12 Best Cameras for Amateur Photographers

Even if you aren’t a “professional” photographer, you still deserve to have the best camera for your passion of photography.

This is a guide covering the best cameras for aspiring and amateur photographers.

We’ll be covering the following cameras (click on a bullet point to jump to that section)

If you need help determining how to choose the best camera for you, check out our video How to Choose the Right Camera in 4 Steps (playing in 7 seconds):

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
• 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
• 3.0″ LCD Monitor
• Full HD 1080/30p Video Recording
• 9-Point AF with Center Cross-Type Point
• ISO 100-6400
• Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
• Scene Intelligent Auto Mode
• Creative Filters and Creative Auto Modes

Trying to learn photography requires a good camera that you can work with.

It is common for novice photographers to ask: what is the best camera to buy for a beginner photographer?

Or perhaps, what is the best camera for amateur photography?

What makes a good amateur camera?

Is it something that has all the intimidating features?

Or is it something that simply allows you to control the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed without relying on its ability to set everything up for you?

To help guide novice photographers, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best cameras for amateur photographers.

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
BEST ALL-AROUND
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
• 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
• 3.0″ LCD Monitor
• Full HD 1080/30p Video Recording
• 9-Point AF with Center Cross-Type Point
• ISO 100-6400
• Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
• Scene Intelligent Auto Mode
• Creative Filters and Creative Auto Modes
2. Canon A1
BEST BUDGET 💸
Canon A1
• Film Camera
• Film Format: Type 35mm
• Film Color: Black-and -white, color
• Model Name: A-1
• Exposure Control: Type Manual
3. Nikon D3500
BEST BANG FOR BUCK 💥
Nikon D3500
• 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
• No Optical Low-Pass Filter
• Native ISO 100-25600
• 3.0″ LCD Monitor
• Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
• Multi-CAM 1000 11-Point AF System
• Bluetooth Connectivity
• Guide Mode and Special Effects
4. Panasonic LUMIX GX85
Panasonic LUMIX GX85
• 16MP Live MOS Sensor
• Micro Four Thirds System
• 3.0″ Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
• UHD 4K Video Recording at 30/24 fps
• Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
• ISO 25600
• 5-Axis Image Stabilization, Dual I.S.
5. Panasonic Lumix FZ80
Panasonic LUMIX FZ80
• 18.1MP 1/2.3″ MOS Sensor
• 20-1200mm (35mm Equivalent)
• 1.166m-Dot Electronic Viewfinder
• 3.0″ Touchscreen LCD Monitor
• 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
• Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
• ISO 6400, 10 fps Shooting, 4K Photo Mode
• Post Focus and Focus Stacking
6. Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600
• 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
• EXPEED 4 Image Processor
• 3.2″ Vari-Angle Touchscreen
• Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
• Multi-CAM 4800DX 39-Point AF Sensor
• ISO 100-25600
• Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with NFC
• Time-Lapse Movie Recording
7. Canon EOS T100/4000D
Canon EOS T100/4000D
• Can transfer files via WiFi
• Good value
• Great photo quality despite the limited 18MP sensor
8. Nikon FG
NIkon FG
• Allows you to learn how to compose properly
• Can shoot in a wide variety of shutter speeds
• With a decent light meter
9. Olympus OM-10
Olympus OM-10
• Film Camera
• Allows you to compose well
• Rugged construction
• Comes with a great auto feature
10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
• 16.1MP Four Thirds Live MOS Sensor
• UHD 4K30 Recording; Clips Video Mode
• 2.36m-Dot 1.23x Electronic Viewfinder
• 3.0″ Tilting Touchscreen LCD
• In-Body 5-Axis Image Stabilization
• 121-Point Contrast-Detect AF System
• ISO 25600
• Built-In Wi-Fi; Silent Shutter Setting
11. Canon EOS M50
Canon EOS M50
• 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
• DIGIC 8 Image Processor
• 2.36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
• 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touchscreen
• UHD 4K and HD 720p120 Video Recording
• Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC, Bluetooth
• Dual Pixel CMOS AF
• Extended ISO 51200
• Combination 5-Axis Image Stabilization
12. Canon EOS M100
Canon EOS M100
• 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
• DIGIC 7 Image Processor
• 3.0″ Tilting Touchscreen LCD
• Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
• Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC, Bluetooth
• Dual Pixel CMOS AF
• ISO 25600
• Creative Assist and Self Portrait Mode

12 Best Cameras for Amateur Photographers

What is the Best Camera for Amateur Photographers?

