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Camera for a beginner: review, specifications, tips for choosing
Camera for a beginner: review, specifications, tips for choosing

Many professionals will say that the main thing is skill, and not the camera with which the picture was taken. However, for beginners who are unfamiliar with all the intricacies of shooting, choosing the right camera is almost a paramount task. How to choose a good but inexpensive camera? What features should be taken into account? How to choose a camera for a beginner photographer is described in the article.

Determining the goal

When buying your first camera, it can be difficult to immediately understand what parameters it should have. Beginners usually pay special attention to the popularity of the manufacturer, the zoom ratio, the number of settings and pixels. It seems to them that the higher these characteristics are, the better their pictures will be. But it doesn't work like that.

Most of the "fancy" features are usually not useful and do not affect the quality at all. For good personnel, a medium-power apparatus is enough, but the main thing is that it suits the area in which ituse. Therefore, before choosing the right tool, you should figure out what exactly it is for.

A camera for a beginner who wants to comprehend all the basics of photography should have manual settings, but be fairly easy to operate so as not to discourage learning. For rare use with the family, tourist trips and walks, you can also purchase an ordinary soap dish with automatic modes and built-in effects. For shooting nature and distant objects, superzoom is ideal, capable of magnifying up to 50 or even 60 times. And for a more detailed immersion in the profession, you can also purchase a SLR camera.

Having decided on the purpose of the purchase and honestly answering the question "Why do I need a camera?", You will understand what nuances must be taken into account and what parameters you definitely should not refuse. Let's take a look at some important camera features.

Tourists taking pictures

Matrix parameters

Matrix - a light-sensitive microcircuit that converts the received signals into a specific image on the screen. It determines the number of megapixels of the camera, the noise level and the number of shades that will be displayed in the picture. A good sensor should have a large size, as well as a wide range of ISO values, which determine its sensitivity.

In professional technology, a full-size matrix (Full Frame) is usually used. In size it is equal to a film of 35 mm - standard for film cameras. For amateur models, it is too expensive and massive, so theya cropped, or cropped, matrix is ​​used. The crop factor is always indicated on it - a number showing how many times it has been reduced from its full size. In decent amateur cameras, this value usually ranges from 1.5 to 2, and in the simplest cameras for beginners, it is around 5.6.

camera matrix

Manual settings

If photography is to become a serious hobby, then having manual control of camera settings is a must. Sooner or later you will have to leave the automatic mode and learn how to set everything up yourself. Figuring out the correct shutter speed, ISO, and aperture is a tricky task, but a must-have. All professional and semi-professional models have manual settings. Most amateur cameras also have them, but soap dishes are often missing.


The lens is one of the most important details along with the matrix. It determines the maximum viewing angle in the frame, the aperture ratio, the ability to focus and expand the camera's aperture. Each direction in photography has its own type of lens. For example, wide-angle and ultra-wide angles with a focal length of 7-35mm are suitable for street photography and landscapes, telephoto with a distance of 85-135mm - for portraits. A distance of 35-85 mm is considered universal, but with a large face shot, the picture will be distorted.

camera lens

Many camera models have interchangeable lenses, which allows the photographer to experiment andadapt to different situations. However, carrying a whole set of equipment with you is extremely inconvenient and only necessary if you really understand what you are doing. For a beginner, the camera is already full of unknowns, so in the early stages it is quite possible to do without an interchangeable lens.

The main disadvantage of cameras with removable parts is the extra cost. Each new lens can cost as much as the whole camera, and professional models sometimes cost as much as a brand new car. Built-in optics will cost less, and it is much easier for a beginner to use it. With this option, the main disadvantage is dust - if it gets inside the camera, then it will not work to remove the lens and clean it, and, in case of severe pollution, you will have to change the camera.

Ergonomics and dimensions

Weight, convenience of buttons and size are not paramount, but also essential parameters. A camera for a beginner should be comfortable and easy to use. The intuitiveness of the camera is very important when all its functions are not yet too clear and tested. In addition, the technique should fit well in the hand so that the photographer focuses exclusively on the subject and the desired angle, and does not think about how uncomfortable it is for him to hold the device.

Weight and size are also important, especially if you need a camera for travel. When it comes to studio shooting, you can indulge yourself with different lenses and a massive tripod and a heavy camera. But when you have to get out into the fields often, it is better that the camera is light and not too bulky.


In thisIn a serious and responsible business, price should not be the only decisive factor. Nevertheless, the question of how to choose an inexpensive but good camera is always relevant. To choose the best option for the budget, compare the cost on several resources at once, consult on thematic forums.

Reviews of inexpensive cameras are widely presented on the Internet, carefully study their parameters. Do not chase the prestige of the manufacturer and various bonuses in the form of GPS and the ability to access the Internet. Remember that almost all brands have bad series, and fashionable features, as a rule, are used only on the day of purchase of the camera. Concentrate on those moments that are really important for the proper operation of the camera and choose a model that will not lose relevance for you in the next year or two.

Startup camera prices today range from $400 to $1,000, but spending your entire budget on a camera only makes sense if you have some experience behind you. As a beginner, it is reckless to acquire a complex and expensive camera with the hope that one day you will become a real master. It is better to purchase an average amateur model that matches your experience and fully exploit its potential.


