Best DSLR Camera Under $500

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Are you looking for the best DSLR camera for under $500?

You might be thinking a good DSLR camera is expensive, but now you can get a high-quality DSLR at a lower price. Moreover, $500 is enough to get you a high-quality DSLR with premium features.

I have used a lot of DSLRs and want you to experience photography without investing a lot in DSLR cameras. So I have listed down the best DSLR camera under $500 from different brands. It will help you choose the best one according to your needs and goals.

Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black
Canon EOS 4000D DSLR Camera w/Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 III Zoom Lens + Case + 32GB SD Card (15pc Bundle)
Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera Features 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-Inch Sensor, 4K Video, WiFi, Splash & Dustproof Camera Body, LEICA DC 24X F2.8 Zoom Lens - DMC-FZ300K - (Black) USA
Sony a55 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm zoom lens
Best For
Beginners
Advanced User
Long Range
Best Value
Continuous Shooting Speed
5fps
3fps
-
6fps
Screen Size
3 inches
2.7 inches
3 inches
3 inches
ISO Range
100-25600
100-12800
100-64000
100- 256000 (with boost)
Focus Type
Auto
Manual & Auto
Manual & Auto
Manual & Auto
Max Resolution
24.7 megapixels
18.0 megapixels
12.1 megapixels
16.2 megapixels
Optical Sensor
24.2 megapixels
18.0 megapixels
12.1 megapixels
16.2 megapixels
Optical Zoom
3x
3x
24x
3x
Video Capture
1080p
1080p
2160p
1080p
Viewfinder
Optical
Optical
Electronic
LCD
Photo Sensor
1-inch
APS-C
1/2.3-inch sensor
APS-C
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
EyeFi
Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black
Best DSLR Camera Under $500
Best For
Beginners
Continuous Shooting Speed
5fps
Screen Size
3 inches
ISO Range
100-25600
Focus Type
Auto
Max Resolution
24.7 megapixels
Optical Sensor
24.2 megapixels
Optical Zoom
3x
Video Capture
1080p
Viewfinder
Optical
Photo Sensor
1-inch
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth
Canon EOS 4000D DSLR Camera w/Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 III Zoom Lens + Case + 32GB SD Card (15pc Bundle)
Best DSLR Camera Under $500
Best For
Advanced User
Continuous Shooting Speed
3fps
Screen Size
2.7 inches
ISO Range
100-12800
Focus Type
Manual & Auto
Max Resolution
18.0 megapixels
Optical Sensor
18.0 megapixels
Optical Zoom
3x
Video Capture
1080p
Viewfinder
Optical
Photo Sensor
APS-C
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera Features 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-Inch Sensor, 4K Video, WiFi, Splash & Dustproof Camera Body, LEICA DC 24X F2.8 Zoom Lens - DMC-FZ300K - (Black) USA
Best DSLR Camera Under $500
Best For
Long Range
Continuous Shooting Speed
-
Screen Size
3 inches
ISO Range
100-64000
Focus Type
Manual & Auto
Max Resolution
12.1 megapixels
Optical Sensor
12.1 megapixels
Optical Zoom
24x
Video Capture
2160p
Viewfinder
Electronic
Photo Sensor
1/2.3-inch sensor
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Sony a55 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm zoom lens
Best DSLR Camera Under $500
Best For
Best Value
Continuous Shooting Speed
6fps
Screen Size
3 inches
ISO Range
100- 256000 (with boost)
Focus Type
Manual & Auto
Max Resolution
16.2 megapixels
Optical Sensor
16.2 megapixels
Optical Zoom
3x
Video Capture
1080p
Viewfinder
LCD
Photo Sensor
APS-C
Wireless Connectivity
EyeFi

Best DSLR Camera Under $500: Top Picks and Reviews

#1 Nikon D3500

If you are looking for DSLRs for beginners under $500 with excellent image quality and battery life, then Nikon D3500 is a perfect choice to go for. It has a high ISO with great shutter speed and is easy to use. The camera body is very convenient to hold. Even if you have never clicked pictures with a DSLR, you can easily click pictures with D3500 with its simple to understand control buttons.

