As an intermediate photographer, you’re likely looking for a camera that offers a variety of different capabilities to support you as you grow. The number of options in the marketplace can be quite confronting, and this post is designed to help you consider a number of leading models that may suit your needs.
The greatest camera isn’t always the most costly or powerful – it’s about selecting the perfect camera for the job. Here is our ranking of the ten greatest intermediate cameras available right now.
We recommend purchasing an intermediate DSLR or mirrorless camera; there are some fantastic options available at a variety of price-points. Rapid autofocus across hundreds of focal points, 4K Ultra-HD video, a plethora of manual settings, and so on are increasingly commonplace. Even the sensors themselves have advanced significantly, with greater low-light capabilities, wider dynamic range (ideal for real estate photography), larger MP counts, and other features.
If you’re reading this, we’re sure you could use a hand picking the ideal intermediate camera for yourself. To help you out, we’ve hand-picked several cutting-edge models.
1. Canon EOS RP
With the advent of the Canon EOS RP, Canon has also taken the mid-range category by storm. It has many of the same capabilities as the flagship EOS R, yet it costs less than $1,000 and is still a Full-frame Mirrorless Camera. It also boasts excellent video focusing, 4K ultra HD support and can shoot up to 250 shots on a single battery.
The EOS RP is somewhat smaller and lighter than the standard EOS R. and new DIGIT 8 processor It also contains a 3-inch touchscreen which can flip. Featuring a new 26.2MP full-frame sensor with rapid dual-pixel focusing and improved low-light performance, the sensor and new DIGIC 8 processor come highly recommended.
One of the greatest small mirrorless cameras available is the Canon EOS M6 Mark II. It takes fantastic images and movies, is comparable to the flagships, and can take up to 305 shots on a single battery. If you’re looking for something small yet capable of high-end performance, this is one of the better options.
Canon’s APS-C sensor in this camera is fantastic, featuring a wide dynamic range, quick focusing, low-light noise management, accurate colour reproduction, and superb detail preservation. Video is supported up to 4K 30 fps, with 120fps slow motion support at 1080p.
At 0.89 pounds / 404 grams, the camera is nice and light, making it a perfect companion for everyday adventures and travel. They say that the best camera is the one you have with you, and with the M6 Mark II, you’ll have no excuse!
This basic, low-cost DSLR is ideal for getting started in ‘serious’ photography.
The Nikon D3500 is not the most complex DSLR available, but its simplicity, controls, and picture quality make it our top suggestion for anybody just getting started. The D3500 lacks a number of features, including a fixed back screen that isn’t touch-sensitive, hybrid on-sensor autofocus, and the ability to capture 4K video.
However, its 24-megapixel sensor produces super-sharp, super-high quality photographs, and Nikon’s newest AF-P retractable kit lens is a small miracle that focuses extremely quickly in live view, despite the lack of on-sensor phase-detection autofocus. The D3500 is simple to use, has more power than it seems, and is an excellent entry point into interchangeable lens photography.
Do you want a pocket-sized camera for travel and social media posts? This Olympus is little yet mighty.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is great for learning both photography and videography, and portable enough for everyday usage, with a flip-over screen for selfies and extremely good in-body image stabilisation. With 4K video and appealing style, the E-M10 Mark IV is suitable as an intermediate camera that can do it all. Although it has a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor than other mirrorless cameras or DSLRs, the lenses are smaller and lighter. This is a fantastic tiny camera that is much more powerful than it seems and could last you a long time.
The image stabilisation, 4K video, and flip-out screen of the X-S10 check all the boxes for intermediate photographers and those upgrading from a beginner camera.
From the moment you pick up this camera, it is evident it has been well designed, and is a big step up from amateur cameras. The build quality and handling are immediately noticeable, while the inclusion of IBIS (in-body stabilisation) give this camera an ideal combination of quality, performance and value in the APS-C mirrorless camera segment. This is an excellent option for photographers wishing to replace an ageing DSLR or mirrorless camera, or upgrade from a more basic camera.
