Are you looking for the best beginner DSLR cameras in 2022? If you’re starting a new photography hobby, choosing which DSLR to purchase can be overwhelming. Fortunately, our in-depth testing of all the latest models from Canon, Nikon, and Pentax will find you the right match.
The photography world may be moving towards mirrorless tech, but DSLRs remain good options for beginners. There are a few reasons for this:
- Firstly, DSLRs are still the cheapest way to get a camera with a built-in viewfinder, an essential tool for framing and composition.
- Secondly, thanks to their heritage, DSLRs also continue to offer a broader and more affordable range of lenses than mirrorless cameras.
- Lastly, DSLRs also continue to offer some advantages over their mirrorless counterparts, particularly when it comes to handling and battery life. Plus, they remain the only cameras to feature true optical viewfinders.
Best Beginner DSLR Cameras 2022
1. Nikon D780
The D780 is, in fact, a Nikon Z6 (mirrorless) camera inside a traditional DSLR body. It’s been designed for those who crave a DSLR camera’s standard handling and feel rather than switching to mirrorless. But, of course, if you’ve got a whole cabinet full of DSLR lenses, you’re more likely to desire a DSLR for your next model.
Here, we’ve got something very remarkable. It uses the same sensor and processor as the Z6. But due to the larger body, we’ve got room for dual memory card slots. Plus, a lot more direct control dials and buttons. There are also attractive features like 4K video recording, charging via USB, and 12fps shooting.
The D780 is more expensive than its mirrorless counterparts, the Z6 and the Z6 Mark II. However, if you’ve already got enough lenses, you’ll be saving cash that way instead.
2. Nikon D850
In camera terms, the D850 features a collection of fantastic specs, available at a better price than ever. As a result, it’s a perfect multipurpose suited to professionals and advanced enthusiasts who want to capture many different subjects.
Advanced enthusiasts will also get a kick out of how well it handles various subjects—equipped with a high-resolution 45.4-megapixel sensor, 4K video capture, a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, and a 153-point / 99 cross-type AF system. You wouldn’t be disappointed.
3. Canon EOS 90D
The Canon EOS 90D camera proves that the DSLR isn’t quite dead yet. It’s one of the newest DSLRs on this list. The 90D is a mid-range model which packs a lot of power for its price range and position in the market.
4. Nikon D3500
The D3500 follows up on the D 3400 but with some extra perks. The significant advantage of this is its battery life. You can take up to one thousand five hundred fifty images once fully charged. In addition, the 24MP sensor delivers excellent image quality. The body and control design has also been improved. Additionally, there’s a Guide Mode. This mode is a walk-through for beginners that helps them through how everything works.
It alleviates the problems newbies might face. It also helps as a user-friendly interface.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T8i / Canon EOS 850D
The Canon EOS Rebel T8i has now officially taken the baton from its Rebel T7i / EOS 800D predecessor. Products of the latter are tricky to find. This new model isn’t a significant upgrade, with the most notable addition being a 4K video mode that’s somewhat hampered by frame-rate restrictions. Still, the Rebel T8i / EOS 850D remains one of our favorite all-round DSLRs for beginners.
Furthermore, you get a Dual Pixel phase-detection AF system. This is fast, reliable, and works just as well for video as it does stills. Its button layout is also very considerate, while the vari-angle LCD screen handles well.
Battery life, check. Handling, check. What more do you want?
6. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D / 200D Mark II
The EOS Rebel SL3 – also known as the Canon EOS 250D and EOS 200D Mark II – is one of the more recent additions to this list.
It’s one of the few beginner models announced in recent years. Evident from its name, it picks up from where the Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) left off. Plus, a new processing engine and 4K video recording on top of a collection of smaller extras. There may be lots of competition from entry-level mirrorless cameras right now, but if you like the traditional handling of a DSLR. Including an optical viewfinder – and the flexibility of that articulating screen, the 250D remains one of the most attractive and affordable models available.
7. Nikon D3500
Nikon D3500 features an impressive battery life, finely detailed images, and a relatively compact build for its class. So if you want a DSLR format camera and are just starting your photographic journey, the Nikon D3500 isn’t a terrible option.
Additionally, battery performance aside, there’s not a massive difference between the D3500 and its predecessor. A 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and a full HD video recording using a built-in monoaural microphone. Plus, the rear plate has a 3-inch LCD sensor. With its price, Nikon D3500 fulfilled expectations
8. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
The 5D series of Canon professional cameras have long been esteemed, and with good reason. The latest restatement of the successful model brings all the respected features of its predecessors. But capitalizes on it to result in the one awe-inspiring model. It has a 30.4-megapixel sensor and has innovation in “Dual Pixel RAW.” This allows you to shift the focus ever so slightly after taking the shot.
Ideal for weddings, portraits, and commercial photography. The only downside of the 5D series is that it’s not particularly geared for action and high-speed photography. For those types of photographers, check out the 1DX Mark IV. But know that it’s pricy.
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9. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
For those who like to keep to the traditional way of shooting, the Canon 6D Mark II is an excellent first full-frame DSLR. And it’s currently available at a fantastic price.
You get a 26.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, a much-improved AF system (compared to the original 6D), and an articulating touch-sensitive screen. Unfortunately, some things seem absent from a modern camera, such as a 4K video. But if you’re more concerned about stills than your movies, you may not be too worked up by that.
This is not a particularly exciting model. But it performs well in a good range of tests. Plus, being compatible with a wide range of optics makes it a good choice for those firmly fixed on the idea of the DSLR.
10. Pentax K-70
Although it’s old, the Pentax K-70 remains a good value option for those who want something different from the ‘big two’ DSLR manufacturers. It’s a good choice if you have a stash of old Pentax lenses gathering dust in a basement. The K-70 has a handy articulating screen, while the hybrid live view autofocus system makes it a practical alternative to using the viewfinder.
Furthermore, our favorite thing about the K-70 is its rugged credentials, typically lacking in entry-level models. If you’re keen to take lots of pictures outdoors – such as landscape shooting – relying on it not being destroyed by inclement weather is a big bonus. One slight disappointment is the kit lens which is often bundled with the camera – while it offers a much longer focal length than most others here, it can be a little soft in places.
DSLRs still have mirrorless rivals beat when it comes to battery life, and the 90D gives you a whopping 1300 shots per charge, making it ideal for situations where you can’t stop to charge.
There are also many other appealing features here, such as a super high-resolution 32.5-megapixel sensor, uncropped 4K video recording, and an optical viewfinder that offers a 100% view of the scene.
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