Buying a new camera as a photography beginner can be a difficult task. The abundance of promising options adds to the never-ending confusion.
For the same reason, I have prepared this hand-picked selection of the best cameras to buy in 2021.
This comprehensive guide would also assist you in choosing the right kind of camera as per your needs.
With the advancements in the imaging tech, today, we have plenty of great cameras in the market to choose from.
I have divided this camera buying guide into three categories- Mirrorless, DSLRs, and Advanced compact (Bridge) cameras.
So, let’s get started.
- Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners
- Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners
- Best Advance compact/Bridge Cameras for Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer: All the recommendations on this page are based on my personal experience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases without any additional cost to you.
Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners
Mirrorless cameras are a lightweight and compact alternative to the bulky DSLRs. The main difference between the two is the lack of a mirror mechanism in the mirrorless cameras.
Removing the mirror from cameras opened many possibilities for the manufacturers- to reduce the size and weight of the camera. The current day models pack high performance in a small form factor. However, they do not come close to DSLRs in battery life.Below are the best mirrorless cameras for photography beginners in 2021.
|Best Value- Mirrorless|
|Fujifilm X-T30||Check Price|
|Excellent Ergonomics||Single Card Slot|
|Great EVF||Limited Lens Support|
|Pancake Kit Lens|
|High quality screen|
Nikon was a late entrant to the mirrorless market. But it made quite an entrance with the debutante full-frame mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z6.
It did the same in the APC-S market with the launch of the Nikon Z 50. It’s a camera aimed at beginners and serious enthusiasts; however, the impressive specs sheet can also satisfy a professional.
A welcome move by Nikon is using the same mount on the Z50 as its full-frame counterparts- the Z6 and Z7. It means you can use your APS-C Z lenses on the full-frame Z cameras, and it will automatically apply the crop factor. Also, the full-frame Z lenses are compatible with the Z50.
It can also take advantage of the FTZ adapter that allows you to mount Nikon F mount lenses on the Z cameras.
The Nikon Z50 weighs only 450 Grams, including the batteries. It comes with two command dials and enough customizable buttons. The rear side is comparatively neat, thanks to Nikon’s thoughtful design choices of using the touch-sensitive button on the screen bezels.
It features a new 20.9 MP APS-C sensor, which is very similar to the one we have seen in the D500 and D7500. The resolution, however, is lower compared to its competitors. But there is absolutely no compromise in the image quality.
The Z50 utilizes a hybrid autofocus system that features a cover of 90% of the frame with 209 autofocus points on the sensor. The -4EV to +17 EV sensitivity of the focus points make it easy to work in the low-light scenarios.
There is also support for the Eye-AF. It does a great job of detecting the eye of a subject and sticking to it during movement.
With the Z50, Nikon launched two new APS-C kit lenses- 16-50 mm f3.5- f6.3 pancake, and 55-250 mm telephoto lens. With the new 16-50mm, the camera achieves the ultra-compact form factor. However, the 55-250mm telephoto lens makes a bit front-heavy.
The electronic viewfinder on the Z50 is 0.39 inches with a 2360k-dot resolution. The EVF display is sharp and responsive.
On the other hand, the rear LCD is touch-sensitive 3.2 inches tilting screen. It can tilt 180 degrees downwards, which makes it useful for vlogging and selfies.
The sensor on the Z50 produces realistic colors with the right amount of vividness and contrast.
However, the sensor on the camera is an APS-C; it produces a significant amount of details in all shooting conditions.
The native ISO range on the Nikon Z50 is 100 to 25,600, which can be expanded to ISO 50 to ISO 51,200.
The images in low light produce little grain until ISO 6400; beyond that, the grain becomes more apparent. Overall, the low-light performance is acceptable for the price range of the camera.
It can shoot up to a whopping 11fps with full auto-focus and auto-exposure on. However, it supports the high-speed UHS I card, the buffer is low at 15 RAW images at a time. But if you shoot only JPEGs, it can reach much faster speeds.
The maximum shutter speed is limited at 1/4000 seconds.
The Z50 uses a 1120MaH, EN-EL25 battery, which lasts for 300 shots per full charge. However, it supports USB charging, which makes it possible to charge on the go. It also comes with a wall charger, which is useful if you purchase an extra battery.
4K video recording has become essential for today’s cameras. The Z50 is not different, it can shoot 4k videos at a maximum of 30p.
The autofocus works very well while recording the video. With the tilting screen and excellent recording, it can be a great vlogging camera.
The Z50 is Nikon’s answer to Fujifilm when it comes to picture effects. It comes equipped with various picture control modes. It would surely appeal to the Instagram generation.
In terms of connectivity options, it comes with a microphone jack, a micro HDMI, and a micro-USB, which can also be used to charge the battery.
