Tired of taking crappy photos on a smartphone? Dreaming of having a photo library so impressive that it will leave your friends and family in awe? It’s time to invest in a proper camera.
If you’re new to the world of photography, it can be tricky to know where to start – there are so many different types of cameras on the market, from DSLR and mirrorless to compact and film-focused. Fortunately, we’re on hand to help you figure it all out and set up the perfect camera for beginners.
Here are our top four considerations when buying your first camera:
Resolution – Also known as ‘megapixels’ or ‘MP’, this number is tied to the size of the image the camera can capture. While a higher MP number means higher resolution, there’s no need to go above a 12 MP camera – which will produce blur-free A3-sized prints.
Project – If you plan to use a good quality camera, you may want it to be perfectly suited to your needs. Each camera is unique and has a different set of qualities, so consider whether you prefer something smaller and compact for portability, a touchscreen model, or a larger camera with clear controls.
connectivity – Nowadays, most cameras connect to your mobile and apps in one way or another. The most common ways are via bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC connectivity or a mix of two or more.
Lenses – You will need a high quality lens to capture good images. Most cameras come with a fixed lens that offers a standard zoom range. However, there are beginner cameras that offer a lens kit that allows you to change lenses based on the distance of the image you are taking.
Now that you know what to look for, shop our top recommended cameras for beginners below – there’s everything from budget mirrorless models to premium compact cameras.
Buy our selection now
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
A great budget camera and a great choice for beginners, the E-M10 is small and aimed at photo photographers, while retaining some video capabilities.
Its 20MP sensor complies with the Micro Four Thirds standard, meaning it’s smaller than full frame or APS-C sensors found elsewhere and brings a 2x crop factor to its lenses. The camera is perfectly capable of taking amazing photos, and the smaller sensor means it can be even more compact than its mirrorless peers.
While it lacks some advanced features like phase detection autofocus, 4K/60 video recording, and microphone or headphone jacks for video use, it does have an effective IBIS system, offering up to 4.5 stops of stabilization.
The Micro Four Thirds lens mount is supported by Olympus and Panasonic, with third parties like Sigma and Samyang bringing more cost-effective options to the table.
The other thing about the E-M10 is its pleasant retro style. However, it is a totally modern camera, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and a wide range of in-camera effects via Advanced Photo mode.
Buy now £649.00, Jessops
Nikon Z 30 mirrorless camera
Developed with creatives in mind, the Nikon Z30 is Nikon’s best vlog camera yet. It’s the perfect device to help elevate your content and make the much-needed switch from smartphone to mirrorless cameras.
Thanks to its compact and lightweight features, it’s the perfect travel companion and will ensure you capture and document those unforgettable moments.
There are several advanced features compared to previous models – 4K video, 20.9 MP, 11 FPS and 125 MIN. Recording will take your videography and photography to the next level. The touchscreen monitor is easy to use and lets you shoot from any angle. For starters, the deep grip ensures stable handheld shooting that minimizes any image shake or blur.
Impressively, there’s room for vloggers to record 125 minutes of video, which can be easily uploaded to social media platforms via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When it comes to audio, there’s a built-in mic that works flawlessly, as well as the option of an external mic for extra crisp, clear sound. The onboard wind noise reduction function reduces external sound.
Buy Now £839.00, Jessops
Kodak M35 Film Camera
This M35 is a single use camera with a plastic body with a fixed focus lens and the only setting being the flash on or off. It’s easy to handle in all capacities and looks just like the Ilford Sprite-11 – being the same size and lightweight.
If you want to take your first steps into the world of analogue photography, this is a nice camera for beginners. Modern and retro – you can choose from a variety of cool colors like red, yellow, light green, sky blue and pink.
With this little point-and-shoot you crave images so refined and romantic, just load up with 35mm film and start snapping your favorite memories.
