sony dslr camera for beginners

There are many Sony cameras for the beginning, experienced and advanced photographers. The compact or bridge cameras are designed for amateurs. Not that many Sony DSLR cameras are relevant today. This camera brand’s focus is directed at different types of devices now. Sony has been holding a leading position in the mirrorless cameras market for the past six years, thanks to the huge success of the a6000, as well as sales of the professional a7 camera series. I will help you figure out the variety of Sony cameras and choose the best sony dslr camera for beginners.

sony dslr cameras for beginners

1. Sony A7 III

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  • Perfect 693-point autofocus system
  • 4K video support
  • 15-stop dynamic range
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • 10fps burst mode


  • Imperfect touchscreen functions
  • UHS-II cards supported only by one slot
  • Unreliable weather-sealed ports
  • Slight tears in EVF

This is an excellent camera that is good for video recording and professional event/wedding photography. It has good characteristics and meets all the requirements of modern users. The device is capable of quickly generating images in RAW format. The 24-megapixel sensor provides good image quality that is suitable for large format printing. One of the main advantages of this camera is remarkable ISO operation. It produces clear pictures, with minimal digital noise, even at very high ISO values (6400) thanks to innovative noise-reduction technology.

  • If you’re going to record high-resolution videos but don’t want a heavy DSLR camera body, check out the best mirrorless cameras for video that are quite inexpensive and produce awesome quality and sound.

This full frame mirrorless camera copes with shooting in low-light conditions and the use of automatic white balance settings. JPEG images have warm tones, including green shades. This device boasts 4K video recording, which undoubtedly is an important aspect when choosing a video camera. It is one of the most popular new Sony cameras.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

This compact zoom lens has an incredibly wide and universal range from 24 to 105 mm. It will allow you to achieve perfect image quality.VIEW MOREsony fe 24-105mm photo samplePhoto by Sony A7 III

2. Sony Alpha a68

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  • Perfect image quality
  • Swift continuous shooting
  • Good 79-point AF system


  • No touchscreen
  • Lack of Wi-Fi module
  • No 4K video, Full HD only

This cheap camera can support JPEG and RAW files pretty well. However, it is worth noting that RAW images turn out to be slightly muted. But this is not a problem, since these flaws can be easily corrected while photo editing in Lightroom. Without filters, the pictures look pretty decent, particularly with a wide aperture lens.

The device has good noise-reduction features. Even at ISO 3200, you will get pictures with minimal digital noise. They will remain clear, even after printing. Another advantage of this model is its ease of operation and user-friendly interface. It is characterized by an incredible focusing system for tracking subjects and a good body for telephoto lenses. The camera can also film quality videos in full HD. The lack of 4K video shooting function is a slight disadvantage, but for this price – it is the best choice.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM DT

A large zoom and perfect autofocus are the advantages of this lens designed for Alpha series cameras. Thanks to the innovative Smooth Autofocus Motor, getting amazing images will not be a problem for beginners.VIEW MOREsony 18-55mmPhoto by Sony Alpha A68

3. Sony A7S II

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  • Maximum ISO 409,600
  • 4K video support
  • Perfect autofocus work in poor light


  • Inconvenient record button placement
  • 8-bit video only (no 10 or 12-bit video)

Unlike other Sony Alpha cameras, for example, the A7R II or A7 II, this model does not feature a very high resolution, which undoubtedly affects the image quality. However, it can be used to take pictures for further high-quality A3 printing. The camera has many advantages that far exceed its disadvantages. The device has a fairly large size and weight due to the incredibly wide range of options for adjusting the lens.

  • Choose one of these budget video cameras to record your trips, beauty photoshoots or family parties professionally and for affordable piece.

However, I do not advise you shoot with the maximum ISO of 409,600 regularly. Noise-reduction technology will allow you to get rid of digital noise. In addition, you can shoot even at night by selecting high ISO values (about 6400). The camera also has good video characteristics, in particular, support for 4K XAVC S video shooting and the ability to record high-quality material even in low light. 4K video quality is close to those of cameras with 10- or 12-bit outputs. These features allow you to use this device in professional videography. Many experts call it the best Sony camera for video recording.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA

The large F1.8 aperture of this lens allows you to create beautiful portrait photos with bokeh. You can always stop down for expanded depth of field.VIEW MOREsony 55mm photo samplePhoto by Sony A7S II

4. Sony Alpha A99 II

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  • Plenty of functions
  • Perfect image quality
  • Exceptional LCD/EVF
  • Quick AF
  • High-quality LCD screen


  • Short battery life compared to similar cameras
  • Slow under certain conditions
  • No integrated RAW processing
  • Lack of touchscreen

The details and clarity of images make it one of the best Sony camera for photography. The lack of optical low-pass filter (OLPF) makes it possible to reproduce even the smallest details. You can get amazing JPEG pictures shooting with this camera. Many users notice that the images may have oversaturated colors, but it cannot be called a disadvantage since it is a typical feature of all modern cameras.

