Best Camera For Beginners In 2020

Best Camera For Beginners In 2020

Have you decided you are ready to buy your first camera? Perhaps your smartphone camera is not delivering the quality of photos you want, or you plan to start taking photos for a travel blog or professional website. If you want to choose the best camera for a beginner, there are many options and selecting the best features can be confusing.

There are many factors to keep in mind when attempting to navigate the camera and photographic equipment retail market. Below is an explanation of the main types of cameras and the features you should look for when choosing a good camera for a beginner

What to Look for in Your First Camera

Cameras are high on the list of most difficult pieces of technical equipment to purchase. Particularly if you are a beginner, the multitude of features to sift through—aperture, lens quality, autofocus, focal length, resolution, and more—is overwhelming. While it is difficult to buy a bad camera if you have a reasonable budget and do your research, it is not easy to find the best camera for you.

Consider the following features when shopping for your first camera:

  • Resolution:

    The image resolution refers to the detail an image holds. Higher resolutions ensure more image detail. Resolutions are generally measured in pixels when working with digital cameras. You want to choose a camera with a minimum of a 1600x1200 pixel resolution. This will provide you with quality photos for emailing or posting online. Higher resolutions should be sought if you're looking to create high quality prints of your work
  • Lens aperture:

    For cameras that have a fixed (built-in) lens, or are packaged with an interchangable 'kit' lens, it's important to look at the Aperture listed on the lens. Aperture refers to the brightness that passes through the lens and falls on the image sensor. The aperture controls how bright an image turns out. The lower the f-number on a camera, the more light passes through the lens. Cameras with lower aperture ratings are great for beginners because they perform well in low-light situations. Many starter cameras have 'interchangable' lenses, meaning that even if the lens which ships with the camera doesn't have a great aperture range, you do have the option to upgrade it later without replacing the camera.
  • Lens zoom range:

    A camera’s zoom range refers to the difference in magnification from one end of the range to the other. Beginners should choose a camera with the widest zoom range possible to help you practice your skills. Much like the point above, certain cameras give you the option to change lenses, so zoom range might not be as important in the long term.

While other features such as memory size and flash type are important, choosing a camera with an excellent zoom range, lens aperture and resolution will help you produce quality photos.

Features to Look for in a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera

Traditional digital single-lens reflex devices— known as DSLR cameras —allow light to enter a single lens. Internal mirrors reflect light either upwards or downward into the viewfinder. Popular and easy to use, DSLR cameras are a great option for those new to photography. Since what you see through the viewfinder on a DSLR is merely a reflection of the real world (as filtered through a lens) then taking photographs with them does require some interpretation of the settings in your head to ensure the shot comes out as intended. However, almost all DSLRs feature various automated fucntions to help ease new users into it. Many professional Photographers still actively use DSLRs.

A mirrorless camera on the other hand, doesn’t have a reflex mirror to reflect the light. Rather, light travels straight through the lens onto the sensor. A preview of the image is displayed on the electronic viewfinder. These are often more expensive, but generally offer better autofocus features and a greater ease of use. Many beginners find mirrorless cameras easier to pick up, since what you see through the viewfinder is almost identical to the final image.

Regardless of if you choose a DSLR or Mirorless Camera, You should look for these important features:

  • Sensor size:

    Many beginners choose a camera with a cropped sensor because they are smaller, lighter, more affordable and utilize lighter lenses. Traditional sensors are the same size as a conventional 35mm film piece. The downside to a crop sensor cameras is that they capture a narrower field of view and capture less light than full-frame alternatives, regardless of what lens you choose.
  • Flexibility:

    Flexibility is an important factor to consider when purchasing a camera, especially if you are just starting out. Look for features that will enable you to use your camera in a variety of situations. Don’t purchase a heavy, cumbersome camera if you plan to shoot photographs in many outdoor locations. Invest in a camera that has a solid body and can support the lenses you plan to use. Choose a camera that will allow you to easily complete tasks like taking video, shooting manual photographs, or turning the flash on and off.
  • Megapixels:

    If your camera has more megapixels, the sensor can record more information. In other words, cameras with more pixels produce photos with more detail. You don’t need a camera with a lot of pixels if you plan to post photos online or print them for an album. However, if you want to create large prints from your photos, more megapixels are recommended. A camera with 16 megapixels is sufficient for most beginners. A camera with 24 megapixels will produce clear photos while maintaining great shooting speeds. This is the standard for most professional level cameras.
  • Frames Per Second:

    If you are interested in action photography, you want to consider the number of frames that your camera can shoot per second. Cameras that take more frames per second capture more of the action in front of you than slower ones. A device that shoots 12 frames per second will give you a better chance of capturing that perfect sports or wildlife shot.

Features to Look for in A Compact Camera

A compact camera, also referred to as a point-and-shoot camera, is an ideal choice for a beginner because it is simple to operate. Most devices are equipped with autofocus and automatic exposure settings. Here are some features to look for when shopping for a compact camera:

  • Small size for easy carrying
  • Facial recognition technology
  • Image stabilisation for clear images
  • Optical zoom lens

While compact cameras are not always ideal for shooting in the dark or capturing wide-angle shots, they are a great option for beginners because of the small size and versatility.

Best Camera for Beginners on a Budget

To get started, here are our most popular camera options for beginners on a budget:

C.R. Kennedy is one of Australia’s leading distributors of cameras and photographic equipment. We offer a wide range of DSLR, mirrorless, full-frame, action cameras. and more.

If you need more information on cameras and other camera accessories, check out more articles on the C.R. Kennedy blog.