The best DSLR camera under $1,000 is giving us quite a broad range to find a mixture of a solution both high-end and relatively ‘affordable’ (at least in the digital camera world). Although continuing to find some heavy competition vs. mirrorless cameras, DSLR are still one of the finest choices you can make it when it comes to not only leisure and hobbyist photography, but a career as well. Regardless of your intended use today, we wanted to compile a few of our favorite DSLR cameras for budgets of $1,000 or less. Let’s get into the details and what to look for when finding the ‘best’ for you in particular.
Finding your under $1,000 DSLR camera
Although $1,000 or less is a great place to start, there’s still a big difference between a camera at literally $1,000 or those that hover around the $600 or $700 mark. Our guide to DSLR cameras under $500 only came with a few models since these types of cameras aren’t exactly cheap. However, we still want you to think about the exact number you’d like to spend. With that being said, keep lenses in mind. Since DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, some of these come as ‘body only’ and having to purchase a lens on top of it may entail you go over our intended $1,000 or less budget. Others actually come with the lens in the package. In the future, you can always purchase new lenses if you want a different look and feel of your photography. If you’re looking for a beginner DSLR camera, we recommend grabbing a camera and lens package (even with other gear such as tripods, mounts or memory cards if you need them) that all fall at this price-point to get going. Anything above is overboard in our opinion.
Technical specs are at times confusing, especially for those who are just starting out. If you’re unfamiliar, we can summarize a few to look at out for. For one, megapixel count isn’t necessarily the ‘most important’, but keep in mind the size as well what type of sensor and processor are included in the camera. Autofocus is also important, and the more cross-types, the better. Lastly, think about what environment you’ll be in and if low-light (look at the wider ISO ranges for this) is something you’ll be concerned with.
The best DSLR cameras under $1,000
Canon EOS Rebel T7i
The EOS Rebel T7i by Canon is one of our favorite picks as the best DSLR camera under $1,000. To us, it’s a nice balance of both quality and affordability. The camera comes with a solid 45-point all cross-type autofocus system and standard Canon EF mount for excellent support and stability when capturing your photographs. It’s image format is approximately 22.3 mm x 14.0mm (APS-C Size), which is particularly strong when it comes to more advanced cameras but standard for DLSRs. As a photographer, this camera essentially does all of the hard work for you, as its 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor will help you capture the details that other low-budget cameras might not allow and the phase-detection in this thing also brings us so much convenience, never having us miss a shot again. The cameras SD speed class-compatible UHS-I high-speed writing also contains optimal support when its SD card is utilized. Equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i allows you to have full access regardless of where you are and brings us with great user reviews to back up our purchase as the consensus for being one of the best in its price range.
Next, we bring to you the D5600 brought to you by Nikon. This is a camera that is built with an optimal DX image sensor format, as well as a strong 23.5mm x 15.6mm image sensor size. For those of you who are unaware this increase in size and enhancement in image format is excellent for the more advanced photographers, making it one of the best under $1,000 cameras on the market. 24.2 million megapixels enable the camera to capture highly detailed photographs during your next special moment. The 3.2-inch Vari-angle touch LCD helps with navigation through your settings. It also has a great ISO range at a wide 100-25,600, and pair that up with a 39-point AF system, you’re good to go in terms of quality and never being out of focus. Also noted is the top of the line SD SDHC and SDXC storage media as well as being able to shoot up to 5 frames per second make it one of the best when it comes to continuous shooting speed at full resolution. In addition for those of you movie creators, the Nikon D5600 Full 1080p HD features allow you to create top of the line filmography as well.
Canon EOS 7D
Similar to the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, this is a Digital AF/AE single-lense reflex camera considered to be one of the best DSLR cameras under a thousand dollars. The camera’s lens compatibility comes included with EF-S lenses, that excludes EF-M lenses. Designed at a great size and a nice weight, this camera has great recording media on top of photography (full HD at 30p). In addition, this camera is equipped with a Canon EF mount for additional support. The tech specs here include an 18.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, DIGIAL 4 Image Processors (dual), an ISO up to 12800, and the AF system has a nice cross-type 19-point. Not only does the Canon EOS 7D come with added features such as viewfinder, the EOS 77D’s customizable controls and advanced image quality allow you to get the best bang for your buck. SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards enable the photographer to save their images with a larger capacity, as well as come compatible with Eye-Fi cards, and MMC cards (multimedia cards).