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: Compact SLR
  • Max resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Image ratio: 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
  • ISO: Auto, ISO 100-6400, expandable to 12800
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Articulated LCD: Fixed
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: No
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • HDMI: Yes (mini-HDMI)
  • Microphone port: No
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (wired or wireless)
  • Video formats:
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080

The Canon Rebel T7 has 24MP, built-in WiFi, not to mention a 9-point AF system, these are things that any newbie can take advantage of.

Also, you get to enjoy 95% viewing coverage with its viewfinder. Its ISO sensitivity however is not exactly the best at ISO 100 to 6400.

However, if you are a newbie, then this might do the trick.

Check out the best lenses for the Canon Rebel T7.

Canon EOS REBEL T7
Canon Rebel T7

My Pros With This Camera:

  • 24MP sensor
  • Built-in WiFi
  • With a 9-point AF system

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Low ISO range

You can also find this camera on Walmart and Best Buy

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What is the Best Budget Camera for Amateur Photographers?

2. Canon A-1

Canon A1

Camera Specifications:

  • Classic manual focus 35mm film SLR camera
  • ISO ranging from 6-12,800
  • Center-weighted light metering
  • Shutter speed range 2 seconds to 1/1000
  • Full manual controls
  • Dedicated hot shoe
  • Flash sync at 1/60
  • Removable back
  • Electronic self-timer with 2 second and 10 second options
  • Has eyepiece shutter

For any aspiring photographer, what better way to learn photography than to go back to using film.

It teaches you how to compose images given the limited shots that you have.

Plus, you can also understand the basics such as sunny 16 and the rule of thirds in photography.

The Canon A1 is the very first to provide you with an electronic metering system to tell you if you have the right exposure for your shot.

It is also known for its robust design and classic look.

Canon A-1
Canon A-1 image – Copyright “Xray40000”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Robust design
  • Allows you to learn the basics
  • With an electronic light meter

My Cons With This Camera:

  • You will need to develop the photos to see the results

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3. Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: Compact SLR
  • Max resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Image ratio: 3:2
  • ISO: Auto, 100-25600
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Articulated LCD: Fixed
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: No
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • USB charging: No
  • HDMI: Yes (mini-HDMI)
  • Microphone port: No
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (via smartphone)
  • Video formats:
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080

As for the best value camera for the amateur photographers, we picked the Nikon D3500.

This is a favorite by many photography students and hobbyists.

With its easy to use configuration and great image quality, it is no surprise why many considered it as their first DSLR.

It offers a 24MP sensor and an ISO range of ISO 100 to 25600. It also comes with a maximum of 5fps which is quite decent for an entry-level camera.

And lastly, it can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The only downside will have to be the fixed LCD which is frustrating when it comes to shooting at an awkward angle.

Nikon D3500
Nikon D3500

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Great quality image
  • Easy to use
  • 5fps
  • Bluetooth connectivity

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Fixed LCD

You can also find this camera on Walmart and Best Buy

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4. Panasonic LUMIX GX85

Panasonic LUMIX GX85

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: Rangefinder-style mirrorless
  • Max resolution: 4592 x 3448
  • Image ratio: 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
  • ISO: Auto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)
  • Image stabilization: Sensor-shift
  • Articulated LCD: Tilting
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • HDMI: Yes (micro-HDMI)
  • Microphone port: No
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (via smartphone)
  • Video formats:
    • 640 x 480
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080
    • 3840 x 2160 (4K)

If you are still asking: what is the best camera to buy for a beginner photographer, a strong candidate would have to be the Lumix GX85 Digital Camera.

This camera shares some of the core features of the GX8 including the 49-point AF system.

However, it doesn’t have the 20MP sensor but instead has a 16MP sensor which is a good option for beginners.

It has a tilting EVF, a weather-sealed design, not to mention an ability to shoot in 4K.

For beginners who don’t want to be carrying a large full-frame camera, the Lumix GX85 is a great choice.

It even has a 5 axis dual image stabilization that minimizes the blurred shots.

Panasonic LUMIX GX85
Panasonic LUMIX GX85 image – Copyright “RG in TLV”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Compact design
  • Weather-sealed
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • With image stabilization

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Doesn’t have the 20MP sensor of the GX8

You can also find this camera on Walmart and Best Buy

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5. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: SLR-like
  • Max resolution: 4896 x 3672
  • Image ratio: 4:3
  • ISO: Auto, 80-3200 (expands to 6400)
  • Image stabilization: Optical
  • Articulated LCD: Fixed
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • HDMI: Yes (micro-HDMI)
  • Microphone port: No
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (via smartphone)
  • Video formats:
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080
    • 3840 x 2160 (4K)

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a unique addition to our list of best cameras for amateur photographers. For one, it doesn’t allow users to change lenses.

