Have you ever celebrated a birthday and thought to yourself ‘wow that year went by fast!’? Well it seems that the older you get the quicker time flies. It’s good to remind ourselves of this fact every now and then and remember to capture lots of photos of special moments along the way. Smartphone cameras have gotten better and better over the years but there are still plenty of good reasons to invest in a proper camera.

Today I’m going to look at some of the best entry-level cameras on the market, cameras that are available right now at BestBuy.ca. These are cameras that are budget-friendly and suited to a wide variety of shooting scenarios.

A compact wizard

Point-and-shoot cameras used to be pretty basic, but nowadays there are some really impressive models out there with lots of great features. The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is a great example of a compact camera that has a feature set that the casual photographer will love. Dubbed a ‘superzoom’ by Canon, it has a very impressive 40x optical zoom lens which allows you to get close-ups that you would never be able to get with your smartphone. It can also help you to choose the best composition for your images using something called Zoom Framing Assist. Add image stabilization and Full HD video recording at up 60 frames per second and you have a very nice package indeed.

If selfies are your thing it has an LCD screen that flips to the forward position to allow you to get the best possible angle. If you want to save time on retouching and still present your best self to your social media followers, you can enable the Smooth Skin effect. And with Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth technology built-in you can instantly share your masterpieces on your favourite platforms. All of these great features are housed in a sleek and portable body that you can easily carry in your pocket, ready to capture the moment in a heartbeat.

A photo of the Canon Powershot SX730 HS
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

A DSLR with staying power

Ever since the advent of the mirrorless camera a number of years back, many photographers have written off the trusty old DSLR, but I’m here to tell you that the demise of the DSLR is far from a forgone conclusion! There are still good reasons to invest in a DSLR, particularly if you’re a hobbyist photographer. Nikon has a long history in the industry and is known for making some of the best consumer DSLRs around.

These cameras are built to exacting standards and designed to last. The Nikon D3500 is a good example of just such a camera. With a 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor—which is much, much bigger than the sensor on your smartphone—you will be able to print enlargements that you will be proud to display on your walls. You can also send your images directly to your smartphone as the D3500 is Wi-Fi enabled.

A photo of the Nikon D3500
The Nikon D3500

Lots of lens options

One of the key advantages of any DSLR or mirrorless camera is that you can swap out the lens based on your needs and preferences. I always recommend enthusiasts to consider buying a 50mm lens as a good general purpose lens. The Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G prime lens is a fantastic companion to the D3500, capable of producing clear, sharp images and beautifully blurred out backgrounds, thanks to that wide maximum aperture. And the beauty of shooting with a long-established brand like Nikon is that you have the option of buying lenses by third party manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron.

Bigger sensor means better low-light performance

One of the key advantages of shooting with a DSLR with a proper sensor is improved low-light (or high ISO) performance. While you might notice that the megapixel count on the D3500 is not all that different from a smartphone or compact camera, the pixels on a bigger sensor are distributed over a wider space and so they tend to interfere with each other less. Interference between pixels is a problem that is particularly evident in ‘noisy’ images shot at high ISOs. The D3500 has a maximum ISO of 25600 which will allow you to get surprisingly good shots in very low-light situations.

A mirrorless for the purists

Fujifilm has earned a remarkable reputation over the last few years for it’s stable of  beautifully designed mirrorless cameras. If aesthetics is important to you and you like to look cool while you shoot, then you could do a lot worse than invest in a Fujifilm. And the X-T200 is a great place to start. It gives you all the advantages of a mirrorless camera—compact size, silent shooting and enhanced video features, to name a few—in a body that’s built to turn heads. The X-T200 comes with an image stabilized 15-45mm lens, and in my experience Fujifilm kit lenses actually produce very good images, whereas other manufacturers kit lenses are often glorified paperweights.

A photo of the Fujifilm X-T200
The Fujifilm X-T200

Fujifilm cameras have a strong following among camera purists, in part because of the beautiful ergonomics of the controls but also because of the film simulations, of which there are 11 different options, that can be applied to your images right there on the camera. This is a great way to enhance your photos before you send them over to your smartphone via Wi-Fi.

Enhanced autofocus

One of the key features of the X-T200 is the face and eye autofocus function which can help you get perfect focus every time you shoot a portrait. The X-T200 can even track your subjects within the frame. Another great feature is the touch-enabled LCD screen which allows you to shoot images by tapping the screen, change your focus point and even change some of your settings. The X-T200 can shoot 4K video and has an image stabilization algorithm which will help you to shoot smoother videos.

There are so many great cameras out there for the novice and enthusiast alike, and whatever your budget is, you’ll find a camera to suit at BestBuy.ca!

Justin Morrison
I am a professional photographer, working in motion and stills. I create portrait, lifestyle and documentary work, and I strive to tell real and authentic stories. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia.