Best Beginner DSLR Cameras of 2020

Thinking about getting into photography? It might be time to pick out a starter camera. Because you’re learning, it’s best to pick one that isn’t too expensive, but a decent quality to help you master the skills that will help you excel as a photographer or videographer. This will be your tool for getting those amazing shots and a certain level of quality and control that will teach you how to handle a DSLR. Here’s a take on the best beginner DSLR cameras on the market:

best beginner DSLR cameras 2020


Disclaimer: I may receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned on this page at no additional cost to you. All data & opinions are based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Considering a DSLR Brand

There are a lot of factors that should play into your decision here. Are you into selfies? Portraits? Planning to become a vlogger? Into amateur film making? Each camera will have different strengths and weaknesses, and each brand will have their own answer to each type of use.

Choosing a camera brand is just as much about the available lenses as it is about the camera body. As most branded lenses fit the DSLRs of the same brand, your photography equipment will build upon itself, even once you upgrade your camera body with an intermediate or professional level camera. Any prime lenses you buy now will work just as well (if not better) when you do upgrade, so treat them as an investment towards your future as a photographer.

best beginner dslr cameras

Why Choose a DSLR Over a Smartphone Camera?

In a word? Control. While the mirrors, lenses, and filters in smartphones have evolved at an impressive rate, they can’t yet capture the raw power and versatility of a DSLR yet. Partially because the lenses are limited and fixed. With a DSLR, you can swap out to any kind of lens you want, fine tune your settings to fit your shoot, and the sheer space requirements that quality film takes up could frankly fill up an entire phone, where with your camera, you can simply swap out your SD card and continue to shoot.

Best Beginner DSLR Cameras:

Comparing quality with price and performance, I’ve gathered a list of some of my favorite cameras for beginner photography. If you already have some lenses, you can just buy the camera body instead, but many beginners are starting fresh. Here is a composite list of some of the best beginner DSLR cameras 2020 has to offer:

Best Beginner Canon DSLR Cameras

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / Canon EOS 800D
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Pros: Fantastic touch screen, Beautiful photo quality
Cons: Plastic finish, No 4k capability

Canon EOS 90D
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Pros: 4K video at 30 fps, High resolution sensor
Cons: No image stabilization, Costly for beginners

Canon EOS Rebel T7 / Canon EOS 2000D
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Pros: Easy to use and learn on
Cons: No touchscreen, Dated Autofocus system

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D
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Pros: Cheapest DSLR with 4k video, Nice Jpeg image quality
Cons: Heavy-rolling shutter in 4k mode, Dated autofocus system

Canon EOS 80D
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Pros: Quick and reliable autofocus system, Excellent photo results
Cons: No 4k video, No PC sync

Canon EOS 77D
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Pros: Duel pixel autofocus, Lens range and availability
Cons: Plastic body finish, No 4k video

Best Beginner Nikon DSLR Cameras

Nikon D3500
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Pros: Easy to use, Excellent image quality
Cons: No touch screen, No bluetooth/wireless

Nikon D5600
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Pros: Articulating touch screen, Beautiful image quality
Cons: Slow view focusing, Snap Bridge needs work

Best Beginner Pentax DSLR Cameras

Pentax K-70
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Pros: Compact, Anti-shake stabilization, Good value
Cons: Few autofocus points, soft kit lens