Photography is an art form that gets better with practice and exposure. It is important to begin and lay your hands on a camera first hand. You can do photography as a hobby, leisure time activity, or even become a freelance photographer. But first, It is essential to figure out the different types of cameras available in the market today:
- Point and shoot cameras: First step of photography. It gives great zooming capabilities and does much of the controlling automatically. You can choose from a compact version or a bridge camera. The bridge cameras give you better control over the functions.
- DSLRs: The best option to learn and experiment with all the features and controls of a camera. It has the flexibility to change lenses.
- Mirrorless cameras: They have all the functions and features like a DSLR. They are lighter and have a smaller battery life than a DSLR.
Now that you have understood the types of cameras, you should know what all features to consider while making a purchase. These are some must-have features in your camera:
- Zoom: Any camera would have basic zoom features. It is important to note that you should focus on optical zoom and ignore the digital zoom feature as optical zoom would magnify the image in its true sense while the digital zoom would only crop and stretch the image.
- Lens quality and flexibility: DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have a plethora of options to change the lenses. However, point and shoot cameras would have a fixed lens so you should pay attention to the lens quality and the zooming power.
- Weight: You might click pictures as a beginner but you do not want to carry excessive weight the whole day.
- Video resolution: Even if you are never going to take videos with your camera, there is no harm to have a device with a great video recording quality. You can choose from the highly recommended 4k resolution or at least have Full HD 1080p resolution in your camera.
- Screen size and mobility: A movable screen enhances your photographic capabilities by infinite times over a fixed screen. The screen can be a touchscreen or button operated.
When you are buying a camera, you must buy some accessories with it to make sure that your photographic journey has all the tools needed to excel. You must have a tripod, shutter release cable, a battery grip, and a skin An additional lens would also be required as 18-55mm is a standard kit lens while some cameras would come in a bundle having it with a 55-250mm lens.
Now that you are clear with your shopping list for cameras, you need to know about sites and platforms that would help you to grow your photography as an art form. You can post photos on social media websites like Instagram and Pinterest to get the reaction of your friends and family.
However, if you want to publish photos in a photographic community, websites like 500px, ViewBug, Shutterstock, etc. are a great option as fellow photographers would constructively criticize your work and help you grow.
Now that you have clear idea about what you can do as an amateur photographer, let us have look at the best cameras:
Best Camera For Amateur Photographers in 2020
|Image||Product Name||Features||Check Price|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7|
|Panasonic Lumix G85|
|Sony Alpha a6000|
|Point and Shoot Cameras|
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000|
|KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421|
Best DSLRs for Amateur Photographers
1. Best Overall: Nikon D3500
If you are looking for a camera that is affordable and kick starts your journey with plenty of options in lenses, the Nikon D3500 is a perfect choice. It is a camera designed for beginners. You are going to have a great time clicking with this as it has built-in help options in case you get stuck.
The design of this best amateur camera is simple and easy to use. It sports a 3 inch LCD screen. It is button-operated and understandably, Nikon has not opted for a touch screen to cut the cost. All the buttons are on the left and you get a single dial to control the modes and features. The screen could have been articulating but the design in itself is simple, functional, and satisfactory. Nothing much to boast or complain about.
The processor of this camera is the EXPEED 4 sensor by Nikon. It is coupled with a 24.2 CMOS sensor that would give you crisp and clear images that would warm your heart. You can also print your pictures.
This Nikon DSLR is perfect for doing a portrait shoot as a freelancer with an awesomely affordable lens such as the 50mm Nikkor lens. You can control the ISO from 100 to 25600. 12800 is the recommended highest range though.
A novice photographer would want to capture every kind of picture such as a portrait, a macro shot, or a landscape. The D3500 takes care of it by offering you several picture modes that would fine-tune the settings to suit your needs.
The camera also has an excellent SnapBridge application that would allow you to remotely control and access the camera. This would allow you to get some fantastic long exposure shots and allow you to experiment with your craft.
It offers a monster like the battery life of 1500 shots which would last for almost 4 hours. You have plenty of time to get the right shot. The camera weighs 0.86 lbs and it is lightweight. It comes with a one year warranty.
If you’re looking for a great option that fits perfectly in a minimal budget, this surely ticks all the checkboxes. You can buy some extraordinary lenses with it and you would have a great photography experience. This is highly recommended for its excellent performance at the price.
