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The Best DSLR cameras Under $1000

Last updated on 03/21/2014

First-time DSLR buyer who doesn't want to spend a lot for "too much" camera? Experienced hobbyist on a budget? If you need a DSLR for under $1,000, we've lined up the best of the bunch below. $1,000 is still a lot of money, but considering that some DSLRs cost up to five times that much, we consider anything under the four-figure mark "affordable." The cameras below marry a quality feature set with best-in-class image quality, and all represent a fantastic value. Read on to see our favorites.

Sony A3000
A compact DSLR
from $349.99
$400-$600: Sony A3000
Sony's A3000 is very compact--and the $400 price point can't be beat. The 20 megapixel APS-C sensor is paired with the same sensors in Sony's other popular DSLRs and a 25 point autofocus system, so it shoots like a DSLR and not a mirrorless despite the small size. The 3.5 fps burst isn't the best in the category, but at $400, who can complain? Overall, another excellent budget option from Sony.
Pentax K-50
120 Possible Color Combinations
from $584.09
[Read our full Pentax K-50 Review] $600-$800: Pentax K-50
Pentax offers a few features that the two big brands don't offer. The K-50 is weather-sealed and can also take AA batteries with an adapter, two features that you can't find anywhere else for the price. The K-50 has a lot of other features for the price as well, like a 6 fps burst mode and an in-body image stabilization system. We put the K-50 through an extended test review and were quite happy with the quality of the images as well as the comfort and usability of the camera.
Nikon D5300
An excellent mid-range DSLR with improved resolution and wi-fi
from $899.00
[Read our full Nikon D5300 Review] $800-$1,000: Nikon D5300
Nikon's latest DSLRs have all eliminated the optical low pass filter to enhance the sharpness, detail and low light quality. The D3300 is their mid-line APS-C DSLR, and the only one to include a tilting LCD screen. The D5300 has an excellent 39-point autofocus system and offers solid image quality. There's a lot more pros to this model then there are cons, with high ratings for image quality and user experience.