Dslr camera

Looking to ditch the camera on your smartphone? Do you want to become the latest award-winning filmmaker? Or, just keen to upgrade your old DSLR. Well, this is THE guide for you!

Here we breakdown the top 10 DSLR cameras for beginners.

What makes a great entry-level DSLR camera?

  1. Image quality
  2. Lens
  3. Usability
  4. Adaptability
  5. Speed
  6. Manual controls
  7. Oh… And the price.

Right, these are the basics you need to look out for. A quick overview before we get started:

  1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
  2. Canon EOS 2000D
  3. Nikon D3500
  4. Canon EOS 4000D
  5. K-70 Pentax
  6. Nikon D5300
  7. Fujifilm X-T100
  8. Fujifilm X-T3
  9. Canon EOS M200
  10. Sony A6000

1.Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D

Why this DSLR?

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is a retro throwback camera comes in both black and silver. It’s the least expensive of the OM-D range. The power-zoom facility the camera has is a great tool for filming. This camera also shoots at up to 4k with the image stabilisation allows it to shoot brilliant handheld shots. The features and price make the OM-D E-M10 this a great camera for beginners, especially for short films and YouTube. Feature breakdown below:

Key Features:

  • Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 3.0-inch 1,040k tilt touch screen
  • Cool retro design
  • 16.1MP
  • Electronic viewfinder.
  • 8.6fps max burst speed
  • 4K video resolution
  • A Tilting touchscreen including a High-res viewfinder.

2. Canon EOS 2000D

Canon 2000D

Why this DSLR?

This camera is ideal for any newbie to filmmaking. It’s easy to use functioning and crisp picture can really get some amazing footage. It’s definitely one of my favourites, the auto-focus is brilliant and the aperture mechanism is easy to use for anyone new to filmmaking. Get those shots out there and don’t forget to get a high-quality SD card to capture as much as you can.

Key Features:

  • 24.1 megapixel effective Still Resolution

  • 24.7 megapixel optical Sensor Resolution
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • APS-C sized Canon CMOS sensor. 24.1 MP 100 – 6400 + H: 12800
  • 3x optical zoom
  • 3-inch display size
  • Easy to use for beginners

Why not check out our advice on writing your first script.

3. Nikon D3500

Why this DSLR?

This camera is definitely underrated, the functionality of the camera is incredible for a beginner filmmaker and stabilisation is great. The only downfall is the battery drains quite quickly so make sure you buy an extra battery or two if it’s an especially long day of filming (but I would advise that with all cameras). Overall it’s easy to use, excellent stability and crisp footage – definitely one of the best we have used.

Key Features:

  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Screen: 3in, 921,000 dots
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Max burst speed: 5fps

4. Canon EOS 4000D

Why this DSLR?

This is an entry-level camera which is a great starting point for beginners. The camera has wi-fi capability, as well as the quick menu, which makes it easier to adjust the settings and get the shot you need. The spec of this camera is great, 18MP and a range of aperture settings. The downfall is no touchscreen but it’s not the end of the world as they have spent the money elsewhere in creating a better spec camera which is ultimately better than a touchscreen.

Overall this is one of the better DSLRs for anyone starting out in the filmmaking world. You get crystal clear shots, gathering that smooth video for those different angles. An overall great experience, one we recommend.

Key Features:

  • 18-megapixel optical zoom resolution and effective still resolution
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Easily connect, shoot and share on the move
  • Great quality, at a low price

READ MORE: How to create a compelling character arc

5. K-70 Pentax 

Pentax-K-70-front-side-2 (1)

Why this DSLR?

The K-70 Pentax model is weather-resistant, rugged and has integral Steadicam features to get the smoothest cinematography. It is easy to use and the functioning of the camera is great for beginners, easy to use and feels a lot like a point and shoot camera. But with incredible technology ranging from the 3.0-inch, vari-angle screen to the APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2MP video capability.

This camera is up there with the best, here is a quick overview for you: View Tutorial

Key Features

  • APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • Pentax K Lens mount
  • 24.2MP
  • 3-inch, 921,000 dots screen
  • Full HD video resolution
  • Continuous shooting speed: 6fps

6. Nikon D5300


Why this DSLR?