This gadget has a very good noise reduction system, which allows you to achieve maximum image quality. Choosing high ISO values, you can see a certain amount of digital noise in your photos. The model enables you to create good 30 x 40-inch prints even when raising ISO values up to 800. Thanks to a 42.4-megapixel sensor, photographers take clear photos with fantastic resolution. Some small details may lose their clarity at ISO 1600, but you can make a high-quality 24 x 36-inch print even with such a high ISO value.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony 24 -70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T

This lens has a perfect zoom and autofocus system with 35mm FF sensor coverage. Its corresponding focal range is 24-70 mm when interacting with a 35mm sensor camera.VIEW MOREsony 24-70mm photo samplePhoto by Sony Alpha A99 Ii

5. Sony RX100 Mark V

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  • Compact and lightweight
  • Tilt screen
  • Fast frame rate
  • Large sensor
  • 4K video filming
  • Integrated electronic viewfinder


  • Several handling problems
  • Lack of touchscreen

If you are looking for the best Sony camera, you should pay attention to this model. The device has pretty good features that can satisfy even the most demanding photographers. If we compare this digital camera with similar cameras in terms of shooting JPEGs, it can be noted that some gadgets take pictures with slight blurriness, the so-called “halo” around the objects. The RX100 Mark V has special technology that allows you to get rid of the “halo” or make it almost invisible.

Undoubtedly, high clarity and sharpness of images are an advantage of this model. A photographer can start playing back a series of photos immediately after shooting thanks to the upgraded processing. You can check the focus and other camera settings in the upper left corner of the screen.Sony RX100 Mark V photo samplePhoto by Sony RX100 Mark V

6. Sony A9

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  • Amazing performance
  • Perfect AF work
  • Viewfinder without blackouts
  • Simple configuration management
  • Remarkable 24MP sensor
  • 4K video support


  • Unreliable weather sealing
  • Lack of XQD card slots
  • Imperfect balance with long lenses
  • Restricted touchscreen control
  • Short battery life

According to many Sony camera reviews, experts note that the main advantage of this device is a 24-megapixel sensor. This makes it possible to obtain quality images with high resolution. You will be able to print your photos in Super A2 or A3 format and make them as sharp as possible. Working in low light, the photographer can choose the maximum ISO values (about 12,800) and get good photos. Of course, you may see a small amount of digital noise, but these disadvantages can be easily removed during photo editing.

It should be noted that the camera has imperfect white balance. Sometimes you can get pictures with a greenish tint. It can occur while working with poor artificial lighting. Therefore, it is better to use manual settings. The device has good video characteristics, for example, 4K video recording and a fantastic AF system. Summing up, I can say that this is the best Sony camera for different types of shooting, such as sports, wedding and child photography.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

This incredible G Master Series telephoto zoom lens has great features, including fast autofocus, compact size and support for high-resolution standards.VIEW MOREsony fe 100-400mm photo samplePhoto by Sony A9

7. Sony A7R III

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  • 10fps at 42.2MP sensor
  • Improved 5-axis IS system
  • Bright and big EVF
  • Quick AF operation


  • Rather short battery life
  • Imperfect touchscreen control
  • Only one slot for UHS-II cards

This is probably the best Sony Alpha camera today. This camera has good ISO characteristics and excellent noise reduction functions. Raising ISO values (up to 32,000), the photographer can get images with a moderate amount of digital noise. The maximum value is ISO 102, 400, but I do not recommend you select it when working under normal conditions. In this case, you are guaranteed to get poor quality pictures. Choose such values only when the image quality is not your primary goal, and your main task is to photograph the object.

In addition, Alpha A7R III boasts a wide dynamic range. If you want to retain highlights, you may take low-sensitivity pictures and underexpose them. Then, all imperfections should be removed in Lightroom. Perhaps this is the best Sony digital camera that is universal and good for all photo genres.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G

This lens is an excellent tool for photo and video shooting. Silent operation and fast autofocus are its undeniable advantages. The lens has an extra wide 12–24 mm range that will help you take good real estate photos with high resolution.VIEW MOREsony fe 12-24mm photo samplePhoto by Sony A7R III

How to Buy a Digital Camera

1. Determine what you need

A mistake I see some digital camera buyers making is that they get sucked into buying cameras that are beyond what they really need. Some questions to ask yourself before you go shopping:

  • What do you need the camera for?
  • What type of photography will you be doing? (portraits, landscapes, macro, sports)
  • What conditions will you be largely photographing in? (indoors, outdoors, low light, bright light)
  • Will you largely stay in auto mode or do you want to learn the art of photography?
  • What experience level do you have with cameras?
  • What type of features are you looking for? (long zoom, image stabilization, large LCD display etc)
  • How important is size and portability to you?
  • What is your budget?

Ask yourself these questions before you go to buy a camera and you’ll be in a much better position to make a decision when you see what’s on offer. You’ll probably find the sales person asks you this question anyway – so to have thought about it before hand will help them help you get the right digital camera.

2. Megapixels are NOT everything

One of the features that you’ll see used to sell digital cameras is how many megapixels a digital camera has.

