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I am always asked what is the best DSLR camera on the market at the moment which is perfect for beginners.

As people outgrow their point and shoot or camera phones they can become dissatisfied with the results they are getting and want more. A DSLR seems the automatic next step. And, for many it is.

Let’s pause for a moment and let me tell you the key features and benefits of a DSLR. 

Firstly you have the ability to change the lens on a DSLR camera which means you much more flexibility with your image making. 

  • A DSLR camera lets you see exactly what the lens sees which makes it easier to compose your image in the camera. What you see is what you get.
  • DSLR cameras typically have large image sensors which means they deliver a big step up in image quality over a compact camera or a smartphone. A larger sensor allows for superior results with more detail and better low-light performance
  • There is no delay between pressing the shutter and taking the picture so no nasty delay making it perfect for action shots.
  • DSLR cameras offer far more manual control over camera settings. Don’t panic though! There are also a host of auto modes to help you out until you’re comfortable with the more creative controls that a DSLR offers.

Basically DSLR cameras are versatile and a fantastic tool for taking high quality, professional looking images, taking your photography to the next level.

But which is the best entry level DSLR camera to buy? 

 

Never fear, I’ve done the research for you and have come up with my top 5 recommended entry level DSLR cameras on the market today. 

 

BEST ENTRY LEVEL DSLRS 2018

 

1. Nikon D3500

2. Nikon D3400

3. Canon EOS 800D

4. Nikon D5600

5. Canon EOS 750D

The camera on the top of my list is one of the cheapest on the market. It offers impressive performance and image quality along with enough features to handle most situations especially if you’re a beginner.

Obviously, the more features you want on your camera, the more you’ll pay. You’ll expect to pay anywhere between £350 and £500. But consider this. Do you actually need all of the features?

Do you need video? Do you need WiFi and Bluetooth? Do you need a touchscreen?

In an attempt to rule the camera market many manufactures add lots of extra features onto cameras. In my opinion you don’t necessarily need them all.

 

DSLR Kit Bundles

 

Pretty much all camera manufacturers offer entry level DSLR kits. Generally this includes the camera body and a lens (a ‘kit’ lens). This is usually an 18-55mm lens which means you can zoom from a wide angle of 18mm (great for landscapes) through to 55mm which is better for portraits. It’s a kind of one sense fits all. Great for beginners to get you started.

Let’s have a look at my top 5 in more depth

1. Nikon D3500

This is the latest entry level DSLR from Nikon. This along with the D3400 (see below) are very easy to use entry level cameras. Many of my trainees own these cameras and I have found them to be incredibly user friendly. Nikon has a very clever guide mode which really walks you through the key shooting features making it much less intimidating for a beginner.

This camera doesn’t have touchscreen controls (do you need it?) and has Bluetooth connectivity but no WiFi. The APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2 megapixels results in excellent image quality. It’s also easy to shoot high quality video (max video resolution of 1080p).

This is a great all rounder and hard to beat.

Following my research there are a few bundle options available for this camera (and the D3400 below). It’s worth paying the little bit extra for the lens with VR. VR is an image stabilisation feature that will help enable sharper pictures. Worth the extra few pounds.

Expect to pay about £500 for the bundle including the 18mm-55mm VR lens although there are some great offers around at the moment. Here’s the link to view it on Argos.com as an example.

2. Nikon D3400

 

The Nikon D3400 is the camera that came before the new D3500. Please don’t let that put you off though. This is still a great camera and you can pick these up for a better price than the latest model. It really is a great buy.

With very similar specs to it’s newer brother, it is perfect for a novice user. Image quality, sensor size and basically all of the features I’ve mentioned above are the same – pretty much. Not so much that you’d notice anyway.

The key differences between the two cameras is that the D3400 is a little bit bigger in size (not by much). The battery life is great (much better than many other comparable cameras) but the D3500 is better. Nikon revamped the design of the controls for the D3500 to make it even easier to use but there really isn’t anything wrong with the D3400.

I’ve used this camera in my courses and think it’s a fab camera for a beginner and it’s cheaper! Win win. 

Expect to pay about £400 for the bundle including the 18mm-55mm VR lens (recommended). Here’s the link for view at Argos.com as an example.

 

 

3. Canon EOS 800D

The Canon EOS 800D is the best of Canon’s entry level DSLR range. It’s a great camera but a bit more expensive that the comparable Nikon offerings.

The sensor and megapixels are pretty much the same as the Nikon but the newly designed sensor from Canon is great at shooting in low light conditions. The EOS 800D also has great autofocus settings. It uses 45 focal points (compared to 11 points with the Nikon) and has an excellent live view system. This means you have more options to get fantastic focus on each of your images.

The new graphics interface makes it super easy to use for the beginner. It also has touchscreen controls which the Nikon does not so if that’s a feature you are looking for then this is the camera for you.

I personally find the finish a bit on the plastic size and it is a more expensive option but that doesn’t take away from the fact this is a great camera.

Expect to pay around £700 (there are some cash back offers on at the moment though) for the bundle including the 18mm-55mm IS STM lens. here’s a link to view it on Argos.com as an example.

4. Nikon D5600

 
The D5600 is really the direct Nikon comparison/competition to the Canon EOS 800D (above). It sits at the top of the entry level/enthusiast category for Nikon.
 
The D3500 and D3400 are very much aimed at the budget conscious beginner photographer where are the D5600 is aimed at those who want a few more features to play with and get a little more creative!

The D5600 has  a large 3.2-inch touchscreen which can be used at a variety of angles. This is great for times when you are shooting at funny angles and perfect for video capture too. In live view mode the auto focus could be a bit quicker but it has a 39-point AF system which is far superior to the cheaper Nikon entry level options

The D5600 is a bit cheaper than the Canon EOS 800D but not by much

Expect to pay about £649 for the bundle including the 18mm-55mm VR lens (recommended). Here’s the link for view at Argos.com as an example.

 

 

5. Canon EOS 750D

Like the idea of the Canon EOS 800D but put off by the price tag? Why not consider the slightly older model? Its still a great camera but the cost is a little more friendly on the pocket.

The sensor of the EOS 750D isn’t quite as good as the 800D despite sharing the same resolution but it’s still very good,. It also has the same vari-angle touchscreen as the 800D and is still one of the best around.

The 750D has 19 auto-flus points so quite a few less than the 800D but overall this is still a very capable entry-level DSLR. 

Expect to pay around £550 for the bundle including the 18mm-55mm kit lens. here’s a link to view it on Argos.com as an example.

Hopefully that has helped you get to grips with (what in my opinion is) the best DSLR cameras on the market at the moment which are perfect for beginners. Be sure to shop around though. There are some great offers to be had – you just need to spend a bit of time finding the best deal.