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So many interesting perspectives. I play guitar and that is another where what a student starts with may influence whether the student sticks with it. There is no one size fits all approach.
 

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Beyond a certain novice period, where one is learning what they can do with their camera, the best camera is the one that is easiest to use in your particular field of photographic interest.

If you are sports photography oriented, your needs are different that those who like to experiment with unusual shots in the manual mode.

You can rest assured that no matter what camera you choose, it will not be your last. :)
 

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" Best beginner camera" is far different than " merely adequate to the task of taking photos"...in response to Soocom1.

Af far as the iPhone 6 versus Canon 1D analogy that I gave in my second response, that is in reply to fmw and is my acknowlegement of the importance of the camera in the photographic process. If as fmw says, the camera is unimportant ,then the iPhone and the 1D Canon should perform equally in a wide range of photographic endeavors, but as we all know, the two instruments are different in their capabilities, and for the beginner the capability of the camera is of very high importance. I have seen examples on the web of highly-skilled very experienced professional photographers getting good results from toy cameras and from low-end point-and-shoots. On the other hand, beginning photographers often have miserable success with cameras that have low inherent levels of capability; if a camera is balky, and difficult to work with, the beginning photographer often has a great deal of difficulty with it. As someone who has used cameras that were built from the 1930s until the last decade, I have a fairly good level of experience with multiple types of cameras. Cameras which were built in the 1930s,1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 70s which were very simple mechanical affairs, but which often required a fairly high level of proficiency with basic photographic tasks, and all such cameras used film. By the 1980s and 1990s film cameras were quite sophisticated and many had automation and some even had autofocus.

I began my digital photography experience in 2001 with the Nikon D1, a rather crude digital single-lens reflex with a 2.7 megapixel sensor. It had alphanumeric menu commands, and was a bridge between the film Nikon's and the new digital idiom. It was not that great a camera compared with even the Nikon d40 which came about eight or nine years later. Today we have a wide variety of digital cameras to choose from, and some are much better than others. I think the video was quite interesting, and I look forward to subsequent videos.

Let's be honest: some cameras are much better than others.
 
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What could be less important than a camera? Photography is all about creativity and technique. The camera just captures what the photographer saw and did. They pretty much all do that. Choose something that appeals and go make some images.

LoL Fred, let me guess you're either a Bug Chaser or a Landscaper or you're just trying to have some fun!!
Just ask any photographer that shoots fast action and tell them all they need is a pin hole camera and a great artistic ability to compose and they'll laugh at you!
I admit, I personally feel that composition is KING but i'm also not naive enough to think that the camera doesn't matter!!! IT DOES!
SS
 

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No, I'm serious. I'm not talking about pinhole cameras. I'm talking about new modern cameras. I believe some photographers are more interested in photographic equipment than they are on making images. I read the term "time to upgrade" pretty often. No thought is given to why one should upgrade. The question is always should I get this camera or that camera. Point is that either camera will get the job done as well as the camera from which one is upgrading. The camera isn't the important part of photography. The important parts are creativity and technique.

I don't question that some cameras can do things that other cameras cannot do. If a photographer understands why a current camera can't do something he or she needs to do and what camera can do it, then the question about which camera is pointless.

I'm also not against fine cameras. The Fuji system I use is very fine with cameras and lenses made from metal rather than plastic and the optics are first rate. I use it because I need small, light equipment in order to get where I need to go with a camera. I'm an old man. I switched to the system for a very clear reason. Without that reason it would have been meaningless to change from a DSLR. I could make exactly the same images with my older, larger, heavier DSLR system.

I used to be a commercial photographer so I ran into about any subject matter you can name. My work involved some landscapes but I can't remember ever shooting bugs for a client. :)
 

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What could be less important than a camera? Photography is all about creativity and technique. The camera just captures what the photographer saw and did. They pretty much all do that. Choose something that appeals and go make some images.

Ummmmm, no, not really. If photography were all about technique and creativity, then an iPhone 6 and a Canon 1Dx would be equal nin terms of shooting an NFL football game, and a VW New Beetle and a Formula One car would each be equal in a Formula One race.

