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The best cameras for beginners and newcomers
Reading time: 5 minutes - September 28, 2023 - by Markus Igel

The best cameras for beginners

Photography is perhaps the most beautiful hobby, but certainly not the cheapest. In this guide, we want to give you an overview of which cameras are particularly suitable for starting out in this multifaceted hobby. The market for modern cameras offers a very large selection of different cameras, some of which differ considerably in price. We try to offer you a large selection of different cameras here: From SLR and system cameras to compact cameras for beginners or newcomers.

What are your requirements?

First of all, think about the area in which you would work most with your camera, because you can then decide what you need for yourself and your requirements in the next steps.

Our checklist for the perfect camera

We have created an initial checklist that you can use to get an overview. You can simply tick the checkboxes and write a few lines.

Many of the points should give you an idea of how to deal with the camera's data sheets more specifically. We would therefore like to give you more tips on the checklist below. Because each point in itself contributes to making the camera cheaper or more expensive.

Areas of use and their requirements

We asked you what you mainly want to use the camera for. So here's a quick overview of what the criteria for the different areas of photography demand of the camera and where it shows its strengths:

  • Travel photography, everything from wide-angle to telephoto lenses can be required here. However, interchangeable lenses usually weigh a lot and add up to a lot of luggage. You can fall back on universal zoom lenses, but these are usually a compromise with a low light intensity and lower sharpness.
  • Family photos, it should ideally be a camera that covers the possibility of a wide angle with a slight telephoto range. It should be as light and compact as possible so that you always want to have it with you.
  • Landscape photography, your camera should have at least 24MP and preferably offer weather protection with splash & dust protection. A good feature is also the integration of a spirit level to be able to align the image straight, which is particularly important when photographing bodies of water.
  • Macro photography, here it helps if the camera supports bracketing or has an MFT sensor, because the mount offers a large variety of macro lenses and a high depth of field due to the sensor size.
  • Sport & Action, megapixels are not everything here, but above all the number of continuous shots, because the object to be photographed is often in motion.
  • Portrait photography, for portrait photography it certainly makes sense to buy a camera that is easy to operate. One of the first lenses you will probably buy is a 50mm fixed focal length lens. This is because fixed focal length lenses offer better sharpness and a great aperture for portraits, which allows for a nice bokeh / cut-out effect.
  • Vlogging / videography, the camera should offer good autofocus and perhaps also AI support for recognizing faces to make filming easier for you.
  • Animal photography, bird photography - more megapixels can't hurt here, but a smaller sensor also has its advantages here, because the crop factor allows the focal length to be extended and MFT cameras in particular can offer light combinations with a very long focal length and thus bring animals close up at long distances.

Are you unsure and want to talk to an expert again? We offer online and offline advice at our branch in D?sseldorf:

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Interchangeable lenses, yes or no?

This is by far the most difficult question in the questionnaire, as it determines the direction in which it goes the most. A fixed lens, like on a bridge camera, can cover a wide range of focal lengths and is particularly suitable for people who want to travel and capture the moment in better quality than with most smartphones. But it can also enhance creativity, as with the Ricoh GRIII and co. where the lens encourages the photographer to move around to find new perspectives.

Demanding image quality

You might think: more megapixels = better pictures, but that's not always the case. In most cases, you can get by with your 24-33 megapixels. Anything above that involves compromises that you need to consider whether you want to make:

  • more image noise in dark environments
  • higher risk of camera shake
  • etc.

You can find out more about this in detail in our article on megapixels:

Camera basics: Megapixels

Modern system cameras for the perfect start

Sooner or later, SLR cameras will be replaced by system cameras. This is because modern system cameras offer many functions that make everyday life with your camera and photography much easier and allow you to focus on the essentials: The light and the image composition. Modern system cameras offer a very well-rounded package of focus performance, ISO noise behavior and image quality. We therefore present many cameras below that are particularly suitable for beginners due to various factors.

Canon EOS R100 + RF-S 18-45mm IS STM

The Canon EOS R100 offers a modern dual pixel sensor, which enables a lot of playful features and very good autofocus performance. If you are looking for a new lens after the kit lens, the Canon RF lenses or a Canon adapter lens provide a powerful all-round package. Many EF lenses in particular are now also available very cheaply on the used market and offer very good performance for the sensor.

Sony Alpha 6400 (ILCE-6400) + SEL 16-50mm PZ OSS

The Sony Alpha 6400 is a good and inexpensive entry-level camera with which you can enter the world of Sony and get a 24.2 MP sensor in addition to good autofocus performance. The camera also offers a solid continuous shooting performance of 11 frames per second, which offers potential for continuous shooting and is sufficient for the occasional visit to sports activities or similar. The video functions of the 6400 are also strong, offering 4K for the demanding amateur filmmakers among us.

Fujifilm X-S20 + XC 15-45mm

Similar to the Sony system, Fujifilm offers a wide range of lenses, also from third-party manufacturers. The X-S20 is characterized above all by a very strong autofocus performance and the film simulations (19 pieces), with which you can recreate the analog films from Fujifilm on your camera. The Fujifilm is particularly characterized by its rotary controls and its compactness, which makes it perfect for travel, among other things. It has a very good image stabilizer, which helps you to take sharp photos in the dark, but also to record stable / calm videos.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 II + AF 12-60mm G Vario Asph. OIS

The sensor size is not always decisive, because an MFT sensor can also be exciting for many photographers. Especially in macro photography and for social media, the G9II can be an exciting candidate. This is because Panasonic offers the advantage for social media with the sensor format and the ability to read it out in full that your video material works and can be used in both portrait and landscape format. Macro photographers benefit from the fact that the sensor size offers a greater depth of field and therefore a greater sharpness per individual image. One disadvantage is certainly that the sensor size does not perform particularly well in dark situations. The G9II has a lot to offer, especially in terms of image stabilization, and impresses with its particularly good feel.

Our test report

Fujifilm X-T5 + XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS silver

The X-T5 not only offers a good price and a great vintage look, but also a lot of megapixels, which can also be used very well for wildlife photography. At this point, the APS-C sensor has another advantage, because you can get closer to the animals. Fujifilm not only offers a pretty camera, the lenses are also quite light and compact, which makes Fujifilm cameras perfect for street, family and travel photography.

Our test report

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5II + Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6

The first full-frame camera to be presented, which offers very good value for money. It is one of the cheapest entry-level full-frame cameras released in 2023 and offers fast autofocus performance and a very good noise ratio in dark environments. The lens supply is also guaranteed by the L Mount from Lumix. Thanks to the L Alliance, there are many brands that produce their own lenses for the system.

Our test report

 

Sony Alpha 7C II (ILCE-7CM2) Body + SEL 28-60mm black

Strong AI autofocus performance and many features of the larger cameras. With a few compromises in the display and viewfinder, Sony offers a compact full-frame camera that can accompany every photographer for a long time, because the overall package offers a great price-performance ratio with few compromises.

Our test report

Canon EOS R6 + RF 50mm f/1.8 STM

The Canon R6 is now a very well aged full-frame camera with a very good autofocus system and a good 20 megapixels with Dual Pixel CMOS. It also has 4K video and is perfectly suitable for sporty shots with up to 20 frames per second in the electronic shutter. It also has an image stabilizer, which supports the photographer in dark situations and minimizes camera shake.

Our introduction

Further recommendations

We offer a few recommendations without in-depth explanations or descriptions in the following carousel:

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