Best Camera Under 1000

Best Camera Under 1000

Are you a beginning photographer who is looking for the best camera under 1000 dollars? Look through these 10 DSLR and mirrorless cameras for $1000 that offer more advanced shooting features and user-friendly camera controls than cheap cameras.

10 Best Cameras Under 1000

Top 3 Best Cameras Under $1000

These days, cameras have become more affordable. Even famous brands like Nikon, Canon, Sony, or Pentax have an under-thousand DSLR or mirrorless camera in their line of cameras. You may be surprised, but these cheap cameras offer built-in Wi-Fi, flip-out screens, interchangeable lenses, and even decent video quality. It means you don’t have to waste thousands of dollars on the professional camera if all you need is shooting experience. Simply pick the best camera under 1000 from my list of 10 cameras below.

1. Sony Alpha 7 II

sony alpha 7 ii camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Excellent IS for all lenses
  • Better handling
  • Full-frame image sensor capable of 24MP photos
  • Only compatible with a few costly lenses
  • Short battery life

The Alpha 7 II is a top-rated camera that pushes the whole line of Sony’s full-frame devices to a new level. Notably, this is the only model from this series that features an in-body IS technology, which offers flawless performance. Its ergonomic body is easy to hold even during durable photo shoots. Besides, both still and video shooters will benefit from the camera’s rich toolset.

If compared with other full framers, Alpha 7 II’s high ISO image quality is worse. The same concerns raw files, meanwhile the noise in JPEGs is aggressively reduced.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar T FE ZA

With the versatile 35mm focal length and compact size, it works well. Aberration is minimized by 3 double-sided aspherical elements. It gives a juicy contrast and helps maintain resolution up until the aperture borders.

sony alpha 7 ii camera sample Photo by Sony Alpha 7 II

2. Fujifilm X-T20

fujifilm xt20 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Detailed shots
  • Sensor buttons
  • Wonderful handling
  • Advanced AF system
  • Film simulation modes
  • Limited touchscreen control
  • EVF magnification
  • Short battery life

This is one of the best Fujifilm cameras in this price range. There is some plastic but in the right places. The detailization is stunning even at a higher sensitivity thanks to the X-Trans CMOS III sensor. Colors are pleasing and details are satisfactory.

  • View more digital cameras under 200 dollars that you may use for travel photography or buy as a gift for children or beginning photographers.

The model can boast of sufficient dynamic range, which makes it possible to recover lost details while photo editing. I can easily get details in shadows in JPEG so with RAW files the results will be even more impressive. I didn’t expect what came out of this little mirrorless camera to be so good. Fuji has created just this magic with their JPGs that others only dream about.

Recommended camera lens:

Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R

This lens ensures awesome clarity while unique design permits taking photos with delicate bokeh. There are also ways to reduce aberration while taking close-ups or working in infinity modes.

fujifilm xt20 camera sample Photo by Fujifilm X-T20

3. Nikon D5600

nikon d5600 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Great photo quality
  • Convenient handgrip
  • Wonderful autofocus system
  • Touchscreen interface
  • SnapBridge needs work
  • Only 1080p video

This model enables you to take vibrant JPEG and get the best out of the dynamic range with the fine-tuned Active D-Lighting system. The RAW files can stand high critics. When the lighting was good, the camera gave a wide dynamic range, and when it wasn’t, it successfully suppressed excessive noise.

The low-ISO shots are clean, but at the 800 value, some noise is noticeable in shadow areas. It remains negligible until 6400+ ISO values, but then you will see luminance and chroma noise.

It can be called the best Nikon camera under $1000 thanks to its dynamic range. Shooting RAW at lower ISO you can get an astonishing amount of detail in shadow areas. Being great for photography, it, unfortunately, won’t do well for video recording. But for still photography, this is certainly the best DSLR under 1000.

Recommended camera lens:

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

It will perform great in dim surroundings with the fast f/1.8 maximum aperture and will blur the background softly. The classic angle looks realistic.

nikon d5600 camera sample Photo by Nikon D5600

4. Sony Alpha A6300

sony alpha a6300 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Wonderful JPEG quality
  • Decent viewfinder
  • Cool AF system
  • 4K video recording
  • Underpowered LCD by default
  • Display is not touch-sensitive
  • No built-in RAW files processing

The sensor of this professional camera is pretty good, but the performance can be improved with the proper lens. Raw files taken at higher ISO have excellent details. With JPEG, though, detailization starts failing somewhat at ISO 6400, gradually worsening. The viewfinder is a dream, and the screen can be tilted up or down for greater convenience.

  • For recording good videos while traveling, choose one of these inexpensive action cameras under 100 dollars. Start recording breathtaking videos from your trips and extreme sport events.

