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The Best Cameras for Beginners

Which One Is Right For You?

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What is the right camera for a beginner photographer?

As an aspiring photographer develops into a photographic artist, exploring a few options will pay off in the future. An entry-level camera should be simple to use, hold, as well as intuitive. 

Every modern camera, including the most expensive and advanced models, has fully automatic modes that make it simple for even the most inexperienced photographer. To pick up the right “professional” camera from a leading manufacturer and take a perfect photograph, you don't need to understand the science behind exposure and set your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You don't believe me? Consider the contentious case of a primate taking an epic selfie with a professional camera a few years ago.

Almost all cameras allow you to manually control exposure, focus, shooting modes, and other settings. However, the ease with which you can manually change controls differs from camera to camera. Since the budding photographer will likely "outgrow" some of the auto modes and want to take charge of certain aspects of the picture-making process, the ease of introducing manual control should be a major purchase consideration for a novice.

We all know that today's smartphone—or any mobile devices with a camera built-in—is the perfect camera for a budding photographer in several respects. In reality, phone cameras are so strong that most photographers, both amateurs and professionals, are increasingly using them instead of larger, more complicated ones. Since the 35mm format launch has a camera style that brought so many people into the wonderful world of photography as a subset of the camera industry.

You can read more about getting started on Mobile Photography here.

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Featuring the classic Moment Red ring.

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To Know:

The smaller a camera is, the more likely it is to be carried around by photographers. The Fujifilm XE4 is one of Fujifilm's smallest mirrorless cameras to date. The XE4 looks more like a point-and-shoot when paired with the newly announced 27mm kit lens. The XE4 is one of the more compact Fuji mirrorless cameras, costing $850 body-only (or $1,050 with the kit). Despite its lower price, the Fujifilm XE4 features the same sensor and processor as the Fujifilm XT4.

What We Love

This camera is a pleasure to use thanks to its excellent image quality, wide dynamic range, and low-light output, as well as its simple controls, advanced Face and Eye Detection, and a 180° forward-tilting LCD touchscreen. So, whether you're shooting professional-quality images, 4K/30p video, or super-slow-motion Full HD/240p footage, you can rest assured that the process will be easy, straightforward, and, most importantly, enjoyable.

The Details:

Brand: Fujifilm

Price: $1,049.95

Product Type: Mirrorless Camera

Best For: Portraits, Street Photography, and a high-resolution camera for every day.

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Fujifilm

X-E4 Mirrorless Camera

Outstanding image quality, wide dynamic range, great low-light performance, simple controls. The Fujifilm X-E4 Mirrorless Camera brings it at a reasonable price

Buy for $849.95

What We Rate

Skill Level

Just getting started Understands manual settings Shoots regularly Professional

Photo Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Video Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Auto Focus

Always hunting It Works It Works Quickly Quick and Locked In

Low Light

Very noisy. Average Clean Crisp And Clean

Battery Life

Sucks Not bad Good Really Good

Rugged Ability

Leave it in the studio Daily Carry Traveler Mountain Goat

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top Of The Line
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To Know:

Sony’s latest A7 cameras represent the vanguard of the mirrorless camera movement. The A7 III is smaller, lighter, and more durable than their DSLR counterparts and has narrowed the gaps in image quality, performance, and lens selections.

What We love

Crazy Great Dynamic Range

With 15 stops of dynamic range, you can fully clamp down any scene with precise clarity.

A Flip-Out Screen

An excellent camera that has a flip-out screen for easy recording and vlogging sequences.

Incredible Picture

Incredible 4k 16-bit raw output over HDMI with no recording limits for ultra-amazing-looking footage.

The Details:

Brand: Sony

Price: $1,998

Product Type: Mirrorless Camera

Best For: More advanced photographers.

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Sony

Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony is starting to become the king of mirrorless videography. The Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera is well-rounded, suitable for both photo and video

Buy for $1,898.00

What We Rate

Skill Level

Just getting started Understands manual settings Shoots regularly Professional

Photo Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Video Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Auto Focus

Always hunting It Works It Works Quickly Quick and Locked In

Low Light

Very noisy. Average Clean Crisp And Clean

Battery Life

Sucks Not Bad Good Really Good

Rugged Ability

Leave it in the studio Daily Carry Traveler Mountain Goat

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top Of The Line
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To Know:

The Sony Alpha a6600 is a sleek-yet-fully-featured APS-C-format mirrorless camera well-suited for both stills and video, focusing on speed and flexibility. This amazing mirrorless model is a powerful gear with its 5-axis image stabilization, Real-Time Eye AF tracking for human, animal, and movie modes, Long-lasting battery, Unlimited 4K video recording Mic, and headphones jacks.

What We love

Real-Time Eye AF

With a half-press of the shutter button, the camera can automatically detect the subject's eyes and activate Eye AF in all autofocus modes.

