Best DSLR Cameras Under 500 (Review) In 2020

The best DSLR cameras under 500 listed below have been selected by Demystifying Digital because of their relevance to date, usability and use of the best manufacturers.

So, you may be wondering which DSLR camera under $500 takes photos and videos as expensive?

Many people think about their budget before buying a camera. And there are lots of important factors to consider.

If you do not want to engage in professional photography or just want to buy a camera for photographing your family, then there is little point in buying an expensive camera. However, even among cheap cameras, it’s hard to find the best DSLR camera under 500 and we will help you.

Not sure where to start? Read on for our top picks for the best digital SLR cameras under $500.

The Best DSLR Camera Under 500

Everyone has different reasons for buying a DSLR camera, and this is where we come into play. Demystifying Digital has reviewed the top 2 best DSLR cameras under 500 dollars on the market and has given you a buyer’s guide to help you out. Here they are:

1. Sony Alpha SLT-A55 Best DSLR Camera Under 500

Until the introduction of Sony Alpha SLT-A33 and SLT-A55 cameras, all SLR cameras on the market used the design proposed back in the forties of the XX century and improved after the invention of autofocus.

Now this is, of course, an old model, but thanks to this

When the camera went on sale, it was a new generation, a real revolutionary breakthrough. Now this DSLR camera under $500 is more suitable for photography enthusiasts, but even in 2020, the Alpha SLT-A55 shows itself worthy.

Yes, you will not say that the control of this camera is quick, but you can access most of the basic functions with one click. ISO, white balance, shutter mode – their values ​​can be changed using the buttons on the camera body.

The camera has a panorama gluing mode. You simply press the shutter button and steer the camera in the indicated direction. The quality of the glue is quite high. The only thing to keep in mind is limiting the shutter speed. There will be problems with shooting in the dark. And during the day and even in the evening, the camera shoots panoramas perfectly.

It is the best DSLR camera under 500 which is equipped with a built-in GPS module. A very convenient thing when traveling. Then you can always determine where exactly this or that picture was taken.

The display has auto-brightness control. Not the most useless feature: when shooting at dusk, the display will not dazzle you.

Both the viewfinder and the display can turn on the level indication. It shows the tilt of the camera in two planes: longitudinal and transverse.

The camera can record video in AVCHD 1080i format with a frequency of 50/60 frames / s (in fact, the recording is initially carried out with progressive scan, and only then is interpreted as interlaced for better compatibility with HDTV). It is also possible to record in MP4 format with a resolution of 1440×1080.

A nice feature of shooting in AVCHD format is that the camera can shoot a video for up to 29 minutes with the stabilizer turned off and up to 9 minutes when turned on, splitting the movie into 2 GB files, but without interrupting recording. In the case of recording in MP4, the recording will be stopped when the file size approaches 2 GB. This is due to restrictions imposed by the file system of memory cards.

Of the inconveniences, I would like to note the impossibility of quickly switching between JPEG and RAW (each time you have to climb into the main menu). Indeed, when shooting in JPEG, the camera has at least two interesting functions – HDR shooting and shooting a series of images to reduce noise. But even this does not stop us from calling the Sony SLT-A55 one of the best DSLR cameras under $ 500.

2. Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera Under 500

Want the best DSLR camera under 500 for beginners? Look no further than Nikon D5600.

It is an entry-level SLR camera that was released in 2016. However, this camera can be considered relevant, at least as the best DSLR camera under 500 dollars.

Inside, an APS-C format matrix is ​​installed with a resolution of 24 megapixels and without an anti-muir filter. A sensitivity range from 100 to 25600 ISO. The sensor has long established itself, as it was installed in the D5300 and D5500. Photos are obtained of very good quality: nice colors, wide dynamic range.

Somewhere starting from 1000 ISO on JPEG, you can see an unpleasant color noise, and as the sensitivity increases, it will grow, well, and the detail will drop accordingly, but not critical. Especially if you process RAW, you can get a very good picture.

The video capabilities of the D5600 are not very large, but it’s quite possible to start learning how to shoot with this camera. Yes, there is no 4K, no matrix image stabilization, and even no headphone output. But the camera can record FullHD video at up to 60 frames per second, and at the same time, the picture has a juicy color gamut.

The battery on the camera was very pleased. It holds for a very long time, for a full day of filming, it will be enough. I managed to shoot about 800 RAW + JPEG images and another 70 short pieces of video on one battery charge.

It is the best entry-level DSLR camera under 500. It has an up-to-date 24-megapixel sensor with a wide dynamic range and good work at high ISO values, it is possible to shoot FullHD video at 50 and 60 frames per second, a rotary touch screen and a conveniently compact body.

But if you just choose the options for buying the first camera, consider that contrasting autofocus does not work in the best way and you need to focus manually.

3. Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera Under 500

The housing of the Nikon D3400 is made of high-quality plastic, and the assembly does not cause any disappointment, because it does not stagger, slip, and there are no gaps or cracks. In most cases, it is inconvenient to hold a small camera in your hands, because the case is “studded” with buttons, and the photographer simply has nothing to grip on to. 

The Nikon D3400 does not have such a problem, where the non-slip rubber pads further enhance grip. They can be regarded as a kind of luxury for devices of this class. The screen measures diagonally 3 inches, and offers a resolution of 921,000 pixels – not a bad spec. The display is covered with a fairly thin protective plastic, whose scratch resistance is not quite clear. I would suggest sticking a protective film on it, but the viewing angles and color reproduction are good. 

Even at extreme viewing angles, the colors on the screen are not distorted, and the information is easy to read. The main component of the camera is the image sensor, where the Nikon D3400 is equipped with a 24-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor. Like Nikon’s more advanced cameras, there is no anti-fog filter, which helps it achieve increased image sharpness.

The best DSLR camera under 500 provides a burst speed of 5 frames per second, which is enough to solve most reporting problems. Autofocus operation during serial shooting does not cause any complaints, but serial shooting is complicated by the fact that the device has a very small buffer. It was possible to make a series of 9 frames in RAW format and 85 frames in Fine quality JPEG format without a drop in shooting speed on a fast UHS-I standard card. 

Long series, especially when shooting in RAW format does not result in any lags. The Nikon D3400 allows you to record video in Full HD resolution (1920×1080 pixels) with a frequency of 60 frames per second. An important nuance when recording video in maximum quality (Full HD at 60 frames per second) is that crop mode is activated. 

The picture is not written from the entire area of ​​the frame, but only from its central part. Cropping is quite insignificant, and such a solution can often be found in budget technology. The only drawback is that when using wide-angle optics, the viewing angle is lost. This will occur when shooting video in a cramped room or when you want to capture some kind of landscape. A wider video recording area is only possible when shooting in Full HD resolution at 30 frames per second.

4. Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Under 500

The Rebel T6 is not a major upgrade from its predecessor – the EOS Rebel T5 but does come with some distinct features. It seems that Canon has again played relatively safely in this regard with the specifications, which helps to keep the camera accessible to entry-level customers. The sensor is the same as the EOS Rebel T5 with 18 million pixels, and the processor receives a modest upgrade to DIGIC 4+ (Rebel T5 had standard DIGIC 4). However, given that the latest Canon processor is DIGIC 7, which is now 4+ seems like pretty old technology.

Some of the other features of the Canon EOS Rebel T6 are the same as in the Rebel T5. It has the same modest 9-point AF system, with one central transverse (more sensitive) point. There is also an optical viewfinder with a coverage of 95% – while it does not seem like you are missing a lot, you can find unwanted elements crawling around the edge of the picture when viewing images.

The camera’s sensitivity level remains at ISO100-6,400, and is expandable up to 12,800, but with a slightly better processor, a modest improvement in low light performance is promised by the company. However, the ISO range now looks rather limited compared to other newer competitors. One of the features that the update saw is the screen. The best DSLR camera under 500 is appointed with a three-inch LCD display with a resolution of 920 thousand points, while the T5 has only 460 thousand points. This update should make viewing images and using the menu more enjoyable.

A new header feature for the EOS Rebel T6 is the inclusion of built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connections. This allows you to control the camera from a connected device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and you can send images from the camera to your devices for quick access to the Internet. As with the T5, the Rebel T6 offers video recording Full HD (1920 x 1080), and you can manually control the video at a frame rate of 30, 25 and 24 frames per second. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but this camera doesn’t offer 4K shooting, which is understandable for a camera in the price range.

5. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR Camera Under 500

Like its rival Nikon, Canon has now equipped many of its SLR cameras with 24-megapixel sensors, an APS-c sensor, and the EOS Rebel SL3 is the last recipient. This is supposed to be the same sensor used in the previous Rebel SL2, and it comes with a similar Dual Pixel CMOS AF system built into it.

This system uses pixels in the sensor to perform phase-detection autofocus, and that is how DSLRs usually focus on when using the viewfinder. With this on the sensor, it allows the Rebel SL3 to quickly focus when using real-time viewing or when capturing video – something we will cover in more detail later.

The Best DSLR camera under 500 is equipped with the same EF mount that has been used for a long time in Canon EOS SLR cameras, which allows the use of EF-S and EF lenses. Depending on the type of optics you choose, the size of the camera’s sensor means your lens is subject to a 1.6x crop factor. Lenses with their own image stabilization (IS) systems are especially desirable, given the lack of an equivalent system based on sensors inside the camera itself.