The camera can record high-quality XAVC S 4K videos. Capture in Full HD is up to 120fps and with that, you can even experiment with slow-motion. This model can boast of many useful settings for focus and sensitivity, 3.5mm external mic jack, and S-Log picture profile support. If you’re searching for the best camera for 1000, I highly recommend considering this model. Focusing mechanisms are definitely a strong advantage that can track moving objects or be set to capture different elements.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS

The movements of this robust metal lens are smooth and noiseless. It is perfect to shoot both photos and videos. Between f/4 and f/5.6 it produces remarkably sharp shots.

sony alpha photo a6300 camera sample Photo by Sony Alpha A6300

5. Nikon CoolPix P950

nikon coolpix p950 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • 83x optical zoom
  • Excellent IS technology
  • Manual controls
  • Supports RAW pics and 4K videos
  • AF cannot catch small and fast-moving subjects
  • LCD lacks touch support
  • Bulkier and heavier than rivals

The Nikon CoolPix P950 is an optimal solution for people who are just making strides in the photography industry. This is a bridge camera, meaning that it is easy to use like point-and-shoot devices and its toolkit contains features of DSLRs. The P950 model is delivered with a fixed telephoto lens that provides an unprecedented 83x optical zoom.

Although a 16MP APS-C sensor is not so good, the quality of shots is much better if compared to phone cameras. Besides, such parameters are more than enough for amateurs who are just learning to take pro pics. The ability to record excellent smooth 4K video at 30 fps is another advantage for filmmakers and other creators.

nikon coolpix p950 camera sample Photo by Nikon CoolPix P950

6. Canon Rebel T6i

canon rebel t6i camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Excellent ergonomics of the touch screen and button/dial
  • Integrated Wi-Fi and NFC modules
  • Articulating screen
  • Flicker detection
  • Great autofocus system (19 points)
  • Limited viewfinder coverage (95%)
  • Autofocus function should be faster

If you’re trying to find the best camera under 1000 with many interesting features, you should definitely pay attention to this camera. Photographs receive natural colors thanks to a 24-megapixel sensor, which has the function of improved recognition of the light space. This is a cheap Canon camera that comes with a scene analysis system and quickly adapts to poor lighting conditions and dynamic scenes.

This device can also boast built-in Wi-Fi, which allows me to upload materials to compatible devices without connecting additional cables or memory cards. Most professionals have a very negative attitude towards any additional accessories as, for example, data cords. This often brings confusion and work inconvenience. That is why, if your budget is limited and you are searching for best DSLR under 1000, Canon EOS Rebel T6i is the top choice for high-quality shooting.

Recommended camera lens:

Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD

This lens offers inexpensive super zoom for Nikon, Sony and Canon cropped SLR cameras. It is interesting with a very large and versatile set of focal lengths, good stabilizer, lightness and low price.

canon rebel t6i camera sample Photo by Canon Rebel T6i


olympus om d e m5 mark ii camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Excellent IS system
  • Reliable weather sealing
  • Versatile raw images
  • Weatherproof body
  • Short battery life
  • Hand grip is too small

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II is a compact and lightweight camera designed for photographers who are often on the go. No matter whether you are heading to a big city or a small village, or some remote spots, this device will be your perfect companion. It offers multiple pro parameters for taking fantastic pictures while traveling or in other shooting scenarios.

With such options as Pro capture, live composite, focus stacking, and anti-flicker shooting, even newcomers will photograph like professionals. Besides, the camera’s compatibility with a vast range of accessories allows you to build wonderful setups without trouble.

Recommended camera lens:

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8

If you want to get photos with a blurred background and bright contrasts, then this lens is the most suitable option. After all, thanks to the fast aperture and incredible focusing, the pictures look excellent.

olympus om d e m5 mark ii camera sample Photo by OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 Mark II

8. Pentax K-70

pentax k70 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Fantastic quality of still images
  • Weathertight
  • Cutting-edge lowlight autofocus
  • Optical viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • Slow kit lens
  • Poor performance of continuous AF in videos
  • Outdated AF system

The Pentax K-70 is the most recent mid-level DSLR from Pentax, released in 2016 to substitute its predecessor (K-50). It features a classic design but offers a rich set of improved functions that are absent from any other competitive camera model in this price range.

A weatherproof body, a faster shutter speed, a high-res multi-shot mode, as well as VF with 100% coverage are among the major strengths of this model. Notably, the manufacturer added some goodies from the flagship K-1 to this camera. All these advantages allow including K-70 into the SLR segment of highly-functional but affordable shooting devices.

