Camera Comparison Guide: The Best Cameras For Beginners

Best Cameras for Beginners Camera Comparison Guide
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If you’re looking to get those beautiful shots of your travels or your newborn baby, using a camera might be a better option for you than your smartphone. A camera offers superb image quality and flexibility with a variety of lenses available. Wondering what is the best camera for you? Let us help with our camera comparison guide of the best cameras for beginners in Singapore!

Some Considerations When Buying Your First Camera

  • Budget: We know it’s your first camera and you’re probably not looking to spend too much. Hence, we’ve recommended cameras for beginners with a range of prices below $1200 (with kit lens).
  • Interchangeable lenses vs Fixed lens: Being able to change your lens offers you greater flexibility and the ability to upgrade them in the future. If you are looking for the most compact option for travel, a fixed lens camera may be more suitable.
  • With or Without Kit Lens: A kit lens refers to the lens that comes with the camera as a kit (hence the name). If this is your first camera, we recommend that you buy one with a kit lens as they usually come cheaper as a set.
  • Connectivity Options: Cameras nowadays have all sorts of wireless connections to connect to your phone. You should look out for these features so you can easily share your pictures on Instagram!
  • Video: Most cameras can take HD videos, typically with a 1080p resolution. Some may even support 4K videos! If you intend to use the camera for vlogging, you should look out for one with an articulating screen.
  • Sensor Size: In general, the larger the sensor size, the better the image quality and low-light capabilities of the camera. In ascending order of sensor size: 1-inch < Micro-Four-Thirds < APS-C < Full-frame.
Camera comparison guide for sensor size
(Credit: MarcusGR / Wikimedia Commons)

Best DSLRs for Beginners in Singapore

DSLRs usually offer the best battery life compared to mirrorless or compact cameras. They also tend to have very fast autofocus speeds, so you can easily capture in-focus shots of your children moving about. Another advantage of DSLRs is the large selection of lenses available. Since DSLRs have been around for a long time, there are many types of compatible lenses to suit all kinds of situations. You can even save money by getting the older versions of the lenses if you don’t need all the new features!

However, DSLRs tend to be more bulky and heavier due to the presence of a mirror inside them. If you are looking for more compact options for travel, a mirrorless or compact camera would be a better option for you.

Nikon D3400

nikon d3400 best cameras for beginner dslr
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At its price point, this is one of the best entry-level DSLRs for beginners in the market. With a 24.2 megapixel sensor and no anti-aliasing filter, the lightweight Nikon D3400 produces high-quality images. It has a superb battery life of 1200 shots per charge as well. The lack of a tiltable touchscreen and connectivity options are some of its limitations.

Canon EOS 200D

Canon 200D best DSLR camera for beginners
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The new Canon EOS 200D is slightly pricier but makes up for the price with new technologies like its Dual Pixel CMOS Auto-Focus (AF) and touchscreen feature. This is also the world’s lightest DSLR with a vari-angle touchscreen, which means it’s easy to pack for travel and great for vlogging.

Canon EOS 800D

Canon 800D best dslr camera for beginners
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Compared to the above cameras, the Canon EOS 800D is targeted towards amateur photographers who want more advanced features. This explains its higher price. One of its main advantage is the 45 cross-type AF points (the 200D only has 9 AF points) that ensure fast and accurate auto-focus performance. If you plan to use your camera often for moving objects (eg sports or car races), the Canon 800D’s features might just suit you better.

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600 DSLR best camera for beginner

Similarly, the Nikon D5600 targets amateur users who want more advanced features. With an articulating touchscreen, wireless connectivity and 39 AF points, this is a step up compared to the Nikon D3400.

Best DSLRs for Beginners in Singapore – Camera Comparison

Nikon D3400 Canon 200D Canon 800D Nikon D5600
Camera Sensor 24.2MP APS-C 24.2MP APS-C 24.2MP APS-C 24.2MP APS-C
Autofocus 11-point 9-point 45-point 39-point
Screen type Fixed screen Vari-angle touchscreen Vari-angle touchscreen Vari-angle touchscreen
Connectivity Options Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Video Capabilities Full HD 1080/60p Full HD 1080/60p Full HD 1080/60p Full HD 1080/60p
Battery life 1200 shots 650 shots 600 shots 970 shots
Weight 395g 454g 485g 465g
Price $749 (w 18-55mm lens) $949 (w 18-55mm lens) $1249 (w 18-55mm lens) $1199 (w 18-55mm lens)


Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners in Singapore

With mirrorless cameras, you get the power of DSLRs in a more compact size. Without the need for a mirror, mirrorless cameras are usually significantly smaller than DSLRs. This makes them the ideal cameras for beginners who want beautiful pictures with a smaller camera.