The EOS 90D is an impressive choice for classic DSLR fans looking for the most up-to-date features.
We realise mirrorless cameras are popular, but we’ve also included Canon EOS 90D for all of the DSLR enthusiasts and the Canon ecosystem devotees! The Canon EOS 90D is an incredible APS-C camera, combining a 32.5MP sensor, 11fps continuous shooting speed and 4K uncropped video.
Canon’s user-friendly design makes this camera a joy to use, with adequately spaced buttons and a clean and well thought out interface. This contrasts favourably with the Nikon D7500 (later on our list) which seems packed with buttons.
Another feature we were very impressed with is the incredible battery life – 1300 shots – which is far greater than many other comparable cameras. Powered by Canon’s DIGIC DV 8 32.5MP sensor, the camera produces amazing results in a variety of conditions, with a clever auto-focus mechanism that quickly follows moving objects and eyes.
7. Sony ZV-1
If you don’t require interchangeable lenses but still want a little vlogging camera, this is ideal!
Normally, we advocate interchangeable lens cameras for any serious photography or filmmaking, but the Sony ZV-1 is an exception. It has a fixed 3x zoom lens and a 1-inch sensor, and while this may be smaller than most other cameras on our list, it compensates for this by being super-compact and being able to slip almost undetected into most pockets. Fast to focus, with an included wind muffler for improved audio recording, and brilliant controls for vlogging, this is a camera not to be missed!
8. Canon EOS R5
The Canon EOS R5 is an excellent option for those looking for professional-grade photos and videos. It is the most professional of those reviewed here, and at 3-4x the price of other models, is definitely targeted above the intermediate market. Worth considering though if budget isn’t an issue.
Canon’s new flagship mirrorless camera, the EOS R5, seems to be attempting to monopolise every market area at once. It has a brand-new 45MP sensor that delivers photos with remarkable detail owing to a new low-pass filter, as well as the EOS-1D X Mark III’s class-leading autofocus technology with a massive 5,940 AF points for photos and 4,500 for video. The video specifications of the EOS R5 are nothing short of cutting-edge, capturing uncropped 8K raw footage at 29.97fps, or 4K at 119.88fps. If you’re in the market for a mirrorless camera that does it all, the EOS R5 is well worth a look!
9. Nikon D7500
Nikon provides an amazing intermediate camera that excels in most aspects. The Nikon D7500 features some amazing metering upgrades and has improved FPS to ensure that your camera never misses a moment and that every shot comes out clear and crisp. The battery life of 950 shots equates to around 3 hours of shooting.
The camera has a compact design, yet functions are well spaced and feel natural in the hand. It features a 3.2-inch touchscreen, and a small LCD for displaying settings.
The 20.9MP Expeed 5 sensor provides high ISO support, generating excellent shots low light. It has a continuous frame rate of 8 FPS, which is quite high, however falls short of the 14 to 20 fps of some other cameras reviewed above.
The 51 focus points and large focus area are key factors that set this camera apart from many other models, significantly improving the sharpness of shots captured. This camera is well worth considering!
Sony is the brand to beat when it comes to image quality, and the Sony Alpha A6100 includes another of the world-class sensors they are recognised for.
The battery life leaves a little to be desired at 420 shots, however this is still quite a lot for the typical intermediate photographer, and significantly above many beginner cameras.
A 3 inch touchscreen that can be tilted 180 degrees enables you to clearly review images in the field, while the comfortably designed body is constructed from plastic with a rubber finish. Typical of many mirrorless cameras, the buttons are entirely on the left.
425 focus points with human and animal eye tracking are coupled with a 24.2 MP sensor that produces fantastic images, with a continuous rate of 11 FPS, far exceeding many beginner cameras which typically feature rates in the low single digits. While this camera may not be our #1 choice, it is still well worth a look.