Your statement is laughable. Driving is all about steering and braking, ergo any car is equal to any other car.according to your logic

The point of a car is to take you to your destination. Any car can do that. Some may be more fun to drive or more comfortable but they will all take you to your destination. In order to exercise creativity the camera has to have adjustable focus, aperture and shutter speed. That is what is required to capture your vision. I did use the term camera, not cell phone, by the way.
 

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In the end, I do not think anyone can select the perfect camera for another photographer. It is possible to the guide them to models which satisfy their particular photographic interests but the "right" camera also included personal nuances.

I have a 1923 Old Town wood and canvas canoe. An absolute joy to paddle with a unique feel in the water. However, when I am in the wilderness areas of MN portaging and I dodging rocks, use my 45 lb. Kevlar Wenonah canoe. It is designed for that task. So too, my collection of guitars, banjos and fiddles. Each is unique and at times more suited to a particular music style.

Photography interests are quite varied, how would you advise someone who wants minimal weight and bulk, someone who likes the challenge of action shots or one who does mostly studio work? I have a lot of cameras, but when I grab one to go, I often use an old Olympus C740 with a 10x zoom and a mighty 3.2 megapixels. It drops in the jacket pocket an usually does the job.
 
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In the end, I do not think anyone can select the perfect camera for another photographer. It is possible to the guide them to models which satisfy their particular photographic interests but the "right" camera also included personal nuances.

I have a 1923 Old Town wood and canvas canoe. An absolute joy to paddle with a unique feel in the water. However, when I am in the wilderness areas of MN portaging and I dodging rocks, use my 45 lb. Kevlar Wenonah canoe. It is designed for that task. So too, my collection of guitars, banjos and fiddles. Each is unique and at times more suited to a particular music style.

Photography interests are quite varied, how would you advise someone who wants minimal weight and bulk, someone who likes the challenge of action shots or one who does mostly studio work? I have a lot of cameras, but when I grab one to go, I often use an old Olympus C740 with a 10x zoom and a mighty 3.2 megapixels. It drops in the jacket pocket an usually does the job.
That was exactly my intention, I test various features and explain them and kind of let the viewer decide what would work best for them, but give advice at the same time.

One thing we must not forget - we who discuss here are mostly veterans. We know the tech stuff in and out. Beginners need a lot of guidance and more often than not are completely lost when they purchase their first camera having no idea what the difference between camera a and b really is.
 

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There is no one size fits all.
IMHO, it is a variety of approaches.

Today's kids are brought up on a cell phone.
It is that simplicity they are used to. And if that is what it takes to get them to take pictures, so be it.

When they hit the limits of the cell phone, like when they are trying to take a picture of their kids on a sport team, then they have to go up model, to something with a tele. It could be a bridge camera with a long zoom or an ILC. Whatever works for them.

If they find that the bridge camera does not do the job, then they go up model again to a dSLR or mirrorless ILC.

A person can stop at any level along the way.

And you have the person that has the $$$$$, and goes directly to a high end dSLR/mirrorless.
The camera is expensive, so it will take good pictures.

The size of the camera can be a barrier. I've had people preferring a mid/high end P&S, like the Canon G series, over a dSLR, because it is smaller, less bulky and lighter.

Like was mentioned, for a beginner, the bridge and ILC has to have Auto and scene exposure modes. I've seen MANY people using a dSLR in Auto or scene mode. They are not ready or willing to go to Aperture or Shutter priority, much less manual. Thankfully today's cameras have the option to go from Auto and Scene, to P, to AS, to M, so we are all covered.
I have seen them. Parents shooting pro gear, but only in Auto, because they don't know how to use the other modes.

While I grew up in the film SLR era with a manual camera, I recognize that many people today would not be shooting pictures, if they had to use a manual camera. So IMHO, the auto and scene modes are more critical for the beginners than Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony. Or P&S vs. various dSLR/mirrorless ILC.

To a degree, I face that issue at school each year.

