Best DSLR Cameras Under $1000 – [2021] Ultimate Review

| Last Updated: January 4, 2021

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We have come a long way from the era of black and white pictures. Nowadays, most of us carry a camera in our pockets that can take some great pictures. While smartphone cameras can capture good quality pictures, they cannot measure up to the professional level. 

For that purpose, we have DSLR cameras. A DSLR camera allows you to capture the best shots possible.

However, choosing one out of the innumerable options available can be a challenge. You may even end up with something that does not quite fit in with your requirements and may cost you quite a lot. That is why today, we are reviewing the best DSLR cameras under $1000 to help you make the right pick.

Comparison of the Best DSLR Cameras Under $1000

  • Back-illuminated 26.1-megapixel image sensor
  • Has the latest quad-core processor, making it the best overall
  • Great face detection feature which ensures that the right subject is captured every time
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  • Touchscreen feature makes the user interface very easy
  • Comes with a 24.2-megapixel sensor, making it the runner-up
  • Autofocus uses artificial intelligence to get the most accurate results
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  • Comes with a big 3.2-inch screen
  • Best for the money with the quality Nikon is known for
  • Has an APS-C CMOS sensor which has a 24.2-megapixel resolution
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  • Best 4K DSLR under $1000, ideal for videos
  • Has no low pass filters, which make the result look amazing
  • Equipped with an adjustable touchscreen which reduces complexities
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  • Has a big LCD which makes viewing pictures easier
  • Best full-frame DSLR under $1000 for pictures from different angles
  • Equipped with a 24.3-megapixel sensor which provides great pictures
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  • Has an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Equipped with a 3-inch LCD screen
  • Best Canon DSLR under $1000 that allows great customization
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  • LCD measures a total of 3.2 inches
  • Has a 20.9 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Best Nikon DSLR under $1000 with an ergonomic grip
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What is a DSLR Camera?

A DSLR, also referred to as the digital single-lens reflex camera, is a bit different from your usual camera. It is equipped with a mirror set inside the body. The function of this mirror is to reflect the light coming from the lens to the viewfinder.

Some cameras use a prism for this purpose while others use a series of additional mirrors for the task. It depends on which model you opt for. 

Can You Find a Quality DSLR Camera Under $1000?

Before we start this review, let’s get one thing out of the way. DSLR cameras are not exactly cheap. Since they offer amazing quality and are different from other cameras, they come at a high price. However, there are models you can choose that can fit into your budget.

These are good for beginners or even some professionals that do not have the budget to invest in a particularly high-end camera. That said, in this review, we will look at each product for its value rather than associating labels like “cheap” or “expensive” to them.

How Do I Choose a DSLR Camera?

You should always look for certain factors in a DSLR camera. The presence of these features will always be in your best interest. These include: 

Adaptability to Lenses

DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses. This allows you to explore a wide range of photography styles. A good DSLR camera will have the ability to adapt to a majority of lenses, allowing you to capture each shot just the way you want.

Image Quality

How can we talk about cameras and not talk about image quality? Look for a DSLR that can capture an image with the least amount of grain. This will not be very difficult, as DSLR cameras usually have a higher shutter speed which, results in lesser grain.


A DSLR that offers you the highest amount of control will be the best. Of course, automatic settings are also important and can provide ease and convenience. However, manual settings grant you a greater amount of control and allow you to explore your own unique style.

Quick Take - Best DSLR Cameras Under $1000

Before we dive into our review, here are the best DSLR cameras under $1000 :

  1. Fujifilm X-T30
  2. Sony Alpha A6400
  3. Nikon D5600

Review of the Best DSLR Cameras Under $1000

It’s finally time to get to our reviews. In this section, we will review seven different DSLR cameras and find out why they made it to our list of the best ones you can opt for. 

Best Overall:
Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera, Black (Body Only)


  • Design has a vintage touch
  • Video output is high quality
  • Controls are easy to manipulate
  • Shutter speed is consistent and fast
  • Can be connected to both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi


  • Slight image buffer
  • Auto-focus is a bit slow

What Recent Buyers Report

According to most buyers, this camera is an excellent investment. It is capable of capturing stunning pictures that can display each and every detail. It has a great design, so it wins in the aesthetics department, as well. It also appeals to so many because it is easy to handle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason Fujifilm makes it to our list is that it’s a beautiful camera and makes us quite nostalgic. However, on the inside, it has all the latest technology needed to take the perfect picture. Moreover, it is easy to use and lightweight as well, so it can be taken anywhere.

