dslr camera beginner

Slr Camera for Beginners [2019] – The Best Camera is the One You Have With You

In Uncategorized by Rohit KumarLeave a Comment

If you don't have a SLR camera yet and maybe you're looking for one, then I'd like to give you a lot of tips here on how to find the best SLR camera for beginners.

If you don't want to read everything, here's the quick overview of my two recommendations:

How did I get my first digital SLR camera?

I bought my first digital compact camera in 2004, a Canon Powershot A75. With it I tried to mimic pictures I saw on DeviantART. About a year later I had the wish to buy a digital SLR camera (DSLR).

At that time, however, the choice was still relatively limited. With the Canon EOS 300D, Canon had brought the first affordable SLR camera onto the market at that time. This camera cost at that time about 700 Euro, other DSLRs were only available for far more than 1000 Euro.

In this respect I had no problems to decide. Today the choice is much more difficult.

Important Preliminary Advice for Beginners

Take the camera in your hand

One of the most important tips is to take the camera in your hand. Many of today's SLR cameras are technically on a good level.

But it's just as important that you enjoy the camera and take it in your hand. It is also important that the camera lies comfortably in your hand and feels comfortable.

That's why I can only advise you to go to the next electronics store and pick up the SLR cameras for beginners there. Look through the viewfinder, click through the menu, take some pictures with it. Just as important for you can be the sound of the camera when you trigger it. Just try it out.

This will give you a first feeling for your new camera. Everyone has different preferences, so it's hard to say which is the best SLR for beginners.

Canon EOS 300D – My beginner DSLR at that time

Why you shouldn't take the cheapest camera

As I have already written above, even inexpensive entry-level cameras today are on a good level. So why do I advise against using the cheapest model?

If you photograph for a while after the purchase, then you will develop further. This can be the case after a few weeks or months. Then maybe there are features that you would like to have on your camera, but that it doesn't have. At this moment your camera limits you.

So I advise you not to take the cheapest DSLR, but to go one level further. This way you get more of your camera and don't have to look for a new model after half a year.

Canon EOS 1300D

Canon EOS 1300D

Why the value for money of SLR cameras is right for beginners

I name the cameras that are not the cheapest, but are one level higher, the upscale entry-level cameras. With these cameras you have many features of the middle class and professional models. The value for money of the entry-level cameras is therefore extremely good.

What are the advantages of more expensive cameras?

A more expensive camera essentially has the following features, which make work a little easier for people who photograph more often:

  1. More robust
  2. Faster
  3. Better operation
  4. Larger viewfinder
  5. Larger sensor
  6. More Megapixels


Mid-range and professional cameras often have a magnesium housing instead of a plastic one. This is much more robust and can even withstand a fall.


These cameras are faster, which means they store faster and take more pictures per second.

Better operation

Additional control elements facilitate daily work with mid-range and professional cameras. With an additional thumbwheel, certain settings can be made faster than with a joystick.

Larger viewfinder

The little window you're looking through on a SLR camera is called a viewfinder. With more expensive cameras, the viewfinder is usually larger and brighter, which makes image composition easier.

Larger sensor

The larger sensor of mid-range and professional cameras provides better image quality and a blurred background in the portrait area.

More Megapixels

Professional cameras sometimes have more megapixels, allowing professional photographers to print their images larger. By bigger I mean from two meters upwards. Here you can read my post on More megapixel doesn't mean better photos

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - professional SLR camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - professional SLR camera

But as a beginner you don't need many of these features. So why do I still photograph with a SLR camera for beginners?

  1. I have never dropped my camera in the last 12 years.
  2. As a landscape photographer, 3 frames per second is enough for me, which is what every SLR camera can do today.
  3. With my motives it does not depend on the fact that I make the adjustments particularly fast, therefore I do not miss a thumb wheel.
  4. I often do my picture composition with the tripod and the screen of the camera, therefore a large viewfinder is not relevant for me.
  5. The image quality of larger sensors is not so much better after my tests that I want to pay three to four times for it. I am absolutely satisfied with the image quality of my current SLR camera for beginners.
  6. I don't make prints larger than 90 x 60 cm for my exhibitions. Therefore, the megapixels of SLR cameras for beginners are completely sufficient for me.

