The best beginner camera to buy in 2021

When you’re first starting out, these cameras have to be affordable because when you’re just starting out you don’t have a lot to spend, so the kit lens has to be included, but they also have to have a high-powered sensor to provide stunning image quality, because as a photographer you should not feel limited in any way, so let’s do a deep dive figured exactly what each of these cameras does and which is the best beginner camera.  

Nikon D3500 

The best beginner camera to buy in 2021

Why Nikon D3500 is one of the best beginner camera?

This is a very solid one of the best beginner camera, Because it comes with the kit lens for around 450$ – 550$ (Click here to see updated price).

Image Sensor

It has a 24-megapixel APSC size sensor which is very standard and highly respectable in just 12-bit raw in 5 frames per second which is very descent considering the price. 

12-bit raw Kotak is ideal for beginner photography you definitely don’t want to be shooting JPEG because it simply will not give you the flexibility. The 12-bit raw will give you plenty of room & flexibility in post processing & it will really allow you to edit your images into perfection. On top of that it has a very solid autofocusing system. Generally lower end cameras tend to do better in single focus and not very well in continues shooting, but this camera is pretty decent attracting subjects. 

Colors right out of this camera are very neutral and they aren’t really anything special but using Photoshop or Lightroom you can get a quality output. 

One drawback in this camera is that it’s not very good in low light. A lower end model like this generally does not tend to give you a very clean images at high ISOs but also the kit lens is not very fast. If you want to do low light work or you think you’ll be in a situation where you’ll need a low light camera, I would not recommend this camera. 

Battery life

The battery life in this camera pretty decent you’ll generally get about 200 to 300 shots before your battery gets close to die. So, if you want to shoot all day with this camera you will need an extra battery.  

One disappointment with this camera is that the video is not the best, but you can’t expect a lot from a 400$ camera. 

Overall, this is a really decent camera and it beats all the canon rebel entry level cameras by a wide margin. If you’re a young artist or someone just starting photography, I really recommend this camera specifically because this is one of the best beginner camera for the price. 

Key Specifications

Camera type DSLR 
Sensor 24.2MP APS-C CMOS 4, 23.5 x 15.6mm 
Lens mount Nikon F 
Full frame No 
Image processor EXPEED 4 
AF points 11-point AF, 1 cross-type 
ISO range 100 to 25,600 
Metering zones 420-pixel RGB sensor 
Video 1920 x 1080 at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p 
Viewfinder Optical pentamirror, 95% coverage 
Memory card SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS I 
LCD 3.0-inch fixed, 921K dots 
Max burst 5fps  
Bluetooth Yes 
Size 124 x 97 x 69.5mm (body only) 
Weight 415g (body only, with battery and memory card) 

Sony A6000 

The best beginner camera to buy in 2021

If the Nikon D3500 wasn’t quite fast enough or you wanted to do video, the Sony A6000 is probably the best beginner camera.

Why Sony A6000 is one of the best beginner camera?

Sony A6000 is very affordable at only 550$(click here to see updated price) and comes with a very good kit lens. The one thing I like about buying Sony cameras that even their cheap kit lenses are very good lenses.

Image Sensor

The sensor in the camera 24 megapixel & one impressive thing about this camera is the fact that it has 12 bit raw and 11 frames per second. 12 bit raw will give you plenty of flexibility in post, it’s not 14 bit raw but you probably won’t notice the difference. Best thing about the 11 frames per second is that it allows you to shoot over a wider variety of subjects such as sports, wild life, model shoot & pretty much anything you want.  

The color science in this camera is very neutral & it is middle of the professional & low end cameras and it’s not the camera that going to get really good photos right out of the camera & you will have to put some extra effort in Photoshop or Lightroom in post processing. 

Sony cameras tend to have a good dynamic range, even in 12 bit raw, it’s closer to 14 bit raw and one of the best things about this camera is the auto focus. Sony has always been known for having spectacular auto focus. Combination of autofocus & 11 frames per second you will not miss anything.  

Camera Design

This camera has a solid camera body, but unfortunately not weather sealed, But if you take care of it, it will last a long. 


It dose HD video up to 60fps, there is however no 4K but this will give you a very sold HD image. The color profiles in this camera for video editing are pretty decent, it does not have anything fancy like Slog 2 or hybrid log gamma however it does give you a neutral color profile and if you pick the appropriate color profile you can get a very decent image out of this even without Slog 2. Also, if you’re looking to do a bit of slow motion this camera does shoot at 60 frames per second. 