Key Features

  • Beautiful Pictures
  • Portable And Easy To Use
  • Handy And Comfortable To Shoot
  • Autofocus Points
  • Battery Life
  • Image Quality

Beautiful Pictures. You don’t need to be a professional to use a DSLR. The Nikon D3500 is simple to operate and is convenient for anyone to hold. You can take beautiful shots using this DSLR. It is compact and ideal for traveling. It is compatible with many smartphones, which makes it easy for you to share pictures.

Portable And Easy To Use. The D3500 is portable and easy to take along with you anywhere. You can capture some beautiful and memorable pictures using this DSLR. The pictures that you click are not just a picture but also a moment you will remember and share with your friends and relive the time.

Handy And Comfortable To Shoot. The D3500 is very comfortable to hold. It is lightweight, and the controls are very convenient and comfortable to use. The control system is easy to understand and use. You can shoot quickly by just clicking the shoot button.

Autofocus Points. You can capture pictures of moving objects or persons with this DSLR. It has 11 autofocus points, and AF locks quickly onto the person you are clicking. It helps you click pictures continuously with a focus point.

Battery Life. You can capture around 1500 pictures at once. It is much better than any other DSLR at such an affordable price range.

Image Quality. The Nikon D3500 has a 24.2MP sensor and has a high-ISO performance, which is excellent. Different modes give different color contrasts. You can select from standard, portrait, landscape, etc., that you can further adjust concerning canon its brightness, saturation, and contrast.

TITLE_Nikon D3500

Pros

  • Great Image Quality
  • Portable and handy
  • Well build and comfortable grip
  • Fast autofocus

Cons

  • It does not have a touch screen.
  • It has Bluetooth but no Wi-Fi.

Nikon D3500 is one of the great DSLR cameras under $500, with excellent image quality and build. It is a fantastic camera for beginners as it is compact and easy to use. The controls and handy guide make it easy for beginners to understand the settings and shoot perfectly.

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#2 Canon EOS 4000D

The canon EOS 4000D is one of the reasonably priced DSLRs with some great features. With a DIGIC 4+ image processor, the ISO ranges from 100 to 6500. You can expand the ISO to 12800. It has nine-point autofocus and has different modes for capturing pictures.

Key Features

  • Design And Build Quality
  • Screen And Viewfinder
  • Easy To Operate
  • Performance
  • Color Reproduction
  • Picture And Video Quality

Design And Build Quality. The Canon 4000D has a great build and design quality. The control buttons are simple and easy to use. It has 18 megapixels, which is great for beginners to use.

Screen And Viewfinder. Mostly the viewfinders on canon are pretty small compared to Nikon DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. But it shows focus points and helps you see where the focus is. You can capture great images with the optical viewfinder and look at the 2.7-inch screen. The screen looks clear and is easy to read.

Easy To Operate. The control buttons of 4000D are clear and easy to understand. It is a bit smaller than the other canon models, but you can easily find the controls.

Performance. This DSLR performs well and has all the functions you need in a DSLR. It has a sensor and manual control that is easy to understand and use. It has a nine-point AF system and has good battery life.

Color Reproduction. The main strength of the canon DSLR camera is its color reproduction feature. That is why many professional photographers go for canon DSLRs. It provides excellent color and contrast, which gives a good effect to pictures.

Picture And Video Quality. With this DSLR, you can capture great photos and videos with its 18MP sensor. You get beautiful and sharp images.

TITLE_Canon EOS 4000D

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good battery Life
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Great Built

Cons

  • Poor noise control
  • Auto-HDR shooting not great

The Canon 4000D is a great DSLR at a reasonable price with an 18-55mm kit lens. It has built-in Wi-Fi, making it easy for you to send pictures to your friends and family.

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#3 Panasonic LUMIX FZ300

Photographers who like long zoom range and a good build camera, then Panasonic Lumix is the best choice. It weighs 1.5 pounds, which means it is easy to carry around. It offers high-quality pictures with a 12.1 MP camera. With 4K technology, you can capture 30 frames in a second. The images come out sharp and clear.

