Photography tips for beginners – a woman taking photos with her new camera.

Photography tips for beginners: tips for beginners on choosing the right camera

Modern smartphones generally have good cameras that will give you some insight into the world of photography. You are most probably asking yourself the question – what is the best camera for beginners? You have already tried taking photos with your mobile phone and now you are looking for new challenges and a new approach to this exciting hobby. You are probably thinking about what camera is best suited for beginners. In this article we will show you how to find the right camera as well as how you can improve your photography skills. We will also explain the most important features of a camera and which lenses and other camera accessories are useful for the beginners.

Photography for beginners: what is the best camera for beginners

For a lot of beginners, switching from a smartphone to a camera can be quite challenging because cameras have a lot more options. To make the transition a little easier it is recommended to choose a camera, that is easy to use. These types of cameras have a little less power, options and features, which will help you to get to grips with photography and you can improve and develop your photography skills at the same time. These are the things you need to be mindful of when choosing your first camera. The camera should not only be easy to use but it should also last you a long time.

What is the best type of camera for beginners?

When choosing a camera as a beginner you should think about how much time you would like to invest in your new hobby. If you are quite ambitions to find out more about photography and you would also like to develop your own unique style and take photos quite regularly, then you may need a camera that allows you to use different setting and options and change the lenses. A mirrorless system camera (DSLM) is highly recommended for beginners.

When using a compact system camera, you will look through the viewfinder at the small display, which will transmit the image directly from the live sensor. This has the advantage for photography beginners that you can see directly through the viewfinder on how different settings affect your finished photo. Whereas on a reflex camera, you can only see these changes on the display or once the photo has been taken. Therefore, a system camera makes it easier for you to find the right setting which in turn helps beginners to familiarise themselves with the basics of photography. In addition, a system camera is often smaller and lighter, which can make it easier to use if you are going to be using it quite often.

The disadvantage of a mirrorless camera compared to an SLR camera is that the battery life is often shorter. However, you can get a spare battery which is an easy solution so that you can always use it on the go.


It is worth looking for a second-hand camera especially for beginners as this will help you to save a bit of money and try out your exciting new hobby without investing too much money.

The ideal camera for beginners – an amateur photographer taking photos with her first camera.

Which sensor size is recommended for beginners?

How much power a camera can have also depends on the camera sensor. The larger the camera sensor is, the better the resolution, light sensitivity and background blur will be. The best value for money for a beginner's camera is an APS-C sensor. This sensor size forms the golden mean between MFT and full format and is therefore a real all-rounder. Another advantage is that the smaller sensor makes the camera lighter, and the matching lenses are often a little cheaper.

An APS-C sensor is particularly suitable for wildlife photography, sports photography and macro photography. This sensor is less suitable for landscape photography because the edges are cut off due to the format. A full-frame sensor would be better suited to this type of photography, but they are more expensive to buy.

Which other options & features do cameras for beginners need?

In addition to the choosing the right type of camera and appropriate sensor, your camera should have some of the options and features listed below:

  • Megapixel: a lot of people look for cameras with a high number of megapixels, but this is only important if you would like to print your photos in poster or larger sizes. A camera with 16 to 24 megapixels takes very good pictures.

  • Features: at first you will need a programmed auto mode until you get used to the camera. In addition, aperture priority is also helpful for beginners. Make sure that your camera has a manual mode so that you can get used to all the individual settings.

  • Continuous shooting: this function is especially useful for wildlife and sports photography.

  • Hot shoe: this allows you to attach a clip-on flash or a remote trigger to your camera. This can be useful for indoor photography and self-portraits.

Which cameras are the best for filming?

You should be able to film with your first camera if you are passionate about making films as well as photography. Mirrorless system cameras are good film cameras for beginners, but your first camera should still have the features and options listed below:

  • Video quality & frame rate: your camera should record videos in good quality. Depending on what you would like to take a video of you should therefore make sure that your camera also has a good quality high frame rate (frames per second, or fps). Interviews and slow scenes are usually shot at 24 fps, while action scenes in films are usually filmed at 50 to 60 fps. Slow-motion scenes, on the other hand are recorded in 100 to 120 fps. Depending on what you would like to film the camera should support sharp footage at the appropriate frame rate.

  • Image stabilisation: ideally, your camera and/or lens should have an image stabiliser. This way, the footage is less blurry when you film without a tripod, slider etc.


If you would like to film a sports game or something outdoors, then an action camera maybe an ideal choice to film with. These cameras are small and robust, making them easy to attach to helmets or drones.

Lenses for beginners – a man is changing the lens on his camera.

Which lenses are best suited to beginners?

After you have chosen a good beginner’s camera you will still need a good lens. Usually, you will get a lens with your beginner's camera that covers different focal lengths. You can use this lens to improve your photography skills.

After you have adjusted to your new camera it is worth adding some other lenses for beginners. A distinction is made between zoom lenses, which cover different focal lengths and fixed focal lengths, which are only designed for a specific focal length. Beginners benefit from fixed focal lengths in addition to the kit lens, as these are usually faster and more creative subtleties (e.g. blurred background) can be achieved with them. When taking photos with a fixed focal length lens you will really need to explore the different methods of taking photos of your subject such as finding the right distance and perhaps adopting new perspectives.

A real all-round lens for beginners is a 35 mm fixed focal length. This lens is ideal for beginners as you can use it for almost anything. However, if you are interested in certain areas of photography such as wildlife photography or portrait and fashion photography, other lenses are suitable depending on the subject and area of use. You can find further tips for beginners in our articles on wildlife photography and portrait, fashion and architecture photography.


If you own an APS-C camera, you will always have to convert lenses first. The focal lengths always refer to full-frame cameras. Since an APS-C camera captures a smaller frame, you will need to take this into account when buying lenses. The factor between APS-C and a full-frame is 1.5, so if you want to achieve the effect of a 35 mm fixed focal length lens with an APS-C camera, you will need a 24 mm lens.

What camera accessories do beginners need?

In addition to a beginner's camera, you can find various other camera accessories online and in specialist shops. However, for getting started you will find a helpful list below:

Additional camera accessories for beginners

  • Memory card(s) with 64 GB as these offer space for approx. 2000 photos

  • Spare batteries for longer photo shoots

  • Camera bag with appropriate padding and space for interchangeable lenses

  • Compact tripod for long exposure shots (e.g. in low light or landscape photography)

  • Camera and lens cleaning kit

Accessories for filming with a camera

  • Microphone for good sound recordings (e.g. clip-on microphone)

  • Windshield for a microphone

  • If needed, a light panel for indoor recordings

  • Reflector if necessary

Conclusion: following these tips will help you to choose your first camera

If you get a mirrorless system camera with an APS-C sensor and a 24 mm fixed focal length lens, you are off to a good start. The combination of camera and a lens for everyday use and practice allows you to get started with your exciting new hobby. Once you have improved your photography skills you can then switch to a full-format or even medium-format camera and buy some professional camera accessories. However, your first camera will help you to learn more about taking great photos and how all the different options can change the look of a picture being taken.

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(last accessed on 21.10.2022)
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(last accessed on 21.10.2022)

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