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The Best Camera For Beginners – Here Are Our Top 5 Picks

There’s just something about taking photos with an actual camera, isn’t there? It’s something that’s missing when you use the camera on your phone.

Not that there is anything wrong with your camera phone. In fact, they are usually on the same level as many professional cameras.

However, there is something fun about holding a camera in your hand and taking photos. You might even be thinking about investing in a camera for yourself.

Though, you may be overwhelmed by the possibilities. There are so many different types, brands, and levels when it comes to cameras.

How do you know what is the best camera for beginners? 

What to Look for in a Camera

It’s hard to narrow down to one specific best camera for beginners. After all, everyone has different needs and speeds. But we can show you what to look for in a camera, so you can get the right one for you.

Why Do You Want a Camera?

The first thing to think about is why do you want a camera? Do you want to take photos every day, for special events, or to do it as a hobby? Depending on your answer one type of camera will be better than another.

A compact camera would be better for carrying around. A DSLR would be good if you are trying to do it as an art form or hobby. Special events could let you can get a pretty cheap camera.

Photos or Videos or Both?

Do you want to focus only on photos or do you want to make movies? There are certain models that are better at videos than others. If you want to do both, then you need to find a camera that can handle both well. They may also offer special features that you don’t see with plain photo taking cameras.

Essential Features

There are some features that are a must with a camera, beginner or not. These will help you narrow your field of choices:

Manual Mode: This feature lets you take full control over the exposure of an image. In automatic mode, the camera takes care of a lot for you. ISO controls how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. You increase the sensitivity, so you can shoot in darker conditions without a flash. You should look for cameras that offer an ISO of 1600 or higher.

Megapixels: These are a measure of the resolution of a camera. The more megapixels, the higher quality the photo will be. However, the more megapixels, the higher the price will be.

Ergonomics: Ergonomics are a big factor too. You should consider how the camera feels in your hands. If you are going to spend a lot of time with it, it needs to feel good. Things like size, weight, and durability are important to consider.

Proper Focus: Focus is key to good photos. It draws the viewer’s eye through the image to where you want them to look. The quality of a camera’s autofocus is definitely worth thinking about.

Different Types of Cameras

There are different types of cameras- and depending on your needs, one will suit you better than another:

The DSLR

cameras for beginners

DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera. This tends to be the most popular beginner’s camera. It’s the camera that people tend to think of when they think of stepping up from their phone. It does give great images, but they do depend on the type of lens you use. A perk of this type of camera is the fact that you can change lenses any time you want – and that means you have more control.

However, this camera can be a little overwhelming for some beginners because they have so much control. There are different lenses, buttons, and menus to master. They are also kind of heavy compare to other types of cameras.

Mirrorless Cameras

This is a newer type of camera that is still evolving. It’s getting to point where it’s becoming tough competition to the more professional cameras. With this type of camera, you aren’t looking through a mirror to see what you are taking a picture of. Instead, you are seeing it through a viewfinder. They offer quality images and different choices of lenses. There is a lot of growth opportunities with this camera. It’s also small and light – which makes them easier to carry around.

However, they are somewhat complicated like the DSLRs, which can be off putting to some beginners. And, their battery life doesn’t tend to be long. Plus, they can be a bit expensive for some.

Other Camera Options

There are also Bridge Cameras, Point-and-Shoot Cameras, and Film Cameras that all share their own pros and cons. Though the two types we listed above tend to be the most common.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We looked at what photographers’ themselves thought was the best camera for beginners. We did this because they know what to look for when it comes to what a beginner needs to get started. They themselves were beginners at one point and understand the struggles that you are going to face. Once we had a list of cameras to look into, we start comparing pros and cons for each. We then went to a consumer site like Amazon and see what others thought of it. These people are in a similar place as you and have nothing to lose by reviewing.

5 Best Camera for Beginners

We did our best to find different kinds of cameras at different prices. This is so everyone will hopefully find a camera that suits them and their needs.

Sony a5100 16-50mm Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)

Sale
Sony a5100 16-50mm Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)
  • Ultra-fast auto focus with 179 AF points and 6Fps
  • Capture life in high resolution with 24MP APS-C sensor.Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
  • Instant sharing via smartphone with Wi-Fi and NFC1
  • Record Full HD 1080/24/60P video3 up to 50MB/s
  • Contains- Rechargeable Battery (NP-FW50) AC Charger (AC-UB10) Lens cap Shoulder strap Micro USB cable. BIONZ X engine for superb detail and noise reduction

Features

This camera has ultra-fast focus with 179 AF points and 6Fps. It has high resolution and can instantly share with your smartphone. You can record full HD 1080 video as well. It’s half the weight of a DSLR, but has all the same power and capabilities. It has a flip up touch screen so that you can see from all angles. And, there is also a built-in pop-up flash for situations that need extra lighting. You can even add apps to this camera to improve it. 

