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12 Best Cameras for Amateur Photographers

Ultimate Buyer's Guide

his is a complete buyer’s guide covering the best cameras for amateur photographers.

In this all-new buyer’s guide, we will be covering:

  • Camera quality
  • Camera build
  • Important features
  • Price
  • Pros and cons
  • Lots more
 

So make sure to review all the camera options.

That way you can make the best decision for you!

Table Overview

I’ve listed out each lens here so it is easy for you to see them from a high-level view.

Click/tap on each lens name to jump to that section in the guide.

Image

Product

Features

View Price

Amazon Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

BEST ALL AROUND

  • Easy to use and understand
  • Decent ISO range
  • 24 MP sensor

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

BEST BUDGET

  • Includes a program mode
  • Allows you to be conservative with your shots
  • Robust design
  • Multiple lens options

Amazon Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

BEST BANG FOR BUCK

  • Great quality image
  • Easy to use
  • 5fps
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Compact design
  • Weather-sealed
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • With image stabilization

Amazon Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

  • 18MP sensor
  • 4K capability
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Allows you to shoot without worrying if it is under or overexposed

Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • 5 fps
  • Sensitive ISO
  • 970 shots per charge
  • Comes with a flappable screen

Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Can transfer files via WiFi
  • Affordable
  • Great photo quality despite the limited 18MP sensor

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

  • Allows you to learn how to compose properly
  • Can shoot in a wide variety of shutter speeds
  • With a decent light meter

Amazon Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

  • Allows you to compose well
  • Rugged construction
  • Comes with a great auto feature

Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Dials that make it easy to use
  • With tilting screen
  • Lightweight

Amazon Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • High ISO
  • Powerful sensor
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a vari-angle LCD

Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

  • 24MP sensor
  • WiFi connection
  • Intuitive touchscreen

Intro

Trying to learn photography requires a good camera that you can work with. 

It is common for novice photographers to ask: what is the best camera to buy for a beginner photographer? 

Or perhaps, what is the best camera for amateur photography?  

What makes a good amateur camera? 

Is it something that has all the intimidating features? 

Or is it something that simply allows you to control the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed without relying on its ability to set everything up for you?

To help guide novice photographers, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best cameras for amateur photographers. 

What is the Best Overall Camera for Amateur Photographers?

Canon EOS Rebel T7

Given all the cameras that we’ve mentioned in our list, we believe that the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is the best choice not only for amateur photographers but also for those who are already pros.

What makes this camera stand out?For those who are asking what is the best camera to buy for a beginner photographer, you always want to not complicate things. 

And that’s what the Canon EOS Rebel T7 does. Apart from being affordable and similar to the T6, this camera is easy to use that won’t intimidate newbies. 

It also offers a 24 MP sensor plus a decent ISO range from ISO 100 to 25600. 

The only downside to this unit is that it doesn’t have a tilting LCD which makes it a bit hard to work when shooting awkward angles. 

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Canon Rebel T7 - Image by Dexter Buschor

Pros

  • Easy to use and understand
  • Decent ISO range
  • 24 MP sensor

Cons

  • No tilting LCD

What is the Best Budget Camera for Amateur Photographers

Canon A1

If you are working with a small budget and you want to learn the basics of photography from Sunny 16 down to the use of different lenses, it is best to take a closer look at the Canon A1.

We consider the Canon A1 as the best budget camera for amateur photographers because not only does it teach you how to compose photos and be conservative with your shots, you are also guided by the light meter allowing you to know if your shot is underexposed or overexposed.

It is also the first camera in the 70s that has programmed auto-exposure. It means that it is capable of also guiding you in case you are still starting. 

And also, let’s not forget that you get multiple lens options plus a robust design. 

The only downside is that it is sometimes hard to see in the viewfinder. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Canon A-1 - Image by Claudio Taras

Pros

  • Includes a program mode
  • Allows you to be conservative with your shots
  • Robust design
  • Multiple lens options

Cons

  • Hard to see in the viewfinder

What is the Best Value Camera for Amateur Photographers

Nikon D3500

As for the best value camera for the amateur photographers, we picked the Nikon D3500.

This is a favorite by many photography students and hobbyists.

With its easy to use configuration and great image quality, it is no surprise why many considered it as their first DSLR.

It offers a 24MP sensor and an ISO range of ISO 100 to 25600. It also comes with a maximum of 5fps which is quite decent for an entry-level camera. 

