best dslr under 1000

Best DSLR Cameras Under $1000 – Nikon nabs No.1 in 2021

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Being in the profession of photography for years, my travel bag is incomplete without my trusted DSLR. So imagine my horror when my camera stopped working just a week before I was to go on a trip!

Traveling without a camera wasn’t an option for me, so I decided to go for one that’s not too expensive yet does the job well. My requirements were rather simple – the camera should be travel-friendly along with being good enough for basic professional use.

Having set a budget of 1000 dollars, I was delighted to find quite a few decent options within my budget and finally decided to go for the Nikon D7500. 

Now, I know that choosing a DSLR in this range can get difficult, especially if you are new to the profession. To help out all the aspiring photographers, I have selected some of the best DSLR cameras under 1000 that are just perfect for getting great photos without breaking the bank. Check them out below!

Best DSLR Cameras Under $1000 (Updated Sep 2021)

Nikon D7500

Capture stunning clear images with the powerful 51-point autofocus system.

Megapixels: 20.9MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range 100 – 51200
Lens Mount: Nikon FWeight: 42.2 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

I currently own the D7500, and I would say that I absolutely love it! Featuring a decent 20.9-megapixel sensor and great image quality, this model is especially suitable for early-stage professionals. 

When it comes to ISO performance, it is one of the best DSLR cameras under 1000 that you can get. The wide ISO range ensures that you end up with clear, non-grainy images even when shooting in low-light conditions.

I personally use it for bird and wildlife photography, and the results are incredible every time! With its 51 available focus points, it’s easy to shoot subjects in motion with almost zero chances of a blur! Combined with a good telephoto lens, this camera is great for photographing birds in flight!

And the good news is that this model is compatible with a wide range of interchangeable lenses! So no matter whether you want to capture portraits, macro, or wildlife, you can easily choose from an extensive range of lenses created for Nikon DSLR cameras.

It comes with a tilting touch-enabled LCD screen that helps in shooting from high and low angles easily. Although I would have preferred a fully-articulated screen, it does work well enough for my needs.

The battery performance is excellent, It lasts more than a day even with extensive use. Moreover, this Nikon DSLR camera features a rugged design complete with extensive weather sealing to withstand extreme weather conditions and use.

I would recommend this DSLR camera model to anyone looking for professional-level features within a moderate budget!

Pros
  • Great image quality
  • 51-point autofocus system
  • 8 fps continuous shooting
  • Fast auto-focus
  • 4k ultra HD video mode
  • Weather-sealed body
Cons
  • Single memory card slot
  • No battery grip

Canon EOS Rebel SL3

A beginner-friendly camera featuring an amazing 24.1-megapixel sensor.

Megapixels: 24.2MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 25600
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-SWeight: 23.4 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

The  Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is an entry-level DSLR suitable for vloggers, hobbyists, and beginner photographers alike. The 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor allows you to capture stunning images, especially in daylight. 

I love the lightweight build of the camera. While the body is made of mostly plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap (although the control buttons may seem a bit flimsy).

The camera comes with dual pixel autofocus with a 9-point AF system. I felt the autofocus works great when shooting stationary subjects but it slightly slows down when tracking movements. But even then, the picture quality was up to the mark.

The vari-angle touch screen makes shooting at different angles easier and works especially well for selfies.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is the perfect camera to take on your vacations due to its long battery life. I would also recommend it as a suitable model for travel vloggers and content creators who want to capture and share high-quality video content with their viewers. But if you are looking for professional-level features, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • 4k video recording with timelapse feature
  • Highly responsive touchscreen
  • Built-in Wi-fi and BlueTooth
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • Flash needs to be raised manually
  • The autofocus system is far from satisfactory

Worthy contender: Best Mirrorless Camera under $1000

Sony Alpha A6000

A compact 24.3-megapixel mirrorless camera packed with professional features.

Megapixels: 24.3MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 25600
Lens Mount: Sony EWeight: 16.5 oz
Storage: MS PRO Duo / SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

The Sony Alpha a6000 is an impressive mirrorless DSLR that captures incredibly detailed images thanks to its 24.3-megapixel sensor. 

The most outstanding feature of this mirrorless camera is its ultra-fast autofocus! Packed with 179 AF points (yes, you read that right!), you can track a moving subject at any point on the frame with ease. And that’s not all, the eye detection autofocus also helps you track the movement of the subject easily.

Portraits, wildlife, action, and sports photography – you name it and this model can give you exceptional results in each! The camera works well in low light, although a slight noise may be visible when shooting at higher ISO.

The 5-axis in-body image stabilization makes shooting photos and videos much easier, even without a tripod. You can expect well-detailed sharp images when shooting at a slower shutter speed, too.

The camera is equipped with both Wi-fi and NFC sharing features, which lets you control the camera remotely by connecting it to a compatible smartphone. I really loved the instant one-tap sharing feature – it’s very convenient to edit and upload photos whenever you want! But it only works if your device is NFC enabled.

