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Best Entry-Level DSLRs of 2018, Ranked

At the beginning of the year, I had a chance to test several entry-level DSLRs side by side and review which ones were the best. Today, I’d like to circle back and rank some of these cameras for photographers who are trying to decide on a DSLR, either for yourself or as a gift; it’s that time of year, after all. Hopefully this list gives you a good idea of which camera will be right for you.

Best Entry-Level DSLR

What Counts as an Entry-Level DSLR?

My first DSLR was the Nikon D5100, which is almost the definition of entry-level. But when I heard people actually call it entry-level, I was taken aback. It was a good camera! I had saved money and spent a lot of hours researching which one to buy, but pros nonetheless dismissed it as “consumer” or “amateur.” The few times I heard people call the D5100 a “prosumer” camera, I nodded in agreement. And prosumer is a ridiculous word.

Motion
Nikon D5100 + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32mm, ISO 100, 6 seconds, f/22.0

That’s my way of saying that the cameras on this list are still really good, even though the title of the article says “entry-level.” The category of camera doesn’t determine the category of photographer. Besides, I stretched the definition a bit just because I wanted to do a great top-10 list and needed to reach the quota. (I overshot it and ended up with eleven, so just round down.) Other than a few older or obsolete DSLRs that are still sold new for some reason, this guide includes every current entry-level DSLR on the market; it’s the most comprehensive list you’ll find anywhere today.

In total, I’ve ranked six DSLRs from Canon, three from Nikon, and two from Pentax. The overwhelming number of Canon cameras is simply because Canon’s lineup has more entry-level DSLRs at the moment. It’s not a sign of Canon favoritism (and you might notice that the bottom two spots belong to Canon, whoops). In fact, one camera from each manufacturer makes it to the top three. I didn’t plan that ahead of time, but it’s a pretty nice sign that each company is competitive in this space.

Last, I have to mention my (somewhat boring) takeaway after testing several entry-level cameras this year: They’re all very similar in quality, without any real duds among them. The difference between the best and worst cameras on the list below is surprisingly small. Your individual needs – say, a desire to shoot video more than stills – could shift where each camera falls for you, perhaps significantly.

Don’t Buy the Bundle

Before jumping into the rankings below, take just a moment to heed a quick warning: Don’t buy that all-purpose photography bundle!

Deluxe Camera Bundle

Most of the cameras in this article, due to their price range, are targeted largely at first-time DSLR buyers. As a result, you can buy most of them as a bundle with lots of extra photography accessories. This sounds good, since it saves you some effort buying accessories separately – but the equipment included in these bundles is often quite overpriced.

Here’s just one example. Right now, on Amazon, you can buy the Nikon D3400 with a kit lens for $400. Or, for $500, you can add two 32 GB memory cards, a remote shutter release, a bag, a flash, a filter kit, and two converters to turn the lens into a wider angle and a tighter telephoto. That sounds like quite a deal, right? But it’s actually very overpriced.

In practice, the only useful accessories in that bundle are the memory cards and the remote shutter release (and maybe the bag). The filters are going to be low in quality, and as we’ve shown before, a bad filter clearly harms the sharpness and flare performance of your camera system. The wide angle and telephoto converters are just novelties; your image quality generally will be terrible when using either of them.

Instead, you can buy two better 32 GB memory cards for $10 apiece, a generic AmazonBasics remote for $6 (the other one is generic anyway), and a similar bag for $15. There, just saved you $70.

This isn’t to say all photography bundles are low quality, but that it’s easy to get a bad one if you’re just starting out and don’t know any better. When in doubt, don’t buy the bundle, and get all the accessories you need separately instead.

Now that you know the basics, here’s the list of the top 11 entry-level DSLRs available today, ranked from worst to best:

11. Canon Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D

Canon T7

One of the only DSLRs on this list I wouldn’t recommend at the moment is the Canon Rebel T7 (also sold under the name Canon EOS 2000D or 1500D in some markets). The camera itself is quite new (from February 2018), but its specifications already feel outdated. The camera has 24 megapixels, 3 frames per second shooting, and a 9-point autofocus system. It doesn’t have a touchscreen or a tilt-flip screen for taking pictures at tricky angles.

