Best Cheap DSLR Camera
DSLR cameras are versatile and great-all round.
You can do so much more with this type of camera than you can with a basic point-and-shoot, so why settle for less?
If your budget stretches to the lower prices of DSLRs, then you should absolutely considering the devices we review in this guide to get the best bang for your buck.
Here’s what to expect in this article:
- Reviews of the best cheap dslr cameras
- A detailed selection guide
- Your burning questions answered in a FAQ
Without further ado, here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Cheap DSLR Camera
Best Cheap DSLR Camera Reviews
Nikon D3500 (👑 Best of the Best)
The Nikon D3500 is our top pick for the best cheap DSLR camera, and this shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise given the camera’s immense popularity among aspiring and experienced photographers alike.
The Nikon D3500 is a top DSLR with so many standout features it has managed to maintain a five-star rating from the usually ultra-critical users of Amazon. The camera is great all-round, and has everything you could need to kickstart an interest in photography and capture some professional-looking stills and video. The value for money is incredible, and this is a camera that goes to show that you don’t need to splash out to get your hands on a top DSLR.
This camera achieves a perfect blend of amateur and pro-friendly features and specifications. For the beginner photographer, there’s the handy Guide Mode. This Guide Mode is exceptionally useful if you want to get to grips with all of the settings and features of the camera right out of the box. This is huge if you don’t want to spend an afternoon or two getting familiar with all of the settings and features of the camera before you take it out and about. This mode helps the camera live up to its status as a DSLR that’s as easy to use as a standard point-and-shoot.
But the Nikon D3500 really shines when it comes to performance. Regardless of whether you want to spend a little money on a camera or a lot, you want to know that you’re getting a sound return for your investment. As such, just because you want to spend less on a DSLR, you shouldn’t settle for less than you have to. This D3500 has an impressive 24MP image sensor which is better than a lot of cameras in its price range, and this is backed up by an 11-point AutoFocus system which should help you keep your subjects in focus without too much effort. You should get plenty of use out of the camera too, since it boasts as many as 1,550 shots in a single charge of the battery. Plus, while it isn’t 4K, the camera is able to record video in 1080p full HD, which is absolutely fine for capturing clear footage when you want to.
- 24MP image sensor
- 1080p full HD video
- Guide Mode
- 1,550 shot battery life
- 11 AutoFocus points
Canon EOS Rebel T7i (🥈 Runner Up)
Our runner up pick for the best cheap DSLR is the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, a staple in the EOS series and an excellent all-round camera.
If you’re looking for a top Canon camera at a fraction of the price of some of its premium models, the Rebel T7I is a fantastic option. With this DSLR, you can expect a user-friendly interface, which will help ease you into the many features and settings on offer. It also takes some stunning shots, so if you’re looking for quality on a budget then you won’t be disappointed with the Rebel T7i.
The one drawback of this camera is the lack of 4K video, but if you aren’t interested in capturing cinematic-level video or making documentaries, this shouldn’t be too hard to stomach. 4K is generally one of the first things to go when the price of a DSLR goes down, which makes sense, and shouldn’t be a dealbreaker unless you’re serious about producing top-notch videos. Video aside, this is the ideal camera for the aspiring or experienced photographer looking to capture epic shots.
The crisp stils you can take with this camera are largely attributable to the powerful 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) sensor, which is used in many of Canon’s EOS cameras. But this is also backed up with an impressive Dual Pixel AutoFocus, which keeps everything crystal clear for when you want to use the Live View for snapping your shots. Touch AF is another feature which will help you zone in on exactly what it is in the photo you want to emphasize. There’s also high speed continuous shooting at up to 60fps, which is ideal if you want to capture subjects in motion. In terms of battery life, you can expect up to 600 shots for every charge, which should be more than enough for a productive photography mission.
Perhaps best of all is the fact that, as a Canon camera, the EOS Rebel T7i has a variety of lenses it’s compatible with. As a result, you should find it easy to settle on a few that really work for you. If you’re just starting out, this can seem overwhelming at first, but as you develop your skills you’ll be grateful that you can mix up your approach. The lenses include an STM lens, a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens and more.
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) sensor
- DIGIC 7 Image Processor
- 600 shots per charge
- Dual Pixel Autofocus
- Touch AF
- 60fps continuous shooting
- Compatible with various lenses
Pentax K-70 (💎 Best of the Rest)
There’s a lot of competition outside of Canon and Nikon, so we thought we’d shine the spotlight on a top cheap DSLR that you may have otherwise overlooked: the Pentax K-70.
