Digital Insights

How to choose the best Camera for Photography? A Buying Guide

This article describes what features you should consider while choosing a camera and reveals top-rated camera picks for beginner and pro photographers.

Selecting the ideal camera is crucial for professional photographers aiming to capture breathtaking, top-notch images. High-resolution sensors, advanced autofocus systems, and durable weather-sealing are among the features found in top DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, offering versatility and power. However, navigating the myriad options can be challenging when determining the optimal choice for your needs.

To simplify this process, we've compiled instructions detailing the essential features to consider, the best camera types for professional photography, and a rundown of the most sought-after cameras among professionals and beginner photographers. Let´s start!

1. What to consider while choosing a professional photo camera?: Checklist

2. What camera features are a must-have for making beautiful professional shots?

3. Are mirrorless cameras better for professional photography?

4. Are DSLR cameras still relevant?

5. Price vs. performance: Finding a balance

6. Best camera recommendations for photography beginners in 2024

7. Best camera picks for professional photography in 2024



1. What to consider while choosing a professional photo camera?: Checklist


Setting a budget is essential when considering camera purchases, as they can be significant investments. It could be helpful to establish a specific price range to narrow down options effectively. For instance, aiming for the $800-$1,000 range rather than a broad under $1,000 budget can streamline your choices.

While contemplating your camera budget, also factor in additional accessories you may require or desire. It's prudent not to allocate your entire budget solely to the camera body, leaving room for lenses and other necessities. Depending on your photography goals, you might consider investing in accessories like tripods, external flashes, extra batteries, and memory cards.

Types of camera

The most common camera types are:

Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras utilize a single lens for framing and capturing images, making them popular among photographers of various skill levels. Comprising a body and interchangeable lens, they offer large sensors for improved low-light performance and depth-of-field effects. Entry-level options are affordable, and their size provides ergonomic benefits.

Mirrorless cameras, devoid of mirrors, are lightweight and facilitate rapid video recording. Offering superior image stabilization and reduced shake, they feature either fixed or interchangeable lenses, often with APS-C or full-frame sensors. Their streamlined design delivers quiet operation and discretion.

Compact (point-and-shoot) cameras prioritize portability with lightweight builds and pocket-friendly dimensions. Equipped with fixed lenses, they are user-friendly for spontaneous captures.

Bridge cameras bridge the gap between DSLRs and compacts, boasting high-magnification zoom lenses and manual controls. Despite their smaller image sensors, they incorporate electronic viewfinders for composition.

Action cameras, compact and rugged, excel in capturing dynamic footage, especially during outdoor activities. Mountable on gear, they offer a distinctive first-person perspective with wide-angle views, ideal for adventure enthusiasts.

Lens quality and lens selection

Assessing the image quality of cameras, camcorders, and drones can be challenging without firsthand experience. The lens type significantly influences image quality, making it a crucial consideration.

When considering cameras, you'll encounter those with either fixed or interchangeable lenses. Numerous DSLR and mirrorless cameras are bundled with kit lenses, offering moderate zoom and variable apertures. These lenses serve as a solid entry point for amateur or hobbyist photographers. However, augmenting your setup with accessories like prime and higher-quality zoom lenses can notably elevate your photography journey. Begin by determining your preference: whether you're content with a fixed lens or require the versatility of interchangeable ones. The option for different lenses broadens your creative horizons and introduces a wealth of photographic possibilities. Conversely, fixed-lens cameras offer simplicity and typically include either zoom or prime lenses for straightforward usage.


After selecting the ideal camera type and lenses, it's essential to grasp how to assess and compare various sensors, which differ in three primary aspects: size, resolution (megapixels) and high-ISO performance. Now, let's delve deeper into each characteristic one by one.

  • Sensor size

Digital cameras rely on sensors to capture images, with larger sensors offering superior image quality, especially in low-light conditions, and enhanced background blur capabilities. The three primary sensor types are:

  1. Small sensors, typically 1 inch or smaller, commonly found in budget compact cameras.
  2. APS-C sensors, prevalent in advanced compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, and DSLRs.
  3. Full-frame sensors, also featured in advanced compact, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras.