These reasons are very subjective. I already had many different cameras, also middle class and professional cameras. I have landed again with the upscale beginner cameras, because I am simply super satisfied with the image quality and the price-performance ratio here is right. And if the camera really breaks down, then it's much easier for me to replace it financially.

What are the differences between a SLR camera and a compact camera?

Now you probably already have a compact camera and wonder what will improve for you if you buy a SLR. Your new camera is likely to be:

  • offer more manual adjustment options,
  • have a much better image quality,
  • the possibility of using different lenses,
  • have a much better handling,
    give you the opportunity to print your pictures much larger with better quality,
  • Capture images with a blurred background,
  • offer the option of using wide-angle lenses,
  • the flexibility of the RAW format,
  • allow the use of filters on the lens,
  • be faster and
    have a faster autofocus.

A SLR camera, no matter which class, will definitely give you a big step forward compared to your previous compact camera. But besides the price, you have to be aware that the DSLR is much bigger and heavier.

Lighter and smaller: A mirrorless camera / system camera as an alternative

I've been talking about SLR cameras all along. But now there are more and more possibilities to get the image quality of a DSLR with less weight and size in one housing. The mirrorless cameras, also called system cameras, often have the same sensors as a DSLR, but no SLR system. This allows them to be made smaller.

Without an SLR system there is of course no optical viewfinder, but a digital one. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage? This assessment is again completely subjective. Both viewfinders have their advantages, so I recommend again: try them out in the shop.

Recently, I have been increasingly confronted with the question of whether to use a reflex or a mirrorless camera. I think that both systems will continue to exist in the future. Mirrorless cameras offer the same image quality with lower weight and dimensions. If you photograph subjects that require fast autofocus, then SLR cameras currently have a small advantage. Autofocus on these cameras is faster and more accurate. So this approach plays a role in animal or sports photography, for example.

Sony Alpha 6500

Sony Alpha 6500

My recommendation for a mirrorless camera is currently the Sony Alpha 6000. I have a few friends and satisfied users of this camera. If your budget is bigger, then the more advanced Sony Alpha 6500 is a good choice. You can read more about this topic in my article about system cameras for beginners.

I am writing about SLR cameras below. Further down in the article I also recommend a very small and lightweight SLR camera.

Features of a SLR camera for beginners

Decisive criteria - What do I have to pay attention to?

Everyone has different needs. So everyone will have other points to which they can attach a good camera. That's why I try to keep it relatively general.

The camera should...

  • provide good image quality.
  • be intuitive to use.
  • be fast enough.
  • have a large screen.
  • have enough megapixels.
  • have a sufficiently large viewfinder.
  • have a good autofocus system.
  • lie well in your hand.
  • have sufficient battery life.
  • use a camera system with a sufficient number of interchangeable lenses.
  • Use lenses that don't make you poor.
  • Use RAW files supported by Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • have an accessory program that fits your needs.

That's a lot of points, isn't it? Here's the good news: 95% of current entry-level SLR cameras offer all these features. So it's going to be hard to make a bad decision about which camera to choose.

Long time exposure with the Canon EOS 700D

Long time exposure with the Canon EOS 700D

Consider weight & size

As already written, a reflex camera offers many advantages over a compact camera. However, if you are planning to buy such a camera, then you must also be aware that you no longer carry the 250 grams of your compact camera around with you, but that it can quickly become 1 to 1.5 kilograms.

You should also consider the size. You can easily put a compact camera in your jacket pocket, with a DSLR it's not possible. For a DSLR with lenses and accessories, you almost always need an extra pocket to carry around with you.