- SnapBridge Application
- Multiple modes for photography
- Supports a range of Nikon lenses
- Fixed LCD screen
- No 4k recording
2. Value for Money: Nikon D5600
If you can go a notch higher in price than the D3500, Nikon has the D5600 as an option for you. The extra investment shall reap your touchscreen, bigger screen, and an increase in the number of focus points.
The design of this camera is modern and well-spaced out. It sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen. The screen is fully articulating. What steals the show is a small red line that passes from just below the shutter button. This gives it a beautiful look. The buttons are mostly on the left of the screen while there are some that are widely spaced on the top and near the dial. This gives it better functionality and ease of access.
The camera is powered by an EXPEED 4 CMOS sensor. It has a 24.2 MP resolution. This gives you some good low lighting images. You can be confident enough to take this one at night and capture some great shots at night. The ISO can be boosted up to 25600 but the safe limit is 12800. You can go clicking birds and moving objects with its burst rate of 5fps.
The highlight of this camera is its exceptionally high range of focus points. It has 39 focus points which means that you can even focus on remote points of the image and cover a large amount of frame.
A very important thing to learn as a beginner is the art of focusing at the right point and this feature helps you to do so. It has Wifi. NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity options. The battery can last upto 970 shots which is 3 hours of shooting. You can go around and shoot every type of picture with this versatile camera.
The Nikon D5600 weighs 1.20 lbs and this is decent enough. It is not very light but considering the features and the functionality it provides, it is a total bang for the buck. It comes with a one year warranty. This is probably the best camera for beginners that you can buy for this price. Also, if you don’t mind spending just a little more, I would recommend buying a DSLR under $1000 for the best exposure to art.
- 39 Focus points
- 5 fps frame rate
- Free Cloud storage for life
- Remote control SnapBridge option
- Lacks Image stabilization
- Limited video recording of 30 mins
3. Best under 500: Canon EOS Rebel T7
This camera is from the house of Canon and offers you some exceptional features at an affordable price range. It is a no-nonsense DSLR that focuses on its functionality and delivers what you expect from it.
Canon has kept its design simple. There is a fixed LCD screen of 3 inches. It is not a touchscreen and it has no flexibility. The buttons are all on the left side of the screen which is slightly disappointing as one would want to balance the usage of hands and not rely on one side to operate everything.
This can be really frustrating and act as a hindrance while shooting photos. Except for this, the grip and the screen are likable and they do a good job even for long hours of shooting. There is a DIGIC DV4 + sensor that is coupled with a 24.2MP resolution sensor which gives out great shots.
The low light performance is good for this price range but it is not something that would give you professional images. It has got a burst rate of 3 images per second which is okay. At this price, we cannot really complain about any of the above things. It would be sufficient for you to play around and get good shots as a hobby shooter.
There are 9 focus points spread throughout the frame. These are minimal but they do a great job. This beginner-friendly DSLR comes with the set modes that would be handy when you are doing a freelance event shot and want to shift from a wide to portrait shot in a jiffy without much hassle. The Rebel T7 comes with a backing of plenty of canon lenses which is definitely a plus point.
You can get about 500 shots in one battery cycle. The battery life is good enough to last for a 3 hour day’s shoot. The camera weighs only 1 lb and is a nice option. It is not very light but it is not very heavy either. It comes with a one year warranty.
Overall, T7 is one of its kind and best camera for amateur photographers at this price. There are a few compromises made in order to cut the cost but if you are looking for an excellent option that is modern and highly affordable, this can be it from Canon. You can also look for other mid-level camera options in case you sure-shot want a DSLR
- Simple design
- Average weight
- Canon remote control app
- Extremely affordable
- Fixed LCD
Best Mirrorless Cameras Amateur Photographers
4. Best Overall: Canon M50
The Canon M50 is a powerful mirrorless offering that would suffice every need for beginner photography. Mirrorless is the modern technology that eliminates the mirror in the system and makes the camera lighter. This one seems an excellent choice considering its versatility and all-round approach.
M50 is a blend of the traditional design of Canon with a modern touch. The design is compact but it does not congest or crowd the buttons at any place of the camera. This best high-quality camera for beginners sports a 3-inch articulating screen that would be capable to view the photos from any direction. Overall, it has an excellent design that leaves no point to complain.
It has the DIGIC DV 8 sensor which is one of the latest sensors by Canon. Combined with a 24MP CMOS sensor, it gives excellent results. The Dual Pixel CMOS sensor makes autofocusing quick and ultra-fast.
This mirror-less camera also has the eye-tracking and subject tracking feature that would help you when you are taking photos of your friends or family in the event at your house. It has an automatic transfer feature that would help you to transfer the photos automatically without any manual controlling from the owner.
