Modern smartphones can capture incredible images, but a DSLR is the best way to learn camera skills if you’re serious about photography. A DSLR gives you complete control of every element of the picture and the flexibility to shoot everything from portraits to wildlife photography. It’s part of a camera system giving you access to lenses, flashguns, and other accessories that set you apart as a photographer rather than a snapper.
Upgrading from smartphone photography to using a digital camera is daunting for some people, but there’s nothing to be afraid of if you choose the right equipment. The following are some of the best DSLRs for beginners.
Table of Contents
BEST DSLR CAMERAS: 1) Canon EOS 4000D
This is Canon’s entry-level DSLR, and at under five hundred US dollars or three hundred UK pounds, it’s ideal for stepping into the world of digital photography. The EOS 4000D is a couple of years old now, but it still compares well with other cameras in this price range. The eighteen-megapixel sensor can record at up to 12,800 ISO so that it can handle low-light conditions reasonably well. Images can be printed as wall art without loss of sharpness or detail.
The nine-point focus system handles most subjects well, but this and the maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th means the EOS 4000D isn’t really suitable for sport and action photography.
Creative Auto Mode is one of the features that make the 4000D great for beginners. If you’re new to digital photography, it allows you to create different effects without having to understand the impact of aperture and shutter speed selection. The Quick Control menu offers an easy to access a range of options before pressing the shutter button.
BEST DSLR CAMERAS: 2) Nikon D3500
Nikon is one of the names associated with professional photography, but they offer models to cater to all skill and experience levels. The Nikon D3500 is one of the cheapest DSLR cameras for beginners on the market, and it’s incredible what it features for the price.
The high-performance twenty-four-megapixel sensor has a generous ISO range of up to 25,600and can shoot five frames a second. Guide Mode makes this entry-level Nikon DSLR perfect for beginners. It suggests camera settings for the user to produce desired effects, such as softening the background in portraits. As you become more confident, the D3500 offers more advanced settings and the flexibility to take control.
At around five hundred US dollars or four hundred UK pounds, including a zoom lens, this DSLR is excellent value for money. The body is slim and light, so it’s suitable for family days out as well as photoshoots. The main weakness of the D3500 compared to more expensive beginner’s DSLRs is the focusing system. With only eleven points, it can struggle to focus on fast-moving subjects. The focus points are clustered around the center of the frame, so there can be issues when the main subject is at the edge.
BEST DSLR CAMERAS: 3) Canon EOS250D
If you have a little more money to spend and like the design and layout of Canon cameras, the EOS250D is another great DSLR for beginners. At around eight hundred US dollars or six hundred UK pounds for the body and a zoom lens, it’s one of the more expensive entry-level DSLRs, but its advanced features mean you won’t outgrow it. It’s incredibly light and compact for a camera of its type, and it rivals the latest mirrorless models in terms of portability.
The EOS250D’s nine-point focus system is the one sacrifice that’s been made to keep this camera so affordable. Focusing is still fast and accurate thanks to the inclusion of Canon’s top sensor for its APS-C range. The combination of the Digic 8 image processor and twenty-four-megapixel sensor can produce stunningly sharp images with superb color rendition. The vari-angle touchscreen is a feature only seen in models twice the price of this DSLR a couple of years ago. The EOS250D can operate as a point-and-shoot camera thanks to Guided UI and Creative Assist modes.
Sharing images with friends and family is very simple with this camera, thanks to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The option to capture 4K video means the EOS250D is a popular choice for moviemakers and photographers.
BEST DSLR CAMERAS: 4) Nikon D5600
Sitting between Nikon’s D3000 and D7000 range, the D5600 bridges the gap between cameras for beginners and those for more experienced photographers. The original D5000 appeared in 2009, and the current model has benefitted from many improvements as technology has developed. It’s around eight hundred US dollars or six hundred UK pounds, but many consider it the best DSLR for beginners currently available.
The D5600’s twenty-four-megapixel sensor and Expeed 4 processing engine capture images to rival any camera in its class. Tricky lighting situations are handled with ease by the ISO sensitivity of up to 25,600 and Night Landscape mode. However, it’s the additional features and technology that make this serious contender the best DSLR for new photographers. Nikon’s revolutionary SnapBridge software can maintain a constant connection between the camera and your smartphone so that you can share images instantly. SnapBridge technology can also be used to operate the D5600 remotely.
Focusing accuracy is never an issue, thanks to this Nikon’s thirty-nine-point AF system. The focus points cover a wide area across the frame, and the camera’s contrast-detect technology keeps the subject pin-sharp. Five frames a second shooting make the D5600 an excellent option for sport and wildlife photography.
The tilting touchscreen with drag, flick and pinch controls makes framing and composing images intuitive once you get used to it. It also means you can shoot from unique angles, such as a worm’s eye view of the world. In-camera creative tools are another reason this DSLR is a popular choice for beginners.
Best DSLR Cameras: 5) Pentax K70
Nikon and Canon dominate the DSLR market, but there are some alternatives worth looking at. Pentax was the company behind the first-ever Japanese 35mm SLR camera, and it still exists as a brand today. The Pentax K70 is an excellent DSLR for beginners with a specific interest in landscape and outdoor photography. It’s perfectly suited to extreme conditions as the body is weather-resistant and dustproof. The K70 control buttons and mode dial are designed for use by gloved hands, and they can operate at temperatures as low as minus ten degrees.
The twenty-four-megapixel sensor with an ISO range up to 102,400 makes this Pentax ideal for capturing detailed landscape shots. Unique angles and compositions are made easy by the vari-angle LCD monitor. The eleven-point focus system is designed for accurate detection of subjects even in dark locations. At around nine hundred US dollars or seven hundred UK pounds for the body and a short zoom lens, the K70 is one of the most expensive DSLRs for beginners, but the quality build and innovative features justify the price. The range of Auto Picture settings includes modes for capturing moving subjects, night scenes, and snow-covered landscapes.
Choosing the best DSLR camera for beginners involves thinking about the types of photography you’re interested in and deciding what features you need. Budget is also a consideration, of course, but think of this as an investment in an exciting new hobby and spend as much as you can afford.