Best DSLR Camera Under 500 $ 2024 – Top 10 Budget Picks

Best DSLR camera Under 500 $ in 2024

If your pocket doesn’t permit you to spend more than 500 bucks on a camera, you can still find the best DSLR camera under 500 $ capable of great photography. The market is loaded with excellent budget DSLRs and you have more options now at low prices than ever before. There are excellent entry-level DSLRs for a perfect start. There are older models, now refurbished and available in great condition. There are DSLRs now preceded by new models and available at reasonable prices. Choices are many. All these inexpensive DSLRs offer excellent specs that are enough for quality photography and they can compete with any advanced model if used skillfully. Here, we have made it easier for you by listing the most reliable and well-tested budget DSLR models that, though available for under 500 $, provide outstanding performance. We’ll review these models for you and also guide you to choose the one that suits your style of photography the most. Have a look at them.

Top 10 best DSLR cameras under 500 USD In 2024

1Nikon D3500
2Nikon D5300
3Canon EOS Rebel SL7/EOS 2000D
4Canon EOS Rebel T100
5Canon EOS Rebel T6/ EOS 1300D
6Canon EOS Rebel T5
7Canon EOS Rebel SL1
8Nikon D3400
9Nikon D5500
10Nikon D3300

Generally, DSLR is preferred when looking for a budget camera. The reason is that it provides you with more flexibility in prices because of the number of old and new products available. But despite the type of camera you opt for, thorough research is crucial. Because it’s obvious that you have to compromise on some features when spending less money. And it is essential at the same time, that you do not compromise on those features that are important from a photographer’s point of view, especially those that are important for the genre of photography that you are interested in.

Most DSLR models are either expensive because they offer some advanced features, like image stabilization and advanced autofocus, or because they offer better ergonomics like tilting touch screens and fancy buttons. Those things do help photographers, but they may not affect your photography if your style and genre aren’t dependent on them. For example, if you are a sports photographer, you may not mind giving up the camera’s flash and higher ISO capability. Still, you won’t compromise on autofocus and continuous burst rate. If you are interested in landscape photography, you may not need fast burst rates, but you’ll need more megapixels and a better dynamic range. So, with a few such trade-offs and intelligent pick and drop of irrelevant specs, you can pick and buy yourself the best DSLR camera under 500 $ that will allow you the same quality of photography as the more expensive ones.

Best DSLR Camera Under 500 $ – Reviews

1. Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 - The best dslr under 500 in 2024

Sensor: CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6,000 × 4,000 pixels |Autofocus: 11 AF points |Screen Type: Fixed Screen | Burst Speed: 5 fps |Video Resolution: 1920 × 1080 |Viewfinder: Pentamirror

  • Improved Image quality
  • Better battery life
  • User-friendly menu
  • Built-in user guide
  • No Wi-Fi, no remote functionality

Nikon D3500, with its guide mode, can help all those interested in photography and beginners may prefer it as it is easy and smooth. It has arrived with updated specifications in the market and can be considered an improved version of its predecessors. It is an excellent image quality package, lightweight, and has an advanced menu system for an affordable price.

It has a 24.2-megapixel sensor with an image processor of EXPEED 4. With the capability of 5fps burst shooting speed. The camera’s viewfinder feature is 11 AF points with the capability to cluster in the middle of the frame. Battery life is much improved as compared to D3400. D3500 can take 1550 shots on a single charge. The native ISO sensitivity range of D3500 is 100 to 25,600.

However, it lacks some advanced-level features in comparison to its rivals in the market. It has a fixed rear LCD that limits the camera from shooting at awkward angles. Its Optical viewfinder is also small compared to high-end cameras in the market. But regardless of these missing features, the D3500 is an outstanding option for beginners and is the best DSLR camera under 500 dollars that can provide you with competing photography if used skillfully.

2. Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 - Best DSLR under 500 in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 39-point |Screen Type: An articulated rear screen | Burst Speed: 6fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Quick start guide
  • High-quality image performance
  • Full articulated screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NCF
  • Info menu on-screen is dense and hard to operate

Nikon continues with the improvement in sensor, video, and additional connectivity with its every release. However, the affordable price will always take you to the older ones, not just because of the price but also because of their compelling features. Likely so, the D5300 is still in competition with its 24.2 MP resolution sensor and EXPEED 4 processor. Besides, it can give you sharper images because it has no optical low-pass filter. Physically, it is designed with a larger viewfinder and bigger LCD in comparison to its predecessors.

Further, it has Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities along with a microphone feature. The image results delivered by D5300 are highly appreciable when relating to its price tag. It has an autofocus of 39-point AF, much better than any other camera of a similar range. However, Live View autofocus is slow and takes time to focus shots. However, the viewfinder is effective, and it gives 95% coverage. This best DSLR camera under 500 $ has everything that a photographer needs for sharp and quality photography.

