Photography allows you to appreciate the beauty that the world has to offer, which is why it's a popular hobby. If you're just starting out, we will be showing you the best cameras for beginners, so you won't have a hard time capturing delicious food, scenic landscapes, and memorable events that you and your loved ones will enjoy looking back on.
With many cameras having confusing buttons and settings, we will help you navigate the market to find one that is easy to use. From mirrorless cameras to DSLR cameras to vlogging cameras for beginners, we will show you our top 10 picks for the best ones that you can get. With our buying guide reviewed by freelance photographer and graphic artist Kenneth Aballa, we will also show you what to look out for before purchasing a camera.
An art director and a freelance photographer who shoots portraits, food, events, and products. Loves taking photos be it digital or film.
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Here are some key points to consider:
Choose a type of camera that suits your needs.
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
There are so many features that you have to watch out for before buying a camera. To save you the trouble of going through all the intimidating specification sheets, here are some factors you have to consider before you make your purchase.
The easiest camera to use is a point-and-shoot camera because it's similar to a smartphone camera. If you're not ready to splurge on expensive gear that you will inevitably buy in your photography journey, this is a great and compact choice. It's considered a basic camera, so these usually come at an affordable price.
It has automatic settings and usually has preset modes that give different effects, so you won't need to configure anything before taking pictures. However, something to keep in mind is that it has a fixed lens that cannot be interchanged with other types of lenses.
Point-and-shoot cameras are no-fuss cameras as you literally just have to point the camera at your subject and shoot. These cameras have fixed lenses, making them straightforward and super easy to use. Point-and-shoot cameras are perfect for beginners because of their portability, ease of use, and affordability.
You can't go wrong with buying a mirrorless camera as your first. When it comes to weight, it's light and easy to carry. This makes it an excellent option for on-the-go travelers. Whether you place it in a camera bag or neck strap, it won't be too heavy for comfort.
Mirrorless cameras also have easy manual controls, perfect for those just starting out. They're a good way to start familiarizing yourself with holding and operating higher-end cameras because they're reminiscent of a DSLR. The difference between the two is that mirrorless cameras have an electronic viewfinder, while DSLRs have an optical one.
Mirrorless cameras are smaller than DSLR cameras because of the absence of a mirror system. This means you just look at the screen to see the digital image of your subject compared to looking at the lens.
Like point-and-shoot cameras, mirrorless cameras are portable, too. If you see yourself buying new lenses to upgrade in the future, a mirrorless camera is the perfect choice for you compared to a point-and-shoot camera with a fixed lens.
DSLRs are extremely popular cameras for both beginners and professional photographers. An exclusive feature to them is the optical viewfinder, which shows you more authentic previews of photos in different conditions—whether it be a low-light or fast-paced environment.
It works well in broad daylight, too, because you can preview your photos without the glare of LCD monitors. Aside from that, it also has additional features that you will surely enjoy, such as interchangeable lenses, LCD screens, and many more.
DSLRs could be a bit intimidating for beginners because of their size and the number of buttons and controls. Compared to mirrorless cameras, there is an optical viewfinder where you can check to view your subject in real-time.
DSLR cameras offer great image quality, versatile settings for different shooting conditions, and the ability to adjust to change lenses for future upgrades. If you see yourself progressing in photography, a DSLR would be your best bet.
For those who love adventure, action cameras are the right one for you. They're small and portable, yet durable, so you can take them with you anywhere. To maximize them, look for a waterproof one so that you can take it with you to the beach.
However, instead of photos, the priority in action cameras is the video resolution. Some cameras take resolutions up to as high as 5K! These are great options if you want clear footage of the action-packed moments that you want to relive.
Definitely get an action camera if you love to travel and try adventures that require special cameras. Action cameras are not just great for photos but take excellent videos as well. They also come with different cases and accessories that will suit the kind of adventure you're gearing up for.
Most cameras are bundled with a kit lens. This lens is suitable for photography beginners because it's usually a zoom type that can be used in varying focal lengths. Simply put, it's versatile and will work just fine in almost any situation. However, do take note that photos taken with a kit lens are not the sharpest.
