Essential Buying Tips For Beginner Photographers


By Ayman Hamdy & Translation by Magy Ghaly

In this article we will talk you through choosing the perfect camera for you even if you are not a professional. The best cameras that suit beginners are the Advanced Compact cameras and the Entry Level DSLR cameras. You will get to know their significant pros and how to compare and choose what best suits you in this article.

If you are an average camera user, we have already mentioned the Compact camera in the first part: Camera buying tips for the average user.

*Prices mentioned in the article are correct according to the publication date. Prices may range depending on the market flow.    

The Advanced Compact Cameras


It is a compact camera with a non-removable lens, fixed to the camera body but of a big size and with wide zoom range. It also has some more advanced features than the compact one like the manual control of the camera settings.

The most significant pros and cons of the Advanced Compact cameras:

  • Its most important con: is that the lens is fixed and cannot be changed and the sensor size is much smaller than the DSLR cameras which greatly affects the quality of the pictures.

Good Advanced Compact cameras include: Samsung WB1100F, Canon PoweShot SX60 HS and Nikon Coolpix P530.

Entry Level DSLR Cameras

They are cameras with advanced features and changeable lens.


The most significant pros of the Entry Level DSLR camera:

  • You can change the lens to get better results for every lens has its uses and gives different pictures of the same view. If you are interested to know more details you can read this article “Lens types and its uses.”
  • The sensor size is also much bigger than that of the Compact cameras and this makes a huge difference in the quality of the pictures.

Good Entry Level DSLR cameras include: Nikon D3200 and Canon EOS 1200D.

How to choose the right camera?

We have already mentioned in the first part: Camera buying tips for the average user that before you buy a camera you will need to know what you will be using it for and based on that you can determine the features you need in a camera and we have also talked about the key features we use to compare between compact cameras.

But if you decided to buy a camera for beginners, then you will need some extra features for comparison as your usage will be a lot different than the average user.

How to choose a camera for amateur beginners?


  • In the compact cameras any quality above 10MP will not make a big difference in the quality of the picture. But the megapixel in the DSLR cameras makes a difference because of the big sensor size that can intake a larger number of megapixels and the increase in the image size will not affect its quality.
  • If you need a big-sized image with excellent quality, you will not find a better camera than the Nikon D3200 or the Nikon D3300 because of their 24 megapixel-quality.
  • If you need a big-sized image with average quality, then you can buy the Canon PowerShot SX410 IS with image quality of 20 MP.

External flash

  • If you are photographing scenes that need strong flash, you will need to connect an external flash because the built-in flash will be of weak range.
  • All the DSLR cameras have the feature of connecting external flash but not all the Advanced Compact cameras have it.
  • Canon PowerShot SX60 HS has the feature of connecting external flash.

You may also like: Camera buying tips for the average user.

Sensor size

  • The bigger the sensor size, the clearer and the better the details and the quality of the picture.
  • The sensor size in the DSLR camera is much bigger than that of the average Advanced Compact camera so therefore the quality of the picture and the clarity of the details is a lot better.
  • Notice that if you bought a DSLR camera because of its big sensor size and at the same time you needed zoom, then you will have to buy an expensive lens that will cost you more than the price of the camera.
  • The Advanced Compact cameras’ zoom may reach 65X in the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS. But if you are on a tight budget, you need to prioritize before you buy.

Manual Focus

  • Sometimes autofocus does not help you focus on certain details and in that case you will need to use manual focus.
  • All DSLR cameras has the manual focus feature but few of the Advanced compact have this feature. Cameras that has Manual focus, include: Canon PowerShot SX60 HS and Canon PowerShot SX410 IS, yet it is still not as easy as the manual focus of the DSLR cameras.
  • If you use the manual focus frequently then it is better to buy a DSLR camera.

Focus points

  • The autofocus in many cameras counts on a group of points that are scattered in order throughout the image frame and based on this it chooses the target that it will focus on.
  • The more focus points, the faster the speed of the camera focus in tracing objects.
  • Most of the Advanced Compact cameras and the Entry-Level DSLR cameras have focus points of 9 to 11. But in the Advanced Entry Level DSLR cameras the focus points may reach 39 points, like the Nikon D5200 and the Nikon D5300.

Scene Modes

  • To capture the perfect shot for a scene you will need to set many settings like the black and white balance, shutter speed, lens aperture, and ISO. And if you have little experience in photography you would not know all the settings and most probably the picture will not be that good, so you need to do some reading to get the perfect picture.
  • That is why most of the digital cameras add to the camera system a group of programed settings for every scene, for example if you are shooting sunset you will set the camera on the sunset mode and the camera will adjust all the settings automatically.
  • Of course the more the scene modes, the better it is for a beginner photographer.
  • One of the Advanced Compact cameras that has the largest number of scene modes till now is the Nikon Coolpix P530 that has 16 modes.

Guide Mode for Beginners

  • The guide mode for beginners is a feature that only the Nikon D3200 has. This mode has many tips on how to set the camera settings manually in different shooting modes. For example, if you are shooting a scene and you do not know the settings that the camera should be on, you will find in the guide mode templates for scenes and images so you will pick the one you want to imitate and you will find some tips that will tell you the best settings to shoot this scene.

Video recording

  • We have mentioned in the first part: Camera buying tips for the average user that the best camera in video recording is the camera that combines between Full HD 1080 image quality and 60 frames per second.
  • Among the Advanced Compact cameras that has these features is the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS.
  • Among the Entry level DSLR cameras are the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D5200.
  • Moreover, there is another factor that affects the quality of the video in addition to the image quality that is the video autofocus, for during video recording objects are always moving in front of the camera, so for the picture to stay clear the autofocus must be follow the moving object fast and accurately during the recording time.
  • The continuous video autofocus technology is the Canon cameras beats all and that is why video recording with Canon cameras like the Canon 750D is way better than any other camera.
Camera Price starts from
Nikon Coolpix P530 3,666 EGP
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS 5,299 EGP
Samsung WB1100F 1,599 EGP
Nikon D3200 3,600 EGP
Nikon D3300 4,450 EGP
Canon EOS 1200D 5,999 EGP
Canon PowerShot SX410 IS 1,899 EGP
Nikon D5200 5,999 EGP
NikonD5300 9,480 EGP
Canon 750D 6,999 EGP

Some items may currently be out of stock, but they will be available soon. If you encounter any problem, please comment on the article, or contact us through our Facebook page.

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