The entry level SLR category is designed for two types of people: those who haven't owned an SLR before and are looking at stepping up their photography experience from a digicam and those who already own SLRs (either pros looking for a second backup body or semi-pros looking to upgrade to a more recent entry-level SLR). Entry level DSLRs have large sensors, many times larger than those in the average digicam but smaller than pro SLRs. Out of the gate even the cheapest SLR is going to have great image quality relative to your average or even expensive digicam. You're going to get better high ISO performance, manual assignable manual control wheels, better handling, fully configurable setting, macros and of course interchangeable lenses. Entry DSLRs are very robust and for most users more than adequate. Most people will be best served with an entry-level SLR and an investment in some good lenses.

Owning an SLR is as much about the glass (lenses) you own as it is about the quality of the camera body - don't skimp on your lenses or you'll never understand what the DSLR body is actually capable of. If you plan on buying a lot of lenses than the system you buy into is important because it will determine the lenses you can buy and the bodies available when you upgrade (and you will) in a few years. Unfortunately for the other manufacturers the biggest range of lenses are available for Nikon and Canon cameras so they are the easy choice if you're unsure what DSLR manufacturer to choose. Because entry level SLRs have smaller sensors than their professional full frame sensor counterparts they have what is called a crop factor. You should read more about crop factor but the end result is that a given lens on a entry-level SLR is going have a different effective focal length then the same lens used on a full frame pro DSLR. The crop factor is typically 1.5X meaning that you multiply the focal length by 1.5: the effect is you get less wide angle and more zoom - great for sports photographers.

Snapsort pulls out SLRs into the pro DSLR based on body size, sensor size and a few other pro features, and puts the rest here into entry level.

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Recent Entry-level DSLRs by manufacturer

Here is an overview of the manufacturers of entry-level DSLRs, the most popular shown first.

Nikon

Snapsort has found 4 recent entry-level DSLRs from Nikon.

Nikon D7200
Nikon D7200
from $979
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
87.0
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,333 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps

Learn more about the Nikon D7200

Nikon D5500
Nikon D5500
from $559
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,438 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
84.0

Learn more about the Nikon D5500

Nikon D5300
Nikon D5300
from $465
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,338 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
83.0

Learn more about the Nikon D5300

Nikon D3300
Nikon D3300
from $330
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,385 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
82.0

Learn more about the Nikon D3300

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Canon

Snapsort has found 3 recent entry-level DSLRs from Canon.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
from $749
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies
Cross type focus points Many cross-type focus points Help
19

Learn more about the Canon EOS Rebel T6i

Canon EOS Rebel T6s
Canon EOS Rebel T6s
from $849
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies
Cross type focus points Many cross-type focus points Help
19

Learn more about the Canon EOS Rebel T6s

Canon EOS Rebel T5
Canon EOS Rebel T5
from $312
Movie continuous focus Movie continuous focus Help
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available Help
220 lenses
Weight Light-weight Help
480 g

Learn more about the Canon EOS Rebel T5

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Pentax

Snapsort has found 2 recent entry-level DSLRs from Pentax.

Pentax K-3
Pentax K-3
from $650
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,216 ISO
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
8.3 fps
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"

Learn more about the Pentax K-3

Pentax K-S1
Pentax K-S1
from $347
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.63x
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,200 ISO

Learn more about the Pentax K-S1

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