Every year, the BPW likes to give you our top picks for the best user-friendly starter cameras on the market. Three of our contenders are from last year’s list and are all still solid choices, and we’ve added a new one below as well. Enjoy, and happy shopping!
Still a compact and reliable DSLR for beginners, and a great choice for everything from portraits to vacation photos thanks to the included 18-55mm kit lens. You can also make videos with full 1080p recording at 30 frames/second.
Beginners, food photographers, touch-screen lovers
Easy photo viewing and setting changing thanks to the 3-inch back LCD touchscreen
Wifi capabilities for easy camera-computer photo transfers, plus a downloadable smartphone app that can work as a remote trigger
Available certified and refurbished through Canon- highly recommended by the BPW!
Around $450 with the kit lens
Slightly heavier than the Canon T6i, this is a great choice for intermediate photographers, with wifi, strong video recording capabilities, and a solid 18-55mm kit lens.
Beginner/intermediate, photos of kids & sports
Larger LCD screen swivels and flips open so you can see what you’re photographing from almost any angle.
The only camera on this list with GPS capabilities, making geotagging quick and easy.
Nikon also has certified refurbished models available - again, highly recommended by the BPW.
Around $450 with kit and bonus lens
This mirrorless is so light and small that you can practically carry it around in your pocket, even with its 16-50mm kit lens, while still being excellent for both photo and video.
Beginner/intermediate/advanced, travelers, photos of kids & sports
Built-in face detection is helpful for fast focusing, plus notably fast autofocus.
Speed is the name of the game here, with a continuous shooting speed of 11 frames per second, which is useful in quick photography situations like sports or wildlife.
We don’t find the Sony menus to be as user-friendly as the other two, but once you learn to navigate them, you’ll be A-OK.
Around $400 with the kit lens
New to the list this year, this mirrorless is part of a new branch by Canon built for people on the go. Canon really knows what they’re doing when it comes to ergonomics, so the M50 fits nicely into the hand and is easy to understand. If you’re already a Canon DSLR user, you can buy an adapter so your lenses will fit and work normally on this model.
Beginner/Intermediate, travel, street photo
Lots of customizable buttons means easy access to your manual settings
The back LCD screen is both touchscreen AND articulating (i.e. swivels and flips), making it great for photo and video
Speaking of video, this camera has super high res 4K video, which, along with the moveable screen, makes it an excellent choice for all you vloggers and YouTube stars out there.
Around $600 (not available refurbished at the time of publishing because it’s so new)