For professional applications, prioritize full-frame or advanced APS-C sensor cameras. APS-C sensors possess a focal length multiplier effect, beneficial for capturing distant subjects effectively.

  • Resolution rating

The resolution of digital cameras, measured in megapixels, directly impacts image quality. If you intend to crop photos or print on large surfaces, opt for a camera with higher megapixel ratings. While high megapixel counts offer greater detail, they also consume more storage space on your camera's memory card, potentially slowing down processes like sending, storing, and editing photos. It's common for individuals to mistakenly assess camera image quality solely based on resolution. However, pixel size, determined by the image sensor, plays a more significant role in quality than resolution alone.

  • High-ISO capabilities

Some cameras excel at shooting in challenging low-light conditions, capable of handling ISO settings like 3200, 6400, and beyond without significant noise. Conversely, some struggle to produce usable images beyond ISO 800.

This performance disparity is influenced partly by sensor size, with larger sensors typically offering superior low-light capabilities. However, sensor technology also plays a crucial role, with certain sensor types, often found in premium cameras, outperforming others.

Assessing a camera's high-ISO capabilities solely from its specification sheet can be challenging. Therefore, its advisable to consult hands-on reviews before purchasing, particularly if low-light photography is a priority for you.

Speed and performance

Key specifications to consider when purchasing a camera include autofocus speed, frames per second (FPS), startup time, and overall operational speed. FPS denotes the number of photos or frames a camera can capture per second, with higher ratings delivering smoother images or video. DSLR cameras typically boast quicker startup times compared to point-and-shoot and mirrorless models.

So far, we've covered the fundamental aspects to consider when selecting a camera. However, numerous additional features may be worth exploring, depending on your specific interests and preferred genres. In this section, I'll highlight some of the significant ones, beginning with:

Autofocus and drive speeds

For capturing action scenes like sports, wildlife, or bird photography, prioritize cameras equipped with advanced autofocus capabilities and rapid continuous shooting speeds.

Seek out models with sophisticated tracking algorithms, such as human or animal eye autofocus. Additionally, aim for cameras capable of shooting at speeds of 10 frames per second or higher, along with a generous buffer capacity of 50 frames or more.


While some cameras are rugged and built to withstand various conditions, others may be more delicate and vulnerable to even light rain.

If your photography mainly involves indoor settings, durability might not be a significant concern. However, for outdoor pursuits like landscape, wildlife, sports, or outdoor events photography, it's crucial to prioritize weather sealing. The more weather-sealed your camera, the more reliably it can withstand challenging environmental conditions.

Ergonomics and handling

Camera size is a subjective aspect to ponder. What seems large to a novice might seem compact to an expert. Compact cameras, despite their small size, can feel cramped due to closely situated buttons. Additionally, consider the portability of larger cameras; if you aim to use an existing camera bag, measure in advance to ensure compatibility. Some camera models feature grips for enhanced comfort during use.

Certain cameras offer enhanced comfort during use and effortless operation, thanks to convenient features like fully articulating screens, touch functionality, and autofocus joysticks. When evaluating camera options, scrutinize the specification list meticulously. If there's a specific feature you desire, such as a fully articulating touchscreen, ensure that the camera you choose includes it:

Here are some additional aspects to keep in mind when selecting a camera:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Built-in flash
  • Hot shoe (for an external flash)
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Image stabilization
  • RAW file support
  • Video capabilities (HD, 4K, etc.)
  • External microphone support
  • Shooting modes (for creative effects)
  • Battery life
  • Weight

2. What camera features are a must-have for making beautiful professional shots?

First of all, look for a camera equipped with a sizable sensor, such as full-frame or medium format, to ensure superior resolution and clarity in your shots.

In addition to sensor size, seek out a camera with a wide dynamic range and accurate tonal reproduction to enhance overall image quality. These factors contribute to capturing fine details and nuanced colors, crucial for professional-grade photography.

