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Top 11 Best Cameras For Beginners On A Budget 2017

Top 11 Best Cameras For Beginners On A Budget 2017 - Here, we round up the best of each type of camera for photography beginners on a budget in 2017.

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Lumix SZ10 in Digital SLRs

If you're starting out in photography, it can be tricky to know where to start when it comes to buying your first camera. Never fear, though, as we are here to try and help you find the perfect photography companion. 

There are 3 main factors you need to consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Price point
  • Portability

As a beginner, you are going to need something that is easy, and not too complicated to use until you get more familiar with your new hobby. 

You'll also not want to break the bank on your first purchase because ultimately, as you progress you will most likely want to upgrade your kit, be it more lenses or a new body, to something a little more advanced. 

It's also wise to consider the size of your new camera because if you find it too cumbersome you'll not want to take it out with you.

Here, we are going to list the best cameras for beginners in 4 main categories - DSLR, mirrorless / CSC, ultra zoom / bridge and compact to give you a wide-range of options that may suit you. 


DSLRs for beginners 

The original and still considered the most versatile camera choice is the DSLR. If you are serious about photography and want to learn all the ins and outs, including working manually, then a DSLR is an ideal choice. You can get a decent body for under £400 and then as you progress, you can choose to buy new lenses as you please and not have to worry about getting used to a whole new setup. If you have a bit more money to spend, have a look at our Top 10 Best APS-C DSLRs for more choices. 

Canon EOS 1300D (4)

Canon EOS 1300D

Canon are a renowned brand in the photography industry and this is their most affordable DSLR body. It's actually a bit of a bargain, with an 18-megapixel sensor and built-in Wi-Fi. 

It has lots of different shooting modes, as well as scene modes. The Canon EOS 1300D has the build quality of a much more expensive camera and has an easy to follow menu system, ideal for someone starting out in photography.

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D3300 BK 18 55 VR  Frttop

Nikon D3300 

The Nikon D3300 is designed to be an entry-level and consumer-friendly DSLR and offers a 24.2-megapixel sensor. It's also the lightest and smallest DSLR in Nikon's range. 

The camera has a built-in guide mode for beginners too, giving you clear, step by step assistance to all the settings and controls. There is also the option to display settings in a graphic interface, ideal for those learning about the exposure triangle. 

The camera comes with a 2-year warranty and has excellent noise performance.

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Pentax K S2 (2)

Pentax K-S2

The Pentax K-S2 has a flip out screen, ideal for photographing from different angles. It has a very ergonomic design for easy grip while still being compact, and features a 20.12-megapixel sensor. 

There is inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC, as well as 20 digital filters to choose from. The camera is also weatherproof and very affordable bundle. 

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Mirrorless / CSC cameras for beginners 

Mirrorless camera still give you the versatility to change lenses and achieve full manual control, ideal for those wanting to progress in photography. The main plus point with mirrorless cameras is size. Rather than reflecting the light to the sensor using a mirror like in conventional DSLRs, mirrorless cameras skip this element, allowing them to be much slimmer. Check out our best entry level mirrorless cameras for more options.



Canon EOS M10 

The Canon EOS M10 is one of the cheapest and smallest mirrorless cameras available, with an 18-megapixel sensor and has a tilting touchscreen which should make it really easy to use and navigate the menus. 

There's Wi-Fi for storing and transferring images plus the camera is really very compact - making it easy to stow away whilst giving you the flexibility to change lenses. 

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Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (4)

Panasonic Lumix GF7

The Lumix GF7 has a 16-megapixel sensor as well as built-in Wi-Fi and a tilting touchscreen. There are also lots of filter effects as well as the ability to shoot panoramas using filter effects too. 

The screen tilts a full 180-degrees upwards, so is great for those that want to experiment with selfies. There is also the ability to shoot video in FullHD, with stereo sound. 

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Ultra zoom / bridge cameras for beginners

If you don't want the fuss of having to change lenses but still want a big reach in terms of zoom, then a bridge camera could be the answer. Still providing reasonably large sensors and manual settings, they are a great in-between choice for those transitioning to a manual camera. If budget isn't a problem take a look at our best ultra-zoom cameras article for more choices. 


Panasonic Lumix FZ72 (4)

Panasonic Lumix FZ72

The Lumix FZ72 has a massive 60x optical zoom that can extend to 102x digital zoom (be careful, digital zoom essentially just enlarges the pixels giving you a smaller resolution). It has a 16.1-megapixel sensor and Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) to help keep images sharp when shooting hand-held. 

The Lumix FZ272 has plenty of excellent features and has an excellent battery life to boot, keeping you shooting all day. 

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Coolpix P900

Nikon Coolpix P900

The Nikon Coolpix P900 also has a whopping 83x optical zoom and Wi-Fi. There is a tilting and flip-out screen for ease of use when shooting in different situations, and it's also possible to shoot at less than 1cm away from your subject, making it great for macro photography. 

You can shoot video in FullHD 1080p, and there is an Auto HDR mode ideal for those looking to learn more about this method of shooting. The camera is really ergonomic, featuring a good grip and has special modes for shooting birds and the moon, too. 

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Canon Powershot SX510 HS (2)

Canon Powershot SX510 HS

If you want a compact body with a reasonable zoom then the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS is an ideal camera to got for. It has a 30x zoom lens and comes with creative filters as well as full manual controls. 

The camera has very good image quality and lots of zoom packed into a really compact body - plus you can shoot macro images at less than a cm away from the subject. The lens is also wider zoomed out than most compact camera, giving you more versatility in your shots. 

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Compact cameras for beginners

If you're not sure whether a hobby in photography is for you, or simply with to start basic, there are easy to use compact cameras that are good value and still capture a good image. These are very compact, so can be slipped into a pocket or bag when not used. If you're looking for more compacts that won't break the bank, have a look at our best budget cameras article


Powershot SX610 HS

Canon Powershot SX610 HS

The Canon Powershot SX610HS has an 18x optical zoom lens as well as built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. It also has a 20-megapixel sensor and improved grip over its predecessor. Available for just over £100, it's a real bargain.

Unlike the camera types above, here you don't have the option to shoot manually, but there are lots of automatic modes to choose from. There's still lots of versatility to be had in shooting with this camera which also has a pop-up flash. 

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Cyber-shot WX220

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX220

This ultra-compact camera also has an ultra-compact price, at around £155. It has an 18.2-megapixel sensor and a 10x zoom lens. If you're style conscious, this one looks pretty sleek. 

The camera has HDR and iSweep panoramic modes along with built-in image stabilisation. It also has an impressive 10 frames per second continuous shooting mode. 

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Panasonic Lumix SZ10  (5)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10

The Lumix DMC-SZ10 has a tilting selfie screen and a 12x zoom. There is a 16-megapixel sensor and the lens has optical image stabilisation. The camera has a good rubber grip and a simple layout of controls. Ther is also built-in help to explain options and settings, ideal for beginners. 

The camera has lots of creative effects and is compact and lightweight.

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If you're looking for cameras that are the very best of the bunch, take a look at our gear of the year awards. If you've found your perfect camera, don't forget you'll need a memory card to go with it.

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Photographs taken using the Lumix SZ10


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