Photographer with DSLR camera on hand viewing a sunset on a bridge

If you’re thinking of purchasing a proper camera that even a professional filmmaker would be proud of, you should consider getting a DSLR camera.

If you’re on a tight budget, then your best bet is to find a camera that is both inexpensive and, at the very least, NOT a total piece of crap.

I would know, as a college student with an interest in photography and film when I go to Amazon and see all these incredible cameras with price tags up to $2,000 – I cringe a little.

I can’t afford that!

Thankfully, however, there are tons of cheap DSLR cameras that have just as much quality as the expensive ones without the hefty price tag.

The following are some of the best DSLR cameras under 500 dollars that you should consider buying:

1. Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S

Best Cheap DSLR Cameras


  • Continuous shooting up to 3 frames per second
  • 1080p Full HD Mode
  • 18-55mm IS II Standard Zoom Lens


  • Auto mode may cause camera to take over exposed pictures
  • Built in mic may not be the best quality
  • This model is not the most up-to-date model

Even though this camera is considered to be ideal for beginners or budget film enthusiasts, it is packed with a wide range of amazing features that make it perfect for professionals too.

Among the things that you will like about it include the weight, the large view screen, how easily it fits in the hand, the battery life, button placement, and the ease of use of the software that it comes with.

Thanks to this easy to use software, you will have an easy time when you need to upload your pictures.

It’s not a complicated DSLR camera and, in fact, you can simply pull it out of the box and start using it right away!

With full manual control over things such as the aperture and shutter speed, as well as so many easy to use features, this is a great, affordably priced camera making it one of our picks for the best DSLR under 500.

See the Canon EOS Rebel T5 Camera in Action!

2. Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS

Best DSLR Cameras Under 500


  • Continuous shooting for 5 frames per second
  • 1080 HD Quality Video
  • Cool panorama mode


  • Complaints of pictures in auto mode going out of focus
  • Interface may not be very user-friendly
  • This model has a more up-to-date version

This camera enables you to create beautiful pictures and videos of your moments with ease.

As one of our choices for the best DSLR under 500, this camera is really impressive for an entry level photographer or videographer.

It comes with a lot of built-in picture editing features and is small in size and lighter making it easy to hold and carry around.

If you are still new to using cameras, it has an easy to use guide mode that will be perfect for you.

Other modes that you might need to explore as you continue using it include flash mode, auto mode, and panoramic mode.

All modes work absolutely well, and there is also an aperture priority mode that will give you outstanding portrait results.

See the Nikon D3300 in Action!

3. Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS

Best DSLR Camera Under 500


  • 11 AF points (includes 3D tracking)
  • Continuous shooting for four frames per second
  • 24MP CMOS DX-format sensor


  • Complaints of error message “Press Shutter Release Button Again” after purchasing
  • Complaints of photos going out of focus in auto mode
  • Slightly higher price than others on this list

This is a wonderful basic level DSLR that performs well at all levels.

Even though it does not offer much when it comes to innovative features, it is equipped with highest pixel count as compared to other similar cameras and has impeccable image quality.

The images that it produces feature low noise and the highest resolution possible and its interface is very easy to understand and use.

It comes with guides that will show you different shooting scenarios, and there is a help screen for just about every menu option that it has.

There is a dedicated recording button that allows for point and shoot when taking videos and manual controls for taking videos of a more advanced crowd.

See the Nikon D3200 in Action!

4. Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera

Best DSLR Under 500


  • 1080p HD Full Quality Video
  • CMOS Sensor with High Pixel Count
  • Light-weight and compact


  • Complaints of blurry photos
  • Complaints of soft and noisy photos
  • Discontinued by manufacturer

There is no doubt that this Nikon D3100 DSLR camera is one of the best entry level DSRLs that you will find on the market.

It offers very good image quality that is accompanied by a speedy operation as well as straightforward handling.

The interface of the camera is beginner friendly and has plenty of manual controls.

If you are a first time user looking for a camera that’ll offer you lots of capabilities, then you need to buy this one.

Even when the light is not enough, you can still be able to take good quality images and videos using the built-in pop-up flash.

Despite being discontinued by the manufacturer, this is still a fantastic cheap DSLR camera which is why we added it to our list of the best DSLR under 500.

See the Nikon D3100 in Action!


With the above-mentioned cameras, you can be absolutely sure that you are putting your money to good use.

Nikon and Canon are among the best manufacturers of DSLRs, and are likely to stay that way for a long time.

You can rest assured that you are making the right decision when you buy one of these fantastic cheap DSLR cameras.

These prices may go up so grab these while they’re still cheap!

Which Do You Think is the Best DSLR Under 500?

You’ve read our suggestions for the best DSLR under 500, now we want to hear from you!

Which do you think is the best DSLR under 500 dollars?

Feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestion!


  1. I’m a huge fan of Canon cameras, I’m glad to see that one made your list! I agree that it’s both a great beginner to intermediate level camera. Highly recommended!

  2. I like the Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera because of its compact size. It can easily fit inside my tote bag.

  3. I am not really into photos. But these cameras are cool cannon is the only brand I know though.

  4. Good article, Inspires me to take on photography classes.

  5. Since they come cheap, you will experience some cons from the products. But at least your getting the best out of it because those cameras are made by Nikon and Canon which are famous for quality products.

  6. The youtube videos are funny but very helpful. These cameras are cheap which beginners are looking for. Thank you for this article.

  7. Raphael Fabella

    Saving up for a Canon Eos 1200d right now. It’s around 15k pesos here in the Philippines but I’m doing my best to save up for it. If I were to choose a camera out of these four though, I’d probably pick the Nikon D3300.

  8. Thank you! I finally found a non-complicated DSLR review that doesn’t have the complicated mumbo-jumbo that newbies won’t be familiar with. ☺

  9. well i do own a Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera and it works pretty well. I bought it a few weeks ago and i must say that it is really an amazing DSLR. It captures nice and crisp photos and weighs not that much. So I think, of all the choices that we have in this list, the Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera is the best!!!

  10. well i still think that cameraphones are wayyyyyyy better than these heavy and expensive DSLRs… cameraphones are easier to carry… some of them are even waterproof… so i really don’t get it… plus even if it’s under 500, it is still expensive for a working student like me… oh well… im no photographer… so i guess that’s the sole reason why i don’t own a DSLR…

  11. One of my usual companions in my travels used to be a DLSR camera and a GPS device. That all changed when I got myself a GoPro and when the picture quality from smartphones improved. If no innovation happens to these cameras anytime soon, reasons to buy them may soon cease to exist.

  12. Don’t know much about cameras especially now that there are smart phones that have good pixels and picture quality. Nevertheless, thanks for the article I know of some friends that want to go into professional photography they would really be interested in this article. These DRLS camera do really looks good.Thanks

  13. These are nice. I really like the continuous shooting up to 3 frames per second.

  14. I think I’ll buy that Nikon D3200. It looks solid give or take a few things. I know no camera is gonna be absolutely perfect, but I’ll give it a shot and if I don’t like it at least I know that Amazon has a good return policy.