Whether you’ve always had a penchant for taking pictures, or if you simply want to try out a new hobby, photography offers a lot of advantages for eager and willing learners. However, while we’ve all probably held and used a camera before, many of us still don’t truly understand how to leverage professional devices to get the best of their abilities.
So if you’re hoping to become a professional photographer, it’s important that you choose the right camera to help you learn in the easiest possible way. Using the wrong device can confuse and even discourage you from trying to move forward in the trade. Discover the best professional camera for beginners and start yourself off on the right foot with our comprehensive guide.
Top 10 Professional Cameras for Beginners Table
|1. Nikon D7500 DX-format Digital SLR w/ 18-140mm VR lens||20.9 MP||$$$||4.7|
|2. Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens||18 MP||$||4.7|
|3. Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Kit with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens||24.4 MP||$$$||4.6|
|4. Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera||24.2 MP||$||4.6|
|5. Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR||24.2 MP||$||4.6|
|6. Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm STM Lens||24.2 MP||$$||4.6|
|7. Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens||24.24 MP||$$||4.5|
|8. Sony Alpha SLT-A57M 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor DSLR||16 MP||$||4.4|
|9. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera||30.4 MP||$$$$||4.4|
|10. Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with DA L 18-55mm||16 MP||$$||4.4|
Going Pro – How to Choose the Right Professional Camera for Beginners
The term ‘professional camera’ often pertains to digital single lens reflex cameras – a type of camera that offers the greatest functionality compared to any other category in the market. That said, people who consider themselves professional photographers choose to invest in DSLRs because they offer greater versatility and produce much better outcomes.
Consider these factors on choosing the best professional camera for beginners so you can make the most of your money’s worth.
- Resolution. One of the three main factors you may want to look into when buying a professional camera is the resolution. Often, a camera’s megapixel rating is the first thing we consider when buying a new device, but bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Consider where you want to take your professional photography career. If you want to be able to print out images for your clients, then a bigger megapixel rating should work out in your favor. However, if you simply want to provide them digital copies of images for online use, then a smaller megapixel rating may be enough to satisfy your needs.
- Sensor Size. While it isn’t quite as glaring as megapixel rating, the sensor size will also play a role in the way you use and enjoy your new camera. Basically, the sensor is the part of the device that converts what you see into an image. With some cameras, the sensor can be ‘cropped’ – that is, it won’t produce the full image that you see through the viewfinder or screen.
A cropped sensor can ultimately change the way your camera or lens works by producing images that seem to have been generated by a device with a different focal length. This can add a lot of confusion to your use of a camera, and may make it difficult for you to truly grasp the best practices that go with using specific focal length ranges.
- Features. DSLR cameras offer a variety of feature combinations to entice buyers and provide a superior user experience. Depending on what you need, there may be some features that you’ll find essential and others that won’t be quite as necessary.
Some features that can change from option to option include presets, ISO, LCD size, image stabilization, shutter speed, connectivity, and durability. There are a number of ways these features can differ, so be sure to consider your own personal needs and preferences to make sure you’re buying the right option for you.
Top 3 Best Professional Camera for Beginners Reviews
While it isn’t exactly the cheapest choice, the Nikon D7500 DX-Format DSLR is definitely one of the best professional cameras for beginners if you really want to make an investment. This top notch device comes with a 20.9 megapixel CMOS sensor, a tilting 3.2 inch touchscreen, 4K video recording capacity, and a powerful focusing system that makes it almost effortless to capture professional quality shots.
The device also allows users to adjust settings and customize capture by providing ample room for experimentation with an easy user interface. Users can enjoy the ease of batch processing which makes it possible to adjust the settings and edit pictures for several images at a time for easy and fast picture management.
With superior ease of use, room for creativity and customization, and a vast array of accessories and attachments, the Nikon D7500 DX-Format DSLR is a great first camera if you’re hoping to step into the professional photography field.
- Excellent image quality
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Superb high-ISO performance
- Effective touchscreen implementation
- The image buffer is capable of holding up to 50 uncompressed RAWs
- Handy automated AF Fine Tune feature
- Expertly positioned controls with high-quality buttons
- Has a large, ergonomic grip
- Good battery life, even in cold weather conditions
- Severely cropped 4K video
- The built-in screen has a low resolution
- The default sharpening and noise reduction is a bit too much
- Does not work with battery grips
When it comes to the bare essentials, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Kit is as bare as it gets. This camera was designed to reduce the confusion that most first time users experience when first handling a professional camera.
The device’s features are pretty basic, offering just the essentials to get you started on your way to professional status. It has an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, a 9 point autofocus system, and an ISO of 6400 expandable to 12800 for greater reliability in low light settings.
