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Best Cameras Under $1000

Nowadays you can get many options when you are looking to buy one of the Best Cameras Under $1000. But many cameras may not be what you want. To cut things to size, there are some small but very advanced compact cameras on the market. These have fixed lenses that are not interchangeable, but still, combine exotic features with often excellent performance. And they do that in a sufficiently small package that you can take with you almost anywhere. And let’s be honest, leave your camera kit at home, because it is too big and too heavy to carry around is the surest way to ‘miss the photo.’

Bridging the gap between all-in-one compact cameras and complete DSLRs, there is a growing number of mirrorless ‘system’ cameras with interchangeable lenses. These are intended to keep the size and weight to a minimum while adding the versatility of being able to mount the ideal lens for shooting at hand. Many enthusiastic photographers still prefer to use a conventional DSLR, with the unadulterated viewfinder image represented by mirrors instead of several pixels. The overall size of the camera housing and the associated lenses is probably larger, but most digital SLR cameras in this price range are still not too bulky or heavy.

In this list, we have compiled ten best cameras under $1000 that you can buy right now. All types are characterized, and for system cameras, with interchangeable lenses, we have opted for ‘kit’ options with a zoom lens in the price of three digits.

Best Cameras Under $1000 List

$500 to $1000 is currently a sweet price spot for camera buyers, and you can not go wrong with my picks. That said, unless there is a particular reason that you need an SLR camera, I would avoid that category and stay with mirrorless models instead. The latter is technically more competent, especially for video, and is lighter and easier to carry, to boot. Our list of Best Cameras Under $1000 consists of 10 best cameras that you can buy right now under the price tag.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

Uncommonly small for a DSLR kit, this Canon is a smart body and lens combo

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,040k pivot touch
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • User level: Intermediate

Not all DSLRs are large and awkward. The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and it’s 18-55 mm lens are small enough to be put in a shopping bag and taken everywhere, whether you go to the coffee shop around the corner or the other side of the world. Despite its small size, the Rebel SL2 has several advanced features. The Dual Pixel AF image sensor provides fast and accurate autofocus in Live View and movie recording modes, both of which work well with the high-resolution variable touch screen.

The shooting mode dial provides quick access to a variety of scene modes and settings for enthusiastic users. A slight disappointment is that the normal autofocus module for use with viewfinder-based shots only has nine AF points, but in general, it is brilliant and one of the best cameras under $1000.

Best Mirrorless Cameras

Pros:

  • Good size for travel and everyday shooting
  • Fully pivoting touchscreen

Cons:

  • Only 9 AF points
  • The pricier 18-135mm kit is more unwieldy
$699.00
in stock
1 new from $699.00
6 used from $588.95
Amazon.com
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Fujifilm X-T100

This recently launched Fujifilm camera has the X-factor

cameras under 1000 dollars

  • Type: CSC
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,040k tilt touch
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,360k
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm X
  • Continuous shooting speed: 6fps
  • Max video resolution: 4k
  • User level: Intermediate

Available in black, dark gray, and champagne gold, the X-T100 is a typically stylish Fujifilm compact system camera with classic retro looks and is one of the best cameras under $1000. It is simple and intuitive to use, but still has a high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a tiltable, three-way touch screen, all for a very competitive price. 4K video recording is limited to a disappointing jerky 15 fps, but an advantage is that you can use this to create a high speed of 4K photos. In combination with the dinky small XC15-45mm lens, this is a high-quality camera kit that is sufficiently compact to be a constant companion.

Pros:

  • Smart design and good build quality
  • High-res viewfinder and tilting touchscreen

Cons:

  • Lacks a few of the X-T2’s finer points
  • The poor 15fps frame rate for 4k video
$499.00
in stock
2 new from $499.00
2 used from $518.00
Amazon.com
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

The least expensive Olympus OM-D kit, it offers particularly good value

  • Type: CSC
  • Sensor: Four Thirds
  • Megapixels: 16.1MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,040k tilt touch
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,360k
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Continuous shooting speed: 8.6fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Intermediate

In the third generation, the most basic edition of Olympus OM-D cameras has nevertheless proved flawless and is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars. It contains many smart functions and controls that fit creative photographers into a compact and easy-to-handle body. The retractable 14-42 mm EZ kit lens is remarkably small and combines a motorized zoom facility that is ideal for photos and movies. 4K UHD capture is available for the latter. Unfortunately, the autofocus system with phase detection of the more up-market E-M1 Mk II is missing. As a result, continuous AF for moving objects maybe a bit disappointing.

