Tired of taking low quality pictures on a smartphone? Do you dream of a photo library so impressive that your friends and family will be amazed? It’s time to invest in a proper camera.
If you’re new to the world of photography, it can be difficult to know where to start – there are so many different types of cameras on the market, from DSLR and mirrorless to compact and film-focused cameras. Fortunately, we will help you understand everything and provide you with the perfect camera for beginners.
Here are our four key considerations when buying your first camera:
resolution – This number is also known as “megapixel” or “MP” and refers to the size of the image that the camera can capture. Although a higher MP number means higher resolution, you don’t have to go beyond a 12MP camera – it produces A3 prints without any blur.
draft – If you are planning to get a high-quality camera, then you want it to fit your needs perfectly. Every camera is unique and has different qualities. So consider whether you prefer something smaller and compact for portability, a touchscreen model, or a larger camera with clear controls.
connectivity – Nowadays most cameras connect to your mobile phone and apps in one way or another. The most common ways are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC connectivity, or a mix of two or more.
lenses – You need a quality lens to take good pictures. Most cameras come with a fixed lens that offers a standard zoom range. However, there are entry-level cameras that offer a lens kit that allows you to swap out lenses based on the distance of the picture being taken.
Now you know what to look out for. Shop our top recommended cameras for beginners below, ranging from budget mirrorless models to premium compacts.
Shop our selection now
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
The E-M10 is a great budget camera and a good choice for beginners. It’s small and aimed at still photographers, but still retains some video capabilities.
Its 20-megapixel sensor conforms to the Micro Four Thirds standard, which means it’s smaller than the full-frame or APS-C sensors found elsewhere and gives your lenses a 2x crop factor gives. The camera is perfectly capable of capturing amazing images, and the smaller sensor means it can be even more compact than its mirrorless counterparts.
While it lacks some advanced features like phase-detection autofocus, 4K/60 video recording, and microphone or headphone jacks for video use, it has an effective IBIS system that offers up to 4.5 stops of stabilization.
The Micro Four Thirds lens mount is supported by Olympus and Panasonic, with third parties like Sigma and Samyang bringing more budget-friendly options to the table.
The other thing about the E-M10 is its pleasing retro style. It’s a fully modern camera, however, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and a wide range of in-camera effects via the advanced photo mode.
Buy Now £649.00 Jessops
Nikon Z 30 mirrorless camera
Designed with creatives in mind, the Nikon Z30 is Nikon’s best vlogging camera yet. It’s the perfect device to upgrade your content and make the much-needed switch from smartphones to mirrorless cameras.
Thanks to its compact and lightweight features, it is the perfect travel companion and ensures that you capture and document those unforgettable moments.
There are tons of advanced features compared to previous models – 4K video, 20.9 MP, 11 FPS and 125 MIN. Recording will take your videography and photography to the next level. The touchscreen monitor is easy to use and allows recording from any angle. For beginners, the deep grip ensures stable handheld shots that minimize shake or image blur.
Impressively, vloggers have space to record 125 minutes of video footage that can be easily uploaded to social media platforms via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When it comes to audio, there’s a built-in mic that works perfectly, as well as the option for an external mic to get that extra crisp and clear sound. The integrated wind noise canceling function reduces outside noise.
Buy Now £839.00, Jessops
Kodak M35 film camera
This M35 is an easy-to-use camera with a plastic body and fixed focus lens that only lets you turn the flash on or off. It’s easy to handle in every way and looks similar to the Ilford Sprite-11 – it’s about the same size and weight.
If you’re looking to take your first steps in the world of analog photography, this is a fun entry-level camera. Both modern and retro – you can choose from a range of cool colors such as red, yellow, lime green, sky blue and pink.
You will look forward to such sophisticated and romantic images with this little point and shoot, just insert a 35mm film and start capturing your fondest memories.
