A photographer is only as good as his arsenal. So, if you want to become a better photographer, it’s ideal that you invest in the best camera for your needs. Of course, with so many different options on the market however, it becomes easy to ask – what’s the right one for me?
While the vast variety of different cameras available guarantees that every kind of photographer will find an ideal one for their needs and preferences, it can also make the process of landing a choice a bit of a pickle.
Wanting to find out which camera will give you the best bang for your buck? Check out these premium choices.
The Absolute Best Camera for Amateur Photographers
- 16MP 1/2.3" BSI CMOS Sensor
- NIKKOR f/3.0-6.5mm ED Lens
- 22.5-900mm (35mm Equivalent)
- 40x Optical Zoom Lens, 80x Dynamic Zoom
- 3" 921k-Dot Tilting LCD
Nikon is a well trusted brand when it comes to cameras. Their long-standing reputation as one of the best camera manufacturers on the market has made them an easy first choice for a lot of amateur photographers.
Among their best releases is the Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera which was designed with the amateur photographer in mind. This small yet powerful photo capture device features a 16 megapixel image capturing capacity, which makes it a competitive option against other cameras in its segment.
The product also features a superior 40x optical zoom lens and 80x dynamic zoom, perfect for closing in on distant subjects. This is easily an essential for amateurs who want to experiment with taking photos of objects from a distance. It also does pretty well in the video capture department, featuring a full HD 1080P video recording at 30 frames per second.
What makes it the best camera for amateur photographers is the fact that it’s user friendly, straightforward, and able to produce high quality images. For many who are just starting to learn the ropes of photography, this combination of characteristics proves to be a major plus point. The ease of use eliminates the need for lengthy episodes of trial and error, while the premium quality images allow users to learn photography best practices with ease.
What’s Hot About the Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera
- Easy, simple, straightforward user interface engages amateur users without confusing or frustrating them.
- Premium image quality competes with other higher-grade camera models on the market.
- Multiple scene modes allow users to select pre-set color, lighting, and shutter speed settings to easily adjust captures depending on the environment.
- Remote control feature allows users to experiment with other photography techniques for greater learning.
- Tilting 3” 921K-Dot LCD screen makes it easier to capture images from different angles and vantage points.
- Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity make transferring photos between devices easy and convenient for speedy editing and uploading.
What’s Not So Hot
- Mid-quality sound recorder might be substandard for people who want to use the camera more for video capture. Attaching a microphone accessory can remedy this issue.
- Lack of manual focus feature eliminates the opportunity for amateur photographers to learn the skill of manually focusing a lens.
- Not the most expensive option in its segment, but not the cheapest either. Some beginners might find it a little on the pricier range of the cost spectrum.
The Second Best Camera for Amateurs
- 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and Focus Sensitivity Range :EV 0 to EV 20 (at ISO 100 equivalent with F2.8 lens attached)
- ISO 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)
- Hybrid AF with 179-point focal plane phase-detection and 25 contrast detect points
- Up to 11 FPS continious shooting
- 3-inch tilting LCD with 921,000 dots
In the realm of consumer electronics, Sony is one of the biggest brands that buyers have come to know, love, and trust through the years. While they don’t technically specialize in cameras and photography equipment, they have released quite a few cameras that are worth the purchase.
Much like other camera brands like Nikon and Canon, Sony has also designed and developed various models that fit into different photography skill levels. Their Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera fitted with a 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens proves to be their best camera for amateurs.
This camera features a 24 megapixel image capturing capacity, placing it along the front lines among other devices in its segment. It’s fitted with a hybrid autofocus lens with 179-point focal plane phase-detection, as well as 25 contrast detection points. This basically allows the device to zero in on subjects to create a crisp, clear, and high-quality image.
Video capture is also a great feature, so if you’re interested in using your device for videos, this one might be a good pick. The Sony Alpha A6000 comes with a powerful 11 FPS continuous shooting capacity, perfect for seamless and smooth video captures.
