Best camera for beginners 2022: entry-level cameras reviewed

Find the best entry-level cameras, or, the best camera for beginners, if you will, to kickstart your photography

A man holding one of the best camera for beginners – the Fujifilm X100V
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

If one of the main uses you get from your smartphone is taking lots of pictures, then you might find you’ve outgrown what it can do. In which case, you could be thinking of taking the next step and investing in one of the best cameras for beginners.

Manufacturers are extremely keen for you to become a customer. It stands to reason that if you like the brand you opt for, you’ll stick with them for a very long time, buying lenses and accessories - and more advanced models for a long time to come. As such, you’re extremely important to them and there’s a lot of competition for your business.

As a first-timer, there’s every chance you won’t have an enormous budget. It's for that reason that we’ve included a slew of affordable models that should be friendly for your wallet. That said, it’s also true that investing a little more can save you cash in the long run, as you might keep the camera for longer. Those new to photography might therefore also want to consider mid-range, slightly more expensive options too.

In essence, what you're looking for is a camera that you can grow and learn with. With it, you’ll learn all the key fundamentals of photography, and you’ll be able to add lenses and accessories as and when you need them. One day it’s likely you’ll outgrow it and will want to replace it with an enthusiast or even professional model if things go really well.

The cameras in this guide cover both DSLR and mirrorless, but if you already know what you want, don’t forget to check out our guides to the best mirrorless camera, best DSLR and best compact camera. Those with a bit more adventure in their soul might also want to take a look at the best action cameras.

What is the best entry-level camera?

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As ever, this is a really quite a difficult question to answer. A lot will depend on the type of photography you want to do, but it will also likely come down to how much you want to spend and how future-proof you want your purchase to be. 

The Nikon D3500 has long been considered an excellent choice for beginners. In 2022, this is quite an old model, especially when manufacturers are concentrating on mirrorless technology. That’s not to say that the DSLR is completely dead, but if you think you’ll be sticking with cameras for the long haul, it might make more sense to invest in the newer technology now. Opting for a DSLR does mean you get an excellent bargain however, and there’s hundreds of lenses and accessories to choose from.

If you do want to head towards mirrorless, the good news here is that there’s tonnes of excellent mirrorless options for entry-level users. Our pick here is probably the Nikon Z50, or perhaps the Nikon Zfc if you want something which looks as good as it performs. There’s also models such as the Sony A6100 and the Fujifilm X-T200. Cameras like the Olympus E-P7 have a smaller sensor but are ideal for travel and new users since they’re small and light. Vloggers who want a good all-rounder to get them into the game would do well with the Panasonic G100 or the Sony ZV-E10.

How to buy the best entry-level camera

The cameras that have been included in our list have to be particularly friendly to newbie photographers. That means they should be good to go straight from the box, but also have enough settings and shooting modes that you can grow and learn with the camera as you progress.

Before committing to any purchase, it’s worth having a little think about exactly what kind of specs are “crucial” for you, and which might be more “nice to have” features. For you, that could be 4K video, inbuilt Wi-Fi, a flip-out screen, fast frame rates, an extensive lens range, a touch-sensitive screen or a viewfinder. Pay close attention to the specs list to make sure it’s got everything you need. 

For those with tight budgets, don’t be afraid to take a look at older models. With camera technology being so advanced, those that were released a few years ago are still excellent - especially if you don’t necessarily need the same kind of bells and whistles that a more experienced professional user might demand. The ever-popular Sony A6000 has been on the market for a long time and still sells by the bucketload - even though it’s since been replaced by the newer Sony A6100. 

If you think it’s DSLR that’s the one for you, then the Canon EOS 2000D is another good beginner-friendly option, despite being a few years since its release. 

Portability is a key factor for many first-time camera users. If you're used to the convenience of your smartphone, it stands to reason that you’ll want something small and light for your first “real” camera too. With that in mind, we recommend cameras such as the Panasonic G100, Fujifilm X-T200 and Olympus E-P7.

Best camera for beginners: Nikon D3500T3 Best Buy Award

An easy-to-use first-time DSLR that will show you all the photography ropes

Specifications

Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C
Lens Mount: Nikon F
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Video: 1080p
Battery Life: 1550 shots
Weight: 415g (with battery and memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
Guide Mode
+
Extensive battery life
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No Wi-Fi
-
No touchscreen
-
No 4K video

Available for under £450 (including a kit lens), the Nikon D3500 is our top choice for anybody looking for their first step into “proper” photography. It has an innovative Guide Mode which explains all those alien concepts, or you can quite simply leave it in Auto mode and just start snapping. Once you start to get a bit more serious, there’s the option to invest in a huge variety of different lenses, or other accessories such as remote controls. It features a great 1550-shot battery life, making it a great choice for trips and days out, but budding video makers might be put off by the restriction to Full HD only. Bluetooth is included for sending your shots to your smartphone, but there’s no Wi-Fi, unfortunately.

