12 Best Cameras for Amateur Photographers: 2021 Buyer’s Guide

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

In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:

  • Best overall camera for amateur photographers
  • Best budget camera for amateur photographers
  • Best value camera amateur photographers
  • And more

Let’s dive in.

12 Best Cameras for Amateur Photographers

Click/tap on each camera name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
– Robust construction
– A good number of lens options
– 24 megapixels
– Fast autofocus

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
– Robust construction
– A good number of lens options
– 24 megapixels
– Fast autofocus
2.Canon A1
BEST BUDGET
Canon A1
– Includes a program mode
– Allows you to be conservative with your shots
– Robust design
– Multiple lens options
3. Nikon D3500
BEST BANG FOR BUCK
Nikon D3500
– Great quality image
– Easy to use
– Bluetooth connectivity
4. Panasonic LUMIX GX85
Panasonic LUMIX GX85
– Deep colors
– Fast autofocus
– WiFi connectivity
– Small and lightweight
5. Panasonic Lumix FZ80
Panasonic LUMIX FZ80
– Fast autofocus
– Lightweight
– 20.3 Megapixels
6. Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600
– Takes 5fps
– Accurate AF
– Long battery life
– Comes with a flappable screen
7. Canon EOS T100/4000D
Canon EOS T100/4000D
– Can transfer files via WiFi
– Affordable
– 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
– 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
– Dials that make it easy to use
– With tilting screen
– Lightweight
11. Canon EOS M50
Canon EOS M50
– High ISO
– Powerful sensor
– Lightweight
– Comes with a vari-angle LCD
12. Canon EOS M100
Canon EOS M100
– 24MP sensor
– WiFi connection
– Intuitive touchscreen

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR

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 – Source
Pros
  • 24MP sensor
  • Built-in WiFi
  • With a 9-point AF system
Cons
  • Low ISO range

→ Jump Back to Table

2. Canon A-1

Canon A1

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”
Pros
  • Robust design
  • Allows you to learn the basics
  • With an electronic light meter
Cons
  • You will need to develop the photos to see the results

→ Jump Back to Table

3. Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

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 – Source
Pros
  • Great quality image
  • Easy to use
  • 5fps
  • Bluetooth connectivity
Cons
  • Fixed LCD

→ Jump Back to Table

4. Panasonic LUMIX GX85

Panasonic LUMIX GX85

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”
Pros
  • Compact design
  • Weather-sealed
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • With image stabilization
Cons
  • Doesn’t have the 20MP sensor of the GX8

→ Jump Back to Table

5. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80

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”
Pros
  • 18MP sensor
  • 4K capability
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Allows you to shoot without worrying if it is under or overexposed
Cons
  • You can’t change lenses

→ Jump Back to Table

6. Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600

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.

Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600 image – Copyright “G Yancy”
Pros
  • 5 fps
  • Sensitive ISO
  • 970 shots per charge
  • Comes with a flappable screen
Cons
  • Can be more user friendly when it comes to transferring files

→ Jump Back to Table

7. Canon EOS T100/4000D

Canon EOS T100/4000D

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.

One of the reasons is that it is not expensive. You can also transfer files wirelessly via WiFi plus it has a decent 9 point AF system.

Canon EOS T100
Canon EOS T100 – Source
Pros
  • Can transfer files via WiFi
  • Affordable
  • Great photo quality despite the limited 18MP sensor
Cons
  • Can perform better in low light

→ Jump Back to Table

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

→ Jump Back to Table

9. Olympus OM-10

Olympus OM-10

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”
Pros
  • Allows you to compose well
  • Rugged construction
  • Comes with a great auto feature
Cons
  • You need an adapter to use the manual mode

→ Jump Back to Table

10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

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”
Pros
  • Dials that make it easy to use
  • With tilting screen
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a fast tracking focus

→ Jump Back to Table

11. Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50

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”
Pros
  • High ISO
  • Powerful sensor
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a vari-angle LCD
  • Good AF
Cons
  • Harder to use than the DSLRs

→ Jump Back to Table

12. Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS M100

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 – Source
Pros
  • 24MP sensor
  • WiFi connection
  • Intuitive touchscreen
Cons
  • Smaller body

→ Jump Back to Table

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.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Leave a Comment