Whether you’re an experienced photographer looking to add a new camera to your arsenal of professional tools, or a newbie that’s starting to take your hobby seriously, nothing beats the feel and performance of a new camera to up your game.
Beginners are always recommended to pick a camera that’s easy to use, lightweight and easy to travel with. You want something that lends itself to consistent use without sacrificing performance.
In the following article, we’re going to give you a few tips that’ll help you figure out which is best camera for photography. We’ll also give you a review of the best mirrorless and DSLR cameras on the market.
Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Camera for Photography
Here are a few factors you should take into consideration:
Type of Device
There are all types of cameras available, from superzoom to compact, film, medium format, mirrorless and DSLR. The one you pick will depend on the specific purpose that you want to use it for. Mirrorless and DSLR cameras are the most versatile and come in a wide range of professional quality and low-cost options.
The great thing about both types is that they allow you to enjoy a wide range of features and versatile optics. Compact cameras, on the other hand, are very useful for travel photography. They’re small, lightweight and can easily fit in your back pocket.
Medium format cameras specialize in high-resolution images, which is why they’re so popular with professional photographers. However, they can be quite expensive.
Film cameras are becoming increasingly popular among novice and seasoned photographers who lack camera matric capacity. Superzoom cameras offer a comprehensive range of feature and they’re versatile enough for use on a number of applications. They come in different focal lengths and even offer an integrated lens.
Megapixels are important, but they don’t mean much when you’re working with a small matrix model. To start with, aim for a camera with 18 to 20 MP for the best results. To shoot large format images, opt for a 30MP model instead.
When manufacturers release a new camera version, they always make noise about adding a large amount of electronic ISO increases, but this is often just for show. The most important thing is to make sure that the camera has a sensitivity level of at least 1600 and you’re guaranteed to get good quality images.
Matrix size is one of the most important features to consider when buying a camera. Models with a larger matrix are often more sensitive and work noiselessly overall.
If you’re going to shoot on the road, then you’ll probably use a “handheld” model. This is all fine and dandy for most situations but it becomes a challenge to produce clear pictures with it in low light conditions. That’s because image stabilization doesn’t come built-in and your hands are bound to shake a bit.
For the best result, we recommend you invest in a tripod to ensure good image stabilization when taking pics on the road.
APS-C sensors refer to a universal sensor size that’s found in most DSLR consumer cameras. It’s usually in the range of 24mm x 16mm which is what you’ll find in most mid-range DSLR cameras.
If you purchase a Nikon then you’ll see this sensor size being referred to as a “DX” sensor. Canon DSLR cameras, on the other hand, use the same APS-C sensor size but with an EF-S lens mount system.
DSLR cameras are well-known for having superb battery life, but this isn’t always the case. We always recommend looking for a camera that can handle 600 to 700 shots of battery life per charge.
If you can, avoid using the rear display screen as it tends to eat up battery life, and use an optical viewfinder instead, which is best camera for photography among DSLR users anyway.
Using features like Wi-Fi and GPS can also reduce battery life faster than operating your camera without them, so remember that if you choose to run any of those features.
Features like computer control, remote control, GPS and Wi-Fi aren’t exactly necessary but they are nice to have for the sake of convenience, especially if you’re shooting in a studio setting.
Often referred to as point-and-shoot cameras, compact cameras are a cross between DSLR/mirrorless models and smartphone cameras. They have larger sensors, dedicated camera systems, manual controls and decent zoom, which you won’t find in smartphone cameras.
Compact cameras are super easy to operate and don’t come with the same learning curve you’d expect from a DSLR. They’re also lightweight, smaller and can easily fit into your backpack, purse or even back pocket.
There are a few downsides to using compact cameras, however, as most of them don’t come with RAW support or any manual control. They don’t offer the same image quality as DSLRs either due to smaller lenses and sensors. You can expect the same image quality as a smartphone camera, at the most.
A compact camera doesn’t allow you to change lenses either, which means you won’t be able to upgrade it when new and better lenses come out. But, compact cameras will most probably continue to be a popular option for a lot of people due to some of the benefits mentioned above.
Mirrorless cameras are a great on-the-go camera for the avid travel photographer. That’s because they come with many of the same features found in a DSLR but without the bulky weight. The difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera is the fact that the latter doesn’t come with a reflex mirror or optical viewfinder.
Some models do offer an electronic viewfinder which gives you a digital preview of the image you just shot in an LCD screen format. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to this process. For one thing, a mirrorless camera allows you to see the image you’ve just captured just as it is, as though you’re seeing it through the eyes of the sensor.