Canon EOS 250DT3 Approved Award

(Image credit: Canon)
A small and neat entry into the DSLR market

Specifications

Sensor:: 24.1MP APS-C CMOS
Lens Mount:: EF-S
Connectivity:: Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
Video:: 4K (cropped)
Battery Life:: 1070 shots
Weight:: 449g (including battery & memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight & compact (for a DSLR)
+
Articulating touchscreen
+
Great battery life
+
4K video 

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated AF system
-
4K video is cropped
-
Not a huge upgrade over previous model 
-
Larger than mirrorless models 

Nikon and Canon are the big two rivals in the camera world. Our top pick for new users who have a little bit of budget to spend is the Canon EOS 250D. This neat and compact DSLR isn’t the cheapest Canon model, but it does give you the benefit of being well-built and neatly put together. It doesn’t have a full-blown guide mode to handhold you through using it, but the “guided interface” helps you to get to grips with the various functions and settings.

Nikon Z50T3 Approved Award

(Image credit: Nikon)
A APS-C model which is perfect for travel

Specifications

Sensor:: 20.9 APS-C CMOS
Lens Mount:: Z
Connectivity:: Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
Video:: 4K
Battery Life:: 300-shots
Weight:: 450g with battery and memory card

Reasons to buy

+
Neat and compact
+
Great viewfinder
+
Tilting touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited number of native lenses
-
High price point for beginners
-
Limited battery life

The Nikon Z50 is aimed squarely at beginners and was the first Nikon Z series camera to feature an APS-C sized sensor. It’s not as cheap as Nikon’s DSLR equivalents, but it’s also a lot newer so you benefit from more modern technology - and the idea that your system will be better supported in the years to come. 

It uses a small form factor, which still manages to include an excellent screen and viewfinder. For now, the lens choice is a little limited, but we expect that to keep growing as more people buy in to the system. 

For those that fancy the internals of the Z50 but want something a little bit more attractive externally, it’s worth checking out the Zfc, which combines the features of the Z50 with a well-styled retro body. 

Fujifilm X-T30 IIT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

4. Fujifilm X-T30 II

Second generation of this well specified mirrorless interchangeable lens compact doesn’t fix what ain’t broke

Specifications

Sensor: 26.1 MP APS-C CMOS
Lens Mount: Fuji X mount
Connectivity: USB Type-C, HDMI micro connector
Video: Up to 4K at 30fps
Battery life: 390 frames approx
Weight: 329g body only

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and feature-packed
+
Resolution of rear panel LCD has increased over its predecessor
+
Two new digital filters in ‘Classic Neg’ and ‘Eterna Bleach Bypass’
+
Plenty of X series lenses and accessories available from both Fuji and third parties

Reasons to avoid

-
Barely any change at all compared with the previous iteration of this camera

Reasonably priced for the build quality and specification on offer is the Fujifilm X-T30 II, with the resolution of its rear LCD screen, now at 1.62 million dots, being one of the only major differences over its predecessor. Still we do get the solid pairing of a 26.1 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor wedded to the fourth generation of Fuji’s X processor, which is the same as the original generation camera, along with, for creative types, new Classic Neg and Eterna Bleach Bypass digital filters. These ape the look of traditional film processes, and there are 18 filters provided in all. The design of the camera remains distinctly old school – rear screen and eye level electronic viewfinder, or ‘EVF’, aside – with an attractively classic look and solid feel.

Unsurprisingly the AF system, complete with face and eye detection, is identical to that found on its X4 forebear. Videographers can choose from Full HD 240 fps high-speed video recording, which allows for the slow motion replay of captured footage, or 4K resolution video at a more regular cinematic 30fps. With the foundations staying the same as the original camera, but other specs upgraded to match that of Fuji’s X-T4, it’s largely a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ when it comes to the Fuji X-T30 II. Still, factor in a manageable body weight and size, and this camera will appeal just as much to beginners as photo enthusiasts.