This Best digital camera can first take pictures with a decent 5 frames per second, which is no different from Rebel SL2, despite the presence of a newer DIGIC processing processor. This engine, however, supports 4K video capture up to 24p, although there are a number of limitations.

For example, there is no other frame rate that can be selected when capturing 4K frames. The crop factor also affects the video, which means that you lose a little wide-angle view of your lenses when you start recording, although this is not a problem with video recording Full HD or Standard HD. You also cannot use the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, unless you are satisfied with the resolution up to Full HD. (You can still use autofocus when recording video 4K, it’s just less smooth.)

6. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera Under 500

The Rebel T7 is a compact camera designed to fit in as small as possible in a small and convenient case. The screen facing up is missing, so all camera settings will be displayed on the rear panel of the camera on a fixed LCD. The only significant difference between the EOS Rebel T7 and the EOS Rebel T6 is the sensor.

While Canon in its eighth incarnation is a DIGIC processor with the arrival of the DIGIC 8 in the EOS M50, the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D works with DIGIC 4+, which was implemented on the EOS Rebel T6. Other heading features remain unchanged such as the modest 9-point autofocus system remains in the EOS Rebel T7 (without any signs of Canon’s brilliant two-level CMOS AF system for lively focus in Live View mode), and the 3.0-inch display with flash capabilities.

There is also a 95% optical viewfinder (fairly standard for entry-level DSLRs) – although you may not notice this much, you should pay special attention to the edges of the frame when viewing images. Wi-Fi and NFC connections also remain the same, but there is no Bluetooth Low Energy option like the similar EOS Rebel T7i.

We have not seen 4K video capture on most new Canon DSLR releases, with the exception of the EOS 5D Mark IV, so it’s not surprising not to find 4K on the EOS Rebel T7. The white balance system on the Rebel T7 works well, and it’s nice to see the addition of the automatic white balance mode in Ambience Priority mode, which is designed to help maintain a warmer look in frames that can sometimes be lost.

Can Canon EOS Rebel T7 answer the question: “What is the best DSLR camera for beginners?” We are sure that’s a Yes, because this camera is very easy to operate, and has an attractive price, especially given its rich set of features.

7. Sony Alpha a68 DSLR Camera Under 500

At first glance, Sony’s SLR makes a good impression. The case weighing 679 grams fits well in the hand, and it has the most important hardware buttons (for example, to change the ISO value), and on the right “shoulder” of the camera is an orange-lit upper display that shows the current settings, while consuming a less energy.

Good points of this best DSLR camera under 500 Alpha a68 receives primarily for its image quality, where the aps-c sensor with a high resolution of 24 megapixels allows you to create photos at a professional level. The images are sharp, low noise and well detailed at up to ISO 3200. In this regard, the A68 camera surpasses even the twice as expensive rival Canon EOS 80D with identical resolution.

The light sensitivity between ISO 6400 and 25 600 can also be used in practice. The flaws in the image will be insignificant, and for printing in the classic size 10x 15 almost imperceptible. Autofocus also makes a very good impression. In daylight as well as in low light it rings in at 79 AF points, where 15 of those are cross-shaped, reacts quickly enough, and are suitable for creating snapshots. For this, the best DSLR camera receives positive ratings.

The hinged display on the rear panel is also unlikely to be admired, because it diagonally measures only 2.7 inches, and the resolution is roughly 460,000 subpixels, which is far from the most modern characteristics and will not please you either during photography or video recording.

The battery impressed us a little more, given that it renders a maximum of 880 pictures and 226 minutes of video per charge. For an SLT camera, the screen of which should consume a lot of energy, this is a very decent result, but perhaps the matter is in the low resolution of the display.

8. Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera Under 500

One of the main reasons why you should start familiarizing yourself with digital SLR cameras with Canon is the quality of the whale lens that comes with the camera. The 1200D comes complete with a new 18-55mm f / 3.5-f / 5.6 lens equipped with the latest image stabilization system.

Moreover, the whale lens is only the first plus, since the main advantage is the huge number of Canon lenses available to you starting from new ones at a reasonable price to high-quality and inexpensive ones. Another point due to which the 1200D looks more perfect compared to its predecessor is the improvement of the camera matrix. As mentioned above, the model is equipped with a new 18-megapixel matrix based on a 12.2-megapixel counter 1100D. 

In the best DSLR camera under 500, the processor produces a firing rate of about 3 frames per second, with a continuous burst duration of about 69 frames when shooting in JPEG mode. When shooting in RAW mode, the burst length is reduced to only 6 frames. Video recording is another area where the 1200D excels in terms of performance, as this best DSLR camera is capable of shooting video with a resolution of 1080p at a speed of 30, 25 or 24 frames per second, while it is possible to take full-size photos during video recording.

