Picking your first camera can be a daunting task, given how many models are available. Many people get discouraged upon seeing the price tag of most high-quality digital cameras.  This doesn’t have to be the case. Whether you’re looking for a first camera for yourself, or a beginner camera for a teen or child, our guide will help you decide on the best beginner camera for you.

Unless you’re an expert on the subject, you will have a hard time choosing a first camera. We have listed some of the best beginner cameras, all under $500, as well as a buying guide that can help you decide which camera is best for you.

6 Best Beginner Cameras - Overview

The idea of what constitutes a “best camera: changes from one person to the next and choosing the right one depends heavily on what specifications are most important to you. Whether you are an amateur videographer, budding photographer, or just looking for an inexpensive camera to take traveling or backpacking, our guide will help you choose a camera that best suits your individual needs. 

All of the above cameras have different strengths in terms of optical zoom, image quality, zoom capabilities, Wi-fi settings, and more. In addition, there are cameras with unique features like being waterproof and low-temperature resistant. Read more and decide for yourself which camera suits your individual needs best. 

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera - Best Overall Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera – Best Overall
$397.99
Pros:
  • Great first camera, especially regarding zoom and sound​​
  • Dolby digital sound with built-in zoom mic​​
  • Shoot full 1080/60p HD video with auto focus​
  • 60x optical zoom (20mm-1200mm)​
  • Extensive in-camera creative controls​
Cons:
  • Composite plastic encasement feels slightly cheap​​
10/02/2022 08:33 am GMT

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Cons

Nikon COOLPIX B500 - Best Overall Zoom Capabilites Nikon COOLPIX B500 – Best Overall Zoom Capabilites
$299.95
Pros:
  • Unique creative filters​
  • Wireless Wi-fi connectivity​
  • Optical viewfinder​
  • 1920 x 1080 video resolution​
Cons:
  • Plastic lens mount​
10/02/2022 01:00 am GMT

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Buying Guide - Best Beginner Camera

How do you choose a good beginner camera?

Our buying guide for the best beginner cameras allows you to carefully choose the equipment that best meets your needs. What criteria did we use to compile our guide? We recommend looking at the power of a camera’s sensor, the optical zoom, and the ease of handling to make an informed decision.

The power of the sensor

When considering the power of the sensor, look at the number of pixels. More pixels means more detail, providing the size of the sensor is adequate. The sensor itself is essentially a solid-state device that captures the light required to form a digital image. 

Level of detail is very important if you were to enlarge your photos or focus on a particular detail on the image. This is especially useful for those who want to take a landscape photo or take a group photo. In addition, to achieve the best possible image quality, it is best to choose a device that incorporates a stabilizer to counter any hand tremors.

The optical zoom

When it comes to choosing a beginner camera, you should also look for the presence of a good optical zoom on it. You will often manually control zoom in order to enlarge the images.

We recommend opting for an optical zoom of at least 10x. Thanks to our optical zoom cameras guide, you can find cameras with optical zooms up to 10x or even 80x, without compromising on the overall quality of your pictures. The zoom will be useful in fixing on a distant subject in your lens, as well as giving you creative control in your videography.

Ease of handling

Ease of handling is especially important to the new camera user. The last thing you want to be worrying about when capturing a beautiful landscape or an unexpected event is confusing controls. In order to immediately capture the magic of the moment, it is essential that you do not have to make time-consuming adjustments.

Today, a large number of devices have an Intelligent Mode in order to adapt according to your context and allow you to take a good shot in a few seconds. This mode allows the camera to automatically focus, calculate the focal distance, adjusting lighting, and more. Just aim and press the viewfinder to get a quality photo, even if the subject you are photographing is far away or in motion.

Conclusion

When choosing the right beginner camera, determine your expectations. It is important to choose a camera within your budget that still provides a good sensor (image quality), zoom, and is easy to handle. We hope our guide will lead you to a high-quality beginner camera that will satisfy your photography needs.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out our guides to the best camera for filmmaking on a budget and best camcorder for Youtube.