Pros:

  • Endearing retro styling
  • Clear electronic viewfinder and tilting screen

Cons:

  • Physically small Four Thirds image sensor
  • Autofocus can struggle to keep up with moving targets
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Nikon D5600

A travel-friendly Nikon DSLR with street smarts

cameras under 1000 dollars

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3.2” 1,037k pivot touch
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • User level: Intermediate

The D5600 is the most exotic of Nikon’s entry-level DSLRs and is one of the best cameras under $1000. It is impressively small and light, especially when combined with the retractable 18-55 mm kit zoom lens. The D5600 lacks the interactive ‘Guide’ shooting mode of Nikon’s more beginners-oriented cameras from the D3xxx series, but thanks to a simple and intuitive interface and control layout, it is still easy to understand.

There is a particularly wide range of scene and effect modes to achieve the desired results with a minimum of fuss and effort. An equally generous range of adjusted settings will appeal to more experienced photographers. The fully articulated touchscreen enables you to photograph from difficult angles and is good for taking selfies. In general, it is a great buy for just about anyone who wants a small, lightweight camera for daily photography and travel photography, which is also a ‘good’ DSLR.

Pros:

  • Fully pivoting touchscreen
  • An advanced 39-point autofocus system

Cons:

  • Image sensor-based autofocus struggles in Live View and movie mode
  • It lacks the beginner-friendly Guide shooting mode of the D3400
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark IV

It’s not the newest Sony RX100, but it’s the best value

  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1.0-type
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,229k, tilt
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,359k
  • Lens mount: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (effective)
  • Continuous shooting speed: 16fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

The styling of the Sony RX-100 Mk IV might look a bit unobtrusive, but there is a lot of high-tech appeal in this compact camera. The permanently attached lens has an effective zoom range of 24-70 mm with a high f/1.8-2.8 aperture value. A stacked image sensor of the 1.0 type ensures excellent image quality and fast data throughput. As such, the camera can take photos at speeds up to 16 fps and delivers beautiful video, with 4K UHD clips of up to 5 minutes and 40x super slow-mo options. The latest edition of the RX100 VI has a larger optical zoom range of 24-200 mm, but costs almost twice as much to buy. You can not beat the Mk IV for added value, thus making it one of the best cameras under $1000.

Pros:

  • Comparatively large 1.0-type sensor
  • Pop-up electronic viewfinder

Cons:

  • No touchscreen
  • The zoom range isn’t overly generous
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

PANASONIC LUMIX ZS200

The latest and greatest ‘Travel Zoom’ compact camera from Panasonic

cameras under $1000

  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1.0-type
  • Megapixels: 20.9MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,240k touch
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,330k
  • Lens mount: 24-360mm f/3.3-6.3 (effective)
  • Continuous shooting speed: 10fps (4K 30fps)
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Intermediate

The advanced yet affordable Panasonic ZS70 was a heavy task to follow, with its 30x zoom range. The newer zS100 and ZS200 are less impressive because of the enormous zoom potential, with 10x and 15x respectively, but the big advantage is that they have a physically larger 1.0-type image sensor. The number of megapixels is about the same, but the new sensors provide much cleaner, more noise-free images at higher ISO settings. Still, the sensor is much smaller than that of APS-C cameras. With advanced controls and excellent quality in all respects, it is a great camera for everyday and travel photography, but leaving out a tilt or turn screen for the touchscreen can be frustrating.

Best DSLR Cameras

Pros:

  • 15x optical zoom in a small camera
  • A large 1.0-type image sensor

Cons:

  • The fixed touchscreen has no tilt or pivot facility
  • Slow f/6.4 aperture at the long end of the zoom range
$597.99
in stock
12 new from $597.99
3 used from $409.00
Amazon.com
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Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Panasonic Lumix G85

A high-performance compact system camera from Panasonic with DSLR-like styling

  • Type: CSC
  • Sensor: Four Thirds
  • Megapixels: 16.0MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,040k pivot touch
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,360k
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Continuous shooting speed: 9fps (40fps elec shutter)
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

With a DSLR-style design with a sturdy handle and a large viewfinder on top, the Lumix G85 is one of the best cameras under $1000. It is well built with a splash-proof and dust-proof, weather-resistant construction. Technical highlights are a 5-axis sensor-shift stabilizer that can work together with optically stabilized lenses.

