Best Entry Level DSLR Cameras for Beginners

Choosing the Best Starter DSLR

If you're passionate about photography, sooner or later you will want to upgrade from a point and shoot camera to the best entry level DSLR camera for beginners. A DSLR provides you with far more control over your images, the image sensors are bigger, and the image quality is better. Additionally, you receive access to an entire manufacturer's range of lenses.

The benefits are obvious to finding the best starter DSLR.

The number of DSLR cameras in the market can make choosing one seem daunting, though, so here are the best entry-level DSLRs, listed in alphabetical order. All of these cameras should give beginners years of hassle-free photography ... and they won't break the bank!

Canon EOS Rebel T6i

Canon T6i review

Canon has done a tremendous job historically in the entry-level area of the DSLR camera market with its well-known Rebel line of cameras. The digital Rebels have been around for many years, and they still remain popular.

And the latest Rebel, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR continues in that vein. The T6i might not offer a vastly different look or a significant departure in terms of its feature list from what was offered in the Canon Rebel T5i, but it's a strong model with greatly increased resolution over its predecessor.

The Rebel T6i runs very quickly in Viewfinder mode, which is the best way to operate this entry-level DSLR model. However, when you need to shoot in Live View mode, you'll appreciate this model's articulated LCD screen.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1


When looking at entry-level DSLR cameras, they all start to look the same after a while. Sure, camera manufacturers can add things like Wi-Fi capabilities and touchscreen LCDs, but those items don't change the look of these cameras.

So when Canon introduced its EOS Rebel SL1, touting it as the smallest DSLR camera on the market, I was looking forward to having a chance to test it. I was skeptical that it would really be small enough to be noticeable.

And what did Canon have to sacrifice to shrink the camera body?

As I found out while reviewing the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, those concerns were completely unfounded. The SL1 retains all of the features and performance levels that you'd expect to find in an entry-level DSLR camera, while actually being small enough versus other DSLRs that the difference is truly noticeable.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i


The Rebel T5i does a lot of things well and it's an outstanding entry-level DSLR camera, but its price tag is a bit higher than either the T3i or the SL1, and I'm not sure it represents enough of an improvement over those models to justify that additional price. If you can find the T5i at a lower price versus its MSRP of $899.99 for the camera body only, it will be worth stronger consideration.

Now that the Rebel T5i is a bit of an older camera model, you should be able to find it at a bit of a bargain compared to its original release date.

This makes an already great camera an even better option for those shopping for a DSLR model. Spend some time looking for a bargain concerning the T5i, and you're going to be very pleased with the results!

Nikon D3300 DSLR

Nikon is offering the D3300 HD-SLR camera in black, red, or gray, depending on your location in the world. Nikon

Nikon's latest entry into the low end of the DSLR market is the D3300, which Nikon calls an HD-SLR camera. (I'm not exactly sure what makes the D3300 an HD-SLR other than it shoots full HD movies, so I'll just refer to it as a DSLR to avoid confusion.)

Simply put, this is a strong still image camera offered at a reasonable price. Nikon has given the D3300 a large image sensor with 24-plus megapixels of resolution, and the image quality with this model is outstanding. So if all you want is a strong still image camera without some add-on bells and whistles, the D3300 is a terrific option for a first DSLR camera.

However there are a few drawbacks with this model that prevent it from receiving my top rating. The LCD has no touch capabilities, and it isn't articulated. There's no built-in Wi-Fi option either. If you use the camera's LCD to frame photos (called Live View mode) rather than the viewfinder, the camera's performance slows quite a bit. And even though Nikon is calling the D3300 an HD-SLR, your ability to have manual control over movie recording is very limited.

Nikon D5300 DSLR


Those seeking an entry-level DSLR camera will be very pleased with the Nikon D5300 model. It has all of the basic photography features that you'd expect to find in an advanced interchangeable lens digital camera, including outstanding image quality and fast performance.

Nikon didn't skimp on the "extra" features with the D5300 either. It offers a high-quality 3.2-inch articulated LCD screen, which is great for shooting odd-angle photos or for using this model when attached to a tripod.

You'll also find built-in Wi-Fi with the D5300, which is a very popular feature with cameras currently in the market.

The large DX format image sensor that Nikon included with the D5300 includes 24.2 megapixels of resolution, which is among the largest resolution numbers you'll find in a DSLR camera.

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