Key Features

  • 4K Photo And Video Technology
  • Different Photo And Video Modes
  • Zoom Range
  • Dustproof Design
  • Autofocus
  • High Image Quality
  • Touch Screen
  • Built-In Wi-Fi
  • 12 Frames per second

4K Photo And Video Technology. With this DSLRs 4k technology, you can capture 30 frames in a second. You can use this function in different ways that allow you to capture photos perfectly. With the 4k video functions, you can view videos that are much larger than full HD in high resolution.

Zoom Range. You can zoom up to 25 to 600mm, having a range of f2.8 with its Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens. It ensures that you get good quality pictures even in low light.

Dustproof Design. The design of this DSLR is such that it is dustproof. It is properly sealed at the edges and buttons, and you can use it in any weather condition. You can use it in a desert area or a jungle with ease.

Autofocus. The DSLR has a DFD autofocus. It quickly measures the distance and gets the object into focus even if the object is moving. You can make great videos with autofocus and get excellent quality.

High Image Quality. You can click great quality pictures with its 12.1-megapixel sensor. You get sharp and clear pictures by setting the aperture correctly.

Touch Screen. The DSLR has a touch screen function that you can use to zoom in and out, view and click controls and change any settings you want. You need to enable the touchpad autofocus.

Built-In Wi-Fi. You can share pictures on your phone with its built-in Wi-Fi. You need to pair it with the Panasonic application that is there for Android and iOS. If you sync your phone and camera time, it also supports geotagging.

12 frames per second. You can capture 12 frames per second at high resolution.

TITLE_Panasonic LUMIX FZ300

Pros

  • 24x zoom along with f/2.8 aperture
  • Dustproof design
  • Touch screen
  • 4K photo and Video Function

Cons

  • The camera body is a bit bulky.

The Panasonic FZ300 is excellent for travelers as it has a long zoom range and works in any weather. One feature that most of the canon DSLRs don’t have is its 4K technology and does not have a dustproof design. Overall it is an excellent choice for travelers at an amazing price range.

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#4 Nikon Coolpix B500

If you like capturing pictures while traveling and looking for an affordable DSLR under $500, the Nikon Coolpix B500 is a great choice. It has a 16-megapixel sensor along with a 40x to 80x zoom range. It has different modes to capture pictures and has excellent image quality.

Key Features

  • Easy To Use
  • Great Image Quality
  • Noise
  • Focal Range
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Easy To Use. The DSLR is handy and easy to use. You can carry it in one hand and shoot comfortably. It has easy to switch dials for various shooting modes. It has an automatic mode, movie mode, creative and more. It has easy-to-understand navigation buttons, and you can change the ISO setting according to your need.

Great Image Quality. The Nikon B500 works excellent in clear and bright light. If you often travel and have a habit of taking DSLR along, this camera helps you get great pictures. You can experiment with different pictures with the creative mode if you like little filters and effects in pictures.

Noise. This DSLR has different settings for sensitivity that has ISO between 125 to 6400 at high resolution.

Focal Range. The camera has a 40x zoom range having a focal length of up to 22.5mm and a telephoto range of around 900mm.

Built-in Wi-Fi. The DSLR has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that easily transfers pictures and videos to laptops or smartphones. With NFC, it is easier to share pictures.

TITLE_Nikon Coolix B500

Pros

  • In-Built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Convenient LCD
  • Longest Zoom setting

Cons

  • Manual exposure control is not very significant.
  • Cannot use it in adverse weather conditions.

The Nikon B500 is excellent for people who like long zoom range with a 16-megapixel sensor at a reasonable price range. You can capture high-quality pictures from near to far using zoom. Overall it is well built with good battery life, which can capture 700 pictures per charge.

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#5 Sony A55

Sony A55 is a compact DSLR with translucent mirror technology, which allows light to pass through to the sensor easily and remains fixed all time. It has various shooting modes and 15-point face detection. It is designed in such a way that it makes the camera look small.

Key Features

  • EVF Technology
  • Translucent Mirror Technology
  • Amazing HD Video
  • Performance
  • Great Shooting Speed
  • Panorama Mode

EVF technology. With the EVF technology in this DSLR, it makes an excellent choice for photographers. It will help them freeze any type of moving object. Like clicking pictures of any sports event, this DSLR works great.