Why didn’t it make the top pick? Well, while it does have some features that surpass those of the Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera, it’s priced 3 times more expensive. For lots of buyers, the somewhat marginal benefits can’t outweigh the steep cost.
What’s Hot About the Sony Alpha A6000
- Superior image capturing quality ideal for producing high-quality, crisp, and clear images on a professional level.
- 921k Dots 3 inch tilting LCD screen makes it easy to capture images at different angles.
- Built-in WiFi connectivity feature allows easy and hassle-free image transfer.
- Sony E Mount lens compatibility gives users the chance to experiment with other image capturing styles and settings.
- Electronic viewfinder with 1.4 million dots gives superior representation of subjects and scenery.
- Straightforward, convenient, and user-friendly interface characteristic of Sony products makes it easy for users to understand each feature without getting confused.
What’s Not so Hot
- Expensive, costing up to three times the price of other units in the same segment.
- Accessories are equally costly, almost the same price as a camera unit from other brands in the market.
- Despite the large screen, there isn’t a touchscreen feature which is a staple for other cheaper models.
- Subpar battery life requires frequent charging.
- Flash exposure misjudgement issues can cause burnt images or captures with insufficient lighting.
The Best DSLR for Amateur Photographers
- Snap Bridge Bluetooth Connectivity
- 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 4 Image Processor
- No Optical Low-Pass Filter
- Native ISO 100-25600; 5 fps Shooting. Compatibility information: C firmware v. 1.10 and later ( released August 31, 2016 )
If you’re looking for a camera that will bump you up from amateur to professional, this one should help you with an easy transition. The Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera is jam-packed with all the right features, a simple and straightforward controls system, and a superior image capture quality that make it the best DSLR for amateur photographers.
This relatively affordable DSLR camera packs a punch in terms of features and image capturing capacity while still maintaining just the right level of user friendliness. This makes it easy for learning amateurs to produce the high-quality images they want sans the frustration of trying to figure out how to work a complicated camera.
The camera’s 24.3 megapixel DX format CMOS sensor produces rich, vibrant, and natural colors against a softly blurred background for perfect subject focus and picture composition. Its AF system is simply stunning, able to zero in on subjects in seconds for precise, crisp, and well-timed images no matter how fast the moment comes and goes.
Finally, the D3400 also features a powerful 1080/60p full HD video capturing capacity. For those who are just starting out, this feature can be a great way to experiment with continuous capture and learn the ropes of cinematography.
What’s Hot About the Nikon D3400
- Crisp, clear, image quality with 24.3 megapixel capturing capacity.
- Simple, easy controls make professional photography hassle-free for learning amateurs.
- Superior battery life perfect for people who want to engage in outdoor or day-long shoots.
- Snapbridge application makes it easy to manage photos and transfers between your camera and your smartphone.
- Upgraded kit lenses make for faster, clearer, and more precise captures compared to older models.
- Lightweight and easy to bring around, unlike other bulky DSLRs that can easily weigh up to 3 pounds.
What’s Not So Hot
- No dedicated controls for ISO and aperture, which can limit the control of learning amateurs.
- LCD screen is basic, without the ability to articulate and without a touch screen feature.
- Limited AF coverage makes capturing small subjects in motion a bit of a hassle.
- Slow live autofocus in the viewfinder can be problematic for instances that need quick snaps.
The Best Canon Camera for Amateur Photographers
- 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) image sensor and high-performance DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for excellent speed and quality.
- ISO 100-6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting from bright light to low light.
- Built-in Wi-Fi* and NFC** connectivity provide easy sharing to compatible smart devices, select social media sites and the Canon Connect Station CS100 device.
- 9-point AF system (including one center cross-type AF point) and AI Servo AF provide impressive autofocus performance with accurate results.
- High-performance Optical Viewfinder helps facilitate quick and accurate focusing by firmly framing and capturing the subject at hand.