The best of the rest, the K-70 from Pentax is a sturdy and durable camera, fit for any adventure. Its compact size and hard exterior make it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a camera that can stand up to bad weather, knocks, or general wear and tear. Like Canon’s EOS Rebel T7i, the Pentax K-70 is a few years old now, but if value for money is one of your greatest concerns you’d be foolish to overlook it. The articulating screen is incredibly handy for lining up everything in your shot and the hybrid live view AF is highly competent.
This weather-sealed DSLR is a real unit, though its durability doesn’t come at the cost of portability. In fact, this is probably one of the best affordable DSLRs you can buy that you could take on just about any trip without fear of it taking damage. The body of the camera is both dustproof and weather resistant.
The interior of the camera is just as impressive as its sturdy exterior shell, though, with a powerful 24.24 Megapixel APS C AA CMOS sensor. This image sensor has a wide ISO range of 100-204800, which gives it decent low light performance if you’re planning on going on nighttime photography missions. This is helped further with the night vision red light display, that will make shooting epic stills when the sun goes down a breeze. Using the vari-angle LCD monitor, you’ll be able to accurately track what’s in frame at all times, and do so comfortably.
As for AF, there’s an 11 point system that should help mitigate any blur caused by a shaky hand, which is good to know if you’re just starting out with photography. This is reinforced with the in-body shake reduction mechanism which will compensate for camera shape up to 4.5EV steps. That menas even when you’re using a telephoto lens to zoom in on a distant subject, you should still end up with a clear photo.
- 24.24 Megapixel APS C AA CMOS sensor
- ISO range 100-204800
- Dustrpoof and weather resistant
- Vari-angle LCD screen
- Night vision red light display
- 11-point AF
- Bulit-in WiFi
- In-body shake reduction
If you’re looking for a DSLR that won’t cost you a fortune, you’re going to have to know exactly what your priorities are.
For example, if you want to capture professional-looking video, your options will be limited. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a camera with smooth 4K video recording, though, you just have to be very selective.
Here’s our guide to cheap DSLRs and how to choose the right one for you.
If you’re looking for a budget camera, there are plenty of options including the popular point-and-shoot and mirrorless devices.
However, this is a guide of the best cheap DSLRs, so let’s take a look at the most compelling reasons to go with this type of camera.
For a start, it’s widely believed that the DSLR camera offers much higher image quality than your average point-and-shoot. But this upgrade in clarity isn’t the only reason to invest in a DSLR.
One of the main reasons many people like DSLRs is because they offer a degree of flexibility that you don’t get with other types of camera. With a DSLR, you will have an interchangeable lens, in contrast to the fixed lens of point-and-shoots. As a result, you will be able to experiment with a wide variety of different lenses to get the exact results you’re looking for. This will also increase the longevity of the camera, since it won’t limit you to photos from a single lens.
You’ll also find that with DSLRs, there’s a lot more in the way of settings. Whether it’s the aperture settings or the AutoFocus system, this type of camera gives you plenty to tinker with if you’re looking for a highly customized photo-taking experience.
While this is far from an exhaustive list of features you can expect with DSLRs, these are some of the most important things to pay attention to.
The image sensor is one of the greatest indicators of how good the photos you take with the camera will be.
The more powerful the sensor is, the higher the resolution of the photos you take will be. This means that if you print them out, they will look a lot more clean with a high resolution.
The size of the sensor is important, too, since it determines how much light the camera can capture.
With any camera, it isn’t enough to rely on manual focus.
A good AutoFocus system can save you a lot of effort, and do a world of good for the steadiness of your images.
Especially when combined with in-body shake reduction, AF can do a lot to mitigate the blur associated with a shaky hand.
Battery life in cameras is typically measured according to how many shots you can take with a single charge.
If you anticipate spending a long time out and about on photography missions, then battery life should be an important consideration, and you should look for a DSLR with more than 1,000 photos per charge.
This will depend entirely on how you use the camera, though, so take the time to figure out exactly how you will use it.
Why Do You Need A DSLR Camera?
While you are having a passion for photography, there are a few reasons that to fulfill that passion you need to have a DSLR than any other type of camera. It is one of the best cameras if you want to master in the field of photography. It offers the best quality photos with different effects and editing options.
Here are a few reasons that why you should buy a DSLR camera.
- Quality: The first reason is that it offers the best quality of photos because of having a big size of sensor. With this, you get more clear and detailed photos than any other type of camera.
- Low-light pics: While using these cameras, they cause less noise and allow you to take the best photos in the low light areas with ease, which is not possible with other cameras because of being noisy
- Focus: Using the DSLR allows you to focus on subjects quickly and easily along with taking multiple shots in a second. Focusing smoothly on the objects is the best part of DSLRs.
- Editing Features: You get so many editing options to enhance the quality of your photos that even a simple picture will look great.