Battery Life

This is a slightly older camera, so it is not a particularly long-lasting battery & it will allow you approximately 3 hours in photo mode and 40 minutes in video mode. These batteries are really cheap and you can buy it on Amazon for as little as $20 to $15. 

Speaking of low light, it does have a flash, as I previously mentioned the Nikon D3500 was not a very good low light camera however this is pretty ideal for beginner low light camera. This camera completely clean-up to 10000 ISO in both photo and video.

Overall, this is one of the best beginner camera & it is worth what you are paying for.

Key Specifications

Camera type Mirrorless
Sensor24.3 million APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor
Focal length conversion1.5x
ViewfinderElectronic viewfinder, 0.39 inches, 1,440,000 dots
ISO range100 to 25,600
Autofocus points179 phase detection points, 25 contrast detect points
Max burst rate11fps
Screen3-inch, 921k-dot tilting LCD
Shutter speeds1/4000-30sec plus Bulb
Weight344g (with battery and memory card)
Dimensions120 x 66.9 x 45.1mm
PowerNP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery


Canon EOS RP

The best beginner camera to buy in 2021

Why Canon EOS RP is one of the best beginner camera?

In this list Canon EOS RP is the camera that I’m really excited about. Because, it’s a full frame camera for only $1000(click here to see updated price) and gives you the flexibility to grow your kit over time.

Image Sensor

It has a full frame 26-megapixel sensor with the 5 frames per second single focus in a 2.5 of a second continuous focus shooting mode and honestly to just be able to get a full frame camera $1000 is pretty awesome.  

Some of the benefits of full frame is that a full frame camera is just better in low light because it’s a larger sensor. You’ll get a very cinematic or very like magazine or Billboard type look. If you really eventually want to get into commercial photography or high end still photography I really recommend starting off and using the full frame.

The only drawback of this camera is that it does not shoot particularly fast. At 5 frames per second in single focus mode and 2.5 frames per second in continuous focus mode you might find yourself limited to the amount of stuff that you can choose. I would definitely not recommend this camera for sports photography wildlife photography but if you’re someone that does a lot of studio work, a lot of fashion work, a lot of work just in general you don’t need a lot of movement, this camera would be perfect for you because again it is a full frame camera and it will give you stunning image quality like a $8000 camera and I would gladly recommend this camera to a proper professional as long as they weren’t doing fast paced action work. 


This camera is also very good for video. This camera does beautiful HD from 24 frame per second all the way up to 60 frames per second. The 4K in this camera really isn’t that great and I would probably skip it all together it has way too much rolling shutter and is a bit soft. But HD in this camera is full of detail & it’s a very sharp you could easily zoom in up to 150 percent.

Autofocusing system

Another thing I really appreciate about this camera is canon’s dual pixel autofocusing system. canon has one of the best autofocusing systems in the industry right now and when talking about adapting older lenses that dual pixel autofocus will work with older lenses and Newer lenses, so your auto focus will always be very good, and the dual focusing system itself is very fast and very reliable one of the things that I appreciate about it is that it works very well in live view but it also works just as well to the optical viewfinder.

Camera Design

Design of the canon RP is spectacular, it’s rock solid & it’s made of Adeline aluminum and it has this really nice rubber grip all the way around. The buttons on this camera nice and clicky & it has this really awesome sandpaper finish. The body itself is unfortunately not weather sealed and it does not have a shutter flap to protect the sensor, but this body is made to last and if you take care of it, it will last you forever.  


Unfortunately, this camera does not have the greatest battery life, it will not last more than few hours. Canon cameras generally use the LP 6 battery which will last you forever but because it’s a smaller mirrorless body canon uses the LP 7 batteries in this which are not quite as high capacity, they’re about half the capacity of the LP 6, so you definitely will need to pick up extra batteries. 

Canon RP does have all the standard ports like headphone Jack, USB, HDMI. If you are a blogger or a content creator who is looking for your first camera, This is the best beginner camera & I would definitely recommend this to you.  

Key Specifications

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution6240 x 4160
Effective pixels26 megapixels
SensorFull frame (35.9 x 24 mm) CMOS
ISOAuto, 100-40000 (expands to 50-102400)
Lens mountCanon RF
Focal length1x
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3 inch
Max shutter speed1/4000 sec
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)
Weight (inc. batteries)485 g (1.07 lb / 17.11 oz)
Dimensions133 x 85 x 70 mm (5.24 x 3.35 x 2.76″)

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