Unfortunately, as we noted earlier, the 1200D is not equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi module. However, using Eye-Fi memory cards, it’s possible to wirelessly transfer images using a smartphone, and a dedicated Canon application. The weight of the 1200D camera with the battery and memory card installed is 480 grams, which is 100 grams lighter than the EOS 700D, and even 15 grams lighter than its predecessor, the EOS 1100D. 

This weight reduction has become available thanks to a small reduction in the size of the camera, although in reality, the EOS 1200D is very similar to its predecessor. As you might have guessed, with such minor changes in the design of the case, the camera handles remained the same, so that they just like the predecessor can provide a convenient and reliable grip.

9. Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera Under 500

The main feature of the Canon EOS 100D is that it is a compact camera. We can say for sure that the Canon 100D is the lightest SLR camera with an APS-c sensor (at least in the spring of 2014, when this review was written). With a battery and a memory card, its weight is only 407 grams. If you pull out all the excess components, then the weight will be equal to 370 grams.

Personally, I am very attracted to the super-light SLR camera with a large matrix (crop factor 1.6) for carrying on trips, with friends, around the city and in general for every day use. And the small case of the camera looks like an advanced ‘soap dish’, rather than a SLR camera. The smaller the size of the camera, the less you will attract the attention of others.

The camera can be very easily and pleasantly controlled using a touch screen that supports multi-touch, and this is no more complicated than a modern smartphone i.e. one with a 3-inch display with 1.040.000 points. A similar display is also available on the models Canon 650D, 700D and 70D, but only on some other advanced cameras the display is also rotary.

The Best DSLR camera under 500 can use the ISO from 100 to 25.600 units. However, the value 25.600 in the camera indicates “H” (High) and it can only be turned on when the light priority function is off. Also, ISOs higher than 6400 are not available with video recording. The camera has an excellent ‘ISO auto’ function, although it is also limited to a max 6400 units. On a brighter note, it works well in manual camera control mode, video recording mode, and even with manual lenses.

Of course, quality video recording is indispensable here. You can shoot with Full HD quality 1920 x 1080 30p (29.97 or 25 or 23.98 fps), and if you reduce the size to HD 1280 x 720, you can shoot at 59.94 and 50 fps.

10. Nikon D3200 DSLR Camera Under 500

If you want a quality compact camera for the sole purpose of taking beautiful photos, the D3200 is exactly the camera that we recommend for purchase. Cameras that are more expensive and at the same time take pictures of similar quality are needed by people who appreciate buttons, different shortcuts and other technological centric features. For good shots, this small, lightweight and the inexpensive camera is more than enough.

Auto ISO has become much more convenient, where now this best DSLR camera itself sets the minimum shutter speed depending on the focal length that you use, which is the same as seen on Canon cameras. However, unlike Canon, you can set the minimum exposure threshold manually. Actually now, with regards to auto ISO, you can definitely trust the camera in everything, where the main thing is to configure everything correctly.

Video recording in the best DSLR camera under 500 is possible in resolutions up to 1920 × 1080 pixels and a frequency of 25 frames/s. When lowering the resolution to 1280 x 720, it becomes possible to shoot at up to 50 frames/s. During video recording, you can use an external microphone, where the sensitivity can be set automatically or manually.

There is one trick to controlling exposure controls for video recording. Well, firstly, video recording is launched only from the Live View mode. When you start recording, regardless of what aperture you set just before shooting, the one that are set when switched to Live View will be installed. In the manual exposure mode, you can change the shutter speed without any problems even during shooting. Why such difficulties arise with the diaphragm is not entirely clear.

When recording video, you can use contrast autofocus. Surprisingly, in an era when an ordinary camera can do almost everything and only makes coffee, conservative developers of Nikon almost did not endow with the exclusive additional functionality of the D3200. Another noteworthy feature of this camera is the ability to connect an external Wi-Fi module, which in turn will allow you to wirelessly merge photos from the camera, as well as manage it from a smartphone. But, unfortunately, this equipment was not available for the test.


best DSLR camera under 500

I hope we helped you choose the best DSLR camera under 500.

Your opinion is very important to us. To make us even better, please answer the question: for what purposes are you looking for a DSLR camera? Do you want to buy only a camera body or with lenses?

You can leave an answer below. We will also be interested in any of your feedback and suggestions.

DemystifyingDigital Team

High-quality content can only be written by experts in the field. The DemystifyingDigital team consists of just such people. Our specializations range from cameras to smartwatches. We are constantly following the latest developments in technology. Each of us has a desire to grow our knowledge in order to provide only the best information to our readers. The world of gadgets is wide, and to cover the many types of technology we are constantly recruiting professionals to join our team. Thus, we increase our expertise and make our work even better.

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