Electronic viewfinders are an added advantage for mirrorless cameras. They allow you to preview how the final image will look like, meaning what you see in the viewfinder is what you get. This removes any guesswork with regards to your camera settings.

A common complaint about mirrorless cameras is their weak battery life. Since the electronic viewfinder drains the battery quickly, mirrorless cameras generally have lesser number of shots per charge compared to DSLRs.

Sony a6000

sony a6000 best mirrorless camera for beginners
(Credit: tkfoto)

Despite being released in 2014, the Sony a6000 is still a very versatile camera for beginners given its affordable price. Sony is well-known for its blazing fast auto-focus system, and the Fast Hybrid AF in the a6000 rivals those found in DSLRs. Its OLED viewfinder also has a high refresh rate for responsive shooting. Its biggest weakness is probably the weak battery life, rated at 280-325 shots per charge.

Fujifilm X-A5

Fujifilm XA5 best mirrorless camera for beginners

Love the look and feel of retro cameras? The Fujifilm X-A5 will surely tempt you. This retro-styled camera doesn’t just look gorgeous, as it features a 24.2 megapixels sensor with a flipping LCD touchscreen. This makes it really useful for your group selfies or for vlogging.

However, take note that this camera does not have a viewfinder, so you have to compose your pictures using the LCD screen. Also, the camera shoots 4K video at 15fps, which may not be an adequate frame rate for videos.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

olympus em10 best mirrorless camera for beginners
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If you intend to shoot high-quality videos on your camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is probably your best bet. It can record UHD 4K videos and has 5-axis in-body stabilisation for smooth video footage.

The E-M10’s smaller Micro-Four-Thirds sensor is a double-edged sword. Olympus’ lenses are mostly cheaper compared to equivalent ones from other brands. The camera’s low-light performance does suffer due to the smaller sensor.

Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners in Singapore – Camera Comparison

Sony a6000 Fujifilm X-A5 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Camera Sensor 24.3MP APS-C 24.2MP APS-C 16MP Micro-Four-Thirds
Autofocus 179-contrast points, 25-phase points 91-point, contrast with phase detection 121-point contrast AF
Screen type Tilting LCD

180-degree flipping


Tilting LCD
Connectivity Options Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi
Video Capabilities Full HD 1080/60p 4K/15p, Full HD 1080/60p 4K/30p, Full HD 1080/60p
Battery life 360 shots 450 shots 330 shots
Weight 468g 361g 410g
Price $1099 (w 16-50mm lens) $999 (w 14-45mm lens) $1198 (w 14-42mm lens)

Best Compact Cameras for Beginners in Singapore

Most compact cameras (or point and shoot cameras) have a fixed lens, meaning you can’t change the lens on the camera. This results in a smaller footprint. Many of them are pocketable so you can carry them around anywhere and always be ready for a photogenic moment. Compact cameras are great cameras for beginners if your priority is portability, as they are the smallest ones around.

Because of their smaller size, the image quality of compact cameras is usually lower compared to DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. Still, they offer better images than smartphones because of their larger sensor and camera lens. Having a fixed lens also means lesser flexibility, as you are stuck with the same focal length range for the camera.

Canon Powershot G7X Mark II

Canon Powershot G7X Mk II Best Compact Cameras For Beginners
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The Canon Powershot G7X Mark II is a premium compact camera that is feature-packed. With a fast 24-100mm f/1.8-f/2.8 zoom lens, a large 1-inch sensor an a flipping LCD touchscreen, this camera is ready to take beautiful pictures in any situation. However, lack of a viewfinder means you can only use the LCD screen to compose and take your shots.

Ricoh GR II

Ricoh GR II Best Compact Cameras For Beginners
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Packing a large APS-C sensor, the pocketable Ricoh GR II produces incredibly sharp images with a fixed 18mm f2.8 lens. Its good battery life and connectivity options mean this compact camera delivers great value for its price.

Best Compact Cameras for Beginners in Singapore – Camera Comparison

Canon PowerShot G7X II Ricoh GR II
Camera Sensor 20MP 1-inch 16MP APS-C
Connectivity Options Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC
Video Capabilities Full HD 1080p Full HD 1080/30p
Battery life 265 shots 320 shots
Weight 319g 251g
Price $799 $998


Discover Great Deals for the Best Cameras for Beginners on Shopee Singapore

When you have decided on your camera, do yourself a favour and search for them on Shopee! You may be able to find discounts for your camera, which may be lower than its recommended retail price to save more money.

If you are looking for advice from fellow camera users, you can join online photography communities on Reddit or Facebook groups. Instagram is another great platform to showcase your work and to learn from like-minded photographers online! For starters, read our article on the Insta-worthy places in Singapore you never knew about!