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The Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners 2017

Updated on March 3, 2017
neosurk profile image

Roberto is an engineer by profession who likes photography as a passionate hobby. He is a non-cliché traveler who prefers solitude.

Buying your first camera as a beginner photographer can be a daunting task. My own story is not that great either. I love(d) photography and I was already working for my best friend in his small online e-commerce site as a photographer. I used to use the compact digital camera I had to shoot product images and beautify it later in Photoshop. Later, I realized having a DSLR would be great for his business and for my photography as well.

I had never held a DSLR, knew nothing about how to use them. I only had the knowledge from some videos on YouTube. Realizing how embarrassing it would be to go in a store and not know what the parts of a DSLR meant, I "winged" it and purchased a camera online—the best decision I ever made!

Beginning Photography DSLR Cameras

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My First DSLR: The Nikon D5300

I got a good deal online as I could buy the camera, a kit lens, a telephoto lens, a tripod, a 32GB memory card and a bagpack—all as a bundle for less than $600! (This was more than 2 years ago, so it was a sweet deal back then)

When the camera arrived, I did not know what goes where. I did not know how the lens fit, how to first choose the settings, and I certainly did not know what (or how) ISO/aperture need to be set to click that first picture. But it was just for the first few moments. I read the accompanying manual, watched some videos online and I already had a pretty good understanding and a overall basic know-how of how DSLRs worked.

I absolutely love my Nikon D5300!
I absolutely love my Nikon D5300!

More Features = Distraction

I had chosen the D5300 because it had a swivel LCD screen, a GPS, WiFi, and a big sensor. Now that I have used my camera for a long time, I still have not used those features as much as I thought I would. If I knew this, I would have chosen a more basic model and also saved a couple hundred dollars more. However, I certainly don't regret it now. It would just have been more easy back then. Currently, the Nikon D5300 is on a bargain sale with a bunch of accessories.

What can you learn from my story? Well, first—you absolutely don't need WiFi or Eye-Fi, or GPS, unless your professional work requires. So don't look for a ton of features. Go with the most basic DSLR camera. The Nikon D3100 (a friend of mine has reviewed it below) or D3300 is a good choice, and not only because they have a live guide mode, but also because they are so easy to use. It's like using a compact digital camera, but with the awesomeness of a DSLR.

If you are a Canon fan, you can't get a better performance for a beginner camera than what the Rebel T5i provides. Continue reading below to know more about them.

Source

Buying from UK and Europe?

  • You can take a look at this model: Nikon D3300 that comes with a 24.2 MP CMOS sensor. It is the updated version of Nikon's D3100 (one of the best beginner cameras to date).

Top 5 Best Recommended Cameras 2016

 
Nikon D3300
Canon T5i
Canon EOS 70D
Nikon D3100
Pentax K-50
Megapixels
24.2
18
20.2
14.2
16
ISO
100-25600
100-25600
100-25600
100-12800
upto 51200
Frame Rate
5 fps
5 fps
7 fps
3 fps
6 fps
Price
$496
$749 with 18-55 mm lens, $200 extra for 18-135 mm lens
$1449 with 18-135mm lens
$359
$448.95
Special Features
weighs only 0.96 pounds
highly responsive touchscreen, autofocus is powerful
Lightning fast auto focus, WiFi
best rated for a first time DSLR user
Weather proof, dustproof rugged design, Support for EyeFi Cards
Cons
noisy in dark lighting conditions
battery life is slightly less than other DSLRs
May feel somewhat bulky
 
 

Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3300

Nikon D3100 is one of the best cameras for beginning photographers!

Nikon D3100 is priced at less than $400 -- a great value for someone who is just a beginner at photography.
Nikon D3100 is priced at less than $400 -- a great value for someone who is just a beginner at photography.

