Are you looking for the best DSLR camera for beginners that is cheap, compact and with many interchangeable lenses? This is your personal choice, but the advantages and disadvantages of the following 10 DSLRs will certainly help you make up your mind.
Should you opt for Nikon or Canon? Why are they so popular among beginning and pro photographers?
What Is a DSLR Camera?
A Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera is a camera body that has a viewfinder capable of transmitting a real-time image through the lens. The latter has a mirror installed behind it at 45-degrees to the entering light which ensures undistorted view of the object or scene.
The working principle and the name remained unchanged since the times when photographers shoot with film cameras. That mirror simply redirects the rays passing through the lens over to the pentaprism and further to the opening where it reaches the photographer’s eye. It can also move inside.
Manufacturers are currently more interested in producing mirrorless devices but a DSLR is still an irreplaceable option. These cameras are considered more versatile and offer a greater variety of functions, accessories, and lenses.
Their reliability and price range also deserve matter. You can find a simple body for $200 or a professional camera for $5,000.
Top 10 DSLRs for Amateurs
Check out this list of the best DSLR cameras to meet your personal needs and requirements that will fit your budget.
Canon EOS-1DX Mark II – Best Canon for Beginners
• Sensor screen
• Weatherproof body
• High capacity memory buffer
• 4K filming with 60 fps
• Doesn’t support Wi-Fi
• No focus choosing
• Works with expensive memory cards (CFast 2.0)
Such DSLR camera for beginners operates on a full-frame 20.2 MP matrix that ensures prime quality both in photo and video modes. Its top result is 4096×2160 definition footage at 60 fps.
In addition, you can get an 8.8 MP image out of any record`s frame, the whole footage being of top quality. Rightfully expected, the burst speed mode produces incredible shots, so this DSLR camera for beginners is highly recommended for sports photographers.
Recommended camera lens: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
Sony SLT-A99 II – Best Sony for Beginners
• Noiseless shots at high ISO
• Quick burst mode
• Five-axis image stabilizer
• Tilting display
• Operates on slow SD UHS-1 memory cards
• When using continuous shooting, it takes long to record images
This full-frame option with its durable rugged body is a great match for active photographers. It is capable of continuous shooting at 12 fps and produces 42 MP photos.
The RAW files are simple to adjust and offload using a converting software. The optical image stabilizer works on a 5-axis setup and by shifting the matrix, you can add 2-4 exposure steps.
This entry level DSLR can get incredible results in high ISO conditions. If you set a 3200 ISO, the noise in photos will be almost nonexistent, increasing it up to 26000 you will unavoidably get some noise but the details will still be present in images.
For such a price, this is an amazing piece of equipment.
Recommended camera lens: Sony 70-200mm f/2.8G SSM II
Nikon D850 – Best Nikon for Beginners
• Minimum natural ISO 64 (extends to ISO 32)
• 4K video
• Focus selection mode (for choosing manually in Live View)
• Made with a resistant alloy of magnesium
• Live View autofocus isn’t fast enough
Before the release, the D8xx series was designed for studio use. These cameras were chosen by those who like to shoot landscapes or work with object photography.
This DSLR camera was a breakthrough, making possible working not only in the studio but also in reportage genre on a high level. It has a 7 fps shooting speed which can still be increased to 9 fps if you install a battery grip.
There are 153 focal points, 99of which work in cross-mode. It has an increased resolution of 45.4MP which corresponds to medium format.
This entry level DSLR has a focus-shift effect which can create a photo with more depth and details by taking several images and combining them together.
Recommended camera lens: Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED
Canon EOS 5DS R – Best Quality
• Rugged body
• No low-pass filtering
• Shots with many details
• Better mirror depreciation
• 5 fps burst mode
• No 4K
• Requires special lenses
• Few details in shadow area (RAW)
• Small battery capacity
• Fixed display
This is far more than a good DSLR camera for beginners and you will understand it when you look at its characteristics. This rival of medium format DSLRs operates on a full-frame CMOS matrix capable of shooting 50.6-megapixel photos.