Each year I teach the yearbook students to use a dSLR (Canon T7i), when for most of them their cell phone camera is what a camera is.
The yearbook had T5, but I started purchasing the T7i for technical reasons. This was primarily the higher max ISO, for night and gym sports in low light. For day time, the T5 was and still is a perfectly usable camera.​
Most of the kids never get off Auto and Scene modes. The ones that use ASM modes, have a photo background before they joined yearbook.
They also don't understand lens selection. The lens that is on the camera is what they normally use. Luckily, that lens being an 18-135 has enough range that it does 80% of the job. The 18-135 is in a way, similar to the Auto exposure mode. We have other lenses, but few use them, without being told to use a specific lens for a specific shoot.

My other group (the Athletic Director's Sports Leadership class) is going to be using Nikon D5600 + 18-140.
In this case, they are starting from scratch (vs. yearbook which had Canon gear). The decision to go Nikon was mine. I am a Nikon shooter, and Nikon is easier for me to teach and help the students.
When a student with a Canon needs help with the camera, in some cases I had to send them to one of the other students who owns a Canon, or tell them I can't help them. That is frustrating to both the student and me.​
Like the yearbook students, despite my lessons, I expect they will primarily use Auto or Scene modes.

Conclusion:
For a "beginner," it matters less than people in the industry make it out to be.
Canon - Nikon - Sony, it does not matter.
D3500 v. D5600 vs. T5 vs. T7i, vs. T7 vs. T8i, again it does not matter.
 
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All cameras are equal, apparently. If you put in a big dose of creativity, any camera can do anything, and a Canon T7i performs as well as a Fuji GFX 100.
 
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There is no one size fits all.
IMHO, it is a variety of approaches.

Today's kids are brought up on a cell phone.
It is that simplicity they are used to. And if that is what it takes to get them to take pictures, so be it.

When they hit the limits of the cell phone, like when they are trying to take a picture of their kids on a sport team, then they have to go up model, to something with a tele. It could be a bridge camera with a long zoom or an ILC. Whatever works for them.

If they find that the bridge camera does not do the job, then they go up model again to a dSLR or mirrorless ILC.

A person can stop at any level along the way.

And you have the person that has the $$$$$, and goes directly to a high end dSLR/mirrorless.
The camera is expensive, so it will take good pictures.

The size of the camera can be a barrier. I've had people preferring a mid/high end P&S, like the Canon G series, over a dSLR, because it is smaller, less bulky and lighter.

Like was mentioned, for a beginner, the bridge and ILC has to have Auto and scene exposure modes. I've seen MANY people using a dSLR in Auto or scene mode. They are not ready or willing to go to Aperture or Shutter priority, much less manual. Thankfully today's cameras have the option to go from Auto and Scene, to P, to AS, to M, so we are all covered.
I have seen them. Parents shooting pro gear, but only in Auto, because they don't know how to use the other modes.

While I grew up in the film SLR era with a manual camera, I recognize that many people today would not be shooting pictures, if they had to use a manual camera. So IMHO, the auto and scene modes are more critical for the beginners than Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony. Or P&S vs. various dSLR/mirrorless ILC.

To a degree, I face that issue at school each year.

Each year I teach the yearbook students to use a dSLR (Canon T7i), when for most of them their cell phone camera is what a camera is.
The yearbook had T5, but I started purchasing the T7i for technical reasons. This was primarily the higher max ISO, for night and gym sports in low light. For day time, the T5 was and still is a perfectly usable camera.​
Most of the kids never get off Auto and Scene modes. The ones that use ASM modes, have a photo background before they joined yearbook.
They also don't understand lens selection. The lens that is on the camera is what they normally use. Luckily, that lens being an 18-135 has enough range that it does 80% of the job. The 18-135 is in a way, similar to the Auto exposure mode. We have other lenses, but few use them, without being told to use a specific lens for a specific shoot.

My other group (the Athletic Director's Sports Leadership class) is going to be using Nikon D5600 + 18-140.
In this case, they are starting from scratch (vs. yearbook which had Canon gear). The decision to go Nikon was mine. I am a Nikon shooter, and Nikon is easier for me to teach and help the students.
When a student with a Canon needs help with the camera, in some cases I had to send them to one of the other students who owns a Canon, or tell them I can't help them. That is frustrating to both the student and me.​
Like the yearbook students, despite my lessons, I expect they will primarily use Auto or Scene modes.

