While we all have built-in cameras in our smart-phones, there is still a credible need for a more advanced camera to capture our precious moments because well, let’s face it, our memories don’t have the spectacular resolutions as our photographs!
In all these years, never has the stage come where the competition has been so close that companies have started offering heavy discounts, goodies, and even extended warranties on products, which we always felt were luxury buys. The ‘click and capture’ industry has brilliantly travelled miles and has optimally witnessed the transition from the basic film cameras to the more advanced digitalized ones.
The most popular ones in the market are DSLR Cameras, which are able to produce focused and high-quality shots with single clicks. This article is an attempt to present the best DSLR under $1000 in the contemporary market.
The DSLR or Digital Single-Lens Reflex Cameras assist the user with varied and expedient features like those of Multiple Exposure, Time Lapse, Flash Compensation, fast focus, and many others.
This is the prime reason that DSLRs remain the most admired type of cameras in the marketplace, despite the rising popularity of mirror-less cameras.
The digital camera market is colossal and according to Transparency Market Research, the worldwide camera market is all set to manufacture about 138 million units by the end of 2015.
Being aware of the indistinguishable qualities of DSLR Cameras over others and their ability to produce high-quality images, you might wonder about the best cameras available in the market within your budget.
So, let’s see the top cameras that can fit in your budget.
Here is a list of the Top 10 DSLR Cameras under $1000:
#10 Nikon D3300 – Your best ‘budget buy’ camera
Nikon D3300 was launched in April 2014. It is the best entry-level DSLR and features a 24MP CMOS DX-format sensor, which is the best in this class.
It has a light and well-balanced body and its rear command dial makes shooting in A, S, and P modes easy. It has a 3-inch LCD screen with 921, 000 dots. It lacks advanced features like Wi-Fi, fast focusing, and others.
The battery life for this camera is impressive and it offers a smooth 1080/60 p video recording quality. Like most SLR-s in this class, the D3300 also uses a penta-mirror to bring light to your eye and enhance image quality.
- Light and Balanced Body
- Detailed, smooth video
- 1920 x 1080 video resolution
- 5 fps continuous shooting
- Optical Viewfinder
- 700 shots per full battery charge
- 430 g in weight
- Color Depth of 24.3 which even beats D5500’s color depth
- Auto mode uses very less shutter speed when flash is off
- Some useful settings are buried in camera menu
- No articulating screen
- Number of focus points is 11, which is very low
- Low on Dynamic range
- Doesn’t have a rotating LCD screen
The camera is available for $396 on Amazon.
The buyer even gets lens kit and other amazing accessories, which total cost about $646.95.
#9 Canon EOS Rebel T5- Camera that is light weight
Canon EOS Rebel T5 was launched in March 2014.The Canon EOS Rebel T5 camera offers an 18 MP APS-C sensor with a DIGIC 4 Image processor. It boasts a 3-inch LCD TFT color and liquid-crystal monitor for easy viewing and sharing.
This camera has an incredible 9-point Autofocus system, including a center cross-type AF point, thus delivering exceptional focus in both portrait and landscape mode.
It comes with a 63 zone, dual-layer metering system, and an expanded ISO range for efficient operation.
- Lighter than its peers
- Video quality is good
- Auto focus is slow
- Battery life may not be satisfactory
The camera is available for $399 on Amazon. At $399, the buyer even gets lens kit of 18-55mm lens.
#8 Canon EOS Rebel SL1- Perfect buy for night mode lovers
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 was launched in April 2013.Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is a good camera to purchase for under $1000 for varied reasons. This beauty from Canon comes in a very small size of 3.6 by 4.6 by 2.7 inches and weighs around14.4 ounces, but uses the same sensor as in Rebel T5i.
It has a 4 point AF system and the center AF point is the cross type.
The camera offers a touch-screen interface and performs better in live view than most of its competitors. It has an APS-C CMOS sensor like the other canon devices.
- Small and light with good grip
- Useful night modes
- Delivers quality identical to T4i and T5i
- Autofocus is very good and is very fast
- Full 1080p HD movie recording
- Excellent hue accuracy
- Excellent shot-to-shot times
- High quality prints up to 24 x 36 inches when used at ISO 100/200 levels
- Flash produces red-eye
- Default dynamic range lags behind its peers
- Poor battery life
- ISO 12,800 images are fairly heavy on noise
- Built in microphone is monaural
- Non Articulating LCD
The camera is available on Amazon for $399 (body only).
