Although DSLR cameras are frequently rather pricey, there are a few great, reasonably priced options to take into account.
While mirrorless cameras steal the show, DSLR cameras subtly maintain their position thanks to their steadfast advantages. Longer battery lives, durable construction, and, perhaps, greater image quality are a few of these.
Although they are not inexpensive, there are still numerous high-quality DSLR cameras available at reasonable costs. Even if you have to give up certain high-end capabilities, a DSLR that is reasonably priced is still a great camera for most people.
Here are the top affordable DSLR cameras on the market right now.
Our Favorite Budget DSLR Cameras in 2023
One of the greatest DSLRs available for beginners is the Nikon D3500, which is also a cost-effective choice for starting your DSLR journey. It’s lightweight and small. In fact, at only 14.6 oz, it is Nikon’s lightest DSLR and boasts a long range of remarkable capabilities that are suited for beginners.
With a built-in guide, learning how to utilize those capabilities is a breeze and is perfect for beginners learning how to use the camera’s many functions. You’ll find detailed instructions on how to use the camera’s 100-25,600 ISO range, get a shallow depth of field, use the AF and continuous shooting for action images, and many more techniques.
Due to its 24.2MP DX-Format sensor and EXPEED 4 CPU, it is a straightforward, simple-to-use gadget that produces excellent image quality. Your images will have clean edges, natural colors, and remarkable contrast, as well as good details. There isn’t any 4K video, though. You now have Full HD at up to 60 frames per second. However, it isn’t made with video in mind primarily because the screen isn’t tilting or touchable.
A quick autofocus system and a 5 fps continuous shooting rate are features of the Nikon D3500. Although it’s not an action camera, it performs better than the majority of DSLRs in its price range. Additionally, because to the impressive battery life of 1550 photos per charge, you may shoot from nightfall till dawn without worrying about running out of power.
Canon EOS Rebel T100
The Canon EOS Rebel T100, sometimes known as the Canon EOS 4000D, is one of those uncommon DSLR cameras that can be purchased for a pittance. That doesn’t always imply you’ll purchase a subpar camera, though. If you’re looking for a very reasonable way to upgrade from a smartphone to a DSLR, it might not be the best choice for a professional or serious amateur, but it’s still worth taking into account.
It makes use of an 18MP sensor and a DIGIC 4+ image processor from earlier Rebel models. The visual quality is yet respectable. Although there is a decent deal of detail and color saturation, there are moments when overexposure can be an issue, especially in scenes with high contrast.
The 9-point autofocus and 3fps continuous shooting are to be expected at this low price, while focusing is a tad on the relaxed side. However, it’s fine for beginners and general use. The battery life is also decent at 500 shots, and the camera comes with the same EF-S 18-55mm kit lens found on many budget Canon DSLRs.
The Pentax K-70 is an excellent, reasonably priced DSLR that would be a great choice if you were planning a hike in the mountains. Even with its boxy shape, it is still rather small and light (24.2oz with the battery).
There are 100 seals all around the camera, even on the articulating LCD, making it weatherproof. Cold weather is also included in this resistance. With the camera’s ability to operate in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), you may feel confident when out on those icy or hazy hikes. The ergonomic rubber handles make it easy to hold the camera while wearing gloves on chilly morning sunrise shoots. It is also dustproof, providing a measure of protection in the desert or at the beach in windy circumstances.
The image quality is superb overall. The absence of an optical low-pass filter allows the 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor to maintain detail. Additionally, the sensor-based in-body image stabilization is effective up to 4.5EV steps. Additionally, noise is effectively controlled at high ISO settings, with little sharpness loss up to ISO 12800.
For rapid live-view focusing, the K-70 also boasts a hybrid autofocus system with phase-detect AF pixels. While the 11-point AF system is competent of general shooting, it may not perform as well as certain competitors in terms of continuous focus.
Canon EOS Rebel t8i
Overall, the image quality is excellent. The 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor maintains detail because there isn’t an optical low-pass filter present. Additionally, up to 4.5EV steps can be used using the sensor-based in-body image stabilization. Additionally, sharpness loss is minimal up to ISO 12800 while noise is efficiently managed at high ISO settings.
The K-70 also features a hybrid autofocus system with phase-detect AF pixels for quick live-view focusing. While the 11-point AF system is capable of general shooting, it might not deliver as good of continuous focus as other rivals.
However, the fact that it can record 4K video is what really sets it apart from other devices in this price range. You can shoot at up to 24 frames per second, and 16:9 support is an extra plus for video producers. It’s a great option for DSLR-loving vloggers thanks to the vari-angle touchscreen LCD and digital picture stabilization (video only).
