Photography

Best DSLR Cameras 2020 – Top 5 Budget-Friendly Cameras

Photo by Andre Furtado on Unsplash

There are several ways to level up your Instagram grid or YouTube videos, one way that’s guaranteed to bring you almost instant results is to invest in the best DSLR camera. 

DSLR cameras enable you to take images and videos that look professional. However, as a beginner, you probably don’t have the budget or skills for a top-of-the-line camera, so this list of budget and beginner-friendly DSLR cameras should do. These are our top five picks for cameras that are easy to use and easy on your pocket.

5 Best DSLR Cameras (Under $450)

Can you get the best DSLR camera for under $450? The short answer is no. But you can get a good DSLR camera for your needs. Whether you’ll term the DSLR cameras on this list as good, will depend on your intended use for the camera. But, for content creators on a budget, these DSLR cameras are going to make your images and videos far more vivid and professional than your smartphone.

Canon EOS 2000D (Rebel T7) DSLR Camera (28 Piece Bundle) $333

The Canon EOS 2000D is Canon’s entry-level DSLR camera. It may not be the best DSLR camera on this list but, it certainly is the cheapest.

This camera retails for $333 on Amazon and has incredible specs for the price, including 24-megapixel sensor and HD video recording. However, the camera’s autofocus needs some work and takes a bit of getting used to, especially for beginners. 

Autofocus is a necessity for content creators. You’re not taking professional images and shouldn’t have to worry about manual focus. That said, the Canon EOS 2000D only comes with a 9-point autofocus system. This means when you’re taking Instagram images or shooting content for a video, you need to be sure that the camera is focused on you. You can do this by being in the camera’s frame and at one of the 9 points. If you’re taking an image from behind the camera this shouldn’t be a problem at all. 

Unfortunately, if you’re shooting videos or taking selfies knowing if the autofocus is on is tricky as the camera doesn’t have a rotating viewfinder.

Canon EOS 2000D Camera Review

Pros
Cons
  • Affordable
  • Outdated Autofocus
  • 24 Megapixel Sensor
  • No Flip Screen
  • HD Video Recording

 

Canon EOS Rebel T6 $345.37

If you want a basic camera with a few extra features that’ll make your images seem pro, then the Canon EOS Rebel T6 is an excellent first time DSLR camera. 

It has the same 9-point autofocus as the 2000D and was released in 2016, giving it a two-year disadvantage to the Canon 2000D. However, the reason it makes it on to our list of five best DSLR cameras of 2020 is that it comes with a range of accessories, including 3 filters that can enhance your images and videos.

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera Review

Pros

Cons

  • Impressive Bundle
  • Not As Feature Intensive As Other Similarly-Priced DSLRs
  • Wifi Compatibility
  • 9-point Autofocus
  • 18 Megapixels + HD Video

 

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera $399

The Nikon D3400 DSLR camera is Nikon’s most affordable entry-level DSLR. The specs on this compact camera are some of the best on this list. 

The Nikon D3400 has a 24-megapixel sensor and takes remarkably vivid images. It also has an 11-point autofocus system, that allows you to focus on images (and videos) with ease.

Unfortunately, since the camera was first released in 2016, it doesn’t have wifi compatibility. It does, however, have Bluetooth compatibility so you’re able to transfer images and videos that way. Still, this is probably slower than removing the SD Card and uploading the images to your PC.

Although it doesn’t have wifi compatibility, that shouldn’t be much of an issue considering the camera’s solid build and excellent video and image quality.

Nikon D3400 Camera Review

Pros
Cons
  • Full HD Videos
  • No Wifi Compatibility 
  • 11 Point Autofocus
  • Not New (Renewed Version)
  • 24.2 Megapixel Sensor
  • Can’t Add External Microphone
  • 5 FPS continuous Shooting

 

Nikon D3500 DSLR Camera $437

The Nikon D3500 isn’t that much different to the D3400, however, it does have some limitations and certainly won’t be crowned the best DSLR camera on this list. Although it’s new – unlike the renewed Nikon D3400 on this list – the camera doesn’t have any other features that make it worth the price, and can be stifling for aspiring content creators who want to create vlogs, because there isn’t an option to add an external microphone unless you’re willing to spend another $100 on a specific type of voice recorder.