Canon has two different 24 megapixel aps-c sensors (with “aps-c” meaning that the sensor measures 22.2 millimeters in width). The Rebel T7 has the older one. So, you won’t get quite the level of image quality as in the newest aps-c Canon cameras – and we’ve found that even those lag behind Nikon’s sensors in low light. Nevertheless, this is still a high-quality camera sensor, capable of detailed photos in both daytime and nighttime conditions. In fact, every DSLR on this list has very good image quality, and the differences are mainly visible under exaggerated conditions.

But at a retail price of $550 with a kit lens, the Canon Rebel T7 is more expensive than some options on the market which still are better overall. For example, the Nikon D3400 and D3500 are both better cameras in most every way, and they cost $400 and $500 respectively. Even Canon’s own Rebel T6i is just $50 more expensive, and it fixes all the T7’s important flaws (and then some).

If you have the Rebel T7, don’t despair; it’s a good camera, just not priced according to its specifications. Canon seems to know that, too, and makes it tricky to buy the T7, despite it being the company’s newest entry-level camera. (You’ll likely have to buy directly through Canon’s website rather than a site like B&H.) But I will say this – despite the T7’s flaws, if you can’t take the photos you want with this camera, it’s unlikely that any of the DSLRs below will solve your problem.

Here’s a quick table comparing Canon’s popular entry-level cameras, including the T7:

T6 / 1300D T7 / 2000D / 1500D T6i / 750D T7i / 800D SL2 / 200D
Announcement Date March 2016 February 2018 February 2015 February 2017 June 2017
Megapixels 18 24 24 24 24
Autofocus Points 9 9 19 45 9
Continuous Shooting 3 fps 3 fps 5 fps 6 fps 5 fps
LCD Tilt-Flip Capability No No Yes Yes Yes
Dual Pixel AF No No No Yes Yes
Battery Life 500 photos 500 photos 440 photos 600 photos 650 photos
Weight (with battery and card) 485 g 475 g 555 g 532 g 453 g
Price (late 2018, with 18-55mm kit lens) $450 $550 $600 $850 $650

10. Canon Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D

Canon Rebel T6

The Canon Rebel T6 (also known as the Canon EOS 1300D) is the older version of the Rebel T7, yet I’d still recommend it more between the two. That’s because they are practically identical cameras. The only meaningful difference is that the T6 has the slightly older 18 megapixel sensor rather than the T7’s 24 megapixel version. The T6 also sells new for $100 less than the T7, totaling $450. This makes it the least expensive Canon camera on this list. (There is also a relatively similar camera known as the 4000D – or 3000D in some markets – not currently sold in the US, retailing for €430 with a lens, about $485 at the time of publishing this article.)

In practice, the difference between 18 and 24 megapixels is minimal, and both these sensors are otherwise quite comparable. But the T6 is a better value, having the same autofocus performance, screen quality, frame rate, and video specifications as the newer version. The only reason I don’t rank the T6 higher on the list is that it still falls short in specifications compared to Nikon’s less expensive D3400 camera.

That’s not to say the T6 is a bad camera, but that you can find better prices on similar DSLRs out there. However, if you find a good deal on the T6, don’t hesitate to get it. Last year, around the holidays on Canon’s own website, the T6 was selling with two lenses – the 18-55mm kit lens and a 75-300mm telephoto – refurbished for $280. At such a price, the T6 jumps up much higher than #10 and becomes a very good buy indeed.

9. Pentax KP

Pentax KP

The 24-megapixel Pentax KP is one of the most advanced DSLRs on this list, positioned just at the edge of entry-level. It also has the highest-end control layout of all eleven cameras here. You actually get three separate dials to change camera settings, which is more than can be said of most $3000+ professional cameras.

So, why is this camera only at position number nine? It all has to do with value. The Pentax KP is $900 with an 18-55mm kit lens, making it more than double the cost of some other cameras on this list. Arguably, too, the (less expensive) Canon T7i and Nikon D5600 have equivalent or better core specifications, despite a more basic set of controls. Even Pentax’s own K-70 matches most of this camera’s specifications, despite costing just $672 instead.

