Best DSLR Camera for Beginners | Guide & Reviews

Best DSLR Camera for beginners 2020, every things you’ll need from the best entry-level DSLRs, beginner DSLR camera, Best Budget DSLR from Canon, Nikon and more great camera brands. They include interchangeable lens and great image quality, how DSLR compares to mirrorless and how to use these DSLRs photography, bloggers and more

Buying your first DSLR is exciting, but there are plenty of options available and choices to make before you add one to your cart. 4K, IBIS, MP, FPS are just a few of the acronyms you’ll come across during your search. And you’ll be faced with the age-old question; Canon or Nikon? 

Or maybe you’re like me and you’re eager to get your hands on a Fuji camera for travel. Either way, buying a beginner DSLR isn’t as simple as you might think. There are plenty of things to consider, but luckily, I’ve done the leg-work for you. You may also like my guide on the best travel cameras.

This guide to buying a DSLR camera for beginners will answer all your questions and help you choose the very best camera for your needs and your wallet. 

Beginners Guide to the Best Entry-Level DSLRs – At a Glance

Canon EOS 2000D |Best Entry-Level DSLR - Resolution: 24MP4K Video: NoConnectivity: WiFi and NFCWeather-sealing: NoIBIS: YesFPS: 30Kit Lens: EF-S 18-55 mm

Canon EOS 2000D |

Best Entry-Level DSLR

Resolution: 24MP

4K Video: No

Connectivity: WiFi and NFC

Weather-sealing: No

IBIS: Yes

FPS: 30

Kit Lens: EF-S 18-55 mm

NIKON D3500 |Best DSLR Camera for Shooting Landscapes under $500 - Resolution: 24.2MP4K Video: NoConnectivity: BluetoothWeather-sealing: NoIBIS: No but lens comes with VR (vibration reduction)FPS: 60Kit Lens: AF-P DX 18–55

NIKON D3500 |

Best DSLR Camera for Shooting Landscapes under $500

 

Resolution: 24.2MP

4K Video: No

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Weather-sealing: No

IBIS: No but lens comes with VR (vibration reduction)

FPS: 60

Kit Lens: AF-P DX 18–55

Canon EOS 90D |Best DSLR Camera for Travel Photography - Resolution: 32.5MP4K Video: YesConnectivity: WiFi and BluetoothWeather-sealing: YesIBIS: YesFPS: 120Kit Lens: 18 - 135mm

Canon EOS 90D |

Best DSLR Camera for Travel Photography

Resolution: 32.5MP

4K Video: Yes

Connectivity: WiFi and Bluetooth

Weather-sealing: Yes

IBIS: Yes

FPS: 120

Kit Lens: 18 – 135mm

Pentax K-70 |Best Compact DSLR for Travelling - Resolution: 24MP4K Video: NoConnectivity: WiFiWeather-sealing: YesIBIS: YesFPS: 60Lens: DA 18-135mm WR Lens

Pentax K-70 |

Best Compact DSLR for Travelling

Resolution: 24MP

4K Video: No

Connectivity: WiFi

Weather-sealing: Yes

IBIS: Yes

FPS: 60

Lens: DA 18-135mm WR Lens

Nikon D5600 |Best Low Light DSLR Camera - Resolution: 24.2MP4K Video: NoConnectivity: Bluetooth and WiFiWeather-sealing: NoIBIS: No but the lens has VRFPS: 60Kit Lens: AF-S 18-140

Nikon D5600 |

Best Low Light DSLR Camera

Resolution: 24.2MP

4K Video: No

Connectivity: Bluetooth and WiFi

Weather-sealing: No

IBIS: No but the lens has VR

FPS: 60

Kit Lens: AF-S 18-140

Canon EOS 4000D |Best Cheap DSLR Camera -

Canon EOS 4000D |

Best Cheap DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 250D |Best Lightweight DSLR Camera -

Canon EOS 250D |

Best Lightweight DSLR Camera

 

What is a DSLR Camera? 

Before diving into the best DSLR camera for beginners, I’m going to break down exactly what a DSLR camera is. DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex. In short, this means is that it combines a digital imaging sensor with the mechanisms and optics of a single-lens reflex camera. 

In both the film SLR and the modern DSLR, light enters through the lens and is reflected using a mirror, allowing you to see the image through the optical viewfinder. Unlike in a mirrorless camera, where this mechanism is absent. This reflex mirror means that whatever you see in the optical viewfinder, is what will be in the photograph. 

DSLR’s have been the close companions of professional photographers for many years now and there’s good reason why. If you’re in the market for both quality and functionality, a beginner DSLR is the way to go. 

Why choose a DSLR Camera?

It’s no secret that a DSLR is a step-up compared to phone cameras or point-and-shoots. But what makes them so sought after? 

If you’re in the market for phenomenal picture quality, a DSLR is a top choice. Their larger sensor size allows them to produce crystal clear photographs. They also have fast shutter speeds and less grain. 

Another advantage of DSLRs is their speed. When shooting sports or wildlife, every second counts, and with a DSLR you won’t miss capturing the perfect moment. 

DSLRs come with an impressive range of lenses, catering to everyone from macro photographers to landscape enthusiasts. Depending on your choice of subject and style, your lens can be changed to make sure you capture it perfectly. 

Mirrorless vs DSLR Cameras for Beginners

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Another common crossroads beginners face is whether to get a mirrorless camera or rather purchase a DSLR. The largest difference between the two is that one has a mirror and the other doesn’t, but there are other smaller things to consider as well. 

And if after reading this you decide that DSLRs aren’t the best option for you, I’ve also written a guide on the best mirrorless cameras for beginners

Pros of DSLRs

  • DSLRs usually have an impressive battery life that lasts longer than those of their mirrorless cousin

  • With the flip of a switch, your camera is ready to shoot (just remember to take off the lens cap)

  • There are plenty of lenses to choose from with a DSLR

  • The optical viewfinder will show you exactly what your subject looks like before you take the photograph

  • They have incredible photo quality

Cons of DSLRs

  • The DSLRs mirror system can make the camera bulky and heavy – shooting with them for a long period of time can take its toll

  • While DSLRs have a good autofocus system, the one used in mirrorless cameras is hard to beat

Best Beginner DSLR Camera: Canon or Nikon?

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While Canon and Nikon aren’t the only companies that make DSLRs, they’re the two that are most highly respected. Choosing between them can seem daunting. Are you a Canon person or a Nikon person? Or, in my case a Fuji girl? 

Each brand has its own pros and cons. And the choice you make will mainly depend on your own preferences. You can rest assured knowing that both Nikon and Canon are great cameras for photography. But once you’ve made your choice, switching to the other will be expensive. 

For video, Nikon is a better choice, offering higher video output quality. The manual mode labels on Nikon are similar to those used by other camera brands, while Canon uses their own system. This can be a little confusing at first but with some time you’ll get used to it. 

In terms of affordability, their beginner DSLRs are similarly priced. The only way you’ll be able to tell where your allegiances lie is by holding each brand and, if you’re able, taking photos with them. You can ask a fellow photographer if you can hold their camera just to test it out or do so in a shop. 

How to Choose The Best DSLR for You

Choosing the right DSLR for you depends on what type of photography you want to delve into. The best DSLR for travel beginners won’t necessarily be the same as the best DSLR camera for travel vlogging. 

Before diving into the best and most affordable options, here’s my guide on how to buy a DSLR camera for beginners.

What to look for when buying a beginner DSLR?

When you’re first starting out, all the specifications can seem a little foreign. All the lingo and numbers can make even a professional photographer dizzy. I’ve been there, done that, so I’ll try and explain it in simple English. These are a few of the things to look out for when looking for the best beginner DSLR.

