Best Camera under $300 for Beginners
Here are the three best cameras for beginners for under $300. Please note that prices were effective in mid-July 2019 and may change at any moment.
For a complete discussion of the pros and cons of these models listen to my podcast with my good friend Tony Avila over at Avila Studios.
1 - Nikon D3500 $290 (Body Only) $440 with 18-55mm lens
Nikon's best entry level camera with an APS-C sensor, 24.2 megapixels and 5 frames per second.
This camera is easy to set up and comes with not only an ‘intelligent’ automatic mode, but several scene modes and effects. There’s a Guide shooting mode, which acts like an interactive photography tutor.
The monitor is pretty basic, without touch screen capabilities and it lacks a tilt or pivot facility. Overall, the Nikon D3500 is my top choice for a beginners’ camera.
+ Keeps everything simple.
+ Comes with a built in tutor.
+ Good performance for the money
- Lacks custom settings
2 - Canon EOS 4000D $256 Body and 18-55mm III Lens
Canon's entry level camera comes with an APS-C sensor, 18 megapixels and 3 frames per second.
Canon's remarkably inexpensive EOS 4000D comes with a 18-55 mm zoom lens is capable of delivering beautiful images. It has a full auto mode that incorporates ‘intelligent’ scene analysis for proper exposure along with plenty of scene modes and creative filters. It has a built-in feature guide and a Creative Auto shooting mode that helps to bridge the gap between basic and advanced modes. Perfect for the beginning photographer!
Canon also offers a Photo Companion app that you can download for Android or iOS. Overall, the 4000D is a great value for money, but because the monitor is a lower-resolution and the frame rate is slow it fell to second best in my book.
-Low resolution screen
-Less accurate Auto Focus
3 - FujiFilm X-T100 - Mirrorless $299 (Black Body Only)
Fuji brings a smart, retro stylish camera that fits smaller hands better. Even though it is smaller it packs plenty of features for an entry level camera: APS-C sensor, 24.2 megapixels and a fast 6 frame per second rate.
Features include intelligent scene analysis and intelligent hybrid Auto Focus which means the XT-100 offers fast and accurate focusing. The 15-45 mm kit lens is delivers very good image quality and comes with image stabilization and power-zoom for smooth transitions when shooting hand-held or movies.
If you're looking at starting out with a mirrorless camera this is a good choice.
+Simple and basic
+Smaller hands will like this
+3-way tilt screen
+Fast frame rate
- Pricier than the others