The 10 best cameras for beginners in 2022

Published:
by David Em
Last updated:

Portraits Refined may earn a commission on purchases made from links on this page. For more information, read Affiliate Disclosure.

As a new photographer, you don’t need the most expensive camera. Learn about the best cameras for beginners so you can sharpen your skills.

Close-up of hands holding a camera.
Photo by David Em/Portraits Refined.

A good camera for beginners takes high-quality photos. The camera should also be durable, intuitive, and portable.

With a high-quality entry-level camera, you can focus on your photography skills.

It allows you to improve your composition, lighting, posing, and editing.

When you buy a camera, don’t forget about the lens.

Many DSLR and mirrorless cameras have the option to bundle with a kit lens.

While the body-only version is cheaper, it’s a better deal to get the camera with the kit lens. If you buy a lens separately, it’ll cost more.

The following are the best cameras for beginners.

1. Fujifilm X-T30 II Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm mirrorless camera without a lens.
Fujifilm X-T30 II Mirrorless Camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 26.1 MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 sensor.
  • X-Processor 4 with Quad CPU.
  • 4K30 video.
  • Continuous shooting up to 30 frames per second.
  • 425-point phase-detection autofocus.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4.7×3.3×1.8 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 0.8 pounds (378 g)

The following table covers Fujifilm X-T30 II prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
B&H$899.95Buy from B&H
Adorama$899Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$899Buy from Focus Camera
Amazon$899.95Buy from Amazon

Fujifilm’s X-T30 II is the X-T30 with a few minor updates, such as better autofocus performance, and it’s able to focus down to-7EV instead of -3EV.

It has the same 26.1 MP APS-C sensor and X-Processor 4.

The X-T30 II has a durable build and is an excellent all-around camera.

The only drawback is that its battery life isn’t as good as a DSLR.

Otherwise, it’s a great beginner and intermediate camera. So, you can grow into it.

2. Canon EOS M50 Mark II Mirrorless Camera

Canon mirrorless camera without the lens.
Canon EOS M50 Mark II Mirrorless Camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor.
  • Digic 8 image processor.
  • Continuous shooting up to 10 frames per second.
  • UHD 4K and HD 720p120 video recording.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4.6×3.5×2.3 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 13.7 oz (387 g).

The following table covers Canon EOS M50 Mark II prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
Canon$599.99Buy from Canon
B&H$599Buy from B&H
Adorama$599Buy from Adorama
Best Buy$599.99Buy from Best Buy

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is an entry-level camera with many excellent features.

It’s a compact and lightweight mirrorless camera that produces high-quality images and videos.

The M50 Mark II has the same image sensor and processor as its predecessor. Canon made small updates, such as a better autofocus system.

While the M50 Mark II can capture 4K video, it doesn’t allow you to use the dual pixel autofocus. So, it’s best to use 1080p.

If you take stills and 1080p videos and prefer a mirrorless camera over a DSLR, Canon’s M50 Mark II is a solid choice.

3. Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera

Canon T8i camera without a lens.
Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR camera. Photo courtesy of Canon.

Key features:

  • 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor.
  • Digic 8 image processor.
  • 45-point cross-type autofocus system.
  • UHD 4K video recording.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 5.16×4.04×3 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 1.13 pounds (515 g).

The following table covers Canon EOS Rebel T8i prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
Canon$749.99Buy from Canon
B&H$749Buy from B&H
Adorama$749Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$749Buy from Focus Camera
Best Buy$749.99Buy from Best Buy

Canon’s Rebel series cameras are some of the best DSLR cameras for beginners.

Mirrorless cameras are the future because they offer better performance and are lighter. But, there’s still a place for DSLR cameras.

For a beginner DSLR, Canon’s T8i is a good choice. It captures high-quality images, and the autofocus system is fast.

The build quality is durable, and it’ll last a long time. But, it does have a few drawbacks.

The 4K video comes with a heavy crop, and it doesn’t use Canon’s latest image sensor.

If you prefer a DSLR and an optical viewfinder, the T8i is ideal.

4. Nikon Z50 Mirrorless Camera

Nikon mirrorless camera without the lens.
Nikon Z50 mirrorless camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 20.9 MP DX-Format CMOS sensor.
  • UHD 4K and Full HD video recording.
  • EXPEED 6 image processor.
  • 209-point hybrid autofocus system.
  • Continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4.98×3.68×2.36 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 13.93 oz (395 g).

The following table covers Nikon Z50 prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
Nikon$859.95Buy from Nikon
B&H$856.95Buy from B&H
Adorama$856.95Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$856.95Buy from Focus Camera
Amazon$869.95Buy from Amazon
Best Buy$859.99Buy from Best Buy

The Nikon Z50 is a superb mirrorless camera for beginners.

It doesn’t get the same hype as other Nikon Z cameras because it doesn’t have professional-level specifications, but that’s the point.

It’s a capable entry-level mirrorless camera with a durable and quality build.

