Best DSLR Camera For Beginners

10 Best DSLR Camera For Beginners

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Looking to buy your very first DSLR? No worries, in this article we look at the best DSLR camera for beginners.

Ultimately, filmmaking has never been easier or more accessible than in 2020. If you’re just getting started, count yourself lucky to live in what is a golden era of filmmaking! Certainly, cameras have never been better, or cheaper. Additionally, the ability to get your work out there and see has never been easier or cheaper. So, what’s stopping you?

Strangely, the potential downside to this new-found accessibility is that actually, with so many camera options, it can feel a little overwhelming. Notably, YouTube is swamped with uploads of reviews on all the new, shiny cameras being released almost daily – each claiming to be the ‘perfect beginner DSLR’. How do you pick? Below, we’ve put together a list of contenders for the best DSLR camera for beginners in 2020.

What To Look For In A Beginner DSLR

First, before we get into it, there’s a few things you should look out for when picking out your beginner DSLR:

  • Price – when you’re just getting started and on the hunt for the best DSLR camera for beginners, you don’t want to spend ALL of your money. Remember, this might not be the right hobby or career for you. Importantly, the most expensive camera does not equate to the best films and videos you can produce.
  • Interface and controls – when learning the ropes, you want to ensure your beginner DSLR is relatively simple and easy to get to grips with. Some cameras may feature a lot of buttons and menus. Consequently, it can become quite confusing and a little daunting!
  • Manual mode – indeed, whilst auto modes are very convenient and get the job done without you having to do much at all, it’s really important that you can shoot manual. Undoubtedly, it will improve you as a filmmaker and take your work up to the next level.
  • Image quality – simple. In short, whatever beginner DSLR you opt for, you want it to be great in what it does! Image quality will always be important, no matter what point you’re going in at.
  • Lens options – having the option to change lenses is a big deal when it comes to the best DSLR camera for beginners. Understanding different ways of framing and knowing how to utilise different focal ranges will help make you a much better filmmaker. From wide to telephoto, lenses are almost as important as the DSLR itself!

So, now you know what to look for, let’s take a look at the 10 contenders for the best DSLR camera for beginners in 2020.

→ Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 beginner dslr

Price: £399.00

Max resolution1080p (Full HD)
Lens mount / interchangeable?Nikon F (DX) / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.2MP
Screen size3 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

Indeed, the Nikon D3500 is basic and that’s why it’s perhaps the best DSLR camera for beginners. It’s an easy go-to and one of my top recommendations for anyone looking to get started. The combination of its price point, great image quality and ease of use make it perfect. It won’t take you long to get to grips with. Furthermore, having access to the Nikon lens family (F mount) is a real win.

ProsCons
Long battery lifeA little basic for some
Affordable priceNo touchscreen or LCD tilt
Great image qualityNo 4K

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600 best DSLR camera for beginners

Price: £539.00


Max resolution1080p (Full HD)
Lens mount / interchangeable?Nikon F (DX) / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.2MP
Screen size3.2 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

Essentially, the Nikon D5600 is the big brother of the D3500. It’s a great beginner DSLR, boasting a bit more power than the previous option, as well as a few nice features such as a fully tilting, articulate touchscreen. Similarly, the image quality is fantastic and we’re particularly impressed by the autofocus speed. A real contender for best DSLR camera for beginners.

ProsCons
Great image qualityNo 4K
Touchscreen, tilting LCDA bit pricier than the D3500
Solid autofocus 

→ Canon EOS Rebel T8i (Canon EOS 850D)

Canon EOS Rebel T8i

Kit price: £859.00

Max resolution4K
Lens mount / interchangeable?Canon EF-S / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.1MP
Screen size3 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

Certainly, it can be a little overwhelming looking at all of the beginner DSLR options on offer from Canon. However, the Canon 850D really stands out as the best DSLR camera for beginners. As expected from Canon, the image quality is fantastic – really sharp and clear. Additionally, you’ve got the option of shooting in 4K which is always useful! We think the button layout is perfect for beginners especially. It’s simple and easy to get to grips with.

ProsCons
4K resolutionPricey
Touchscreen, tilting LCDPlastic build
Quick and reliable autofocusCertain 4K limitations with frame crop

★ Best DSLR Camera For Beginners ★

→ Pentax K-70

Pentax K-70

Price: £550.00

Max resolution1080p (Full HD)
Lens mount / interchangeable?Pentax K / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.1MP
Screen size3 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

The Pentax K-70 is a bit of a left-field option, when compared with the usual mainstream suspects of Canon and Nikon. However, we think it is a fantastic beginner DSLR option. If you’re looking for slightly more advanced controls and the useful things such as the flip-tilt LCD screen, this is the perfect combination. What we love most is the weather sealing and really strong, rugged build quality – something that is often missing when it comes to beginner-level DSLRs.