Conclusion:
For a "beginner," it matters less than people in the industry make it out to be.
Canon - Nikon - Sony, it does not matter.
D3500 v. D5600 vs. T5 vs. T7i, vs. T7 vs. T8i, again it does not matter.

With all due respect, that is just not correct.
  • How can a camera/lens combination that misses focus on most of the shots be as good as one that delivers almost 100% of shots in focus.
  • Why do so many users of e.g. the t7 complain about noise at relatively low ISO?
I agree that some people wouldn't mind. Those who don't really care. That's the same in every field. I like skiing and when I do a ski test, I feel a huge difference in skis. Others too, no matter if they are newbies or pros. But then there are others who don't care, because they just enjoy to be outdoors in the snow, or like to have a drink in one of the ski bars.
People all too often make the mistake to think humans are robots and think alike. No, we are not. We are individuals with different needs and we should appreciate those needs of others rather than assume they think and feel just like we do. There are even people that think it makes a difference what wine glass they use when they drink their wine. I couldn't care less. But that doesn't mean I don't respect their opinion.
 

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There is no one size fits all.
IMHO, it is a variety of approaches.

Today's kids are brought up on a cell phone.
It is that simplicity they are used to. And if that is what it takes to get them to take pictures, so be it.

When they hit the limits of the cell phone, like when they are trying to take a picture of their kids on a sport team, then they have to go up model, to something with a tele. It could be a bridge camera with a long zoom or an ILC. Whatever works for them.

If they find that the bridge camera does not do the job, then they go up model again to a dSLR or mirrorless ILC.

A person can stop at any level along the way.

And you have the person that has the $$$$$, and goes directly to a high end dSLR/mirrorless.
The camera is expensive, so it will take good pictures.

The size of the camera can be a barrier. I've had people preferring a mid/high end P&S, like the Canon G series, over a dSLR, because it is smaller, less bulky and lighter.

Like was mentioned, for a beginner, the bridge and ILC has to have Auto and scene exposure modes. I've seen MANY people using a dSLR in Auto or scene mode. They are not ready or willing to go to Aperture or Shutter priority, much less manual. Thankfully today's cameras have the option to go from Auto and Scene, to P, to AS, to M, so we are all covered.
I have seen them. Parents shooting pro gear, but only in Auto, because they don't know how to use the other modes.

While I grew up in the film SLR era with a manual camera, I recognize that many people today would not be shooting pictures, if they had to use a manual camera. So IMHO, the auto and scene modes are more critical for the beginners than Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony. Or P&S vs. various dSLR/mirrorless ILC.

To a degree, I face that issue at school each year.

Each year I teach the yearbook students to use a dSLR (Canon T7i), when for most of them their cell phone camera is what a camera is.
The yearbook had T5, but I started purchasing the T7i for technical reasons. This was primarily the higher max ISO, for night and gym sports in low light. For day time, the T5 was and still is a perfectly usable camera.​
Most of the kids never get off Auto and Scene modes. The ones that use ASM modes, have a photo background before they joined yearbook.
They also don't understand lens selection. The lens that is on the camera is what they normally use. Luckily, that lens being an 18-135 has enough range that it does 80% of the job. The 18-135 is in a way, similar to the Auto exposure mode. We have other lenses, but few use them, without being told to use a specific lens for a specific shoot.

My other group (the Athletic Director's Sports Leadership class) is going to be using Nikon D5600 + 18-140.
In this case, they are starting from scratch (vs. yearbook which had Canon gear). The decision to go Nikon was mine. I am a Nikon shooter, and Nikon is easier for me to teach and help the students.
When a student with a Canon needs help with the camera, in some cases I had to send them to one of the other students who owns a Canon, or tell them I can't help them. That is frustrating to both the student and me.​
Like the yearbook students, despite my lessons, I expect they will primarily use Auto or Scene modes.

Conclusion:
For a "beginner," it matters less than people in the industry make it out to be.
Canon - Nikon - Sony, it does not matter.
D3500 v. D5600 vs. T5 vs. T7i, vs. T7 vs. T8i, again it does not matter.

