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Best Camera for Beginners in Photography: DSLR or Mirrorless

Are you ready to step into the world of photography? As an aspiring photographer, your journey begins with a pivotal decision – selecting the best camera to capture those breathtaking moments. My aim is to guide you through this decision-making process, ensuring you find a camera that not only suits your creative aspirations but also offers excellent value, be it a Canon, Nikon, or another brand. In this comprehensive guide about the best first camera, we will look into the intricate landscape of digital photography, focusing on beginner-friendly, cost-effective options to choose the best camera. We will compare and contrast the qualities of entry-level or best DSLR and cutting-edge mirrorless cameras, helping you identify the best fit for your photography style. Prepare to dive into the essentials of camera selection, whether your passion lies in immortalizing life’s fleeting moments or venturing into the artistic depths of photography with the finest DSLR or a mirrorless. Your path to capture stunning visuals and shoot videos starts here.

A camera is more than a device; it's a window to your creativity. Seek a camera with an intuitive interface and manual controls to frame and focus your vision precisely. Your first camera should empower, not limit, your artistic expression

Table of Contents

Your Photography Journey Starts Here

Starting your photography journey with a digital camera is like traversing a bubbling city filled with endless creative opportunities. Discover your surroundings with the trusted best beginner camera in hand, exploring varied subjects and conditions in 2024, elevating your photography skills gradually.

Understanding the Need for a Quality Camera

The need for a quality camera for beginners cannot be overstated. Having a camera with great ergonomics is important. It helps you handle and control the camera easily so you can take better photos. It also allows you to comfortably explore and improve your skills as a photographer. The journey from being a novice to an experienced photographer largely depends on a user-friendly user interface. Gaining confidence with every shot is important and guaranteed, but equally important is gaining expertise in understanding your compact camera with every click!

Significance of an Excellent Camera for Beginners

Having an entry-level camera is perfect for beginners. The perfect camera for beginners to capture photos and videos allows novice photographers to experiment and develop their skills in the field of photography. When deciding a top pick between a budget yet best DSLR camera and a Mirrorless one, remember that price is not the only factor to consider. How does it fit in your hand, can you carry it for hours, is the menu easy to understand, will you be able to handle the guide mode as a beginner, all these questions matter. Modern-day cameras are as complicated as your home computer.

"Don't be a fool: a camera is more than just a tool; it's your key to capturing your world in photos. "

Choosing Between Budget DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

As you step into the world of photography as a beginner in 2024, the decision between a budget DSLR and a mirrorless camera is crucial. When deciding between a budget DSLR and a mirrorless camera, various factors like camera settings, ease of use for a camera beginner, and image quality are essential. This guide will help you navigate these choices, focusing on cameras with good value and performance. As we dissect the top picks for the best cameras in 2024, we aim to find the ideal camera you can buy to start your creative endeavor.

1. Ergonomics:

  • Pros:
  • DSLRs often have a substantial grip, providing a comfortable hold for extended shooting sessions.
  • Mirrorless type of camera, being compact, is lightweight and can be easier to handle for those on the go.
  • Cons:
  • Some may find DSLRs bulky and less convenient for travel or street photography.
  • Mirrorless cameras might feel small for individuals with larger hands.

2. Portability:

  • Pros:
  • Mirrorless ones, generally smaller and lighter, are a practical choice for photographers on the move.
  • DSLR cameras tend to offer a sturdier feel for those who prioritize stability as they are bulkier.
  • Cons:
  • Carrying a DSLR for extended periods may lead to fatigue, especially during travel.
  • The compact size of Mirrorless ones may be less appealing to photographers who prefer a substantial feel.

3. User Interface:

  • Pros:
  • DSLRs often have tactile buttons and intuitive menus, providing a straightforward user experience.
  • Mirrorless cameras frequently offer touchscreen interfaces, appealing to users familiar with smartphone navigation.
  • Cons:
  • The menu system on some DSLRs might be overwhelming for beginners.
  • Touchscreen controls on mirrorless cameras may be less responsive in adverse weather conditions.

4. Battery Life:

  • Pros:
  • DSLRs generally have longer battery life, ensuring extended shooting sessions without constant recharging.
  • Mirrorless ones are catching up, with newer models offering improved battery efficiency.
  • Cons:
  • Best mirrorless cameras may require carrying extra batteries for a full day of shooting.
  • DSLRs, while lasting longer, can still be drained quickly with continuous use of advanced features.