 

But, if you’re only using your camera to take quick recordings or images, this camera is just as good as the D3400, and it’s brand new.

Nikon D3500 Camera Review

Pros
Cons
  • 24.2 Megapixel sensor
  • Can’t Add External Mic
  • 11-point Autofocus

 

Sony a55 DSLR Camera $329.99

Second-hand items don’t often make it to any top-lists, but this Sony A55 DSLR is sold in very good condition by its supplier and is the cheapest DSLR camera on this list. Although the features are a tad bit dated, you can still capture great stills and excellent videos. Unlike the Nikon cameras on this list, you can also add external audio, and the viewfinder is rotational.

Sony A55 Camera Review

Pros
Cons
  • FHD Video Recording
  • 16.2 megapixel sensor 

4 Tips For Buying The Best DSLR Camera

Your favorite content creator probably uses a medium or high-end DSLR camera to take their pictures or record their videos. The impression this creates in smaller and new content creators is that you need expensive equipment and the best DSLR camera to get started. That’s not the case.

Instead, you need a quality DSLR camera that’s good value for money. If you only have $300 to spend, you want to get the best DSLR camera $300 can buy. 

So we’ve outlined four tips to help you choose the best DSLR for your budget.

Tip #1 For Buying The Best DSLR Camera: Think About How You’ll Use The Camera

Spending $800 on a DSLR camera doesn’t mean your content will be any better than someone using an iPhone 7. Your equipment can only do so much for your content. Therefore, I’d advise purchasing an entry-level camera for your content, especially in the early stages. Once you’ve gotten used to working with a DSLR camera, then upgrade. 

For most content creators, an entry-level camera will have all the features they’ll need in a camera. You may even realize that you don’t need a DSLR camera and that a point and shoot camera (which is a lot cheaper) will do just fine.

So, before you’re taken in by what the salesperson at Best Buy tells you about the quality of a camera, do your research, list features that are essential for your intended purpose, and then find a camera that has those features.

Tip #2 For Buying The Best DSLR Camera: Research New and Refurbished Models

Don’t be afraid to purchase a refurbished or renewed model of a really good DSLR camera. Why? Refurbished models are often the cameras that were popular when launched, and have proven to keep their specs over time.

Amazon has a hefty list of refurbished or renewed cameras, some starting from as low as $270. For a DSLR camera, $270 is next to nothing. But, many people avoid purchasing refurbished or renewed products because they’re second-hand. However, most of the products on Amazon’s list of renewed/refurbished DSLR cameras are exactly like new, and for a beginner, that’s all that matters. Additionally, with discounts of $300 off the brand new version, refurbished DSLR cameras are a fantastic choice for cash strapped buyers. And unlike Facebook marketplace or Craigslist, you have the option to return these second-hand items, and you’re guaranteed they’re in good working order.

Tip #3 For Buying The Best DSLR Camera: Don’t Be Intimidated By Specs

Most DSLR cameras are reviewed by professionals, so their opinions aren’t always relevant to your search. Most content creators and influencers, only need a specific set of specs and aren’t looking to become amateur photographers or videographers, but simply want to shoot an Instagram or product photo, or shoot a video for their creative projects. 

Therefore, watching or reading a review aimed at a different audience is redundant.

Instead, you should only be concerned about the specs that matter to you. The specs that make it easier for you to manage the camera and use it for your intended purpose.  

Tip #4 For Buying The Best DSLR Camera: Look At Images Taken With The Camera

Sometimes the best review is seeing the camera in action. So when you’re reading Amazon reviews, always look for ones that include images taken with the DSLR camera. These reviews are going to give you the most accurate representation of what the camera can do. 

You’ll also notice that in some models, for example, the Sony A55 and the Canon 2000D, the vibrant colors and vividness of the images are very similar, although the megapixels differ considerably. That’s because more goes into what makes a camera take high-quality photos than megapixels. Some cameras work better in different lighting, have better autofocus, and capture colors more vibrantly than others.

This list of the best DSLR cameras that are also budget-friendly is a guide but isn’t a definitive reflection of what your money can buy. Therefore, when deciding whether or not to purchase a camera think about if the cost of the camera reflects its value in your content. And if you’ll be able to justify the purchase with quantifiable results.

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