If build quality and control layout are at the top of your priorities, and you have a bigger budget, don’t dismiss the Pentax KP entirely. It’s still a strong camera – perhaps in the top three on this list if you ignore price. But when you take value into account, you can get more camera for your money with other options below.

8. Canon 77D / EOS 9000D

Canon 77D

For the same reason that the Pentax KP is placed at number nine, the Canon 77D / EOS 9000D sits at number eight. It is an advanced camera with an impressive control layout, and it includes almost all of Canon’s newest features as well. But it costs $950, the most expensive camera on this list.

The 77D sports an excellent 45-point autofocus system in the viewfinder, and it has a tilt-flip touchscreen – whereas the Pentax KP has a tilt-only screen without touch sensitivity. Perhaps even more important is that the 77D includes Canon’s famous “dual pixel autofocus” to focus quickly and accurately via the rear LCD screen (whereas most DSLRs mainly focus well through the viewfinder). It also has Canon’s newest 24 megapixel sensor for excellent quality images.

Unfortunately, the $950 price is a steep asking point. You wouldn’t lose much by going with a less expensive camera like the Canon T7i, Nikon D5600, or Pentax K-70 – and you could save hundreds of dollars along the way. If you need all the features of the 77D, don’t let me stop you, but at least consider the less expensive options before you make the leap.

Sunrise Light and Color with Canon 80D
From the 77D’s very similar older brother, the Canon 80D (70mm, ISO 160, 1/125, f/5.6)

7. Canon Rebel T7i / EOS 800D

Canon T7i Front View

Although the Canon Rebel T7i / EOS 800D is less expensive than the 77D, it still costs $850, and that’s not cheap on today’s entry-level DSLR market. For the price, though, you get all of Canon’s bells and whistles, including the new 24 megapixel sensor, dual pixel AF, and a tilt-flip touchscreen. The viewfinder also shares the same 45-point autofocus system from the 77D, making this a very usable camera for something like sports or theater performances.

I would strongly recommend the Rebel T7i if it weren’t for DSLRs in the $600-700 price range that match most of its top specifications. For example, before you settle on this camera, take a look at the older Canon T6i instead (which sells for just $600 and has most of the same specifications). Also consider Nikon’s competing D5600 and Pentax’s K-70 instead.

That said, if you find a good deal on the T7i, go for it. This camera is a pleasure to use – one of my favorites from testing earlier this year – with a great LCD and excellent kit lens. Perhaps Canon will introduce some discounts on the T7i for the holiday season, which would make this camera a much more appealing buy.

Canon Rebel T7i Sample Photo of Architecture
Canon EOS Rebel T7i + EF-S18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM @ 31mm, ISO 100, 1/100, f/5.0

6. Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 DSLR

The D3500 is another great camera that suffers from a bit of overpricing, this time on Nikon’s part. This camera costs $500 and is the newest DSLR listed here (announced in late August 2018). Although that is less expensive than Canon’s $650 SL2 and $850 T7i, it still isn’t a great value because another camera – the older D3400 – undercuts it at just $400, without losing many features along the way.

The Nikon D3X00 lineup has been the company’s least expensive DSLR line for years – the fewest features, but also the best prices. Unfortunately, Nikon’s recent updates to this lineup have very minimal changes. The D3500 isn’t all that different from the D3200 that launched way back in April 2012, and it’s practically identical to the D3400 released in 2016. Seriously – the only changes are a slight increase in battery life, a deeper grip, and a one-ounce weight reduction (30 grams). Here’s a table showing the progress of all of Nikon’s D3000 series DSLRs since the Nikon D3100:

Nikon D3100 Nikon D3200 Nikon D3300 Nikon D3400 Nikon D3500
Announced August 2010 April 2012 January 2014 August 2016 August 2018
Megapixels 14.2 24 24 24 24
Autofocus Points 11 11 11 11 11
Max Frame Rate (Stills) 3 fps 4 fps 5 fps 5 fps 5 fps
Viewfinder Magnification 0.8× 0.8× 0.85× 0.85× 0.85×
LCD Screen 230,000 dots 921,000 dots 921,000 dots 921,000 dots 921,000 dots
ISO Sensitivity 100-12,800 100-12,800 100-25,600 100-25,600 100-25,600
Max Video Frame Rate at 1920 × 1080 24 fps 30 fps 60 fps 60 fps 60 fps
Bluetooth No No No Yes, which lets you use SnapBridge Yes, which lets you use SnapBridge
GPS Yes, with GP-1 or GP-1A Yes, with GP-1 or GP-1A Yes, with GP-1A Yes, with SnapBridge Yes, with SnapBridge
Battery Life 550 shots 540 shots 700 shots 1200 shots 1550 shots
Weight (Body Only) 16.0 oz / 455 g 16.0 oz / 455 g 14.5 oz / 410 g 13.9 oz / 395 g 12.9 oz / 365 g
Dimensions 124.5 × 96.5 × 73.7 mm 127 × 97 × 79 mm 124.5 × 99.1 × 76.2 mm 124 × 98 × 75.5 mm 124 × 97 × 70 mm

If the D3500 is so similar to the older D3400, why is it $100 more expensive? Unclear. The battery life improvement is nice, but for $100 you could just buy a few more batteries anyway. So between this camera and the D3400, unless you handle the D3400 and find that its grip is uncomfortable, I would go with the cheaper option. But to each their own; the D3500 is an excellent camera, and still a better value than many other DSLRs on this list. If you want to own Nikon’s newest, the D3500 won’t let you down.

5. Canon Rebel SL2 / 200D

Canon-SL2

The Canon SL2 / EOS 200D is a fun camera to use. It’s tiny and lightweight, yet the grip is still comfortable, and it has some of Canon’s most advanced features (including the newer 24 megapixel sensor). When I tested the Canon SL2 in New Mexico’s Bisti Badlands and Chicago’s glass-and-steel jungle, I came away with the impression of a very good camera – not just for a first-time DSLR shooter, even though that’s the camera’s target audience.

The SL2 has an excellent touchscreen LCD, with a full range of tilting motion for easy composition. And the 24 megapixel sensor is Canon’s newest, with excellent image quality, though it still lags slightly behind Nikon in low light (for the technically minded, no more than one stop of difference at high ISOs, based on our tests). Video users also will be happy to hear that the SL2 has dual pixel autofocus, the least expensive Canon camera to include it.

I would have ranked the SL2 higher, but – no surprise if you’ve been following along so far – it’s a bit overpriced. (We’re getting to the well-priced options next – they do exist!) The SL2 sells for $650 with an 18-55mm lens. At that price, you’re paying a premium for the tilt-flip screen and dual pixel AF. Almost all of its other specifications are shared by both the Nikon D3400 and D3500 – same 24 megapixel resolution, same frame rate, and very similar viewfinder autofocus – yet those two cameras are just $400 and $500 instead.

Ignoring price, the SL2 is still the best camera out of these three. I also prefer the quality of Canon’s kit lens compared to Nikon’s, which tips the scales a bit further in the SL2’s direction. At the same time, you can save an impressive $250 by going with the Nikon D3400 – enough to buy extra batteries, a polarizing filter, memory cards, a camera bag, and so on, yet still have money left over. So, taking value into account, I’d put the SL2 slightly ahead of the Nikon D3500 and slightly behind the D3400.

Black and White Landscape Photo with Canon SL2
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 + EF-S18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM @ 18mm, ISO 500, 1/30, f/6.3
Clouds Reflected in Skyscraper
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 + EF-S18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM @ 55mm, ISO 100, 1/250, f/7.1

4. Nikon D3400

Nikon-D3400

Every camera from here on out is what I’d consider a really good buy for the typical consumer. Even though the D3400 ranks fourth, it’s arguably the best value DSLR on the market today. As a result, it is often the first one I recommend to my friends who want a new camera.

The D3400 is a mere $400 with a kit lens, at least at the time of publishing this article. (Prices can fluctuate with sales and rebates; check current D3400 price). And, what’s more, the D3400’s 24 megapixel camera sensor is excellent – one of the best aps-c sensors on the market today.

