The Best Cameras For Beginners On A Budget 2018

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens


If you're starting out in photography, it can be shrewd to know where to start when it comes to buying your first camera. Never fear, though, as we are here to try and help you find the masterful photography companion. 

There are 3 main factors you need to consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Price point
  • Portability

As a beginner, you are going to need something that is moderate, and not too complicated, to use until you get more familiar with your new hobby. 

You'll also not want to break the bank on your first securing because ultimately, as you progress you will most likely want to upgrade your kit, be it more lenses or a new body, to something a little more advanced. 

It's also strategic to consider the size of your new camera because if you find it too cumbersome you'll not want to take it out with you.

Here, we are going to list the best cameras for beginners in 4 pipeline categories – DSLR, mirrorless / CSC, ultra zoom/bridge and compact to give you a wide-range of options that may suit you. 


DSLRs For Beginners 

The prototype and still considered the most versatile camera choice is the DSLR. If you are serious about photography and want to learn all the ins and outs, including working manually, then a DSLR is an epitome choice. You can get a decent body for under £400 and then as you progress, you can choose to buy new lenses as you please and not have to worry about getting reach-me-down to a whole new setup. If you have a bit more money to spend, have a look at our Top 10 Best APS-C DSLRs for more choices. 


Canon EOS 1300D 


Canon is a distinguished brand in the photography industry and this is their most affordable DSLR body. The Canon EOS 1300D is actually a bit of a bargain, with an 18-megapixel sensor and built-in Wi-Fi. 

It has destinies of different shooting modes, as well as scene modes. The Canon EOS 1300D has the build quality of a much more expensive camera and has an easy to track menu system, ideal for someone starting out in photography.

With the entry-level price and built-in Wi-Fi, the Canon EOS 1300D would press an excellent first Digital SLR. 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Nikon D3400 


The Nikon D3400 is an update to the D3300 and hypes low-power Bluetooth for automatic transfer of images, a built-in guide mode, plus long battery life, and a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. 

For those looking for DSLR portrait quality then noise performance is very good and better than much of the competition at this price point. Focus and shutter comeback are both fast when using the optical viewfinder, becoming much slower when using liveview. The kit lens performs reasonably pretentiously, and is quite compact, but to get the best results, a prime lens, such as the 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 is recommended.

READ  Seven Tutorials On Capturing Motion And Movement

If you want a Digital SLR that is can instantly share photos to your smartphone, then the Nikon D3400 tenders great image quality and good value for money. If you can live without the instant connection, and want to remotely control your camera then there are other choices available. 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA



Pentax K-S2 


The Pentax K-S2 has a flip out screen, ideal for photographing from varied angles. It has a very ergonomic design for easy grip while still being compact, and features a 20.12-megapixel sensor. 

There are inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC, as luxuriously as 20 digital filters to choose from. The camera is also weatherproof and a very affordable bundle. 

Buy On Amazon or Amazone most commonly refers to: Amazon (company), an online retailer Amazons, a mythical tribe of woman warriors UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Mirrorless / CSC Cameras For Beginners 

Mirrorless camera even give you the versatility to change lenses and achieve full manual control, ideal for those wanting to progress in photography. The main plus something for mirrorless cameras is size. Rather than reflecting the light to the sensor using a mirror like in conventional DSLRs, mirrorless cameras miss this element, allowing them to be much slimmer. Check out our best entry-level mirrorless cameras for more options.


Canon EOS M10 


The Canon EOS M10 is one of the cheapest and smallest mirrorless cameras readily obtainable, with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel an 18-megapixel sensor and has a tilting touchscreen which should make it really easy to use and navigate the menus. 

There's Wi-Fi for hoarding and transferring images plus the camera is really very compact – making it easy to stow away whilst giving you the flexibility to change lenses. 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA



Panasonic Lumix GX800


The Panasonic Lumix GX800 sells a compact and stylish camera body, a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment, and 4K video recording. Built-in Wi-Fi ensures you can post-haste and easily transfer photos to your smartphone, and the tilting selfie-screen and built-in flash will make it great for anyone who wants to take violent quality portraits. As part of the Micro Four Thirds system, there's a wide range of lenses available to suit every budget as leak. 