Buy Now £21.00, Amazon
Akaso Brave 7 LE
Priced under £200, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is affordable for virtually everyone, whether you’re a videography veteran or a complete novice. The ideal entry-level action camera (or a great choice if you tend to break your tech), it offers fantastic value for money and 4K video, as well as a handy front screen for selfie shots.
While the camera alone is only waterproof to one meter, a dive housing is included and has a depth of 40 meters. There’s also a very handy second battery, as you’ll likely only get an hour to an hour and a half on each charge.
Like the Hero9, 10 and DJI Osmo Action, it has a front display so you can see yourself while you’re recording, but you get that feature for almost half the cost. The touchscreen display on the back is also exceptionally intuitive, allowing you to adjust modes and camera settings with a quick tap.
Buy Now £139.99, Amazon
Canon EOS R10
Launching just a few months ago, Canon’s latest offering is an impressively versatile camera that joins the company’s fast-moving mirrorless lineup. If you’re looking to move away from a DSLR or smartphone camera, this is the perfect next step.
The R1 can handle an extremely fast 15fps burst with its mechanical shutter, rising to 23fps when you use the electronic shutter, which also allows for a shutter speed of 1/16,000th of a second – perfect for capturing wildlife or moving animals objects.
Other notable features include built-in stabilization, 4K/30p video quality, and YouTube live streaming for the budding bloggers among us.
With the same AF system as cameras four times the price, the R10 looks a lot like a baby version of Canon’s pro cameras.
Buy Now £899.00, Canon
Launched in 2018, the D3500 trades punches with Canon’s cheaper cameras. It combines a decent 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with responsive autofocus and a beginner-friendly body.
The rear screen is fixed, there’s no 4K video, and it only has an SD card slot. You do get a 5fps burst speed, though, and an 11-point AF system with the viewfinder that’s sure to get the job done.
“Humble but effective” are the words that describe most of the D3500’s features. You get 1080p video at 60fps, and focusing in live view is simply a matter of touching the screen.
Not as easy as a camera for someone just starting their photographic journey.
Buy Now £475.35, Amazon
Dubblefilm Show 35mm analog flash point camera
This camera is perfect for beginners – but there are quite a few reusable film cameras.
If you’re tired of taking cell phone snaps but still want to be in the moment and not worry about camera settings or lenses, this might be your best bet. You can still learn how to load and unload movies with this device or explore creativity with a 35mm point and shoot. It’s a great all-rounder, and overall picture quality is really good.
This camera is available in black and pink and is housed in a plastic case. This bag isn’t exactly a camera bag and doesn’t have any padding whatsoever, but it’s handy for carrying the camera around and is more environmentally friendly than disposable cameras.
Buy Now £58.00, Selfridges
Polaroid Go instant camera
This iconic camera with its characteristically retro look is anything but retro in terms of its features. We love the addition of a selfie mirror, an LED film counter display, a self-timer, and a micro-USB charger to keep it going. As one of the smallest compact cameras on the market (designed for use with just one hand), it is the perfect instant camera for beginners and designed for on the go, as it fits easily in most bags.
If you’re looking to buy the Polaroid Go, look out for deals that include film sets so you can start shooting right away.
Buy now from Amazon for €84.99
Sony vlog camera ZV-1
If content creation is your thing and you love documenting the latest TikTok trend but want to take your filming to the next level without a smartphone camera, little else can compete with the Sony vlog camera.
With a selfie-friendly LCD screen, a capture light and a carrying handle, this camera is perfect for capturing videos and photos wherever you are.
When it comes to filming or photographing people, there’s a Soft Skin effect that optimizes natural skin tones and brightness. Coupled with Real-time Eye AF technology that tracks people’s eyes, even in 4k video, this camera is top notch.
We especially liked the on-camera 3-capsule microphone, which reduces background wind noise and makes your voice clearer – perfect for those outdoor vlogs. The ZV-1 is also compatible with Sony’s Bluetooth recording grips, making recording even easier.
Buy Now £667.00, Amazon