1. Nikon CoolPix P510: this camera has been my baby, my favorite to use and really makes me realize just how great non-DSLR cameras CAN be! I've had it for a few years now and you can still buy it certifiably refurbished. The majority of my blog photos are taken using this camera still to this day - mostly because I love it so much and know everything about it/about using it! It's a great camera for beginners and it's smaller, so it's easy to travel with too. A lot of the settings are somewhat intro-settings for a comparable Nikon DSLR also, which is great for learning purposes. When I first got a DSLR and tried it, I found myself much more comfortable with it than I expected to be because it was fairly similar to this CoolPix. The image quality is incredible and a 9/10 times, you'd never guess that your pictures taken with this camera weren't actually from a bigger, fancier and more expensive camera. If you don't want to buy refurbished, the Nikon CoolPix L840 is a newer version from the CoolPix family that has basically the same features.
2. Nikon CoolPix P900: another version from the CoolPix family, because they're just THAT good! It's comparable to the P510 or L840, but the zoom is even better here. The menu is a bit easier and less complex than it is on the P510 too, which is great if you really want to learn the basics and from the beginning! I also love the video feature on this camera - it takes incredible videos! It's also Wi-Fi enabled which is a step up from the P510, and definitely something to look for in a camera these days.
3. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V: the bundle deal that you can get from Amazon for this camera is just beyond AMAZING! It comes with a ton of accessories, and for a great camera to be included it's a great deal coming in at just under $450. A lot of people (myself included) seem to think that Nikon or Canon are the only ways to go, but Sony makes incredible cameras. I tried this camera out and LOVED everything about it! I'd compare it to Nikon's CoolPix series; it's very lightweight, Wi-Fi enabled and takes gorgeous pictures. It's great to learn with because it, too, has menus and settings that can be a little more advanced and if you learn these, learning the settings of a DSLR later on will be much easier. Even better? It has a 50x zoom - that's just CRAZY good!
4. Sony a5100: if you want to go with a mirrorless camera, THIS is hands down *the* best one to buy! It isn't a DSLR, but it has detachable lenses. If you want to upgrade to a DSLR or just want to see if you'd like one, this is the best camera to buy. In fact, it's just as good as any DSLR on the market and for a great camera, it has a great price. If you're a vlogger, this is the best camera I've seen for videos too!
It has awesome features and considering how comparable it is to a DSLR, the weight of this camera is #1! It's SO light weight and so much easier to travel with (even if you have an extra lens or two) versus lugging a big and heavy DSLR where ever you go!
5. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G7KS: another brand that makes awesome cameras is Panasonic - this Lumix doesn't have a huge megapixel camera like some of the others do (only 16 megapixels) but it does take awesome videos, and it has AF (auto focus) settings that are top notch. If you're more of a videographer and maybe want to step up from something like a GoPro, this is your best bet!
RELATED: The ULTIMATE GoPro Playlist!
6. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70: if you want some serious bang for your buck, this may be the perfect answer! It's $249.99 (!!!) and in almost 1,000 customer reviews, it has a 4.5 star rating. I don't own this camera, but I'm starting to think I should grab one! It has an incredible zoom feature and it's said to be one of the best for shooting in low light. Which, hello, if you're a blogger you know you deal with this more times than you'd probably hope for! It has a 60x optical zoom which is incredible for a camera like this. The reviews will likely make your decision for you after reading them alone!
1. Canon Rebel T6: while Canon vs. Nikon is totally a personal preference, this is one of the newer versions of the Rebel series and it's said to be one of the more basic DSLRs on the market. For a DSLR, it's very affordable and I know a few bloggers who have and love this camera. I have a Canon Rebel XSi and it's one of my favorite DSLRs! I tend to lean towards Nikon, but this is a great buy for SURE.
2. Canon EOS Rebel SL1: yes, another from the Rebel series because it's my favorite from Canon! This is one of the smaller Rebels which is great if you travel and take it places a lot. It isn't very heavy, and it's super compact. I really love the functionality of it - because it's just as easy to use as one of the non-DSLR cameras I spoke of earlier, but it's performance is top notch.
3. Nikon D5500: this camera is currently in-transit to me as we speak! I'm so excited to get this camera because I've heard such great things about it.
Nikon's 5 series is often compared to the 3 series; the main difference is that the 5 series has more compatibility options when it comes to Wi-Fi and HD settings. It also has a higher ISO setting and overall a great series. More on that 3 series next:
4. Nikon D3300: I've seen this camera in-store and held and played around with it to try and get a feel for it before I ultimately purchased my D5500. One thing I really did notice that I loved was the screen size - it has a large display which is a huge plus! Unlike most of the 3 series, this camera is Wi-Fi enabled and I've read a ton of great things about it's sport mode.
5. Pentax K-50: like I mentioned earlier, a lot of people don't look past Nikon or Canon but this Pentax seems to be an amazing buy. It's said to have great auto focus and most people in it's reviews have found that the photos are super sharp which is a huge plus! I looked a lot at this camera and although I decided to go with a different camera, this one will still be on my list for the future!
6. Canon EOS Rebel T5: Amazon has this really great bundle deal with the camera and a TON of accessories for $469! That's a serious deal for another awesome camera, #winning! This is just a little different than the Canon Revel T6 I mentioned, but an equally awesome camera for the price. It's great for those who are new to the DSLR world - one of the many reasons I love the Rebel series, and that's coming from someone who leans toward Nikon!