Easy Wifi Transfer

Control your camera or transfer files to your device for fast and easy sharing without the need for a computer.

The Details:

Brand: Sony

Price: $1,198.00

Product Type: Mirrorless Camera

Best For: Photographers needing a battery sufficient lifestyle camera.

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Sony

Alpha a6600 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Looking for a no-nonsense, affordable mirrorless camera from Sony? The Alpha a6600 is sleek-yet-fully-featured, APS-C-format, and great for stills and video

Buy for $1,198.00

What We Rate

Skill Level

Just getting started Understands manual settings Shoots regularly Professional

Photo Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Video Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Auto Focus

Always hunting It Works It Works Quickly Quick and Locked In

Low Light

Very noisy. Average Clean Crisp And Clean

Battery Life

Sucks Not bad Good Really Good

Rugged Ability

Leave it in the studio Daily Carry Traveler Mountain Goat

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top Of The Line
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To Know:

The new Fujifilm X100V is the fifth generation of the X100 series, combining impressive imaging capabilities, a unique design with an apt prime wide-angle lens, and a versatile feature-set to accommodate various shooting needs. The X100V features a 26.1MP APS-C-format X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor capable of high-resolution recording, DCI/UHD 4K video support, ISO 160-12800 sensitivity, and mechanical shutter continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second. The sensor's BSI architecture reduces noise and improves overall clarity, and it's combined with the X-Processor 4 for fast performance and responsiveness.

What We Love:

Fuji is no stranger to stunning JPEGs straight from the sensor, allowing for fast edits. For those who want to shoot from the hip while filming the streets, the flip-up screen is truly revolutionary. Since it converts to a 35mm equivalent on a full-frame sensor (note that the 100V is a cropped mirrorless sensor! ), it's 23mm F/2.0 fixed lens is ideal for shooting lifestyle imagery. This lens is a major improvement from the design used on previous X100 cameras, with higher resolution, lower distortion, and enhanced close focus efficiency. It retains the same overall size and compatibility with the legacy WCL/TCL conversion lense and its internal ND filter, which now has four stops.

The Details:

Brand: Fujifilm

Price: $1,399

Product Type: Point-and-shoot

Best For: Street scenes, wide-angle portraits, lifestyle images, Instagram sponsored posts, short GIFs made with its video capabilities, and on-the-go captures.

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Fujifilm

X100V Digital Camera

Looking for that perfect street photography camera? The Fujifilm X100V is the perfect compact camera for you with its 23mm lens and great autofocus

Buy for $1,399.00

What We Rate

Skill Level

Just getting started Understands manual settings Shoots regularly Professional

Photo Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Video Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Auto Focus

Always hunting It Works It Works Quickly Quick and Locked In

Low Light

Very noisy. Average Clean Crisp And Clean

Battery Life

Sucks Not bad Good Really Good

Rugged Ability

Leave it in the studio Daily Carry Traveler Mountain Goat

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top Of The Line
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To Know:

Professional photographers covet Leica cameras, which are ultra-high-end gear. They're known as the Ferraris or Bugattis of the camera world, and it's a well-deserved title. Leica is known for heirloom-quality craftsmanship, near-peerless optics, and astronomically high prices. These cameras and lenses are more expensive than an engagement ring, but they are designed to last. They're also a bit of a snob's delight. For better or worse, most Leica cameras have peculiar quirks that set them apart from the competition.

What We Love:

With a prime lens and fast autofocus, the Leica Q2 is the only camera in its class to feature IP protective sealing, rating of 52, against dust and spray water.

The Details:

Brand: Leica

Price: $5,495.00

Product Type: Point-and-shoot

Best For: Portraits with extra-sharp images and that sweet, creamy bokeh made possible by low-light aperture lenses.

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Leica

Q2 Digital Camera

Leica Q2 – a perfect symbiosis of the essentials with innovation, 47.3-megapixel full-frame sensor with an extremely fast Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH fixed lens.

Buy for $5,495.00

What We Rate

Skill Level

Just getting started Understands manual settings Shoots regularly Professional

Photo Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Video Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Auto Focus

Always hunting It Works It Works Quickly Quick and Locked In

Low Light

Very noisy. Average Clean Crisp And Clean

Battery Life

Sucks Not bad Good Really Good

Rugged Ability

Leave it in the studio Daily Carry Traveler Mountain Goat

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Soild Top Of The Line

How We Tested

I’m in love with commitment to boastful camera specs, high-resolution camera bodies, and reliable lenses that capture every look I envision. I took a few sample lenses from our office in Seattle, headed north from Los Angeles to Redding to visit the parents, and made them endure my techie side full force on our family hike. We truly hope you can attest to our experts and experience after years of working alongside. Again, we’re PUMPED that we now sell all these bad boys in the shop. 

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