For the wireless connectivity, it comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, you can connect and transfer photos to a smartphone using Nikon’s Snapbridge app. It accepts a single SD card up to the speed of UHS I.
|Fully Articulating Screen||Mediocre Battery Life|
|3.5-Inch LCD Display|
Fujifilm had made a comeback in 2014 after a long hiatus and made its place in the market in very little time. They appealed to a specific class of photographers who preferred aesthetics and utility in their cameras. However, it all came at a premium price tag.
This changed with the introduction of the XT100 in 2018, which was priced comparative to other entry-level DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras.
The successor X-T200 is another entry-level offering from Fujifilm targeted at the photography beginners and vloggers. It comes with a lot of improvements from the previous generation.
The camera body is made up of mostly plastic; however, the build is sturdy. The compact form-factor and super-light 370 grams weight makes it ideal for long-duration shooting and travel.
This camera comes with the traditional PASM modes contrary to what we see in the higher-end Fujifilm cameras. However, the camera controls are highly intuitive.
It comes with two command dials that can be used to adjust shutter speed and aperture.
On the rear, it has a Q button for quick settings to adjust the most common camera settings. The quick menu can also be customized to include your most-used settings.
It also features a joystick that can be used for focus point selection as well as for navigating the menu.
Unlike its predecessor X-T100, it features a handgrip on the camera front. Though it is not very deep like the one on the Nikon Z50, it’s sizable enough to let you hold the camera securely in your hands.
On the top is a small in-built flash, which is relatively limited in power but useful in multiple low-light situations.
It features a 24.2 MP CMOS sensor. It is an APS-C crop sensor, however, unlike the higher-end Fuji cameras, it is not an X-trans sensor.
As per Fujifilm, the sensor uses a new copper wiring that limits the noise production in the images and speeds up the readout.
The new sensor, coupled with Fuji’s color science, makes it a great performer.
The X-T200 uses a hybrid phase/contrast-detection autofocus system. Which performs very good for the camera in this price range.
The focus tracking is accurate in bright to medium light situations. But in the low-light scenarios, it is slow to lock focus. Which is justifiable for a camera at this price point.
The supplied kit lens with this camera is different from the one we get with the higher-priced Fuji cams. It comes with a XC 15-45mm f3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens, which is a lightweight power zoom.
The ultra-compact lens, when retracted, reduces the overall footprint of the package, which means you can carry it easily it a handbag.
Compared to the usual 18-55mm focal length, this lens provides a wider field of view at 15mm- great for shooting landscapes.
It comes with a large 3.5-inch screen with 2760k-dots resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It is a vari-angle display that can be turned to face the user for an immersive selfie and vlogging experience.
On the other hand, the electronic viewfinder is a 0.39-inch OLED display with 2360k dots resolution. It is sharp and provides a 0.62x magnification.
The Fuji X-T200 produces sharp images with vivid colors. Like the other Fuji cameras, it also comes with the full range of 11 film simulation modes. There are also other in-camera presets and advanced filters to enhance the looks of your images.
The native range of ISO is 200 to 12800. It can be expanded to ISO 100 to 51200.
When it comes to the low-light shooting, it performs at par with the cameras in this price range.
It can shoot continuous high-speed frames at the rate of 8fps. With the mechanical shutter, you can shoot at a maximum of 1/4000s, whereas the electronic shutter can go as fast as1/32000.
The X-T200 features the support of USB charging via a USB type C (Gen 3.1) port. However, the wall charger isn’t supplied with the box.
In the normal mode, the battery can last for 270 shots per charge; however, in the economy mode, the number can reach up to 440 shots. In the video mode, it can record up to an hour of footage.
It can shoot 4k videos with full auto-focus at 24 or 30p. It also features support for HDR videos.
The kit lens that comes with the X-T200 comes with the OIS support, which stabilizes the video and useful for slow shutter still photography.
The ports available are USB C and HDMI Type D. There is no headphone/mic jack, but the USB C can be used to connect those using an adapter. In wireless connectivity, it comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
|Excellent Low-Light Performance||Low Battery Life|
|Eye-AF, Animal Eye-AF|
The alpha 6000 series from Sony is aimed at enthusiasts. However, over recent years this series is significantly enhanced to be used by professionals as well.
The A6400 is one of the most advanced APS-C cameras by Sony. It is an excellent balance between price and features.
On the design front, the A6400 is similar to its predecessors. It maintains the simplicity and the utilitarian approach that is a boon for beginner photographers.
On the other hand, it has a solid construction that also comes with weather-sealing.
If you like to program the camera to make it work for you, this one will suit you well. It comes with 8 customizable function keys that can be assigned to 89 different settings. And a command dial to use for adjusting various settings.
The A6400 comes with a 24.2 Megapixels APS-C sensor and Bionz X image processor. The combo produces sharp images and vivid colors. It records 14-bit RAW files, which are upscaled to 16-bit for increased flexibility in processing data and converted back to 14-bit in the end.
This process, as Sony claims, adds precision to the resulting image with an increased dynamic range.