Sony A6100T3 Approved Award

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony A6100

An upgrade to Sony’s popular a6000 range

Specifications

Sensor:: 24.2MP APS-C
Lens Mount:: Sony E Mount
Connectivity:: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Video:: 4K
Battery Life:: 380 shots (via viewfinder)
Weight:: 396g (inc. battery and memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
4K video recording
+
Excellent autofocus 
+
Small and lightv

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey compared to original a6000
-
Small and low-resolution viewfinder

Sony’s runaway success with the a6000 has made it the entry-level model of choice for a lot of photographers. Towards the end of 2019, the company finally released a successor to its popular model, building on its popularity and adding a range of enticing new features for those considering purchasing their first interchangeable lens camera. 

Some of the improvements here include the addition of 4K video, improved picture quality and a fantastic autofocusing system. The a6100 has got pretty much everything you could need and will give you great scope to learn with - it should take quite a while before you outgrow it. 

It’s a versatile option, offering 11fps shooting, so it should be adept at a number of different subjects - great for beginners who may want to photograph a bit of everything. 

The downside here is the higher price you’ll pay for it compared to the a6000, but if it lasts you longer, then it’s arguably a better-value buy.

Fujifilm X-E4T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Fujifilm)
Compact mirrorless camera delivering diminutive dimensions yet promising big image quality

Specifications

Sensor: 26MP APS-C CMOS
Lens Mount: Fujifilm X mount
Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, HDMI micro connector
Video: Up to 4K at 30fps
Battery life: 460 frames approx
Weight: 264g

Reasons to buy

+
Conveniently compact and reasonably slender
+
Ability to swap lenses to best suit any given subject
+
Built-in visual effects simulate the look of classic film processes
+
Tilting LCD screen satiates the narcissistic

Reasons to avoid

-
Handgrip and thumb rest are additional costs

Available in a silver or black body, this interchangeable lens mirrorless camera from Fuji’s popular retro look ‘X’ series is all about the diminutive size and attractive styling – making it a blogger’s favourite – as much as its under-the-bonnet specifications. Bound to act as further catnip to the influencer crowd is a 180° tilting LCD, while a dedicated thumb rest and handgrip are available as an optional extra; and usefully so, as there’s no image stabilisation built into the body. 

Otherwise the magnesium construction Fujifilm X-E4 is very much an everyday go-to camera suitable for beginners and beyond, in combining a decent 26.1-megapixel resolution with swift-ish 0.02-second auto focus and the ability to shoot up to 4K video. Further creativity is supplied by a Full HD video mode shooting up to 240fps, to allow for a slow motion replay. 

This being a Fuji camera we also get 18 film simulation modes, digitally ape-ing the visual effects of darkroom processes of old to ensure we don’t tire of its charms easily. To conclude, if we’re seeking Fuji’s most compact camera to date to feature its latest fourth generation processor and sensor, making for a beginner friendly package, then we need to look no further.

Sony A6000T3 Approved Award

7. Sony A6000

This older model is still extremely popular

Specifications

Sensor: 24.3MP APS-C
Lens Mount: Sony E Mount
Connectivity: Wi-Fi & NFC
Video: 1080p
Battery Life: 360
Weight: 285g (with battery and memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
Super light
+
Fast AF
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No 4K
-
Screen not touch-sensitive
-
Older technology

The A6000 has been replaced a few times since it made its debut, but that means that you can get what was once at the forefront of camera technology at a super bargain price. It’s a great option for beginners too because it has a range of different shooting modes, meaning you’re less likely to outgrow it quickly. Sony has a huge range of lenses and accessories for its compact system cameras, so the A6000 is a good place to start your photographic journey. It comes with super fast autofocusing, a tilting LCD screen and inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC. Unsurprisingly for an older model, video is restricted to full HD though. 

Olympus E-PL10T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Olympus)

8. Olympus E-PL10

Entry model in its manufacturer’s interchangeable lens mirrorless series has very few shortcomings

Specifications

Sensor:: 16 megapixel Four Thirds
Lens Mount:: Micro Four Thirds
Connectivity:: Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
Video:: 4K at 30fps
Battery Life:: 350 frames per charge
Weight:: 380g with battery and SD card

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish and well built
+
User-friendly feature set
+
Fits neatly in a jacket pocket for everyday snapping

Reasons to avoid

-
Sensor size is physically smaller than the APS-C chip found in most rival mirrorless cameras 

The Olympus E-PL10 is the most recent in a long line of PEN ‘Lite’ cameras, with a feature set designed to appeal to photography beginners and content creators alike. Arriving in a choice of several body colours, happily this camera is no gimmick, however. On the contrary, it feels robust and solid in the palm, even if its manufacturer is describing it to would-be purchasers as lighter than a bottle of water. That’s a plus, we think.