- Lenses: With DSLR you get the chance to do photography using different lenses. You can change the lenses whenever you want to fulfill different needs of photography. It allows you to have a nice collection of the camera lenses. It is said to one of the best cameras in terms of interchangeable lenses.
- Depth: In this you have got the full control of choosing the right depth of field as per your needs. You can focus on the object as much as you want ignoring the background if you want.
- Durable: You are going to find them best because they can withstand almost any weather. They can deal with rain, moisture, and dust without incurring any damage unlike other types of cameras.
- High quality: They have been designed to be of high-quality. They are having a body that is reliable and durable. They live for a longer time by giving you the best results without any compromise along with giving you the chance to learn a lot about photography.
- Weight: The new versions of DSLR are low weight than the old models which makes them easier to carry.
After buying a DSLR, you will feel these benefits on your own. Working with DSLR, you will not regret spending so much on it. Buying this is going to be the best decision ever in your life.
So, buy this without any hesitation to feel the benefits mentioned above along with the various other benefits.
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Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Cheap DSLR Camera
When out in the market and standing in the middle of a lot of buying choices, it becomes difficult to look for the best one as per our needs. But this task can become easy by keeping some of the main factors in mind you need to consider while the best cheap DSLR camera for a great photography:
Having a budget has to be the first thing you need to do before buying a camera. If you want to have the best affordable DSLR camera, you need to have a set range of price in your mind according to which you are going to look for the camera because obviously you would not want to run out of money.
2. Shutter Speed
While buying a DSLR, you need to check the shutter speed it is offering and then analyze if it is going to solve your purpose. It is the important thing to be considered in any camera you are buying.
It determines the clarity of your photo along with the speed of capturing the subject.
Shutter speed is basically the amount of time that the shutter remains open before closing. The faster the shutter speed will be, clearer the photo will be and the slower it will be, blurry the photo will be.
Now, this is the next thing you need to check before buying DSLR. It is as important as shutter speed to be considered for the perfect results of photography. During the purchase, you need to consider the minimum and maximum aperture you are being offered in the camera.
In different DSLR cameras, you are going to find aperture in different ranges. Aperture is something that controls the amount of light entering the lens to hit the image sensor.
The higher the f-number, the smaller the aperture and lesser the light will pass through the lens and vice-versa. Changing the aperture will decide how wide the lens is going to be open. So, do check the aperture well before you buy a DSLR.
ISO is a feature in DSLR that controls your sensor’s sensitivity to light. If you will increase the ISO, you will get properly exposed photos in darker conditions. But you need to keep in mind that if you will increase the ISO, the more digital noise you are going to see in the photos.
So, check the ISO settings properly before the purchase.
Then, you need to check the megapixels of the camera. It determines the quality of your photos. It decides the clarity and details of your photograph. So, it has to be the right one as per your uses. This is something you cannot ignore during the purchase.
Different DSLRs are having different modes and editing features. So, check the features it is providing. While considering the features, you need to be clear with your purpose in your mind so you choose the right one for photography.
Different modes will offer different effects in your photos. Therefore, do check all the features properly for the best results of photography.
There are different lenses available in the market, so you need to choose a camera that is going to be compatible with the lenses you prefer for your photography. Not all the lenses can be attached to all the types of the DSLR camera. You need to be careful while buying the camera so that you don’t face any issues while choosing the best lenses for your camera.
Quality is also important to be considered when you want to buy a camera. You need to make sure that the quality of the body is reliable and durable along with checking the quality of photos it will offer. It needs to be a high-quality for the best results and long life.
There are cameras that are heavy in weight and light in weight. As per your convenience you need to see the weight of the camera. If you want it for traveling photography, it is better to go for lightweight camera because you need it to carry from place to place. Hence, don’t forget to check the weight of the camera.
It is not easy to pick up the right and the best one, so it is better to go through the reviews of different products before you by any of the cameras. With the help of reviews, you get to know the pros and cons of the products you are preferring to buy.
With reviews, you will know if the product you are looking for is going to fulfill your purpose or not. Reading the reviews is really important if you want to end up buying the best one for you.
All these factors have been mentioned for your convenience so that the task of finding the right becomes easy for you. These are the points that are important for you to consider if you want some amazing results of photography.
Some of the factors are the feature of the cameras that determine the quality of the photo you are going to get. Also, it is advised to not to compromise with the quality of camera because of the prices, because a camera with poor quality will not live for a long time and will not give the desired results.
So, remember the factors and buy the DSLR for you carefully.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap DSLR Cameras
What is the best cheap camera for photography?
In our view, you can’t beat the Nikon D3500 when it comes to value for money and features.
