should take importance.
Step #4: Test These Cameras
Your list may have more than one camera from step #3. It can be a combination of cameras and lenses from various brands.
Now is the time to test these cameras.
I know what you are thinking. How the heck I can test these cameras when I don’t own them.
The answer is to beg, borrow, or steal. Well, don’t steal 🙂 Instead, rent. See if your friends have any of these cameras. Get from them and try.
If none of the friends have it then find out the camera rentals in your area and test these cameras for a couple of days.
Check the ergonomics, ease of use, picture quality and your personal choice
Step #5: Select That Dream Camera Of Yours
Based on your testing you will finalize that dream camera of yours. If you don’t have enough money then start saving from now to get that dream camera and lens.
But Why Can’t I Just Buy The Entry-Level Camera Instead?
Well, if you have a lot of money then by all means you can buy it. That will cost you less than your dream camera and lenses for sure.
But as mentioned above, if you are serious you will outgrow it and buy the next one soon. Then you will outgrow that and buy the next one.
Eventually, when you reach your dream camera, you would have spent more than double the money on these entry-level cameras.
With the approach suggested by me above, you may spend a little money on rent but you will get the best one which is tried and tested by you.
Trust me, this camera gear porn never ends. Not even when you get your dream camera and lenses.
So if you still want to buy the entry-level camera, at least buy it from the same brand as that of your dream camera.
What Are The Entry-Level Cameras Of Popular Brands?
Here is the direct answer to your question. The following are the entry-level cameras. Most of them come with the standard kit lenses (Usually 18-55mm & 70-300mm)
Please do a price comparison on multiple sites, understand the return & exchange policies before buying the cameras. Also, please note that, depending on when you are reading this post, some of these cameras may be obsolete.
I hope I have given the answer that you are looking for. Please feel free to comment below. Let me know if you are a beginner yourself or just gifting a camera to your loved ones? (May God bless you if you are gifting it to someone 🙂 ).