While this is a great model for beginners, it comes packed with a host of features that would appeal to a professional, too.

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight
  • 179-point autofocus system
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Instant file transfer with built-in Wi-fi and NFC
  • Full HD video
Cons
  • Battery life isn’t great
  • Single SD card slot
  • Fewer compatible lenses

Some more options to consider for a DSLR under $1000

Nikon D5600

An entry-level DSLR with an impressive 24.2-megapixel sensor.

Megapixels: 24.2MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 25600
Lens Mount: Nikon FWeight: 23.4 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

The D5600 is smaller and lighter than the D7500, but packs in a higher resolution 24.2-megapixel sensor to give you immensely clear and detailed photos. This Nikon DSLR camera has a wide ISO range, which makes it perform well in almost all light conditions.

The 39-point autofocus system works well for shooting moving subjects. I especially like the touch control feature which allows you to focus on a certain subject by touching it on the screen. 

Like the D7500, the D5600, too, is suitable for capturing stunning photos of birds and wildlife. I would say that the fully articulating screen of this model gives it an advantage in terms of shooting from every angle, something that the D7500 lacks. 

Its long battery life also gives it an advantage over many other DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in this budget range.

I feel that the addition of a 4k video shooting mode would have made this one of the top contenders among the best DSLR cameras under $1000. But when it comes to image quality and clarity, this one works quite well for basic professional work.

If you are a beginner or early-stage professional looking for a competent DSLR within an affordable price range, I would totally suggest going for this amazing camera!

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • 39-point autofocus system
  • Fully articulating touchscreen with live view
  • Comes with built-in Wi-fi, BlueTooth, and NFC
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Autofocus doesn’t work well in video mode
  • Lacks weather sealing

Canon EOS Rebel T8i

A power-packed 24.1-megapixel sensor in a lightweight body.

Megapixels: 24.1MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 25600
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-SWeight: 18.2 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

The Canon EOS Rebel T8i is a compact DSLR camera designed to make capturing detailed images and high-definition videos a breeze, even for people without an in-depth knowledge of photography.

This is one of the best cameras for novice photographers, and is just as suitable for hobbyists, vloggers, and travel addicts! 

I love how beginner-friendly it is! Even if you have never used a DSLR before, you won’t have any issue operating it for basic photography. And as you learn the ins and outs, you’ll be able to do so much more!

This Canon DSLR works well for action and sports photography due to its 45-point autofocus system. Autofocus is great when you are shooting in good light conditions. But it does get a tad bit slower in low light, although the speed is within an acceptable range.

The image quality is great – I really like the details and life-like colors captured by the camera. And combined with the impressive battery life, it is undoubtedly one of the best DSLR cameras under 1000 dollars!

I would give it full marks for portrait shots. This model comes with incredible eye-detection AF that automatically focuses on the eyes of the subject when you’re shooting in live view mode. I tried to photograph a friend walking towards me from a small distance, and absolutely loved how the camera knew exactly what to focus on!

The eye-detection feature isn’t available when shooting through the viewfinder though, which left me a bit disappointed. However, the face detection is spot on in both modes.

All in all, I would say this is a great camera in this price range and I would totally recommend it to anyone looking at options for their first DSLR.

Pros
  • Lightweight, yet solid build
  • Impressive image detailing and quality
  • Decent battery life
  • 4k video capability
Cons
  • No support for USB charging
  • Flash needs to be raised manually
  • Does not have weather sealing

Canon EOS Rebel T7

An entry-level DSLR packed with an impressive 24.1-megapixel sensor.

Megapixels: 24.1MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 6400
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-SWeight: 23.8 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

If you are a budding photographer looking to buy your first DSLR, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 might be a good choice. This inexpensive camera comes with a 24.1-megapixel sensor to help you capture good-quality photos.

This DSLR camera doesn’t come with the fastest autofocus system out there. While the 9-point autofocus system does a decent job in capturing subjects in motion, it pales in comparison to the much more advanced features in other camera models within the same price range. But if you are more into capturing portraits or landscape shots, this DSLR is enough for your needs. 

A major disappointment with this camera is its fixed LCD screen. An articulated screen would have made it easier to capture images from different angles.

The video quality is impressive, which makes it a good choice for vloggers. Just a bit of advice – try using a tripod while capturing the full HD videos, and you’ll love the results! The camera doesn’t feature a weather-sealed body – so make sure you keep it protected from water and dust!

I would recommend this Canon DSLR if you want a low-budget camera to build your photography skills before investing in a more expensive model. Otherwise, my suggestion is to go for the slightly higher-priced Canon models that come with more advanced features instead.

Pros
  • 24.1-megapixel sensor
  • Raw file support
  • Full HD video
  • Comes with Wi-fi and NFC connectivity
Cons
  • Comparatively low ISO range
  • Fixed LCD screen without touch features

Pentax K-70

A splendid 24.2-megapixel sensor packed in a weather-resistant body.