Advanced D Lighting in Action

Advanced D-Lighting functionalities are available in most of the Nikon DSLR cameras
Advanced D-Lighting functionalities are available in most of the Nikon DSLR cameras

Nikon D3100 14.2 MP

Its full 1080px HD video recording allows 24 frames-per-second recording which gives smooth video recording without pauses and stops. I'm extremely impressed by its swift shutter action. One Touch capture and extremely low shutter response delay means that we won't miss anything.

> In-camera customizing and editing options with lighting

> 11-point auto focus

> Affordable and the best available for beginners

> In-camera guide for beginners that teaches what the menu options are for and what they do

Another one of the best features of Nikon D3100 is the advanced D-lighting technology. Now you can enhance the sharpness and brightness of objects in shadows from the camera itself.

Sample Photos Shot From Nikon D3100 DSLR

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens - Red (International Model no Warranty)
Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens - Red (International Model no Warranty)

The camera is cheap and fit right into my budget. It comes with a lens of its own and its own price. The affordability is one of its greatest strengths especially for someone new in the field as I was sometimes back. The quality is however not compromised regardless of the cost. It is worth more than it is priced.

It also has a menu navigation system that enables ease of access to the multiple functions of shots and videos. It offers a classy touch and a fun feeling when handling the menu with simplicity. It is even easier than navigating my tablet!

This Nikon is a favorite of wedding photographers and offers high quality performance. The pictures are clear and light conscious. It also contains a video option that can be used to capture motions in detail and timely manner. This is also why it is one of my favorite cameras for shooting short movies and videos.

The Nikon D3100 is sufficient for even a traveling photographer. It is an easy use especially for a beginner. The ease was of great help to me during my first photographic sessions. The pictures were easy to take and the outcome and experience was simply incredible.

 

By comparing all trusted sources, customer reviews and personal recommendations from actual users, we have found that the best digital camera for a beginner FOR THE PRICE is the Nikon D3100 DSLR (14.2 MP), which is a full HD Digital SLR camera that offers 1080 pixels HD video recording. This model released for the first time in 2012.

The newer Nikon D3300 is an advanced model, adapted from D3100 itself. Both DSLRs are equally easy and professional for new photographers to use, except for a few specs like low noise at high ISO, longer battery life, higher resolution—which favor the D3300.

Canon Rebel T5i

Some Awesome Pictures Shot From Canon T5i

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo by Sergey Ponomarev via FlickrVastness of Universe (Photo by Binish Kallarackal via Flickr)Streets in the evening (via Pixabay)Antarctica Ice (via Pixabay)Nice Cozy Bright Bedroom (from Pixabay)
Photo by Sergey Ponomarev via Flickr
Photo by Sergey Ponomarev via Flickr
Vastness of Universe (Photo by Binish Kallarackal via Flickr)
Vastness of Universe (Photo by Binish Kallarackal via Flickr)
Streets in the evening (via Pixabay)
Streets in the evening (via Pixabay)
Antarctica Ice (via Pixabay)
Antarctica Ice (via Pixabay)
Nice Cozy Bright Bedroom (from Pixabay)
Nice Cozy Bright Bedroom (from Pixabay)

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Canon T5i with 18-135 mm lens configuration
Canon T5i with 18-135 mm lens configuration
Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Canon T5i Rebel comes with brightness settings where you can control the lighting from dim to bright. Without being dependent on the lighting condition, you can make a dim surrounding brighter in your photography, and lessen it when needed. Comes with a high-end LCD monitor and even has reflection reduction options.

848 days in the Top 100 best-selling cameras list is not a joke.

- Touchscreen LCD panel

- 18 MP sensor

- 1080p video recording support with excellent noise cancelling

 

Canon EOS Rebel T5i Hands on Review

Did you find your camera? What camera did you choose for yourself as a photography learner?

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    • Roderik profile image

      Roderik 10 months ago from India

      What a clearity!

    • Hanzamfafa profile image

      Mike Leal 20 months ago from London

      This is an awesome review of beginner DSLR cameras. Very informative. i am hoping to get back into photography soon.