A DSLR only enables you to see captured images once you’ve hit the shutter button. Of course, you can always make use of the display screen which is located on the rear of the camera.
The only downside to this advantage is that mirrorless cameras typically have weak battery life due to the amount of power that’s needed to power the screen. In fact, a mirrorless camera can only manage 200 to 300 shots per charge whereas a DSLR will easily give you 600 to 900 shots per charge.
DSLR cameras are also notorious for their large size and bulky weight but this might be due to the fact that most people also pack extra lenses and batteries with their cameras.
So, it’s not the weight of the actual camera that’s a problem, but the accessories. Mirrorless cameras can also come with the same issue because they do allow for the addition of extras.
DSLR cameras are mostly inexpensive when compared to mirrorless models. That’s because mirrorless cameras often come with the latest technology updates and that extra screen doesn’t come cheap. Lastly, it’s worth noting that DSLR cameras have a long history of use and have come a long way since SLR cameras.
This means that the technology used to make them has evolved over time to provide customized solutions to the modern photographer. This also means that the companies behind them have developed a wide range of lenses to choose from.
DSLR vs. Smartphone Cameras
There’s a vast difference between smartphone cameras and DSLRs. Obviously, DSLR cameras offer better quality images thanks to having access to more lenses and a larger sensor. Not to mention that they come with RAW file support, manual controls, and longer battery life as well.
DSLRs aren’t perfect though. For one thing, they come with a learning curve and they’re pricier than some smartphone models. Although, certain smartphones are becoming more expensive than DSLRs so it depends on the particular unit that you purchase.
Either way, you won’t be able to just slip your DSLR into your back pocket and it’s definitely heftier than a smartphone. You might also find that some smartphone models come with RAW support, ease of use, and a few manual options as well, so they’d be perfect for a hobbyist photographer or a newbie that’s still getting their feet wet.
Still, if you’re serious about becoming a professional photographer, it doesn’t get better than a DSLR or mirrorless model. In a nutshell, DSLRs are the most versatile option for anyone that wants to improve their photography game.
Best Camera for Photography This Year
Figuring out which is best camera for photography beginner can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never shopped for a camera before. Luckily, we’ve made things easier for you by pointing out some of the most important features and functions to look out for.
We also did some comparisons between the most popular types of cameras around. Now, it’s time to take a look at a few reviews of the best photography cameras on the market. Read on for more.
1 – Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera – (Simply the Best Camera for Photography Professionals)
First up, we have a mirrorless model from Sony. The a7R III is the second version of a previous model that had a few issues. However, it seems like Sony has addressed most of those problems when making this beauty.
This mirrorless camera gives you 42 MP to work with. Let that sink in. 42 Megapixels! Not only that, it offers excellent battery life, a BSI CMOS sensor and a rick lens selection to choose from. the Sony A7R III is definitely the best camera for photography out on the market right now when it comes to mirrorless options.
Its firmware 3.0 even offers a built-in intervalometer, which makes it the best camera for wildlife photography and it takes superb landscape shots. We must commend Sony on a job well-done as they’ve added an impressive selection of lenses to their collection for both amateurs and professionals.
Users are spoilt for choice between super telephotos and ultra-wide angle lenses that’ll surprise and delight. Sony was willing to work with third-party lens producers and open up the E-mount which completely changed the game in terms of how they manufacture mirrorless cameras.
This collaboration resulted in the availability of a lot more third-party lens options than before. The only issue we have with the Sony A7R III is the fact that it has a poorly organized menu and its ergonomics could use some improvement as well. Currently, this camera is not the easiest to use on the road.
Provides 50 line pairs per mm resolving power
Super 4K HD video
Offers amazingly detailed images
The sensor could use some improvement
2 – Nikon D850 SLR Camera – (Probably, the Best Camera for Photography for those that Could Afford it)
The Nikon D850 is one of the most well-known DSLRs on the market and it offers a lot of upsides when compared to its Canon competitors. What sets the D850 apart from the competition is the fact that it excels in all departments.
It comes with an impressive 45.8 MP sensor which means you can expect highly detailed and vibrantly rich images. You can increase the 7fps burst shooting to 9fps if you like and this camera is super easy to grip with a long-lasting battery to boot.
The 153-point AF system is also quite impressive and it goes without saying that it comes with 4K video quality as well. Users can expect to enjoy limitless creative expression thanks to the cameras’ post-capture adjustment options such as in-camera RAW processing, full-HD slow-motion video output, and time-lapse shooting options.
This is in addition to some convenient low-light condition shooting options which include controls that light up and an ISO range that can reach 12,400. What more can you ask for? Perhaps you want to know how noisy it is.