It features a rechargeable battery, AC charger, lens cap, shoulder strap, and a micro USB cable. We give it a 4.2-star rating. People like this camera because it’s easy to use, it’s powerful, and it takes great shots. People have complained about the touch screen not working as well as it should, the battery power could be better, and it’s not very intuitive.

Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Camera, Black

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Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Camera, Black
  • LUMIX 30X Travel Zoom Camera with Eye Viewfinder
  • Enhanced low-light sensitivity for improved sharpness even without a flash
  • Built-in eye viewfinder eliminates outdoor glare on sunny days
  • Intelligent Zoom 60x
  • Lens:12 elements in 9 groups

Features

This is a travel zoom camera with an eye viewfinder. It has low light sensitivity for improved sharpness, even without a flash. The viewfinder is designed to deflect sunlight glare. And, it takes clear pictures and videos. There is a lens mounted control that allows for easier manual control for exposure, zoom, and focus. This makes it easier to focus on the shutter. 

It is able to capture moving subjects at high speed thanks to its 10-frames-per-second, high-speed burst shooting. It also will record high speed videos as well. This gets a 4-star rating. The pros of this camera are its ability to handle bright situations and still get a good photo, it takes very sharp photos, and it’s a good size to carry around. Cons are that dust can collect around the lens and affect zooming capabilities, the buttons are too close together, and the customer service could be better.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens

Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens
  • 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor
  • EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens expands picture-taking possibilities
  • 3-inch LCD TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor for easy viewing and sharing
  • EOS 1080p full HD movie mode helps you capture brilliant results
  • Features include continuous shooting up to 3fps, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, creative filers, built-in flash and feature guide

Features

This is a lightweight and easy to use camera. It can handle both photos and videos. It creates sharp images due to its fast and powerful image processor. And, it has a touch screen that can move in different directions, so you can see everything in every situation. It offers a feature assistant function to help you through a shot. And, you can also share your images thanks to its built in WiFi. 

You can film video at 60-frames-a-second and still have it be smooth. It even features an internal microphone. We give a 4.6-star rating. Perks of this camera are that its lightweight, people are getting great shots, and it’s easy to use. A few cons – it can look cheap to some people, it’s not great in low lighting situations, and the battery life isn’t the greatest.

Nikon D5600 24.2 MP DSLR Camera + AF-P DX 18-55mm & 70-300mm NIKKOR Zoom Lens Kit + Accessory Bundle

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Nikon D5600 24.2 MP DSLR Camera + AF-P DX 18-55mm & 70-300mm NIKKOR Zoom Lens Kit + Accessory Bundle
  • NIKON AUTHORIZED DEALER - Includes Full NIKON USA WARRANTY
  • Nikon D5600 24.2 MP DSLR Camera with AF-P DX 18-55mm & 70-300mm Zoom Lens Kit
  • YOUR PHOTOS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD! WI-FI - NFC - BLUETOOTH BUILT-IN
  • INCLUDED IN THE CAMERA BOX: D5600 DSLR Camera - AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens - AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED Lens - EN-EL14a Battery - MH-24 Quick Charger - DK-25 Rubber Eyecup - AN-DC3 Strap - BF-1B Body Cap - LC-55A 55mm Front Lens Cap - Rear Lens Cap - LC-58 58mm Front Lens Cap - Rear Lens Cap
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES:Sandisk Ultra SDHC 32GB Class 10 Memory Card |Nikon Deluxe Digital SLR Bag .43x Wide Angle Lens with Macro - Pro 2x Telephoto Lens Converter - 55mm UV, Polarizer & FLD Deluxe Filter Kit (Set of 3 + Carrying Case) - Bounce Zoom Slave Flash - Wired Shutter Release Remote Control - 12" Rubberized Spider Tripod - Lens Cleaning Pen - Hi-Speed Memory Card Reader - Tri-fold Memory Card Wallet - Professional Blower Camera Dust Removal System - Beach Camera Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Features

This camera has a large high-resolution sensor and broad ISO range to create sharper images. It also features an interchangeable lens. You can even share your photos instantly with your smartphone or tablet. There is a touch display that you use to swipe, pinch, zoom, and focus with which flips in all directions. It will also store your images in its cloud. 

This Nikon camera films high-quality HD movies and even has a near-silent autofocus. And, it works in both high and low lighting. This bundle includes a camera case, memory card, rechargeable battery, charger, rubberized spider tripod, wired shutter release remote, bounce zoom flash, dust removal blower system, lens cleaning pen, memory card wallet, card reader, mini tripod, screen protectors, lens cleaning kit, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

We give this a 4.4-star rating. People like this camera because it’s a professional grade, it’s easy to use, and is a bundle. A few cons – people have complained about the accessories being a little cheap, the remote doesn’t always appear to work with the camera, and the instructions could have been better.

Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401-BK 16MP Digital Camera with 40X Optical Zoom and 3" LCD (Black)

Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401-BK 16MP Digital Camera with 40X Optical Zoom and 3" LCD (Black)
  • You'll get well defined, detailed images thanks to the AZ401's 16 million pixels. That's ample resolution to crop, zoom, or enlarge your photos however the photographer in you desires.
  • With a 24mm wide angle lens, there's no sacrificing what you want in the frame. So go ahead and let your camera see what you see - the sky's the limit!
  • The Optical Image Stabilization will iron out any small movements as you're focused on getting your shot, so you never have to be afraid to go for what you want.
  • Whether you're in the moment, or modifying your work at a later time, the bright, 3" LCD screen ensures that you end up with just what you're looking for.
  • Capture everything in your peripherals with the 180 Degree Panorama feature

Features

This camera lets you zoom, crop, and more – without losing quality. It has 25x optical zoom and a 24 mm wide angled lens. It will also detect facial features and enhance it for better images. This Kodak will even let you touch up any blemishes after the fact – rather than having to do it in a separate app.

This camera is good for beginners because all you do is point, frame, and shoot. It can handle both photos and videos with ease. We give this a 3.3-star rating. Pros of this camera are the zoom is great, it’s easy to use, and the amount of features it has. Cons are that the lens cap falls off often, the battery doesn’t last long, and there doesn’t seem to be instructions that come with it. 

Buyer’s Guide to Picking the Best Camera

Buying the best camera for beginners does have its challenges. The key is to know what you want. Like we mentioned before, you need to know what you are going use it for. Once you’ve decided that, it will narrow your choices. Make sure it has all the features that you want. Also, consider your budget. These cameras can get pricey fast. Depending on what camera you buy, you may also need to get accessories for it as well.

Make sure to read the reviews before you buy anything. These people have tried the camera already. They will tell you if it works or not. They will point out the real perks and the takeaways. They can really help you decide if that is the camera for you.

Best Camera for Beginners – and for You

cameras for beginners

Remember that just because a camera is labeled “best camera for beginners”, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for you. You really need to think about what you want from a camera before you make an investment.

Check out some photography blogs if you need more information. These are usually written by real photographers and they can give you more insight. Once you find the right camera for you, you will have a lot of fun exploring the world of photography through your new lens.

The Great Importance Of Achieving White Balance In Photography

Have you ever looked at a beautiful scene and just had to take a picture of it? Did you get home and look at the shot, just to notice that the colors were off? It didn’t even come close to capturing the beauty you just witnessed. In fact, the photo kind of looked awful.

What went wrong? Did you somehow take the picture wrong? What happened?The lack of white balance is most likely the reason for the colors being off in your photo. It’s an important tool that tends to get overlooked quite often. Let’s learn more below!

How Color Effects Photography

white balance

Image CCO to Kaique Rocha via Pexels

You might be surprised at how much control you have over color and light when you’re taking a photo. People think of color affecting paintings and illustrations, but it can definitely make or break photos too.

  • Color is a little different with photography than with other types of art. It’s a little more scientific. 
  • Color and light are connected in a deep way. Objects in images are only visible because of the light they reflect. Colored objects look colored because they take in some wavelengths and then reflect them onto others. 

What Exactly is a Kelvin and Why Does It Matter?

These wavelengths that objects absorb and give out are called Kelvins. Many people refer to them as the temperature of the light. Though it doesn’t have anything to do with the heat it does or doesn’t give off. The scale was discovered by different physics experiments. These experiments looked at the wavelengths of light made by heating black objects to different temperatures. Color temperatures range from cool, which is blue, to warm, which is orange. Sunlight at noon is supposed to be the true neutral, white, and all other types of light are compared to it.

The amount of light that is within a scene will affect the amount of color that is in an object. This means that depending on the lighting, red will appear redder, etc. This is why sometimes your photos can look weirdly blue or pale. Intense light will also make everything look washed out, as well.

Disconnect Between Your Camera and Your Brain

white balance

Image CCO to jonas-svidras via Pixabay

The reason you see a scene differently than your camera has to do with your brain. Your brain is, of course, much smarter than your camera. When lighting is off, your brain automatically compensates for it. So, no matter what the lighting actually is, your mind will adjust what you are seeing – and objects will be the correct color.

Now, you might not believe this because you always see light as a single color. Your brain is so good that it automatically corrects your vision before you even notice something is off. Impressive, right?

However, your camera doesn’t technically have this function. The closest it can get is the Auto mode – though it’s not nearly as accurate as your brain, and it basically guesses what the balance is.

Why White Balance Matters in Your Photos?

