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 D5300
Nikon D5300
from $697
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 $393
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

Nikon D7200
Nikon D7200
from $1,197
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
102,400 ISO
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,228k dots

Learn more about the Nikon D7200

Nikon D5500
Nikon D5500
from $797
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons

Learn more about the Nikon D5500

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Canon

Snapsort has found 5 recent entry-level DSLRs from Canon.

Canon Rebel T5i
Canon Rebel T5i
from $599
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies
Movie continuous focus Movie continuous focus Help
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies

Learn more about the Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel SL1
Canon Rebel SL1
from $399
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons
Movie continuous focus Movie continuous focus Help
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Size Really small Help
Prosumer size 117x91x69 mm

Learn more about the Canon Rebel SL1

Canon EOS Rebel T5
Canon EOS Rebel T5
from $399
Movie continuous focus Movie continuous focus Help
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available Help
197 lenses
Weight Light-weight Help
480 g

Learn more about the Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
from $749
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less 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

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Pentax

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

Pentax K-3
Pentax K-3
from $841
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,216 ISO
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"
Cross type focus points Many cross-type focus points Help
25

Learn more about the Pentax K-3

Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
from $337
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,600 ISO

Learn more about the Pentax K-50

Pentax K-500
Pentax K-500
from $449
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,600 ISO
Shutter lag Barely any delay taking photos Help
162 ms shutter lag

Learn more about the Pentax K-500

Pentax K-S1
Pentax K-S1
from $410
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.63x
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,200 ISO

Learn more about the Pentax K-S1

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