10 Best DSLR Camera Under $500 – Reviews & Buying Guide

10 Best DSLR Camera Under $500 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Last updated: 18 February, 2021

Models Considered 22 Models Considered
Hours of Research 210 Hours of Research
Experts Interviewed 18 Experts Interviewed
Reviews Analyzed 235 Reviews Analyzed
Finding the best DSLR Camera that too under $500 or $300 is not a big issue, you just need to is little research. While the research should be clever and legit which demands no trust in different artificial sources. To save your time and putting an end to your research, I have compiled a list of the best ever DSLR under budget in 2021 which you must give a chance.

The best cameras used to mean high prices, but nowadays it is possible to get a quality model without breaking the bank. Not only are cameras becoming more and more sophisticated, but many older models are seeing their prices drop as new versions are released. 

In some cases, the changes between the new and old versions of a model are much more modest than the price difference suggests, endowing the older model with undeniable value for money. 

You can use additional, but best DSLR Stablizers for smooth and zero shaking videos under limited budget.

A budget of 500 $ (or sometimes a little more) will allow you to offer yourself an advanced compact, a hybrid for confirmed, or a good entry-level SLR. The final choice of the type of camera you want is up to you, depending on your needs and your projects, but all the following models have one thing in common: they are benchmarks in their category.

Here is our selection of the best devices under the 500$ bar (be careful, prices are subject to variation and can sometimes exceed 500 € at the time of reading this article)

Best DSLR Camera Under $500 Comparison table:

All In One Camera
Nikon D3300

Its technical sheet equals many more expensive competitors, with for example a 24.2MP sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen and video recording in Full HD

Read Our Review
10
TechscoreTM
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Wide Screen & Best Zoom
Nikon D5300

A good economical alternative to the latest models from Nikon, with a known and recognized 24.2MP sensor.

Read Our Review
9.9
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Comprehensive Performance
Canon EOS 750D

Despite its age, the EOS 700D is still comprehensive enough for novice users.

Read Our Review
9.8
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Complete Package
Canon EOS 1300D

EOS 1300D, is an affordable and lightweight DSLR ideal for beginners in photography

Read Our Review
9.7
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Best For Adventurers
Sony A68

Certainly not for everyone, this A68 will appeal to action lovers.

Read Our Review
9.6
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Professional Level Camera
Sony A6000

Excellent for action scenes and sports, its large range of parameters makes it very complete

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9.5
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Best Results Under Limited Budget
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

A concentrate of technologies inherited from its cousin the E-M5 II, at a much more affordable price.

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9.4
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Bulk Features
Panasonic Lumix LX100

The only compact with a Micro Four Thirds sensor and too many manual controlled features.

Read Our Review
9.3
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Premium Compact Camera
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II

The second generation of the RX100 hides a treasure trove of technologies within a reduced case

Read Our Review
9.2
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Most Economical & High in Performance
Panasonic Lumix ZS200

The TZ100 makes up for its small size with a large sensor and versatile lens.

Read Our Review
9.1
TechscoreTM
?

1. Nikon D3300 - All In One Camera

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs
  • Pixels: 24.2 Mega Pixels
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Manual Focus: Yes
  • Lens: 18-55mm
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Despite the fact that Nikon replaced the D3300 with the D3400 , we believe that the former still offers unbeatable value for money. 

Its technical sheet equals many more expensive competitors, with for example a 24.2MP sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen and video recording in Full HD. 

It even exceeds expectations in other areas: its battery of 700 shots is particularly robust and its burst mode at 5 frames per second is efficient. Of course, you won’t have the latest modern tech like a tilting touchscreen or Wi-Fi, but these are far from essential. 

To put it simply, it is difficult to perform better than this D3300 for a case below the $600 mark.

Pros
  • Light Weight
  • Auto Focus
  • High Performance
  • Long Lasting Battery
Cons
  • Raw JPEG

2. Nikon D5300 - Wide Screen & Best Zoom

Features
  • Screen Size: 3.2 Inches
  • Weight: 1.06 lbs
  • Pixels: 24 MP
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Auto Focus: Yes
  • Lens: 18-55 mm
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At first glance, the D5300 appears to be a fairly conventional entry-level SLR, but it offers multiple functions that are not usually offered at this level of the range. 

This includes a generous 3.2-inch LCD screen, 39-point autofocus, and even a GPS chip, making it especially appealing to traveling photographers. 

Nikon has also made the choice to ditch the anti-aliasing filter of the 24.2MP APS-C sensor, which gives it a clear advantage in terms of detail over rival 24MP cameras. 

The only real flaw in this device is the absence of a touch screen, a feature that is now standard for boxes of this type. However, if you can do without it, this is a great product.