Instead, you are dealing with a zoom lens.

Though there are limitations to what it can offer, it allows beginners to learn how to compose their photos without worrying if the shot is over or underexposed.

It has an 18.1MP sensor combined with a 20-1200mm Lumix DC Vario Lens. You can also transfer your photos wirelessly.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 image – Copyright “Nithi Anand”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • 18MP sensor
  • 4K capability
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Allows you to shoot without worrying if it is under or overexposed

My Cons With This Camera:

  • You can’t change lenses

You can also find this camera on Walmart

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6. Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: Compact SLR
  • Max resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Image ratio: 3:2
  • ISO: Auto, 100 – 25600
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Articulated LCD: Fully articulated
  • Screen size: 3.2″
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Screen type: TFT LCD monitor
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • HDMI: Yes (mini-HDMI)
  • Microphone port: Yes
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Video formats:
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080

The D5600 is another Nikon camera on our list of best cameras for amateur photographers.

It is a good choice for those who are trying to learn how to shoot photographs whether in a studio or in an outdoor setting.

But it isn’t exactly a novice photographer’s camera because it can also be used for sports photography with its 5 fps in continuous shooting mode.

It comes with a 24-megapixel sensor and an ISO sensitivity from 100 to 25600.

And when it comes to shooting from a weird angle, you can easily flip the screen to see the subject and not guess on your composition.

You can also shoot around 970 shots per charge which is a good thing especially when you need to review your shots to improve your skills.

The biggest downside to the D5600 is that transferring photos to a mobile device takes a lot of clicks.

Also, check out the best lenses for the Nikon D5600.

Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600 image – Copyright “G Yancy”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • 5 fps
  • Sensitive ISO
  • 970 shots per charge
  • Comes with a flappable screen

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Can be more user friendly when it comes to transferring files

You can also find this camera on Walmart and Best Buy

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7. Canon EOS T100/4000D

Canon EOS T100/4000D

Camera Specifications:

  • Powerful 18 Megapixel sensor
  • Guided live view with creative auto mode
  • 3.0 frames per second
  • Precise auto focus

Our list of best cameras for amateur photographers won’t be complete without the EOS T100 otherwise known as the 4000D.

Though it only comes with an 18MP sensor and its ISO range from ISO 100 to 6400 might be a bit lacking for low light situations, it is still a favorite among newbies.

You can also transfer files wirelessly via WiFi plus it has a decent 9 point AF system.

Canon EOS T100
Canon EOS T100

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Can transfer files via WiFi
  • Good value
  • Great photo quality despite the limited 18MP sensor

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Can perform better in low light

You can also find this camera on Walmart

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8. Nikon FG

NIkon FG

If you plan on becoming a pro photographer and you want to get acquainted with the Nikon systems, might as well start with the Nikon FG film camera.

It is something that many consider as one of the best cameras for amateur photographers despite having a plastic body.

What makes it a good introduction to photography?

Just like any film camera, it allows you to shoot conservatively and use your eyes to compose the photos.

It shoots from 1 second to 1/1000th of a second plus you get a bulb mode for long exposures.

However, it shines the most with its auto modes that calculate the exposure that allows users to know if they have the right exposure for their shot.

Nikon FG
Nikon FG image – Copyright “Bill So”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Allows you to learn how to compose properly
  • Can shoot in a wide variety of shutter speeds
  • With a decent light meter

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Plastic body

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9. Olympus OM-10

Olympus OM-10

Camera Specifications:

  • 20.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor
  • UHD 4K30p Video Recording
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
  • 8.7 fps Shooting, ISO 200-25600

Made in 1979, this film camera is one of the most highly suggested picks for those who are serious about building their skills from the ground up.

It is one of the best cameras for amateur photographers for many reasons.

It has the robust construction of the old 1970s SLR.

It has a decent range of shutter speed from 1/25th to 1/1600th of a second.

However, you will need to plug an adaptor to fire away at manual.

It also comes with a bulb selection plus the ability to switch to auto.

The viewfinder is remarkable given its size that allows you to compose well.