When I first got into digital photography, a few years back, the megapixel rating of cameras was actually quite important as most cameras were at the lower end of today’s modern day range and even a 1 megapixel increase was significant.

These days, with most new cameras coming out with at least 5 megapixels, it isn’t so crucial. In fact at the upper end of the range it can actually be a disadvantage to have images that are so large that they take up enormous amounts of space on memory cards and computers.

One of the main questions to ask when it comes to megapixels is ‘Will you be printing shots’? If so – how large will you be going with them? If you’re only printing images at a normal size then anything over 4 or so megapixels will be fine. If you’re going to start blowing your images up you might want to pay the extra money for something at the upper end of what’s on offer today.

3. Keep in mind the ‘extras’


Keep in mind as you look at cameras that the price quoted may not be the final outlay that you need to make as there are a variety of other extras that you might want (or need) to fork out for including:

  • Camera Case
  • Memory Cards
  • Spare Batteries/Recharger
  • Lenses (if you are getting a DSLR)
  • Filters (and other lens attachments)
  • Tripods/Monopods
  • External Flashes
  • Reflectors

Some retailers will bundle such extras with cameras or will at least give a discount when buying more than one item at once. Keep in mind though that what they offer in bundles might not meet you needs. For example it’s common to get a 16 or 32 megabyte memory card with cameras – however these days you’ll probably want something at least of 500 megabytes (if not a gigabyte or two).

4. Do you already own any potentially compatible gear?

Talking of extra gear – one way to save yourself some cash is if you have accessories from previous digital cameras that are compatible with your new one.

For example memory cards, batteries, lenses (remember that many film camera lenses are actually compatible with digital SLRs from the same manufacturers), flashes, filters etc.

5. DSLR or Point and Shoot?

Dslr-Point-And-ShootWhile digital SLRs are getting more affordable they are not for everyone. Keep in mind that they are usually bigger, heavier, harder to keep clean (if you’re changing lenses) and can be more complicated to operate than point and shoot. Of course there are some upsides also.

If you’re trying to make a decision between a point and shoot and DSLR you might want to read my previous posts titled Should you buy a DSLR or a Point and Shoot Digital Camera? and it’s companion piece How to Choose a DSLR.

6. Optical Zooms are King

Not all ‘zooms’ are created equal.

When you’re looking at different models of digital cameras you’ll often hear their zooms talked about in two ways. Firstly there’s the ‘optical zoom’ and then there’s the ‘digital zoom’.

I would highly recommend that you only take into consideration the ‘optical zoom’ when making a decision about which camera to buy. Digital zooms simply enlarge the pixels in your shot which does make your subject look bigger, but it also makes it look more pixelated and your picture ‘noisier’ (like when you go up close to your TV).

If you’re looking for a zoom lens make sure it’s an optical zoom (most modern cameras have them of at least 3x in length – ie they’ll make your subject three times as big – with an increasing array of ‘super zooms’ coming onto the market at up to 12x Optical Zoom).

7. Read reviews

Before buying a digital camera take the time to do a little research. Don’t JUST rely upon the advice of the helpful sales person (who may or may not know anything about cameras and who may or may not have sales incentives for the camera they are recommending).

Read some reviews in digital camera magazines or online to help you narrow down the field. There are some great websites around that give expert and user reviews on virtually every camera on the market – use this wonderful and free resource.

A little self promotion here – one such site is my Digital Photography Blog which is a site that collates the reviews of many sites from around the web. To use it best enter the camera’s model name that you’re looking for a review on in the search feature in the top right side bar. It’ll give you a link to a central page that has information on the camera as well as links to any reviews published online on that camera from around the web.

8. Hands On Experience

Photo by erinmariepage

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a handful of cameras head into your local digital camera shop and ask to see and play with them. There’s nothing like having the camera in your hands to work out whether it suits your needs.

When I shop for a camera I generally use the web to find reviews, then I head into a street in my city with 4 camera shops side by side and I go from shop to shop asking for recommendations and seeing the cameras live in the flash. In doing this I generally find the same camera or two are recommended in most shops and I get to see them demonstrated by different people (this gives a more well rounded demo). I also get to play with it and get a feel for which one I could see myself using.

9. Negotiate

After you’ve selected the right digital camera for you it’s time to find the best price.

Once again, I generally start online (on a site like our store) and do some searches to find the most competitive prices on the models I’m interested in. With these in hand I’m in a good position to be able to negotiate in person with local stores and/or with online stores. I generally find that retail stores will negotiate on price and will often throw in freebies. Online stores are more difficult – most bigger ones don’t give you the ability to negotiate but smaller ones often will if you email them.

Don’t forget to ask for free or discounted bonuses including camera cases, memory cards, extra batteries, filters, free prints, cases etc. I even know of a couple of stores that offer camera lessons that you can ask to be included. Some stores will also consider giving you a trade in on older gear.

I generally do negotiating from home on the phone and only go into a store to pick up the camera after a price is agreed upon.

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