With all due respect, that is just not correct.
  • How can a camera/lens combination that misses focus on most of the shots be as good as one that delivers almost 100% of shots in focus.
  • Why do so many users of e.g. the t7 complain about noise at relatively low ISO?
I agree that some people wouldn't mind. Those who don't really care. That's the same in every field. I like skiing and when I do a ski test, I feel a huge difference in skis. Others too, no matter if they are newbies or pros. But then there are others who don't care, because they just enjoy to be outdoors in the snow, or like to have a drink in one of the ski bars.
People all too often make the mistake to think humans are robots and think alike. No, we are not. We are individuals with different needs and we should appreciate those needs of others rather than assume they think and feel just like we do. There are even people that think it makes a difference what wine glass they use when they drink their wine. I couldn't care less. But that doesn't mean I don't respect their opinion.

Well you did say "beginner camera," not advanced amateur or enthusiast.

There will always be both ends of the bell curve; the beginner than can barely use a cell phone camera, and the beginner who is a real TECHIE. And the center of the bell curve where it is "good enough."
Most of us are not in the center of the bell curve. We are out on the techie side of the bell curve. And that often distorts our perception of the world.

The fact that cameras have the range of exposure modes from Auto to manual, and scene modes, accomodates this range, to a large degree.

But the brain must still engage.

As for "misses focus on most of the shots." Based on my experience, that has generally be a user learning issue, not a camera issue.
  • Example1, The camera in "auto" exposure mode on the Canon T7i and Nikon D7200 is configured for "closest subject." So you will never get the people on the far side of the dinner table in focus. The camera will always focus on the closest subject, the dinner table. The photog has to know to switch to an exposure mode / AF mode that will let him focus on the people on the other side of the table. This is why I never use the "auto" mode, instead I use the "P" mode where I can select what to focus on.
  • Example2, zone/area focus. On the Canon T7i, zone focus uses "closest subject" logic. So if you shoot your son playing soccer, if another player is closer than your son in the focus area, it will focus on the other player, not your son. My experience is that zone focus does not work well in crowded sports like soccer and basketball. But it works fine where there is no distraction from the subject, like tennis singles.
  • Example3, where the focus point/area has been moved to the side, and the photographer is still pointing the center of the viewfinder on the subject, ignoring where the active AF point is. The subject will almost never be in focus. This is real life beginner behavior.
    I don't know how the students accidentally move the AF point, but I have to periodically check and center the AF point on the yearbook cameras.
In these examples, the user has to know how to set the camera to get what he wants.
As much smarts as the mfg put into today's cameras, there are many situations that defy the predefined scene modes.

As for the T7i, we do not have any "complaints about noise at relatively low ISO."
It does the job that we want it to do. It may not be good enough for a gallery quality 24x36 print, but it is good enough for the yearbook.
 
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There is no one size fits all.
IMHO, it is a variety of approaches.

Today's kids are brought up on a cell phone.
It is that simplicity they are used to. And if that is what it takes to get them to take pictures, so be it.

When they hit the limits of the cell phone, like when they are trying to take a picture of their kids on a sport team, then they have to go up model, to something with a tele. It could be a bridge camera with a long zoom or an ILC. Whatever works for them.

If they find that the bridge camera does not do the job, then they go up model again to a dSLR or mirrorless ILC.

A person can stop at any level along the way.

And you have the person that has the $$$$$, and goes directly to a high end dSLR/mirrorless.
The camera is expensive, so it will take good pictures.

The size of the camera can be a barrier. I've had people preferring a mid/high end P&S, like the Canon G series, over a dSLR, because it is smaller, less bulky and lighter.

Like was mentioned, for a beginner, the bridge and ILC has to have Auto and scene exposure modes. I've seen MANY people using a dSLR in Auto or scene mode. They are not ready or willing to go to Aperture or Shutter priority, much less manual. Thankfully today's cameras have the option to go from Auto and Scene, to P, to AS, to M, so we are all covered.
I have seen them. Parents shooting pro gear, but only in Auto, because they don't know how to use the other modes.

While I grew up in the film SLR era with a manual camera, I recognize that many people today would not be shooting pictures, if they had to use a manual camera. So IMHO, the auto and scene modes are more critical for the beginners than Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony. Or P&S vs. various dSLR/mirrorless ILC.

To a degree, I face that issue at school each year.