3. Canon EOS Rebel SL7/EOS 2000D

Canon EOS Rebel SL7/EOS 2000D - Best DSLR camera under 500 in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.1 MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 9-point |Screen Type: Fixed screen | Burst Speed: 3fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Compact and small in size
  • High-quality image performance
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NCF
  • No external microphone jack

It is also known as T7, the one affordable and best DSLR camera under $500 for beginners. With its DIGIC 4+ engine, it delivers full HD-quality videos. It offers an ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded to 12800. The burst shooting speed is 3 fps, just like other models of Canon in the list. However, it has a fixed screen that would not allow capturing at Vari-angle. The LCD of the camera is not a touchscreen.

Further, this best Canon camera under 500 $ has a compact design and a small body, so beginners can comfortably use it. At the same time, the viewfinder is also an entry-level viewfinder that is pentamirror but offers 95% coverage. This best DSLR under 500 $ has upgraded features such as Wi-Fi and NFC connection, but no Bluetooth though. Overall, it is cheap but good DSLR camera.

4. Canon EOS Rebel T100

Canon EOS Rebel T100 - Cannon DSLR under 500 in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 18MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 9-point |Screen Type: Fixed Screen | Burst Speed: 3fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Quick start guide
  • High-quality image performance
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Live View is slow and noisy
  • No NFC

T100 Rebel is intended to target the entry-level market with its low-cost price point. But, it does not compromise its image quality. With its plastic body and smaller size, it is lightweight. It has an 18 MP sensor with a processor of DIGIC4+. You will find so many common features between SL7 and T100. For instance, both share processor types, but T7 has a higher resolution sensor. Even both have the same burst shooting speed of 3fps with an AF of 9-point. T100 also has a fixed screen. It is the best DSLR for video under 500 dollars.

The ISO performance range for T100 also lies between ISO 100-25600. Though image quality and video recording are pretty good, the Live View mode is slow and noisy. It is also one of the cheapest DSLR video cameras. It has an average battery life that can shoot 500 shots per charge. It has an optical pentamirror viewfinder that gives 95 % coverage. With in-built Wi-Fi, it does not support NFC functionalities. But despite all that, it is one of the most affordable DSLR cameras under $500.

5. Canon EOS Rebel T6/EOS 1300D

Canon EOS Rebel T6/EOS 1300D - Best DSLR under five hundred US dollars

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 18MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 9-point |Screen Type: Fully articulated Touch screen | Burst Speed: 3fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Quick start guide
  • High-quality image performance
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NCF
  • Viewfinder is smaller

T6 is a perfect package for its new DSLR users, with a small and lightweight body. The mode dial on the top of the camera allows beginners to choose a mode easily. At the same time, some automatic mode functionalities are intended to help beginners in capturing high-quality images. It is one of the best DSLRs under 500 $. However, among the other listed entry-level DSLR cameras under $500, the T6 has a lower resolution sensor of 18 MP. The autofocus system is 9 points with a burst shooting speed of 3 fps. The ISO sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400.

In addition to this, T6 offers some advanced features like Wi-Fi or NFC connection, which help in transferring images quickly. The Canon Camera Connect app is also significant; it allows you to transmit images through remote control. However, it is quite a basic camera for videography with low autofocus. But it is an ideal small-size camera with its friendly guide that is adjustable by any non-experienced photography lover. And that makes it the best digital camera under $500 for novices and beginners alike.

6. Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel  - Best dslr under 500$ in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 18MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 9-point |Screen Type: Fixed screen | Burst Speed: 3fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Affordable price
  • High-quality image performance
  • Good camera for beginners with its Feature Guide
  • No Wi-Fi
  • High ISO performance is not good

If you are looking for a more classic camera for an affordable price, the T5 is a better option. It is the best DSLR camera for beginners under $500. Though there are no major upgrades of features in T5, it still has excellent image quality. It has an 18MP sensor with a fixed LCD. It is a better option for beginners who want to enhance their photography skills on a tight budget. However, it is not recommended for video creation or action photography. This best DSLR under 500 $ has a compact design and a lightweight body that can give a tight grip during shots. The optical viewfinder provides 95% coverage.

It does not offer any smart connectivity because of no built-in Wi-Fi, and it has a small viewfinder. Only a wired remote connection is available, in the form of USB and HDMI out. The dynamic range and High ISO Performance are not appreciable. However, the image quality is more refined with excellent color accuracy. And this best camera for $500 can provide rich stills shooting at a cheap price.

7. Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 - Great sub-500 $ camera in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 18.0MP | Processor: DIGIC 5 processor | Autofocus: 9 point AF |Screen Type:3 inch clear view LCD | Burst Speed: 4.0 fps |Video Resolution: 1080/30p  |Viewfinder: Optical Viewfinder

  • Good grip despite being compact and small size camera.
  • High ISO shots are quite usable, even above ISO 6400
  • Excellent LCD and responsive touchscreen
  • Useful night modes
  • Stereo mic jack
  • Full HD video recording
  • May feel uncomfortable while using with larger lenses
  • Non-STM lenses struggle in live view and in movie servo AF 

Rebel SL1 is billed as ‘the world’s smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR. It merges the Rebel-series’ DSLR operational hallmarks within an impressively small body. Its compact body and outstanding performance make it ideal for travelers who demand refined images plus a small size. Thus, it makes it an ideal cheap DSLR camera in our list of best DSLRs under 500 $.

It is equipped with the brand’s latest 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and a fast Canon DIGIC 5 image processor. These two features combined help you capture images of exceptional quality. With Rebel SL1, you can continuously record videos at the rate of 4.0 fps even under low lighting conditions, and you can also easily capture fast action subjects. It has an impressive ISO range of 100-12800 (it can be expanded to H: 25600) for still photos. And 100-6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for video. It comes with Hybrid CMOS AS II that can deliver precise AF tracking during live-view shooting. These features make it the best low-end DSLR for sports and wildlife photography.

Moreover, this best low-priced DSLR camera uses Canon STM lenses for delivering crisp and clear photos. Other features include an Optical Viewfinder, a 3-inch clear view LCD screen, and the EOS full HD movie mode with Movie Servo AF for manual exposure control and multiple frame rates. It is an all-around performer and the best DSLR camera under 500 $ that you shouldn’t miss.

8. Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 - Great Nikon under 500$

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 11-points AF |Screen Type: Fixed LCD | Burst Speed: 5fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • High-quality image performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great dynamic range
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Limited AF Coverage
  • No dust or weather sealing

D3400 announced to be an entry-level DSLR, uses the EXPEED 4 processor. With a 24 MP DX sensor, it is capable of capturing high-quality photos. However, you might not find it a perfect DSLR, but it has many noticeable features for such an affordable price. It has a burst shooting speed of 5 fps and 11-point autofocus.

Moreover, the LCD is also immovable, and there is no touchscreen. Even no Wi-Fi or NFC connectivity to transfer images; however, it has SnapBridge. Snapbridge will let you transfer low-resolution photos to your smartphone through Bluetooth. And that makes it a smartphone-friendly camera. You can capture quality pictures and then easily share them on your phone and social media. It is one of the best photography cameras under 500 $.

The battery is good enough to capture 1200 shots per charge. However, there is no weather sealing. But overall, you will like this lightweight DSLR camera at an affordable price, which ensures image quality.

9. Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500 - Great budget camera in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 39-points AF |Screen Type: Vari-angle touchscreen | Burst Speed: 5fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Light weight and compact design
  • High-quality image performance
  • Great battery life
  • Better resolution
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Lacks built-in GPS
  • No aperture control
  • No dust or weather sealing

It is a mid-level DSLR with excellent image and outstanding low-light performance. Small in size and lighter in weight, the D5500 is suitable for handheld use. Thus, it can give a firmer grip. This 24.2 MP sensor Camera has a sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600. It has a touchscreen display, even accessible during Live View. The Vari-angle feature of the screen allows it to fold out and rotate. However, it relies on a pentamirror viewfinder rather than on pentaprism. Pentaprism viewfinder is considered expensive in comparison to pentamirror.

It is quite a convenient camera due to its built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to transfer images from the camera to a mobile phone. It also controls the shutter through wireless control. However, some wireless connections are cut off in N5500, such as there is no GPS. You can rely on its battery life, which is extended by 37%. Overall, this is the best DSLR camera under 500 $ that will serve Vloggers and street photographers quite well.

10. Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300 - Great cheap camera below half a grand in 2024

Sensor: CMOS (APS-C) | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Resolution: 6000 x 4000 |Autofocus: 11-points AF |Screen Type: Fixed LCD | Burst Speed: 5fps |Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 |Viewfinder: Optical Pentamirror

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • 24 MP APS-C Sensor
  • Lightweight
  • 1080/60 Video support
  • Efficient battery life
  • Cons
  • Lacks built-in GPS
  • No Wi-Fi or NFC, no Bluetooth
  • No dust or weather sealing

The last camera in our list for the best DSLR camera under 500 $ is the Nikon D3300. It is very low priced for its high-quality capturing capability. The D3300 is an older version of the D3400, and both of these DX Series DSLRs have very similar features. However, the D3400 was launched with minor changes in features, like the addition of Bluetooth. Other than that, likewise, with its 24 MP sensor, D3300 captures high-quality images.