#7 Nikon D5200- For great quality RAW files
Nikon D5200 was launched on January 2013. This camera is often classified as the best camera for under $1000, since it offers a 39 point dynamic AF system with D tracking and an 18-55 mm lens. Also, the camera has its outstanding feature of Auto ISO selection, linked to focal length of the lens.
This is best suited for users who demand best image details at low ISO values and for those who can make use of uncompressed video footage feature. Multiple quality lenses are surely positive for this device and it is pretty similar to its successors D5300 and D5500, except that it does not have an inbuilt Wi-Fi.
- Excellent Image quality in both JPEG and Raw files
- Good video features
- Good CMOS sensor
- Comes with a lot of advanced features at a great price of around $500, which makes it a great buy for photographers
- Small continuous shooting time
- Slow autofocus in live view
- Kit lens is not good, quality is mediocre
- Autofocus is slow
- Though the camera comes with a lot of features, changing the camera setting is a task in its own and this activity hangs the camera at times
The camera is available for $504 (Body only) on Amazon.
#6 Nikon D5300- Best camera for the entry level photographer
Nikon D5300 was launched around October 2013.This DSLR sports a 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor, along with a 39 point Auto Focus (AF) system with 3D tracking and 3D matrix metering II.
It succeeded the D5200 model and its remarkable features are: fast and continuous shots, in-camera HDR, and a flip-out screen for movies. It also offers inbuilt Wi-Fi and GPS facility.
- Highly detailed images
- Great dynamic range
- Good frame coverage of 39-point AF array
- Built-in GPS
- Excellent full HD video-shooting quality
- Better zoom than D5500 (7.8x vs 3.0x)
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Articulating screen
- Time lapse recording
- Optical built in Viewfinder
- Face Detection
- Weight is comparatively more : 1035G
- Extreme lag in magnified live view
- Built in flash lags master function
- More moire because of AA-filterless sensor
- Live view mode could be better
- No environmental sealing
- No touch screen
- No image stabilization
- Though GPS is present, the reception is not good and it is very sensitive
Nikon D5300 is thus an entry level camera which should excite new photographers. The camera is available on Amazon at around $596 (Body Only).
The lens of the camera is good enough for young photographers to understand and start learning the world of photography.
#5 Pentax K3 II – The challenger to the Nikon and Canon
Pentax K3 was launched around May 2015. This DSLR from Pentax is benchmarked as the most advanced enthusiastic DSLR available in its category. It offers 24 MP in an APS-C sensor and continuous shooting at 8.3 frames per second.
The DSLR powers your picture using the new top-tier SAFOX11 autofocus module. The K3 is compatible with the Eye-Fi Mobi memory card and its dual memory card slots make it possible to record raw images to a fast SD card in one slot and Eye-Fi card in its second slot.
It is slightly heavy (1.8 pounds), which can be attributed to its weather-sealing as its ports and buttons that are protected from dust and splashing.
- Good image quality, especially in the raw mode
- Large and bright optical viewfinder
- Good customization
- Built in Wi-Fi
- Time lapse recording
- 1920 x 1080 Video
- Environmental sealing
- 51,200 Max ISO
- Disappointing JPEG color response and sharpening
- SD based Wi-Fi not integrated properly as in its rivals
- No articulating screen
- No touch screen
- Body is very heavy (800g)
The camera can be bought from Amazon for $729 (Body only)
#4 Nikon D5500 – Long-lasting camera
Nikon D5500 was launched in Feb 2015. The Nikon D5500 DSLR comes with a 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor and a 39 point Autofocus (AF) system. It offers a 1080/60 p video quality and allows capturing of fast moving objects and creation of slow motion effects. It does not have an optical low-pass filter (OLPF). While you get inbuilt Wi-Fi, GPS is not provided.
Thus, it becomes a tough call to choose between D5300 and D5500, both being unique in their use and features. While it won’t set your pulse racing, for the most part, the Nikon D5500 is an excellent and affordable DSLR camera.
- Tilt and swivel screen for maximum shooting flexibility
- Captures around 820 Shots in one full charge
- Comparatively less in weight than its competitors : 668 Grams
- Large buffer for raw shots (7 against 4 as offered by D5300)
- Built in Wi-Fi
- Time lapse recording
- 39 focus points
- No secondary control dial
- Limited buffer memory
- Does not have GPS
- Does not provide In-Camera Stabilization
- Does not provide NFC
- No Environmental Sealing
The current price of the camera is $746. (Body Only)
#3 Canon Rebel T6i/T6s – The challenger for the 70D
Canon Rebel T6i was launched in April 2015. This model is from the highly successful Rebel series by Canon and is equipped with extremely useful features like DIGIC 6 Image Processor with 18-55 mm lens. A 3.0-inch vari-angle, 1.04 M-dot Clear View II, coupled with touch-screen LCD monitor, allows for versatile positioning of the camera and clear viewing, even during outdoor shoots.
