Photography is one of the most popular hobbies you can try, with many people giving it a go at least once. But with so many camera options to choose from it can be difficult to know what they can all offer, or to understand the differences between them.
Starting off with the basics, many beginners and professionals rely on DSLR cameras for their work, art, or hobbies. DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera, and are known for allowing interchangeable lenses on the same camera body.
Before buying one of these cameras it’s useful to know how they work to help you take the best photos possible. When light enters the lens of the camera, the photographer can see the subject through the optical viewfinder via a reflection from the mirror inside the camera’s body.
When the photo is taken, the mirror swings out of the way and the light hits the digital image sensor, where the photo is then captured and stored on an SD card.
So now you know the basics, you still need to find a beginner DSLR camera so you can go out and learn this new skill. To help you along we’ve made this list of the best DSLR cameras you can buy right now.
We’ve also included a handy buyers guide at the end so you can see what else to look out for when buying your first camera.
Nikon is an incredibly popular camera brand on the market, making excellent products for beginners and experts alike. The D3500 is a great all-rounder camera for beginners as it nails the basics and will help you learn the many features simply and easily.
Featuring a ‘Guide Mode’ for beginners, this takes you on a tour of all the settings and explains what they do and how they can affect your final image.
This excellent feature will stop you from being overwhelmed by all the buttons, and lets you get on with the actual photography you want to do.
Once you understand how to take photos you’ll be able to stay out for a long time without having to recharge the camera thanks to the D3500’s super impressive battery life.
On a single charge, the camera can capture 1,550 images, an impressive feat for any DSLR camera.
So what about the features that will actually make your photos look good? The D3500 uses a 24.2MP (megapixel) sensor to capture sharp images with impressive quality.
To help with focussing on an image it features an 11-point AF (autofocus) system that works well for general shooting as well as focussing on slow-moving subjects as well.
While these are reasonably good features in general, they can be taken to the next level if you try out some different lenses on the camera.
The highlight of DSLRs is how can be adapted by adding different lenses, so buying a few additional ones will not only teach you new skills but also will allow you to be more creative in your image taking.
This all-around camera is an excellent choice for beginners as it will teach you all of the basic skills of photography in an easy and user-friendly way, while still producing excellent quality images.
Compact – one of the smaller cameras on this list, the D3500 is perfect for taking out and about for long-distance traveling.
Guide Mode – for beginners this excellent feature may be one of your favorites as it teaches you everything you need to know about how to take a quality image simply.
No 4K video – Many DSLRs these days come with 4K video, but as this is an older model it instead can only capture video in 1080p.
Like Nikon, Canon is another brand that is incredibly popular with photographers. With the company making so many DSLRs choosing the right one for you as a beginner can be difficult, but we recommend the Rebel SL3 for many reasons.
One of the main selling points of the SL3 is the Guided UI (user interface) feature that walks beginners through the different settings and teaches the basics of photography.
It also has point-and-shoot simplicity and a Creative Assist mode for more adventurous photography effects.
One of the lightest DSLR cameras with a moveable screen, another advantage of this camera is how easy it is to carry and transport to your shooting location.
Now let’s take a look at the specs, as these are what will affect image quality. Inside is a 24.1MP APS-C senor. This stands for Advanced Photo System type C.
While it may sound complicated, the only thing you really need to know about this type of sensor is that it makes both the subject and the background sharper, leading to better overall image quality.
Also to add to the image quality is the DIGIC 8 processor and high ISO.
Again this sounds complicated but basically, the better the processor the better the ISO setting, and the DIGIC 8 is a very good processor.
The ISO is a camera setting that will brighten or darken a photo. As you increase the ISO number the image will become brighter. So if you’re shooting in dark environments then you’ll want a camera with a higher ISO, which is what the SL3 has.
If you’re using the viewfinder to take a photo then you will be using the basic but effective 9-point AF system. While not as advanced as other DSLRs this allows you to easily focus on unmoving subjects or scenes without having to change a bunch of settings first.
The SL3 also features a Live View autofocus that is much more sophisticated and allows you to take better images of moving subjects. This is slightly more complicated to use though so you may want to build up your skills on the simpler autofocus settings first.
While this camera is slightly more complicated than others on this list, beginners should have no problem learning all of the settings thanks to the Guided UI, meaning you’ll be able to learn all of the skills you’ll need for photography quickly.
Vari-angle touchscreen – this allows you to move to screen to whatever angle you like. The screen is also able to rotate to face forwards, and is touchscreen so you’re able to tap the spot you want the camera to focus on
Simple but effective controls – this is what beginners what from a starter camera. You’re still able to take high-quality pictures but you won’t have to worry about constantly changing settings
The body can feel plasticky – as this is such a lightweight camera, lighter materials had to be used in the body which can make it feel a bit flimsy as well. But don’t worry despite this feeling it is still a very sturdy camera.
If you’re after a beginner’s camera with a bit more power then the D5600 could be the one for you. This camera is packed with features that are suitable for beginners and experts alike, so you’re able to build your skills on it and then keep it for longer without having to upgrade.
Like its D3500 predecessor, the D5600 features the same 24.2MP lens, though this time it’s been upgraded with an APS-C sensor so you’re able to capture even more detail in your images.
It also has a huge ISO sensitivity range meaning you should be able to shoot and capture quality images in a variety of lighting conditions.
Like all DSLRs, the D5600 features an optical viewfinder that allows you to compose the shot by seeing exactly what the lens sees by looking through the lens.