The EF-S 18-55mm IS STM kit lens included with the Canon EOS Rebel T8i, however, isn’t the best for low light performance. Better lenses for your particular needs will probably be necessary to get the most out of this camera.
Canon EOS Rebel T7
Since the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is the T8i’s predecessor, it is available for a considerably more reasonable price. You’ll actually have a tough time finding a DSLR for less. That does not, however, imply that it is a subpar camera. Even though it has simple features and specs, it’s still a great entry-level option. Additionally, it is small and light, making it the perfect option for first-time DSLR travelers.
The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens that comes with the T7 has a 24.1MP APS-C sensor. For a higher cost, a two-lens package that includes an additional Canon EF 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens provides greater versatility for shooting a variety of photographic genres.
The T7’s nine-point autofocus is one of its many strong, basic specifications. At 3fps, burst mode is also beginner-level. It’s adequate for taking typical action pictures, but you won’t be able to freeze fast-moving situations in time like a passing bullet train or a galloping horse.
Additionally, particularly in ideal lighting, picture quality is impressive. Images have well-balanced exposures, vivid colors, and excellent contrast. Noise is effectively managed up to ISO 6,400. Despite the kit lens’s image stabilization, employing a tripod for nighttime photography will yield the best results.
Canon EOS Rebel SL3
Another compact addition to the Canon Rebel series is the SL3, sometimes known as the 250D. With dimensions of 3.7 inches by 4.8 inches, it is among the smallest DSLRs. Additionally, it is the lightest DSLR with a fully tiltable screen thanks to its 15.8oz weight without lenses.
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens is included with the camera. It has an optical image stabilizer with a 4-stop range that makes handheld photography simpler. A DIGIC 8 image processor that enables 4K at 25 frames per second is also included. However, shooting in 4K necessitates a significant cut, and Spot and Zone focusing settings are not available.
The 9-point AF system is fairly quick and precise. You may take rapid, natural shots of subjects by focusing on them. In less favorable lighting, it moves a little more slowly, and maintaining focus can occasionally be tough. Although it might not be the ideal option for action genres, using Live View mode speeds up the AF.
The SL3 has an optical viewfinder and a clear, touch-enabled LCD that is completely articulated. It swings out to the side, which is perfect for vloggers, and you can tap to set focus or browse menus. You also get a fantastic 1,070 CIPA-rated battery life while utilizing the optical viewfinder, making this a perfect travel-friendly cheap DSLR.
The Pentax KF is a modern interpretation of the Pentax K-70. The KF is for you if you prefer the most recent model and don’t mind paying more (although it is still priced affordably for a DSLR). The K-70 ought to be your pick if you want to save some money and are okay with an older model.
The 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, the effective 4.5 stops of in-body image stabilization, the 11-point AF system, and the quicker live-view hybrid phase/contrast AF are all carried over to the Pentax KF. Although the LCD has been improved, the video resolution is still 1080p, and it is now more precise and sharp. Additionally, it has three new custom image settings and a brand-new USB-C charger for creative types.
The main reason for the KF’s rebranding is the lack of available internal parts. It’s important to note that the KF is now a little bit lighter than the K-70, even though there might be unspecified alterations inside the camera. However, the design remains the same and the technology has only undergone minimal changes, so you will still have access to the tried-and-true features that made the K-70 so well-liked.
Things to Consider When Finding the Right Budget-Friendly DSLR for You
Cost is your main worry if you want to test the waters with a budget-friendly DSLR and aren’t quite ready to pay out on a high-end DSLR. Therefore, Canon has good possibilities with the EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D and the EOS Rebel T100 / 4000D if you’re looking for the most economical. You won’t receive any subpar cameras either. While it is true that spending more money will bring you greater features, pictures, and video, they are both capable cameras for learning DSLR photography.
The EOS Rebel T8i / 850D, on the other hand, offers 4K video with stabilization, an articulating touchscreen LCD, superb focusing, and greater image quality if you need better features while staying within your budget. Although it is more expensive, it is still a great deal for a DSLR. The Pentax K-70 is weather-sealed and boasts a superior design if you need something more durable to bring hiking. It’s also perfect for taking expansive landscape photos.
The greatest pocket-friendly DSLR available is the Nikon D3500, which also boasts a great price to value ratio. Despite the lack of 4K video, 60 frames per second Full HD can be captured. It stands out from the competition due to its superior battery life, quick autofocus, and high-quality images. Additionally, it is portable and light, making it a wonderful option for trip photography.