If you’re looking for an advanced camera but don’t want to spend a lot of money, these entry-level DSLRs are a great place to start!
If you’re trying to pick out the best DSLR for yourself or as a gift, I’ve got you covered. I’ve put together a list of the best cameras, ranked for different categories. Hopefully, this list gives you a good idea of which camera will be right for you.
What Counts as an Entry-Level DSLR?
I was pretty proud of myself when I finally saved up enough money to buy my first DSLR- a Nikon D5100. I had done my research and knew it was a great entry-level camera. But I was surprised to hear people- even professionals- call it entry-level like it was a bad thing.
The D5100 may not have been the best of the best, but it was a good camera that I had worked hard to save up for. And just because someone is a professional photographer doesn’t mean they can’t also appreciate a good entry-level DSLR.
These cameras are great for anyone just starting out in photography. I used a few different criteria to determine what cameras made this list, but the main overriding factor was that these are all cameras that any entry-level photographer would be proud to own.
You’ll find every current entry-level DSLR on the market in this guide, making it the most comprehensive list you’ll find anywhere today.
I spent quite a bit of time testing out entry-level cameras last year, and my takeaway is that they’re all pretty similar in terms of quality.
There wasn’t any real dud in the bunch. The best and worst cameras on the list below don’t differ all that much. Your individual needs could move each camera up or down the list for you, depending on what’s important to you.
Don’t Buy the Bundle
Before you take a look at the rankings below, there’s something you should know: don’t buy an all-purpose photography bundle!
Deluxe Camera Bundles
Most of the cameras in this article are geared towards first-time DSLR buyers. Because of this, you can buy most of them in a bundle with lots of extra photography accessories included.
This sounds great because it saves you the effort of having to buy accessories separately – but oftentimes, the equipment included in these bundles is very overpriced.
Let’s say you’re in the market for Top 5 DSLR Cameras for Beginners. You do some research and find that the Nikon D3500 is a great entry-level DSLR.
But then you see that there’s a bundle being offered on Amazon that includes the camera, a kit lens, two 32 GB memory cards, a remote shutter release, a bag, a flash, a filter kit, and two converters for $660. That’s quite a deal, right?
Wrong. In practice, the only useful accessories in that bundle are the memory cards and the remote shutter release (and maybe the bag). The filters are going to be low in quality, and as
Canon Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D
The Canon Rebel T6 (also known as the Canon EOS 1300D) is not a good buy because it sells for $450 with a kit lens. The newer T7 has a 24-megapixel sensor, so it is a better buy. The T6 is rarely found for sale new anyway and you’d have to look for something used or refurbished.
You can sometimes find a great deal on a T6 camera that includes a 70-300mm zoom alongside the regular kit.
Last year, around the holidays, Canon’s own website was selling the T6 with two lenses (the 18-55mm kit lens and a 75-300mm telephoto) refurbished for $280. At such a price, the T6 would be a great value and potentially one of the better options on this list. So, it all comes down to price.
Even though the Pentax KP has some really great features, like a 24-megapixel sensor and three different dials to control camera settings, it’s not one of the best cameras on this list.
Part of the reason is because it’s so expensive (it costs $1100 with a kit lens). Other cameras on this list have similar features but don’t cost as much.
Canon Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D
Even though the Canon T7 is a newer model (released in February 2018), its specs make it seem like it’s behind the times. With only 24 megapixels, 3 fps shooting, and a 9-point autofocus system, this DSLR doesn’t have some of the features that have become standard in more recent models, like a touchscreen or tilt-flip screen.
However, the T7 is still a great value at $450 with a kit lens included. In comparison to other entry-level DSLRs on the market, the T7 is one of the most affordable options available.
Canon Rebel T6i / 750D
Even though it’s a few years old at this point, the Canon Rebel T6i / EOS 750D is still a great entry-level DSLR. You can often find it discounted from its original price of $650, especially if you’re willing to buy it without a kit lens.
Even so, the T6i has a lot to offer, including a 24-megapixel sensor, 19 autofocus points, 5 FPS shooting, and a tilt-flip touchscreen.