When it all comes right down to it, there are really no surprises with the Canon EOS Rebel T6’s specs. But with its price and quality, it’s a practical choice for first timers.
- Captures excellent, crisp images
- Produces images with good color and outstanding hue accuracy
- Straightforward control layout
- Lightweight camera body
- Quick photo-sharing using built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
- Good battery life for an entry-level DSLR
- Good ergonomics
- The price is right
- The body feels cheap
- Slow autofocus in Live View
- The included kit lens is of poor quality
- Limited ISO range
Considered one of Canon’s best professional camera for beginners, the Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera Kit packs a punch in terms of functionality and versatility. Its 24.4 megapixel CMOS sensor provides high-resolution images with minimal effort.
The camera also features a stunning 45 point AF system that locks in on targets for superior detail and crisp clarity for noise and distortion free outcomes. It also boasts a vari angle touch screen, an ISO that’s expandable up to 25600, and high speed video recording at 1080p full HD.
The only reason why this high quality choice didn’t rank higher is that it may require some getting used to, especially for beginners. That said, it may be more suitable for buyers who intend to go through classes or training to get the best value out of their professional camera.
- Easy-to-operate menu system
- Well-designed tilt-flip touchscreen
- With a handful of advanced custom setting modes
- Autofocus works well in Live View and low light
- Durable build quality, weather-sealed
- Some features go head to head against the Nikon D7500
- More focus points and faster image processor than its predecessor
- Improved menu system
- Confusing similarly shaped buttons
- Mediocre autofocus tracking
- No UltraHD video recording
- Price comparable to the Sony a7
The Nikon D5300 lets you experience outstanding DSLR output image quality as an entry-level photographer. It is a professional-grade camera with 24.2 effective megapixels, a Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor, and an EXPEED 4 image processor.
Because of the high-megapixel sensor, the D5300 can produce amazingly sharp images with rich details and smooth, natural tones. Furthermore, the EXPEED 4 processor enables faithful color reproduction and fast operational speeds while minimizing image noise.
For this generation’s beginner photographers, it is essential to connect with mobile devices immediately. The D5300’s built-in Wi-Fi feature enables you to transmit your pictures readily at any given time. Additionally, you can use any paired device to monitor or control the D5300 wirelessly.
This camera’s 3.2-inch wide Vari-angle LCD screen provides you with new and creative ways to capture photos and videos. With this feature, you can easily compose your shots, even from a high or low perspective.
- Image quality and resolution comparable to the D7100
- Compact and portable, comfortable hand grip
- Decent performance lens kit
- Virtually no shutter lag when pre-focusing
- Quick startup and shot-to-shot transitions
- Improved high ISO performance and output resolution
- Broad RAW dynamic range
- Ergonomically placed controls
- Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
- Multiple functions inaccessible through the Wi-Fi app
- Slow autofocus and laggy magnification in Live View
- No headphone jack for sound monitoring
- Mediocre GPS receiver
Next to the Nikon D5300, the D3400 is the more affordable choice. This camera uses the same 24.2-megapixel image sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor, but it does away with several features available only to the D5300.
Instead of connecting to mobile devices over Wi-Fi, the D3400 connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth with the help of the SnapBridge app. With this bundled app, you can capture images and share them right after. This app enables the D3400 to automatically transfer pictures to a paired device, letting you instantly upload them online.
This camera has a wide ISO range of up to ISO 25600 for producing incredible images even in the dark. Aside from providing exceptional image quality, this camera can shoot videos in Full HD 1920 by 1080p resolution at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p.
While all of its features combined can take you to the next level of professional photography, its controls are pretty simplistic. This camera offers a Guide Mode function, which provides step-by-step in-camera assistance for its operation.
Furthermore, it features easy handling with its lightweight, ergonomic body, ensuring that even young users can master it effortlessly. However, the grip feels somewhat of low quality, and we think that the affordable price tag has taken a toll on its construction.
- Exceptional image quality for its class
- Compact DSLR body
- Improved dynamic range from the D3300
- Quick startup, low shutter lag
- Intuitive controls and menu navigation
- Among the best cameras with a DX crop sensor
- Surprisingly fast and accurate autofocus system
- Great value for its price
- Few options for control customization
- The grip feels low-end and poorly built
- Not so many upgrades over the D3200 or D3300
- Some features removed from the D3300
Which Is the Best Beginner-Friendly Professional Camera?
Our list offerings for the best professional camera for beginners include both Canon and Nikon models. Both brands offer affordable solutions for entering the world of professional photography.
However, the best Nikon cameras for beginners should very well include the Nikon D7500, if not for its relatively steep price tag. It offers more advanced features than either the D5300 or the D3400, and it even surpasses the Canon EOS 80D across all benchmarks.