What Cameras Should Beginners Take Into the Account?

The best DSLR camera for beginners overall: Canon EOS Rebel T7i

Why should you buy this: Great autofocus, fast performance, easy to use

Who’s it for: Beginners, students, parents, and just about anyone who wants a capable, easy-to-use camera

Why we picked the Canon EOS Rebel T7i:

The T7i is on the high-end for entry-level cameras, but it is still one of the best DSLRs for beginners and offers great value. It features a redesigned guided menu that helps get novice users up to speed with various camera settings, with an easy to navigate touch-based interface and plenty of on-screen images that illustrate what different settings do. The camera is now two years old, which means an update may be on the horizon, but for now, it’s still on of the best DSLRs for beginners.

But once you familiarize yourself with the Rebel T7i, it reveals a very powerful camera under the hood. The 45-point viewfinder autofocus system is both fast and accurate, even when photographing fast-moving subjects. It can also shoot at up to six frames per second, so if you have kids or pets that don’t like to sit still, you’ll have no problem keeping up with them. The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor took great pictures in a variety of lighting conditions, and is more resolution than most people need.

Video is another strong point of the T7i thanks to Canon’s Dual Pixel Autofocus (DPAF) technology. Many DSLRs suffer from slow autofocus performance in video mode, but DPAF allows the Rebel T7i to focus both quickly and smoothly, helping to make your videos look more professional. The camera does not have 4K, so it won’t show off the capabilities of your new 4K television, but the 1080/60p footage is fine for most home movies.

As with every camera on this list, if there’s one point of caution we would offer it is this: The Rebel T7i is a much better camera than the kit lens allows it to be. Keep that in mind, and start saving up for a good lens down the road.

The Best Nikon DSLR for beginners: Nikon D5600

Why should you buy this: Great photos and performance mixed with a beginner-friendly design that doesn’t skimp on features

Who’s it for: Beginners and anyone who wants a great camera with features that go beyond the bare basics

Why we picked the Nikon D5600:

The D5600 is Nikon’s basic camera that doesn’t feel basic. The Nikon D5600 packs in several more features than the cheaper D3500, but does so in a way that keeps the beginner-friendly controls. The body is compact with simpler controls, yet includes a tilting screen that the D3500 doesn’t offer, with touch capability as a plus for users used to snapping photos on a smartphone.

Inside, the D5600 houses a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor that produces excellent images. Performance goes a bit further than the basic D3500 with fast, 39-point autofocus and a 5 fps burst mode. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allows for transferring photos to a phone without needing a computer. High definition video at 1080p/60 is offered, but like the T7i, 4K resolution is absent. Nikon also doesn’t use on-chip phase-detection autofocus like Canon does with DPAF, and that means live view performance is slower, for both stills and video.

But for viewfinder shooting, the D5600 is a very solid choice. With a beginner-friendly control scheme, performance that goes beyond basic, and image quality that rivals DSLRs costing much more, the D5600 a good buy for both novices and enthusiasts.

The best compact DSLR for beginners: Canon EOS SL3

Why should you buy this: A compact, beginner-friendly camera that doesn’t skimp on performance

Who’s it for: Beginners, enthusiasts and anyone who wants a compact DSLR with decent performance

Why we picked the Canon EOS Rebel SL3:

Beginner doesn’t have to mean basic. The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a step up from Canon’s base model, the Rebel T7 (no i), in several ways, while it’s also even more compact. Billed as Canon’s lightest DSLR, it’s designed to be as portable as possible — but we should note that the Nikon D3500 is even a few ounces lighter. The SL3 isn’t a bottom-of-the-line model, however, and in some ways even outperforms the higher-end Rebel T7i.

The SL3 sports the same 24-megapixel APS-C sensor as the T7i, but an even newer Digic 8 image processor. While it’s still down on still shooting performance from the T7i, this gives it a big advantage over the cheaper T7 (which is still using the many-years-old Digic 4 processor). The SL3 can shoot at 5 fps speed instead of the T7’s paltry 3 fps, and boasts a much wider ISO range of 100 to 25,600. More impressive, battery life is rated at 1,600 shots per charge when using the optical viewfinder — far above competing mirrorless models.

The one advantage the Digic 8 gives the SL3 over the T7i is 4K video. However, unlike 1080p, 4K is recorded from a cropped area of the sensor and Dual Pixel Autofocus does not work in 4K mode. This means the shooting video in 1080p will offer a much more user-friendly experience, but 4K does produce a noticeable increase in detail if you don’t mind the crop or slow autofocus.

While performance and quality is a step above the T7, the SL3 still sports a control scheme that’s not too overwhelming for novices. The buttons and even mode dial are simplified compared to the older SL2, while a touchscreen is a plus for easier navigation. Creative Assist mode offers in-camera photography tips for beginners that learn by doing.

The Rebel SL3 is basically the DSLR version of the mirrorless Canon EOS M50. We’d suggest considering this samller mirrorless camera if a compact body is important, but if you want both reasonably compact and the great battery life, the SL3 isn’t a bad buy.

The best full-frame DSLR for beginners: Nikon D750

Why should you buy this: A top performing full-frame DSLR that doesn’t (completely) break the bank

Who’s it for: Enthusiasts and semi-pros

Why we picked the Nikon D750:

While the D750 isn’t technically Nikon’s entry-level full frame, the age of the camera has pushed the price lower than the entry-level D610 — and why not go with the cheaper camera that has more features? The Nikon D750 — and really most full-frame cameras — aren’t for beginners that will be easily discouraged by a lot of buttons and dials. The D750 literally has so many controls that two of the dials are stacked on top of each other. But for the tech-savvy beginner, the D750 offers a lot of features at an excellent price.

Inside, the D750 holds a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor that takes excellent images. That quality is paired with solid performance, including a 6.5 fps continuous shooting and a 51-point viewfinder autofocus system. 1080p 60 fps video is also included, but 4K is not — not that we can fault the camera too much for that; it was released back in 2014. At the launch, we found very few faults with the D750.

Why should you buy this: A top performing full-frame DSLR that doesn’t (completely) break the bank

Who’s it for: Enthusiasts and semi-pros

Why we picked the Nikon D750:

While the D750 isn’t technically Nikon’s entry-level full frame, the age of the camera has pushed the price lower than the entry-level D610 — and why not go with the cheaper camera that has more features? The Nikon D750 — and really most full-frame cameras — aren’t for beginners that will be easily discouraged by a lot of buttons and dials. The D750 literally has so many controls that two of the dials are stacked on top of each other. But for the tech-savvy beginner, the D750 offers a lot of features at an excellent price.

Inside, the D750 holds a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor that takes excellent images. That quality is paired with solid performance, including a 6.5 fps continuous shooting and a 51-point viewfinder autofocus system. 1080p 60 fps video is also included, but 4K is not — not that we can fault the camera too much for that; it was released back in 2014. At the launch, we found very few faults with the D750.