The 2 Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners – 2016 Holiday Buying Guide

‘Tis the season to start thinking about holiday gifts for a friend or child who likes photography, so we’ve compiled this helpful buying guide.  Of course, the best DSLR cameras for beginners will also depend a bit on your budget and intended use.

The 2 Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners


  1. nikon-d3400 Best DSLR Cameras for BeginnersNikon D3400 – One of Nikon’s newest models is also one of its cheapest cameras (See Current Sale Price). For the price, it’s hard to beat this camera for still photos and video capability for a beginner.  In the right hands, it could produce professional results.   It also comes with Bluetooth technology, allowing photographers to download and share photos wirelessly with their smart device.

The Nikon D3400 also comes with a “Guide Mode” that includes instructions on zooming, freezing action, in-camera editing, and softening the background.

Key Nikon D3400 Specs: 24.2 Megapixels,  HD Video, 5 Frames Per Second


  1. nikon-d5500-Best DSLR Cameras for BeginnersNikon D5500 – The slightly more advanced version of the Nikon’s D3400 is the Nikon D5500 (See Current Sale Price). The D5000 has all the features of the D3400 and also includes an articulating screen, touch-screen, has nearly 4-times the focus points, the screen is slightly larger (3.2in vs 3in), and it has a microphone port and time-lapse and exposure bracketing features that the D3400 does not have.

If you have the budget or there is a (relatively) serious interest in video, the added audio options on the D5500 make it an excellent value for the money.

Key Nikon D5500 Specs: 24.2 Megapixels, HD Video (with microphone port), 5 Frames Per Second.

One great thing about these DSLR Cameras for Beginners is that they already come with a lens included.  However, if you’re looking to expand the capabilities, you may consider these lens options.

First, the Nikon D3400 has a kit option with two lenses:  The included 18-55mm lens with vibration reduction and a 70-300mm telephoto lens.  For the difference in price, it’s a heck of a deal.  Buying the two lenses separately would cost you hundreds more.

The other lens you may consider is the 35mm 1.8.  This is a relatively inexpensive lens and was one of my favorites when I was shooting with an entry-level camera.  It’s a ‘fast’ lens, which means it can take pictures in lower light without the need for flash.  It also has better bokeh, which is how blurry the background is.

Hopefully this helps – if you have any other questions, drop us a note and we’ll get back to you.

Nikon D3400 Product Video