Best Newbie DSLR Cameras 2019: 5 Inexpensive DSLRs Perfect for New Users

Ready to step up from your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera to something more powerful? You've landed in the right place: these are the best beginner DSLRs you can buy right now in 2019.

Entry-level, beginner DSLRs are a natural progression when you feel like you've outgrown your point-and-shoot compact camera or are no longer comfortable with the shots you get from your smartphone.

With so much competition between Canon and Nikon in this market segment, and a raft of old models and new arrivals pitted against each other, it's possible that this will be an opportunity for one or both manufacturers to push prices to new lows.

DSLRs for beginners deliver a big step up in image quality on a compact camera or smartphone. They may have the same number of megapixels, but the size of the DSLR's record-level sensor is physically much larger, providing superior results with more detail and lower light.

Plus, you get a lot of manual control over things like shutter speed and aperture, along with the ability to change lenses for whatever you're shooting. Don't worry if you still find your feet here as you can let the camera do all the hard work first and slowly take more control as and when you feel more comfortable all the time benefit from better image quality.

You may also want to consider mirrorless cameras as an alternative. If so, you will find in our video above or vs Mirrorless DSLRs: 10 Key Differences the guide is very helpful. Or, if you don't know which camera you need, then read our easy-to-follow guide for camera type: which camera should i buy?

Still install on DSLR? We believe that the best DSLR for beginners is the Nikon D3500. It's small, light, and cheap, but manages to deliver a much better user experience than we'd typically get at this level, with a helpful on-board instruction manual to show you how to get the most out of the camera in an easy-to-understand way. Handling is excellent and the sensor produces very good shots, while 5 frames of continuous shooting and full manual control will give you some growing room.

Should you buy a mirrorless camera for a DSLR? Watch our video guide below to learn more:

Entry level DSLR bundle

If you're buying your first DSLR, it makes sense to buy it as a kit, which usually includes a camera body with an 18-55mm lens. Often referred to as a 'kit' lens, this covers a fairly wide zoom range, perfect for everything from landscapes to portraits - but that's just the beginning.

Word despite the warnings. Take a close look and manufacturers often offer two types of lens in the kit, one with image stabilization and one without. This is usually not a very big difference in price, so make sure to go with lens image stabilization as it will make it easier for sharper images at slow shutter speeds.

These lenses are more than enough to get you started, but the main advantage of DSLRs over compact cameras is that you can add them to your kit with additional lenses. For instance, wide angle and telephoto zoom lenses as well as high quality macro fit. You can also add a flash and other accessories to help you make the most of whatever type of photography you are.

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The best entry-level DSLRs 2019 at a glance

  1. Nikon D3500
  2. Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D
  3. Nikon D5600
  4. Canon Rebel EOS T7/ 2000D / EOS 1500D
  5. Canon Rebel EOS Model SL3 / EOS 250D / EOS 200D with Mark IIpty List

Best mirrorless camera: Canon EOS M50

We'll take on the best DSLRs for beginners in a second, but before we do, we just wanted to highlight the mirrorless option, which has several advantages. The EOS M50 is very heavily stylized as a DSLR, but is significantly smaller and has an excellent electronic viewfinder, making it particularly well suited for use in low light conditions. It shoots 4K video and images at up to 10fps, much faster than what we get in similar-level DSLRs, and the Dual Pixel CMOS AF C system means it can focus smoothly and timely through all sorts of situations. There aren't too many lens options around right now, but you can use EF lenses though with an adapter. If you want something a little smaller than your average DSLR, this is well worth a look.

  • Read our in-depth Canon EOS M50 comment

The best DSLRs for beginners in 2019

You don't have to spend huge sums on a DSLR to get what you need for excellent image quality and work with a huge variety of lenses. In fact, you can often save a lot of cash if you're happy to go for a slightly older model. Manufacturers often keep them as new DSLRs to come, to give users the choice between the latest technology and the best value. Here we have listed the best cheap DSLRs, from recent arrivals to the top favorites.

Nikon D3500

Nikon may not have announced any new entry-level DSLRs for 2019, but the D3500 remains a great option for those new to photography. It picks up where the D3400 left off, but with a few added benefits. Unlike power-hungry mirrorless models, this camera's main selling point is battery life. You can keep going for 1,550 images between charges, which is way ahead of most other DSLRs, and the 24MP sensor delivers excellent image quality. Nikon has also revised the body and control scheme, not only to make it a prettier pen, but easier to use, and the user manual takes the first time the user by the hand and guides them through all the key features in a way that makes everything easy to understand. We love it - and if you're just starting out, I think you will too.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D3500 comment

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / Canon EOS 800D

The Rebel EOS T7i (known as the EOS 800D outside the US) still sits at the top of Canon's entry-level EOS DSLR series range, despite a few years now. Sporting a 24.2 MP sensor that delivers improved high ISOs over earlier models, the rebel T7i's autofocus also gets a boost, now with a 45-point array, backed up by an excellent video-watch autofocus system. There is also a newly designed GUI that will certainly make this camera even more attractive to new users, although if you need 4K video then you might be better off looking at the EOS Rebel SL3/250D EOS model (see below) or the mirrorless model.

  • Read our in-depth Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D commentary
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Nikon D5600

Here is another model that still holds its own against the growth of mirrorless. The D5600 is a step up from the D3000-series sprinkler, with stronger features to compete with the likes of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D (position 3). Key advantages over the D3400 and D3500 include a large LCD screen that not only flips, but rotates all the way around to face the front, but also responds to touch, along with a more advanced autofocus system, with Wi-Fi and a healthy range of extra controls inside . Of course, you pay a little more for this perk, but if you need a little more growing space it makes sense to go for the D5600 so it will stay with you for years to come.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D5600 comment

Canon EOS Rebel T7 / Canon EOS 2000D

It's one of the cheapest DSLRs in Canon's current lineup, which also makes it a very cost effective way to access an endless range of lenses, flashes and other accessories. Its low price tag means it understandably lacks some of the gimmicks of its big brothers - flip-out LCD, 4K video and so on - but there's still a very good level of physical control on offer. And, most importantly, the image quality from the 24MP sensor is the sound. It's very heavily designed with the target audience in mind, with a guide feature to help you understand everything, and battery life is also better than many mirrorless models in this price range - still a key selling point for DSLRs. There's Wi-Fi and NFC and full HD video recording on the spec, making it well-rounded for the first time.

  • Read our in-depth Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D commentary

Canon EOS Rebel SL3/EOS 250D

The Rebel EOS model SL3, also known as the Canon EOS 250D, is the latest entry-level arrival on this list - indeed it is one of the few models reported in 2019. As its name suggests, it picks up where the Rebel Option SL2 (EOS Cloth 200D) left off by adding a fresh processor and 4K video recording to a collection of small additions. The reasons may be a lot of competition from mirrorless right now, but if you love traditional DSLR processing - cameras including an optical viewfinder - the 250D is one of the most attractive models available right now.

We will also consider…

None of the above take your fancy? Here is another option to consider.

The EOS 77D is a slightly more advanced DSLR, and it provides a few extra treats for those who feel like they can grow from more basic models to long ones. While we weren't overly excited at the time of its release, the fact that it has spent some time on the market means it can be purchased at a much more pleasant price tag. On top of the Bone EOS 800D, there's a top-panel LCD screen that gives you shooting options at a glance, as well as two control dials to adjust settings faster. You also get some extras inside like ball and interval timers. If you can spend an EOS 80D camera that sits just about that, even better - otherwise, it'll be a bit more capable than its more basic siblings.

  • Read our in-depth Canon EOS 77D comment

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