While the kit lens is indeed fine for general use, it might not suffice for other types of photography. For example, wildlife photography warrants a lens with focal lengths of 150 mm and up. Street photography works well with a 35 mm prime lens. You get the memo—each photography type calls for a different type of lens to achieve the best shot.
If you want to switch up your photography style, going for a camera that supports interchangeable lenses is the way to go. Point-and-shoot cameras usually do not have this feature. Instead, their lenses have fixed focal lengths and zoom capabilities. This, however, isn't an issue for mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.
If you see yourself progressing in the hobby of photography, getting a camera with interchangeable lenses is highly recommended. Such cameras are versatile, which means that it is excellent to use in different scenarios. You can get a prime lens for portrait sessions, a wide lens for nature, landscape, and events, or even a fisheye lens for party and adventure photos.
As mentioned, a kit lens is usually included when you buy a camera. These are fairly okay, and most are usually zoom lenses. The problem with kit lenses would be their build quality, focus, sharpness, focal range, and even distortion.
The sensor size is one of the most important factors that determine the quality of your photos. The larger the sensor, the better. The two major sensors that are suitable for beginners are the APS-C sensor and the Micro Four Thirds sensor.
The pioneers of the Micro Four Thirds sensor are Olympus and Panasonic. Their main advantage is that these types of cameras and their lenses are typically more portable in terms of size and weight than cameras with APS-C sensors. If you love roaming around with your camera, then you should get a Micro Four Thirds camera.
This type of sensor has a 4:3 aspect ratio and usually measures 17.3mm wide by 13mm high. This allows your camera to still capture good quality pictures that are comparable to the ones that larger cameras produce. However, full-frame cameras are still superior when it comes to low-light settings.
Micro four thirds cameras are smaller than DSLRs, but you can still use different lenses for them. If you do not want to carry around a bulky camera, you can opt for this.
When you let an APS-C camera and Micro Four Thirds camera battle it out in low-light environments, the APS-C will easily beat its competitor. Why? It's primarily because of its larger sensor. The larger sensor allows more light to pass through, so you can capture the finer details in dim environments.
Of course, this comes with a drawback in terms of its portability compared to a camera with a Micro Four Thirds lens. Still, APS-C cameras are considered light, especially when compared to full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. They're still suitable cameras for travel.
The larger the sensor, the more it lets light in. Full frame cameras have the biggest sensors, followed by APS-C, and lastly, micro four thirds. If you will be shooting at mostly dark places, you can go for a full-frame or an APS-C sensor. APS-C cameras are cheaper than full-frame cameras, which makes them ideal for beginners.
Full-frame cameras usually have a measurement of 24 mm by 36 mm. It captures a great deal of light and detail, letting you get a dynamic range of colors in your photos. This results in sharper images with higher contrasts, which is perfect for shooting in low-light conditions.
Out of all the sensors mentioned, full-frame types will also give you the widest field of view, so you can capture beautiful subjects without worrying about any cropping. This is ideal for capturing scenic landscapes or architecture and real estate.
Full-frame cameras have larger sensors, which make them capture more detail and perform better even in low-light environments. These are recommended if you want to get high-quality photos, but this comes at a higher price.
A common marketing trick used by camera manufacturers is to advertise the number of pixels. While it’s important, it’s not the be-all and end-all of camera quality. For instance, the size of the image sensor must also be considered. At least a 12-megapixel count will be sufficient for most users.
As mentioned, a 12-megapixel count is sufficient for beginners, especially if you are mostly going to post the photos online. Social media channels will usually crush the quality of uploaded photos for easier loading and viewing, which will make the high pixel count somehow irrelevant.
However, if you are in the industry of prints (billboards, magazines++), photojournalism, or any industry where you need very high-quality images, you will benefit more from a higher megapixel count camera.
Cameras aren’t just about taking photos. You never know when the time comes when you want to start your own vlog. When checking a camera’s video capabilities, it’s vital that you look at the resolutions it supports.
As you may have deduced, the higher the resolution, the clearer the video quality. The highest in most beginner cameras is 4K, sometimes even 5K. Most cameras still support videos in 1440p and 1080p resolution, which are still great options since they will still give you decent video quality.