Olympus OM-10
Olympus OM-10 image – Copyright “Witold Kieńć”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Allows you to compose well
  • Rugged construction
  • Comes with a great auto feature

My Cons With This Camera:

  • You need an adapter to use the manual mode

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10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: SLR-style mirrorless
  • Max resolution: 5184 x 3888
  • Image ratio: 4:3
  • ISO: Auto, 200-25600 (expands to 64-25600)
  • Image stabilization: Sensor-shift
  • Articulated LCD: Fully articulated
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
  • USB charging: Yes
  • HDMI: Yes (micro HDMI)
  • Microphone port: Yes
  • Headphone port: Yes
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (wired or smartphone)
  • Video formats:
    • 1920 x 1080
    • 3840 x 2160 (4K)
    • 4096 x 2160 (4K)

The Olympus OMD EM10 Mark III is one of the most popular micro four-thirds cameras out there.

It is also common to see the pros to consider it as one of the best cameras for amateur photographers.

It comes with a lightweight body that allows users to have an easier time shooting.

It comes with a 16MP sensor plus easy to use dials that give users the chance to switch modes depending on what they want.

You even get a tilting screen that offers a live view.

The downside is that it doesn’t have a fast focus and can only shoot at around 4.8fps.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III image – Copyright “Graeme Darbyshire”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • Dials that make it easy to use
  • With tilting screen
  • Lightweight

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Doesn’t have a fast tracking focus

You can also find this camera on Walmart

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11. Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: SLR-style mirrorless
  • Max resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Image ratio: 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
  • ISO: Auto, 100-25600 (expands to 51200)
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Articulated LCD: Fully articulated
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • USB charging: No
  • HDMI: Yes (micro-HDMI)
  • Microphone port: Yes
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (via smartphone)
  • Video formats:
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080
    • 3840 x 2160 (4K)

Though it is primarily popular as a vlogging camera, there is no denying that many are using it as their entry-level camera for the world of photography.

Side note, here is a list of the best vlogging cameras.

The Canon EOS M50 is a lightweight and mirrorless model from Canon that comes with interesting features.

It uses a 24MP sensor combined with Dual Pixel CMOS AF for accurate autofocus.

It also has high ISO making it suitable for low light situations.

And on top of that, you even get a vari-angle LCD helping you with composition.

However, it is a bit harder to use than the full-frame versions from Canon.

Check out the best lenses for the Canon M50.

Canon EOS M50
Canon EOS M50 image – Copyright “Ivan Radic”

My Pros With This Camera:

  • High ISO
  • Powerful sensor
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a vari-angle LCD
  • Good AF

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Harder to use than the DSLRs

You can also find this camera on Walmart and Best Buy

→ Jump Back to Table

12. Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS M100

Camera Specifications:

  • Body type: Rangefinder-style mirrorless
  • Max resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Image ratio: 3:2
  • ISO: Auto, 100-25600
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Articulated LCD: Tilting
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Screen type: TFT LCD
  • Live view: Yes
  • USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • HDMI: Yes (micro HDMI)
  • Microphone port: No
  • Headphone port: No
  • Wireless: Built-In
  • Remote control: Yes (via smartphone)
  • Video formats:
    • 1280 x 720
    • 1920 x 1080

Last on our list of best cameras for amateur photographers is the Canon EOS M100.

It is another mirrorless camera from Canon.

It comes with a 24MP sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and not to mention the ability to connect to WiFi when you need to transfer your photos to your mobile device.

It also has an intuitive touchscreen.

However, just like the M50, users complain about how it is not exactly easy to use.

From the small body that makes it hard for some users to use to some of its functionality that’s missing such as a missing hot shoe for the flash.

Canon EOS M100
Canon EOS M100

My Pros With This Camera:

  • 24MP sensor
  • WiFi connection
  • Intuitive touchscreen

My Cons With This Camera:

  • Smaller body

You can also find this camera on Walmart

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FAQ

What is the difference between a professional and amateur photographer?

The difference between a professional and amateur photographer can be seen in many aspects, from the type of equipment they use to their level of passion.

What is a good camera for amateur photography?

The best camera we recommend for amateur photography is the Canon Rebel T7 which you can read more about in our guide!

Final Remarks

Hope you enjoyed this guide on the best cameras for amateur photographers!

So what is the best camera for amateur photography?

The answer may differ depending on who you are going to ask. It is best if you can compare the options we’ve mentioned.

Weigh your options carefully and you will be able to get the right match for you.

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