Each year I teach the yearbook students to use a dSLR (Canon T7i), when for most of them their cell phone camera is what a camera is.
The yearbook had T5, but I started purchasing the T7i for technical reasons. This was primarily the higher max ISO, for night and gym sports in low light. For day time, the T5 was and still is a perfectly usable camera.​
Most of the kids never get off Auto and Scene modes. The ones that use ASM modes, have a photo background before they joined yearbook.
They also don't understand lens selection. The lens that is on the camera is what they normally use. Luckily, that lens being an 18-135 has enough range that it does 80% of the job. The 18-135 is in a way, similar to the Auto exposure mode. We have other lenses, but few use them, without being told to use a specific lens for a specific shoot.

My other group (the Athletic Director's Sports Leadership class) is going to be using Nikon D5600 + 18-140.
In this case, they are starting from scratch (vs. yearbook which had Canon gear). The decision to go Nikon was mine. I am a Nikon shooter, and Nikon is easier for me to teach and help the students.
When a student with a Canon needs help with the camera, in some cases I had to send them to one of the other students who owns a Canon, or tell them I can't help them. That is frustrating to both the student and me.​
Like the yearbook students, despite my lessons, I expect they will primarily use Auto or Scene modes.

Conclusion:
For a "beginner," it matters less than people in the industry make it out to be.
Canon - Nikon - Sony, it does not matter.
D3500 v. D5600 vs. T5 vs. T7i, vs. T7 vs. T8i, again it does not matter.

With all due respect, that is just not correct.
  • How can a camera/lens combination that misses focus on most of the shots be as good as one that delivers almost 100% of shots in focus.
  • Why do so many users of e.g. the t7 complain about noise at relatively low ISO?
I agree that some people wouldn't mind. Those who don't really care. That's the same in every field. I like skiing and when I do a ski test, I feel a huge difference in skis. Others too, no matter if they are newbies or pros. But then there are others who don't care, because they just enjoy to be outdoors in the snow, or like to have a drink in one of the ski bars.
People all too often make the mistake to think humans are robots and think alike. No, we are not. We are individuals with different needs and we should appreciate those needs of others rather than assume they think and feel just like we do. There are even people that think it makes a difference what wine glass they use when they drink their wine. I couldn't care less. But that doesn't mean I don't respect their opinion.

Well you did say "beginner camera," not advanced amateur or enthusiast.

There will always be both ends of the bell curve; the beginner than can barely use a cell phone camera, and the beginner who is a real TECHIE. And the center of the bell curve where it is "good enough."
Most of us are not in the center of the bell curve. We are out on the techie side of the bell curve. And that often distorts our perception of the world.

The fact that cameras have the range of exposure modes from Auto to manual, and scene modes, accomodates this range, to a large degree.

But the brain must still engage.

As for "misses focus on most of the shots." Based on my experience, that has generally be a user learning issue, not a camera issue.
  • Example1, The camera in "auto" exposure mode on the Canon T7i and Nikon D7200 is configured for "closest subject." So you will never get the people on the far side of the dinner table in focus. The camera will always focus on the closest subject, the dinner table. The photog has to know to switch to an exposure mode / AF mode that will let him focus on the people on the other side of the table. This is why I never use the "auto" mode, instead I use the "P" mode where I can select what to focus on.
  • Example2, zone/area focus. On the Canon T7i, zone focus uses "closest subject" logic. So if you shoot your son playing soccer, if another player is closer than your son in the focus area, it will focus on the other player, not your son. My experience is that zone focus does not work well in crowded sports like soccer and basketball. But it works fine where there is no distraction from the subject, like tennis singles.
  • Example3, where the focus point/area has been moved to the side, and the photographer is still pointing the center of the viewfinder on the subject, ignoring where the active AF point is. The subject will almost never be in focus. This is real life beginner behavior.
    I don't know how the students accidentally move the AF point, but I have to periodically check and center the AF point on the yearbook cameras.
In these examples, the user has to know how to set the camera to get what he wants.
As much smarts as the mfg put into today's cameras, there are many situations that defy the predefined scene modes.