With a nice break from the flood or Nikon and Canon and cameras, here we have a great candidate by Pentax as the best DSLR camera under $1,000 dollars. Designed with enhanced low-light performance and an engine with an accelerating unit for processing, the KP is first in its class and gives a lot of competitors a run for their money. Equipped with an SAFOX 11 28-Point AF Sensor as well as a top-notch exchangeable grip, this camera is a great choice regardless of the user’s skillset. The camera comes with a 24.3 MP APS-C AA filter less CMOS Sensor, which is top of the line when it comes to CMOS sensors. Some additional features that this camera offers includes built-in Wi-Fi for instant access to any device, an Integrated GPS recording location, and a mechanical shutter with a maximum speed of 1/6000 seconds along with an electronic shutter mode that is capable of reaching 1/24000 seconds. The cameras design is incredibly durable, as the Pentax KP might be smaller, but its weather-sealed magnesium alloy body make it as durable as can be.
Compact (for a DSLR) and straight to the point, the Nikon D7200 is a 23.9 oz, 24.2 MP camera that brings amazing quality however just at our desired price-point (it will depend on the lens as well). The cameras 6 shutters per second not only offers enhanced speed but comes to you with superior image quality. Although this is a bit of an expensive camera option, its high-tech features make it one of the best cameras under $1,000 if you can stomach the lack of extra cash after the purchase. The cameras image sensor is 23.5mm x 15.6mm and offered in a DX image sensor format for excellent quality, low-light performance, and detail attention. The Nikon D7200 DSLR camera’s monitor type is a wide viewing angle TFT-LCD which is particularly strong. In addition, the cameras EN-EL 15 Lithium-Ion batteries will be sure to let your camera life last longer than most. If you are looking for a camera to bring your passion to life, you are looking at a camera with a significant amount of versatility and convenient features for a superior combination.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III
Here we have a camera that is the perfect travel companion and one that will do the majority of the nitty-gritty work for you. The E-M10 Mark III is a relatively budget friendly high-tech camera that comes with a top of the line focusing system, with a sensor effective resolution. This is a compact camera that is not going to be very heavy to be lugging around. The 16.1 megapixel Live MOS Sensor might seem a bit on the lower end especially when it comes to some of these advanced cameras, but its foolproof image stabilization will make up for it. This camera basically allows you to remove any motion blur and shake from your stills and video. Most notably however is going to be the 5-axis image stabilization as well as eye-popping 4K Ultra HD video, so this may be the determining factor for those videographers out there. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 III 3.0″ Tilting Touch LCD and its incorporated viewfinder enable you to have further options when it comes to capturing your shot. Perfect for family vacations, and documenting an outdoor adventure, as this versatile yet simplistic camera is certainly one of the best DSLR cameras under $1,000.
Nearing the end of our guide, the Nikon D7100 is a budget-friendly, Full HD 1080 (at 60i/509/30/25/24p) camera that has great DX-format HDSLR with a wide range of added technology. This camera is going to bring every special moment of yours to life as it comes as a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor without using any optical low pass filters. This is going to create a clean, sharp image. The cameras ISO performance has an updated processing speed with the intelligence of EXPEED 3 as well as extra lenses that reach 1.3x crop factor. This is a compact camera that is versatile enough for any excursion that you might be seeking. First in its class, and one of the best under $1,000 cameras on the market, the D7100 will use its built-in HDR (high dynamic range) to inspire you. Allow the Nikon D7100‘s LCD monitor as well as its speedy 6 frames per second shots to create some of your best photography.
Canon EOS 80D
Canon’s EOS 80D is a Digital, AF/AE single-lens reflex camera and is offered with many great specs that you will be sure to generate your best photography yet. Featuring an impressive 45-point all cross-type AF system, this camera will be sure to provide you with high-speed precision when it comes to AF regardless of your lighting. Standard 24.2 megapixels enable the camera to provide enhanced image quality, and comprehensive details in your shots. Shoot in virtually any setting imaginable as this camera is compact and versatile enough to be productive in any location and lighting. Built in Wi-Fi as well as its multimedia cards make its usability that much more simplified — simply sync it with your phone and upload it to IG or FB. When you combine the EOD 80D’s CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF for Live View shooting, it is easy to understand why the Canon EOS 80D is a camera that is widely regarded as one of the best in the business, and certainly one of the best under $1,000 DSLR cameras around.
Next, we have Nikon’s D5500. This is yet another 24.2 megapixel, DX sensor format that, like all other digital cameras by Nikon, will ensure high image quality in your shots. Designed without an optical low-pass filter for staggering sharpness, this compact camera will be sure to meet your mark even in low light settings and awkward angles. Full HD 1080/60p video recording as well as advanced movie features, makes this camera a great option for your filmography as well. In addition, the D5500 comes with built-in Wi-Fi for instant access to social media via smart phone or tablet. This is a relatively light weighted camera (14.9 oz.), which is pretty small when it comes to digital cameras of this caliber. For the specs that this camera offers, its price point is rather budget friendly, and definitely makes it one of the best DSLR cameras under $1,000 being sold today. Equipped for durability and creativity, the Nikon D5500 has a built-in HDR for your advanced shots on top of it all and caps off our list strong.