White balance is the bridge for the disconnect between your brain and camera. It’s a setting on your camera that helps control how colors look in different types of light. To get the right balance, you need to take into account the color temperature of the light within the scene.

Using your white balance will get rid of unwanted colors that can mess with your image. It will adjust the colors so you can make the image look like what you saw with your own eyes.

Does White Balance Affect Shooting RAW

white balance

Image CCO to JÉSHOOTS via Pexels

Most photographers think that white balance doesn’t matter with using RAW files because you can easily fix things in post editing. This is because RAW keeps all the color data that your camera grabs. It’s just a matter of a few clicks and you’re done.

However, keep in mind this technique doesn’t work as well on other file types.

There really isn’t a yes or no answer when it comes to RAW files. It all really depends on your preference. If you hate editing, then you will definitely want to use the balance right away. It’s also a great form to use while you are getting used to using your white balance.

Different Ways to Change the White Balance on Cameras

On digital cameras, you can use a few different settings to adjust the white balance. Depending the image and lighting, some will give better results than others. Luckily, many of these are clearly labeled for each situation:

Auto

This setting means that your camera will pick the balance based on the scene you’re photographing. It does this by looking for something white within the scene to compare the lighting to. While this sounds convenient, it’s not exactly accurate. It doesn’t get quite the right balance fairly often, and so and the colors get thrown off. This will happen especially if there is nothing white in the scene. Auto will try to find the next best thing, which doesn’t really work.

It also can’t really handle complex lighting, like when there are multiple sources of light. It can’t take the different lighting into consideration as it’s deciding. Remember, your brain and your eyes are infinitely better at this than any camera ever will be.You would be surprised at how different each photo can be with this setting when they are taken within seconds of each other. Something as small as a cloud will change everything. Sometimes, the Auto function will even correct colors that you don’t want changed, like with sunsets.

Tungsten/Incandescent

You use this setting when you are indoors with incandescent lights. These lights have an orange hue to them, so you can balance everything by adding some blue. If you don’t use this setting, then you will get weirdly orange photos. They may even turn out to look like old-fashioned pictures.

Fluorescent

This is for shooting indoors with fluorescent lights. These lights are mostly neutral, but can give a little hint of blue. So, this setting warms things up with a bit with orange – that way everything looks like it’s supposed to.

Daylight/Sunlight

You use this setting when you’re outdoors and the sun is super bright. Sunlight is pretty neutral, so you can use blue or orange depending on the situation. This is one of those settings that can depend on your preference. Depending on your aim for the image, you can pick a warmer or cooler tone.

Cloudy

Use this setting when it’s cloudy outside. Using a warmer tint here will make things stand out more than they would normally. It helps get rid of the grayness.

Flash

Light that comes from a flash is a cool temperature, so it needs a warmer tint to balance everything out.

Shade

Everything is a little darker in the shade, so images need some warm tones to balance it out. This also works for low-lighting situations.

Manual Setting

If you want to, you can take full control of your camera’s white balance. You can set it in terms of Kelvin, which ranges from 2,500K to 10,000K.

2,500K is a deep blue tint, while 10,000K is a deep orange. Some cameras have an option of making a custom white balance. You can do this with the help of a white card. Once you get the hang of this setting, you can do some experimenting and make some really cool images. This is where you can let your artistic side shine.

You Don’t Need to Always Use White Balance

After all that writing about how important white balance is, you should know that you don’t always have to use it. Once you’ve mastered how to do it and you can tell a difference between a properly balanced photo and one that is off, then you are free to do what you want.

Maybe you want your photos to be warmer because you like the emotion it gives. Maybe you want to have your photos on the cooler side because you like how it looks.

Even with all the technical terms and details, remember, photography is still an art form. You should create your art however you like.

Unique Photo Backdrop Ideas: Top 10 Picks

You never want your subject to fade into the background. You need them to stand out. There are some traditional methods that allow the background to fade away and let your subject be the focus. But anything too traditional can get boring very fast. You want to exercise your artistic muscles. You don’t want your subject to just be the focus, you want them to shine.

The Power of a Perfect Photo Backdrop


If you are new to the photo backdrop arena, you need to know their value before you mess with them. They are often used for portraits, but they can be used for a variety of reasons. And, using them correctly will really make your photos pop. You can use simple or textured, expensive or cheap, indoor or outdoor backdrops, it’s all up to you. If you choose right, you can bring out the personality of your subject without saying a word. Which, you can’t do in a photo anyway.

You need to be careful though, a cluttered background will draw attention away from your subject. Perspective can play a big role with backgrounds too. You will be surprised at how different everything can look when you squat closer to the ground or go off center. You can also use light to make your subject pop. Photography is nothing without light. Using the right light, you can create contrast that will subtly diminish an attention-grabbing background.

