If you’re new to the world of photography – welcome! It’s an exciting hobby that can even become a career. So, you’re doing some camera shopping and want to know what cameras to consider and why. I’ll give you a rundown of the 7 best cameras for you so you make a camera choice you won’t regret. These cameras can be found on websites like Amazon.com, Ebay.com, and some photography specific websites like B&H Photo and Video. Of course, you can also shop around your local stores to find some equally good deals. Most of the cameras listed below are DSLR’s, but there are a couple really quality point and shoots, too. A DSLR stands for digital single reflex camera. DSLR’s combine the optic mechanisms of a normal single reflex camera but with a digital film instead of the standard photographic film. They are great, because unlike a lot of the point and shoots, you can adjust your field of vision allowing for blurry or out of focus pictures when the moment is right. Before you get your camera, learn the fundamentals of photography to get the most out of your new toy!
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
The Revel T3i is one of the best DSLR’s on the market, especially for the beginner. The picture and video capabilities are amazing. It you are a videographer, this Canon is a go-to. The built in microphone is surprisingly good and it even has a wind filter. There are a lot of options for the artist to play around with which makes this camera very versatile for pretty much any user. It fits in your hands comfortably and offers optimized sharpness for all of your shots – even at ISO 1,600. The only thing to consider is the Rebel doesn’t excel at sports shots, not to say it doesn’t take them, just won’t be top notch quality.
The Nikon D3100 is a really good entry-level DSLR. It has fantastic photo quality and has very user friendly controls. It has a smaller than normal viewfinder, but it works well nonetheless. If you are a brand new photographer, this is a great choice because it offers a lot of advanced options that you can grow into. If you’re already a semi-advanced user, you can get all of the options you would look for in a more expensive camera – for less. The performance of the D3100 is slightly slower than its peers, but it’s still a solid option and you won’t be disappointed.
For the money? The Nikon D5200 is a win. The Nikon D5100 has a slower performance, but in the 5200 model, Nikon made right for it’s wrong. This DSLR has a wide selection of features, a high-end viewfinder and awesome image quality. It optimizes JPEGs flawlessly and it reproduces colors accurately without overdoing the contrast or saturation levels. Another plus is the time from power up the camera to taking a shot is about 0.3 seconds. Talk about quick!
Canon Powershot A1400
This is a point and shoot, but it’s a good one. If you are looking for something that is a little (lot) more affordable but still want quality images, the Canon Powershot A1400 is a good call. Yeah, you won’t get all the fancy features of a DSLR, but that’s why this camera is only $100. This camera is easy to tote around with you, it has an optical viewfinder, 5x zoom lens, uses AA batteries and is rather durable. The downside would be the noisy images, even at a low ISO, but for the price and its lightweight design – it’s still something to consider.
Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1
The European model is the EOS 100D and the North American model is the Rebel SL1. Why? No clue, but there are no functional differences. This Canon is arguably the lightest and smallest mirrorless DSLR available. It has 18MP resolution, a DIGIC 5 processor, a front dial dedicated to ISO, exposure compensation and AF/AE lock buttons. These features are typical of Canon cameras and will be familiar if you’re a frequent Canon flyer. It has a fixed viewfinder, creative filters and ISO expandable to 25600. It’s durable, and has a built in scene intelligence mode to offer you the best settings for your particular conditions. With the long list of features this camera comes equipped with, you may want to learn how to simplify the system for perfect photography.
This DSLR is nice because it features a weather sealed body. So, you can catch that storm shot without worrying about the camera getting wet and ruined. It also supports AA batteries and it comes in different colors if you would like an atypical colored camera. The downside to this guy is that the image quality isn’t quite up to par with the competitors and it’s loud. Loud, like, when the shutter goes off it is actually mildly startling. And, there is no articulated LCD. IF you are looking for a similar camera, without the weather resistance and choice of colors, the less expensive Pentax K-500 would be a good choice.
Sony alpha SLT-A37
This Sony camera is an interchangeable lens camera that doesn’t have all the bulkiness of your typical DSLR. It has an autofocus system with fixed mirrors equipped with an electronic viewfinder (EVF). The Alpha SLT-A37 is fast and has really quality photos for its price class. This isn’t the go-to camera for consecutive shooting, but the lens is great for manually focusing and the autofocus works effectively and quickly on single shots. The camera is easy to use, comfortable to hold and has an intuitive yet simple design.
There are of course a lot of other equally expensive first time cameras for you to choose from out there. But as far as best bang for your buck, these are the ones. Consider getting a warranty on the camera at purchase, just in case it ends up being beat by the elements or you drop it. In addition to the wonderful features of the digital DSLR, you should spend some time learning how to shoot manually. It offers so much more control over the final produce and it’s satisfying to know that you made that happen – not a computer.