5. Technology Integration:

  • Pros:
  • Mirrorless cameras often come equipped with the latest technology, offering features like real-time autofocus and electronic viewfinders.
  • DSLRs, while traditional, may lack some of the cutting-edge capabilities found in Mirrorless counterparts.
  • Cons:
  • Mastering the advanced features of Mirrorless cameras may pose a learning curve for beginners.
  • DSLRs may feel outdated to tech-savvy photographers seeking the latest innovations.

In the ever-evolving world of photography, choosing between a budget DSLR and a Mirrorless camera requires thoughtful consideration. It’s not just about the price; it’s about finding the perfect balance between comfort, functionality, and your unique photographic journey. Explore, experiment, and capture the world through your lens!

Ensuring Quality Photographs with Good Equipment

The key to capturing high-quality photos is good equipment. And the right equipment often centers on a few critical features, such as sensor resolution and sensor size. The greater the sensor resolution, the more detailed your photographs. Larger sensors like the full frame, take better pictures in low-light situations. However, having a camera for beginners in 2024 doesn’t mean photos will be perfect. It still isn’t merely about owning a point-and-shoot camera or the most expensive camera but one that suits your needs and skills.

These factors combined with your creativity and understanding, ensure your photos aren’t just snapshots but tale-telling compositions. Your camera doesn’t click the photo—you do!

List of Top DSLR Cameras for Beginners

Canon EOS Rebel T8i: Best Overall DSLR Choice

Best beginner camera in photography Canon Rebel T8i

The Canon EOS Rebel T8i, known as the EOS 850D outside the US, is a top choice for beginners. This DSLR honors Canon’s reputation for quality with an excellent autofocus system and remarkable image quality. Though experiencing some limitations with 4K video recording, its overall performance coupled with compatibility with EF/EF-S lenses makes it an unrivaled contender for those initiating their journey in photography.

The Canon Rebel T8 stands out as a top choice. Its user-friendly design, impressive shooting versatility, and frequent iterations make it an excellent option for those new to photography. The camera’s intuitive control layout further ensures that beginners can quickly grasp the fundamentals of photography.



From stunning portraits to breathtaking landscapes, the Canon Rebel T8 adapts to various photography styles.

Entry-level DSLRs can be a significant investment for beginners.

Canon’s Rebel series continually improves, benefiting from advancements in technology with each new version.

More experienced photographers might outgrow the camera’s capabilities.

Easily adjust settings and capture great shots with an intuitive button layout.

DSLRs tend to be heavier than mirrorless alternatives,

Shoots Jpeg and RAW format

While it can record video, it may not meet the expectations of advanced vlogging camera.

Beginners may need time to master the camera, but the user-friendly design helps streamline this process.

Nikon D3500: An Affordable and User-friendly Option

best beginner camera in photography Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is a standout choice for beginner photographers. This camera boasts a host of features and benefits that make it a fantastic pick for those just getting started.

Top Features:

  • Nikon D3500 offers various shooting modes, allowing skill development flexibility.
  • Nikon D3500 – a reliable and user-friendly option.
  • Control Layout: The camera’s intuitive control layout ensures that even newcomers can quickly grasp the settings and capture amazing shots.



Excellent image quality, especially in well-lit conditions.

Limited video recording capabilities.

Lightweight and compact design for portability.

Fixed LCD screen, which doesn’t offer touch functionality.

Long battery life for extended shooting sessions.

Fewer advanced features compared to some competitors.

Seamless wireless connectivity for easy sharing.

Limited lens selection in the Nikon DX format.

Budget-friendly pricing for beginners.

Limited external microphone support for video recording.

Pentax K-70: The Rugged DSLR for Beginners

Best beginner camera in photography Pentax K-70

The Pentax K-70 stands out with its rugged, compact design. Dust-proof, weather-resistant, and functional even down to -10 degrees Celsius, this DSLR is ready for any adventure. Its Pentax’s 5-axis Sensor-Shift system aids image stabilization, ensuring excellent image quality.

For budding photographers, the Pentax K-70 is a standout choice. The camera’s versatility, easy controls, and various options make it the perfect companion for your photography journey. Check out the top features below, along with a balanced list of pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Top Features:

  • Weather-sealed body for all-weather shooting.
  • 24.24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor for sharp images.
  • In-body image stabilization for clear, blur-free shots.
  • Variable LCD screen for flexible composition.
  • Excellent control layout for easy adjustments.




Limited native lens selection


Bulkier than some competitors

Image quality

Slower autofocus in low light

In-body stabilization

Video quality limited

Intuitive control layout

AA filter affects it’s sharpness

The Pentax K-70, with its myriad benefits, is a great choice for those starting their photographic journey.