While the Canon brand may not have made it to the top picks, it is still a reasonably worthy choice if you’re looking for a DSLR. So for those who are particularly inclined to buying a Canon camera, the EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera should be the best Canon camera for amateur photographers.
This device features an 18 megapixel CMOS image sensor, built-in WiFi connectivity, 9-point AF system, and a high performance optical viewfinder. This combination of features makes the EOS Rebel T6 a good choice for photographers who are just starting to learn the ins and outs of DSLR cameras.
What’s Hot About the Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera
- Automatic and manual focus allows users to get a feel for both focus types.
- Effortless premium quality images ideal for amateurs who have yet to get a strong grasp of photography best practices.
- Easier on the pocket compared to other models in its segment.
- Built-in WiFi for quick and simple file transfers and management.
What’s Not So Hot
- Live view experience is subpar, with slow focus and insufficient AF capacity.
- Low sensor compared to other cameras in the same price range.
- Although cheaper, also comes with less powerful features. For a few extra dollars, buyers can get more with the same-segment releases from Nikon and other brands.
The Best Cheap Camera for Amateur Photographers
- Powerful 50x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer for outstanding optical performance
- 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 6 Image Processor helps deliver stunning image quality even in low light
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos
- Capture spectacular 1080p Full HD video at 60p with stereo sound
- Zoom Framing Assist now features a lock button option for quick and accurate subject recognition
If you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly, the Canon PowerShot SX540 might be right up your alley. This basic digital camera is the best cheap camera for amateur photographers and packs some pretty cool features that can help you learn the right techniques as you transition to something a little more on the professional side.
The Canon SX540 is fitted with a 20.3 megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor that can capture rich images and stunning videos at 1080p full HD. The zoom framing assist feature locks in on targets for accurate subject recognition minus the worry of losing a moving target.
Aside from these stand out features, there’s very little else that the Canon PowerShot SX540 offers. Although that might seem like a disappointment to some, this model was designed for amateurs – giving just enough to help users learn and improve without overcomplicating functions and features.
What’s Hot About the Canon PowerShot SX540
- Simplistic and lightweight design with user-friendly controls.
- High quality image capture with crisp and rich colors.
- Easy autofocus feature reduces the effort on the user’s end.
- Cheap and affordable, yet robust and durable.
What’s Not So Hot
- For amateurs who already know a few tricks in photography, this option might fall a little short of expectations.
Buying Information for Cameras
Not really sure what you should be looking out for when you make that purchase? Take note of these buying tips.
- Check for Bundles – Often, sellers provide buyers with two options – camera units only and camera bundles. The bundles come with a vast array of accessories for your new camera unit which can include a tripod, a specifically designed bag, a strap, some extra batteries, extra storage, and other stuff you’ll need for a full photography experience.
While bundles seem cheaper on the surface, they give you much more value for your money. Buying all of those accessories separately could easily cost you double the bundle.
- Consider Your Fancy – What kind of photographer are you? Do you like taking exciting action shots outdoors or are you more of a still nature kind of photographer? Sometimes, quick shutter speeds and fast focusing aren’t things that should affect your choice.
Think of how you want to use your camera for and then determine what specifics you really need out of your purchase.
- Set a Budget – A camera could easily cost you upwards of a thousand dollars or just a few hundred. How much are you willing to shell out? Aside from the cost of the unit itself, you should also consider how much it would cost to upgrade your camera or to have it maintained.
With that in mind, bundles easily become the option that gives the best value. But if you don’t have enough extra greens to spend on the included accessories, be sure you’re choosing a unit that won’t cost you too much when you save enough to buy the accessories separately.
Cameras come in different sizes and specifics and each one brings something unique to the table. Bump up your amateur photography skills and transition easily into the professional ranks by investing in a camera that suits your style.
The options presented here have been tried, tested, and trusted by our editors so be sure to check them out if you want to land a camera that’s been vetted by the pros!
Last update on 2017-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API