‘Light Speed AF’ offers fast and accurate autofocus performance, and typical up-market Panasonic extras include focus stacking and ‘Post Focus Simulation,’ with which you can fine-tune the focal point after taking a photo. The fast burst speed of 9 fps is increased to 40 fps if you use the electronic instead of the mechanical shutter. The making and judging of recordings have an excellent viewfinder and a fully articulated touchscreen. The top quality body is a bargain for the price, even more with the 12-60 mm kit lens.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality and handling
  • A clear, high-res electronic viewfinder
  • Fully pivoting touchscreen

Cons:

  • A relatively small 16MP image sensor
$697.99
in stock
13 new from $697.99
3 used from $649.00
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Canon EOS 77D

The most advanced DSLR in the sub $1000 price sector comes from Canon

cameras under $1000

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 1,040k pivot touch
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Continuous shooting speed: 6fps
  • Max video resolution: 1,080p
  • User level: Enthusiast

Unlike most DSLRs at this price, the Canon EOS 77D has an LCD screen on the top, dual controllers (front and rear), and an AF-ON button. However, the up-market attractions have been squeezed into a relatively compact and lightweight scale. Smart features include a Dual Pixel AF image sensor for highly effective Live View and film autofocus (compared to most DSLRs), a variable touchscreen, and a 5-axis sensor-shift stabilizer for movie recording. There is also a 45-point autofocus system for shooting with the standard viewfinder, much better than the 9-point AF of the cheaper Canon 200D. Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth are all built-in, making the 77D a well-connected camera. All such features make it one of the best cameras under $1000.

Pros:

  • Great handling and enthusiast-grade controls
  • Reasonably small and lightweight

Cons:

  • No 4K movie capture
  • 600-shot battery life isn’t great for a DSLR
$589.00
$899.99
in stock
6 used from $589.00
Amazon.com
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Sony Alpha A6300

Sony’s best APS-C format compact system camera for under a grand

  • Type: CSC
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 922k tilt
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,359k
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

Small but with a comfortable and natural feel, thanks to the generously proportioned grip areas, the Sony Alpha A6300 was the flagship of Sony’s APS-C format compact camera until the arrival of the newer A6500 and still, it is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars. The new model is bursting our price limit, but the A6300 is still a desirable option, with a super-fast autofocus system, 4K video recording, and sumptuous image quality.

The 16-50 mm PZ (Power Zoom) kit lens is a good match for the body, although some of the other Sony E-mount lenses on such a slim camera seem relatively large. The 16-50 mm lens also has optical image stabilization. That is good news because, unlike the newer A6500, the A6300 has no stabilizer for switching sensors.

Pros:

  • Conveniently compact build
  • Fast autofocus is good for tracking

Cons:

  • Lacks the newer A6500’s image stabilizer
  • Some Sony lenses are large compared with the body
$1,299.95
in stock
2 new from $1,299.95
18 used from $699.99
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Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am

Sony Alpha A7

This Sony Alpha has become a legend in its lifetime

cameras under $1000

  • Type: CSC
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 24.3MP
  • Screen: 3.0” 922k tilt
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 2,359k
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: 1,080p
  • User level: Enthusiast

True revolutionaries, the Sony A7 and A7R, were the world’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. They were announced at the end of 2013, and it takes Canon and Nikon five years to catch up. Perhaps even more striking is that the A7 is the only full-frame camera of any kind on the market that fits our limit of $1000, complete with a 28-70 mm kit lens. A modern classic, the A7 is a pleasure to use with its high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a high-tilting tiltable screen. It lacks the built-in stabilization of the Mk II editions of the camera, while the A7R with its higher number of megapixels falls outside the price range. The original A7, however, is one of the best cameras under $1000.

Pros:

  • Full-frame image sensor
  • Excellent all-around performance

Cons:

  • No 4K video capture
  • No built-in stabilizer
$624.99
in stock
2 new from $1,398.00
16 used from $624.99
Amazon.com
Last updated on December 1, 2020 9:33 am
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