This is possible through the Canon application which would also help you to control the camera remotely. It sports Wifi, NFC, and Bluetooth for direct wireless connectivity. It is equipped with a battery life that would last for about 2 hours.
Canon M50 weighs only 0.86 lbs. It comes with a one year warranty. You can definitely go for this option in the mirrorless cameras and if you prefer canon.
- 4k recording
- Latest sensor
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- Webcam functionality
- Low battery life
- Adapter needed for canon lenses
5. Best for Vlogging: Panasonic Lumix G85
Few cameras in the beginner photography camera range can boast of a feat that the Lumix G85 can. This mirror-less camera can take equally good photos and videos.
This Pansonic camera would be very useful for any novice camera who plans to freelance. Events such as weddings or birthday parties would need you to capture videos once in a while and this would come in really handy with its versatility.
The design is a touch and button one where you can have access to the focusing and menu functionality through the touch screen while the buttons shall help you to quickly change the settings. It has a vari-angle 3-inch screen which can be really helpful for vlogging.
All the ports are present such as the USB port and the HDMI port but you cannot charge the camera from the USB port. It also has an OLED viewfinder which is great but it does kill the battery life. Overall, the design is decent and nice.
The 16MP resolution is powerful enough to give you awesome shots even in low light conditions. You can have 100 % color reproduction and true to life pictures with it. You can shoot videos at 4k resolution 30p frame rate and even save the pictures at the same time. It has a rugged splashproof and dustproof screen that would allow you to wander around freely.
The professional camera for beginners has the best in class stabilization with a 5 axis stabilization. It also has shutter shock reduction which further cancels out any jerky movements that would deteriorate the image quality.
You can also use the shoot now focus later option if you want to change the focus later after you click the photo. This can be very useful for some freelance projects that you take and somehow, the great pictures lack the focus at the desired objects.
The Lumix G85 is decently weighed at 1.11 lbs. It comes with a one year warranty. It is a great option with some fantastic options to control the camera and to give you some post-production flexibility. However, it does demand extra money for these premium features. If you can buy this one, then by no means you should look elsewhere.
- Post focus shoot
- 5 axis stabilization
- 4k photos and videos
- Battery grip acts as an extra battery
- Battery consuming OLED viewfinder
- Low battery lif
6. Lightweight Option: Fujifilm X-E3
The Fujifilm X E3 is an affordable option that gives tough competition to its contemporaries. It is strong enough to take excellent photos and powerful enough to give some excellent videos too.
The design of X E3 reminds you of vintage cameras albeit with a modern touch. It sports a fixed 3-inch touchscreen. There is a joystick option for quick focusing. The buttons are evenly spaced. The OLED viewfinder is on the left side of the body.
The Q and AF options are just at the top right corner on the holding grip. To be honest, the design is really bad and I would have preferred a balanced outlook. You may always press the buttons on the right corner mistakenly whenever you try to have a firm grip on the device or just want to access any other button on the body.
This camera for amateur photographer sports the X trans III sensor that is highly powerful to capture low light shots. It has the X processor Pro for its computing processing. The combined mettle and power is enough to get you a burst rate of 8 fps which is commendable for the price range.
You can even shoot 4k videos at 30 fps with this combination. The advanced SR Auto mode would let you forget the worries of the settings while you go on and enjoy the butterfly shoot in your garden or capture the baby’s smile. It has got you covered for anything and everything.
Focusing is a stronghold of the X E3 with its choice of 91 to 325 AF detection points. This means that you can choose any mode from its menu. It also has various AF modes like tracking, zone, continuous, wide, or single point.
This would ensure that you get the best focusing in any situation. The Fujifilm mirror-less camera also supports wireless INSTAX printing so you can immediately get your photos printed and show it to anyone be it your family and friends or your clients.
It has a battery life of 350 shots which is the average for any mirrorless camera. This is decent enough to last for two hours when you go for an event or function. You can have an extra battery but mostly the default battery should last the time a novice would need to capture some excellent shots.
The Fujifilm X E3 weighs only 0.74 lbs and it is one of the lightest options available. It comes with a one year warranty. This amateur camera has some great features and some great technology in it but the design is a complete dealbreaker. If only the design was better, the camera would have been something else.
- Film simulation modes
- AF modes
- Range of AF Points
- Joystick AF
- Pathetic design
- Low battery life
7. Best for Professional Use: Sony Alpha a6000
Sony is the stalwart when it comes to imaging and its Alpha a6000 is proof of its expertise in the field. It is a camera that is suited for beginners as well as professionals. It comes at such an affordable price that looking at any other option would be going for something overrated.
The design of this camera is nice and user friendly. There is a 3-inch touchscreen that is fixed. It has all the buttons placed on the left side of the screen. There is a focus joystick just beside the OLED viewfinder. The viewfinder is on the extreme left.
My personal preference is for the OLED to be in the middle to get better sync. There are two Dials placed side by side on the top. They are very near and a greater distance between them would have done a lot of comfort to the users. You can choose the camera from colors like red, black, or graphite.
The BIONZ X processor coupled with the 24 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor gives you the best in class low light imaging options. The processor is fast enough to give you an excellent burst mode of 11 fps.
This would be really useful when you go to take photos of your friends playing some sport like cricket or badminton. In case you need to bump up the ISO, it can reach up to 25600.
The Sony a6000 sports excellent 179 AF points that can focus on any subject in 0.6 seconds. You are never going to lose your subject with this feature. You can also download any mode from Sony Play Store. It is a place where you can find the appropriate filter or mode and download it through the Wifi to get the best results.
It has a battery life of 360 shots, the standard for any mirrorless camera. This sony mirror-less camera weighs 0.76 lbs and is very light. It comes with a one year warranty. It is one of the best professional cameras for beginners in this range and you can never go wrong with the excellence and the versatility that comes with a Sony product.
- 179 AF
- Sony Play Store
- Excellent low light quality
- 11 fps burst mode
- Video limit at Full HD 1080p
- Fixed LCD
Best Point and Shoot Cameras For Amateur Photographers
8. Best Overall: Sony DSCWX350
You do not need to own a complicated camera to get the best pictures. A camera with a good lens quality and some great zooming capabilities would be enough for a photographer who likes to take pictures as a hobby. The Sony DSCWX350 is a camera that gives you all of this.
The design of this point and shoot is slim and elegant. The camera sports a fixed 3-inch LCD touchscreen. There are a few buttons for functionality and one dial to change the mode.
There is no viewfinder and the only option is to use the screen for viewing images. It is comfortable to hold and is very easy to use. It is also available in white color which gives it a very different and unique look.
This Sony point and shoot camera has the BIONZ X processor which is used in many high-end cameras too. It comes with a clear image 20x optical zoom lens that allows you to peep deeper and gives you a great magnification ability to shoot wildlife and birds.
This budget-camera can capture upto 10 fps in burst mode. The Optical SteadyShot technology ensures that you are always getting the best and the most stabilized results in video and photos. It has a lock on AF which lets you lock your focus on your subject and it then automatically tracks it. This is very useful when you are capturing something that is in motion.
The motion video traces the movements and also shifts the focus in the video. It has a picture effect and you can also use the 360-degree panorama mode to get you the best images in a panoramic mode.
The Sony DSCWX350 comes with a battery life of 470 shots that should be enough to get you covered for a 3-hour shoot. The camera is extremely lightweight and portable with just 0.3 lbs of weight. It comes with a one year warranty.
It is a great option and the zooming capability is great too. You can go for this one and be assured that you would get the best quality at this price range. Now you can easily push yourself to try some great freelance projects with this camera.
- 40x zoom
- 10 fps burst mode
- 360-degree panorama
- Picture effects
- No 4k video recording
- Only records videos in 29-minute segment
9. Best Bridge Camera: PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000
The Panasonic Lumix is a bridge camera that gives you the versatility of a DSLR and the ease of a point and shoot camera. It is a nice and good camera that has exceptional zooming capabilities.
The highlight of PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 is its wonderful Leica lens which is the best in this class which has the range of 25mm to 400 mm.
It is a big camera that has a 3-inch screen. The screen is fully articulated and you can even use it to click selfies. The design and the look would surely make you think twice if it is a DSLR. It has a neat and well-organized workspace with the buttons.
They are very well spaced and you do like the balance that the spread of the buttons will create. You would feel that the buttons are right at the place and they give a wonderful using experience. Overall, the design is wonderful and we cannot just have more of it.
The lens has a limited aperture range of 2.8 to 4 which is not so great. The Lumix DFD focus technology ensures that you have faster focusing and your focus is locked on a subject. You are guaranteed to get the focus in 0.2 seconds which is simply incredible to click even a moving object.
The camera has exceptional video quality at 4k resolution. In fact, you can even take stills of 4k resolution with its 8MP photo frame capture mode. The 5 axis hybrid stabilization takes care of every jerk or movement that would have ruined your image and translates it into some great and breathtaking images.