As for the T7i, we do not have any "complaints about noise at relatively low ISO."
It does the job that we want it to do. It may not be good enough for a gallery quality 24x36 print, but it is good enough for the yearbook.
I assume you didn’t watch the video. Some cameras clearly missed out in the focus tests. That has nothing to do with user error, but cameras performing differently. For me that’s a fact because I have seen it with my own eyes. If you don’t believe me, please rent the best and the worst cam in the test and see for yourself.
 

Derrel

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Did anyone who is commenting actually watch the video?
 

ac12

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There is no one size fits all.
IMHO, it is a variety of approaches.

Today's kids are brought up on a cell phone.
It is that simplicity they are used to. And if that is what it takes to get them to take pictures, so be it.

When they hit the limits of the cell phone, like when they are trying to take a picture of their kids on a sport team, then they have to go up model, to something with a tele. It could be a bridge camera with a long zoom or an ILC. Whatever works for them.

If they find that the bridge camera does not do the job, then they go up model again to a dSLR or mirrorless ILC.

A person can stop at any level along the way.

And you have the person that has the $$$$$, and goes directly to a high end dSLR/mirrorless.
The camera is expensive, so it will take good pictures.

The size of the camera can be a barrier. I've had people preferring a mid/high end P&S, like the Canon G series, over a dSLR, because it is smaller, less bulky and lighter.

Like was mentioned, for a beginner, the bridge and ILC has to have Auto and scene exposure modes. I've seen MANY people using a dSLR in Auto or scene mode. They are not ready or willing to go to Aperture or Shutter priority, much less manual. Thankfully today's cameras have the option to go from Auto and Scene, to P, to AS, to M, so we are all covered.
I have seen them. Parents shooting pro gear, but only in Auto, because they don't know how to use the other modes.

While I grew up in the film SLR era with a manual camera, I recognize that many people today would not be shooting pictures, if they had to use a manual camera. So IMHO, the auto and scene modes are more critical for the beginners than Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony. Or P&S vs. various dSLR/mirrorless ILC.

To a degree, I face that issue at school each year.

Each year I teach the yearbook students to use a dSLR (Canon T7i), when for most of them their cell phone camera is what a camera is.
The yearbook had T5, but I started purchasing the T7i for technical reasons. This was primarily the higher max ISO, for night and gym sports in low light. For day time, the T5 was and still is a perfectly usable camera.​
Most of the kids never get off Auto and Scene modes. The ones that use ASM modes, have a photo background before they joined yearbook.
They also don't understand lens selection. The lens that is on the camera is what they normally use. Luckily, that lens being an 18-135 has enough range that it does 80% of the job. The 18-135 is in a way, similar to the Auto exposure mode. We have other lenses, but few use them, without being told to use a specific lens for a specific shoot.

My other group (the Athletic Director's Sports Leadership class) is going to be using Nikon D5600 + 18-140.
In this case, they are starting from scratch (vs. yearbook which had Canon gear). The decision to go Nikon was mine. I am a Nikon shooter, and Nikon is easier for me to teach and help the students.
When a student with a Canon needs help with the camera, in some cases I had to send them to one of the other students who owns a Canon, or tell them I can't help them. That is frustrating to both the student and me.​
Like the yearbook students, despite my lessons, I expect they will primarily use Auto or Scene modes.

Conclusion:
For a "beginner," it matters less than people in the industry make it out to be.
Canon - Nikon - Sony, it does not matter.
D3500 v. D5600 vs. T5 vs. T7i, vs. T7 vs. T8i, again it does not matter.

With all due respect, that is just not correct.
  • How can a camera/lens combination that misses focus on most of the shots be as good as one that delivers almost 100% of shots in focus.
  • Why do so many users of e.g. the t7 complain about noise at relatively low ISO?
I agree that some people wouldn't mind. Those who don't really care. That's the same in every field. I like skiing and when I do a ski test, I feel a huge difference in skis. Others too, no matter if they are newbies or pros. But then there are others who don't care, because they just enjoy to be outdoors in the snow, or like to have a drink in one of the ski bars.
People all too often make the mistake to think humans are robots and think alike. No, we are not. We are individuals with different needs and we should appreciate those needs of others rather than assume they think and feel just like we do. There are even people that think it makes a difference what wine glass they use when they drink their wine. I couldn't care less. But that doesn't mean I don't respect their opinion.

