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Best Cameras for Aspiring Photographers

Updated Jul 26th, 2021 2:41PM EDT

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In today’s day and age, seemingly anyone could be considered a “photographer.” Because every smartphone on the market has a camera that produces high-resolution images in addition to intuitive editing features and useful functions like portrait mode and panoramic view, there’s no shortage of visually-stunning content on the internet today. Still, there’s no denying that an actual camera (you know, like a camera that’s made to be…only a camera) has its fair share of benefits for those who consider photography more than just a hobby. Or, at the very least, a hobby that they take very seriously. Just think: would you spend hundreds of dollars to hire a wedding photographer that goes around snapping pictures on their iPhone 8? Yeah, we didn’t think so. So if you’re looking for a high-quality camera — but not looking to necessarily break the bank — there are some great deals on cameras just in time for the holidays. Whether you’re somebody looking to purchase their first “real” camera, a longtime hobbyist in desperate need of an upgrade, or a burgeoning photographer looking to expand their portfolio, you would be remiss to not check out some of these high-quality — and relatively inexpensive — models on the web for the best cameras for aspiring photographers.

A DSLR camera you can use

For the best camera for aspiring photographers who are looking for a basic digital single-lens reflex camera, more commonly known as a DSLR, this Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black is a great option. For those unfamiliar with photography, a DSLR camera marries the optics and the general mechanisms of a traditional, single-lens reflex camera with a high-tech digital imaging sensor to create visually stunning, detailed photographs. This has become, essentially, the gold standard when it comes to modern day picture taking. This easy-to-use camera is great for beginners and experienced photographers alike. It’s as simple to use as any standard point and shoot camera and it’s fast, responsive, and ultra-intuitive. The camera itself is lightweight, compact, and portable, allowing you to bring it to just about any event without any major production. It’s also quite comfortable to use, as the button alignment is designed with ease-of-use in mind. The D3500 is also capable of capturing up to five frames per second at full resolution with tack-sharp focus, giving you professional quality photos fast and easy. The camera’s image sensor is about 15 times the size of other standard DSLR models, which creates sharp, vibrant, and beautifully detailed photos in an instant. The camera also produces 1080P full HD videos with monaural sound that’s just a button click away. It also features Bluetooth Version 4.1 that’s ultra-easy to wirelessly sync to any device, and it’s compatible with Nikon’s snapbridge app that helps you view and upload photos with ease.

Key Features:

  • Great for beginners
  • Compatible with Nikon’s snapbridge app
  • Image sensor is 15 times the size of other models
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Cameras for aspiring photographers plus more

If you’re looking for a camera deal that also includes the majority of ancillary devices you need to get started, this Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera Bundle provides great value to get you started right off the bat. This high quality, SLR camera comes equipped with a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4+ image processor to produce sharp and visually stunning photographs. It also features a three-inch LCD monitor that can shoot Full HD videos. The camera comes with the Canon 18-55mm II lens as well as a Commander 0.43x Auxiliary Wideangle Lens that easily attaches to the front of your camera to capture a wider field of view. In addition to the high-quality DSLR camera, this bundle also includes two SanDisk 32GB SDHC memory cards, a deluxe camera case, a flash light, a convenient three-piece filter kit, an extra battery pack, an AC/DC Car and Home Charger, a high-speed USB card reader, and a generously-sized 50″ camera tripod. After purchasing this bundle — even at this incredible value — you won’t need to make any additional purchases for quite some time.

Key Features:

  • 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4+ image processor
  • Bundle includes two SanDisk SDHC memory cards
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A camera for aspiring photographer in 4K

Considering nearly everything is shifting to high-resolution 4K imagery, you might want something to better keep up with the technological landscape. Luckily, the PANASONIC Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera is both high-tech and relatively cheap — at least, in the general scope of professional-grade cameras. This point and shoot camera contains a high-end 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor and a 60X zoom DC Vario lens with Optical Image Stabilizer to capture quality images from long distances. Coupled with F2.8-5.9 Aperture, high resolution 1,170K dot viewfinder and a rear touch-enabled three-inch LCD Display, this camera is easy to use and produces stunning, 4K imagery with just a simple touch of a button. For videographers, this camera also features 4K QFHD video recording to allow even the casual hobbyists to produce professional style, high-resolution videos. Additionally, the camera features three unique 4K Ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes, so you can extract photos from any videos you make without compromising anything in terms of resolution. With impressive low-light capabilities that allow you to take pictures in the dead of night and a plethora of other convenient specs like fast USB charging and unfettered WIFI connectivity to connect your camera to any of your other devices, this camera is a great option for up-and-coming photographers and seasoned veterans alike.

Key Features:

  • High-end 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor
  • 4K QFHD video recording
  • Save 4K photo mode
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Shoot some wide shots

Best for Wide Angle ShotsImage source: Kodak/Amazon

With the Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401-BK 16MP Digital Camera, you won’t have to pick what’s in the frame. One of the best camera for aspiring photographers who love landscape photography, this has a 24mm wide angle lens that gives you so much room to work with. The optical image stabilization irons out any small movements. This has 16 million pixels with ample resolution to crop, zoom, or enlarge. This has a 180° panorama feature and the memory card holds 32GB.

Key Features:

  • Optical image stabilization
  • 24mm wide angle lens
  • 16 million pixels
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