Everything You Need to Know About a Photo Backdrop 

To have a photo backdrop work correctly, you need to know all about it. Like, for example, subjects should be at least 3 feet away from the backdrop. This will prevent shadows and make lighting easier.

Backdrop Sizes

There are different sizes of backdrops that will work better than others depending on what you are photographing. A 3.5-foot-wide backdrop is good for babies, pets, and small objects. 3.5-foot-long backdrops are good for headshots. Though they are too short for a full body portrait, 5 or 6-foot-wide backdrops are good for headshots and ¾ length portraits. Use a 6- or 7-foot-long backdrop for full portraits and family portraits. There are even bigger sizes, but you get the idea.

How to Mount Them

There are different ways to set these backdrops up. There are both professional and DIY ways. The simplest way is to simply hang it up using wall hooks. There is also the traditional backdrop support system that most photography studios use. It’s made of a 3-section cross bar and two light stands.

Traditional Backdrop Materials

You can really use anything as a photo backdrop. For example: You can use polyester fabric with embossed velour. It doesn’t wrinkle and creates a lot of interest. Solid colored ones are usually made with a wrinkle-resistant cotton-polymer blend. It’s great because it’s machine washable and very easy to store.

There is also hand painted muslin that lets you completely customize it. Muslin is heavy duty and can definitely take a beating.
Finally, there are paper backdrops that are good for quick and cheap photo shoots.

10 Unique Photo Backdrop Ideas

You can get really creative when it comes to backdrops. Some are simple and others are more intricate. This list should inspire you to create some unique backdrops of your own:

1. Use Your Colors Creatively

Colors

Color is important to photography in general, but you can use it to create some highly dynamic images. For example, warm colors visually advance, while cooler ones recede.


If you put a subject with warm colors against a cool colored background, it will look very dynamic. It can even make it seem like it’s popping out of the picture to the viewer.

2. Dried Flowers

Dried Flowers

While most people think that fresh flowers are the only kind that should be used in photos, dried ones can create an interesting image. It’s also a relatively easy background to create. All you need to do is get some dried flowers and then tape them on the backdrop. You can do it in bits and pieces, that way you can put them in the most interesting way possible. 


You can even use branches, leaves, and grass. If you don’t like that idea, you can always try paper flowers. Also, if you don’t like tape, you can use string – or any other objects you can get to stick to the background fabric or paper. Just make sure the string matches the background. Then it looks like they are floating.

3. Curtains

Curtain

These can be really fun to use. You can hunt through thrift stores and look for cool looking curtains.


You can pick a bunch of different patterns and use them depending on your mood. Best part of all, they’re reusable.

4. Your Own Art

Painting

Why not add art to your art? If you like to dabble in painting or other art forms, use it to your advantage.


Even if you don’t paint regularly, you can still do it. Make some creative patterns, use interesting lines, and different textures.


You can always ask some painter friends to help too.

5. Streamers

Streamers

This is a fun and festive idea. This would be especially good for any birthday themed shoots. This is cheap and fairly easy to do.


All you need are some streamers, masking tape, and scissors. It should only take around a half an hour to accomplish this project.


Once you know the dimensions of the shoot, you can start taping them at the highest level and let them fall down. Then cut the bottoms so they are square.


Overlap the streamers for a little more visual interest. Then tape down the bottom, so it doesn’t blow away mid-shot.

6. Yarn

Yarn

Yarn can be so much more than for just knitting. You can create some interesting designs with the individual strings.


You can make patterns with them and have a cool texture in the background. Grab some yarn in various sizes, scissors, glue, and a wooden rod. All you have to do is glue the yarn onto the rod in whatever way you want. Then you cut it in interesting ways and you’re done.

7. Tissue Paper

Tissue Paper

This is a very versatile material. You can fold it, scrunch it, and overlay it. You can also create some beautiful murals that will serve as your photo backdrop. Plus, it’s pretty cheap.


You will just need tissue paper, chicken wire, scissors, wire cutters, and zip ties. However, this project is time consuming, it may take around 3 hours. Here’s a great tutorial showing you what to do.

8. Wrapping Paper

Wrapping Paper

That’s right, wrapping paper. Take some patterned wrapping paper and use it as a backdrop.


All you need is some wrapping paper, string, and a curtain rod. What you do is poke a hole in the cardboard roll and put string through it. Then tie the string to the curtain rod.


Then you can just pull and get whatever amount of paper you need. Easy right?

9. Doilies

Doilies

These aren’t just for your grandmother’s table. You can use cloth, paper, or plastic ones as a background.


Though paper and plastic doilies are going to be less expensive.


You can also overlap the dollies to get interesting colors and textures.

10. Tinsel

Tinsel

Grab some tinsel on clearance after the holidays and use them as a backdrop.


All you need is the tinsel, a pole, twine, and thin wire. 