Size

If you’re planning on travelling the world with your new baby, the size matters. A clunky camera can take up unnecessary space and weigh down your luggage. 

The ideal camera will be reasonably small and lightweight. This way not only will it be ultra-portable but you’ll also have more space in your luggage. 

But some people like a little weight to their camera, so the size and weight of the camera you choose will depend on personal preference.

Megapixels

The resolution of a camera is measured in megapixels (MP). Usually, the higher the megapixels the better. High-resolution cameras not only allow you to take high-quality photographs, but also give you the freedom to blow them up to large sizes without pixelation. 

If you’re set on printing giant canvases then opting for higher megapixels is a wise choice. But if you’re mainly going to be using your photos for blogging, social media or smaller prints, then you won’t need to fork out extra money. Around 18MP or higher will satisfy any budding photographer. 

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4K Video

The crisp, life-like benefits of 4K video come with a higher price tag. But if you’re an aspiring videographer or vlogger, this feature can be a game-changer. Keep in mind that not all screens can display 4K videos, but if you happen to own one that does, the quality is awe-inspiring. 

WIFI/Bluetooth

While connectivity might not be the first thing that comes to mind when buying a camera, I consider having WiFi or Bluetooth in your camera essential. These functions allow for the swift transfer of photographs between devices. This makes editing and sharing photos a breeze. 

You can buy the presets used on these images in my shop

Plus, quite a few of the WiFi-enabled cameras allow you to control them from your smartphone. This is perfect for group shots, selfies or animal photography. 

Bluetooth will also allow the easy transfer of images between devices, as will NFC  (near field communication). 

Camera Lens

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DSLR cameras boast an impressive lens variety. As a beginner photographer, you won’t need numerous lenses right away. But as you grow, so can your lens collection. Different subjects need different lenses and with a DSLR you’ll be able to find the ideal lens for every photograph. 

Before long you’ll have the perfect lens for all your favourite subject matter.

Choosing the right lens will depend on a variety of things. You’ll need to consider aperture (how much light your lens lets in), the focal length (how much do you want to fit in your shot), and whether you want it to be prime (non-zoom) or have a zoom function. You should also consider lens stabilisation.

Most DSLRs come with kit lenses which are perfect for beginners. They’re affordable and will help you figure out exactly what you want to invest in when it comes to a lens. Some even offer specials with multiple kit lenses. 

Weather-sealing

Without weather-sealing, your camera will be at the mercy of the elements. Getting a weather-sealed camera will not only protect your DSLR from the weather but will also allow you to take more adventurous photographs. 

Weather-sealing doesn’t mean waterproof though, so don’t go too hard on your new baby. But it will protect your camera from drizzle or mist and is way better than carrying around a plastic bag

Looks/Aesthetic

While the design of the camera won’t affect its functionality, it might affect how often you use it. A gorgeous camera not only begs to be photographed but also to take photographs. An eye-catching camera will motivate you to go out and capture the world around you. 

If you think the look of your camera will influence how often you use it, it might be worth investing in an aesthetically pleasing DSLR. 

IBIS stabilisation

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A shaky hand can make for shaky pictures, and there are few things worse than finding the perfect shot and it coming out blurry. IBIS, or in-body image stabilisation, counters any movement, ensuring your photos come out the way you want them to. Plus, you won’t have to carry a tripod with you 24/7.

Having image stabilisation in the body also gives you a lot more freedom when choosing lenses. You won’t have to worry too much about lens stabilisation because the IBIS will keep you steady. 

Don’t despair if your chosen DSLR doesn’t come with IBIS. You can get lenses that help with image stabilisation as well. And if you want the smoothest possible results, you can invest in both IBIS and lens stabilisation. 

Slow-mo features

There’s no doubt that slow-mo pictures and videos bring the drama. Having the ability to capture things slowly can be a huge asset. As a beginner, you’ll probably find the concept of slow-mo a little daunting, but with the right camera, you’ll be taking impressive slow-mo videos in no time. 

