What Camera Should I Buy?

Whether Novice or Professional

Novice photographers, and even professionals, are constantly searching for the cutting edge in a hi-tech world and are keen to learn the tips and tricks to help them hone their skills. We want to help facilitate that process by building a community around professional photography so last year we wrote about how to simply edit iPhone photos using Adobe Lightroom. This is an example of the many questions that can arise when seeking how to get that perfect shot but one of the most common questions Matt gets asked is: “What camera should I buy?”

Improvements to Ubiquitous Technology

Because phone cameras are becoming more advanced we thought we’d take a look at how stand-alone digital cameras are competing. Like many aspiring photographers, help for beginners is important. We have had some dialogue with the marketing company Reviews.com who are in the business of creating guides which provide useful info for people just starting out.

Professional Research

This isn’t just any company’s “opinion,” however; it is the result of detailed research that has taken into account factors such as consulting with professional photographers, analyzing consumer reviews, and gathering the highly rated pieces of hardware, all to ascertain which piece of equipment can help get the perfect shot.

Let’s have a look at what we think are the most important pieces of hardware out there for aspiring photographers and professional photographers alike to get that perfect shot.

In their 30-second Review, Reviews.com writes:

“The best digital camera will take exceptional photos while offering features that support beginners and semi-professionals who want to develop their photography skills. We consulted photographers, read through photography sites and consumer reviews, and gathered nine highly-rated cameras to see which would help you capture the perfect shot, from a school play to an impressively plated dessert.”


Their best portable camera category features the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 IV, of which they write:

“A compact camera that excels at taking great pictures, whether you’re a parent at a soccer game or a cross-country explorer. The display provides hints to help beginners take better photos, and image quality far exceeds what you’d get from an iPhone, stopping just short of the professional quality offered by the Fujifilm X-T20.”

It is fitting that they mention the Fujifilm X-T20 because that is what they have chosen to feature in their Best Advanced Camera category, writing thus:

“The Fujifilm X-T20, a mirrorless camera, is an excellent choice for those who want a more advanced digital camera. It’s larger than the Sony, but in exchange you get a more powerful camera that will be able to take better photos and professional-quality video.”

DSLR– short for digital single-lens reflex– cameras are popular with amateurs and have gotten a reputation for their quality because they offer the opportunity for said amateur to take even greater photos. But when it comes to professionals, Reviews.com writes: “finding the best DSLR camera comes down to personal preference and skill.”

But for budding photographers, they say: “the best should be easy to use, provide useful features like a long battery life, and help you learn the ins and outs of photography. We consulted professional photographers, read photography sites, and then tested four highly regarded cameras for ourselves to find out which DSLR offers the best user experience.”


In their Best for Beginners category, Reviews.com critiques the Nikon D3400, writing:

“A built-in guide will help beginners learn the basics of advanced photography, and its lightweight design and variety of lenses makes it a great camera to practice and grow with. Plus, it’s relatively affordable at only $650.”

They offer critiques of two other cameras in their Others to Consider category, writing about the Canon EOS Rebel T6i: “A microphone port and adjustable display screen makes this camera a great option for shooting video. But in terms of technical specs, it won’t perform as well as the Nikon or be as easy to use. It’s also an investment at $750,” and about the Pentax K-S2: “A surprisingly solid camera with technical specs that outperform our top pick. It’s also slightly cheaper at $600. However, it has a much steeper learning curve and won’t be the best fit for beginners with little experience.”

The Question Answered Once and For All

We believe that we can trust this independent research because the reviews have been especially geared around helping consumers find a device that will work towards their goals and advance their skills and because photographers are coming to our site for advice and we believe that this research is a great additional resource for our community. What’s more, we hope that the options provided by this research will help to answer that eternal question of “What camera should I buy?” once and for all!

Reviews.com goes into the reasons for their conclusions regarding their research and covers more options in more detail for the discerning consumer. You can read in more detailed research reports here and here.

Words by Elijah (Content Marketer).

This blog post originally appeared on www.photographybymatthewjames.com