DSLR cameras need no introduction. They are the perfect bridge between smartphones and professional cameras. We live in a time where 1000 dollars or less can get you an impressive camera that will go easy on you as you learn to use it. But what is the best DSLR under 1000 dollars?

While some DSLRs can go for less than 500 dollars, especially older models. However, for a little more you could get a lot of interesting features that extend the usability and lifetime of your DSLR.

The question then becomes: “What’s the best DSLR I could get for less than 1000 dollars?”

There really is no one concrete answer. Different things work for different people. Therefore, we assembled a guide on the best DSLRs on the market that go for less than 1000 dollars.

If you’re not sure where to start, these are great choices that no photographer or videographer would regret going with.

Best DSLR Under 1000 Dollars

Let’s dive into our list with the steadfast and very dependable Nikon D7200.

1. Nikon D7200

The DSLR marketplace is dominated by Nikon and Canon. Thus, competition is fierce and so each release offers something the competition didn’t and so on. One of the strongest contenders for the best DSLRs is Nikon’s D7200. It’s a camera that offers a lot for its asking price.

The D7200 is equipped with a 24.2-megapixel sensor. The dynamic range is at 14.6 EV which is amazing. This means you’ll get balanced images where the shadows are darkest they could and the highlights are bright just right.

In terms of video, the D7200 can shoot video at a full 1080p HD and a framerate of 60 per second which is mighty impressive.

The D7200’s autofocus system is also on the impressive side. It has 51 focus points. The burst rate is 6 frames per second. All of this combined makes it an amazing choice for those looking to shoot action, sports events, and anything with fast-moving subjects.

All of this is great but it would be dishonest to say the D7200 has no cons. Most of the camera’s problems lie in the tradeoff between the excellent sensor quality, impressive specs, and some features we’ve come to expect from other cameras.

Most notably, there is no articulating LCD and the screen is just that, a screen. We’ve been so accustomed to touchscreens that it feels weird not having one. On the bright side, it does support Wi-Fi transfer.

Overall, this is a solid first DSLR for someone who cares more for owning a reliable action camera than with fancy features that probably won’t bother entry-level photographers or videographers.

Nikon D7200 DX-Format DSLR Body (Black)
  • 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC

2. Pentax KP

Like we mentioned before, the DSLR marketplace is dominated by Canon and Nikon. That is not to say that there’s no competition.

On the contrary, some brands are very much worth your time and attention. One such brand is Pentax. Their KP is one of the finest DSLRs under 1000.

Straight out of the box, the Pentax KP impressed us with its low light performance. Equipped with a SAFOX 11 28-Point AF Sensor as well as a top-notch exchangeable grip, this camera has a 24.3 MP cropped frame CMOS Sensor.

This is perhaps the best CMOS sensor on the market at the moment. This all results in pristine image quality.

The Pentax KP includes features like built-in Wi-Fi which eases file transfer to other devices. GPS is also included for good measure.

In terms of design, the Pentax KP is impressively rugged. Despite looking small and fragile, the Pentax KP is built using magnesium alloy.

Add to that the fact that it is weather-sealed magnesium and you have an incredibly durable camera.

Overall, the Pentax KP is a perfect camera for those looking for a break from Canon and Nikon. It packs an assortment of impressive features. It’s an especially great choice for those looking to get a durable camera for outdoor shooting.

Pentax KP 24.32 Ultra-Compact Weatherproof DSLR with 3" LCD, Black
  • 24.3 effective Megapixel APS C AA filter less CMOS sensor with Iso 819200 and pixel shift resolution
  • 5 Axis shake reduction system
  • Pixel shift resolution technology; Uses shake reduction to move the image sensor in single pixel...
  • A vertical tilt LCD monitor that facilitates high and low angle shooting
  • Dustproof, weather resistant, -10 Degree built in Wi Fi

3. Canon EOS Rebel SL3

Speaking of Canon, one of their most impressive outputs in recent times is the Rebel SL3. This is one very impressive DSLR that may prove more appealing to videographers thanks to its 4K capabilities. But, there is everything here for still photographers as well.

As we mentioned earlier, the Rebel SL3 can shoot video in 4K cropped. Canon equipped the camera with a cropped frame 24 MP sensor. The company ensured to stay ahead of the competition by choosing a Dual Pixel autofocus system for this release.

In order to appeal to beginners, they also included a built-in user guide. This feature aids beginners to operate the Rebel SL3 efficiently and comfortably.

The image quality reproduced by Rebel SL3 is superb. Add to that the 4K video capabilities and you have an impressive package. Another feature we appreciate is the fully articulated rear LCD which is touch compatible.

An outstanding accomplishment of the Rebel SL3 is that it’s the lightest tilting screen DSLR camera ever made. Considering that one of the main complaints people have about DSLRs being big, heavy, and bulky, this is a godsend. The battery is equally impressive.

In terms of connectivity, the camera supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This not only enables file transfer but remote camera control from other compatible devices. The only thing lacking about the Rebel SL3 is its single SD card slot.

Despite the lost point being a drawback in storage capacity, that is a drop in the bucket compared to everything else you get for less than 1000.