You cut the tinsel in equal lengths, wrap them around the wire so it attaches the tinsel to the pole, and then use the twine so that it can hang on the wall. Then you’re done. 


It’s a Whole New World of Backdrops

The limit of what kind of photo backdrops you can create is all up to you. What do you think your imagination is capable of? Don’t be afraid to experiment with other ideas than the ones listed here. Do some Googling, play around, have fun. Even it doesn’t work out, you learn every time you try something new. 

You can create such unique backdrops that you become well known for it. You could even get more business because of it.


10 Of The Best Photo Editing Software For Beginners

A perk of digital photography is the ability to alter images after taking them. You can get rid of blemishes, change the lighting, and even enhance colors. You might think that it’s too hard to do, but with the right photo editing software, a bright, white smile - or any other edits you may want done - are only a few clicks away. 

If you are new to digital photography, you might not know where to go. You know that Photoshop is a fan favorite among artists, but it can be pricey. It might even be too complicated or overwhelming for you. It does offer a lot of tools, which can be both a blessing and a curse.

Below, we put together a list of the best photo editing software on the market for beginners to make the search a little easier for you. Hopefully one of them will be a good fit to you.

Why You Need the Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners

You need photo editing software because you can’t get away with just pointing and clicking anymore. Pictures have to capture people’s attention, and you will be competing with millions of other photos. You can now alter photos easily with the right software, and it won’t take forever to make changes if you know what you are doing. A photo editing software can even help you change what kind of file the photo will be, and the size of it.

One word of warning: If you don’t have the right software for your task, it will probably take hours to make any changes. So make your photo editing software choice based on what you need it for.

Different Types of Photo Edits

Photo Editing

There are different types of basic editing projects that you can do with the right software. And, there are many more types of editing you can do once you’ve mastered some of the basics. Take it at your own pace and you will eventually learn them all:

Noise Reduction: This is basically smoothing out the picture through changing the pixel size.

White Balance: Changing the color of the light in the photo.
Contrast: Higher contrast can make an image more dynamic and lower contrast will make the photo seem flatter.

Exposure: This changes the brightness of the photo.

Lens Correction: This fixes any problems with the camera lens.

Color Adjustments: This lets you change the color of anything in the photo.

Resizing and Cropping: This changes the size of the image and cuts out any unnecessary space.

Background Removal: This will separate the background from the subject in the photo. This way the subject can be moved to another image.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We looked at what other photographers think are the best photo editing software for beginners. We did this because they know what to look for when it comes to editing tools and effects. They were beginners at one point as well and they understand the struggles that you are going to face. Once we had a list of software to research, we started comparing the pros and cons of each.

We then went to a consumer site, like Amazon, and see what others thought of each product. These people are in a similar place as you and have nothing to lose by reviewing.

10 Of The Best Photo Editing Software For Beginners

We tried to find a range in prices and computers that the software works on. Hopefully something below will be a good fit for you:

1. Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019 [PC Online Code]
  • Auto-generated photo and video slideshows and collages are created just for you and delivered upon launch.
  • See what's new since your last version, discover fun things to try, and get inspiring ideas, help, and tutorials in the new home screen.
  • Share memes, collages, slideshows, and printed keepsakes.
  • Get step-by-step help with 53 Guided Edits.
  • See full System Requirements below

Features

Photoshop is a very popular software among all artists. This is a much simpler version though. However, it does have everything that you need to organize, edit, and share your photos. It has all the standard tools that you need. You can change colors, remove scratches, and even fix old photos. It will even help you make photobooks, scrapbooks, and greeting cards. It works for both Windows and Mac.


Though beware, the latest version has a low star rating. This low rating could be due to a glitch. People seem to have a hard time getting it downloaded properly. When it does work, it works well. It’s a very intuitive system. If you want to be safe, get last year’s version.

Rating

2. Corel PaintShop Pro

Sale
Paintshop Pro 2019 Ultimate - Photo Editing and Graphic Design Suite for PC [Amazon Exclusive]
  • Expand your creative options with an exclusive bundle of particle brush, animation, painting, and photo editing software
  • Powerful and non-destructive layers and masks take your photo composites to the next level
  • Easily turn a photo into an iconic painting with Pic-to-Painting using Artificial Intelligence
  • Quickly edit photos; straighten, level, and remove the tripod from 360 degree images
  • Crop and enhance by trimming unwanted areas and improving photos with one-click fixes

Features

This is a software that both pros and newbies like to use. What’s especially great is that it’s a one-time purchase, unlike Adobe, that is subscription based. You can edit images, use photo paint, and you can even process multiple photos at once.


It features tools like Painter Essentials 5, Perfectly Clear 3 SE, Corel AfterShot 3, and Corel’s Creative Collection. It will even help with videos and making them as seamless as possible. However, only works on Windows. 


