The best DSLR camera for beginners becomes the perfect entry-level choice for a newbie because it’s the most affordable way to get into interchangeable lens camera systems. The reason is that DSLR technology is on the market for a long time now and it has delivered a number of entry-level options that not only offer all the essential specs and features for beginners to grow with but also offer them at cheaper prices. And the good thing is that these entry-level cameras have been extensively tested and reviewed by experts and photographers already. And you can completely rely on them for a perfect start.
Moreover, starting with a DSLR is preferred over mirrorless and point-and-shoot cameras, because DSLR comes with an optical viewfinder that displays the actual scene without any shooting parameters being applied. So it gives a better opportunity to master the craft of framing and composition. Plus DSLR comes with longer battery lives and more manual dials and controls on their bigger and spacious bodies, allowing you to play and learn the art the traditional way. One more benefit that DSLR offers is that DSLRs come with a more established line of lenses. And not only there are cheaper lenses available for beginner DSLRs from many manufacturers like Nikon, Canon, and Pentax, but one can also find third-party and used lenses easily on the market. That makes DSLR a cheaper option even in a long run.
Selecting the right DSLR camera for the beginner is crucial. Crucial because, in most cases, the proper camera selection decides how much you’ll stay in the field of photography or how far you are going to progress in the photography profession.
But one thing is essential to keep in mind, that camera selection is also dependent on the style and genre of photography that you are interested in. If you are interested in establishing yourself in sports and wildlife photography, you need a DSLR with a fast shutter speed. If you are a Vlogger, you need a DSLR with a tiltable screen and video capabilities. You can prefer a DSLR of smaller size and one with easy handling for street and family photography or you can choose an all-rounder DSLR with lots of manual dials and buttons to establish your own style.
Whatever your interest is. Here we bring you 10 of the best beginner’s DSLRs that are a blend of excellent features and reasonable prices to give you a strong start and make your photography journey full of joy and ease. Have a look!
10 Best DSLR Cameras For Beginners In 2022
1. Nikon D3500 – Best budget DSLR for beginners
Sensor: CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6,000 × 4,000 pixels |Autofocus: 11 AF points |Screen Type: Fixed Screen | Burst Speed: 5 fps |Video Resolution: 1920 × 1080 |Viewfinder: Pentamirror
D3500 is the best Nikon camera that’s highly recommended for entry-level photographers and enthusiasts. It is an APS-CMOS sensor having 24 Megapixel results, and it is available for an affordable price. Other positive elements of the camera include a lightweight and long battery life. It seems like it is made for beginners, as it has Guide Mode that can essentially help in photography in different situations. It has a high-performance ISO range of 100-25600 and provides better quality images through its fast prime lens.
Moreover, you can also rely on its outstanding battery that can effectively last for days. However, its 11-point autofocus system can be limiting, and D3500 can also cause problems in low-light. There is no built-in Wi-Fi, and a Bluetooth connection is also a little problematic in transferring images. It has a rear LCD screen, which is a bit outdated in the era of touch screen LCD. For full HD at 1080/60p, D3500 performs effectively but is not suitable for those who capture many movies. However, it is best for candid captures and other informal shots.
Overall, the Nikon D3500 DSLR camera is the best affordable camera with some helpful features which can help young photographers to start and grow in the photography field—making it the best DSLR camera for beginners and young photographers.
2. Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D – Best beginners DSLR for landscape photography
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 45-point |Screen Type: Fully articulated Touch screen | Burst Speed: 6fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism
Canon EOS Rebel T7i is also known as Canon EOS rebel 800D outside the US. It is the best Canon camera that possesses all the features that are expected from the best entry-level DSLR camera. It has a sensor of 24.4 MP with a 45-points autofocus system and 6 frames per second shooting. This camera would be a better option for those looking for an effective optical viewfinder and a large DSLR for handling. Sensitivity-wise, T7i offers a native range of ISO 100-25600, and it can be expanded to 12,800 ISO through custom settings.