If you’re interested in taking some incredible shots, slow-mo features are a must-have. In order to shoot in slow motion, your DSLR will need to have a reasonably high frame-per-second rate (fps). For the best slow-motion shots, you’ll want around 120fps or higher.

Nikon D3500 – Best DSLR for Beginners 

Nikon D3500 Camera.png
  • Resolution: 24.2MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: No but lens comes with VR (vibration reduction)

  • FPS: 60

  • Kit Lens: AF-P DX 18–55

The Nikon D3500 ticks all the boxes when it comes to functionality. Plus its budget price tag will suit most beginners. It’s also reasonably lightweight, making it the perfect travel companion. 

Even if you’re in low light, this baby’s sensor will be able to capture incredible photos as well as full HD movies. It has a 24.2MP resolution and impressive light sensitivity, allowing you to capture stunning sunset photographs and midnight scenes. 

The body itself doesn’t have IBIS, but when you pair it with a vibration reduction lens, your images will be smooth. 

The kit lens will suit any beginner, allowing you to zoom in on your subject matter while maintaining a healthy distance. It also offers 5fps continuous shooting, allowing you to capture multiple pictures of the same moment. 

Vloggers and photographers alike will be delighted by the features offered by this camera. Although, unfortunately, it isn’t weather-sealed, so you might have to bring a plastic bag along on wetter days. 

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / Canon EOS 800D

Canon EOS 800D.png
  • Resolution: 24.2MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: Yes 

  • FPS: 60

  • Kit Lens: EF-S 18-55

Beginners will find the Canon EOS 800D (or as it is known in the US, the EOS Rebel T7i) easy to use. 

It works well in low light and comes with a vari-angle touch LCD, allowing you to clearly see what you want to photograph. Unfortunately, it is not weather-sealed so you’ll need to protect it from getting wet. 

You’ll be able to access your photos with ease using the cameras NFC, Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity. This camera also connects with a variety of lenses, giving you plenty of room to grow. Topping the previous camera by one, this camera boasts a 6fps continuous shooting speed. 

Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 90D.png
  • Resolution: 32.5MP

  • 4K Video: Yes

  • Connectivity: WiFi and Bluetooth

  • Weather-sealing: Yes

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 120

  • Kit Lens: 18 – 135mm

For wildlife and sports photography, the Canon EOS 90D is a great choice. It boasts an impressive 10fps continuous shooting speed, allowing you to capture fleeting moments with the push of a button. 

It also has intelligent tracking, which keeps the focus on your subject when it’s moving. You’ll be able to get some killer shots with this camera.

Videographers will love it too. Not only does it shoot in 4K but it can also shoot incredible slow-motion videos. And better yet , this weather-sealed camera will handle well in bad weather.

Canon EOS 250D / Rebel SL3

Canon EOS 250D camera.png
  • Resolution: 24.1MP

  • 4K Video: Yes

  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth and Auto Transfer

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 60

  • Kit Lens: 18 – 55mm

The Canon EOS 250D is a portable, entry-level DSLR that’s lightweight, making it an ideal travel companion. It’s the perfect step-up from a point-and-shoot. And you won’t have to break the bank for this camera either. 

Vloggers and content creators will be able to do plenty with this model. It has a vari-angle screen that’s perfect for selfies and videos.

The optical viewfinder will allow you to see an accurate representation of the world around you. And you’ll be able to connect your smartphone, allowing you to view and post your photos easily. 

Pentax K-70

Pentax K-70.png
  • Resolution: 24MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: WiFi

  • Weather-sealing: Yes

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 60

  • Lens: DA 18-135mm WR Lens

The all-weather Pentax K-70 camera is one of the best DSLR cameras for travel beginners. It’s a compact camera which makes it easy to take with you on outdoor adventures. Plus it’s weather-sealed so you won’t have to worry about mother nature. 

