Be­gin­ners’ cam­eras

These mod­els are for those new to pho­tog­ra­phy or who want a cam­era that’s ca­pa­ble of tak­ing good- qual­ity im­ages with­out break­ing the bank

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench Top Cameras & Lenses 2018 -

Canon EOS 200D £559, with 18-55mm lens www.canon.co.uk

Po­si­tioned be­tween the en­trylevel EOS 2000D and mid-range EOS 800D mod­els, the 24.2MP EOS 200D is Canon’s small­est DSLR and comes with some key fea­tures not found on the EOS 2000D. These in­clude Canon’s Dual Pixel AF tech­nol­ogy that speeds up fo­cus per­for­mance when the cam­era is in live view, plus a vari-an­gle touch­screen LCD dis­play. The in­tu­itive con­trol lay­out makes it easy to use, while Canon’s guided user in­ter­face helps be­gin­ners learn the main set­tings. If you’re con­sid­er­ing the 1300D but have a lit­tle more to spend, the 200D is worth a look.

Canon EOS M50 £649, with 15-45mm lens www.canon.co.uk

Canon’s en­try-level mir­ror­less model is a re­ally like­able cam­era that’s easy for be­gin­ners to use but of­fers plenty of man­ual con­trol as they grow more ex­pe­ri­enced. Its com­pact size and light weight make it easy to carry any­where, while the 24.1MP APS- C of­fers great im­age qual­ity, aided by Canon’s ex­cel­lent JPEG pro­cess­ing. The dual-pixel CMOS sen­sor en­ables fast and ac­cu­rate aut­o­fo­cus, even when us­ing EOS SLR lenses via the EF- EOS M mount adapter. At the back, the fully ar­tic­u­lated touch­screen is great for shoot­ing at un­usual an­gles.

Fu­ji­film X-T100 £599, with 15-45mm lens www.fu­ji­film.co.uk

Fu­ji­film’s suc­cess­ful X-T se­ries ex­panded ear­lier this year with the X-T100. Aimed at novices who de­sire an elec­tronic viewfinder and tilt­ing screen at a more af­ford­able price than any pre­vi­ous X-T se­ries cam­era, the X-T100 is equipped with a 24.2MP APS- C sen­sor and pro­vides a sen­si­tiv­ity range of ISO 100-51,200 with ex­pan­sion. It has all the charm of the X-se­ries de­sign, with use­ful user aids such as low-power Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and Wi- Fi to share im­ages ef­fort­lessly. As a model de­signed for first-time buy­ers and those ad­vanc­ing from smart­phones, it’s very ap­peal­ing from both an aes­thetic and per­for­mance per­spec­tive.

Nikon D5600 £649, with 18-55mm lens www.nikon.co.uk

Po­si­tioned above the D3400 but be­low the D7200, the 24.2MP D5600 is an up­per- en­try-level DSLR. As such, it comes with some ad­di­tional and en­hanced fea­tures over the D3400, in­clud­ing a larger and sharper 3.2in, 1.04-mil­lion- dot vari-an­gle LCD dis­play (com­pared with the D3400’s fixed 3in, 921,000- dot dis­play) that also pro­vides touch­screen con­trol. In ad­di­tion, the D5600 gets 39 AF points com­pared to the D3400’s 11 AF points. The D5600 also fea­tures Wi- Fi and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity along with a time-lapse movie mode.

Nikon D3400 £479, with 18-55mm lens www.nikon.co.uk

Nikon’s en­try-level DSLR is a solid per­former, pro­vid­ing ex­cel­lent im­age qual­ity from the 24MP DX-for­mat sen­sor, aided by a proven 11-point aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem. There’s an easy-to-use Guide Mode for be­gin­ners, along with full man­ual con­trol for more-ad­vanced users. Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity al­lows im­ages to be trans­ferred to a smart­phone for shar­ing on so­cial me­dia. The up­dated D3500 pro­vides a near-iden­ti­cal fea­ture set in a redesigned body, that fea­tures a deeper, more com­fort­able hand­grip and im­proved bat­tery life rat­ing for only a lit­tle more money. How­ever as long as stocks re­main in the shops, the D3400 rep­re­sents bet­ter value.