Equipment with camera, tripod and photo backpack

Equipment with camera, tripod and photo backpack

On the other hand, it also makes your own photography much more serious. You approach photography differently when you have this equipment with you.

How many megapixels are needed?

I'll say it straight away: If I'm looking for a new camera today, I don't really care about the number of megapixels. Why is that?

First you have to ask yourself why more megapixels are better.

As a small comparison: My current mobile phone has 12 megapixels. My old Canon EOS 450D also has 12 megapixels. Is that why the image quality is equally good? No. The image quality of the DSLR is of course better.

So more megapixels doesn't mean that the picture quality is better.

More megapixels are interesting if you often make large format prints. By large format I mean larger than 90 x 60 cm. I regularly do exhibitions. It rarely happens to me that I print larger than in this format. Even the image quality from my old 450D with 12 megapixels looks great in 90 x 60 cm print size.

"Cloud Launching Pad" in an exhibition - A print of 12 megapixels

"Cloud Launching Pad" in an exhibition - A print of 12 megapixels

I would therefore say that 95% of photographers do not need more than 12 megapixels.

If you look at the current camera market, even the cheapest entry-level SLR camera has 18 megapixels. Therefore the number of megapixels is practically no purchase criterion for me.

Why I love the folding display

One feature that I have come to appreciate over the past few years is the practical folding display. I take 90% of my pictures from a tripod. The tripod is often placed just above the ground. Then looking through the viewfinder requires some acrobatics or dirty knees. But with a folding display you can do that very comfortably. This is particularly noticeable in landscape and architectural photography.

I also prefer to make my picture compositions in the live view on the display instead of in the viewfinder of the camera. When Liveview came onto the market, many photographers still smiled at it. Today it is an important tool for difficult camera positions or situations where the focus or composition has to be precise.

Long-term exposure in infrared photography with the 700D

Long-term exposure in infrared photography with the 700D

Lenses - what you need to know to get started

Is the kit lens usable?

In the past, it was often read on the net that the kit lens doesn't deliver good image quality. It was recommended to buy another lens immediately or to replace it first after the kit lens.

I don't share this setting. There are several reasons for this. Today's kit lenses have become very good. A Canon EF-S 18-55 STM IS puts many other lenses into its pocket. The price-performance ratio here is simply phenomenal.

Also in the past the kit lenses were not bad. It's like having your own camera: you just have to know how to use it. If you choose the right settings, the kit lens will give you great image quality. I still use the 18-55 STM and am very happy with it.

Canon EF-S 18-55 f/4-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-55 f/4-5.6 IS STM

Now there is a whole range of lenses that can be purchased in combination with a new SLR camera. Here you have to know which focal lengths can work from an optical point of view and which ones are preprogrammed with muddy images. Therefore: Kit lens is not the same as kit lens.

Avoid soup zooms: How to find out if a lens delivers good image quality

There used to be no zoom lenses in photography. Each lens only had a certain focal length, i.e. a certain angle of view. If one wanted to have several image angles, then one had to have different lenses in the pocket.

Lenses with a very large zoom range are disparagingly called soup zooms. The reason for this is that the image quality of these lenses is not very good.

Zoom lenses work with targeted lens shifting and thus allow different image angles. However, this lens shift has its limits. It is optically very difficult to deliver good image quality over a particularly large zoom range with a lens. This is simply due to the laws of optics.

As a rule of thumb, the lens should not have much more than a triple zoom.

What exactly does that mean?

The final focal length should not be much more than three times the initial focal length.

An example: A very popular focal length for kit lenses is 18-55mm.

Final Focal Length / Initial Focal Length = Zoom Range

55mm / 18mm = 3.05x zoom

So with such a zoom lens you can expect good image quality.

Let's take an 18-200mm lens as an example.

200mm / 18mm = 11.11x zoom

Such a large zoom range cannot be accompanied by good image quality for optical reasons. Lenses with such a zoom range are handy when travelling, as you only have to take one lens with you, but they ruin the advantage of the image quality of a DSLR.