If you are only planning on shooting videos for documentation and fun, a camera with at least 1080p or 1440p would suffice. Uploading videos online (YouTube or Facebook) with either of those resolutions will give the viewer a high-quality stream. However, if you need high-quality details or you will be displaying the video on a large screen, you will benefit from 4K.
Also, note that the higher the resolution, the higher the video file sizeーthese can also affect how you store and edit the raw clips.
When buying cameras, it’s an absolute must to know its dimensions, especially if you like keeping it safe in a camera bag. That also depends on the equipment you plan on bringing with you—lens, chargers, and other accessories.
Also, don’t forget to check its weight! You don’t want to lug a camera around for a long time if it might be too heavy. Smaller cameras are also more travel-friendly and will let you enjoy sightseeing and going on adventures since they won't weigh you down or become a hassle.
This will really depend on your preference, if you don't mind the extra weight and bulkiness, you can get a full-frame or an APS-C camera. If you like to travel light, the ideal camera would be a mirrorless, an action camera, or a point-and-shoot camera.
Sharing your photos on social media has never been easier. All you need is a camera that’s capable of connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You usually need to download an app, which varies depending on the camera’s brand. Connect your phone to the camera’s network, share via the app, and voilà! Your photos are now ready for editing and uploading on your phone.
For me, a camera with Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth is an essential feature nowadaysーyou don't want to travel around and bring a laptop just so you can transfer your photos to your phone! Having these features will help you post or send the photos quickly, whether for personal use or for work.
Click to purchase
A DSLR Camera With a Guide Mode to Help Beginners Achieve the Best Settings
Superb Color Reproduction for Crisp and Clean Images
Fast Autofocus With Dual Pixel Sensors
A Camera With High Resolution and a Built-In Microphone for Vlogging
A Compact yet Powerful Camera With Excellent Autofocus and Color Accuracy
Great Stabilization to Prevent Blurry Shots
OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Features an Intuitive Operation System to Support New Photographers
A Trusted Action Camera Brand That Is Suitable for Beginners
PowerShot G7X Mark III
Has a Live YouTube Stream Feature for Content Creators
A Hiker's Best Friend: A Tough and Compact Camera
It's not rare to associate the word "DSLR" with "professional." But, that doesn't always have to be the case. Beginners can still have a shot at using a capable DSLR. A case in point is the Nikon D3500. Its buttons are simple, making it easy to operate and not intimidating at all for beginners.
The D3500 wins when it comes to convenience and ease of use. It has a Guide Mode feature, which tells photographers the optimal settings to use in different environments. For instance, it'll teach you how to achieve that blurry background effect in your photos, also known as "bokeh." It will also help you learn how to capture fast-moving subjects!
When looking for a camera, you want it to be small and light. For those concerned with aesthetics, the design matters, too. If that's what you're on the lookout for, then the Fujifilm X-T200 fits the bill. It gives off 80s vibes while providing modern features, like fast auto-focus and a swinging LCD touch screen.
More than that, it has excellent color reproduction. Thanks to the development of Fujifilm's color reproduction technology for over 80 years, this camera reproduces photos as vivid as the good memories they have. It will make beautiful blues in a clear summer sky or the different shades of greenery in the forest shine.
Want to take sharp photos quickly? If that's the case, the Canon EOS 250D would be a brilliant choice. This camera utilizes Canon's Dual Pixel sensor technology for faster autofocus. It's far more superior to other cameras in this price range when it comes to that aspect.
The EOS 250D is touted as the world's lightest DSLR with a movable screen. DSLRs are known for being bulky and heavy, but not this one. Boasting of Canon's latest DIGIC 8 processor, this camera boosts image quality, especially in low-light conditions. It's perfect for evening events or adventures.
If you want a vlogging camera, then the Lumix G100 is a perfect choice. It has a built-in microphone that's suitable for vlogging. The technology behind it is impressive, too. It has an audio tracking feature that adjusts recording range and direction. If you're in a crowded area in public, it will still pick up sounds reliably.
You might also be looking for a new camera because of your laptop's low-quality webcam. Well, we have good news for you! Lumix created a webcam app that connects your camera to your device. You can make use of this camera's 4K video capabilities in your meetings, and your friends will surely be surprised with its quality.