Pros of this software are the different tools and software within it, it’s easy to use, and the price is good. Cons are that some people seem to have problems with installation, some aspects are hard to learn, and the company can spam you with emails. 

Rating

3. Gimp

GIMP 2019 Photo Editor Premium Professional Image Editing Software for PC Windows 10 8.1 8 7 Vista XP, Mac OS X & Linux - Full Program & No Monthly Subscription!
  • The number 1 alternative to Adobe Photoshop, GIMP 2019 is a powerful fully featured yet easy to use photo and image editing software.
  • Edit your photos and graphics or create your very own masterpiece from scratch using a full suite of tools, channels and layers.
  • Fully compatible with a plethora of file formats including Photoshop. Create, edit, open and save to Photoshop .PSD file format.
  • PixelClassics exclusives include 800+ page PDF English manual included on disc, plus easy to use installation menu (PC Only), email support and more!
  • These exclusive extras are only available when you purchase from PixelClassics, so to ensure you receive exactly as advertised, please choose PixelClassics. All our discs are checked & scanned 100% virus free.

Features

This program can do around 80% of what Photoshop is capable of. It’s good for simple and quick editing, however, the interface isn’t as easy to use as other software. It’s an open-source software and that means it’s free.


It will run on any system and you can upgrade it through the many different plugins that are available. While it can have a steep learning curve, you can’t beat the price.

Rating

4. Serif PhotoPlus

Serif Photo & Movie Suite
  • This bundle contains both Serif PhotoPlus X4 and Serif MoviePlus X5.
  • Edit photos easily with intuitive tools and get help from video and written tutorials
  • Repair old and damaged photos with an expert range of restoration tools
  • Burn HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs straight from MoviePlus X5 - no other software required
  • Easy drag-and-drop editing mode for beginners

Features

This has an interface that is designed for fast and easy edits. You can also make more complicated changes like making it look like a watercolor or oil painting. You can restore old photos by removing scratches, creases, marks, and anything else that messes up the image. This software only works on Windows.


This version gets a 2.5-star rating. Perks of this software are that it has good tutorials, the price is good, and the editing abilities are solid. Cons are that it isn’t as good as previous iterations, the interface can be confusing, and their customer service could be better. 


If you are interested, it might be worth checking out a previous version. We are hoping that the bugs will be worked out of the latest version, though.

Rating

5. Adobe Lightroom CC

Sale
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC plan | 1 Year Subscription (PC Download)
  • Anywhere editing. Create incredible photos with powerful editing features on mobile devices, the web, and your desktop.
  • Smarter organization. Auto-tagging lets you quickly find the shots you want so you can focus on the fun of photography.
  • Worry-free storage. With 1TB of storage, you can access your full-resolution photos anytime, anywhere.
  • Easy sharing. Get everything you need to create incredible photos and share them with anyone.

Features

Here is another Adobe favorite, though it’s different from Photoshop. This is perfect for you if Abode Elements seems like too much. It mostly lets you adjust the tonality, exposure, and color of the photo. You can organize this with keywords that are automatically applied without you having to tag anything. It also offers you cloud based storage. Sadly, it is limited in its ability to make big changes like removing blemishes and mixing it with other photos.


It works on both Windows and Mac. Adobe Lightroom gets a 3.2-star rating. People like how fast they get the download code, it’s easy to use, and you can work with it on your phone and computer. However, some people do have a bit of trouble getting the code to work. Also, Adobe’s customer service isn’t good.

Rating

6. Cyberlink PhotoDirector 8 Ultra

CyberlinkPowerDirector 15 Ultra and PhotoDirector 8 Ultra bundle
  • Easy to use - With clear and intuitive interface, PowerDirector make it quick & easy to create pro videos in minutes. Easy to learn - Tutorial videos for both beginners and advanced users are provided on the CyberLink Learning Center.
  • New features - PowerDirector now supports end-to-end 360 Degree video editing, and all new video blending feature will bring unique impact to your videos.
  • Extreme Toolkit for Sports Video, perfect work with GoPro and other sport cameras - The Action Camera Center brings powered features to your videos.
  • Video-to-Photo - Capture images from your videos, and use them to create panoramic vistas, perfect group photos or impressive multi-exposure images.
  • Countless Filters, Effects and Blurs - including new features of Color Splash and Motion Blur.

Features

This is a great software for beginners because it has an intuitive interface. It features tutorial videos to help you learn about all the tools within the software. You can even take still images from videos and transform them into photos. This is good for making panoramic vistas and perfect group photos. It features lots of filters, effects, and blurs. It will also get rid of any blemishes. 


This works on both Windows and Mac. It gets a 4-star rating because it’s all about helping you learn. People like this software because it features tutorials, the price is good, and because of the online support team. One note, people have complained about it lacking some expected features and the interface being difficult.