On this camera, the optical viewfinder provides coverage of 95% of the frame, which is pretty standard for beginner DSLRs.
While it’s not 100% coverage this shouldn’t really cause you any issues, though just be safe for those key shots you may want to double-check the composition on the display screen just to make sure everything is in the frame.
The display has also had a few upgrades from its predecessor. Now 3.2 inches the vari-angle touchscreen display features a 1,037,000 dot resolution which is much higher than other DSLRs.
This makes the image on your screen clearer and sharper so you’re able to get a much better idea about what the final image will look like.
It also helps you by picking up on things your eye may not catch, so you can adjust the settings accordingly if you pick up on some issue in the image.
You can also change some of the settings from the touchscreen, as it features a frame-advance bar to speed up toggling through settings and images. From here you can also do some basic editing like cropping images already taken.
For filming the D5600 features a time-lapse function. This allows for timelapse movies to be captured and put together entirely in-camera without the need for editing equipment.
It also has exposure smoothing technology built in to help even out variations in the lighting on the sequence you captured.
The D5600 camera is a camera that allows you room to grow and develop your skills without needing to constantly upgrade.
Loved by beginners and experts this camera allows you to produce beautiful images every time.
Touchscreen interface – allows you to choose your focus points for manual autofocusing, as well as change some of your settings and look back through the images you’ve taken.
Comfortable to hold and sturdy – like many DSLRs the D5600 features a deep handgrip that helps you keep the camera steady when shooting, and its weighty feel makes it feel more steady and sturdy in your hands
No 4K video – like its predecessor the D5600 still does not feature 4K video despite all the other upgrades to the video functions and settings
One of Canon’s older DSLRs, this one still holds up compared against the newer models.
It provides a wide variety of features that allow you to shoot a range of subjects in different conditions, and has enough control options that allow you to customize your photography experience without it being overwhelming or hard to learn.
One of the many features of this camera, the 80D has a 24-million pixel sensor along with a Disc 6 processing engine, providing a massive range in the ISO so you can shoot in almost all lighting conditions.
The 80D also has a continuous shooting speed of 7fps (frames per second), so you won’t miss a thing when continuously shooting a scene or subject.
To keep your images crisp and not blurred the 80D also uses two autofocus systems. The first is the reflex mode, where the camera autofocuses and composes images in the viewfinder.
The second is the Live View mode, which can be seen on the screen and is also the main system used when shooting video.
The reflex system has 45 AF points, which is much higher than other cameras on this list. This allows you to capture moving mages easier and without blur.
Though this camera is not able to capture videos in 4K, it can capture and record Full HD footage at 50fps, as well as offer 2x slow-motion playback.
This, as well as the headphone port for audio monitoring, external mic port, and HDMI Mini and A/V Digital out terminals, makes the 80D a great beginner’s video camera as well.
If you’re after a good photo and video camera to build your skills on, then the 80D may be the best one on this list for you.
24MP sensor – captures images in stunning detail
Fast and effective AF system – you’re guaranteed sharp images almost every time
Quick menu not customizable – some photographers like to customize their photography experience by changing the button layout, making certain buttons do different things. This isn’t possible on the 80D.
When buying a DSLR camera there are many features you should keep an eye out for. Here are some things you should be looking for on your DSLR camera, or other things you should know about when buying a camera.
Types Of DSLR Image sensors
While different DSLR cameras will come with different sensor sizes, they are all still large enough to capture a huge amount of megapixels.
There are two primary sensor types used in DSLRs – full-frame and APS-C. Full-frame sensors match the size of 35mm film and are the standard in DSLR cameras. APS-C sensors are a little smaller, resulting in lower focal length, known as “crop factor”.
This smaller field of view can be overcome by using some lens attachments, but this difference is something you should be aware of when buying a DSLR.
Possibly the biggest advantage of DSLR cameras is that you’re able to change the lens to suit your photography needs. Many of these lenses are bought separately, though you may get an extra one when you buy your camera.
When looking for a new lens you need to make sure your camera will be compatible with it. Some brands make specific lenses for their cameras, with other ones not being able to fit on the body.
Also be aware that the bigger the lens the more front-heavy your camera will be, so it may get difficult to hold or balance at times.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
ISO level – while all DSLRs are pretty effective in shooting in low light conditions as their large sensors can capture more light, check the ISO level so you know what lighting conditions your camera will work best in.
Battery life – if taking your camera out and about or you will be using it for a long time then you’ll want to know just how long it will last between charges
Autofocus – DSLRs have better autofocus compared to point-and-shoot cameras, allowing you to focus quicker, shoot faster, and capture high-quality images. Still, different cameras have different autofocus features, so it’s best to familiarise yourself with them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Mirrorless Cameras Better Than DSLRs?
Mirrorless cameras are becoming more popular these days, but both these and DSLRs have different advantages. Mirrorless cameras are usually lighter, faster, and more compact, but they are less compatible with different lenses and accessories.
DSLRs have a much better battery life, more choice in accessories, and generally have better optical viewfinders. Which one works best for you will depend on what you will be using the camera for.
Is Canon Or Nikon Best For Beginners?
Usually, beginners prefer to learn photography on Nikon cameras as these usually have simpler settings that are easy to understand.
But both brands offer high quality and easy-to-use beginner cameras so if you find a Canon one that you really like then you will probably find it just as easy to use as a Nikon one.
Last Updated on 2021-12-06 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates
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