You’ll be glad to know that this camera works virtually noiselessly for up to 30fps bursts. But, you will have to buy lenses separately, as the D850’s camera body comes on its own and it is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
Robust and durable body
High speed and high resolution
Offers easy low light shooting
It’s not as portable as its predecessor
3 – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera
Although a bit expensive, the Canon 5D Mark IV is still one of the best cameras on the market. Top-quality images are a given and it’s what users of the 5D Mar II and III will come to expect.
However, this model boasts a full-frame, 30.4 megapixels and a new sensor. In true 5D style, Canon has included a Dual Pixel RAW with this camera which means you’ll be able to make slight bokeh shifts after each shot you take. This means if your DPR is switched on then you’ll be able to view the final image in post-production even if you experience missed focus mid-shot.
Thanks to the touch-sensitive screen, this camera is super easy to use and you can use it for all types of different functions and features. It’s definitely an improvement on the touch feature in previous models, and you’ll really get the most out of it if you use it together with the camera’s numerous buttons.
For instance, pressing the Q button while changing your settings through the touchscreen is a great way to manage functionality. Do the same with the metering button to save time and work efficiently.
Comes with built-in Wi-Fi
Great 4K video recording
4 – Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera
There are a lot of similarities between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 and its predecessor the FZ200, especially when it comes to design and functionality.
At the face of it, this camera seems like a regular DSLR model with the only noticeable difference is that it features an electronic viewfinder and a large fixed lens, which means you cannot change or upgrade it.
This 24x zoom lens offers a comprehensive focal range of up to 25-600mm and it has enough reach and width to cater to the needs of any photographer.
This camera’s zoom range has a maximum aperture of F/2.8 which means you’ll probably capture a lot of top-quality images with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 and fewer duds overall.
Although fast, this lens is a bit slow and it remains to be seen whether that’ll work in its favor in the long run or not. If you struggle with blurry images due to unstable hands, then the 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S + system will be of great benefit to you. it might also help to add a tripod to the mix or employ a fast shutter speed just in case.
5-axis image stabilization
Waterproof and rugged construction
Fujifilm has always had a fondness for the traditional analog look and they’ve kept the same spirit with the design of the Z-T3. This unit boasts a classic 80s feel that distinguishes it from any of the other models on this list. It definitely looks cool and effortlessly sophisticated.
Aside from its beautiful design, this mirrorless camera is incredibly functional too. Some of its impressive features include exposure compensation, shutter speed and dedicate analog controls for ISO. It’s worth noting that the exposure compensation button is remarkably sturdy while the other two are lockable.
This is in addition to a duo of fully customizable command dials on the front and back. The back dial can be used to tweak shutter speed whenever you like, while the front dial can come in handy when you want to switch between ISO auto modes.
If you look at the back of the camera, you’ll notice a joystick which is useful for choosing a focus point while shooting. There’s also another dial pad but this time with 4 customizable arrows. You may also disable the arrow shortcuts if you like, to avoid accidentally pressing them, but they’re still nice to have.
16 different film simulation modes
3.69 million dot OLED Color viewfinder
X-processor 4 image-processing engine
26.1 MP X-trans CMOS 4 sensor
The Alpha a6000 is yet another mirrorless marvel from Sony. Although there have been a few iterations of this camera since it was first released a few years ago, the original is still the best camera for photography for beginners.
At just $500, it offers a 24-megapixel sensor, high-speed continuous shooting, and a rapid multi-focus system. This means the a6000 has no problem keeping up with moving objects and you can easily take landscape shots from a moving vehicle with it and get great results.
It’s also perfect for taking memorable snaps of playing children or a fast-paced soccer match if you will. Of course, it’s useful for more than just taking rapid-movement shots. The a6000 is a versatile camera that’s perfect for multiple applications.
However, there might be a bit of a learning curve involved with this camera due to its multitude of custom options and controls. Over time you’ll grow fond of these because they allow you to customize the camera’s settings to your preferences.
Overall, there are nine buttons, one wheel and two dials which are easy to see, reach and use. In fact, you can customize all but two of the buttons. For instance, the Fn button offers a great shortcut for a customized main menu with 12 of your favorite functions.
With that said, you may have to navigate deeper into the menu system for features like image stabilization but this is a challenge that’s fairly easy to deal with.
Works great in low light conditions
Produces excellent quality images
Many custom control options
Autofocus and continuous shooting
Focus point selection can be difficult to adjust
There’s a lot of camera settings to deal with
When trying to figure out which is best camera for photography, the Nikon D3500 comes up quite a lot. This might have something to do with its accessible price or the fact that it offers great value for money with a lot of easy-to-use features.