Note: A zoom lens should not have much more than a triple zoom to keep the image quality good.

If you know this calculation, then you can estimate with the different kit lenses, which there are to the camera of your choice whether thereby the picture quality is correct.

Why I rate to 18-55mm lens

If you still don't know what you want to photograph, then I advise you to buy a SLR camera for beginners with an 18-55mm kit lens. After the last 12 years in photography I find this focal length range very universal. You can photograph landscape as well as portrait with it.

Another cool thing: Many of today's 18-55mm kit lenses have an image stabilizer, so you won't blur as much.

Normally you don't know at the beginning of your photography what your favorite subjects will be. And you don't have to. In the beginning you know that you want to do more photography in your new hobby. So it's good to have a universal lens with which you can try out a lot of photo directions.

Therefore my advice: Take a DSLR with an 18-55mm lens and try as much as possible in the first year.

  • Drive to the coast or into the mountains.
  • Ask a friend if you can take a picture of her or him.
  • Go to a soccer game and photograph people in motion.
    Photograph buildings in the city.
  • Take abstract pictures of everyday things.
  • Photograph fireworks.
    Go to a park and let yourself be inspired.
  • Photograph the insects in a flower meadow.
  • Develop your own ideas about what you want to say and show with your photography.

The 18-55mm lens is really good for this time. After a few months, you'll probably see one or more photo directions that you like most. When that happens, you'll be able to analyze your best images to date and see what focal lengths you took them with. Usually there will be a tendency so that you can look around for a new lens.

You don't always have to drive far to take pictures

You don't always have to drive far to take pictures

It's not meant to be a rule, but if you photograph landscapes, you'll probably photograph a lot at 18mm. Then a wide-angle lens may be interesting for you in the future. Do you photograph many portraits with 55mm in your first year? Then an 85mm fixed focal length could take you further. But maybe you take a lot of pictures of scenes on the street with 30mm? Then a bright 30mm fixed focal length can be interesting for you. In my contribution to Canon fixed focal lengths I give still more recommendations.

You won't know what you specialize in until you've photographed for a while. So just take the 18-55mm, be as active as possible and take all the fun photography carries with it!

What is light intensity?

In this context, I still have to deal with the concept of light intensity.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 STM

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 STM

The light intensity figuratively indicates, depending on the focal length, how much light can come to the sensor through the lens. As an example, you can still take pictures with a 50mm aperture 1.4 in darker situations without a tripod than with a 50mm lens at aperture 2.8. The aperture is always indicated by the manufacturer in the lens designation. A 50mm 1.4 is therefore more light than a 50mm 2.8.

There are these types of lenses

In photography, there are different lenses, which are usually distinguished according to their focal length, i.e. their angle of view.

Basically, there are the following types of lenses:

Wide-angle lens = A lens with a particularly large image angle, popular in landscape and architectural photography. Example: Canon EF-S 10-22mm.

Standard zoom lens = A normal zoom lens, such as the 18-55mm on the SLR camera for beginners. It offers both a light wide-angle and a light telephoto lens. Example: Canon EF-S 17-55mm.

Telephoto Lens = A lens that allows you to zoom in on more distant subjects such as animals or athletes. Example: Canon EF-S 55-250mm STM.

Macro lens = A lens with which you can get very close to the subject. Popular for flowers, insects and small details. Example: Canon EF 100mm Macro.

Fixed focal length = A lens that only has a fixed focal length, i.e. a fixed angle of view. Fixed focal lengths are often brighter than zoom lenses and usually have a better image quality. Example: Canon 50mm 1.8 STM.

Pancake lens = An especially flat fixed focal length, flat as a pancake. Pancake lenses are usually not as fast. Example: Canon 24mm 2.8.

Fisheye lens = A wide-angle lens in which the further away the lines are from the center of the image, the more curved they appear. Canon EF 8-15mm Fisheye.