Despite having a smaller body, the Fujifilm X-T30 is very capable, having an excellent autofocus system and accurate color reproduction features. It has six autofocus modes and 2.16 million phase detection pixels, which cover the entire frame. This results in fast and accurate autofocus.
As for Fujifilm's iconic color reproduction feature, this camera has 16 film simulation options, which bring out different rich colors and tones from your photos. No matter what your subject is, you'll surely produce beautiful shots. With this camera, you get these heavy-duty features in a compact form factor.
An alternative to the "big two" of DSLRs, Canon and Nikon, is the Pentax K-70. While DSLRs are commonly seen as fragile cameras, the build of this camera is quite robust. It's weather-resistant and can even be used for winter vacations because it withstands temperatures of as low as -10°C.
For those with shaky hands, this camera might just be for you. Although it weighs 688 g, heavier than most DSLRs, it has an in-body shake reduction feature that prevents you from capturing blurry shots of that picture-perfect memory. This also comes in quite handy when you have to zoom in to get the perfect photo.
If you're quite intimidated by the learning curve of new cameras, you won't have to worry about that with this one since it has easy-to-use operations. It has in-body image stabilization, making your photos and videos look sharp and crisp, even in areas with dim lighting. It also has touch autofocus, which is a great help.
All you have to do is tap the area in the screen you want to focus on - like how you would do it on a smartphone - and you'll be able to capture the shot that you want. It also has advanced photo modes if you want to try techniques like nighttime Live Composite, HDR, and Focus Bracketing. To activate them, simply tap the screen.
Who says beginners can't use action cameras? When it comes to action cameras, GoPro is king. It has a front display, so you don't have to worry about showing your best angles on camera. For beach lovers, you can document your water adventures and even show them on your vlogs.
What's amazing about this action camera is its Hindsight feature. Turn this on, and your camera will "wait" for a still that's worth taking. Let's say you want to show your friends that new backflip you learned—press the shutter button, and it'll show you footage of the past 15 or 30 seconds. Just choose the best frame, and there you have it - an impressive photo taken by your GoPro.
Smartphones have surely stepped up their photography game, but that doesn't mean you should forget about the point-and-shoot. The PowerShot G7X Mark III is a pocket-friendly camera that feels like a smartphone. If DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are too big for you, then you can't go wrong with choosing this compact camera.
It's a camera that content creators should watch out for. There's an impressive YouTube Livestream feature that allows you to stream directly from your camera. It also takes vertically formatted videos, and you know where that's useful—Instagram stories! Believe us when we say it's a superior option for influencers and aspiring content creators.
We all want a camera that can last long, so we make the most out of our hard-earned sweldo. The Tough TG-6 has undergone rigorous quality control tests that allow it to withstand falls—perfect for clumsy folks out there. It's also sealed against dust and moisture. Unsurprisingly, it's a great underwater point-and-shoot camera.
If you love the great outdoors, this is definitely a solid option. And it's not just for taking photos—if you encounter a captivating scene in the middle of your long hike that you want to revisit in the future, you can find your way back thanks to this camera's sensors and tracking capabilities. Location and altitude info can be embedded into your photos!
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Kenneth Aballa.
Start by learning the exposure triangle (shutter speed, ISO, and aperture). If you could master the three, you'll be able to shoot under different scenarios. After that, the best way to learn is to do some actual shooting. Shoot portraits, events, nature, parties, and more. You can also learn tips and tricks online.
To start, you just really need a camera. Different lenses and other accessories like camera lights and a tripod can come in later. When you figure out what you want to shoot, you'll be able to select the appropriate lenses and accessories later on.
High-end cameras are more complex than beginner cameras. They have more features and more adjustable settings that require a certain level of knowledge and experience.
I'm not against having a high-end camera for beginners, especially if they see it as a long-term investment. Before investing in a more expensive camera, it would be best to know if you want to progress in the field or if you just want to do it as a hobby.
There are simply so many cameras to choose from in the market. If you're looking for a specific type of camera, then you might want to check out some links below for the best DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and compact digital cameras.
Author: Andrei Merino
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
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The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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