The Rebel SL3’s slim and light build coupled with its 4K capabilities which are rarely seen in this range makes it an especially wise choice for vloggers and YouTubers.

4. Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600 is another appealing choice for any novice photographers looking for an entry-level DSLR. Nikon built the D5600 using a 24.2MP sensor and paired it with an EXPEED 4 processor. The image quality is incredibly sharp and dense with detail.

The D5600 strikes a nice balance between being easy to pick up and use for beginners, while at the same time having enough features and customization to accommodate its users’ growing skills and technical prowess.

The D5600 is a fantastic choice for capturing images in most lighting situations. Auto-focus is overall decent, the D5600 does a good job tracking subjects, regardless of how fast hectic their moves are.

The LCD touchscreen on the D5600 is impressively designed. It is reliable and intuitive making it simple to handle. Its resolution is high and the size of the screen itself is large enough to make it easy and fun to use.

The D5600 is an entry-level DSLR and we can tell that Nikon took that into account when designing the user interface. It is intuitive, simple to navigate, and incredibly easy for beginners to get a grasp on.

Nikon’s trademark SnapBridge is a feature that Nikon thankfully brought here. It makes for easy and convenient file sharing to other devices like tablets and smartphones.

And overall, the camera packs a lot to justify it as a great entry-level camera for anyone looking for a DSLR. The sensor size alone is enough to convince us.

Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens + 32GB Card, Tripod, Case, and More (18pc Bundle)
  • This Al's Variety Camera Bundle Includes: Transcend 32GB Class 10 SD Memory Card, 55mm UV (Ultra...
  • Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera Body (Import Model)- 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor ,EXPEED 4 Image Processor...
  • Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens - F-Mount Lens/DX Format ,27-82.5mm (35mm...
  • 3.2" 1.037m-dot rear LCD touchscreen, and utilizes a vari-angle design to better facilitate working...
  • The 24.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 processor work together to produce overall...

5. Canon EOS 77D

At the start of this guide, we covered Nikon, one of the industry giants. For our last pick for this list, we decided to cap things off with Nikon’s biggest rival, Canon.

The EOS 77D is a DSLR that boasts a cropped frame CMOS sensor with 24 megapixels worth of resolution. Canon paired this with a DIGIC 7 image processor.

As a result, the EOS 77D produces some pristine-looking images for its grade and price. The autofocus system is impressive. It can lock focus at both a horizontal and a vertical level. This makes it incredibly easy to shoot fast-moving subjects.

The autofocus extends to video shooting as well. This is thanks to the dual-pixel CMOS autofocus system. Speaking of which, the EOS 77D captures video at full 1080p HD at up to 60 frames per second.

An impressive feature of the EOS 77D is the built-in stereo mic for video recording. Not only that, but you can also plug your own external mic for superior audio recording.

In terms of design, the EOS 77D looks and feels like a professional, top-of-the-line camera. Its ergonomics and build quality are impressive as we’ve come to expect from Canon.

Overall, for any novice photographers looking to get their first DSLR. The EOS 77D is a wise choice. You simply can’t go wrong with this one. It’s a reliable and versatile camera that will leave anyone happy with their purchase.

Sale
Canon EOS 77D Body
  • 242 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi*, NFC** and Bluetooth***
  • Hdr movie & time-lapse movie
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into...
  • Flash memory type: SDXC

Purchasing Considerations

Let’s tackle the major considerations you should pay attention to when buying a DSLR camera.

Build Quality

In terms of material used to make these cameras. You’ll want a camera that combines polycarbonate and metal alloy. This is because it keeps the camera light and durable to fall damage.

Another thing to expect here is a built-in external mic. This helps with getting higher fidelity audio when recording video. If you’re planning on shooting video, we strongly recommend you consider this.

Imaging

When it comes to the sensor, You won’t get to full-frame just yet, however, the sensors used must be at least 20MP to 24MP in size. Anything less doesn’t justify the asking price.

You can also expect better autofocus than a 500 camera at this price range which we’ll mention for all our choices. You’ll also want to go for a camera that lists a fast continuous shooting rate. It should be faster than 6fps.

Functionality

It’s safe to expect that the range of customization is larger than a 500 camera. You should have entire manual control of speed and exposure. Additionally, video controls are a must since the video capabilities of this range are better.

Speaking of video, anything that records less than full HD 1080p is not worth your money. In fact, you may find a few models that support 4K.

We also think that cameras at the range should include at least one or two options for file sharing other than directly dumping your files into a computer through an SD card reader. Wi-Fi and BlueTooth should be available to you at this price.

Accessory Support

At this range, you’ll want more than just an interchangeable lens. A few accessories that we think are mandatory for a camera to support are flash and light add-ons, as well as extra battery grips.

Best DSLR Under 1000 Dollars – In Conclusion

That concludes our guide on the best DSLRs under 1000. Don’t forget that the price of the camera isn’t indicative of how good it is.

Yes, higher specs cost more money. However, for beginners, an older model with decent specs is great to get them to speed on learning how to use a professional camera.

Additionally, having either a Canon or a Nikon is a benefit since the lens support is wide for these companies. This will further extend the lifetime of your camera as you experiment with different lenses. Just make sure you’re having fun doing it all.