Tilt & Shift Lens = A lens in which the focus plane and the shift plane can be adjusted in relation to the sensor. Particularly used in landscape and architectural photography. Example: Canon TS-E 24mm.

In the morning

In the morning

Does an image stabilizer make sense?

An image stabilizer ensures that your images don't easily black even without a tripod. An image stabilizer therefore always makes sense, provided that you photograph without a tripod. In principle, of course, it always makes sense for you to photograph with a tripod, also to take the speed out of photography and to think more about the image.
How do you know if a lens has an image stabilizer or not?

On the lens designation. The names are different for the respective manufacturers, here is an overview:

Canon: IS
Nikon: VR
Sigma: OS
Tamron: VC
Panasonic: OIS
Pentax: SR

Should I take a bright lens or one with image stabilizer?

Newsletter: New posts Maybe at some point you are faced with the choice whether you should choose a bright lens or one with image stabilizer. If you want to photograph a lot of portrait and it's important to you that the background is blurred, then I'd rather advise a bright lens. This also plays a role when your motifs move, for example when you photograph animals. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with motifs that are not moving, then I would rather advise you to have a lens with image stabilizer. For me, as a landscape photographer, the advantage is obvious: I can still photograph without a tripod even with less light.

As an example: If I have a lens with an aperture of 4 and a lens with an aperture of 2.8, it means that the lens is faster by one aperture. In practice this means that at the same light you would photograph the scene with the aperture 4 lens at 1/25 second, with the aperture 2.8 lens at 1/50 second. One f-stop more speed, i.e. 4 f-stops compared to 2.8, means half the exposure time. The aperture at the lens is larger at 2.8 than at 4, so the difference between f-stops 2.8 and 4 is an advantage of one f-stop. But today an image stabilizer intercepts about 3 f-stops of light intensity before you blur. For me this means that with my 50mm lens I can still hold 1/10 of a second without a tripod without any problems and without blurring.

To Summarize: Moving subjects - pay more attention to light intensity, immobile subjects: rather take the image stabilizer.

Can I continue to use analog lenses?

Maybe you still have lenses from the days of film photography or want to switch to digital photography right now. Basically, almost all old lenses with an appropriate adapter fit on the new digital SLR camera.

The problem is that the image quality of the old lenses with a DSLR is no longer very good. In analog photography, it's not quite as bad when the light rays hit the film at a slight angle. However, a digital sensor consists of several layers. If the light rays hit the film at an angle, the image becomes blurred.

Conclusion: Basically, old lenses can still be used. For the sake of image quality, however, you should switch to newer lenses.

I recommend this accessory for starters

If you buy your first SLR camera, then I recommend to include some accessories for the start, so that you can start immediately successfully.

Should I buy an additional battery right away?

As a landscape photographer, I always use two batteries for my camera. One is always in the camera, the other is fully loaded in the photo backpack. When I do a tour that spans a day or more, I take pictures until the battery in the camera is empty. Then I switch to the full battery and recharge the empty battery at the property in the evening. In this way, the batteries are always completely emptied, which benefits their lifespan.

If you only have one battery, then you will probably charge it before each tour, because you don't want you to run out of electricity when you photograph. But the lifespan does not meet the lifespan.

So I would recommend buying a second one in addition to the battery that comes with the camera. I mostly use original manufacturer batteries, even if they are a bit more expensive. I bought the batteries for my Canon EOS 450D at the beginning and didn't even have to replace them within 5 years.

But other manufacturers also build quite good batteries, which are cheaper to have.

How many memory cards in what size do I need?

How many memory cards you need is, of course, highly dependent on your photographic habits. On my Scotland trip, I took about 300 pictures in a week. Some portrait photographers shoot so many pictures but in one day.

I take here as an example the files from my Canon EOS 700D with 18 megapixels, which also belongs to the class of upscale reflex cameras for beginners. I can choose whether the camera should store JPG files or RAW files.

Raw is the raw data format of the camera, which requires its own post-processing, but offers much more options. I photograph in 98% of cases in RAW format.