The increase in the resolution, i.e. 24.2 MP, makes it a strong contender against Nikon D-series DSLRs. It is often classified as being a good camera for 1000 dollars budget.
- Good quality sensor
- Rotating touch screen LCD
- Faster DIGIC 6 processor
- Upgraded 19-point AF system
- Dynamic range is very good
- Very fast autofocus and beats costlier cameras
- Built in Wi-Fi with NFC
- Fewer AF points with limited frame coverage
- Trouble with moving objects
- Shallow buffer depth in RAW files
- Battery life is not good and you might need to carry an extra battery for a day long shoot
- Video frame rate of 60p is not available
- Servo AF is not present in Live View
The camera can be purchased from Amazon for $749 (Body only).
#2 Nikon D7100 – The only alternative to the 70D
Nikon D7100 was launched in March 2013 and has currently been replaced by its successor D7200. But we still love this camera over its successor for the quality, ease of use, and the extraordinary features it offers.
The Nikon D7100 offers varied focal lengths, from 18mm to 300 mm and zoom lenses that feature Nikon’s Vibration reduction image stabilization technology for sharp images.
The fantastic ISO ranges from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 and the processing speed and intelligence of EXPEED 3 makes this an ideal choice for budding photographers.
It comes with a 24.1 MP DX-format CMOS sensor without an optical low-pass filter (OLPF). It may cost extra if you go with high-quality lenses.
- High-speed shooting with flawless metering
- Ease of use and ergonomic body design
- 1MP sensor
- Full 1080p HD at 30fps for great video quality
- Automatically suppresses chromatic aberration
- Dedicated video record button moved next to the shutter button
- Dynamic range is excellent
- Partial weather sealing and partial metal construction
- Time lapse recording
- Optical built in view finder
- 51 focus points
- Large screen : 3.2’’ screen
- LCD has 1.229k dots
- Unsatisfactory battery performance
- Resolving power of the sensor is the same as previous models
- Bad buffer time – doesn’t work like a pro camera when used in burst mode
- AF is slightly lower than other cameras at this price range
- Lens cost makes it this camera very costly to own
- No histogram in Live View
- Autofocus feature struggles when recording video
- No wireless connection
- No Image Stabilization
- Heavy Body : 675g
Even with the above disadvantages, the camera still features in the top 3 cameras under $1000 and is a great buy for photographers, being an admired substitute for Canon 70D for those who don’t like the Canon interface. The camera can be purchased from Amazon for $796 (Body only).
#1 Canon 70D – The winning camera
Canon 70D, though launched in September 2013, still tops the list of the best cameras under $1,000. The camera comes with Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with on-chip phase detection autofocus at every single pixel.
The camera allows the user to record video and gives a truly HD camcorder like quality. The Wi-Fi feature allows the user to capture images using the remote.
Canon has ensured that the remote has all the buttons at the right place for the perfect shot. The camera is not for photographers who are new to the profession or looking to experiment with photography.
This one is a professional camera and Canon has taken a serious step to ensure that photographers wanting to go professional are not disappointed.
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF system provides full-time continuous autofocus for video recording
- Very high ISO levels with low noise
- 3-inch LCD touch screen
- We couldn’t really find any cons in this great camera. It’s a camera which will give you great quality pictures and will ensure that your road to become a good photographer is never derailed
The camera can be purchased from Amazon for $999 (Body only).
Thus, if you want an entry level camera, D5300 is the best pick. If budget is an issue, then D3300 should win your heart. But, as they say, you don’t really spend while buying a camera, you invest in it to recollect your memories years later, if you believe in it, you should look no further than 70D.
Having given the most unbiased list for best DSLR camera for $1000, the choice of the camera still solely depends on the requirement of the user.
The cameras come with variable lenses qualities while offering multitudes of exceptional features like those of autofocus and different spectacular modes for clicking pictures. We gave you an insight of the best of all models from an array of companies.
Now, we would love to know about your choices.
Did this help you in selecting your favorite camera yet, or have we missed upon a good camera under the set budget?
Write to us in the Comments section below, we would love to have your suggestions!
So, kick off your new year getting ready to click with the budget-friendly camera of your choice. Happy Clicking!