In fact, the sensor in the D3400 is exactly the same as the sensor in the Nikon D3500 and D5600 – which, again, is better than Canon’s best aps-c sensor in low light. So, if image quality is all you care about, the D3400 is equal to or better than every other camera on this list. It’s also the least expensive; go figure.

In that case, why isn’t it ranked number one? A few things. First, although the D3400’s image sensor is fantastic, cameras are more than just a sensor. They’re also about things like comfort, ease of use, autofocus system, build quality, screen quality, speed, and so on. All of these are areas where the D3400 can fall behind some of its competition.

To start, the camera’s LCD does not tilt or flip at all, and it’s not a touchscreen. Video shooters especially will want to look at something like the Nikon D5600 or Canon SL2 instead, which fixes those problems.

The D3400’s autofocus system also has pretty low specifications, although it surprised me in practice with how accurate it was. Still, the D3400 only has eleven autofocus points in the viewfinder – simply not enough to track a subject around the entire frame. If you’re photographing fast-moving subjects like sports or other performances, you’ll probably want a camera with a better autofocus system. Look at something like the D5600 or Canon T6i for good autofocus on a reasonable budget, or the Canon T7i, Canon 77D or Pentax KP if your budget is a bit higher.

For advanced photographers and those who are learning manual control, the D3400’s minimalist button layout might be frustrating. With this camera, you’ll need to enter the menu more often than with other DSLRs, such as to change autofocus settings or exposure compensation in Manual mode. That doesn’t matter to a lot of photographers, but it is important to some. If you want a more advanced layout, the Canon 77D and both Pentax cameras on this list are a clear step up, while the Canon Rebels and the Nikon D5600 are modestly ahead.

Last, although the D3400 won’t fall apart in your hands, some of the other DSLRs on this list offer better build quality and weather sealing. If you’re planning to use the D3400 how most people use cameras, you’ll be fine, even in a bit of a drizzle. But if you live in the Arctic or the rainforest, I’d be somewhat wary.

Detail Shot of Grass
NIKON D3400 + 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 300mm, ISO 900, 1/1000, f/6.3
Abstract Detail Photo of Water
NIKON D3400 + 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 300mm, ISO 360, 1/1000, f/6.3

3. Canon Rebel T6i / 750D

Canon Rebel T6i

One of the best values in Canon’s lineup of entry-level DSLRs is the Rebel T6i / EOS 750D, released in February 2015. Perhaps because of this camera’s age, Canon has been putting some impressive discounts on the T6i, which now sells for just $600 with a kit lens.

This camera has many of the T7i’s higher-end features, despite costing $250 less. You get a 24 megapixel sensor, 19 autofocus points, 5 FPS shooting, and a tilt-flip touchscreen. The T6i does not have dual pixel AF, though, which does harm its prospects for video. The 24 megapixel sensor is also the older version, which is a bit worse than some competing DSLRs in low light conditions (including the #2 and #1 cameras below).

Compared to the Pentax K-70, the T6i doesn’t have a similarly advanced control layout or the same level of weather sealing. This means the Pentax is arguably a better camera to grow into as a beginning photographer. However, the Canon T6i matches the Pentax K-70 in almost every other way. It even has a slightly better viewfinder autofocus system – 19 points versus 11 – which is just enough to be reasonably good for sports and action photography. Canon also has a greater number of total lenses to choose from, and more cameras overall for future upgrading. Even though the Pentax inches ahead, the Canon is right on its heels.

There is a version of the T6i with a slightly more advanced layout called the Canon T6s. It has two dials and a top LCD, but otherwise is identical to the T6i. However, it sells for $750 body only (so you’d need to buy the lens separately), which means it is hilariously overpriced by comparison. I don’t think it’s worth considering unless you find a deal that brings it within $50-75 of the T6i in price, including a lens.

Note that the list price of the T6i with a kit lens is actually $900, but it’s currently selling for $600 at both B&H and Amazon. I don’t know how long this price has been in effect, or if it’s temporary and seasonal – but at least for now, the T6i is one of the best values you can get on an entry-level DSLR.