According to the camera display, about 2350 photos in the JPG format or about 630 photos in RAW format fit on a 16GB memory card.

I use a 16GB card in the camera, but I never actually do it full. I also always have a second card with 16GB of storage capacity, which would be there when the first card is full. So if you take two 16GB of memory cards for the start, that should be enough. You can also buy memory cards at any time. When you buy the memory card, you must of course pay attention to which card you need for your camera. In most cases, the SD or SDHC is likely to be, but you can definitely find this information on the manufacturer's side to the camera.

Why the memory cards should necessarily be from a brand manufacturer

With the batteries it is not quite so bad, if one breaks down, then it can be easily replaced. It's much worse when the memory card is faulty and your photos, into which you put so much effort and passion, have not been properly stored. I therefore only advise you to use memory cards from brand manufacturers.

I have had good experiences with SanDisk's memory cards. So far, I have only had a defect there once, but it has been replaced without discussion within a week. I was also able to reconstruct the pictures with the enclosed software Rescue Pro.

Also worth mentioning here is the approach that some photographers take: Rather use several small memory cards. If one of these fails, then not all images are gone.

Long exposure

Long exposure photography

Tip: Protect front lens - is a UV filter worth it?

In various purchase consultations and recommendations you can read again and again that you should screw a clear glass or a UV filter in front of the lens. The problem is that the light has to pass through an additional glass. If you buy a good lens and then screw a cheap filter in front of it, you might ruin the image quality.

I would rather advise you to buy a lens hood right away. This reduces reflections in the lens in certain light situations and thus provides clearer images. It also serves as a protection, because in case of an impact the lens hood is hit first and not the glass of the front lens of the lens. You can find out which is the right lens hood for your lens on the respective manufacturer's page.

Is an extra flash necessary?

If you are interested in portrait photography, an additional flash is certainly interesting for you. However, the same applies here as for the other recommendations: I would first try out how you can cope with the internal flash and whether you want to use a flash for your portraits at all. So you can buy an external flash later.

snowcapped mountain

snow capped mountain

Which bag do you recommend?

In the beginning you usually only have the camera itself and some accessories. Then a small bag like the Mantona Colt is enough. If you want a little more space, then the AmazonBasics camera bag in the Medium size is recommended.
Include software for post-processing

There are very different views on the extent to which post-processing is part of photography. For me, photography is a creative medium in which I want to realize my ideas, without any restrictions. Just to edit RAW files, an image editing software is necessary. If your camera comes with a Photoshop Essentials, you can take the first steps with it.

Photoshop LogoMany instructions and tutorials on the Internet are based on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. It's the most widely used image editing software. I also use Photoshop to post-process my images. The Adobe photography program costs 13 Euro per month, which I find very fair considering the performance.

If you want to get into photography, then you should of course also have these costs in mind.

Summary Accessories – my recommendation

So to get started, I'd recommend a second battery, two 16GB of memory cards and a bag next to the camera. For this purpose, a subscription to the Adobe photography program makes sense.
What you need to know about beginner DSLRs
What is crop factor, APS-C, DX and full format?

There are different image formats in photography. The 35mm format from analogue photography is well known. The photo of a 35mm film has the dimensions 24 x 36 mm.

A digital sensor of the same size is called a full-format sensor because it has the same dimensions. The sensor is one of the most expensive components of a DSLR. SLR cameras for beginners have a sensor that is slightly smaller than 24 x 36 mm. These sensors can be produced more cost-effectively.

Common sizes are for example

23.7 x 15.6 mm = Crop factor 1.5 - usual for Nikon (DX)
22.2 x 14.8 mm = Crop factor 1.6 - usual for Canon (APS-C)

The Canon sensor for entry-level SLR cameras is thus 1.6 times smaller than a full format sensor.

APS-C is the name for a crop sensor at Canon, at Nikon it is called DX.

What does the crop factor mean for the focal length?