Who Will Use This Most

Its ease of use would make this camera just perfect for beginners who are just starting out on their picture-taking adventures. It would also suit enthusiasts and hobbyists perfectly. Another group of people that might find it perfect, is students, as it has everything they could possibly need.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a camera that has the looks, as well as the tech, then the Fujifilm X-T30 is a good option for you. It is capable of capturing stunning pictures and excellent videos. It does not weigh much either. In addition to that, it has great connectivity, which is an added bonus.

Sony Alpha A6400

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera: Compact APS-C Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Real-Time Eye Auto Focus, 4K Video & Flip Up Touchscreen - E Mount Compatible Cameras - ILCE-6400/B Body


  • ISO range goes up to 102,600
  • Auto-focus feature does not lag
  • Image quality is very crisp and clear
  • Video quality of the camera is good, too
  • Touchscreen can flip a total of 180 degrees


  • In-body image stabilization is not available
  • Performance of auto-focus feature can vary with the type of lens used

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers regard this camera as a good entry-level piece of equipment. The quality of the image has been praised in many different reviews. Apart from that, the touchscreen and the enhanced auto-focus features also have many fans.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera has some of the most plentiful AF (auto-focus) features ever made, which makes it very easy to control. Apart from that, its video quality is great, too. The shots taken from this camera have clear and neutral colors. The images also translate reality quite accurately.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera would be best suited to enthusiasts and beginners. It has some good features that make it easy to use. Especially the auto-focus feature which helps beginners get the hang of operating a DSLR camera.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Sony Alpha A600 is a good camera if you have just started your photography adventure. It is consistent and gives great results. Moreover, the touchscreen feature makes it easier to use and access more functions.

Best for the Money:
Nikon D5600

D5600 DX-format Digital SLR Body


  • Includes touchscreen feature
  • Has a battery life of 820 shots
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Screen is vari-angled and can be tilted
  • Can be connected via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi


  • Video resolution only goes up to 1080p

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a very well-received DSLR camera. According to many reviewers, it lives up to the Nikon standard. It is great for taking some stellar shots. Many reviewers compare it to a smartphone camera and talk about the stark differences between the qualities of the two devices.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon D5600 is a camera with great value. It has a variety of features you can play around with and experiment with to your heart’s content. Apart from that, it is built very well and the design is quite ergonomic. It has an easy-grip feature that allows the user to take steady shots. It is lightweight, as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera would attract a wide audience for several reasons. What tops the list is the fact that Nikon is a pretty popular brand amongst photography lovers. It is specifically a good option for people on a strict budget. It allows you to enjoy the photography experience without the hefty price tag.

Bottom Line

Nikon is well-known for the cameras that it produces and this device lives up to that standard. It has a great battery life and the auto-focus feature is amazing. Even with all its features, the image quality it offers remains the star of the show.

Best 4k DSLR Under $1000: 
Panasonic Lumix G85

Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K Digital Camera, 12-60mm Power O.I.S. Lens, 16 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera, 5 Axis In-Body Dual Image Stabilization, 3-Inch Tilt and Touch LCD, DMC-G85MK (Black)


  • Great build and quite sturdy 
  • 4K UHD video resolution is top quality
  • Screen makes using and controlling the device easier
  • Can capture the smallest details and vivid colors just the way they are
  • Several photo styles to choose from so you can express yourself freely


  • Noise reduction could use some work
  • Few controls have proven to be a bit complicated

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users have been very satisfied with their choice. Many have referred to the camera as one which provides the best value. Its features, like the 4K shooting have won over many customers. It has consistent results, and it also has a good build which is a plus-point for sure.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are quite a few things that convinced us to put this camera on the list. First of all, it is the best 4K camera under $1000. Secondly, it offers features a splash and dust-proof body, it has a touchscreen that can be adjusted up to 180 degrees, and it has excellent auto-focus.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera would be great for people who enjoy photography as a hobby. It has enough features to occupy any enthusiast. It is also a great pick if you want to get the hang of using a DSLR. It can also allow you to take professional-level pictures you can be proud of.

Bottom Line

To wrap things up, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is a good camera, no doubt. It could use some tweaks here and there, but it is one that strives to bring you the best experience. The camera itself is smaller than average, yet it still manages to pack a punch!

Best Full-Frame DSLR Under $1000: 
Sony A7

Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera - Body Only


  • Connects to both Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth
  • Design is well-thought-out, making the camera easier to grip
  • Lightweight and compact, does not need to be lugged around
  • Screen can be tilted easily so you can get it at the angle you want
  • Moisture and dust-resistant so no need to worry about a little rain or dusty conditions


  • No touchscreen function for the LCD

What Recent Buyers Report

The Sony A7 manages to produce a positive response from its buyers. In fact, its image quality has many fans. In addition to that, it has been praised for the amount of detail it captures. It can also take great photos in low light and has a better image processing feature.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Sony has done a great job with this camera. It is slim, lightweight, and offers amazing results. It can be connected to other devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which makes it quite convenient to use when it comes to transferring pictures and videos.