While there are so many good affordable cameras out there, few come close to the D3500, and it is widely considered to be one of the top cheap DSLRs.
It has a ton of useful features like the Guide Mode which will introduce you to the camera’s various features and the 24MP image sensor.
What is the best affordable DSLR camera?
While the Nikon D3500 is our top pick and hard to beat, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is another top DSLR camera.
If you don’t want to buy into the hype of the Canon vs Nikon debate in the camera world, then we highly recommend the Pentax KP, instead.
To find the best affordable DSLR camera for you, you’ll want to make sure that it ticks all the boxes with regards to your preferences.
Is Canon better than Nikon?
The age-old debate of whether Canon or Nikon is the better camera brand won’t be settled in this guide, but we can clear up which brand does better in which areas.
Canon cameras tend to have higher quality lenses and video recording quality, so if you want to capture cinematic footage they’re an excellent option.
Nikon cameras on the other hand have a wide variety of lenses and also have ergonomic designs which makes them comfortable to hold.
How to maintain a DSLR camera?
Once you have bought the best DSLR camera as per your needs, it is important to maintain for a long life. But, how to do it, is the question. So, here is what you can do to maintain your DSLR camera.
- You need to use a soft cloth or soft tissue to clean the body of the camera from time to time. Make sure you are cleaning the dust constantly.
- Clean the lens whenever required with blower, a soft cloth, a brush, or a cleaning solution to remove the dust. But make sure that you are not doing it too much as it may damage the lens.
- You need to clean the mirror and screen of the camera from time to time. You should use a soft cloth or soft tissue to do this because it is the sensitive part of the camera.
- Make sure that you are keeping the camera back into the camera bag after the use for its protection and safety. The bags are designed especially for the cameras to remain damage free.
Which is the best DSLR camera for beginners?
Nikon D3500, Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D, Nikon D5600, Canon 90D, Canon EOS Rebel T7/ 2000D / EOS 1500D, Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D / EOS 200D Mark II, and Pentax K-70 are some of the best DSLR cameras that can be used by the beginners.
These are user-friendly and the photographers get a lot to learn using these cameras. Also, these are the best cheap DSLR camera you are going to find in the market.
How long does a DSLR camera last?
Generally, most of the DSLR cameras you are going to find in the market last for 3 to 5 years. The life of a DSLR camera also depends on shutter counts, which means the number of time the shutter button has been pressed.
How many shots a DSLR can take?
Well, an entry level DSLR camera is capable of taking around 50,000 shots. A mid-range DSLR camera can take around 100,000 shots. And, a professional DSLR camera is designed to take nearly 200,000 shots in total.
What is a master shooting mode in DSLR?
Shooting mode is found in dial label, and it has options like ‘AV,’ ‘TV,’ ‘P,’ and ‘M.’ This shooting mode will decide how the camera will capture the picture when you press the shutter. For example, if you select Auto, the camera will take care of the exposure automatically.
AV or A, also known as Aperture priority, is a semi-automatic mode. In this mode, you set the aperture, and the camera will set the shutter speed. TV or S, it is also a semi-automatic shooting mode, but it is opposite to AV mode.
Here you set the shutter speed, and the camera sets the aperture. In P or program mode, you can do both the functions of AV mode and TV mode.
So you can either set the shutter speed, or you can set the aperture it is up to you. M stands for manual mode; here, you will have to set the aperture and shutter speed by yourself. If you are new to DSLR cameras, you can start with auto mode.
What are standard prime lenses and zoom lenses, and what is the difference between the two?
These are fixed focal length lenses, which means if you choose a 25mm lens, it will you a 25mm perspective. In these types of lenses, you can’t zoom in or zoom out. Instead, you can shoot only in one length.
Thus, in this type of lens, you will have to move physically to take wider or close shots. It is specially used for You can only shoot from one length, meaning you have to move your physical body to get street photography, portraits, weddings, and landscapes. They help you get a sharper image and are great for low light conditions.
They are also lightweight lenses. But one major problem with a prime lens is that you have to carry different lenses to accommodate different types of lengths in your photographs.
Zoom lenses are one of the most versatile lenses. In these lenses, you can click great distant photographs or close-ups standing in one place. Canon 70-200mm is one of the most popular and widely used lenses. 70-200mm means it can zoom between 70mm wide and 200mm close.
In zoom lenses, you can easily focus on the object by autofocus mode. Unlike the standard prime lens in the zoom, you don’t need multiple lenses.
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A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot
It can be tricky to pick out the perfect camera for your needs, so hopefully this guide has helped you reach a decision.
With all the high-quality cheap DSLRs on the market, you really need to figure out what it is you value in a camera to make the best decision.