These models are originally considered as cameras for beginners or not too sophisticated users. They are equipped with a user-friendly interface, clear settings and various automatic functions that will help anyone shoot.

Ultraminds have stepped much higher than ordinary amateurscameras and are quite suitable for beginners. Their main difference is a large lens, which is not hidden in the case, like in compacts. It allows you to zoom up to 60x and shoot at a considerable distance from the object. Due to the huge zoom, the weight of the camera is quite large and it is no longer so comfortable to take it with you. But it replaces several lenses at once and makes the camera universal, and the presence of manual settings is great for mastering the basics of photography.

ultrazoom camera


A higher and more advanced class of cameras is mirrorless. As a rule, they are equipped with a good matrix, interchangeable optics and a large number of settings, which brings them closer to professional models. For the price, they are significantly higher than ultrasonics and even some SLR cameras.

The popularity of this type of technique is growing strongly. Relatively recently, models with a full-size matrix have appeared, which significantly increased the quality of images. Mirrorless cameras are chosen not only by amateurs, but by quite advanced photographers, because they cope with the main tasks of shooting perfectly.

mirrorless camera

SLR cameras

They differ from all previous cameras by the presence of a mirror in the optical viewfinder, which is located at an angle to the lens. Such a photographing system turned out to be the most high-quality and convenient, so not a single new class of cameras has yet been able to displace this one. SLR cameras are still the attributes of masters and are indispensable inprofessional activities.

Their advantage is a sharper and more saturated image, faster operation and better focusing, which allows you to capture even fast-moving objects with high quality. Today, there are not only professional, but also amateur classes of DSLRs, but they also need some skill and patience.

SLR camera

Which film camera should a beginner choose?

It would seem that film technology is a thing of the past. This is evidenced at least by the fact that such cameras can be purchased mostly second-hand. Modern cameras that work on film are rapidly leaving the market. They are still produced by Nikon (models FM10 and F6), but in 2018 Canon announced the cessation of production of such samples.

Only true connoisseurs prefer to use film cameras today. It is much more convenient to immediately see the result of the work than to live in ignorance and wait until the film appears. But this type of technique allows you to work more artistically, experiment, get higher resolution photos.

With film cameras, you can really comprehend the intricacies of the craft. Here you need to make the most of your knowledge and connect your intuition, because erasing an unsuccessful photo will no longer work, and each frame is worth its weight in gold. For those who are just starting out in photography, it will be difficult with film and much will remain incomprehensible. It’s worth approaching it when you already have an idea about composition, aperture and ISO. But for advanced beginners it is very useful to usefilm camera to develop your skills and learn to rely only on yourself, and not on auto modes. To hone your skills at flea markets and sites with used things, you can easily buy an old Zenit, FED, Salyut, Leica, Hasselblad, Minolta.

zenith film camera

Best cameras for beginners

Every year there are more and more new cameras equipped with improved optics, batteries, displays. Manufacturers carefully try to please their consumers, but among the number of models that they produce, it is very difficult to stop and make a choice.

In 2018, the beginner camera ratings are most often led by brands Nikon, Sony and Canon. Among the worthy mirrorless models are:

  • Canon 1300D.
  • Canon 200D.
  • Canon PowerShot SX60 HS.
  • Sony A6000.

Among the best SLR cameras for beginners are:

  • Canon EOS 100D.
  • Canon EOS 1300D.
  • Canon EOS 200D Kit.
  • Nikon D3400.
  • Nikon D3300.
  • Sony Alpha SLT-A58 Kit.

All of these options are easy to operate and quite light compared to more serious vehicles. They have a small price, but at the same time an excellent set of functions and settings that will allow you to get acquainted with all the basic nuances of shooting.

How and where is it better to buy a camera?

Today there are many services that allow you to shop online and not even leave your home. But inIn the case of a camera, it is better to come to the store in person. Do not rely on the prudence and honesty of the selling company, check everything yourself. Examine the warranty card and compare it with the serial number of the model, inspect the equipment for damage, take some test shots.

Do not choose stores with a dubious reputation, as well as places where you will not be allowed to calmly and carefully check the camera. Having decided on the model, look for dealers directly on its official website, it will be much more reliable.

With a very modest budget, you can also buy a used camera. It will not look so beautiful and new, but it can work quite tolerably. The main thing is to test it for serious flaws. Here are some tips on how to check your used camera:

  • Press all the buttons in turn, turn all the wheels. See that nothing slows down or jams.
  • Take multiple photos in different modes.
  • Check the zoom increase and the quality of focusing.
  • Make sure the viewfinder works and everything is clearly visible in it.
  • Inspect the objective lens for a scratch and debris inside.
  • Find out if there are dead pixels in the matrix. To do this, take a picture of some neutral background, be sure to have a solid color, and then examine the picture under high magnification. It is most convenient to do this on the monitor. If the matrix is ​​in order, then all points in the frame will have the same color.

Because of the same principle, it is worth checking brand new cameras,after all, any camera should have the above characteristics in perfect order.

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