    • HZZ profile image

      Hamza Zaouali 2 years ago from Dubai

      Hey neosurk, when I posted my comment, I had already done the comparison between the D5300 and the A6000, let me know your thoughts. I don't think hub page will like it if I post my own link on your post but you'll find it if you click on my profile, let me know your thoughts! :-)

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 2 years ago

      Hey. Thank You HZZ! I have been meaning to update this for a while now, but the prices on D3100 are almost unbeatable. That's why I still left it. I will update this next month. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • HZZ profile image

      Hamza Zaouali 2 years ago from Dubai

      Hey, great post, but not really updated... The Sony A6000 and the Nikon D5300 are the best entry cameras for beginners! No competition on this...

    • Lyra Kua profile image

      Lyra Kua 3 years ago

      I love the sample shots! They look great.

    • profile image

      GEMNITYA5 3 years ago

      Cool cameras-for-beginners, like me

      (Also shared on Facebook :)

      ~Blessings

      *GEM*

    • trevorjb1406 profile image

      trevorjb1406 3 years ago

      Nice lens! Good variety of cameras. I've done a lens on the Nikon D7100 camera which is a fair bit more expensive. I used to work as a pro photographer so I like my Nikons!

    • Jimmy Oliver profile image

      Jimmy J Oliver 3 years ago

      Great Lens skd, I have a Canon PowerShot SX 150 Digital Camera, love its simplicity, does what it says on the box - point and shoot!

    • nofocruiser profile image

      nofocruiser 3 years ago

      Great lens! I currently have a Canon PowerShot G12 and I'm looking to add another to my collection. A lot of good information here, thanks!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Still looking, but this was helpful. Thanks.

    • profile image

      PhotoPleasure 3 years ago

      Amazing lens! I chose the Nikon D3100 DSLR. For further information about this topic, you can go to prophotographyguide.com.

    • profile image

      pluson 4 years ago

      Great lens! Have you looked at a Sony DSLT?

    • profile image

      Spikey64 4 years ago

      I own a nikon D3100 after reading reviews on the internet I decided on this model when I made the move from point and shoot and I haven't been disappointed.

    • profile image

      RANADEEP 4 years ago

      Great lense,I am planning to buy a HS camera soon and I think it will help me a lot,thx for sharing!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I choose the Nikon D3200!

    • profile image

      Therish 4 years ago

      I just liked the GoPro camera because it has wifi. I have never thought of such cameras with a wifi.

      For buying cameras you may want to look at buying tips at Camera buying tips DSLR

    • profile image

      jasmints 4 years ago

      great lens! I have a Sony alpha slt 77

    • MissRubyStars profile image

      MissRubyStars 4 years ago

      Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10 8.1 MP Digital Camera - looks like a great pick for my boys!

    • marvmac profile image

      marvmac 4 years ago

      Liked this lens

    • profile image

      pluson 4 years ago

      I have a Sony SLT A65 and my dream camera is the Sony A99 full frame DSLT. You may want to check out my lens to learn more about DSLT cameras by Sony if you do not know about them. Who knows you may like them! =)

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 4 years ago

      @anonymous: ah thanks!

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank You very much!

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, the Sony T90 is quite handy. Thanks :)

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 4 years ago

      I have sony SLR now. My next dream camera would be nikon...Nice lens!

    • souf1ane profile image

      Soufiane 4 years ago from Morocco

      great lens, deserve a like

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great find. I am looking for a new camera not something too expensive but not too cheap either. Lots of choice above.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Shared your lens on my FB page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You just solved one of my christmas presents. Thumbs-up for the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a Nikon Coolpix it's a great little camera.!

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      Thanks for the options. I'm in the market for a new camera.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and like it.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Hope to get a new camera before too much longer.

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      Any of these would do nicely for a beginner. I have an older canon rebel and love how it's versatile with lenses.

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 5 years ago

      Those are some nice selections. Easy point and shoot digital cameras would work well with beginners.

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 5 years ago

      Those are some nice selections. Easy point and shoot digital cameras would work well with beginners.