Another plus point is the electronic viewfinder that boasts of a resolution of 2.3 million dots and provides 100% coverage.
Furthermore, the auto-focus system is one of the best for a camera in this price range. It boasts of Sony’s near-perfect Eye-AF. The AF locking is ultra-fast, and the hit rate is exceptional.
The 425 focus points support both phase and contrast detection. The AF points cover 84% of the frame area.
Additionally, it supports focus by touching on the rear LCD.
Coming to the kit lens choices, you can buy the A6400 with the power zoom 16-50mm lens, or you can pay extra to get an 18-135mm lens. The 18-135 lens is more massive than the power zoom option, but it is more robust and produces better quality images.
Coupled with any of the above lenses, the A6400 produces an excellent image quality. The 24.2 MP sensor ensures a significant amount of details in your pictures. Also, the JPEGs out of this camera render life-like accurate colors.
If you like taking pictures of your dog or you’re into wildlife photography, the ultra-fast continuous shooting on the A6400 will serve you well. It can shoot at 11 fps in continuous mode with Autofocus.
The compact body of the A6400 can support only a single memory card. Despite the small form-factor, the battery is big enough to shoot 410 shots when using rear LCD and 360 with the electronic viewfinder.
Coming to the video, the A6400 offers 4k recording at 30fps with 100mbps bitrate. Whereas in Full HD resolution, the frame rate goes up to 120fps with the same bitrate. It oversamples the footage to 6k while capturing and then down it to a UHD resolution(3840×2160). The new AF system provides speedy autofocus during video capture.
The A6400 supports the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) video capture, which plays well on HDR TVs. It also comes with Sony’s S-log profiles, which is equivalent to RAW files for photo capture. The log profiles offer an exceptional dynamic range, which leaves a lot of flexibility for the editing stage.
You can also mount an external recorder to this camera via the HDMI port.
The A6400 comes with plenty of connectivity options- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC on the wireless side and an HDMI and a USB 2.0 port for the compatible wired connections.
You can connect your NFC supported smartphone with the camera with a tap and can transfer photos using the in-built Wi-Fi.
With Sony’s remote-control app, you can use your smartphone to take pictures and change shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO remotely.
|Ultra-Light||Low Battery Life|
|Excellent Dynamic Range|
|30 fps burst shooting|
|200 MBPS Video Capture|
|External Mic Port|
In the last few years, Fujifilm has created a market for itself despite most of its new cameras being crop sensor. What sets Fuji apart is the utilitarian vintage design with knobs and dials. The cameras give a nostalgic feel yet pack many advanced features.
The Fuji X-T30 is aimed at a beginner to the intermediate skill photographer. It comes with the same sensor and image processor as the costlier flagship- the X-T3. However, it is much more compact and lightweight than its big brother.
Coming to Design, the X-T30 follows the typical Fuji characteristic and feel of a vintage film camera. It feels compact in hand and has a solid construction.
On the backside, you will find a quick menu button and a joystick, which makes navigating through the menu a breeze.
However, initially, the position of the Q button was found inconvenient by the users. Though it is easy to get used to.
The screen comes with a tilt mechanism. It can be moved up and down, which is excellent for low and high angle horizontal shots.
On the top, you find three knobs- the left side one offers burst mode selection, bracketing, movie mode, and advanced profiles. On the right, you will find shutter speed and exposure compensation knobs.
All professional Fuji lenses come with an aperture ring. However, for lenses without one, you can adjust aperture using the front command dial. And ISO is adjusted using the rear dial.
The X-T30 comes with a 26.1 MP APS-C sensor. This is Fuji’s proprietary X-Trans sensor. Sensors in other cameras in this article are all Bayer sensors.
Fuji’s X-Trans uses a 6×6 color configuration compared to Bayer’s 2×2. You can read more detailed differences here. However, the X-Trans sensor is the reason behind beautiful colors and dynamic range in photos out of Fuji cameras.
Overall, this camera provides identical image quality and performance as the X-T3, in a minimal form factor.
The native ISO range is 200- 12800 and expands from 100 to 51200.
It features 425 AF points that cover almost the entire frame. Compared to the other cameras in this category, it performs above average in low-light situations.
The continuous AF on this camera is one of the best in this price bracket. It is well-suited for shooting wildlife and fast-moving subjects.
The X-T30 kit comes with an 18-55 mm lens. Which is the highest performing kit lens in this category. The aperture on the wide end is f2.8, and on the tele end, it closes down to an f4, which is much better than the f3.5 to f5.6 range we usually find on other kit lenses.
It shoots at 8 fps when using the mechanical shutter. However, with the 1.25x crop mode and electronic shutter, the speed increases significantly to 30 fps. It’ll serve you well when shooting sports and wildlife.
In terms of buffer memory, it can store 16-18 full-resolution RAW files while shooting continuously.
The only part that leaves you asking for more is the battery life. It comes with a modest battery of 360 shots on a full charge. And you can shoot a 45-minute video.