Besides, it has some advanced features like a vari-angle touchscreen display with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. It is a friendly camera for family photography because of the features like auto mode. It would be significant for setting focus, adjusting exposure, and white balance. However, you will face some problems due to its built-in flash. The camera’s dual pixel autofocus can be frustrating in situations when you have to tap for hunting for focus. Also, it has an average battery.
We recommend the T7i as one of the best DSLR cameras for beginners, for its lens quality, live view focusing performance, and fantastic LCD touchscreen.
3. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D – Best compact DSLR for Vloggers
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.1 MP | Resolution: 6,000 x 4,000 |Autofocus: 9-points AF |Screen Type: Fully Articulating Rear Touchscreen | Burst Speed: 5 fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror
Also known as Canon EOS Rebel 250D outside the US, the guide mode feature in this Rebel camera is one of the best features, as it helps its new users take great photos. Likewise, the Rebel SL3 is a beginner-friendly camera with comfortable and accurate Dual Pixel autofocus. It has an ISO range of 100-25,600 that brings it in competition with other entry-level DSLR cameras in the market.
Though there are some similar features compared to its predecessors, the 4K video is an additional thing about Rebel SL3. Other improvements in Rebel SL3 are its fast processor, better battery life, and continuous autofocus. It has an articulated touchscreen, which is unusual for other entry-level DSLR cameras from different brands. It makes rebel SL3 a better choice to capture low-angle shots.
Furthermore, the touch screen is fully functional. You can comfortably scroll through menus or swipe through images. It has a well-organized menu system with improved battery life. Flash of SL3 does not pop up automatically, and it is manually opened. It can be a big deal for beginners only, as they do not know when is flash needed.
Overall, you can have a better experience with its compact body, 1600-shot battery life, and optical viewfinder. And it can be the best starter DSLR choice for you if you are looking for a 4K DSLR that can do quality photography.
4. Nikon D5600 – Best beginners DSLR to grow with
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 39-points AF |Screen Type: Fully articulated Touch screen | Burst Speed: 5fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Eye-Level Pentamirror
D5600 is another member of the family of entry-level cameras by Nikon that makes into our list of the best DSLR cameras for beginners. It is the only DX-Format DSLR with a vari-angle touch screen from D5000-series cameras. Its features like tilting screen and its small size make it a better option for beginners and is one best small cameras for travel photography. It also performs Live View but is not as efficient as mirrorless cameras. It also offers SnapBridge functionality, which is a little slow. However, the autofocus, exposure, and white balance are outstanding.
Furthermore, the ISO performance range of the camera is ISO 100-25600. It gives better quality images with its autofocus system of 39-points AF. However, it can capture 5fps on a burst. The battery life of the camera is impressive. It has solid ergonomics that give a comfortable grip during shooting. D5600 also has some wireless capabilities such as built-in WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth connection. It does not have any USB port for charging purposes, so it is only charged through a charger.
Furthermore, it is a preferable choice to capture at lower sensitivities that appear to be clean with no noise. Thus, it is the best mid-range DSLR recommended for all new DSLR users and photography students.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D – Best starter DSLR for easy photo sharing
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 18MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 9-point |Screen Type: Fully articulated Touch screen | Burst Speed: 3fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror
Canon EOS Rebel T6 goes by the name of Canon EOS Rebel 1300D outside the US. The Canon DSLR with its small and lightweight body makes a perfect package for the choice of the best DSLR camera for beginners who are looking for the best starter camera. The mode dial on the top of the camera allows beginners to choose a mode easily. At the same time, there are automatic mode functionalities that are intended to help beginners capture high-quality images.