It also relies on an EXPEED4 processor. Unlike the D3400, the D3300 battery has an average life, and it is capable of 700 shots per charge. However, compared to other DSLR models of the same range, it can be considered an excellent battery life. The autofocus for Live View is slow and not recommended for video makers. Despite this, it can be one of the best digital cameras under 500 $ for beginners to start photography with.

You may like to read: Best DSLR cameras Under $1000

Buyers Guide: Things To Consider Before Buying The Best DSLR Camera Under 500 $

Before buying the best DSLR under $500 in 2024, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you make the right choice. Here are some important points to keep in mind;

Purpose and Photography Style

Understand your photography needs and the genre you are interested in. Every photographer has different needs and requirements. For instance, a landscape photographer will be conscious of dynamic range, and a sports photographer will look for faster autofocus.

Sensor and Megapixels

A good sensor, along with other considerable features, produces sharper images. However, if a sensor is larger in size then it will give an outstanding low-light performance.

Autofocus System

The Autofocus system also determines the capabilities of a camera. A DSLR with fast autofocus is efficient for shooting moving subjects or sports photography.

ISO Range

Consider the camera’s ISO range, as it determines its low-light performance. A wider ISO range allows for better shooting in low-light conditions without excessive noise in the images.

Burst Speed

If capturing fast action or sports photography is important to you, choose a camera with a higher burst speed. This determines how many continuous shots the camera can take per second.

Ergonomics and Controls

A camera that feels comfortable in your hands will give you an exciting shooting experience. Therefore, always check the button layout, ergonomics, and easy-to-use features of a camera.

Connectivity Options

Get a camera with various connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or NFC. At the same time, remote control functionality gives a convenient experience.

People Also Ask

What is the best DSLR camera under 500 $?

Nikon D5300 is the best DSLR camera under 500 $ in our list. It boasts a 24.2-megapixel sensor, an articulated rear screen, and a burst speed of 6fps. It provides high-quality image performance and additional features like built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity.

What is the overall durability and build quality of DSLR cameras within this budget?

The best DSLRs under 500 $ range generally have solid build quality and can withstand regular usage. However, they may not be as rugged or weather-sealed as higher-end models. It’s important to handle the camera with care and protect it from harsh conditions.

Can I expect good video recording capabilities from DSLR cameras under $500?

DSLR cameras under $500 typically offer decent video recording capabilities, including Full HD resolution (1080p) at various frame rates. However, advanced video features like 4K recording, high frame rates, or professional video codecs may be limited or absent. Consider your specific video requirements before making a purchase.

How user-friendly are the menus and controls on the best DSLRs under 500 $, especially for beginners?

The best DSLR camera under 500 $ has user-friendly menus and controls suitable for beginners. However, the exact interface and layout can vary between brands and models. It’s a good idea to try out the camera in person or read user reviews to assess the ease of use.

Are there any notable differences in image stabilization capabilities between various DSLRs under 500 $?

Image stabilization systems vary among DSLR models. Some budget DSLRs may offer in-body image stabilization (IBIS), while others rely on optical image stabilization (OIS) in specific lenses. IBIS provides stabilization for any lens attached, whereas OIS only works with stabilized lenses. Check the specifications of the specific DSLR you’re interested in to determine its stabilization capabilities.

What are the available options for upgrading or expanding the camera system in the future within this budget?

The best DSLR cameras under 500 $ typically have options for expanding the camera system. Look for models with a wide range of compatible lenses and accessories, such as external flashes, remote controls, and additional battery grips. Ensure that the camera you choose has the necessary ports and features for future upgrades.

How does the battery life of DSLR cameras under $500 compare to higher-priced models?

The best DSLR cameras under 500 $ have decent battery life, but they may not be as long-lasting as higher-priced models. The exact battery life can vary between different models and usage conditions. Consider purchasing an extra battery or a battery grip for extended shooting sessions.

Final Thoughts

In a world where budget constraints often dictate our choices, finding the best DSLR camera under 500 $ can be a game-changer for aspiring photographers. While compromises may need to be made in terms of advanced features, it’s essential to prioritize those aspects that align with your photography style and genre. For instance, the Nikon D5300 impresses with its high-quality image performance and fully articulated screen. Canon also offers compelling choices, such as the EOS Rebel SL7/EOS 2000D, which is compact and features built-in Wi-Fi. The EOS Rebel T100 and T6 provide affordable options with good image quality and beginner-friendly features. Lastly, the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 stands out as the world’s smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR, combining a compact size with exceptional performance. With thorough research and smart trade-offs, it’s possible to find a DSLR under $500 that delivers competitive photography results and helps you embark on your creative journey.

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