Providing 16 megapixels of resolution from a Four Thirds sensor, when most rivals in its class are offering 20 megapixels from an APS-C sized chip, may feel a little modest, but we do get the expected 4K resolution video and latest generation TruePic processor thrown in. The 3-inch backscreen here can be happily tilted this way and that and flipped around to face the subject to boot. 

Features we’ve always admired across the Olympus camera range are present and correct here, including touch AF and touch shutter operation – whereby a finger tap of where our intended subject appears on the LCD prompts the camera to adjust the focus in the blink of an eye and just as rapidly take the shot. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity further feature as standard, allowing us to pair the product with our smart device of choice. Overall this is a compact, pocket-sized option for would-be photographers and YouTube-rs that to our mind barely puts a step, or a shutter click, wrong.

Panasonic G100T3 Approved Award

(Image credit: Panasonic)

9. Panasonic G100

Primarily aimed at vloggers, but a great travel camera too

Specifications

Sensor:: 20.3MP Four Thirds
Lens Mount:: Micro Four Thirds
Connectivity:: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Video:: 4K
Battery Life:: 270 images, 900 images (power save mode)
Weight:: 345g (inc battery & memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
Very small and light 
+
Great audio recording
+
Fantastic range of accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller sensor than some others
-
Dedicated vlogging camera could be better for video users 

 At the time of its launch, the Panasonic G100 was primarily aimed at vloggers. With its range of video-centric features such as 4K recording and triple microphones to record sound from all angles, it’s easy to see why the camera has found popularity in that market. 

However, if you put vlogging to one side for a moment, this is an ideal small and light camera that is well suited for travel photographers. It’s also ideal for those new to photography not looking to be overwhelmed with a massive camera.

Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds range is extremely well-established, so should you find yourself outgrowing the kit lens, you’ll never be short of different lenses to choose from. 

Fujifilm X-S10T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Fujifilm)
Classic looks meet a contemporary performance in Fuji’s best-of-all-worlds compact offering

Specifications

Sensor: 26.1MP APS-C CMOS
Lens Mount: Fujifilm X-mount
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, USB Type-C, HDMI micro connector
Video: Up to 4K at 29.97fps
Battery life: 325 frames
Weight: 465g with battery and SD card

Reasons to buy

+
Solid feel construction
+
High-performance features yet user-friendly operation
+
Capable of delivering stunning image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
It’s more costly than most beginner friendly options
-
We prefer a simpler control pad to the fiddly joystick here
-
Our nose butts up against the LCD when using the eye level viewfinder

Looking to be tempted away from your smartphone by a high quality camera that blends classic design with contemporary, user-friendly features? Enter Fuji’s 26-megapixel resolution, APS-C sensor incorporating X-S10, complete with leather look surface yet a more modernistic approach than its manufacturer has pursued of late. In fact it reminds us of Sony’s rival E-mount cameras. We still have the throwback Fuji features such as film simulation effects modes, however, which replicate the look of tilt and shift lenses or toy cameras. A touch screen provides further intuitiveness for anyone stepping up to this camera from a smartphone.

Even if we’ve some grumbles about the high-ish asking price, we loved the fact the X-S10 can be handily squeezed into a jacket pocket even with an 18-55mm standard zoom fitted to its faceplate.

Stills and videos are composed and reviewed via either an eye level viewfinder or 180° rotating LCD screen below, which can be turned to face the subject infront of the lens, thereby appealing to YouTube-rs and the selfie obsessed. We were less keen about the fact that our nose butted up against the rear screen when using the eye level viewfinder or the fact that Fuji has opted to place a joystick in place of the usual control pad on the camera back, however. It may look neat, but we found using it to be a tad fiddly.

Ultimately this is a camera that will appeal to smartphone users with deep pockets, as well as giving fledgling photographers room to grow thanks to its blend of auto and manual operation. In short this one is a capable all-rounder.