Consider your specific niche within photography, whether it's portraits, landscapes, sports, or wildlife, and choose a camera with features tailored to your needs. For example, portrait photographers may prioritize a camera with excellent low-light performance and precise autofocus, while landscape photographers might value high-resolution sensors and weather-sealed bodies for outdoor shooting.

Keep in mind that the quality of your lenses is just as important as your camera body. Invest in high-quality, professional-grade lenses to complement your camera's capabilities and maximize image sharpness and clarity.

Ultimately, the combination of a superior camera body, high-quality lenses, and your creative vision and expertise will enable you to capture stunning, professional-grade photographs.


3. Are mirrorless cameras better for professional photography?

The photography industry has been significantly impacted by the emergence of mirrorless cameras, offering a compact and lightweight alternative to traditional DSLRs. With continuous technological advancements, mirrorless cameras now boast rapid autofocus and exceptional image quality, all packaged within a smaller and lighter body.

The growing popularity of mirrorless cameras has also led to a decline in the prices of DSLRs, making them a viable option for aspiring professional photographers who seek high-quality imagery without breaking the bank.

However, as camera manufacturers increasingly focus on mirrorless technology, there may be a reduction in firmware updates and a narrower selection of lenses available for DSLRs over time.


Photo by vkmoraesPH from Pexels


4. Are DSLR cameras still relevant?

DSLR cameras are renowned for their sturdy construction, long-lasting battery performance, and wide range of compatible lenses. They provide professionals with a dependable and familiar shooting experience that has become a staple in the industry.

For professional photographers working in outdoor environments, the durability and weather-sealing of DSLR cameras offer peace of mind, ensuring reliability even in challenging conditions.


5. Price vs. performance: Finding a balance

Although the allure of cutting-edge camera technology may be strong, it's crucial to find a middle ground between performance and budget. While professional-grade cameras typically come with a hefty price tag, they offer advanced features and capabilities that validate the investment.

In some cases, professional photographers continue to produce stunning work using older models like the Canon 5D Mark IV, initially introduced in 2016, showcasing the enduring quality of such equipment.

Fortunately, there are alternatives across different price ranges that offer impressive performance without requiring a substantial financial commitment, as we'll explore in the following section.


6. Best camera recommendations for photography beginners in 2024

So, what are the best starter cameras for photography? Here are the top 5 novice photography cameras:

1. Canon EOS R100: Canon EOS R100 is designed for beginners, featuring simple controls and guided menus. It boasts Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus for accurate focus, especially with face and eye detection. With a 24.1MP APS-C sensor, it delivers excellent image quality and is compatible with advanced RF lenses and Canon DSLR lenses via an adapter. However, it has limitations for video, such as a fixed screen without touch input and a crop in 4K mode. For those focused on photography learning, it's a great choice, but video enthusiasts might prefer the slightly pricier Canon EOS R50.

2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: The camera boasts in-body image stabilization, improving sharpness in both photos and videos. Despite its Micro Four Thirds sensor being smaller, it offers 20MP resolution and excellent image quality, suitable for professional use. The compact size of the camera and lenses makes it convenient for travel, with 4K video capability and a tilting touchscreen for versatile shooting. Additionally, its camera app facilitates easy image transfer to smartphones via WiFi.

3. Nikon Z fc: The Nikon Z fc combines retro aesthetics with modern technology, making it a joy to shoot with. Despite its resemblance to old film cameras, it features the same technology as the Nikon Z50, including a 20.9MP APS-C sensor and excellent autofocus with face and eye detection. With a fully articulating screen and 4K video capability, it's versatile for both photography and videography. While it may not have the highest pixel count, its image quality and continuous shooting capabilities make it a great starter camera that will grow with your skills.

4. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D: The camera features Canon's 24.1MP APS-C sensor, providing excellent image quality. Its fully articulating touchscreen and Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus make live-view shooting easy and preferable for some users. While it offers 4K video, it has some compromises, so for better video performance, mirrorless options like the Sony ZV-E10 may be preferable. Despite DSLR technology evolving, this camera remains a great value, especially for those utilizing Canon's older and more affordable EF-mount lenses.

