Best Affordable DSLR Cameras for Beginners in 2022

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Congratulations fellow photographer! If you’re here, you love taking photos and you’re ready to take your skills to the next level by purchasing a great new digital camera.

Say goodbye to the days of relying on your smartphone to capture life’s best moments and say hello to some serious creative storytelling. You are about to embark on a journey that will inspire more than just great photos. Using a DSLR (or mirrorless) camera to capture your images will inspire you to literally see your life through a whole new lens. That’s our mission here at Live Wonderful – to help you bring your best stories to life! 

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Danielle Hanusek. As a professional storyteller, I’m the optimistic, outgoing gal always smiling behind the camera.  I’m mildly obsessed with adventure and love to shoot, teach, and explore anywhere my camera will take me. I’ve used a lot of different cameras over the past 15 years of exploring many niches in the photography industry. From portraits and high fashion in the studio, to brand photography and real estate, to travel, landscapes and night photography, I love it all!

Inspired by the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of photography students I’ve taught over the years, this guide isn’t just a list of great new DSLR cameras. It’s an insightful look at what makes these cameras great, the quality we can expect at each level, and the features available on all digital cameras on the market today. Think of this article as a photography road map. Use this information to guide you through the seemingly daunting world of digital photography so that you don’t get lost, feel insecure, or go in the wrong direction.

I get asked all the time, “What’s the best camera to get?”

The simple truth is, it depends, and it really doesn’t matter. As you read through our list of the best beginner and budget-friendly digital cameras, keep in mind every camera on this list is amazing! They all do more incredible things than any camera ever did less than a few years ago. Just to give you an idea of how incredible all DSLR cameras are today, here’s a standard list of some features you can find on most DSLR cameras in 2022.

Standard Camera Features

  • Interchangeable Lenses Available
  • 20+ Megapixels
  • RAW Image Processing
  • 9-100+ Auto Focal Points
  • ISO Max of 6400 (or more!)
  • High Shooting of 5+ Frames Per Second
  • Hot-Shoe for Connecting External Flash
  • Bluetooth Syncing Directly to Phone/Tablet
  • Manual Exposure Settings (plus Auto Scene Settings)

Other New Features

  • Tilting or Flipping LCD Screen
  • Touch LCD Screen
  • Wi-Fi Syncing Directly to Computer
  • Guide Modes To Help Learn
  • 4K Video Resolution

Do any of these features stand out to you more than the rest?

Add that to your motivation factor and the list below will serve you well. If you love sports and wildlife photography. More focal points are important. If you travel and want to be able to shoot on the fly, size and weight will matter greatly. If you are on a budget, then knowing it will help you navigate through this wide range of great beginner DSLR cameras.

The Best Budget-Friendly Beginner DSLR Cameras In 2022

Are you on a budget but still have too many options to choose from? These DSLR cameras are the best budget-friendly DSLR cameras that won’t break the bank. The best part, you can always advance your skills by added lenses and gear to your camera bag. Plus there is always the option to upgrade your camera body later as you see fit.

  1. Nikon d3500 ($400)
  2. Canon SL3 ($600)
  3. Nikon d5600 ($700)
  4. Canon T7i ($800)

1. Nikon d3500 ($400) 

I’ve started this detailed list with the VERY BEST beginner DSLR camera for those on a budget. Awarded the best Entry-Level DSLR camera by many industry critics, this camera packs a powerful punch by the best makers on the planet.  This is the camera that I see most in my Beginner’s DSLR Photography Class. And not just with newbies. Many hobbyists, business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers love that the Nikon d3500 has everything they need to create great brand imagery for their business while at a price point they can afford when just starting out. This camera is the best place to start for anyone just starting out in the photography world of interchangeable lenses.

Key Features

  • Most Awarded Entry-Level DSLR
  • 24.2 Megapixels
  • 11 Focal Points
  • ISO 25,600
  • 5 frames per second
  • Full HD 1080p Video
  • Battery life 1200 shots
  • 3” LCD Screen

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Natalie Penate

    I would like to sign up to learn how to use my nikon 5600.

    1. danielle

      Hi Natalie! Glad you are interested in learning how to use your Nikon 5600. Check out this link to register for our Online Master Program:

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