With this camera, you’ll be able to get high-quality images, even if you’re shooting in low light environments. It also works with a variety of lenses, so you’ll be able to choose the perfect lens to suit your needs. 

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 80D.png
  • Resolution: 24.2MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: WiFi and NFC

  • Weather-sealing: Yes

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 60

  • Kit Lens: 18-55mm

The Canon EOS 80D is an impressive DSLR that ticks plenty of boxes. While it might not have some of the video qualities that filmmakers will be interested in, it still records high-quality videos. It’s also weather-sealed, making it ideal for travel adventures.

This digital camera has an intelligent viewfinder to help you frame your shots perfectly. The vari-angle LCD touch screen makes composing photos and taking awkward shots easy. It is a little more pricey than some of the other options on this list, but it performs well and makes a great beginner DSLR.

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600 camera .png
  • Resolution: 24.2MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and WiFi

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: No but the lens has VR

  • FPS: 60

  • Kit Lens: AF-S 18-140

With a razor-sharp autofocus system and 24.2MP resolution, the Nikon D5600 is a great piece of kit. It’s an affordable, beginner DSLR that will do everything you need it to. 

It doesn’t have some of the fancier features like 4K and slow-mo, but it can still capture HD video and crisp photos. Vloggers and selfie aficionados will love the vari-angle touch screen, and the vibration reduction lens will ensure smooth photos. 

It will also perform well in low light, with a built-in flash to light up any dark scene.

The camera has an impressive battery life, giving you the whole day to take plenty of photos. And you’ll be able to share your shots instantly using the camera’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, if you’re planning on taking photos in the rain, you’ll need a plastic bag since this camera isn’t weather sealed. 

Canon EOS 4000D / EOS Rebel T100 – Best Budget DSLR

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  • Resolution: 18MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: WiFi

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 30

  • Kit Lens: EF-S 18-55 mm

The Canon EOS 4000D is a good beginner camera with plenty of features that will make taking photos enjoyable. While it doesn’t have some of the more advanced features some of the other DSLRs have, it does a lot for a low price. 

Unfortunately, this camera doesn’t offer much room to grow. While this might be perfect for some, others might want to invest a little more in a model with more potential. 

Canon Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D

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  • Resolution: 18MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: WiFi and NFC

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 30

With the Canon EOS 1300D, you’ll be able to capture high-quality, detailed images with the click on a button. From action shots to landscapes, this camera can do it all. 

It connects to your smartphone via WiFi, allowing you to share your masterpieces instantly across social media. And it has an accurate viewfinder, allowing you to see exactly what you will capture before you click. 

It also offers full HD video recording with beautiful background blurring. The lightweight body makes it ideal for travelling. And the beginner modes will make shooting easy. 

Canon Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D – Best Camera For Beginners

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  • Resolution: 24MP

  • 4K Video: No

  • Connectivity: WiFi and NFC

  • Weather-sealing: No

  • IBIS: Yes

  • FPS: 30 

  • Kit Lens: EF-S 18-55 mm

If you’re looking for an affordable DSLR, the Canon EOS 2000D is one of the best cameras for photography beginners. It has similar features to the 1300D but boasts a higher resolution. You’ll be able to take crisp, clear images worth sharing using this camera.

Vloggers and videographers will be able to do a lot with the 2000D but might outgrow it quite quickly. With that said, it’s lightweight, easy to use and is very affordable for newbie photographers.

Finding the Best Beginner DSLR

Choosing the best beginner DSLR camera for you is a fun and memorable experience. There’s nothing like taking it out of the box and snapping some memorable photos to share with your loved ones. No matter what DSLR you choose, you’ll always remember your first camera. 

Whether you’re a blogger, vlogger or a casual photographer, the right camera can take your craft to a whole new level. With the right DSLR, you’ll have plenty of room to express your creativity and the perfect way to capture all the important moments in your life. 

Hopefully, my guide has led you to the best beginner camera for you, and you’ll soon be snapping some incredible photos.


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