Canon EOS R10T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Canon)
Great starter option for those looking to invest in a Canon system camera for the first time to shoot video and/or stills

Specifications

Sensor: 24.2 megapixel APS-C
Lens Mount: Canon EOS R mount
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Video: Up to 4K
Battery life: 430 frames from a full charge
Weight: 382g without battery and card

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable and fully featured starter option
+
Built-in flash adds to the overall impression of feature-rich usability
+
Tilt and swivel LCD screen is a boon for the selfie-obsessed and the content creator

Reasons to avoid

-
Compact dimensions results in our nose butting against the LCD when using the electronic viewfinder above it
-
We’ll get a better battery performance and an increased feature set by spending a bit more on a Canon EOS R7

This DSLR resembling mirrorless camera is the physically smaller 24.2MP sibling to the simultaneously released EOS R7, which offers a bigger resolution but omits some of the EOS R10’s user-friendly features, such as a built-in flash. It’s intended to tempt smartphone photographers to upgrade to a ‘proper’ camera, and perhaps help existing DSLR owners make the switch to smaller, lighter mirrorless bodies at 382g here, albeit ones that handle in a very similar way.

As well as a respectable stills resolution, the Canon EOS R10 features the ability to record up to 4K resolution video, meaning it suggests itself as an affordable option for vloggers and content creators. Shots are composed via an eye level electronic viewfinder, which here offers a generous 2.36 million dot resolution, or the familiar LCD screen just below, which boasts tilt and swivel versatility and can be turned to face the subject – ourselves? – in front of our lens. 

Surprisingly, given its entry-level camera status, Canon has introduced the new HEIF file format on this model, alongside more familiar JPEG and Raw file options. The EOS R10 likewise matches its bigger brother in the EOS R7 in having the fastest continuous mechanical shutter of an APS-C EOS camera at 15fps. Factor in impressive response times and picture quality and there is little about the Canon EOS R10 that feels compromised in order to hit its entry-level price point.

Nikon Z 30T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nikon)
Another manufacturer to chase the content creator market and photography beginners alike; but Nikon has a greater pedigree than most

Specifications

Sensor: 20.9 megapixel APS-C
Lens Mount: Nikon Z mount
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Video: Up to 4K at 30fps
Battery life: 330 frames
Weight: 405g with battery and card

Reasons to buy

+
The most affordable mirrorless camera that Nikon currently offers
+
Robust construction combines with Nikon’s usual attention to detail
+
Fuss-free intuitive operation will suit newcomers

Reasons to avoid

-
Omits an eye level viewfinder and integral flash
-
Chunky handgrip makes this one too large to squeeze into a jacket pocket
-
Expensive for what’s being billed as a starter camera

Choosing, like Canon, to fashion its mirrorless cameras to look like more compact DSLRs, Nikon’s Z 30 is currently the most affordable mirrorless digital camera that its maker offers, which is reason enough to show interest. In being a simplified version of more advanced models in the Nikon Z range, however, the Z 30 jettisons both an eye level viewfinder and integral flash, which is something of a shame in our eyes. We do get a chunky handgrip, however, which aids hand-held shooting, but its styling does make the camera too large to fit in a typical jacket pocket, particularly with lens attached.

Nikon can justify the above omissions however because it’s marketing the Z 30 as a ‘video first’ camera – that is to say it sees its primary audience as vloggers and content creators first, photographers second. Happily it doesn’t feel compromised or fudged in pandering to both. 

As expected, we get a flip out 3-inch LCD screen that can face whatever or whomever is in front of the lens. Upon turning said screen to face our subject the camera cleverly and automatically switches into a dedicated selfie mode. Images display bright and vibrant colours and are generally on the flattering side, while 4K resolution video at a cinematic capture rate of 30fps comes as standard. Picture and sound quality from the camera is impressive straight out of the box. To conclude, then, the Nikon Z 30 may be small and beginner friendly, but it’s far from insubstantial.

Sony ZV-E10T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sony)

13. Sony ZV-E10

A great entry-level vlogging camera for those wanting to get started with video

Specifications

Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS
Lens Mount: Sony E
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Video: 4K
Battery Life: 440 images
Weight: 343g

Reasons to buy

+
 Vari-angle screen 
+
 Specifically targeted to vloggers 
+
 Good inbuilt mic 

Reasons to avoid

-
 No viewfinder 
-
 No inbuilt body stabilisation 

Available at an excellent price, the Sony ZV-E10 makes a lot of sense for those new to the vlogging game. Specifically targeted at those for whom video is their primary objective, Sony has distilled the specific parts of its A6000 series for this kind of user. As a result, it’s a camera which you probably won’t want to pick up for stills (though it can do them), but is ideal for those trying to carve a brand-new YouTube career. One of those key features is a fully vari-angle screen, something we’ve not seen before on a Sony APS-C camera. You can use this to record video from awkward angles, as well as presenting to camera without having to worry about the mechanism getting in the way of other mounts or tripods. You do lose a viewfinder - but again for video work that’s no deal.