Megapixels: 24.2MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 102400
Lens Mount: Pentax K (KA/KAF/KAF2/3/4)Weight: 39.6 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

The Pentax K-70 model has a solid build and is fairly easy to operate, although the weight may be an issue for some.

The sensor is great – it can be easily compared to the sensors in some of the best Canon DSLRs in this price range! One word of caution though, the camera doesn’t operate noiselessly. So if you’re thinking of taking a sneak shot of the squirrels foraging on nuts beside your window, the shutter sound may give your position away!

The autofocus tends to be on the slower side, making it difficult to capture action or sports shots in quick succession. Landscape shots come out great though! 

With a weather-sealed body, this DSLR camera is a big plus for travel addicts like me! I can easily take it with me on all my photography tours without worrying if it’ll get damaged due to the weather.

The LCD screen is fully articulated, which makes it easy to take shots from almost any angle. The screen isn’t touch-enabled, which makes it lose out a bit in front of other contenders among the best DSLR cameras under 1000.

One of the biggest disappointments of this camera model is its poor battery life. So if you are thinking of shooting for long hours, it’s best to carry a backup battery just in case you need it. On the brighter side, the camera doesn’t take long to get fully charged!

Putting aside the slow autofocus and the poor battery performance, the Pentax K-70 is a rather good camera model for basic professional work.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality
  • High ISO range
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Comes with in-built Wi-fi
Cons
  • The autofocus system is not up to the mark
  • Low battery life
  • Doesn’t come with a touch-enabled LCD screen

Canon EOS 80D

A 24.2-megapixel DSLR camera with a bunch of decent features.

Megapixels: 24.2MPSensor Type: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 16000
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-SWeight: 44.8 oz
Storage: SD / SDHC / SDXCFlash: Built-in

Packed with an impressive 24.2-megapixel sensor and splendid dual pixel AF, the Canon EOS 80D is among the best Canon cameras in this price range.

The best thing about the camera is while it fails to excel in any particular field, it works well enough for almost all types of photography including action, wildlife, landscape, portraits, and macro.

The 45-point autofocus is reasonably fast and accurate, making it great for action photography. The same feature makes shooting birds and wildlife a breeze, as the camera can quickly lock into the subject and capture it, especially when using the LCD screen.

Using the Canon Camera Connect app, you can opt to shoot remotely from your smartphone, too.

It comes with an intelligent viewfinder that displays all the autofocus points and modes to make shooting easier. And what’s more, the viewfinder comes with 100% coverage! While this may not seem like a big feature, we all would agree that getting to see exactly what you’re going to capture does make things better.

Overall, the Canon EOS 80D is a worthy opponent for all the other cameras in this list of the best DSLR cameras under $1000. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this camera comes with a host of features to suit all levels.

Pros
  • Weather sealed design
  • 45-point autofocus system
  • Fully articulated responsive touchscreen
  • Comes with built-in Wi-fi and NFC connectivity
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
Cons
  • Slightly heavier
  • No support for 4k videos
  • Single memory card slot

Picking the right camera

I am fully aware of how frustrating it can be to decide on a single DSLR camera when you have so many choices in front of you! Hopefully, the above reviews will help you select the one that perfectly matches your requirements and skillsets.


FAQs

Q1. Which is the best camera for photography under 1000?

Well, there can be no one ‘best’ camera for everyone! It all depends on the features you’re looking for, as well as your own level of expertise. 

If you are looking for the best DSLR camera under 1000 for beginners, you can check out options like the Pentax K-70 and Canon EOS Rebel T7. The Canon EOS Rebel T8i would also be a great choice for people looking for a beginner-friendly digital camera with advanced features.

But if you want something with more professional-level features, I would suggest taking a look at the Nikon D7500 and Sony Alpha a6000. These offer a great many impressive features at a very competitive price. If you are on a lower budget, you can check out the equally amazing Nikon D5600.

Q2. Which is the best Canon DSLR camera within $1000?

Canon has an extensive range of excellent digital cameras, many of which fit within the range of 1000 dollars. My personal favorite would be the Canon EOS Rebel T8i due to its easy-to-use features and exceptional image and video quality.

The Canon EOS 80D and the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 are also great for beginners and entry-level professionals.

Q3. How do I choose a DSLR camera?

Even the most affordable DSLR comes with a considerable price tag. Therefore knowing which factors to look for is very essential to ensure that your money is well spent.

Some of the important considerations include the sensor size and type, megapixels, ISO range, optical viewfinder coverage, autofocus speed, connectivity, and compatible lenses.

Q4. What is the best DSLR under 1000 for intermediate photographers?

Intermediate professionals require advanced features such as fast, accurate autofocus and great image and video quality. The Nikon D7500 is one of the best cameras within the budget of $1000 that offers a range of excellent features including the above. It is a perfect choice for both beginners and experienced professionals.

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