What Camera Should I Buy as a Beginner

Sunflower in field

What Camera Should I Buy as a Beginner in Photography.

As the world becomes increasingly visual and digital, the art of photography has captivated a wider audience than ever before. Whether you’re interested in capturing stunning landscapes, documenting your daily life, or exploring the world of creative self-expression, getting started in photography can be an exciting journey. However, with the plethora of camera options available on the market, choosing the right camera as a beginner can be a daunting task. This guide aims to demystify the process by providing a comprehensive overview of camera settings and factors to consider when making your purchase.

Understanding Camera Types:

DSLR Cameras

DSLR cameras are characterized by their optical viewfinders and use of a mirror mechanism to reflect light from the lens up into an optical viewfinder. They are known for their versatility, wide range of compatible lenses, and robust build quality. They tend to be bigger than Mirrorless cameras and weigh more also. This is a factor to consider if you will be carrying a camera all day long.

Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless cameras, as the name suggests, lack the mirror mechanism found in DSLRs. This design leads to a more compact and lightweight body. They utilize digital displays or electronic viewfinders to provide a preview of the image. Mirrorless cameras often excel in video capabilities and live view shooting. They may be more suitable for people with smaller hands.

Chess Board Still life

Factors to Consider:


Your budget is a significant determinant of the camera you can afford. Both DSLR and mirrorless cameras are available at various price points, and investing in a good lens is equally important. Keep in mind that accessories like lenses, memory cards, camera bags, and tripods should also be considered in your budget.


While higher megapixels can result in sharper images and larger prints, they are not the sole indicator of image quality. A balance between megapixels and sensor size is crucial. Entry-level cameras typically offer around 20-24 megapixels, which is more than sufficient for most beginners.

Sensor Size:

The sensor size affects image quality, low-light performance, and depth of field. Larger sensors generally produce better results. Full-frame sensors are considered top-tier, but crop sensors are more affordable and suitable for beginners.

Camera Controls and Ergonomics:

Handling and user-friendliness matter. Consider the placement of buttons, dials, and touchscreens. A comfortable grip and intuitive layout can significantly improve your shooting experience.

Lenses and Interchangeability:

The ability to change lenses is a hallmark of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Different lenses allow you to explore various styles of photography such as Wedding Photography, Landscape photography or Still Life photography. For beginners, a kit lens with a versatile focal range is a good starting point. You can always add more lenses later when you know what you want / need.

Wedding Photograph
German Town landscape

Camera Settings:

Exposure Modes:

Understanding exposure modes is essential for capturing well-exposed photos. The three primary modes are:

Auto Mode: The camera handles all settings automatically.

Aperture Priority (Av/A): You set the aperture, and the camera adjusts other settings.

Shutter Priority (Tv/S): You set the shutter speed, and the camera adjusts other settings.


ISO determines the camera’s sensitivity to light. Lower ISO values (e.g., 100-400) are used in well-lit conditions, while higher values (e.g., 800-3200) are used in low light. However, higher ISO can introduce noise in images.


Aperture (measured in f-stops) controls the depth of field and the amount of light entering the camera. Lower f-stop values (e.g., f/1.8) create a shallow depth of field, while higher values (e.g., f/16) increase the depth of field.

Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed determines how long the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. Fast shutter speeds (e.g., 1/1000) freeze motion, while slow speeds (e.g., 1/30) create motion blur.

White Balance:

White balance ensures accurate color reproduction under different lighting conditions. It’s important to set the correct white balance to avoid unnatural color casts.

Focus Modes:

Cameras offer various focus modes, such as Single-Servo AF (focus locks after achieving focus) and Continuous-Servo AF (focus continuously adjusts for moving subjects). Choose the mode that suits your subject and shooting style.

Metering Modes:

Metering modes determine how the camera measures light to set exposure. Common modes include Matrix/Evaluative, Center-Weighted, and Spot. Experiment with these modes to understand their impact on exposure.

Video Capabilities:

If you’re interested in videography, check the camera’s video features, including resolution, frame rates, and the availability of features like manual focus and external microphone inputs.


Choosing the right camera as a beginner involves considering your budget. Buy the best camera you can afford that fits your needs, and preferences. Both DSLR and mirrorless cameras offer great options for newcomers to the world of photography. Understanding basic camera settings like exposure modes, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, and focus modes is essential to capture the best possible images. Remember that photography is an art form, and practice and experimentation are key to improving your skills. Take the time to learn about your chosen camera and its settings, and don’t be afraid to explore different techniques this will quickly improve your understanding of photography.

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