A lens always illuminates the same image angle on the sensor level. Depending on how large the sensor is, only part of it is captured. Therefore, with a smaller sensor, the outer part of the image is not recorded either.

You can imagine it this way: A lens always delivers a round image, which arrives at the level of the sensor, also called the illumination circle. However, a photo sensor is known to be rectangular. So the sensor is placed in the middle of this round image to catch the light. If the sensor is smaller, then it also captures a smaller image angle.

The focal length specifications of the lenses always refer to full frame size. A 50 mm lens on a Canon camera with a crop factor of 1.6 has an angle of view similar to an 80 mm lens on a full frame camera (50 * 1.6 = 80).

Thus, a kit lens with a focal length of 18-55mm on a camera with a crop factor of 1.6 gives approximately the same image angle as a 28-90mm lens on a full frame camera.

EF-S lenses, for example, can only be used on crop cameras because they illuminate a smaller image circle. On the other hand, all lenses that are suitable for full format can also be used on crop cameras.

Nikon offers the possibility to use DX lenses on its full-frame cameras by using only the middle part of the sensor and thus reducing the number of megapixels.

How do I get a blurred background?

This feature depends on three factors.

Sensor size

The larger the sensor, the blurrier the background. In comparison to a compact camera, the sensor of a SLR camera for beginners is already very large. This allows you to achieve a blurred background.


The more light a lens is, the more you can blur the background. So a 1.4 lens has a softer blurred background than a 4.0 lens.

Focal length

The blur in the background depends on the focal length. With a wide-angle lens, the focal plane is quite large, so the background is relatively sharp. With the longer focal length of a telephoto lens, you already have a blurrier background with the same speed / aperture, because the focal plane is smaller. More focal length = more blurred background.

blurred background

Blurred Background

Canon or Nikon: Which one is better?

This question is discussed with pleasure and does not only refer to Canon or Nikon, also various other manufacturers get more and more into the focus of discussions. But the truth is: almost all of today's SLR cameras are very good. The differences are in the range of the last 10 %. Therefore, it is not worth discussing which manufacturer is better.

No matter which camera you choose, in the end it is only important that you know the camera well.

Inside and out.

If you can operate the camera while you sleep, then you can concentrate on what happens in front of the camera. Because that's how the really good pictures are created.

The photographic equipment is just a tool. Much more important is what thoughts you think about your picture, what ideas you have behind it and how you communicate to the viewer what you want to say with it.

Films with the DSLR

Due to Demand, many of today's SLR Cameras can also record Movies. The Quality is very good. Dr House's second Season, for example, was filmed entirely with a DSLR.

I rarely use my DSLR Camera to Film. However, I know from various Test Reports that the Reflex Cameras are also very suitable for Beginners. Again, it applies: Do Not take the cheapest, then you have very good Prerequisites.

Is a Battery Handle worth it?

A Battery Handle makes the Camera bigger and heavier. If you like more in your Hand, because the Camera feels more valuable to you, a Battery Handle (BG) is interesting for you. But even if you may have big Hands like me, then the little finger with a BG no longer reaches into the Void. So The Handling improves a whole Lot. In addition, most Battery Handles can hold two Batteries, allowing you to photograph for longer. With a BG, you can also take pictures in Portrait format while still grabbing the Camera from the side instead of from above or below.

Conclusion: If you have big Hands or are going to photograph a lot of Portrait format, then a Battery Handle can be worth it for you.

My Recommendations for the best SLR camera for Beginners sorted by Budget

Under 200 USD – used Reflex Camera for Beginners

Under 200 USD I would advise you to use a used SLR camera on Amazon. For example, a Nikon D5000 Or a Canon EOS 30D, each with an 18-55mm Kit lens which is Conceivable. When Buying, make Sure that the Number of Triggers is less than 30,000. That's kind of like the Mileage of the Car.