One thing to note here; the battery life slightly increases when using rear LCD instead of the viewfinder.
The X-T30 is not primarily made for video, yet it packs a host of useful video features. It can record 4K videos at 30 fps. The 4K footage is downsampled from 6K, which results in better image quality. With the compact form factor and limited processing power, the camera limits 4k recording to 10 minutes.
It saves 8-bit 4:2:0 videos in-camera and can shoot at 10 bit 4:2:2 with an external recorder. Also supports the cinematic resolution of DCI 17:9.
It can record 1080p videos at up to 60fps and slow-motion clips at 120fps.
For the storage, it supports a single SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards. It also comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options. Wi-Fi offers a quick connection for transferring photos to your smart devices. Whereas Bluetooth can be used to control the camera shutter with your phone.
The ports section is minimal with an HDMI, a USB C, and 2.5mm mic jack. To monitor the audio while capture, you will need a USB-C microphone or connect using a USB-C to 3.5mm converter cable.
A welcome addition is the ability to charge the battery in-camera using the USB C port and also use it while it is getting charged.
Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners
A DSLR is a great option despite the introduction of the compact mirrorless cameras. They are robust and reliable and been here for a very long time.
Current day DSLRs are the result of years of research and development. They are backed with a mature lens lineup. They usually last a very long time.
Below are the best DSLR cameras for beginners in 2021.
|Best Value – DSLR|
|Canon 250D/ Rebel SL3||Check Price|
|Compact||Only 1080p Video|
|Long Battery Life -1550 Shots||Fixed LCD Screen|
|Excellent Image Qualiy|
|In-Camera Distortion |
and Vignette Correction
If you are on a budget and want the flexibility of an interchangeable lens system and full manual control, you can’t go wrong with the Nikon D3500. It is the most affordable camera in this segment and is ideal for beginners.
The D3500 is a superior blend of ergonomics, image quality, and lightweight. It gives you a far better image quality than a smartphone, a viewfinder for framing your shots, and is light enough for day-long shoots.
Nikon has revamped the rear controls with this camera. All the buttons are moved to the right side, making it very easy to adjust settings with one hand.
Compared to the mirrorless cameras, you’ll find a deeper handgrip on DSLRs. Nikon makes it even better with the D3500 by making it more substantial. The camera feels more secure in your hand, even when shooting with heavier lenses.
However, despite the more substantial grip, the D3500 isn’t a heavy camera. It weighs only 415 grams with battery. The overall size of the camera is larger compared to the mirrorless bodies though it is very compact in the DSLR category.
The D3500 comes with a 24 MP APS-C sensor which captures high resolution 6000×4000 pixels sized images. It captures both JPEGs and RAW files; however, the RAW files are limited to 12-bits.
It comes with Nikon’s latest EXPEED 4 imaging processor, which produces sharper details and improved colors in the images. Another welcome addition is the in-camera distortion and vignette correction, making wide-angle camera jpegs more usable.
The native ISO range on the D3500 is ISO100 to 25,600. And there is no extended ISO on either end. However, there is an Auto ISO feature that operates within that native range.
The AF system is carried forward from the last two predecessors, it’s the same one used in the D3300. However, given the price point, it’s a decent performer.
It offers 11 focus points, which is an insignificant number compared to the mirrorless system. It covers a significant area of the frame in the viewfinder and is good enough for beginner usage.
The low-light focus performance isn’t much to talk about, but it is decent for this price point.
The new Nikon 18-55 F3.5-5.6 AF-P kit lens works very well with the autofocus system.
It’s speedy in locking the subject in focus. Though if the subject is beyond the focus points coverage, you’ll need to rely on focus and reframe technique.
The lens and camera combination on the D3500 gives detailed and sharp images with beautiful color rendition.
Nikon hasn’t made any compromises with the D3500 in terms of image quality, this camera beats some of the more expensive DSLRs. It produces some of the best quality photos in the APS-C camera segment.
With lower ISO numbers, you get top quality photos from this camera. However, beyond ISO 6400, the image quality suffers significantly. But that is the case with almost all of the cameras in this price segment.
The D3500 offers a decent continuous shutter frame rate of 5fps. It is useful for most candid situations, but if you want to shoot wildlife, you should look higher up the price range.
There’s a single memory card slot for a UHS-I SD or SDXC card.
In terms of battery life, the D3500 beats every other camera on the list with an excellent 1550 shots on a single charge. The only limitation is that you can’t charge the battery in-camera.
But with such long battery life, you might never need that feature if you plan your shoots well.
One area where the D3500 doesn’t have much to offer is video. It’s focused mainly on stills photography.
Nowadays, when 4K capture has become a norm in all new devices, it comes with a maximum of 1080p recording at a maximum of 60 fps.
The rear LCD is a fixed non-touch display. You can’t move the screen or do touch focus in live-view mode.