Also, it features excellent dynamic range and image quality.

The user interface and buttons are intuitive, and the camera is comfortable to use.

The main drawback is that its autofocus isn’t fast. Aside from the autofocus performance, it’s an excellent camera for beginners.

5. Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera

Nikon D5600 camera with the body cap.
Nikon D5600 DSLR camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 24.2 MP DX-Format CMOS sensor.
  • EXPEED 4 image processor.
  • Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps.
  • Continuous shooting up to five frames per second.
  • Nikon SnapBridge functionality.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4.9×3.8×2.8 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 1.02 pounds (465 g).

The following table covers Nikon D5600 prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
Nikon$699.95Buy from Nikon
B&H$696.95Buy from B&H
Adorama$696.95Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$696.95Buy from Focus Camera

The D5600 is Nikon’s best entry-level DSLR camera.

It’s compared to the D3500, but the D5600 comes out ahead because it has more autofocus points and a better LCD.

Nikon’s D5600 takes excellent pictures, has a long battery life, and has a durable build.

The main drawbacks are that it doesn’t offer 4K video recording, SnapBridge needs improvement, and some controls need you to open the menu.

If you want a DSLR that’s good for beginners and intermediate-level photographers, the D5600 is a solid choice. Also, it’s a great backup camera for professionals.

6. Sony a6600 Mirrorless Camera

Sony a6600 camera without the lens.
Sony a6600 mirrorless camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 24.2 MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor.
  • BIONZ X Image Processor.
  • UHD 4K30p video with HLG and S-Log3 Gammas.
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
  • Continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second.
  • 425-point phase-detection autofocus system.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4.72×2.63×2.73 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 1.11 pounds (503 g).

The following table covers Sony a6600 prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
Sony$1,399.99Buy from Sony
B&H$1,398Buy from B&H
Adorama$1,398Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$1,398Buy from Focus Camera
Amazon$1,398Buy from Amazon
Best Buy$1,399.99Buy from Best Buy

Sony’s a6600 is on the pricier side for beginner cameras. If it’s within your budget for a starter camera, it’s worth it.

The a6600 is a mirrorless camera with a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor, 4K video recording, in-body image stabilization, a top-tier autofocus system, and a long-lasting battery.

Unlike its predecessors, Sony removed the built-in flash. While it doesn’t have a built-in flash, you can mount an external flash to the hot shoe.

The a6600 is the ideal mirrorless camera if you shoot stills and videos.

7. Panasonic Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic Lumix G9 camera body.
Panasonic Lumix G9 mirrorless camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 20.3 MP Digital Live MOS sensor.
  • Venus Engine image processor.
  • UHD 4K60p video.
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
  • Continuous shooting up to 60 frames per second.
  • Dual memory card slots.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 5.4×3.8×3.6 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 1.27 pounds (579 g).

The following table covers Panasonic Lumix G9 prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
B&H$1,097.99Buy from B&H
Adorama$1,097.99Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$1,097.99Buy from Focus Camera
Amazon$1,097.99Buy from Amazon

The Panasonic Lumix G9 is ideal if you want to do photography and videography.

It’s a Micro Four Thirds camera with a 20.3 MP sensor, 4K video recording, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.

The G9 is a high-speed camera, so you can also take action shots and do sports photography.

Also, the body is magnesium alloy, so it’ll last many years.

The main drawbacks are the smaller sensor and that the battery life isn’t as long as a DSLR.

Since it’s more than $1,000, it’s pricey compared to other entry-level cameras. But, the robust features and benefits are worth it if you have the budget.

8. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Digital Camera

Sony point-and-shoot camera.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 20.1 MP 1-inch Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor.
  • BIONZ X image processor.
  • Full HD video recording.
  • Continuous shooting up to 10 frames per second.
  • Lens is equivalent to a 24-70 mm.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4×2.3×1.6 inches.
  • Weight: 10.23 oz (290.02 g).

The following table covers Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
B&H$748Buy from B&H
Adorama$748Buy from Adorama
Amazon$748Buy from Amazon
Best Buy$749.99Buy from Best Buy

Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III is a point-and-shoot camera with a 20.1 MP sensor.

It has a small, pocket-friendly design that you can bring anywhere. Also, the lens provides a range of focal lengths from 24 to 70 mm.

It’s not the best for learning manual mode or using different lenses like a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

But, it’s excellent if you want to pursue photography as a hobby and want a small camera for stills and HD videos.

9. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Mirrorless Camera

Olympus E-M10 Mark IV camera body.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV mirrorless camera. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 20.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor.
  • UHD 4K30p video recording.
  • TruePic VIII image processor.
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
  • 121-point contrast-detection autofocus system.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 4.79×3.32×1.93 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 13.5 oz (383 g).

The following table covers Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
Olympus$699.99Buy from Olympus
B&H$699Buy from B&H
Adorama$699Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$699Buy from Focus Camera
Amazon$699Buy from Amazon

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is an excellent blend of price and quality.

