Best Entry-Level Cameras in 2018


It’s tough to pick the best camera for beginners. To help you get started, we’ve selected the best entry-level cameras to buy in 2018



Starting out in photography? Want to make the jump from shooting on your phone, but not sure which camera deserves your hard-earned cash? We’ve got you covered — these, for our buck, are the best entry-level cameras on the market right now, from DSLRs to mirrorless CSCs and compacts.


1. Nikon D3400


Nikon’s D3000 series has garnered a well-deserved reputation for superb beginner DSLRs, and the D3400 certainly demonstrates why. Its intuitive and easy-to-use Guide mode allows novice users to make the most of the 24.2MP sensor, while the relatively diminutive body makes the D3400 easy to transport. Nikon has worked on extending the battery life, compared to the previous D3300. It’s also possible to use Nikon’s SnapBridge Bluetooth functionality to deliver images straight to a smartphone for easy sharing, the moment they’re shot. When you buy Nikon, you also get access to decades’ worth of top-quality Nikkor lenses, meaning this is an excellent choice for the beginner photographer who has ambitions to improve and upgrade.



2. Canon EOS 200D


The Canon EOS 200D is ideal for users who hate lugging around heavy gear. It boasts the title of the world’s lightest DSLR with a vari-angle screen, which allows the user significantly greater flexibility when composing shots. As you’d expect from Canon, the 200D packs imaging power to spare; its DIGIC 7 processor powers such useful features as Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus and continuous shooting of up to five frames per second. Despite the small size, there are plenty of physical dial and button controls, while the mode options are kept streamlined and simple, so as not to overwhelm beginners.



3. Pentax K-70


If you’re going to be taking your new camera on outdoor adventures, you definitely want to look into the rugged Pentax K-70. Thanks to 100 seals around its body, the Pentax K-70 is dust-proof, weather-resistant and freeze-proof (down to -10°C). An internal sensor-shift image stabilisation system makes it easier to use handheld, allowing for sharper images at slower shutter-speeds. If you want to photograph the night sky then this is definitely a good choice, thanks to the Astrotracer feature, which uses the sensor-shift functionality and GPS data to produce pin-sharp photographs of the stars — without the streaks and blurs that occur during long exposures.


Pentax K-70 Digital SLR Camera with 18-50mm Lens

Free Lens worth £129

£829.00 View


4. Canon EOS 1300D


Another of Canon’s diminutive DSLRs, the EOS 1300D is a great value entry-level DSLR that makes for a fine entry point into the Canon ecosystem. Inside that tiny body you get Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, as well as an optical viewfinder that operates with 95% coverage of the frame. The rear screen also has an impressive resolution of 920,000 dots, meaning images will be pin-sharp when viewed post-capture. At 500 shots per charge, battery life is thoroughly decent, and there’s also the option to shoot Full HD video.



5. Olympus Pen E-PL9


Fully equipped with bags of style, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 is part of a separate line to the flagship OM-D series and is designed for the fashion-conscious photographer. A luxurious finish protects a stylish body with an ergonomic supporting handgrip. The camera is controlled via two dials on its top and a touch-sensitive screen, which also flips out for simple selfies. While there’s no built-in viewfinder on the camera, the hotshoe allows for various accessories to be attached, meaning those who prefer to use a viewfinder can clip one on (be aware it’s sold separately).




6. Panasonic Lumix TZ70


If you’d prefer an all-in-one package, then it’s worth looking into compact cameras. The Panasonic TZ70 is a great choice — thanks to its slim build and lens, with a generous 30x optical zoom range, it’s perfect for travel. Its resolution of 12.1MP is a little lower than other entry-level cameras, but that’s more than enough for posting image online so, unless you’re into making prints, you’ll be absolutely fine. The image stabilisation also works very well, making the camera even more versatile. If you want to see more compact cameras, check out our guide.


Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ70 Digital Camera - Silver

£229.00 View


7. Fujifilm X-A5


If you’d like to investigate the Fujifilm X system of pin-sharp lenses and stylish retro cameras, the X-A5 is an ideal entry point. The generous 91-point AF system is significantly more advanced than what you’ll find in most other entry-level cameras, and there’s even the option to shoot 4K video, albeit only at a frame rate of 15p and for a maximum of five minutes. Still, this gives you access to 4K photo modes, where you can extract stills from 4K footage and export them as 8.3MP images, meaning you never have to miss a crucial moment.




8. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III


The E-M10 cameras are the smallest in the OM-D family and have been expressly designed with the entry-level user in mind. OM-D cameras are part of the Micro Four Thirds family, which means users have access to an enormous catalogue of high-quality lenses, and they’ve also been designed with the high-quality and stylish finish users have come to expect from the series. The E-M10 III is no exception, looking as great as it feels, and the 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder is the icing on top of an extremely enticing cake.




9. Panasonic LUMIX GX800


The LUMIX GX800 certainly puts the “micro” in Micro Four Thirds, with a diddy body that can slip easily into a pocket. While its look may recall the classic rangefinders of the 1960s and 70s, this is no throwback, with the ability to shoot 4K video and extract still images from the footage. It has a number of guided modes designed to wean users off auto for more control when taking pictures, making it perfect for beginners looking to make the jump from smartphone shooting.



About the Author

Jon Stapley is a professional journalist with a wealth of experience in a number of photography titles including Amateur Photographer, Digital Camera World and What Digital Camera. See more of his writing on Jon's author page.


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