Who Will Use This Mos-

This full-frame DSLR by Sony could easily be used as a semi-professional camera, as it offers great image quality. It could also be used by enthusiasts and as a family camera, too. Since it is lightweight, it is easy to carry around for taking some amazing pictures on vacation.

Bottom Line

The Sony A7 is an innovative camera. Yes, it has its faults, but they are nothing that cannot be overlooked. Overall, it offers pretty much everything a good camera should have. It is compact and lightweight, the results are stunning, and it has great connectivity, too.

Best Canon DSLR Under $1000: 
Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)


  • Equipped with a 19-point auto-focus system
  • Performs very well, even in low light conditions 
  • Rechargeable battery that can run for a long time
  • Continuous shooting speed of 8 frames per second 
  • Almost all controls can be customized to the user’s preference


  • White balance may be thrown off in artificial lighting conditions 

What Recent Buyers Report

Generally, buyers are very happy with this camera. Many sample photos show that its performance is great and the image quality is pretty good, too. However, some buyers have complained about the problem with overexposure and the white balance being disturbed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Canon EOS 7D is an amazing camera. It can perform splendidly in low light conditions which results in some magical pictures. The auto-focus feature also works like a charm and makes sure to provide crisp and clear pictures. Apart from that, the customizable controls are also an eye-catching feature.

Who Will Use This Most

It would function as a great family camera, as it is not very difficult to use. Moreover, if you are a self-learner, it would serve you well, too as the controls are very easy to understand. With its help, you could easily find your own style of photography.

Bottom Line 

Canon is a company with a great reputation. The EOS 7D does nothing to tarnish that. It provides some great pictures and is user-friendly, as well. In addition to that, it has a good battery life and its other features like auto-focus work efficiently.

Best Nikon DSLR Under $1000: 
Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body


  • 51-point auto-focus feature
  • LCD screen has touchscreen feature and can be tilted
  • Can be connected to other devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Design allows for gripping the camera in a steadier manner
  • Weather-sealed camera can be used in conditions with moisture and dust


  • Crops 4K video to a great extent

What Recent Buyers Report

On average, the people who invest in this camera are pretty satisfied. It provides clear and detailed pictures with great focus. However, some reviewers have had a few issues with low light settings. Apart from that, the reviews remain fairly positive and people even recommend the product to others looking to save money on a top-notch DSLR.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon D7500 is not a bad camera at all. In fact, its 51-point focus is definitely something that is quite interesting. It can capture motion very beautifully. The other features it offers, such as the touchscreen, also add to the camera and make it very easy to use.

Who Will Use This Most

The Nikon D7500 would be best-suited for semi-professionals. It cuts back on some of the features professionals would expect to see, however, it is just right for someone who is not exactly new to photography but not a veteran either.

Bottom Line

This camera is a good addition to the vast collection of models Nikon already has. It has a brilliant focus feature that effortlessly brings out the details in every shot. Apart from that, its connectivity is very good and makes it convenient to use.

Why Should I Get a New DSLR?

Since DSLR cameras can be expensive, many people opt for buying them secondhand. Sure, that saves you some extra dollars but getting a new DSLR has its own perks. Let’s take a look:

No Chance of Damage if It’s Not Used

When you get a DSLR that is completely new, you do not have to worry about any damage that it could have suffered in the hands of its previous owners. It is possible that a used model was mishandled, which might have damaged it. That is enough to compromise your end results. However, if you invest in a new DSLR, you will not have to worry about that.

Will Last You Longer

A new DSLR will last you longer. Why? Because no one will have used it before. When it comes to battery-operated devices, each of them has an approximate lifetime. It is quite possible when you opt for a used camera, that the battery life has been depleted significantly and you may have to pay more to make the necessary repairs. Getting a new DSLR will save you the headache.


The new DSLR will come with its own warranty. So, even if repairs are needed for some reason, they will not cost you in most cases. The opposite is true for used cameras. Usually, the warranty period has expired so each and every single dollar you spend on tweaks, upgrades, or repairs has to come from your pockets.


DSLR cameras are just amazing. They can really translate what you see and feel around you into a picture. They are capable of showing great detail and vivid colors. However, they can be tricky to use and can prove to be very expensive.

However, that does not mean you cannot enjoy the DSLR experience. We hope this review of the best DSLR cameras under $1000 has helped you find the perfect one so you can capture the world just the way you want!

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Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.