Buy now £21.00, Amazon
Akaso Brave 7 LE
Costing under £200, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is affordable for just about anyone, whether you’re a videography veteran or a complete beginner. The ideal introductory action camera (or a good choice if you’re prone to breaking your tech), it offers fantastic value and 4K video, plus a handy front screen for taking selfies.
While the camera alone is waterproof to just one meter, the diving box is included in the box and has a depth rating of 40 meters. There’s also a very useful second battery, as you’ll likely only get an hour to an hour and a half from each charge.
Like the Hero9, 10 and DJI Osmo Action, it has a front-facing display that lets you see yourself as you shoot, but it’s a feature you get for nearly half the cost. The rear touchscreen display is also exceptionally intuitive, allowing you to adjust camera modes and settings with a quick touch.
Buy now £139.99, Amazon
Canon EOS R10
Launched just a few months ago, Canon’s latest offering is an impressively versatile camera that joins the company’s fast-moving mirrorless lineup. If you’re looking to step away from a DSLR camera or smartphone, this is the perfect next step.
The R1 can manage an extremely fast burst of 15 fps using its mechanical shutter, rising to 23 fps if you use the electronic shutter, which also allows for a shutter speed of 1/16,000th of a second – perfect for capturing wild animals or moving objects. .
Other notable features include built-in stabilization, 4K/30p video quality, and YouTube live streaming for the budding bloggers among us.
With the same AF system as cameras that cost four times as much, the R10 looks a lot like a kid’s version of Canon’s professional cameras.
Buy now £899.00, Canon
Trading blows with cheaper Canon cameras, the D3500 launched in 2018 and combines a decent 24MP APS-C sensor with responsive autofocus and a beginner-friendly body.
The rear screen is fixed, there’s no 4K video, and it only has an SD card slot. However, you get a continuous shooting speed of 5 fps and an 11-point AF system using the viewfinder that certainly gets the job done.
‘Modest but effective’ are the words to cover most of the D3500’s features. You get 1080p video at 60fps and focusing in Live View is simply a matter of touching the screen.
It is not bas as a camera for those who are starting their photography journey.
Buy now £475.35, Amazon
Dubblefilm Show 35mm analog camera with flash point
This camera is perfect for beginners – but then again, many reusable film cameras are.
If you want to step away from taking pictures from your phone but still want to be in the moment and don’t have to worry about camera settings or lens – this might be your best bet. You can even learn with this device how to load and unload film or explore creativity using a 35mm point and shoot. It’s a great all-rounder and the overall image quality is very good.
This camera comes in black and pink and is housed in a plastic case. This case isn’t exactly a camera bag and there’s no padding, but it’s handy for carrying your camera around and it’s more eco-friendly than disposable cameras.
Buy Now £58.00, Selfridges
Polaroid Go Instant Camera
This iconic camera with its unique retro look is far from retro in terms of features. We love the addition of a selfie mirror, movie counter LED display, a self-timer, and a micro USB charger to keep it going. As one of the smallest compact cameras on the market (designed to be used with just one hand), it’s the perfect instant camera for beginners and is designed for on-the-go motion as it easily fits into most pockets.
If you’re looking to buy the Polaroid Go, look for deals that include film sets so you can start taking pictures instantly.
Buy now £84.99, Amazon
Sony Vlog ZV-1 Camera
If you love creating content and love documenting the latest TikTok trend but want to take your footage to the next stage without a smartphone camera, little else rivals the Sony Vlog camera.
With an LCD screen for selfies, a recording lamp and a body strap, this camera is perfect for recording videos and photos wherever you are.
When it comes to filming or taking pictures of people, there’s a Smooth Skin Effect that optimizes the skin’s natural tones and radiance. Coupled with real-time Eye AF technology that tracks people’s eyes even in 4k videos, this camera is top notch.
We particularly like the 3-capsule microphone attached to the camera, which reduces background wind noise, making your voice clearer – perfect for those outdoor vlogs. The ZV-1 is also compatible with Sony’s Bluetooth trigger handles, which makes recording even easier.
Buy now £667.00, Amazon