It’s an entry-level Micro Four Thirds camera, but the features make it great for beginners and hobbyists.

The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV has a 20.3 MP sensor, 4K video recording, in-body image stabilization, and continuous shooting up to 15 frames per second.

While it’s an excellent camera, it has a few major flaws.

The screen flips under the camera, which isn’t ideal. It’d be better to flip above or to the side. Also, it doesn’t have a microphone port.

Other than that, it’s a capable camera for beginners.

10. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80

Panasonic camera with a lens.
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80. Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • 18.1MP 1/2.3-inch MOS sensor.
  • Lumix DC Vario 60x zoom lens (equivalent to 20-1200mm).
  • 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps.
  • Dimension (LxWxH): 5.1×3.7×4.7 inches.
  • Weight without a lens: 1.35 pounds (616 g).

The following table covers Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 prices from different stores for you to compare.

StorePriceLink to buy
B&H$397.99Buy from B&H
Adorama$397.99Buy from Adorama
Focus Camera$397.99Buy from Focus Camera
Amazon$397.99Buy from Amazon

The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 is an excellent camera for beginners because it has a long zoom range, fast autofocus, and 4K video capture.

Also, it can shoot up to 10 frames per second in burst mode. You get a lot of features for less than $400.

The main drawback is that it has a small 18.1 MP sensor, which doesn’t give you the best image quality.

It also requires a tripod at the longer focal lengths when recording videos. Handheld videos will be too unstable.

Regardless, the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 is a great starter camera.

How to choose a good beginner camera

Now that you have a list of superb cameras for beginners, how do you choose the right one? There are many cameras, brands, and prices.

Some cameras are more powerful than others. But, it doesn’t mean that higher resolution cameras are the best choice.

Consider the following tips to choose the best camera for you.

Consider the type of photography you want to do

Photographer holding a camera and smiling outdoors.
The best camera is a personal choice. It depends on how you want to use it. Photo courtesy of Canva.

Before you choose a camera, what kind of photographer do you want to be?

To photograph sports, you’ll need a camera capable of shooting more frames per second.

If you want to do photography and videography, get a camera with 4K video recording.

For portrait photography, a high-resolution camera is essential.

If you want to do all types of photography, make sure you get a versatile camera. To travel with your camera, it needs to be light and portable.

Different types of photography need various features.

So, the perfect camera for you depends on how you plan to use it.

The right number of megapixels for beginners

Megapixels (MP) play a crucial role in image quality. While it’s not the only thing that matters, it’s an essential aspect.

As a beginner photographer, you don’t need a camera with more than 30 MP.

Instead, a camera with 16 MP to 26 MP is enough. It’s a good amount to capture beautiful images and grow as a photographer.

Mirrorless versus DSLR versus point-and-shoot cameras

The three main types of digital cameras are mirrorless, DSLR, and point-and-shoot.

As a new photographer, it’s key to understand the differences between the camera types.

Each system has its benefits and drawbacks. So, the one you choose depends on what you want in a camera.

Point-and-shoot cameras are small, portable, and have a fixed lens.

If photography is a hobby, and you want to use automatic modes, a point-and-shoot camera is ideal.

But, to grow as a photographer and have more creative control, consider a mirrorless or DSLR camera.

Mirrorless and DSLR cameras allow you to change the lens. They also have higher resolutions and offer more features than a point-and-shoot.

A DSLR camera uses the same system as film cameras.

Inside the camera body is a mirror that reflects light through the lens and up to a prism. Then, it shows the image in the viewfinder.

A mirrorless camera is a camera without a mirror. Light passes through the lens and to the sensor. The image shows on an electronic viewfinder.

Since mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror, they’re lighter, smaller, and faster than DSLRs.

Due to the electronic viewfinder, mirrorless camera batteries drain faster than a DSLR battery.

Also, mirrorless cameras are more expensive.

The type of camera depends on your goals and how you want to use it.

If you want a simple setup with a fixed lens and small body, a point-and-shoot camera is ideal.

Mirrorless cameras are the most popular type due to their excellent performance, but they cost more.

DSLR cameras have an optical viewfinder and longer battery life, but fewer manufacturers invest in new DSLRs. So, they may become outdated.

Get compatible accessories

Before you buy a camera, consider and budget for accessories. When you shop for accessories, ensure they’re compatible with your camera.

Several accessories you may need are as follows:

There are many different types of accessories. Some protect your gear while others streamline your process.

Conclusion

Once you get a camera and lens, you’re ready to start your photography journey. Learn photography techniques and practice.

The camera can only help so much. Composition, technical skills, and creativity will be the factors of an incredible photograph.

The best part about photography is that it’s never too late to start.

Take your camera outside, explore your creative side, and begin a lifelong photography journey.

Featured photo by David Em/Portraits Refined.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

About Portraits Refined

Portraits Refined (PR) is a media company that publishes the latest expert-backed portrait photography tips, in-depth camera gear reviews, and helpful advice to grow your photography business.

Connect