Translucent Mirror Technology. The DSLR has an excellent shooting capability at the 16.2-megapixel sensor with high resolution. You can capture ten frames per second.

Amazing High-Resolution Video. The Sony A55 is known for its phase-detection AF for videos. It offers excellent focusing speed for both photos and video capture. It gives full-screen coverage with its live view function.

Performance. The Sony A55 works excellent and has a unique build. The 16.2 MP works excellent with a moderate ISO setting. You get a high-quality image by setting the ISO to 400. You can shoot even in low light and get good pictures.

Great Shooting Speed. You can capture a ten fps continuous shoot at 16.2 MP with high resolution. This is mainly because of the mirrorless technology that makes it stay in one place.

Panorama Mode. With this DSLR, you can take Panorama easily by just sweeping the camera slowly.

TITLE_Sony A55

Pros

  • Great Image Quality
  • 10fps burst mode
  • Easy to use
  • Panorama Shooting

Cons

  • Autofocus is not there while recording videos.
  • Battery life not very great

Sony A55 is an excellent DSLR for taking selfies and pictures. With its EVF technology, you can shoot in direct sunlight and get good pictures.

One small issue, which I found out in this camera, is the ISO quality and image noise. With ISO 800-1600, the detail of the picture is not very clear when you zoom in. Overall, it is a very impressive camera with great features like the sweep panorama, auto HDR, and mirror technology, making it easy for you to get the best captures.

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Buyer’s Guide

Sensor Size

One of the factors you need to look at before buying a DSLR is its sensor size. It has a significant effect on the quality of the picture you shoot. You need to look at the sensor size of the DSLR before buying the best DSLR camera for under $500.

There are different sensor sizes available, like a full-frame or a mirrorless. Choose the one according to your need.

5 Best DSLR Camera Under $500

Megapixels

It would be great to decide on the type of pictures you will be clicking, like a portrait or landscape. For this, you also need to look at the size you want to print before deciding the megapixels you want to have.

Camera Lens

A camera lens is one of the essential factors to consider before buying a DSLR. If you are a beginner, then a standard lens with a camera is excellent for you. Some people like to upgrade your camera and use different lenses according to the shoot.

So if you don’t want to invest a lot in DSLR, go for the one that can capture good quality videos and come with a great package.

Video Quality

Looking at the video quality is one of the essential factors to consider. There are a lot of different brands that offer superior video quality at an affordable price. Usually, a standard DSLR provides a 1080p video quality.

ISO

Looking up at the ISO is essential if you often shoot pictures of moving objects. If your camera has a higher ISO range, then it will have an excellent shutter speed. So look at the ISO range before buying a DSLR.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do You Need to Buy a DSLR?

Most people like clicking pictures from a DSLR on various family gatherings, events, birthdays, or thanksgiving celebrations. The image and video quality of a DSLR cannot be compared to any smartphone camera. DSLRs have various features that work great even in low light.

DSLRs are not just used by professional photographers but many people like clicking pictures from a DSLR as a hobby. Nowadays, many YouTubers use DSLR to record videos and upload them on social media.

Buyer's Guide for DSLR Camera Under $500-guide-for-dslr-camera-under-500

What’s Good About Having a DSLR Camera?

Using a DSLR, you get excellent image and video quality. With a DSLR camera, you can capture pictures of moving objects with its high-speed autofocus feature. DSLRs are very useful when you need to click photos of any event on a sunny day.

Conclusion

In this article, we have reviewed the best DSLR camera under $500 based on the features mentioned in our buyer’s guide and the ratings and comments mentioned by actual users on Amazon.

In our opinion, Nikon D3500 is the best DSLR camera under $500 among the various options that we have considered. This is because of its excellent image quality and battery life. The controls of this camera are easy to use and have a great shutter speed.

The Canon EOS 4000D is another excellent choice. It has superior design and builds quality having different modes of capturing pictures.
If you are looking for a value for money option, you can also consider Sony A55, which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point.