Well you did say "beginner camera," not advanced amateur or enthusiast.

There will always be both ends of the bell curve; the beginner than can barely use a cell phone camera, and the beginner who is a real TECHIE. And the center of the bell curve where it is "good enough."
Most of us are not in the center of the bell curve. We are out on the techie side of the bell curve. And that often distorts our perception of the world.

The fact that cameras have the range of exposure modes from Auto to manual, and scene modes, accomodates this range, to a large degree.

But the brain must still engage.

As for "misses focus on most of the shots." Based on my experience, that has generally be a user learning issue, not a camera issue.
  • Example1, The camera in "auto" exposure mode on the Canon T7i and Nikon D7200 is configured for "closest subject." So you will never get the people on the far side of the dinner table in focus. The camera will always focus on the closest subject, the dinner table. The photog has to know to switch to an exposure mode / AF mode that will let him focus on the people on the other side of the table. This is why I never use the "auto" mode, instead I use the "P" mode where I can select what to focus on.
  • Example2, zone/area focus. On the Canon T7i, zone focus uses "closest subject" logic. So if you shoot your son playing soccer, if another player is closer than your son in the focus area, it will focus on the other player, not your son. My experience is that zone focus does not work well in crowded sports like soccer and basketball. But it works fine where there is no distraction from the subject, like tennis singles.
  • Example3, where the focus point/area has been moved to the side, and the photographer is still pointing the center of the viewfinder on the subject, ignoring where the active AF point is. The subject will almost never be in focus. This is real life beginner behavior.
    I don't know how the students accidentally move the AF point, but I have to periodically check and center the AF point on the yearbook cameras.
In these examples, the user has to know how to set the camera to get what he wants.
As much smarts as the mfg put into today's cameras, there are many situations that defy the predefined scene modes.

As for the T7i, we do not have any "complaints about noise at relatively low ISO."
It does the job that we want it to do. It may not be good enough for a gallery quality 24x36 print, but it is good enough for the yearbook.
I assume you didn’t watch the video. Some cameras clearly missed out in the focus tests. That has nothing to do with user error, but cameras performing differently. For me that’s a fact because I have seen it with my own eyes. If you don’t believe me, please rent the best and the worst cam in the test and see for yourself.

The video has no testing on Single point center, Single shot AF ?
That is the core test of the camera's ability to focus.
Other than sports, when I shoot it is 99% of the time in single shot AF.
On my cameras, single shot AF will not let the shutter fire, unless the camera thinks that the lens is in focus.

I only shoot continuous AF when I shoot sports.

I've shot sports with the T7i with Single point center, Continuous AF and have been pleased with the focusing ability of the camera.
Shots that are out of focus, are where I missed putting the AF point on the subject. So user error, not camera error.

CDAF and PDAF perform differently, with faster focusing on moving subject generally going to PDAF cameras. The scooter test validates that. Is that a real life issue, in some cases yes it is. That is indeed an area that mirrorless cameras lag behind dSLRs. Some mirrorless now have PDAF, but some still do not, and only have CDAF.
Having said that, my EM10 which uses CDAF is perfectly fine for a LOT of what I shoot. And I have had zero focusing issues with it. However, I do not use the EM10 to shoot sports. For sports, I use the Nikon D7200 and EM1-mk2, which are not "beginner cameras," though the D5600 is similar in behavior to the D7200.​
"Live view" on a dSLR uses CDAF, so the poor scooter AF results is no surprise.
So yes, if shooting fast moving subjects is important, then you are looking for a specific camera function.

I do not use tracking AF, because except for a very few situations, tracking AF is not practical in most of what I shoot. In my experience, tracking only work for a single subject like a single child or singles tennis. Tracking fails in group activities, because the camera cannot track the ONE specific person, out of a group of people. Color tracking, as Nikon uses, fails for me, because in sports, all the players on a team are wearing the SAME color uniform.

Similarly I rarely use face AF. Unless the ONLY face(s) in the frame is who you want to shoot, the camera will often select all the faces that it finds. This includes the faces in the background and on the sides of the frame. The result is the camera tries to focus on faces that I do NOT want in focus. End result is that, for me in real life, face AF is more trouble than it is worth.
 

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