2. Pentax K-70

Pentax K-70

If you want a combination of top build quality, advanced controls, and a tilt-flip screen, look no further than the Pentax K-70.

This is an excellent and overlooked camera for beginners, and it’s a good value at $672 (check current price). With a 24 megapixel sensor, 11 viewfinder autofocus points, and 6 FPS shooting, the K-70 is a highly capable camera with few downsides. It even has “hybrid AF” in live view, similar to Canon’s dual pixel AF and great for video shooters.

Any issues with the K-70 depend upon your personal requirements, including how much you’re willing to invest in a smaller DSLR company. Canon and Nikon are certainly more established names in the camera business, with a larger lineup of native lenses and more options should you wish to upgrade in the future. At the same time, Pentax now has two full-frame cameras (the K-1 and K-1 Mark II) with larger sensors and the company’s most advanced features, so you still have an upgrade path with this camera.

The K-70 loses out slightly to the Nikon D5600, which has a noticeably better autofocus system in the viewfinder (39 points versus 11), making it more versatile for sports and other fast-moving subjects. The Nikon, again, has a larger lens lineup and more cameras to upgrade in the future, making it just a bit more versatile overall.

Still, for photographers who put a priority on build quality and an advanced control layout – say, landscape photographers who know they’ll be shooting in bad weather – the Pentax very well could be the top camera on this list. Although 11 autofocus points isn’t much, it has pretty much everything else you could ask for, and it sells for a very competitive price.

1. Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600

And that brings me to the Nikon D5600, the top DSLR in this ranking, and – I believe – the best entry-level DSLR available today. When I reviewed the D5600 earlier this year, I wrote: “in many ways, it is the perfect option for people who just want an advanced camera that gets out of their way.”

That holds true now. The D5600 doesn’t have the extensive control layout of the Pentax K-70, so it takes a bit more time to set some options like exposure compensation in Manual mode, Auto ISO minimum shutter speed, and focus point modes. If you need two dials or advanced weather sealing, get the K-70.

But if you’re looking for the best autofocus system on this list, arguably the best camera sensor, a great lineup of native lenses, a tilt-flip touchscreen, and a lightweight kit overall, the D5600 should be your top choice. With an 18-55mm kit lens, it costs $700 (check current price and deals). That puts it on the higher end of cameras here, but it doesn’t break the bank like the competing Canon T7i.

If you want to save money, you can also buy an older model in the Nikon D5600 lineup, many of which are available used or refurbished for a great price. Here’s a quick table showing the differences between the D5600 and the prior versions. Even back to the D5200, this is a great lineup of cameras, and all of them are worth considering today if you find a good price:

Camera Feature Nikon D5200 Nikon D5300 Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
Announced November 2012 October 2013 January 2015 November 2016
Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
AA Filter Yes No No No
Image Processor EXPEED 3 EXPEED 4 EXPEED 4 EXPEED 4
Autofocus 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX
Frame Rate 5 FPS 5 FPS 5 FPS 5 FPS
LCD Size 3″ Diagonal 3.2″ Diagonal 3.2″ Diagonal 3.2″ Diagonal
LCD Resolution 921,000 dots 1,036,800 dots 1,036,800 dots 1,036,800 dots
Built-in GPS No Yes No No, but can use your phone’s GPS data via SnapBridge
Built-in WiFi No Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Bluetooth No No No Yes
SnapBridge No No No Yes
Max Video Frame Rate 60i 60p 60p 60p
Touchscreen No No Yes Yes
Battery Life 500 600 820 970
Weight (with battery and card) 555 g (1.22 lbs) 530 g (1.17 lbs) 470 g (1.04 lbs) 465 g (1.03 lbs)
Dimensions 129 × 98 × 78mm 125 × 98 × 76mm 124 × 97 × 70mm 124 × 97 × 70mm
Blue Window on Orange House
NIKON D5600 + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, ISO 100, 1/100, f/8.0
Silhouette Landscape with Cloud
NIKON D5600 + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 20mm, ISO 400, 1/320, f/8.0
Black and White Photo of Ice
NIKON D5600 + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 34mm, ISO 200, 1/50, f/8.0
Sand Dune Landscape Photo
NIKON D5600 + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, ISO 100, 1/200, f/8.0