However, among the other listed entry-level DSLR cameras, T6 has a lower resolution sensor of 18 MP. The autofocus system is 9-points only with a burst shooting speed of 3 fps. The ISO sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400. In addition to this, Canon Rebel T6 offers some advanced features like Wi-Fi or NFC connection, which help in transferring images quickly. For transferring images, the Canon Cameras Connect app is also significant. It allows transmitting images through remote control. However, it is quite a basic camera for videography with low autofocus. The camera’s autofocus is very sluggish, thus making the Live View mode nearly suitable for photographing.
It is a small size camera, and with its friendly guide, it is easily adjustable by any non-experienced photography lover. With these features, T6 can be the best DSLR camera for beginners who prefer ease of use and are looking for the best travel camera.
6. Pentax KP – Best compact DSLR for travel photography
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.32 MP | Resolution: 6,016 x4,000 |Autofocus: 27-point |Screen Type: Tilting Screen | Burst Speed: 7fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism
When Pentax KP was launched, it was perceived as a little expensive as compared to its rivals. However, it has some compelling features, which will not make you regret spending some extra money on KP. It has high-resolution pixel shift capture, and it can be coupled with compact lenses. The camera’s video functionalities are not that good compared to other Pentax models such as K-3 II.
The design of the camera is slimmer than its predecessors. It is designed with a 24.32MP APS-C sensor, operational in a sensitivity range of ISO 100-819,200. It has a surprising range of native ISO for an entry-level camera. Still, there are some limitations, such as the processor of KP does not support 4K video recording. The LCD screen is mounted and can be pulled out of the body and move upwards and downwards; however, it is not a touch screen.
Wi-Fi is in-built to facilitate image sharing while NFC is absent in KP. There is a pop-up flash, which is a plus point for new DSLR users. It has a 5-axis stabilization capability along with a 27-point focus system. With its weather-sealed body and modular grip system, it is a better choice as the best DSLR camera for beginners.
7. Pentax K-70 – Best cheap DSLR for street photography and family outings
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 11-point |Screen Type: Rear Vari-angle display| Burst Speed: 6fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism
The Pentax K-70 is a midrange DSLR, available at the same price as many competitive entry-level models. It has a 24 MP CMOS sensor with a sensor-shift IS System for a Pixel shift, which can reduce color noise and improve resolution. Besides, the body of the K70 is weather-sealed and has a large optical viewfinder with a fully articulating LCD. It is a night vision, which is substantial for astrophotography. Besides, K-70 is also famous for its “Shake Reduction” mechanism because of its in-body image stabilization system. It has two control dials, and the native ISO range is ISO 100-102400.
Furthermore, the ergonomics are appreciable for a midrange model. Controls of the Camera are comfortable and properly positioned, so there are rare chances of accidental setting changes. Video capture is also improved but for short clips only. Therefore, it is an appealing and best beginner DSLR camera for photography lovers, but it is not the DSLR video camera that can be recommended for videography enthusiasts.
For beginners, another positive point is that its weather-sealed body design allows you to shoot in open nature and enjoy landscape photography. However, it will give more outstanding results when coupled with the Pixel Shift Resolution feature. The price is also in an affordable range.
8. Canon EOS 90D – Best all-rounder DSLR with 4K
Sensor: CMOS | Megapixels: 32.5 MP | Resolution: 6,960 x 4,640 |Autofocus: 45-point AF |Screen Type: Fully articulating touchscreen | Burst Speed: 10 fps |Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism
In the search for good entry-level and midrange DSLR cameras, we found Canon EOS 90D. It is the best mid-range DSLR camera with a higher-resolution sensor and excellent Raw Image quality. Also, it supports 4K video capture, and it has a competitive live view Auto Focus. It has a 32.5 Megapixel APS-C SMOS sensor with dual pixel autofocus, efficient for live view or video capture. It uses a 45-point cross-type AF system for thorough viewfinder shooting. It has a fully articulating touch LCD, with headphones and mic sockets. The Micro USB port is capable of USB 2.0 transfer speed. It has outstanding battery life.