The D3500 is an ideal camera for absolute beginners. The guide mode on the camera helps you learn the basics of photography by guiding you on every step. However, the guide mode can be turned off in the settings at any time.
The selection of ports and connectivity is minimal. It comes with a type c HDMI-out port and a micro-USB port.
There is also support for Nikon’s Snapbridge app, which allows you to seamlessly transfer photos to a smartphone.
It comes with Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connectivity. There is no Wi-Fi or NFC options. But given its price point, the D3500 is a great performer with decent features.
|143-Point Dual-Pixel Live-view|
|Only 9 AF Points in Viewfinder|
|Ultra-Compact DSLR||Pentamirror Viewfinder|
|4K Video at 60p|
|Battery Life of 1000 Shots|
|Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD|
Recently, Canon has made many positive changes with its entry-level DSLR segment. One beneficiary of the refresh is the Canon EOS 250D (Rebel SL3 in some markets).
The Rebel SL3 is an attempt to minimize the differences between the entry-level DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. And I would say it has been successful to a large extent. It is a small and lightweight camera that offers mirrorless like live-view shooting.
The refreshed design is a mixed bag of good and not so good changes. It is a compact camera and feels very light to hold. However, the compactness comes at the cost of control features. The control buttons are limited, but they provide enough flexibility for a beginner.
The build is mostly plasticky though its high quality. The top section boasts a new minimalistic look and feel.
It comes with two command dials and a mode selector dial. They are made up of metal and has an excellent tactile feel.
The video selector is embedded in the third position to the left with the ON/OFF dial.
It weighs around 449 grams with battery and memory card.
Though the Rebel SL3 is a compact camera, there is no compromise in terms of the handgrip. The grip is more profound than all mirrorless cameras on this list and also many DSLRs. It gives a sense of security when shooting single-handedly.
The viewfinder is a cheaper “pentamirror” type, instead of a “pentaprism.” Pentamirrors are said to be less bright. However, this is offset by a great live-view focusing system.
Despite the entry-level price point, the 250D comes with a 3-inch fully articulating touchscreen display. It provides excellent flexibility for shooting at challenging angles.
The Canon EOS 250D comes with a 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which is seen in many DSLRs and Mirrorless in this range. It is complemented by the DIGIC 8 image processor.
This combination results in high-quality images. However, the sensor is coated with a low-pass filter used to reduce the instances of moiré in photos. But it also reduces sharpness a bit.
The maximum resolution of images is 6000×4000 pixels. Which is excellent for the entry-level camera of this price.
The native ISO range on the SL3 is ISO 100 to 25600, expandable up to 51,200. The noise isn’t an issue in the images taken up to ISO 6400.
The 250D comes with a 9-point AF system for the viewfinder shooting. Which is lower than 11 points of the D3500. However, this is offset by the much superior 143-point Dual pixel autofocus in the live-view mode.
When focusing manually by tapping on the touchscreen, the focus points extend to a whopping 3957 points.
It uses phase-detection technology with a live-view focus, which is more accurate than the contrast detection in other cameras in this range. Both the viewfinder and touch screen focus are fast and precise.
The kit comes with an 18-55 mm f/4-5.6 lens. It produces sharp images, but it is not as good as the Nikon AF-P kit lens that comes with the D3500.
To do justice to the excellent sensor in the Rebel SL3, you can replace the kit lens with a faster Canon prime like a 50mm F/1.8 or 35mm f/1.8. Or a better telephoto zoom like the Canon 17-55 f/2.8
Given the entry-level price bracket, the 250D comes with 5 fps in continuous shooting mode. It is a decent frame rate for fast-moving subjects. However, if you want to shoot sports or wildlife, you must look for the camera higher up the line.
It supports UHS I memory cards of SD/ SDHC/ SDXC type. The memory card slot is in the same compartment as the battery.
The battery life on the 250D is 1070 shots on a single charge when using the viewfinder. With the live-view shooting, it lasts for a decent 320 shots.
The battery isn’t as impressive the one on D3500, but it’s still a solid performer. You get 4K recording at a maximum of 60p with this camera.
There is a crop factor when shooting in 4k, which means you will have to move a bit backward to cover your desired frame.
It also shoots 1080p videos at 60p or 30p. There is no option for super-slow-motion capture, like in the entry-level mirrorless counterparts.
There are inbuilt effects that give you Instagram-worthy shots directly out of the camera. In total, 10 effects can be applied to JPEGs.
The 250D comes with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. You can do a fast photo transfer to smartphones using Wi-Fi and Canon app.
In terms of connectivity, it offers a USB 2.0 and an HDMI port. There is also support for an external microphone for audio.
|39 AF points in Viewfinder||Lacks 4K Video capture|
|Great Image Quality||Pentamirror Viewfinder|
|3.2-inch Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD|
The D5600 is a feature-rich offering from Nikon. It is a high-grade performer in the entry-level price bracket.