Under 700 USD – new SLR camera for Beginners

For 600-700 USD you get a new and good Reflex Camera for Beginners. I recommend two Models: The Canon EOS 800D or the Nikon D5600. Both have all the Features you need and come with an 18-55mm Kit lens With Image Stabilizer. I have been using the Canon's Predecessor, so the EOS 700D for 4 Years and I'm very happy with it.

Small SLR camera

If weight and size are very important to you, then a very small SLR camera may be right for you. The market doesn't offer much choice, so the choice is easy. I recommend the Canon EOS 200D. Already the predecessor, the 100D, was showered with prices. Here you get a complete SLR camera with a very small body that can almost keep up with system cameras. Technically you don't have to make any compromises. So if you want to save space and are looking for a light and small SLR camera, the Canon EOS 200D is the right choice.

Useful and good extensions

If you still have a budget left over when You buy your SLR camera, then you can buy good Accessories for small Money, which will take you further in the respective Photography Direction.

Ideally, you already have an Idea of what you want to photograph. If you are already there, then you can already Think about an additional Lens or the following Accessories.


If you're going to photograph people, just add a 50mm 1.8 lens. This will give you excellent image quality, blur the background and that for "only" about 120 Euros. Other lenses in this class often cost much more. Canon 50mm 1.8 STM, Nikon 50mm AF-S 1.8D.


For landscape photography I would probably stick with the 18-55mm kit lens for now. Instead of another lens I would invest in a good tripod (recommendation: Manfrotto Befree, approx. 250 Dollar), a remote shutter release and some filters.

For better colors and reduction of reflections I recommend a polarizing filter (recommendation: Hoya Pro1, approx. 50-60 USD).

You can also use ND filters to create beautiful long exposures (recommendation: Hoya ND8 and Hoya ND1000, together approx. 50 USD).

At a later date, a wide-angle lens for landscape photography will probably be of interest to you. If you have a Canon camera with Crop Sensor (APS-C), then the Canon EF-S 10-18mm offers a very good price-performance ratio.


If you plan to take pictures at Outdoor Sporting Events, then I recommend you take a Telephoto lens to do so. From Canon there is a 55-250mm STM IS, so with Image Stabilizer. For 100 USD you get a good Picture Quality here and can zoom in close to your Motif.

Anyone who has read carefully with the Lenses above has noticed that the Zoom Area in this Canon lens is larger than Factor 3. But I think the Picture Quality is absolutely fine.

With Sporting Events in the Hall it gets a bit more difficult, because you often don't have enough Light here. Similar to the Portraits, I would recommend a 50mm 1.8 Lens here. This also comes with little Light, but you have to be a little closer to your Subject Than with the above Telephoto lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 STM, Nikon 50mm AF-S 1.8D.

For Wildlife photography, you can usually only observe the Animals from a Distance, whether in the Zoo or in the wild. So To Record, you have to zoom in a lot. That's why I recommend Canon's EF-S 55-250mm STM IS again, provided you've opted for a Canon camera. As described above, this Telephoto lens has great value for money.

You usually have to approach these small Motifs closely. Together with the kit lens, a Close Lens (Recommendation: B + W + 4 58mm, about 28 Euros) can be worthwhile here. Each Lens has a Close-set Limit until you can approach a Subject. For example, with a Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS STM, it is 25 Centimeters. Below That limit, it can no longer put sharply. You screw a Near Lens like a Filter to your Lens. This then reduces this Close-setting Limit.

water drop

water drop

If you engage with this Photography direction in the longer term, a Macro Lens will probably be Eligible for you at some point.

Conclusion - how you can support me

I hope that my contribution will help you to find the ideal SLR camera for you and to give you an introduction to the great hobby of photography. I put a lot of work into this article, because I want to help you.

If you want to support me as a small thank you then I am very grateful. This helps me to continue and expand the site. Thank you!

In my blog I regularly write new articles on various photographic topics. If you like, I can send you an e-mail as soon as I post a new article online.

If you have suggestions to the article or I can help you otherwise somehow, then write me in the comments!

Leave a Comment