 
Pros
  • Best For Beginners & Professionals
  • Excellent JPEG Quality
  • HDR Mode
  • Built-in GPS
  • Clean HDMI output
Cons
  • Macro Performance From 18-140mm
  • Slow Burst Mode

3. Canon EOS 750D - Comprehensive Performance

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.04 lbs
  • Pixels: 24.1 MP
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Auto Focus: Not for Video
  • Lens: 18-55mm
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The EOS 750D isn’t the latest DSLR in the Canon EOS lineup, but it is an affordable entry ticket for a first-time user. Within this compact box, you will find an 18MP APS-C sensor that can work up to sensitivities equivalent to ISO 25600, as well as a 3-inch adjustable touch screen. 

All of this makes it ideal for handling in tricky situations, such as low light conditions or when you want to shoot above a crowd. 

You can also shoot in Full HD with Movie Servo autofocus, which is useful for keeping your subjects in focus. Burst mode is also respectable, photographing up to 5 frames per second. 

Save the best for last: the EOS 750D gives you access to three decades of Canon EF and EF-S lenses,

Pros
  • Light Weight
  • On Screen Guide
  • Friendly LCD
  • Economical
Cons
  • No Auto Focus
  • Slow Burst

4. Canon EOS 1300D - Complete Package

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 3.20 lbs
  • Pixels: 18 MP
  • Video Resolution: 1080
  • Auto Focus: Manual & Auto Focus Available
  • Lens: 18-55mm
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This small connected device is a must for smartphone owners.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6, also known as the EOS 1300D, is an affordable and lightweight DSLR ideal for beginners in photography. Instead of stocking up on gadgets you’ll probably never use, Canon has managed to keep the price low by focusing on the essentials. 

There is an 18MP APS-C sensor associated with the DIGIC 4+ processor, as well as a reliable 9-point autofocus and video recording in Full HD quality. 

Wifi and NFC are present and despite the lack of touch screen or orientable, the resolution of 920,000 pixels of it is quite respectable for the price. In the end, this is a very good option for those who are simply looking for a reliable camera that produces quality shots.

Pros
  • Excellent Raw Capture Support
  • GPS & WiFi
  • Solid Hardware
  • Easy To Assemble
Cons
  • Fixed LCD Screen
  • Little Bit Heavy

5. Sony A68 - Best For Adventurers

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs
  • Pixels: 24.3 MP
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Auto Focus: Manual & Auto Focus
  • Lens: 18-55mm
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A cleaving case, but which deserves its place in this top. With its unconventional SLT architecture, this camera is capable of offering 79-point phase detection autofocus, much more than SLRs of its level of range. 

Add to that a burst mode at 8 frames per second with tracking focus and Sony 4D Focus technology and you get a camera that is much more powerful for capturing action scenes than most of its competitors. 

Plus, with its tilting screen and OLED viewfinder, this device is more comfortable shooting in low light conditions or at an unusual angle than the average SLR, although the screen isn’t the best.

In its class and that the future of the SLT system is not very clear now that Sony is focusing on derivatives of the A6000 (see below).

Pros
  • Light Weight
  • Accurate Focusing
  • Durable Battery Life
  • Electronic Viewfinder
Cons
  • Complicated Menu
  • No Touch Screen

6. Sony A6000 - Professional Level Camera

Features
  • Screen Size: 3.0 inches
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs
  • Pixels: 24.3 megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Auto Focus: Manual & Auto Focus
  • Lens: 16-55 mm
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Sony’s excellent A6300 and A6500 are overpriced, but the A6000 is a very effective alternative. Indeed, according to the Japanese company, it is their best-selling hybrid of all time. 

Although it lacks the 4K video option of its big brothers, it comes with many features that one would not expect even on a SLR at this price range. 

This includes a monstrous 179-point phase-detection autofocus that makes it easy to track subjects, as well as an 11fps burst mode. 

On its own, this combination should immediately catch the eye of action and sports photography enthusiasts, but it also comes with a tilting LCD screen, 2.36MP OLED viewfinder, Wi-Fi and NFC, for our greatest pleasure.

Pros
  • Light Weight
  • 32 GB Card
  • Comes With Tripod
  • Hybrid Technology
  • Compact Lens Kit
Cons
  • No Microphone Jack
  • No Touchscreen

7. Olympus OM-D E-M10 II - Best Results Under Limited Budget

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.90 lbs
  • Pixels: 16 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 2160p
  • Auto Focus: Manual & Auto Focus Available
  • Lens: 25mm
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The digital revival of the legendary OM series from Olympus was a huge success with connoisseur photographers. With this OM-D E-M10 II, the firm does not forget the small budgets and offers them a serious entry point to this range. 

What is most surprising is the number of points in common with the more advanced OM-D E-M5 II. Both include 16 MP sensors, TruePic VII processors, 2.36 MP electronic viewfinders and 5-axis image stabilization systems, for example. 

Of course, they’re not strictly the same, but when you dwell on the price difference, the OM-D E-M10 II just happens to be a lot better value!