Canon EOS M50 Mark IIT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Canon)

14. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

This APS-C sensor incorporating mirrorless model is an entry-level option for fledgling content creators and more

Specifications

Sensor: 24.1 megapixel APS-C
Lens Mount: Canon EF-M mount
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Video: Up to 4K at 24fps
Battery life: Up to 305 frames
Weight: 388g with battery and card

Reasons to buy

+
Approachably user-friendly device for content creators who are just getting started
+
Option to add an extra microphone for improved sound quality
+
Tilt and swivel touch screen LCD allows for creative versatility
+
Large-ish sensor and respectable resolution

Reasons to avoid

-
Anyone above amateur level may find this camera a little under-powered

Another entry-level APS-C sensor incorporating camera option from Canon, the EOS M50 Mark II, the second iteration of the M50, resembles a DSLR that’s been shrunk, but still manages to squeeze in a very useful 24.1 resolution. Modest improvements over its predecessor include boosted Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Eye Detection AF, to help the camera quickly and accurately achieve sharp subjects, while a flexibly ‘vari angle’ touchscreen LCD has video bloggers in mind. 

Impressively the camera can record 4K-resolution video, or switch to a lower resolution to achieve a 120fps slow motion performance. HDMI output or Wi-Fi connectivity are offered for the transferal of images, while a standard 3.5mm jack allows for an external microphone to be hooked up, if desired. We liked the fact that Canon has still found room for an eye level viewfinder here, while older and existing Canon EF lenses can be used alongside dedicated EF-M lenses with the aid of an adaptor. Compact yet versatile is our summary here, and even if it’s not a massive step on from its predecessor, it will suit beginners down to the ground.

Canon EOS 2000DT3 Approved Award

15. Canon EOS 2000D

A cheap and cheerful first time DSLR that is great to learn with

Specifications

Sensor: 24.1 MP APS-C
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-S
Connectivity: Wi-Fi/NFC
Video: 1080p
Battery Life: 500
Weight: 475g

Reasons to buy

+
Super cheap
+
Good battery life
+
Wi-Fi connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Fixed, non touch-sensitive screen
-
No 4K video

If your budget is super low but you want to get into the DSLR game, you can do worse than opt for the Canon EOS 2000D. For less than £400 you get a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and all the shooting modes that somebody just starting out could wish for. To keep that price low then some sacrifices are needed, such as a fixed non-touch sensitive screen, but otherwise it’s a good little model to begin with. You can add different lenses and accessories should you outgrow the kit lens, but video shooters might feel the need to look elsewhere.

Panasonic GX9T3 Approved Award

(Image credit: Panasonic)

16. Panasonic GX9

A stylish Micro Four Thirds model, which is ideal for travelling

Specifications

Sensor: 21.7MP Four Thirds Live MOS
Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds
Connectivity: Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
Video: 4K
Battery Life: 260 shots
Weight: 450g (inc. battery & memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design 
+
4K video and photo modes
+
Great range of native lenses

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller sensor than some others here
-
Limited battery life
-
Small viewfinder 

Panasonic is a good option for those new to photography, offering user-friendly models at a variety of different price points and styles. Our pick for beginners at the moment is the GX9, which is smart, stylish and also ideal for travel. With 4K video and photo modes, you can get really creative with the type of content you create, so bloggers and vloggers will also like it. Micro Four Thirds lenses are extremely numerous, so you’ll never struggle to find an accessory once you’ve outgrown the kit lens, too.

Panasonic Lumix GX80T3 Approved Award

17. Panasonic Lumix GX80

A small, light and well-featured compact system camera for first-timers

Specifications

Sensor: 16MP Four Thirds
Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Video: 4K
Battery Life: 290
Weight: 426g (with battery and memory card)

Reasons to buy

+
Small & lightweight
+
4K video
+
Tilting screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller sensor than some
-
Small viewfinder
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Limited battery life

A good way to get a good deal when looking for your first camera is to seek out slightly older models.  The Panasonic GX80 fits this brief perfectly, despite being about five years old now. That means you can pick it up for a fraction of its original price, but still lots of benefits over using your smartphone.  This cute little compact system camera is ideal for travelling and comes with a range of modes to help you get the best pictures, moving up to more advanced options once you know what you’re doing. Movie makers and vloggers may also be tempted by the 4K video recording, and it helps that it looks cute too.  

Amy Davies is a freelance journalist that covers cameras for T3 and many other sites. She is also Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine and, when she's not writing about cameras, she's probably taking pictures of her cute dog.

With contributions from