Olym­pus PEN E-PL9 £579, with 14-42mm lens www.olym­pus.co.uk

The E- PL9 is the en­try point to Olym­pus’s stylish range of mir­ror­less cam­eras. Equipped with a 16.1MP Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor, the E- PL9 also ben­e­fits from ef­fec­tive 5-axis in-body im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion. While there’s no elec­tronic viewfinder, it has a tilt­ing screen for self­ies that sup­ports touch con­trol. Video ca­pa­bil­i­ties ex­tend to 4K 30p cap­ture with the op­tion to ex­tract 8MP still im­ages from movie footage. Those af­ter a cam­era with a sim­i­lar spec but also a viewfinder should check out the Olym­pus OM- D E- M10 Mark III.

Pana­sonic Lu­mix DMC-GX800 £299, with 12-32mm lens www.pana­sonic.com/uk

The GX800 is an en­try-level mir­ror­less cam­era built around a 16MP Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor. De­signed to be easy to use, the GX800 is nonethe­less equipped with a good range of fea­tures, in­clud­ing 4K video cap­ture and Pana­sonic’s 4K Photo mode. While it lacks an elec­tronic viewfinder, the tiltable 3in, 1.04-mil­lion- dot rear LCD dis­play pro­vides touch­screen con­trol, and can be flipped up­wards by 180° for easy self­ies. The tiny 12-32mm kit zoom is a per­fect match for the small body.

Pana­sonic Lu­mix DMC-GX80 £399, with 12-32mm lens www.pana­sonic.com/uk

This small but well-fea­tured mir­ror­less cam­era is built around a 16MP Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor. It has built-in 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion, 4K video cap­ture, a 2.76-mil­lion-dot elec­tronic viewfinder, a 1.04- mil­lion- dot tilt­ing touch­screen and 4K Photo mode that fa­cil­i­tates the ex­trac­tion of 8MP still im­ages from 4K movie footage. Small and por­ta­ble, and usu­ally bun­dled with a tiny re­tractable zoom, the GX80 is a well-rounded cam­era that’s at­trac­tively priced.

Pen­tax K-70 £629, with 18-50mm lens www.ri­coh-imag­ing.co.uk

Pen­tax has gained a de­served rep­u­ta­tion for pro­duc­ing cam­eras that pro­vide ex­cep­tional value for money, and the en­try-level K-70 DSLR is no ex­cep­tion. Built around a 24.2MP APS- C CMOS sen­sor, notable high­lights are a large, bright pen­taprism viewfinder with 100% cov­er­age, full weather-seal­ing and an in-body im­age-sta­bil­i­sa­tion sys­tem – none of which you’ll find on the K-70’s di­rect ri­vals from Nikon and Canon. Other fea­tures in­clude ISO sen­si­tiv­ity of ISO 100-102,400 and 6fps con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing. For the price, it’s very hard to beat.

Sony Al­pha 6000 £499, with 16-50mm lens www.sony.co.uk

Re­leased in 2014, the 24.3MP Al­pha 6000 is best thought of as a slightly less ad­vanced, yet sig­nif­i­cantly cheaper, al­ter­na­tive to the more re­cent Al­pha 6300 and Al­pha 6500 mod­els. While it lacks 4K video, the Al­pha 6000 still has some solid fea­tures, such as its hy­brid aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem that com­bines 179 phase-de­tec­tion AF points and 25 con­trast- de­tect ones for al­most in­stant fo­cus lock, plus ISO sen­si­tiv­ity of ISO 100-25,600, up to 11fps con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing and Wi- Fi/NFC func­tion­al­ity. There’s also a built-in elec­tronic viewfinder and tilt­ing rear screen.

Users of the Fu­ji­film X-T100 can crop in tightly when re­quired and re­tain an ex­cel­lent level of de­tail Fu­ji­film XF 50mm f/2 R WR, 1/5400sec at f/2, ISO 200

It might be en­try-level, but Nikon’s D5600 is very ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing good re­sults in tricky con­di­tions Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G AF-P DX VR, 1/30sec at f/8, ISO 100

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