And lastly, it can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The only downside will have to be the fixed LCD which is frustrating when it comes to shooting at an awkward angle. 

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Nikon D3500 - Image by "Dreyelander" on Flickr

Pros

  • Great quality image
  • Easy to use
  • 5fps
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Fixed LCD

12 Best Cameras for Amateur Photographers - Full List

1. Panasonic LUMIX GX85

If you are still asking: what is the best camera to buy for a beginner photographer, a strong candidate would have to be the Lumix GX85 Digital Camera.

This camera shares some of the core features of the GX8 including the 49-point AF system. 

However, it doesn’t have the 20MP sensor but instead has a 16MP sensor which is a good option for beginners. 

It has a tilting EVF, a weather-sealed design, not to mention an ability to shoot in 4K. 

For beginners who don’t want to be carrying a large full-frame camera, the Lumix GX85 is a great choice. 

It even has a 5 axis dual image stabilization that minimizes the blurred shots. 

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Sony - E 50mm F1.8 - Image by "Steve in Alabama" on Flickr

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Weather-sealed
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • With image stabilization

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the 20MP sensor of the GX8

2. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a unique addition to our list of best cameras for amateur photographers. For one, it doesn’t allow users to change lenses.

Instead, you are dealing with a zoom lens.

Though there are limitations to what it can offer, it allows beginners to learn how to compose their photos without worrying if the shot is over or underexposed.

It has an 18.1MP sensor combined with a 20-1200mm Lumix DC Vario Lens. You can also transfer your photos wirelessly. 

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 - Image by Daniel Willshaw

Pros

  • 18MP sensor
  • 4K capability
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Allows you to shoot without worrying if it is under or overexposed

Cons

  • You can’t change lenses

3. Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is an interesting camera for beginners.

With an easy to use configuration combined with high-quality image and a powerful 24MP sensor, it is a great choice for those who want to seriously learn how to shoot professionally.

It can even shoot 5fps in case you want to learn how to shoot moving subjects like when you are doing sports photography. 

It can also be used for low-light conditions given its sensitive ISO. The only downside is that you don’t get a flappable LCD.

Check out the best lenses for the Nikon D3500.

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Nikon D3500 - Image by "Dreyelander" on Flickr

Pros

  • 24MP Sensor
  • 5fps
  • Sensitive ISO
  • High-quality image

Cons

  • Fixed LCD

4. Nikon D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR

The D5600 is another Nikon camera on our list of best cameras for amateur photographers.

It is a good choice for those who are trying to learn how to shoot photographs whether in a studio or in an outdoor setting.

But it isn’t exactly a novice photographer’s camera because it can also be used for sports photography with its 5 fps in continuous shooting mode.

It comes with a 24-megapixel sensor and an ISO sensitivity from 100 to 25600.

And when it comes to shooting from a weird angle, you can easily flip the screen to see the subject and not guess on your composition. 

You can also shoot around 970 shots per charge which is a good thing especially when you need to review your shots to improve your skills. 

The biggest downside to the D5600 is that transferring photos to a mobile device takes a lot of clicks. 

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Nikon D5600 - Image by "林 宥均" on Flickr

Pros

  • 5 fps
  • Sensitive ISO
  • 970 shots per charge
  • Comes with a flappable screen

Cons

  • Not user friendly when it comes to transferring files

5. Canon EOS Rebel T7

24MP, built-in WiFi, not to mention a 9-point AF system, these are things that any newbie can take advantage of.

Also, you get to enjoy 95% viewing coverage with its viewfinder. Its ISO sensitivity however is not exactly the best at ISO 100 to 6400.

However, if you are a newbie, then this might do the trick.

Check out the best lenses for the Canon Rebel T7.

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Canon Rebel T7 - Image by Dexter Buschor

Pros

  • 24MP sensor
  • Built-in WiFi
  • With a 9-point AF system

Cons

  • Low ISO range

6. Canon EOS T100/4000D

Our list of best cameras for amateur photographers won’t be complete without the EOS T100 otherwise known as the 4000D.

Though it only comes with an 18MP sensor and its ISO range from ISO 100 to 6400 might be a bit lacking for low light situations, it is still a favorite among newbies.

One of the reasons is that it is not expensive. You can also transfer files wirelessly via WiFi plus it has a decent 9 point AF system.

