Best DSLR camera for beginners

Camera & Photo

Most DSLR cameras for beginners come with a standard 18- to 55-millimeter lens. This lens can function well for most beginners, but as you progress and learn more about how you like to take photos, you may want additional lenses with varying focal lengths.

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Which DSLR cameras are best for beginners?

Suppose you’re just getting started with photography but want to capture beautiful moments beyond your camera phone. In this case, several digital single-lens reflex cameras are available that are perfect for beginners. These cameras offer a wide range of flexibility and are ready to grow with you as a budding photographer. 

Understanding a few of their features can help you decide which camera is right for you. If you’re shopping for a high-quality DSLR camera for a beginner, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR is a top choice.

What to know before you buy a DSLR camera for beginners

Image quality

DSLR cameras provide more than adequate image quality for beginners. The quality depends on the image sensor size, resolution and other settings on the camera. The larger the sensor size and the more megapixels a camera can record, the better the final resolution. If you’re looking for a camera that can live up to higher standards as your photography skills progress, choose a camera with a higher resolution and a large image sensor.

Materials

There are DSLR camera bodies made of plastic as well as a magnesium-aluminum alloy. Plastic camera bodies are more affordable but won’t hold up as well through drops, bumps or inclement weather. Magnesium aluminum camera bodies are much more sturdy and come at a slightly higher price point.

Accessories 

For most DSLR cameras, accessories that help enhance the experience are sold separately. These can be a camera strap, camera bag, cleaning equipment, filters, additional lenses and more. Check with your camera package to see what’s included and what you’ll need to purchase on your own so you can factor that into the total cost.

What to look for in a quality DSLR camera for beginners

Ergonomics

The shape and grip of each camera body is unique. If your hands aren’t comfortable holding the camera, you’re not going to use it very often. Try to get a feel for the camera body before making a purchase.

Image sensor

The image sensor is the part that measures light from the frame to create the final photograph. It’s a computer chip that’s vital to every DSLR. Generally, larger image frames cost more than smaller ones. 

Lenses

Some DSLR camera bodies come with a lens or two, which are called kit lenses. Kit lenses are great for beginners since you don’t need to make any further investments in equipment until you’re ready. Often, kit lenses offer a standard focal range for basic photography. When you’re prepared to purchase additional lenses for more specific shots, make sure they match your lens mount.

How much you can expect to spend on a DSLR camera for beginners

A new DSLR camera for beginners can cost $500-$1,000, depending on the brand and features.

DSLR camera for beginners FAQ

Do I need to buy lenses separately?

A. Not necessarily. Most DSLR cameras for beginners come with a standard 18- to 55-millimeter lens. This lens can function well for most beginners, but as you progress and learn more about how you like to take photos, you may want additional lenses with varying focal lengths.

How do I clean the lens?

A. For dust and debris, you can buy a simple air blower for lenses that puffs a bit of air out of a long tube so you can target specific areas. You can also buy a small lens brush. For smudges, use a cleaning spray specifically designed for lenses. Spray a little on a microfiber lens cloth or lens wipe, then gently wipe the lens in a circular motion. Avoid using normal tissues, and do not blow directly on the lens, as it can cause further damage.

What’s the best DSLR camera for beginners to buy?

Top DSLR camera for beginners

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR

What you need to know: This is an excellent investment for beginner photographers to continue using through intermediate years.

What you’ll love: The 24.1-megapixel camera offers impressive detail and can capture pictures in almost all light conditions. It captures video at 1080p HD. An 18- to 55-millimeter lens is included, which is adequate for beginners. The LCD menu is user-friendly, and it has built-in Wi-Fi for instant photo uploads.

What you should consider: The built-in Wi-Fi isn’t always reliable, so plan to upload data via USB.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top DSLR camera for beginners for the money

Nikon D3500 DSLR

Nikon D3500 DSLR

What you need to know: This Nikon DSLR offers an easy-to-use system for beginner photographers at an approachable price.

What you’ll love: The 24.2-megapixel camera captures all the detail you could want for a camera at this price. The features, settings and menu are easy to navigate. It includes an 18- to 55-millimeter lens, and the APS-C size image sensor is high-quality. The battery life is also impressive.

What you should consider: This novice-level DSLR may not grow with you as a photographer. There is no Wi-Fi.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR

What you need to know: This is a great choice for beginners who want a compact camera that’s easy to carry around.

What you’ll love: The plastic body is lightweight and provides a solid grip. It comes with a standard 18- to 55-millimeter lens that’s also lightweight. The DIGIC 8 Image Processor is fast and produces quality images. It also has dual-pixel autofocus, which boosts the clarity of every picture.

What you should consider: The viewfinder only works for photos, not videos. Bright sun makes it difficult to use the touchscreen.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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