In case you want to have some remote shots, you can do that with its Wifi remote connectivity application. It has a battery life of 360 shots which should see you through for a two-hour shoot. This Panasonic camera weighs 1.83 and it is definitely heavier than even most DSLRs we have seen. The camera comes with a one year warranty.
The Lumix FZ1000 is a good option on the feature front but the cost and the weight seems to be a dealbreaker. You can go for this if you are strictly interested in buying a point and shoot camera that gives you great value and are not interested to experiment with DSLRs at this point.
- 4k still capture
- 5 axis hybrid stabilization
- Quick AF
- Wifi connectivity
- Expensive for the form
- Very heavy
10. Cheap Option: KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421
Kodak may be a name that is forgotten but it was once the king of photography and it still does have brilliant imaging. The amazon link=”B00M8C7U8I” title=”Kodak Pixpro” /] is a camera that is aimed to get the best quality images of the stars and some exceptional astrophotography at a very nominal price.
The design of this camera is adorable. The look and feel of it is like a toy camera. It sports a 3 inch LCD screen with a fixed axis. The buttons are on the left of the screen and they look very cute and add to the overall lovely design.
The presence of the dial is also something that is adding to the form of the camera. It is certainly a well made and well-designed camera. This model comes in white and black colors but the white one is the prettier one.
The Astro zoom camera lives up to its name and offers some path-breaking zooming capabilities. It has a 16 MP CCD sensor with the KODAK aspheric lens that offers a jaw-dropping range of 25mm to 10008mm.
Do note that this is pure optical zoom and you would get the best image quality even at the highest level of zooming. You can literally get stars in your hands, thanks to this camera.
As it is designed for astrophotography, it has a night mode that reduces the strain on your eyes and switches the screen to a red-colored one. You can also track your objects with this incredible device.
This point and shoot camera has optical image stabilization in case you forget your tripod and want to shoot some handheld images of stars. This is really awesome for any beginner photographer who would love to dwell in the world of astrophotography.
It does have a battery life of 200 shots which is not the best in class. The camera weighs 0.98lbs and it is decently priced. This cheap camera comes with a one year warranty. It is a good option that is aimed at a specific niche of photographers.
However, the versatility of it makes it a good choice for anyone who wants to have great photos. This Kodak camera wins the crown because of its unique zoom range and the cute design. But if you’re looking for the best cheap point and shoot camera for some other niche, I would suggest you look somewhere else.
- 42x optical zoom
- Night mode
- Cute design
- Fast AF
- 720p video recording only
FAQs about Best Camera For Amateur Photographers
Any camera comes with a standard kit lens of 18-55mm which should cover all your basic photographic needs. However, if you want to take your game up, the 55-250mm zoom lens is a great add on for wildlife or sports photography while the 50mm lens is a no brainer for anyone who loves taking portraits and photographing events.
No. Consider a camera as a race car. No matter how good the car is, it cannot win the race unless the driver is extremely skillful.
An excellent driver can win a race with any car but an excellent car would never win the race without a skillful driver. So, consider polishing your skills and making the best of your camera than buying a new one.
The Nikon D5600 is the best DSLR, the Sony A6000 is the best mirrorless camera and the Sony DSCWX350 is the best point and shoot camera.
If you have no budget limitations, then you should go for the a6000 as it is the most versatile camera of all the three. Mirrorless cameras are the latest technology in the camera world and you should go for it if your budget allows you to.
You need to consider various factors to pick the best camera for yourself. What are you going to shoot? Are you an indoor or outdoor shooter? What budget do you have?
It is easier to select the type of the camera first, have a fixed budget and then browse your options. Go from a wide to narrow category and you should find your photographic soulmate in no time.
Currently, the competition between the two is so tough that there is no clear winner. You can buy either of them and be assured of some great results.
Both have a good range of cameras for beginners be it the Canon Rebel t7 or the Nikon D5600, you are going to find an option for you in either. Look out what your friends and family use and select the brand they use so that you can borrow their lenses too.
Thus, a camera is going to open a gateway for you to a new world of imaging. Photography can be your favorite hobby or your future profession. You just need to start and get going. The more you try and practice with the camera, the better you shall be!
Just pick the camera most suited for you and get going. In case you are stuck or clueless, you can simply go with the Sony A6000 and be assured of some great imaging capabilities at a great price. A picturesque future awaits you, go ahead and buy your first camera!