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.

Green arrow See all the best recent entry-level DSLRs

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 D7100
Nikon D7100
from $1,147
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,256 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
83.0

Learn more about the Nikon D7100

Nikon D5300
Nikon D5300
from $720
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 D5200
Nikon D5200
from $647
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,284 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
84.0

Learn more about the Nikon D5200

Nikon D3300
Nikon D3300
from $647
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 5 recent entry-level DSLRs from Canon.

Canon Rebel T5i
Canon Rebel T5i
from $598
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,040k dots

Learn more about the Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel SL1
Canon Rebel SL1
from $489
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons
Size Really small Help
Prosumer size 117x91x69 mm
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,040k dots

Learn more about the Canon Rebel SL1

Canon Rebel T4i
Canon Rebel T4i
from $650
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,040k dots

Learn more about the Canon Rebel T4i

Canon EOS Rebel T5
Canon EOS Rebel T5
from $536
Announced New Help
February, 2014
Movie continuous focus Movie continuous focus Help
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available Help
197 lenses

Learn more about the Canon EOS Rebel T5

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Pentax

Snapsort has found 6 recent entry-level DSLRs from Pentax.

Pentax K-3
Pentax K-3
from $1,030
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,216 ISO
Cross type focus points Many cross-type focus points Help
25
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"

Learn more about the Pentax K-3

Pentax K-5 II
Pentax K-5 II
from $660
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,235 ISO
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
82.0
Dynamic range Wide dynamic range Help
14.1 EV

Learn more about the Pentax K-5 II

Pentax K-30
Pentax K-30
from $433
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift
Shutter lag Barely any delay taking photos Help
162 ms shutter lag

Learn more about the Pentax K-30

Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
from $497
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,600 ISO
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift

Learn more about the Pentax K-50

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Sony

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

Sony SLT-A37
Sony SLT-A37
from $422
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.71x
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Autofocus Phase detection video autofocus Help
fast and accurate

Learn more about the Sony SLT-A37

Sony SLT A58
Sony SLT SLT A58
from $448
Autofocus Phase detection video autofocus Help
fast and accurate
Panorama In-camera panoramas Help
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.65x

Learn more about the Sony SLT A58

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