Best entry-level DSLR Cameras under $500

If you have outgrown your previous camera or are no longer satisfied with the pictures you get from your smartphone or you feel like you are ready for an upgrade in your photography, then an entry-level DSLR is would be a good choice. There are many types of cameras but as this article is all about Best DSLR camera then have a look at some of the DSLR cameras and the factors considered to buy one.

When you think of a big, fancy camera, you probably picture a DSLR which stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. These cameras comprise two main parts, the body and the lens. The lenses are interchangeable but you need both parts, the body and the lens, to work it out.

A DSLR camera features a mirror that enables you to look through the lens as you compose your image. This provides you an accurate idea of what your final image will turn out. When you press the shutter, the camera records the scene on the sensor as a digital image. These sensors are quite large in DSLR’s (typically the size of 35mm film or a little smaller). The sensor has a benefit. It provides better background blur and better low light noise performance.

In terms of image quality, the important factor is the lens. The lens is what collects light from your scene and is directly related to the better quality of the final image created. With DSLR’s, there are many kinds of high quality lenses offering you plenty of options when it comes to getting creative or getting variety for your photography.

Cameras have plenty of features of which some are essential and the others sound great but you don’t really end up using them. Here is a glance at the features that really matter in a camera.

Best entry-level DSLR Cameras under $500

Last update was on: December 16, 2017 10:23 pm

SONY A6000:

Sony is known for creating some of the premium cameras on the market. Sony A6000 features 24.3 megapixel APS-A CMOS sensor which is also found in the majority of flagship cameras. Along with that Sony A6000 has a very solid build and some of the finest wireless connectivity options are added by Sony.

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Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera - Body only

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Sony A6000 is best DSLR camera for beginners as it is an all-rounder when it comes to its brilliant feature set. It features standard Wi-Fi capabilities, NFC and 1080 resolution at 60 frames per second.

Overall, the Sony A6000 is very impressive but its LCD could be better. Though it is not the most feature-packed camera in the market but is one of the best DSLRs for beginners and professionals.


This camera is also known as 1300D and is another entry level DSLR camera. This is one of the best DSLR cameras on the market. It is affordable and is great for taking pictures or shooting videos and is also very good when it comes to price to performance ratio.

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Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6...

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$399.00 $549.00

This camera is aimed to beginners but also is a full-fledged professional level DSLR camera. It features 18 megapixel sensor APS-C CMOS which is capable of taking some of the best looking photos. The camera is also capable of shooting 1080p videos at 30 frames per second. It features 3” fixed type screen, optical viewfinder, 1920×1080 video resolution and built-in wireless.

Consider the price and the number of features it offers, it is a good deal. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 has a solid build. It is very hard to find out flaws in it but if you are planning to buy this camera, you will get a lot of features.


The good thing about Canon is that the camera for beginner has enough for everyone. This camera is aimed at people with smaller budget and for those don’t want to tote around a huge camera.

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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens

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It features 18MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, DIGIC 5 Image processor, 9 point AF and Hybrid CMOS AF II, Full HD 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second, 3” 1.04m-Dot Clear View II Viewfinder, Native ISO 12800, extended to ISO 25600, 4 frames per second shooting for 28 JPEG, 7 Raw files, Scene Intelligent Auto Mode and 63 Zone Dual-Layer Metering system.

The first thing you will notice about Canon EOS Rebel SL1 camera is that it is smaller as compared to some of the other Canon cameras. The 18 megapixel sensor may seem small but it does perform great. You also get a microphone output. The camera is relatively fast when you turn it on and it works very well even when you have to auto focus and is one of the best DSLR cameras.

NIKON D3300:

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Nikon D3300 1532 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR Zoom...

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$445.65 $499.95

The Nikon D3300 is still an amazing and best DSLR camera for beginner apart from the presence of Nikon D3400 which is already ruling the budget friendly market. Both the cameras are not much different. But if you are looking for a good DSLR camera, the D3300 is a good option.

It features 24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, ISO 100-25600, no anti-aliasing (AA) filter, optical viewfinder, 3 inch Fixed type screen, 1920×1080 video resolution and 5 frames per second continuous shooting.

NIKON D3400:

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Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Black)

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For those people who don’t want to spend a lot of money, Nikon D3400 would be a good option for you. The entry-level D3400 DSLR camera makes sure all the marks are ticked and provides a great performance for a fraction of cost.