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Canon EOS T100/4000D - Image by Jason Feng

Pros

  • Can transfer files via WiFi
  • Affordable
  • Great photo quality despite the limited 18MP sensor

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform well in low light situations

7. Canon A-1

For any aspiring photographer, what better way to learn photography than to go back to using film.

It teaches you how to compose images given the limited shots that you have.

Plus, you can also understand the basics such as sunny 16 and the rule of thirds in photography.

The Canon A1 is the very first to provide you with an electronic metering system to tell you if you have the right exposure for your shot. 

It is also known for its robust design and classic look. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Canon A-1 - Image by Claudio Taras

Pros

  • Robust design
  • Allows you to learn the basics
  • With an electronic light meter

Cons

  • You will need to develop the photos to see the results

8. Nikon FG

If you plan on becoming a pro photographer and you want to get acquainted with the Nikon systems, might as well start with the Nikon FG film camera.

It is something that many consider as one of the best cameras for amateur photographers despite having a plastic body.

What makes it a good introduction to photography? 

Just like any film camera, it allows you to shoot conservatively and use your eyes to compose the photos. 

It shoots from 1 second to 1/1000th of a second plus you get a bulb mode for long exposures. 

However, it shines the most with its auto modes that calculate the exposure that allows users to know if they have the right exposure for their shot. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

NIkon FG - Image by Joe Harvatt

Pros

  • Allows you to learn how to compose properly
  • Can shoot in a wide variety of shutter speeds
  • With a decent light meter

Cons

  • Plastic body

9. Olympus OM-10

Made in 1979, this film camera is one of the most highly suggested picks for those who are serious about building their skills from the ground up.

It is one of the best cameras for amateur photographers for many reasons.

It has the robust construction of the old 1970s SLR.

It has a decent range of shutter speed from 1/25th to 1/1600th of a second.

However, you will need to plug an adaptor to fire away at manual.

It also comes with a bulb selection plus the ability to switch to auto.

The viewfinder is remarkable given its size that allows you to compose well.

4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Olympus OM-10 - Image by Rinat Valeev

Pros

  • Allows you to compose well
  • Rugged construction
  • Comes with a great auto feature

Cons

  • You need an adapter to use the manual mode

10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

The Olympus OMD EM10 Mark III is one of the most popular micro four-thirds cameras out there.

It is also common to see the pros to consider it as one of the best cameras for amateur photographers.

It comes with a lightweight body that allows users to have an easier time shooting.

It comes with a 16MP sensor plus easy to use dials that give users the chance to switch modes depending on what they want.

You even get a tilting screen that offers a live view.

The downside is that it doesn’t have a fast focus and can only shoot at around 4.8fps.

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III - Image by "Christine S." on Flickr

Pros

  • Dials that make it easy to use
  • With tilting screen
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a fast tracking focus

11. Canon EOS M50

Though it is primarily popular as a vlogging camera, there is no denying that many are using it as their entry-level camera for the world of photography.

Side note, here is a list of the best vlogging cameras.

The Canon EOS M50 is a lightweight and mirrorless model from Canon that comes with interesting features.

It uses a 24MP sensor combined with Dual Pixel CMOS AF for accurate autofocus. 

It also has high ISO making it suitable for low light situations. 

And on top of that, you even get a vari-angle LCD helping you with composition. 

However, it is a bit harder to use than the full-frame versions from Canon.

Check out the best lenses for the Canon M50.

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Canon EOS M50 - Image by Wang Kim

Pros

  • High ISO
  • Powerful sensor
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a vari-angle LCD
  • Good AF

Cons

  • Harder to use than the DSLRs

12. Canon EOS M100

Last on our list of best cameras for amateur photographers is the Canon EOS M100.

It is another mirrorless camera from Canon.

It comes with a 24MP sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and not to mention the ability to connect to WiFi when you need to transfer your photos to your mobile device.

It also has an intuitive touchscreen.

However, just like the M50, users complain about how it is not exactly easy to use. 

From the small body that makes it hard for some users to use to some of its functionality that’s missing such as a missing hot shoe for the flash.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Canon EOS M100 - Image by "ajd440ex" on Flickr

Pros

  • 24MP sensor
  • WiFi connection
  • Intuitive touchscreen

Cons

  • Smaller body

Concluding Remarks

Hope you enjoyed this guide on the best cameras for amateur photographers!

So what is the best camera for amateur photography? 

The answer may differ depending on who you are going to ask. It is best if you can compare the options we’ve mentioned. 

Weigh your options carefully and you will be able to get the right match for you. 

 

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