With a weather-sealed body, it can comfortably fit in your hand. It is the most suitable DSLR for live view, with excellent coverage and accuracy. The ISO sensitivity range of the camera is ISO 100-25600. It has many features similar to mirrorless cameras, so it looks like a better rival with refined ergonomics. The optical viewfinder of the camera has a 100% coverage capability. This comfortable thing in hand will make you enjoy photography and it is the best DSLR for video in this range. In short, it is a solid and reliable model, which is capable of taking excellent images and can make excellent videos.
9. Canon EOS 80D – Best DSLR for sports and wild life photography
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 45-point |Screen Type: Fully articulated Touch screen | Burst Speed: 7fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism
Canon EOS 80D is intended for photography lovers looking for a camera comparatively advanced than an entry-level camera. It is the successor to Canon 70D, with an improved sensor and advanced autofocus capabilities. With an upgraded sensor of 24 MP, 80D is also capable of higher ISO performance varying between ISO 100-6400. Moreover, it has a 45-point autofocus system with Dual Pixel AF technology. The body of the camera is well-designed, and it is comfortable to hold. Beginners would also love its ergonomics and controls, the versatile AF system, and outstanding results.
The camera’s performance is appreciable, with fine burst speed, better buffer depths, excellent battery life, and a more flexible 45-point AF system. It is another best Canon camera for video. Video is its hallmark feature, considered by both beginners and advanced video creators. It offers quality videos without advanced 4K video; however, it can shoot incredible time-lapse movies. In order to record longer shoots or events, it needs to press the record button manually.
With some modern features such as Wi-Fi, in-camera HDR, and another handful of effects, it looks updated. And It has overall good performance. That’s why it can be considered as one of the best all-rounder DSLR cameras for beginners. With all its advanced features, this best DSLR camera for beginners is still available it is still an affordable price.
10. Canon EOS Rebel T6i / EOS 70D – Canon’s budget entry-level DSLR
Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 19-point |Screen Type: Fully articulated Touch screen | Burst Speed: 5fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism
The final camera to consider when looking for the best DSLR for beginners is the Canon EOS Rebel T6i. The Canon EOS Rebel T6i or Canon EOS Rebel 750D as it is called outside the USA is the successor of the EOS 700D/Rebel T5i and can be the best starter camera. It has some new features that differentiate the camera from the old model. It is an advanced beginner DSLR camera and is recommended as one of the best budget DSLR cameras for beginners with a strict budget. It has a 24.2 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100-12800; the ISO setting is expandable up to ISO25,600.
Furthermore, it has both WiFi and NFC features that enable connection to a smartphone or any other device. It has a 19-point detection AF system. Additionally, it has a Quick menu that is operated by pressing the Q button. It can shoot up to 5fps continuously.
With improved color detection, EOS 750D is preferred over its predecessors. It also has an optical pentaprism viewfinder, which covers 95% area of the screen. In Live View mode, focusing is high-speed and accurate; no jerk shift can be noticed. So it works very smoothly, but there is no Optical Image Stabilization option in the camera. Also, the body of the camera lacks weather sealing. Therefore, it would need extra care when exposing it to harsh weather conditions.
What to look for in the best DSLR camera for beginners?
It is crucial to get the right DSLR for the right beginning. Therefore, before taking your buying decision, it is important that you understand what is essential to look for when buying the best DSLR camera for beginners. Let’s discuss it.
Does brand matters when buying a new DSLR Camera? The answer is, both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ at the same time.
Yes! Because the more established the brand, the more inexpensive and more available, the lenses and accessories. No! because features and what you are opting for in a camera are more important than a brand.
First, a beginner must choose a brand with an established line of lenses and accessories available. Because it is very likely, that you’ll have to stick to the brand you choose for a while, that’s so, because shifting from one brand to another comes with a cost. That is why we have considered some of the most established and best camera brands while making our list of best DSLR cameras for beginners.
Secondly, you have to make sure what features you are looking for in a DSLR camera. And that is mainly decided by what type of photography you are interested in. A wedding and portraits photographer may look for resolution, but a sports photographer may look for faster speeds, no matter what the brand.