The Nikon D5600 is a sturdy camera, and it stands out in the crowd of cheaply made beginners DSLRs.
The construction is monocoque, which means the camera’s outer body is carved out of a single piece of polycarbonate.
The camera feels solid in your hand. However, it’s still not much heavier than the other DSLRs on this list. It weighs around 463 grams with battery and memory card.
It comes with a fully articulating 3.2-inch touch screen LCD. Which can be used for focusing in live-view mode and navigating the menu. It’s also helpful for taking shots from difficult angles.
The D5600 comes with a pentamirror viewfinder, which covers a 95% area of the frame. The viewfinder shooting experience is mediocre in low light situations.
The handgrip is substantial, and the high-quality build makes it easy for one-hand usage. For those who don’t like the neck-straps, the deep grip provides great security.
It features a 24.2 MP DX APS-C sensor and Expeed 4 image processor. The sensor doesn’t have a low pass filter resulting in sharper images. The images out of this camera have ample details and beautiful color rendering.
The max resolution of the image is 6000×4000 pixels. The native ISO range is ISO 100 to 25600.
Nikon used the 4800DX, phase-detection AF system in the D5600, the same is used in the more expensive D7000 series. It has 39 AF points, out of which 9 are cross-type points.
These are the highest number of AF points in all the DSLRs we’ve seen above. The focus is accurate and speedy and performs decently in low light situations compared to the D3500 and the EOS Rebel SL3.
It comes with the AF-P 18-55 mm f/3.5 to 5.6 lens. The focus and imaging performance of this lens is exceptional. Combined with the D5600, this lens results in a silent and speedy autofocus.
The images from this lens are sharp and maintain good colors throughout the focal range. However, on the wider end, there is a reasonable amount of distortion. Which can be corrected in post-production.
You can shoot a maximum of 5 frames per second with this camera in continuous shooting mode. Though it’s the same as the above DSLRs, it shines in the area of autofocus. Which results in more keeper shots than misses. However, this framerate is not decent enough for fast sports and wildlife shots.
The D5600 offers a reasonable battery life of 820 shots on a single charge. This is better than the mirrorless camera in this range. But the other two DSLRs I reviewed in this article offer a much better battery life.
In any case, this battery is very decent and would last a whole day of shooting easily. The camera supports a single SD card, which are rated SD/SDHC/SDXC.
The D5600 disappoints the most in the video department, where it offers only a maximum of 1080p resolution videos, which can be recorded at 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p. The pleasant addition is the time-lapse capture feature.
It comes with NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. With the help of companion app Snapbridge, you can have a low-resolution version sent to your smartphone. The connection is made over BLE, which a low power Bluetooth solution.
Via Wi-Fi, you can use the app to release the shutter remotely with your smartphone.
In terms of ports and connections, it offers a type C mini HDMI, a 3.5mm microphone jack, and a USB2.0 port.
Best Advance compact/Bridge Cameras for Beginners
These are the nifty little cameras that offer full manual control and decent image quality. However, the image sensor in these is smaller than the above cameras. But if you are looking for something super-light and tiny, these are the best fit for you.
|Best Value– Advanced Compact/ Bridge|
|Canon Powershot G7X Mark III||Check Price|
|Excellent Design||No Viewfinder|
|4K Video Capture|
|3-inch Tilting Display|
|Optical Image Stabilization|
In the age of fantastic smartphone cameras, you might feel what good can come out of an advanced compact camera. But you’ll be amazed by the great features and usability these tiny devices offer.
Canon is a significant player in the advanced compact camera segment. The Powershot GX line cameras are the most sought after by vloggers and beginner photographers.
The G7X Mark III is the latest offering by Canon, which comes with a host of exciting features.
This camera might not be the smallest advanced compact, but it can easily fit your pants or jacket pocket. Also, it won’t add too much weight to your travel bag.
The camera with battery weighs only 304 grams. Considering the focal range and features it offers, this is a very lightweight setup.
The construction of the G7 X III is solid. It gives a premium feel when you hold the camera. The dials are constructed of metal and have a tactile click when moved. There are also red accents on all dials, which adds a touch of style.
There is a mode dial to select between auto, manual, program, Tv (Shutter Priority), Av (Aperture Priority), and movie. Underneath, there is a dedicated exposure compensation dial that can be easily controlled by the thumb.
You can control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO manually with a combination of touch screen and adjustment ring on the lens. Alternatively, you can use the circular wheel around the d-pad to do the same.
The on/off button is designed to have some resistance. It doesn’t turn on accidentally while the camera is in your pocket or bag.
Unlike the other advanced compact cameras, this one doesn’t come with a viewfinder.
The handgrip is protruding and secure to hold on to. Compared to most cameras in this category, the grip is deeper. However, it blends well with the design of the G7 X III.
The rear LCD is 3 inches and has a resolution of 1.04 million dots. It’s a tilting screen, which can move upwards to 180 degrees and 45 degrees downwards. This gives enough flexibility for vlogging and low angled stills shooting.