List of Top Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners

Sony Alpha a6100

best beginner camera in photography Sony A6100
The perfect companion for novice photographers, the Sony Alpha A6100 stands out. Its exceptional imaging sensor captures vivid, detailed shots, making it an ideal choice for those starting their photography journey. With a range of impressive features, this camera ensures you’ll have the tools you need to excel. Here are some of its top features:

  • 24.2MP Imaging Sensor: The A6100’s sensor delivers stunning image quality with sharp details and vibrant colours
  • Versatile Macro Options: Explore the world of close-up photography with its versatile macro capabilities.
  • Tilting LCD Screen: The tillable LCD screen allows for creative shooting angles and easy navigation.



Outstanding Imaging Sensor

Limited touchscreen functionality

Impressive Macro Options

Limited battery life

Tilting LCD Screen for Flexibility

No in-body image stabilization

Fast and Accurate Autofocus

Limited lens selection for E-mount

4K Video Recording with High Quality

Lack of weather sealing for durability

The Sony Alpha A6100 is a great camera for beginners. It offers high-quality images, creative options, and advanced features. However, there are a few limitations to keep in mind.

Fujifilm X-T200 – A Photographer’s Dream

best mirrorless camera for beginners in photography Fujifilm X-T200

Why should a beginner photographer choose the Fujifilm X-T200? This versatile camera offers an excellent entry point into the world of photography, thanks to its impressive features.

Here’s why the X-T200 stands out:

Top Features:

  • Accuracy: Achieve precise focus and exposure, even as a beginner, with the X-T200’s intelligent scene recognition.
  • Advanced Image Technology: Enjoy stunning image quality and vibrant colors with Fujifilm’s renowned X-Trans CMOS sensor
  • APS-C Options: Experience the advantages of an APS-C sensor, ensuring better low-light performance and dynamic range.
  • Capture sharp photos and steady videos with in-body image stabilization (IBIS).



1. Outstanding image quality.

1. Limited battery life.

2. Compact and lightweight design.

2. No weather sealing.

3. User-friendly interface.

3. Smaller lens selection.

4. 4K video recording.

4. Lower burst shooting speed.

5. Affordable entry into Fujifilm’s X-series lineup.

5. Limited touchscreen functionality in some modes.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

best mirrorless camera for beginners in photography Canon M50

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II should be at the top of your list of considerations. A mirrorless marvel designed with beginners in mind, offering a perfect blend of affordability and exceptional features. Let’s delve into the reasons why it’s an excellent choice:

Top Features:

  • Stellar image stabilization for shake-free shots
  • Affordable price point, perfect for beginners
  • Impressive DIGIC 8 processor for rapid performance
  • Cutting-edge Dual Pixel CMOS AF for precise focusing
  • 4K video capabilities for stunning videography

Now, let’s break down the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision:



Exceptional image stabilization

Limited lens selection

Budget-friendly without compromising quality

Smaller than some DSLRs

Powerful DIGIC 8 processor for quick performance

4K video may have limitations.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF ensures precise focus

Battery life could be better

High-resolution 4K video recording

No headphone jack for audio monitoring

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is perfect for beginners in photography. It has great features, manual modes, flash-shoe, affordability.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

best mirrorless camera for beginners in photography Canon M50

Another perfect choice for beginner photographers is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV that stands out as an excellent option. This compact and affordable mirrorless camera offers a lot of features that are sure to elevate your photography game. Here are some of its top features:

  • In-body image stabilization: Say goodbye to shaky shots with its powerful stabilization technology.
  • Budget-friendly: Perfect for new photographers, it offers high-quality features without breaking the bank.
  • Speedy processor: The advanced TruePic VIII processor ensures rapid performance.
  • Impressive imaging technology: With a 20.3MP sensor, it delivers stunning image quality.

Now, let’s break down the pros and cons in a handy table:



In-body stabilization

Smaller sensor size


Limited lens selection

Fast processor

Smaller grip for larger hands

Excellent image quality

Limited 4K video features

Compact and portable

Limited touchscreen functionality

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85

best mirrorless camera for beginners in photography Lumix GX85

Why should a beginner photographer choose the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85? This mirrorless camera is an excellent choice for those starting their photographic journey. Here are some of its top features:

  • Impressive Sensitivity: The Lumix DMC-GX85 boasts excellent low-light performance, ensuring your photos shine in all lighting conditions.
  • Outstanding Video Specs: Stunning 4K video, opening up a world of cinematic possibilities.
  • Exceptional Clarity: High-resolution sensor and image stabilization, your images will be sharp and clear.