This amazing camera for beginners features 24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, 3 inch Fixed type screen, ISO 100-25600, 5.0 frames per second continuous shooting, optical viewfinder, built-in wireless and 1920×1080 video resolution.
The Nikon D3400 is not a flagship DSLR camera but it offers a number of features that are more than enough. The camera is best for beginners and is capable of shooting best looking photos and videos.

Best entry-level DSLR Cameras – Buying Guide

Most cameras have other nifty but not so essential features. Such additional features include:

Video Recording– almost all types of camera now provide video recording. The standard for HD is 1080p. More advanced cameras also feature manual control of exposure and better video quality. Some cameras now offer 4K, four times the resolution of 1080p.

Image Stabilization– this feature reduces shakiness and vibration when shooting which results in reducing blurriness in low light conditions.

PanoMode– this features enables you take multiple images of a scene and the camera automatically glue them together into a panoramic shot.

Frames per second– this refers to how many photos the camera can take per second. The capability of higher frames per second is useful if you are shooting fast action scenes like sports.

Automatic Sensor Cleaning– this feature shakes dust off the camera’s sensor by using ultrasonic vibrations. It is beneficial but doesn’t always work perfectly.

Viewfinder– when you compose your image, you look at the viewfinder. With DSLRs, viewfinder allows you look right through the lens.

Wi-Fi and Near-Field Connectivity– some cameras are able to connect to the internet making it easy to upload your photos to social sharing sites or your computer straight from your camera.

Global Positioning System– global positioning system keeps tracks of the location of your images. This is a handy feature when you are travelling.

A lot of these additional features become selling points. They sound fancy and also can be of lot of fun but make sure to consider them in combination with the essential featuresbecause the basic stuff really matters.

Now that all the required and nifty features have been discussed, next on we will be talking about  5 best DSLR cameras  that you can get in low price as compared to others.


Megapixels are a measure of the resolution of a camera. The greater the number of megapixels, sharp print and the high quality you can make. It is important to note that you probably don’t need a camera with a huge number of megapixels. For 5×7inch and 4×6 inch prints, you only need 4MP to get good results. An 8MP camera will easily make 8×10 and with 20MP 12×18 inch prints. In a nut shell, megapixels are just one part of construction making a great camera. Consider what kind of resolution you need and go from there.


Manual mode provides you full creative control over the exposure of an image. In automatic mode, the camera selects shutter speed, ISO and aperture for you but in manual mode you select that yourself which gives you more control over how image will turn out.

Automatic and semi-automatic modes are also useful especially when you are just starting out. But as soon as you get to learn how to use manual mode, you will be able to create images looking the way you want them to.


ISO controls the degree of sensitivity of camera’s sensor to light. By increasing the sensitivity you will be able to shoot in darker conditions without flash. Go for cameras that offer ISO 1600 or higher. Some can shoot as high as ISO 25,000-102,000. But an important trade-off to using a high ISO setting is noise. Higher ISO usually means grainier images and more noise (colored speckles). As the cameras are getting at noise performance, you can get useable images at higher ISOs.


Proper focus is a huge aspect of great photography because it draws viewer’s attention through your image to the precise point where you want them to look. Therefore, when you check out a potential camera, you should consider the quality of autofocus system.


A big thing to consider while buying a camera is how it feels in your hand as you will be holding your camera a lot. So, look for a good feel for it.


Generally, cameras in similar classes weigh almost similar. If you are just about to start photography, consider a camera that you can tote around easily. You are more likely to carry around a lighter, smaller camera as compared to a full size bulkier.


Before buying you should get answers of few questions such as does it feel comfortable in your hand, can you easily reach all the buttons or how does it feel when you hold the camera close to your face.


Make sure that the menu system is easy to use and straight forward. Every camera is different but a camera’s menu system should not be very complicated that prevents you from using the camera. So you should be able to figure out how to operate the menu system without consulting the manual.


Some camera features weather sealing and sturdy magnesium ally internal frames or you can simply say that some cameras are more rugged than others. These features may or may not be necessary to you as these depend on what are you planning to photograph.


Some camera are capable of saving image in either raw or JPEG format. Others are limited to JPEG format only. The difference between raw and JPEG is that raw format records all information captured by sensor and provides you most flexibility when it comes to post processing. On the other hand, JPEG form discards data when it compresses image into a smaller file.


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