A welcome addition is the touch support. The rear LCD is pleasant to shoot with. And almost all of the menu is touch-enabled. You’ll rarely need to press a button.
The G7 X III has upgraded the sensor in this variant to a new 20.1 MP, 1-inch sensor. It is now complemented with the latest DIGIC 8 processor.
The images out of the camera have vivid Canon colors. This camera is capable of shooting RAW files. They capture a good amount of light data, which provides exceptional flexibility in post-production.
It has a native ISO range of 125 to 12800 (expandable up to 25600). Noise is well-controlled till ISO 3200. The maximum image resolution is decent at 5,472 x 3,648.
Contrary to the other advanced compact cameras, the G7 X III uses a contrast-detect AF system. However, it is quite snappy. It also supports automatic face detection focus as well as subject tracking.
It covers quite a significant focal range with its 24-100 MM telephoto zoom lens. The best thing is the high max aperture values: f/1.8 on the wide and f/2.8 on the tele end. However, the wide-angle images have low sharpness, it significantly improves as you increase the focal length.
It can shoot up to an excellent 30fps on continuous mode. It is much better than most of the entry-level DSLRs.
The small form factor leaves very little space for the battery. It uses Canon NB 13 L battery, which lasts only 235 shots and supports USB charging.
The battery compartment also has an SD card slot that supports UHS I compliant memory cards.
Another welcome addition with this iteration is the support for 4K video capture at 30fps without any crop factor. Although it is limited to 10 minutes only in a single recording.
It also captures 1080p footage at 30p and 60p with autofocus. You can shoot 120p with manual focus. There are many time-lapse presets, I found the star capture mode very interesting.
For bright shooting scenarios and long exposures, you also get a 3 stop neutral density filter in-built with a camera.
In terms of connectivity, there is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. For wired, there is a USB 3.0 port and an HDM and a 3.5mm microphone jack.
|Lag-Free Viewfinder||No in-built ND Filter|
|HLG profile video capture|
|4K Video recording|
Sony’s RX100 line is quite popular among enthusiasts as well as pro photographers. It offers the best feature-rich compact cameras that pack a punch.
The RX100 VI is another such camera. It’s a unique offering that will take your photography to the next level without the pain of carrying heavy cameras and lenses.
If you are anything like me who likes to travel light, you’ll love the Sony RX100 VI. The small size, thoughtful design, and a super-lightweight make it one of the best cameras for photography beginners.
The small form factor makes it fit snugly in your jacket pocket. With a mere 301 grams weight, you might even forget you’re carrying it.
The dimensions are small enough to fit in a single hand. Though, the camera has a solid construction.
The metal finish gives it durability and a premium feel. However, the slim design camera doesn’t have any substantial handgrip. But given its tiny size and weight, it’s not a big deal.
On the top side, you get a mode dial for choosing between manual, shutter priority, aperture priority, and program modes. As well as the auto, scenes, and movie modes are also present on the same dial.
There is a zooming knob to adjust the focal length. And viewfinder and flash are retracted and hidden under the top hood.
Flash protrudes out on the top middle when activated via the flash button. The viewfinder springs out similarly on the top left when the finder button is pushed.
Apart from that, there is a movie record button on the rear. And a four-way selector button, which also is a wheel to adjust settings quickly. In addition to that, there’s also a customizable function button.
With this camera in the series, Sony introduced a touch screen. The rear display on the RX100 VI is a tilting 3-inch touchscreen LCD.
It can be tilted fully to face the front, which is great for taking selfies and vlogging. And can be turned upwards for low angle stills shooting.
It comes with a 1-inch type stacked CMOS sensor, a capable sensor that renders vivid colors and excellent details.
Combined with the Bionz X image processor, you get a broad dynamic range and high performance in the low light.
The ISO range is 125 – 12800, which expands to ISO 80 on the low end and 25600 on the high. Along with the Jpegs, it can also capture RAW files.
It features phase detection autofocus, which makes focusing snappy and accurate. The low light performance is commendable.
Compared to the previous generation, the focal length on the RX100 VI has been revised to 24-200mm. Even though the maximum aperture at the tele end is reduced to f/4.5, the photos offer exceptional background blur.
If you are shooting a fast-changing scene and don’t want to miss a moment. You’re in for a pleasant surprise, as the RX100 VI can shoot a whopping 233 shots at 24fps without blackout. That is an excellent buffer and frame rate for a camera of this size.
The disadvantage of a small form factor is battery life. With not enough space to accommodate a larger battery, the RX100 VI comes with a 230 shots battery when using EVF and the display. Though it can be significantly improved to 330 shots by using LCD for shooting.
In the video department, this camera packs a punch. It records 4K UHD videos at up to 30 frames. The footage is of high quality and has an impressive amount of details. Though you can record 4k footage of a maximum of 5 minutes.