Recommended camera lens:

Pentax HD DA 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE

The lens has many technical advantages that provide high contrast, as well as clear and balanced shots. Among the features, there are a unique Pentax HD coating, ultra-low dispersion of glass, and aspherical elements.

pentax k70 camera sample Photo by Pentax K-70

9. Nikon Z50

nikon z50 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • 3-months warranty
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology
  • 209-point hybrid AF system
  • A native ISO range of 100 to 51,200
  • Resolution is not impressive
  • Handling

Nikon Z 50 delivers great photos thanks to a set of top-notch parameters. Thanks to Nikon's wide Z mount, the large 20.9-megapixel DX-format sensor captures more light across the frame. It means that the resulting images feature even minor details. No matter whether you are shooting during the day or at night, your pictures or videos will feature bright and vibrant colors.

Z50 model can produce crisp images and 4K videos providing photographers with overall freedom in their creative work. The hybrid autofocus system is fast, accurate, and offers smooth performance. The AF points on the sensor cover approximately 90% of the frame in horizontal and vertical directions, ensuring edge-to-edge sharpness. The camera’s top-notch focusing technology will manage to catch your subject regardless of its position.

Recommended camera lens:

Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

If you are looking for a versatile zoom for capturing the beauty of breathtaking scenery, this model is what you need. It is great for shooting adorable landscapes, and amazing buildings, or taking amazing urban pics.

nikon z50 camera sample Photo by Nikon Z50

10. Canon EOS M50

canon eos m50 camera under 1000 dollars View Prices on Amazon
  • Updated Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus
  • Amazing colors, crisp details
  • Super picture quality
  • Vari-angle LCD with touch support
  • 4K video has a 1.6x crop
  • Software for this camera requires improvements

EOS M50 will become a perfect companion in all your adventures. This is the first mirrorless Canon camera that supports 4K shooting. The model is fitted with a vari-angle LCD and the latest Canon DIGIC 8 image processor.

Canon EOS M50 is built using the latest technology and offers the quality of a digital SLR in a sleek body. This model boasts a compact design, which makes it perfect for avid adventurers and photographers who are always on the go. The sensitive, ultra-fast Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system allows photographers to capture high-resolution images and record Full HD movies with depth-of-field control with ease.

Benefit from it to take shots with well-defined objects against beautifully blurred backgrounds.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 STM

When paired with EF-M 55–200mm f/4.5–6.3 IS STM, any camera from the EOS M series will amaze you with its improved performance. Its extended zoom range is great for taking architecture shots, portraits, and more. Fitted with a cutting-edge 5-group optical system and top-rated telephoto abilities, this compact lens ensures great image quality.

canon eos m50 camera sample Photo by Canon EOS M50

The List of 10 Best Cameras Under 1000

Image Camera Features  
Sony Alpha A7
Sony Alpha 7 II
  • 24.3 MP
  • CMOS
Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-T20
  • 24.3 MP
  • CMOS
Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
Sony Alpha A6300
Sony Alpha A6300
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
nikon coolpix p950 image
Nikon CoolPix P950
  • 16 MP
  • CMOS
Canon Rebel T6i
Canon Rebel T6i
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
olympus om d e m5 mark ii image
  • 16 MP
  • CMOS
pentax k70 image
Pentax K-70
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
nikon z50 image
Nikon Z50
  • 20.9 MP
  • CMOS
canon eos m50 image
Canon EOS M50
  • 24.1 MP
  • CMOS

How to Choose the Best Camera Under 1000

To correctly approach a choice of the best mirrorless camera for beginners, it is vital to answer three basic questions. Are you looking for a camera with a fixed or interchangeable lens? Should the camera you need be mirrorless or DSLR? What sensor size do you need – APS-C, full-frame, Micro 4/3 or smaller?

1. Weight

If you travel a lot or like to take various street photos, then choose among small-sized models produced with a fixed lens.

2. Focus

DSLR cameras have OVF, and top speed focusing compared to mirrorless competitors. Thus, they are suitable for sports events and wildlife shooting. However, it is necessary to take into account the weight of the camera, as DSLRs are rather heavy and bulky.

3. Quality

If your goal is to record high-quality videos, for example, during your travels, then mirrorless cameras will be an ideal option. Such well-known world brands as Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Canon have diverse models in the middle price category. Also, an additional advantage will be the compactness of such a device, since when using the so-called small pancake lenses, their size is quite small.

4. Sensor

If you plan to take portraits often, shoot a video, or take artistic photos, then you need a camera with a large sensor. Thus, you can separate an object or blur the background. In this case, opt for devices with APS-C.

5. Additional Functions

Remember that you should not chase the number of MP; here you should take into account the size and the type of sensor, as well as a processor that is installed by the manufacturer.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more