Complete Table

After seeing all the cameras in list form, I thought it would be useful to compare all these DSLRs and their key specifications in a table as well, hopefully to help you understand the specifications of each one a bit more clearly. For size purposes, I’ve divided it into two tables, first with cameras ranked eleventh through seventh:

Feature Canon T7 / 2000D / 1500D Canon T6 / 1300D Pentax KP Canon 77D / 9000D Canon T7i / 800D
Ranking 11th 10th 9th 8th 7th
Announced March 2018 March 2016 January 2017 February 2017 February 2017
Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels (older version) 18 Megapixels 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels (newer version) 24 Megapixels (newer version)
Autofocus Points 9 9 27 45 45
Frame Rate 3 FPS 3 FPS 7 FPS 6 FPS 6 FPS
LCD Type Fixed Fixed Tilt Tilt-flip Tilt-flip
Touchscreen No No No Yes Yes
Max Video Specs 1920 × 1080p, 30 fps 1920 × 1080p, 30 fps 1920 × 1080p, 60 fps 1920 × 1080p, 30 fps (and 1920 × 1080i, 60 fps) 1920 × 1080p, 60 fps
Battery Life 500 photos 500 photos 390 photos 600 photos 600 photos
Control Layout Basic Basic Advanced Advanced Basic
Weight (with battery and card) 475 g 485 g 703 g 540 g 532 g
Dimensions (W×H×D) 129.0 × 101.3 × 77.6mm 129.0 × 101.3 × 77.6mm 131.5 × 101.0 × 76.0mm 131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm 131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm
Price (late 2018, with 18-55mm kit lens) $550 $450 $900 $950 $850

And then cameras ranked sixth through first:

Feature Nikon D3500 Canon SL2 / 200D Nikon D3400 Canon T6i / 750D Pentax K-70 Nikon D5600
Ranking 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st
Announced August 2018 June 2017 August 2016 February 2015 June 2016 November 2016
Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels (newer version) 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels (older version) 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
Autofocus Points 11 9 11 19 11 39
Frame Rate 5 FPS 5 FPS 5 FPS 5 FPS 6 FPS 5 FPS
LCD Type Fixed Tilt-flip Fixed Tilt-flip Tilt-flip Tilt-flip
Touchscreen No Yes No Yes No Yes
Max Video Specs 1920 × 1080p, 60 fps 1920 × 1080p, 60 fps 1920 × 1080p, 60 fps 1920 × 1080p, 30 fps 1920 × 1080p, 30 fps (and 1920 × 1080i, 60 fps) 1920 × 1080p, 60 fps
Battery Life  1550 photos  650 photos  1200 photos  440 photos  410 photos 970 photos
Control Layout Basic Basic Basic Basic Advanced Basic
Weight (with battery and card)  415 g  453 g 445 g  555 g  688 g 465 g
Dimensions (W×H×D) 124 × 97 × 70mm 122 × 93 × 70 mm 124 × 98 × 75.5mm 131.9 × 100.9 × 77.8mm 125.5 × 93 × 74mm 124 × 97 × 70mm
Price (late 2018, with 18-55mm kit lens) $500 $650 $400 $600 $672 $700

Conclusion

Even though the Nikon D5600 is number one on this list, remember that it isn’t necessarily the best camera for your needs. If you’d rather save $100 in exchange for a bit less autofocus performance and a slightly older sensor, get the Canon T6i / 750D instead. Or, if you want great advanced controls and don’t mind an 11-point autofocus system, the Pentax K-70 might be the better choice. You could even pick a completely different option on this list if it fits your needs better, like the Canon SL2 for its dual pixel AF or the D3400 for its impressive value. The point is, you have plenty of options.

That said, I hope this article gave you a good idea of where to start when you’re looking for an entry-level DSLR. There are so many cameras available today that things can get a bit overwhelming, but the list above encompasses nearly every current entry-level DSLR available today, as of late 2018, with the exception of some older Canon DSLRs still sold new. Keep in mind that the prices on these cameras fluctuate, sometimes quite a bit, and you might be able to buy one used or refurbished to save even more money.

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