Rating

7. DxO Labs OpticsPro 11

DxO Labs OpticsPro 11 Essential Edition Photo Enhancing Software, DVD
  • Raw Image Processing and Editing
  • Smart Lighting and Spot Corrections
  • Optical Corrections, Lens Softness Tool
  • ClearView Haze Reduction
  • Anti-Moiré and Red-Eye Correction

Features

DxO PhotoLab is one of the most dynamic photo editors. The photo software has promoted itself with its automatic correction of the lens and camera image, noise reduction, simple and handy menu, advanced settings and other features.

Raw and JPEG photos are being processed based on optical corrections from mathematically established laboratory models, according to DxO, as well as such features as PRIME noise reduction technology and DxO Smart Lighting intelligent exposure optimization.

Rating

8. Capture One

Capture One 11 Photo Editing Software | Single User, 3 seats | Mac [Download]
  • Capture One is the industry leading image editing software that provides the very best tools to shoot tethered, organizing your image collection and making state of the art image adjustments to the RAW files from your camera.
  • Capture One offers fast performance with high resolution files and have a range of advanced tools that makes it simple, fast and effective to manage a large image collection from import and capture to export.
  • Capture One delivers best-of-class tools for precise color adjustments and excellent features to do selective edits to a specific part of your image. It provides all the tools needed to take full advantage of all the information in your RAW files.
  • Capture One is known for its exceptional handling of color, and with our custom camera profiling, each of your RAW file shines straight from the camera. Capture One now supports more than 400 digital camera models.

Features

Phase One Capture One offers pro and prosumer digital photographers excellent detail from raw camera files, and local adjustments including layers, but it trails in organization tools.

Excellent raw file conversion. Pleasing interface. Fast import. Good photo-adjustment toolset. Keyword tagging tool.

Rating

9. Luminar 2018 Jupiter

Luminar 2018 Jupiter for Mac OS [Download] Professional Photo Editing Software
  • All-in-one photo editing software
  • Over 40 non-destructive photo filters
  • Instant looks with over 70 presets and Lookup Tables
  • Layers with blend modes
  • Object removal and skin healing

Features

This software offers a collection of preset effects for beginners. They are organized into different categories, so it’s easy to use and you can apply quick edits. You can also do black and white photos, portraits, and more. There’s also an option to use layers to blend any photo edits together. And, Luminar will also remove blemishes and red skin. 


It has over 40 non-descriptive filters, 70 presets, lens correction, brush edits, and one click preset. You can get everything started in less than a minute. Then, you can adjust the interface to what you prefer to make everything quick and easy to use. 


Pros of this software are that it supports Photoshop plugins, it’s easy to use, and the price is good. Cons are that it doesn’t make JPG files, it can crash, and some people feel it’s missing a few tools.

Rating

10. Photomatix Pro 6

Photomatix Pro 6
  • Merge of bracketed exposures to HDR, tone mapping and exposure fusion
  • Automatic Alignment of Hand-Held Photos
  • Advanced Tools for Ghost Removal
  • Batch Mode
  • Plugin for Adobe Light room

Features

This software will highlight and shadow details to make photos more interesting to look at. It will also remove ghosts, reduce noise, and adjust colors. It supports Adobe Lightroom plugins. You can create realistic, surreal, or painted-looking photos. Photomatix Pro 6 works for both Windows and Mac. 


Perks of this software are that it’s easy to use, there are lots of options, and it’s quick to install. Cons are that it can take a while to get used to, people feel that it doesn’t give the user enough control, and some want more effects to work with. 

Rating

Buyer’s Guide to Picking the Best Software

There are a few things you should keep in mind when purchasing photo editing software. These specific aspects will make everything much easier for you:

File Formats

Depending on your needs, you will need to change your photo’s file format. Any software should let you save it as a JPG, GIF, and PNG. It should also let you change the size that will fit your needs.

Specific Editing Tools You Need

The best photo editing software for beginners should at least let you resize, crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast of your photos. They should also be easy to use too. It should help you keep track of your images by using thumbnail previews, naming schemes, and search. This is really good when you have a lot of photos. 

Photo Editing Can Be Fun and Easy – With the Right Tools

While many photographers hate the editing process, it can be fun and easy if you get the right program. The best photo editing software for beginners will let you create your edits with ease. It will have an easy-to-use interface and should be pretty intuitive. Before you buy one, see if they offer free trials. This way you can see how you like it, and if it doesn’t work for you, try another one. 

Always make sure to read the reviews. These people have tried the software and will tell you if it’s good or not. As seen above, some software will have bugs or crash. This can be frustrating, and it’s best to avoid those types of programs, if possible.

Just because you are a beginner doesn’t mean that you can’t create masterful works of art. You may even fool people into thinking that you are an expert.

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