ProsCons
Competitive priceVideo specs not quite as good as other competitors
Solid, rugged buildContinuous autofocus in video is pretty poor
Anti-shake capabilitiesLens options are not mainstream like Canon or Nikon etc

→ Canon EOS 90D

beginner DSLR Canon EOS 90D

Price: £1209.00

Max resolution4K
Lens mount / interchangeable?Canon EF-S / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels32.5MP
Screen size3.2 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

Although a little pricey, the Canon EOS 90D is certainly up there when it comes to the best DSLR camera for beginners. Alongside the compatibility with Canon glass (especially useful for improving on low-light shooting), it’s packed full of features such as the high-resolution sensor, tilting touchscreen and really smooth, speedy performance. Moreover, it punches heavier than the Canon EOS 850D in its ability to shoot 4K completely uncropped, making full use of that nice big sensor.

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ProsCons
4K resolution (uncropped, up to 30p)Very pricey
Touchscreen, tilting LCDA little bulky and heavier compared to other options
Good, solid build and weather sealingNo image stabilisation

Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500

Kit price: £1212.89

Max resolution4K
Lens mount / interchangeable?Nikon F (DX) / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels20.9MP
Screen size3.2 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

This budget-friendly alternative to Nikon’s flagship D500 is a great beginner DSLR. The Nikon D7500 boasts impressive features such as weather sealing, the ability to shoot 4K and digital image stabilisation. It offers the speed and power of a flagship model but at a much more reasonable price. Definitely one to consider when on your search for the best DSLR camera for beginners!

ProsCons
Weather sealingVideo recordings limited to 29m 59s
4K4K is severely cropped
Digital stabilisationPoor autofocus

★ Best DSLR Camera For Beginners ★

→ Canon EOS 250D

best DSLR camera for beginners Canon EOS 250D

Kit price: £599.00

Max resolution4K
Lens mount / interchangeable?Canon EF-S / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.1MP
Screen size3 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

You’ve probably realised by now – Canon really are the kings of the DSLR game. There are so many models to choose from. Our third entry in our best DSLR camera for beginners list, the 250D is another solid option. It packs all the great features you’ve come to expect from Canon (including a very responsive LCD and 4K video option) into a very small, compact and lightweight body. It’s proven to be a great beginner DSLR since its release in mid 2019.

ProsCons
4K resolution4K video includes cropping
Very small, lightweight bodyAF system is a little out of date
Great battery life 

→ Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Price: £1349.00

Max resolution1080p (Full HD)
Lens mount / interchangeable?Canon EF-S / yes
SensorFull frame
Megapixels26.2MP
Screen size3.2 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

Despite the fact it’s full-frame, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is an exceptionally good beginner DSLR. Thanks to its layout and Canon familiarity, it’s really easy to get to grips with and very user-friendly straight out of the box. A solid, reliable option that gets the job done.

ProsCons
Impressive performance and plenty of featuresNo 4K
Full frame sensorPricey
Easy to usePlastic finish

→ Pentax KP

Pentax KP beginner DSLR

Price: £714.45

Max resolution1080p (Full HD)
Lens mount / interchangeable?Pentax K / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.3MP
Screen size3 inches
Max FPS30fps
Manual modeYes

Another strong beginner DSLR alternative to the numerous options hammered out by Nikon and Canon, the Pentax KP. The layout of the controls on this exceptionally well-built body are very user-friendly. Additionally, the in-house image stabilisation is brilliant for the price point. Of course, the specs and performance may not be quite as good as some of the other Nikons and Canons here but nevertheless, the Pentax KP holds its own and is worth considering.

ProsCons
5-axis image stabilisation built inPoor battery life
Great build quality & weather sealedAverage autofocus system
Nice control layoutNo 4K or 1080p 60fps option

★ Best DSLR Camera For Beginners ★

→ Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200 best DSLR camera for beginners

Price: £319.00

Max resolution1080p (Full HD)
Lens mount / interchangeable?Nikon F (DX) / yes
SensorAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.1MP
Screen size3 inches
Max FPS60fps
Manual modeYes

Lastly, round off our list, this one is just for the sake of nostalgia. The Nikon D5200 may be a little outdated (the Nikon D5600 is better, undoubtedly), but it was my very first camera. I learnt to shoot video on this and it was the perfect beginner DSLR for me. It still has some great features such as the tilting LCD, it’s very easy to use and it produces a really nice image. If you’re on a real budget and looking to keep things simple, this won’t let you down.

ProsCons
Great image qualityNo 4K
Tilting LCDOlder, outdated model
Very easy to use 

Wrapping up – Best DSLR Camera For Beginners

So, in summary, that’s 10 options that’ll help you out in your search for the best DSLR camera for beginners! In a market incredibly dominated by other options such as mirrorless, the humble DSLR still stands strong and there are plenty of great beginner options out there for you to cut your teeth on.

Whichever one of these you choose, we know you’ll be happy with your purchase.


Film Production, Gear, Video Production

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