Now, let’s break down the pros and cons in a table:



Outstanding sensitivity

Limited lens selection

Impressive video specs

No weather-sealing

Exceptional clarity

Smaller grip

Compact and lightweight

Limited customization

Built-in image stabilization

No headphone jack

Exploring Other Essential Photography Equipment

In this comprehensive guide to the best camera options, we will introduce you to one of the best cameras and the best DSLR for beginners, and also explore other essential photography equipment, including micro four-thirds cameras, film cameras, and the perfect camera for a beginner photographer’s toolkit. Let’s look into the key factors that should be considered before selecting a camera that is going to be your new best friend!

Importance of Good Lenses in Photography

In photography, the importance of a good lens cannot be overstated. Your lens is like the eye of your camera, and it has a significant impact on the quality of your photos. A high-quality lens can make a world of difference, enhancing your images with sharpness, clarity, and depth. The glass in front of your camera shapes your visual story. It’s not about megapixels or the latest camera body. The right lens can capture stunning details, create beautiful background blur (bokeh), and handle low-light situations like a pro. What’s more, a well-maintained lens can last a lifetime, while camera bodies evolve and get replaced over time. So, when you invest in a good lens, you’re investing in your photography journey for the long haul.

Initially, you have a lot of lens options, everything from zoom lens to wide angle and macro. Every manufacturer has its own dedicated lens mount. However, there are 3rd party lenses like Sigma and Tamaron that are as good and less costly. You will need to know your needs to make an informed decision. I would suggest writing them down and taking them with you when shopping for your starter camera.

Role of Lightweight Tripods for Beginners

Tripods provide sturdy support and stability for those windy days or long exposure photography. Using a lightweight tripod has multiple advantages. It allows you to take long exposures, create time-lapses, and deal with difficult lighting conditions. Additionally, it helps stabilize your camera for important shots. They offer the perfect blend of portability and performance without straining your shoulders or your budget. Whether handheld or on a tripod, explore and capture confidently with a reliable support system by your side.

Final Thougths

Stepping into the world of photography with the right equipment is significant for every aspiring photographer. When choosing the best camera for a beginner, options like the Canon EOS Rebel SL3, Nikon D5600, and the stylish Nikon Z FC stand out for their ease of use and quality. These entry-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras, often packaged with a versatile kit lens, provide a solid foundation for learning and growth. The Canon Powershot series, with its compact design, is another excellent choice for those seeking simplicity and quality in a new camera. 

Beginner cameras tend to balance affordability with functionality, making them ideal for those new to the craft. For instance, the Canon DSLR range, known for its user-friendly interface and Canon lenses, offers great value. Cameras like the Nikon Z series and Canon EOS Rebel SL3 not only capture full HD video but also come with features that are easy for beginners to navigate. The cheapest DSLR or a compact camera is perfect for those just starting, providing a gateway to the territory of interchangeable lens cameras.

Ultimately, the best camera for a beginner is one that aligns with their specific needs and aspirations. Whether it’s a camera to start your photography journey, a camera to use casually, or one that's geared towards a more professional path, choosing the right camera involves considering factors like ease of use, image quality, and budget. Digital cameras for beginners, be it DSLR VS mirrorless cameras, each bring their unique advantages to the table. Note for new and aspiring photographers: the journey in photography is as much about the camera as it is about how you use your camera to capture and tell your story. Make it good!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have any doubts, you might find some answers in our frequently asked questions’ section below where we answer questions in lay man’s language. The purpose is to make it more understandable for people who don’t have a lot of knowledge about photography or cameras. Let’s get started!

For beginners in photography, it’s not essential to start with an expensive camera. Instead, it’s wise to invest in a more affordable model that suits your initial learning curve. This approach allows you to develop and refine your skills without a hefty financial commitment. As your expertise and understanding of your unique photographic style grow, you can then thoughtfully upgrade to a camera that aligns more closely with your evolving needs and artistic preferences.

Deciding between a mirrorless or DSLR camera for beginners hinges on several factors. Mirrorless cameras are generally more user-friendly, boasting a compact design and innovative features that cater to the modern photographer’s needs. On the other hand, DSLRs provide a traditional photography experience with an optical viewfinder, often preferred by purists. While both types have their merits, mirrorless cameras typically offer a more accessible and intuitive experience for beginners, making them a popular choice for those just starting out in photography.

The cost of a beginner camera can vary, but most entry-level models are priced between $600 and $1300. This price range reflects differences in brands, features, and technical specifications. It’s advisable to look at well-known and reliable brands such as Canon, Nikon, or Sony, as they offer quality cameras that fit within this budget range, ensuring a good balance between affordability and performance for those new to photography.

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