Sensor size and resolution
Is sensor size important when buying a DSLR?
Yes, sensor size is important for two reasons.
Firstly, the larger the sensor size of the camera, the higher the resolution. Because a larger sensor equals a larger photo and better image quality, larger sensors also better handle low lighting scenarios. That is because a larger surface area allows the camera to collect more light. And larger sensors also make it easier to get soft, out-of-focus backgrounds.
Secondly, When it comes to DSLR cameras, there are two options for sensor sizes that you have to choose from and stick to.
APS-C sensor is the smaller type and the option that’s typically best for entry-level DSLR photographers. It is usually plenty for new photographers to work with, and they allow cameras to be easy to use and much more affordable. That is why it is always preferred by experts when suggesting the best DSLR cameras for beginners.
A full-frame or 35mm sensor is slightly larger, and these cameras are considered professional cameras. A full-frame DSLR offers more resolution but comes with a higher price tag. So, indeed not a preferred choice for a newbie.
Now, most lenses are sold for either full-frame or APS-C sensors, so this is another scenario where changing later from one sensor to another may require updating your lenses too, and hence that comes in costly.
Megapixel and picture quality
Do megapixels decide the picture quality of your camera? The answer is: Not really.
Too many people buy cameras based on megapixels alone, and that’s a horrible way to decide on a new camera. Megapixels determine how much resolution your cameras have. But megapixels solely do not determine your picture quality. And that is why your higher-resolution mobile phone usually yields lower-quality pictures than the much lower-resolution DSLRs. And similarly, a lower megapixel full-frame sensor may result in better quality pictures than a higher megapixel APS-C sensor.
So, bottom line: Megapixels do not let alone decide on the image quality, but higher megapixels are essential for taking larger images for larger printing. Megapixels are also useful when you want to crop your photos for better zoom, like in wildlife photography where you need to capture distant birds.
Is shooting speed critical when buying a new camera? The answer is: Yes.
The camera speed relies on the camera’s processor. But generally, the burst speed rate of a camera is an indication of how fast the camera is. And naturally, the more photos a camera can take in one second, the more likely you are to capture the shot at the perfect moment. It may be an essential feature to consider for buying entry-level DSLR cameras for sports photography. It is likely also beneficial for a wedding photographer and someone who takes pictures of his playing kids who are jumping around.
Most DSLR cameras have burst speed rates around 5 fps, which means they can take five images in one second and it is considered good speed for beginners DSLR. And a 10 fps burst speed is an excellent speed for a sports DSLR camera.
One more speed to consider when buying the best DSLR camera for beginners is the maximum shutter speed. Faster shutter speeds are essential when shooting outside in bright daylight because they eliminate overexposure when shooting with a wide aperture setting. More advanced models will hit speeds of 1/8000 or even 1/16,000. But shutter speed of 1/4000 is plenty enough for beginners DSLRs and works quite well for most photography types.
Is it essential as a beginner that you start from a low-priced entry-level DSLR? The answer is: Not, necessarily.
Generally, it is preferred to start with an APS-C sensor camera as a beginner. That is not only because they are less expensive but also because they provide all the necessary features that are generally important for a beginner photographer. It is essential that you go for a camera that allows you the flexibility in terms of the type of photography you want to excel in and provides you the system that you can gradually grow in as a professional.
It is not essential that you buy cheap DSLR cameras only unless you are restricted by money. There are excellent options of new and used DSLRs available Under 1000$ than never before, that offers excellent value. And in case, even if you are really low on budget, you still don’t need to worry because you can still find some of the best beginner-level DSLRs under $500 only.
We are certain that if you’d read our blog post in detail, you can easily make the right choice for yourself. We have reviewed the best beginner’s DSLRs for every style and genre of photography. And any DSLR you choose will help you learn and improve your photography skills as well as will stay with you for a longer time to come.