This includes a 24.2 MP DX sensor, 1200 shot battery life (impressive!), 5fps shooting, and very reliable specs that would make any seasoned camera fanatic weep. The D3500 also comes with Bluetooth connectivity so you can effortlessly transfer photos to any device, as well as an 18-55mm kit lens with image stabilization.
Basically, this camera has all the essentials you need to get started as a photographer. It’s lightweight and small enough to fit into a purse, which is a marvel for a DSLR camera. Although it doesn’t have a touchscreen, this is not a train smash considering just how accessible this camera is.
If you want to get even more bang for your buck, then you should consider this camera’s predecessors, namely the D3400 and the D3300, both of which have the same features but cost almost half as much. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to sacrifice battery life as the D3500 offers more shots per charge than its predecessors.
Bluetooth version 4.1
1080p full HD video quality with monaural sound
Image sensor 15 larger than that of a regular smartphone
Comfortable to use
Compact and lightweight
Easy to use
Point and shoot design
Many consider this to be the best camera for photography and it’s not hard to see why. It has a lot to offer, especially for the aspiring videographer. It offers UHD 4K and DCI 4K video quality, courtesy of a 10-bit 4:2:2 internal system. All of this comes without the heavy crop issues that often come with 4K models.
Instead, you get focus peaking which allows you to achieve a sharp image focus through the anamorphic shooting option. There’s clearly a lot to love about the LUMIX GH5 4K digital camera, not least of which is its 225 AF points, 9fps shooting via an articulating LCD, and a superb 3.6 million dot viewfinder.
All of this is protected by a rugged and sturdy body that can weather many tough conditions. If all of this sounds a bit too much, Panasonic has made provision for you through an alternative 10.2 MP sensor for improved low-light performance and dynamic range.
The only issue with this is that it doesn’t have image stabilization built-in. Of course, you could always opt for the previous version of this camera which is a much cheaper 4K camera than this one.
Lots of different lenses to choose from
Customized video control
High-quality video capture qualities
Similar to a DSLR in terms of size and weight
The sensor doesn’t work as well in low-light conditions
9 – Fujifilm X-T30 Camera for Photography Professionals
The X-T30 has been hailed by many as the best camera for photography professionals thanks to its compact design, which hides a lot of great features inside. It’s way more affordable than the X-T3 yet it manages to provide a punchy combination of price and value that doesn’t go unnoticed.
This all-rounder comes with 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor as well as X Processor Pro 4, both of which are impressive advancements. However, we’d be remiss not to mention the impressive autofocus system which features 2.16 million phase detection pixels that can handle the entire frame and work just as well in low-light conditions as they do in well-lit scenarios.
This camera also supports 4K UHD video capture, 30fps burst-shoot capability, and an electronic shutter. It’s incredibly easy to use thanks to having dial-led controls.
Offers versatile performance
4K UHD quality
Great value for money
The 4K could use some improvement
10 – Canon EOS REBEL T7i EF-S 18-135 IS STM Kit – (Good for Both Beginners & Professionals)
If you’re a novice photographer that’s looking for the best camera for wedding photography, the Canon EOS REBEL T7i might just be what you’re after. It’s very similar in appearance and design to its cousin, the T6i, but don’t be fooled because this version is packed with some great upgrades.
This includes a 24.2MP CMOS APS-C sensor with high-resolution video capture and excellent low light performance. You’ll experience remarkable depth in every image you capture whether you’re recording 60fps HD videos or capturing high-resolution 24-megapixel photos.
This camera has a knack for capturing color accuracy which means colors come out as vibrant as they are in real life. The best part is that your photos won’t lose their richness even if you blow them up into a print or post them on the web.
The DIGIC 7 Image Processor feature also sets this camera apart from the competition as it enables the camera to capture high-quality images and works quickly and efficiently, no matter the conditions.
Vari-angle 3-inch LCD touch screen
HDR movie and time-lapse movie modes
Continuous shooting of up to 6.0 fps
DIGIC 7 image processor
100 to 25600 ISO range
24.2 MP CMOS (APS-C) image sensor
We hope this article has helped you figure out which is the best camera for photography whether you’re a beginner or a hobbyist. If we were to pick one option from the ones featured on this list it would have to be the Nikon D850 SLR Camera.
Why? Well, users rate is as the best camera for street photography and the best camera for product photography. It features a 45.8 MP sensor, customized FSP, 153-point AF system, in-camera RAW processing, noiseless operation, and a robust body.
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