It also captures 1080p videos at a max frame rate of 120p. There are also many in-shoot features like focus peaking and exposure guides to help you.
Surprisingly, it only supports UHS I memory cards, which is disappointing going by the capabilities of this camera.
The EVF is responsive and virtually lag-free. It works super-fast compared to other cameras in this segment.
However, the lack of an in-built ND filter is a bit of a disappointment.
This camera comes with NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support. Which lets you transfer photos using the Sony Play Memories app.
For the wired connectivity, there is a micro USB port, as well as an HDMI port. However, there is no mic input port available.
|25-250mm Focal Range||Small Viewfinder|
|4K Photo Capture||Fixed LCD Display|
|Panansonic’s Post- Focus Feature|
|Optical Image Stabilization|
|4K Video recording|
Panasonic is another great player in the advanced compact cameras segment. It has produced quite a few 1-inch sensor cameras which fall in bridge or compact categories.
ZS100 (TZ100 outside the US) is one of the best compact cameras for photography beginners. It is a few years old, and that’s why it’s available at an attractive price point.
Despite its not being the latest camera, it packs a lot of features that will satisfy photography enthusiasts and beginners and some pros looking for a lightweight camera.
The ZS100 has a solid metal construction. It is compact enough to fit in your jeans pocket, and because it is metal, it is tough enough to withstand such usage.
It weighs 311 grams with battery and SD card. Which is marginally heavier than the RX100 VI; a longer telephoto lens might be the reason for that.
There are two color variants available: black and silver black. The silver-black option has a red accent in the front, giving it a fresh look.
On the front of the camera, you’ll find a grip like an indentation. However, it’s not a proper handgrip, but it secures the camera in your hand. A wrist strap is a must to protect from accidental drops.
In terms of ergonomics, the ZS100 offers plenty of flexibility. All the buttons on the rear are on the right-hand side, making it easy for use with one hand.
On the top side of the camera, there is a mode selector dial to choose between Program, shutter, aperture priority, and manual as well the scene, auto, movie, and custom modes.
There is also a command dial that can be configured to adjust various settings.
Apart from that, there are four functions (fn) buttons. However, these buttons have preassigned roles, but they can be customized as per you. There are also 5 soft function buttons on the touchscreen menu. The ring on the lens can also be customized to a different function.
The 3-inch rear display is a touchscreen LCD. Which can be used for menu navigation as well as for tap focusing and shooting. Unlike the RX100 VI, the screen is fixed and can’t be tilted. That makes it slightly tricky for shooting at low angles.
It comes with a 1-inch 20.1 MP sensor combined with Panasonic’s Venus processor. The images out of this camera are vivid and sharp.
The native ISO range is ISO 125 – 12800, which expands to 80 -25600. The images retain ample details until ISO 1600.
The focus system consists of 49 focus points and is super-fast in good lighting conditions. However, technology is contrast detection that doesn’t perform well when it comes to low light situations.
The lens on the ZS100 is a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 zoom. Compared to the lens on the RX100 VI, there is an additional 50mm focal length in this camera. The high-quality Leica lens results in sharp images throughout the focal range.
Given the small form factor and limited space to fit a battery, the one on ZS100 last 300 shots when using LCD. And it drops to 240 shots if you are using the viewfinder. The battery can be charged in-camera via a USB port.
The flash pops up from the top hood when activated using the flash button. It can also be tilted backward to get similar effects to a bounce flash.
When it comes to video, the ZS100 surprises with a 4k UHD capture at 30p and 24p. its a welcome addition given its mid-range price bracket.
It can also shoot 1080p videos at a maximum of 60p. Another exciting feature is the 4K still capture; you can shoot a 4K video and choose a particular frame to be saved as a still photograph.
Panasonic’s post focus feature capture 4K videos with a varying focus that allows you to choose the area with the sharpest focus after recording.
It supports UHS-I memory cards and comes with a single slot. Like the RX100 VI, there is no built-in ND filter.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the ZS100 comes with only Wi-Fi. There’s no NFC or Bluetooth support.
The Wi-Fi connection is useful for transferring photos from camera to smartphone at a decent speed using the Panasonic app. iPhone and iPad users can go a step further to remotely control the camera via the app and use it as a live-view display.
The wired connectivity options are limited to a micro-USB and an HDMI port.
Frequently Asked Questions
Best beginner photographer camera choices are Fujifilm X-T30, Canon 250D/ Rebel SL3, and Canon Powershot G7X Mark III.
One of these; Fuji X-T30, Canon 250D, Sony RX100 Mark VII.
Some of the cheap and best cameras are Nikon D3500, Canon 250D, Powershot G7X Mark III.
All modern cameras take excellent quality images. However, mirrorless cameras offer the best value overall.
You should look at the entry level full-frame cameras like Nikon Z5, Sony A7III, Nikon D750 etc.
Disclaimer: All the recommendations on this page are based on my personal experience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases without any additional cost to you.
Happy learning & shooting.