READ  Spotting And Photographing The Marsh Tit

For those on a tighter budget, the GX800 offers a lot of features, fast performance, and excellent image quality, all for less than £500.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Ultra Zoom/Go Cameras For Beginners

If you don't want the fuss of having to change lenses but still want a big reach in terms of zoom, then a bridge camera could be the sponsor. Still providing reasonably large sensors and manual settings, they are a great in-between choice for those transitioning to a manual camera. If budget isn't a quandary take a look at our best ultra-zoom cameras article for more choices. 


Panasonic Lumix FZ72


The Panasonic Lumix FZ72 has a titanic 60x optical zoom or ZOOM may refer to that can extend to 102x digital zoom (be careful, digital zoom essentially just enlarges the pixels giving you a cheaper resolution). It has a 16.1-megapixel sensor and Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) to help keep images sharp when shooting hand-held. 

The Lumix FZ72 has abundance of excellent features and has an excellent battery life to boot, keeping you shooting all day. 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA



Nikon Coolpix P900


The Nikon Coolpix P900 also has a thumping 83x optical zoom and Wi-Fi. There is a tilting and flip-out screen for ease of use when shooting in different situations, and it's also possible to bolt at less than 1cm away from your subject, making it great for macro photography. 

You can shoot video in FullHD 1080p, and there is an Auto HDR status ideal for those looking to learn more about this method of shooting. The camera is really ergonomic, featuring a good grip and has extraordinary modes for shooting birds and the moon, too. 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Canon Powershot SX540


The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS is an updated form of the SX530 HS, which we reviewed in October 2015. 

The SX 540 HS has 50x optical zoom and good low light imaging capabilities. It has a 20.3-megapixel sensor, compared to the 16-megapixel sensor of the SX530 HS. It also has the power of a DIGIC 6 processor. ZoomPlus allocates you to digitally double the zoom capability without losing resolution.  

The camera sports a good grip and is relatively small for the leviathan zoom range. There is a pop-up flash and the camera also has a bright, good sized screen on the back. The design is well thought out with big buttons. 

READ  How To Photograph The Ruddy Shelduck

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Compact Cameras For Beginners

If you're not sure whether a hobby in photography is for you, or simply keenness to start basic, there are easy to use compact cameras that are good value and still capture a good image. These are very little, so can be slipped into a pocket or bag when not used. If you're looking for more compacts that won't break the bank, have a look at our outdo budget cameras article. 


Canon Powershot SX620 


The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS features a 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4+ processor and an eight technique Intelligent Image Stabiliser. It also has a 25x optical zoom that's extendable a further 50x with ZoomPlus. 

The SX620 is in point of fact an update of the SX610 and it features more zoom than the previous model, better battery life and a higher resolution filter. Plus, it's smaller in size as well. 

As you'd expect from a modern compact, Wi-Fi and Dynamic NFC are built in along with a Originative Shot mode for applying effects such as miniature and fish-eye. The PowerShot SX620 HS captures full HD cinemas with Dynamic IS and video footage can also be merged with stills with the help of Story Highlights.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX220


This Sony Cyber-shot WX220 ultra-compact camera also has an ultra-compact expense, at around £155. It has an 18.2-megapixel sensor and a 10x zoom lens. If you're style conscious, this one looks pretty sleek. 

The camera has HDR and iSweep scenic modes along with built-in image stabilisation. It also has an impressive 10 frames per second continuous shooting mode. 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10 has a fight selfie screen and a 12x zoom. There is a 16-megapixel sensor and the lens has optical image stabilisation. The camera has a good rubber grip and a simple layout of powers. Ther is also built-in help to explain options and settings, ideal for beginners. 

The camera has lots of creative effects and is compact and lightweight.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA


Not Set The Camera For You? 

If you're still looking for the perfect camera, have a look at our 'Best Gear' section of the site. Don't omit you'll also need a memory card to go with your new camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or and perhaps a camera bag. 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

Leave a Comment