As for now, it is unbeatable regarding the pixel count. It can reach a maximum of 8688x5792 pixel frame resolution and has 61 points to focus on.
The Canon EOS 5DS R produces the most detailed images thanks to the unequaled resolution, thus becoming the most frequently advised model for those willing to print their images or use for advertising.
Recommended camera lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
Nikon D750 – Best Option for Beginners
• Tilting screen
• Fast autofocus
• 6.5 fps burst speed
• Rugged body
• 24-MP CMOS matrix
• No 1/8000s exposure time
• No 4K footage
• Pretty small black and white screen
• Only 15-frame series in RAW
If you’re searching for the best entry level DSLR that would have a moderate price, then this model can boast of the perfect balance between performance and cost.
Surely it can’t stand up to the D700 but it is a fine camera, designed to meet the requirements of modern beginning photographers who would like to change their iPhone camera.
Though the price is low, its capabilities are cool enough for pro results. Using it is especially convenient thanks to the rotating screen.
Recommended camera lens: Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 G ED VR AF-S
Nikon D500 – Best for Professionals
• 10 fps continuous high speed mode (including RAW files)
• Tilting sensor screen
• Additional slot for memory cards
• Snap Bridge (wireless function) occasionally lags
Here is another great DSLR for beginners working on a 20.9-megapixel CMOS matrix. Compared to the D5, it is noticeably lighter and easier to manipulate that is a highly beneficial feature for shooting weddings and events which both value small weight and good focal length.
This entry level DSLR can work within a 100–51200 ISO range, which can further be maximized to ISO 50–1640000.
It has a high burst speed of 10 fps and can focus between the 153 separate points. The buffer can withstand saving as much as sequence of 79 14-bit RAW photos.
Recommended camera lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G
Sony SLT-A77 II – Best Price
• Crop frame 24.3 MP CMOS matrix
• Buttons can be reprogrammed
• Tilting screen
• Fast-tracking autofocus
• Supports Wi-Fi, NFC
• No autofocus illumination
The frame is supplied with 79 focusing points and improved tracking autofocus.
Camera controls can be personalized which, together with the tilting screen, makes the device highly convenient to use.
It is resistant to weather conditions, has short reaction times, and produces high-quality images in low light.
Recommended camera lens: Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
• Moving screen
• Supports GPS
• Protected body
• Great dynamic range
• Doesn’t support headphones
Despite having the name of the most affordable entry level DSLR, this model still allows taking high-quality pictures and is very versatile.
As opposed to other manufacturer’s designs, this device is the newest full-frame reflex model that benefits from major improvements over the predecessors.
Those include its 26 MP CMOS matrix, the 45-point AF system, better burst speed shooting at 6.5 fps. This entry level DSLR fits those who is going to shoot events.
Recommended camera lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L is III USM
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
• Dust and moisture protection
• Sensor display
• 4K video
• Shadow HDR
• Fixed display
• 4K footage is limited to 1,74 framing
• No focus selection
This device is often used by professionals and is as close to perfection as this type of cameras possibly can be. The 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS matrix is certainly among the numerous strong points, it’s reinforced by paired photosensitive elements ensuring great Live View focusing and smooth footage.
Another advantage is the work of the autofocus under dimmed lights.
Additionally, there are 61 sensors in the AF phase detection, including 41 of cross-type and another 5 of double cross-type. With all that, the device can shoot at 7 fps in burst mode while still using tracking AF and automatic exposure.
Recommended camera lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens
Pentax K-1 Mark II
• Rugged body
• 5-axis image stabilizer
• Pixel Shift mode (exclusive photo improvement mode)
• Pixel Shift requires a tripod for good results
• No 4K video
• Long turning on
Being the second SLR model from this manufacturer, it can boast of many updates over its predecessor.
Provided with a 36.4 MP full-frame matrix, it can have resolution as big as 7360x4912 pixels. This brand is also widely known for durability of its devices.
This is definitely the best DSLR camera for beginners interested in shooting landscapes or wildlife because such photography genres are known for the demanding shooting conditions and weather surprises.
Recommended camera lens: HD Pentax D FA 24-70mm F2.8ED SDM WR Lens7.