Pros
  • Compact Design
  • Touch Screen Display
  • Built in Flash Light
  • 5 Axis Gimbal
Cons
  • No Input Mic
  • Slow Burst Rate

8. Panasonic Lumix LX100 - Bulk Features

Features
  • Screen Size: 0.87 lbs
  • Weight: 0.87 lbs
  • Pixels: 12.8 MP
  • Video Resolution: 2160p & 4K
  • Auto Focus: Manual & Auto Focus Available
  • Lens: 16-50mm
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While most amateur compacts are content with 1-inch sensors, the Panasonic LX100 packs a larger Micro Four Thirds sensor in a body barely larger than average amateur compacts. 

It is in fact the only compact equipped with this type of sensor and this is in no way foreign to its excellent image quality. You might find the focal length of the 24-75mm lens a bit tight, but with a maximum aperture of f / 1.7-2.8, the image is crisp and clear. 

Add to that 4K video, a built-in viewfinder, Wi-Fi and NFC and you’ve got a device that always stands up to the latest news.

Pros
  • Electronic Viewfinder
  • Excellent Low Light Performance
  • 4K Movie Recording
  • Impressive Battery Life
Cons
  • No Touch Sensitive Screen
  • No Density Sensors

9. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II - Premium Compact Camera

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs
  • Pixels: 20.1 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Auto Focus: Yes
  • Lens: 24-70mm
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The original Cyber-shot RX100 had a remarkable output, with its large 1-inch sensor, its many features in a small body, raising the standards of the segment for a compact that still fits in a pocket. 

This second model, released in 2013, has remained faithful to the formula but Sony has introduced a backlit sensor for better light capture as well as a tilting screen, among others. 

If you can afford to slightly exceed the $500 mark or if you have the patience to wait for a special offer, you may also be interested in its successor, the RX100 Mark III, which has an integrated viewfinder and a brighter lens among its new attributes.

Pros
  • Best Sensor
  • Excellent Video Capturing Control
  • Wi-fi Feature
  • Fast USB Charging
  • Responsive AF
Cons
  • Challenging Manual Focus
  • Limited Control Through Smartphones

10. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 - Most Economical & High in Performance

Features
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.17 lbs
  • Pixels: 20.1 Megapixel
  • Video Resolution: 2160p
  • Auto Focus: Yes
  • Lens: 25-250mm
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Compact pocket cameras with a 1-inch sensor are popular for the quality of their images, but rarely offer lenses larger than 100mm. The only exception is this Panasonic Lumix ZS200, which pairs its 1-inch 20MP sensor with a surprisingly long 25-250mm f / 2.8-5.9 lens. 

It’s of course a little more plump than a standard compact and not very bright at telephoto, but if size and telephoto range are your priorities, you won’t find a better deal. 

And that’s just the start: with its small electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording, raw capture, and a 5-axis optical stabilization system to help you get crisp images and steady videos, it has many other qualities alongside its flagship features.

Pros
  • Unique Proposition
  • 4K video
  • Touch Sensor
Cons
  • Tiny sight
  • Narrow maximum aperture at telephoto

Buying Guide

Switching to an entry-level DSLR is a natural evolution when you are new to photography and are no longer happy with the photos you get with your smartphone. Or are you looking for a higher resolution than your compact camera delivers?

Beginner’s digital SLRs offer significantly better picture quality than a compact camera or smartphone. They can share the same number of megapixels, but the sensor size of an entry-level DSLR is physically much larger. This allows for superior results with more detail and better low light performance.

Plus, you get full manual control over parameters like shutter speed and aperture. As well as the possibility of changing the lens depending on the subject you are photographing. No worries if you can’t find your marks right away, an SLR usually has an assist mode.

You can let the camera do all the hard work at first and gain more control as you get more comfortable. While benefiting from this better image quality.

FAQ

Which is Best among Nikon or Canon?

Well, both companies have made exciting and modern technology based DSLR Cameras so far. Both companies have their own Pros and Cons, but Canon is a step ahead in making the best DSLR cameras under $500.

Which Mirrorless Under $500 Is Best?

Panasonic G7 and Panasonic GX80/85 are two top-notch and best Mirrorless Cameras that come under $500.

Which is best DSLR Under $500 for professional use?

There are too many high-end cameras released by Canon and Nikon, but Canon 7D and Nikon D750 are two mainstream cameras that can be used professionally.

Conclusion

I have mentioned the latest models of DSLRs of best companies that too under the budget of $500. Now it’s totally up to you which model, company or gadget suits you the most. Nikon and Canon, no doubt both these brands are manufacturing modest DSLR Cameras with time, but there are many other brands that are faster in the race and producing quality cameras.

The segment of digital SLR cameras is dominated by Canon and Nikon. A fierce competition where a multitude of old models and new products compete. We believe the best DSLR for beginners today is the Nikon D3500. It’s small, light, and inexpensive, but manages to deliver a much better user experience than we normally get at this level.

With a very useful assistant mode to take control of the camera and make the most of it. The handling is excellent and its sensor ensures very beautiful images. While features like 5 frames per second burst shooting and full manual control give you a little more room to frame your subjects better.

THE TEAM THAT WORKED ON THIS REVIEW

Merry

Merry

(Research Writer)

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