5. Ricoh GR IIIx: The camera offers the simplicity and portability of a smartphone with the power of a "proper camera." It features a big APS-C sensor and manual controls for high-quality images. Despite its fixed lens, it encourages better composition skills. The 40mm lens is versatile for various shooting scenarios, with options for cropping for different focal lengths. The camera includes image stabilization, RAW photos, built-in ND filters, a touchscreen interface, and phase detect autofocus, but its video is limited to Full HD.

To see an extensive list of the best-rated cameras for beginners, check out the article.


Photo by Karl Solano from Pexels


7. Best camera picks for professional photography in 2024

If you are already a pro, you probably ask yourself which camera is the best choice for your professional career.

Here are five top camera choices highly regarded by professional photographers, selected based on their overall performance, essential features, and industry acclaim. However, it's important to note that depending on your specific photography niche, not all of these cameras may fulfill your requirements.

1. Canon EOS R3: The Canon EOS R3 stands out as a top choice for professionals across various photography genres. Its blackout-free 30fps stills and 6K RAW video ensure no missed moments, while improved autofocus and Eye Control AF guarantee precise focus. With exceptional dynamic range and low noise compared to competitors, its 24.1MP resolution offers ample quality. For sports photographers, its smaller file size streamlines workflow. Overall, it excels in autofocus for moving subjects, image stabilization, and intuitive focus point control, even with glasses.

2. Nikon Z8: The Nikon Z8 competes closely with the Nikon Z9, boasting similar features at a lower price. It offers 8K video recording, 120fps continuous shooting, and rapid autofocus with extensive subject recognition. Despite occasional autofocus challenges, it excels in speed, resolution, ruggedness, and video capability. With its affordability compared to competitors, the Z8 is unmatched in terms of value for money.

3. Fujifilm GFX 100 II: The Fujifilm GFX 100 II combines exceptional medium format resolution with a compact, steady body suitable for street photography. Despite its smaller size compared to its predecessor, it offers powerful capabilities, including impressive in-body image stabilization. While it lacks a vertical grip, it features newer advancements and remains more affordable. The image quality is outstanding, making it nearly unbeatable for still photography, and it also delivers very good 8K video performance.

4. Fujifilm X-H2S: The Fujifilm X-H2S may have a smaller sensor, but it's a formidable choice for professional photography. As the new flagship in the X-mount range, it boasts a robust body, a fifth-generation sensor with impressive speed, and advanced features like 40fps shooting, 6K video capability, in-body stabilization, a vari-angle screen, and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder. Despite its price, it offers savings compared to many competitors.

5. Nikon D850: The Nikon D850 remains a top choice for professionals seeking a DSLR camera with exceptional resolution. While not as speedy as the D6, it offers impressive image quality and versatility, capable of 7fps or 9fps with the battery grip. Its robust body and compatibility with larger lenses make it a comfortable and reliable option. Despite being launched in 2017, it still feels modern and exciting, earning its place as a superb all-rounder in professional photography.

For an extensive list of professional photography cameras, click here.



Selecting the appropriate camera for professional photography requires evaluating factors such as sensor size, resolution, autofocus capabilities, and specialized features that align with your requirements and budget. Mirrorless cameras offer a blend of compactness and cutting-edge technology, whereas DSLRs offer a sense of reliability and familiarity. 

Industry experts recommend visiting camera stores to test various models, which can aid in assessing comfort and usability before making a purchase. Additionally, experimenting with affordable, second-hand equipment might provide valuable insights into desired features.

It's important to keep in mind that while the array of options may appear daunting, most cameras have the capability to capture outstanding photos. So, there's no need to feel overwhelmed—trust that with any choice, you're likely to achieve great results!


We also recommend your article "25 Exciting Photography Trends for Inspiration in 2024" for reading.

Remember, creating appealing visual content offers exposure and recognition, yet concurrently heightens the risk of potential photo theft. Therefore, it is crucial to stay informed about various facets of photography copyright and remain up-to-date on strategies to safeguard your creative work.

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