The Nikon D5300 is an incredible piece of kit. This camera has created a lot of cinematic shorts in its time. It has razor-sharp autofocus and an ISO light-sensitivity range of 100-25600 key allows you to shoot a crisp and natural film which is easy on the eye and ultimately great fun to film.

Key Features:

  • 24.78MP optical sensor resolution.
  • 24.78MP effective still resolution.
  • Camera dimensions: 6.9 x 12.4 x 9.7 cm.
  • ISO light-sensitivity range of 100-25600.

7. Fujifilm X-T100

Why this DSLR?

The Fujifilm X-T100 brings the DSLR viewfinder experience down a lot on price, this essentially opens it up to a new market. It is a lightweight, beginner-friendly camera which comes with a tilted touchscreen which has the power to shoot in 4k. However, we advise to only shoot in 1080 as the 4k can only shoot up to 15Fps. It’s a great camera for anyone starting out on YouTube or filming their first short film, or even if you fancy taking it away travelling, the Fujifilm X-T100 will do a great job!

Key Features:

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS, 23.5 x 15.7mm sensor
  • AF points: 91-point hybrid phase/contrast AF
  • 6,000 x 4,000 Image size
  • EVF, 2,360K dots viewfinder
  • 200 to 12,800 ISO range
  • 4K UHD at 15p, Full HD at 60/50/24p video range
  • 3.0-inch 2-axis tilting touchscreen, 1,040K dots
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Size: 121.0 x 83.0 x 47.4mm (body only)
  • Weight: 448g (with battery and memory card)


Fujifilm X-T3

Why this DSLR?

This is a high-performance premium camera that will become an inseparable partner in your artistic journey. This camera aims to please your filmmaking needs and provides you with the resources to create the dream film. It’s also a great tool for vloggers providing you with the right exposure to capture that crisp film – add a Rode shotgun mic and you are on your way to YouTube domination.

Key Features:

  • Back-illuminated X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, boasting a resolution of 26.1MP.
  • 3.69-million-dot high-resolution EVF with a high magnification ratio of 0.75x.
  • 4K/60P movie recording.
  • Complete with XF18-55mm lens.
  • X-T3 Body – Black.
  • XF18-55mm Lens.
  • Li-ion battery NP-W126S.
  • Battery charger BC-W126S.
  • Shoe-mount flash unit EF-X8.

9. Canon EOS M200

Canon EOS M200

Why this DSLR?

The Canon EOS M200 is one of the best budget mirrorless cameras you can get. It has 4K resolution with a 24.2MP sensor to get crisp shots. It’s ideal for anyone looking to become a YouTuber or for travel pictures. One issue we have is there is no input for additional mics to be plugged in. The microphone is definitely capable of capturing great quality sound, so don’t let this put you off. Additionally, it has 6.1fps burst speed and is an affordable camera and a decent choice for beginner filmmakers.

Key Features:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 4K Resolution
  • 24.2MP
  • APS-C Sensor
  • 1,040,000 dots 3-inch tilting touchscreen
  • Canon EF-M lens mount
  • 6.1fps burst speed

10. Sony A6000

Why this DSLR?

There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Sony A6000 with it’s APC format, reasonable pricing and sheer quality it’s hard to find a better entry DSLR camera.

This is one of Sony’s best entry-level cameras to date. An easy to use DSLR with a 24.3MP image sensor allowing exceptional resolution. One gripe we have is the 1,440k-dot resolution of the electronic viewfinder, but at least it has it. It’s small, lightweight and carries 11fps continuous shooting speed. It’s an absolute bargain for novice filmmakers and a solid DSLR.

Key Features

  • Built-in electric viewfinder (EVF, 1,440k dots)
  • 11fps continuous shooting speed
  • Lightweight and small
  • Mirrorless
  • APS-C Sensor
  • Sony E mount
  • 24.3MP
  • Full HD video resolution

We hope this roundup was useful to you and let us know what you thought in the comments below. Please follow us on @ifilmthings


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