Four Great Entry-Level Camera Options
Are you ready to buy your first entry-level camera? Do you know which one is best for your needs? We can offer a little advice when it comes to selecting the right one for you.
The good news is you have plenty of options when it comes to entry-level cameras. Better yet, advances in technology mean you get a lot for your money, you don't have to shell out a lot of money and companies are intent on earning brand loyalty starting at entry level.
So let's get started.
What to look for in an entry-level camera:
An entry-level camera should pretty much be ready to work for you straight out of the box with minimal fuss. We also think an excellent entry-level should be able to grow with the photographer as the photographer's skills get better.
This means you should be able to add more advanced accessories and lenses and make manual adjustments rather than needing to buy a whole new camera. So those are the cameras we'll be discussing. There's no sense in wasting money.
Consider these two things:
Budget - How much are you able/willing to spend?
Features - Do you know what type of features want (like built-in WiFi/Bluetooth or portability) you want?
BUDGET: If budget is a big concern, one favorite camera that offers bang for the buck is the Sony A6000. This isn't a newer Sony. In fact, it's been replaced several times since it was first introduced. However, it's cheap, and it's ideal for beginners. It offers a range of shooting modes, meaning it can grow with your skills. As it's a Sony, there's a vast range of accessories and lenses for these compact cameras. Its autofocusing is rapid, and it has WiFi and NFC. The video is full HD only (no surprise gave that it's an older model).
If budget AND portability matter, then check out Canon's EOS 200D, one of the world's smallest DSLR and it's great on a budget. It features a vari-angle screen and guided interface to help guide you. It's easy to use right off with a robust assortment of automatic and semi-automatic options. It has a good battery life at 650 but, even though it's tiny, it's still larger than some mirrorless cameras, and it doesn't have 4K video.
FEATURES: If the features matter to you (more than budget), then check out the Olympus PEN E-PL8. It's not just a good camera, it's nice-looking, too. You have numerous shooting modes including full auto for beginners. There's a tilting screen for selfies, and the camera is relatively uncomplicated. It's become a favorite camera with bloggers, but we think it's an ideal camera for family photographers because it's easy-to-use and affordable.
OVERALL: Overall, our favorite entry-level is likely the Nikon D3500. It's an excellent choice for a beginner's DSLR. Its guide mode talks you through all the settings. It's a huge plus while you're trying to learn the camera. Also, it has countless, yes, countless, options for accessories in the Nikon system which is nice as your skills advance.
Keep in mind that the D3500 has no WiFi, touchscreen, or 4K video. But its price point and 1550-shot battery life are huge pluses to consider! It's an excellent camera to leave on auto mode and start shooting with excellent results - making it ideal for beginners. While there's no WiFi, you can use the Bluetooth connection to send your images to your smartphone easily.