Welcome to our guide to the best entry level DSLRs on the market in 2018 – making it easy for beginners to get the best out of digital photography. We’ve also produced a useful free guide introducing you to the basics of digital photography.
WHY CHOOSE A DSLR?
If you’ve been using a compact digital camera, or even just a smartphone, and are looking to take your pictures to the next level, then a DLSR is a natural choice. They offer higher quality thanks to their sensors, allow greater creativity (due to the amount of manual control), and you can change lenses.
If all of this sounds like a lot to take in – don’t worry, these cameras all have ‘Auto’ modes, so you can introduce yourself to the world of DSLR photography gently. The Nikon D3400 even has a ‘guide’ feature, where it will take you step-by-step through how to take a good photograph.
And all of the cameras featured allow for connectivity to your phone – so you can upload your images to social media without needing a computer.
*** Note : £1 = $1.33 (correct at time of post)
Entry-level DSLRs in 2018
So now you know why a DSLR is a great choice to improve your photography, what should you consider before buying?
We’ve covered a range of price-points to give you an idea of what you can get for your money (there’s a handy comparison table below). There are of course other models available, including older models that are still on the market.
Specification and build quality will factor in to the price you pay – our selection ranges from £369 for the Canon 4000D kit, through to the Pentax K-70 kit at £729.
You can see the full range of DSLRs (and check for latest prices and offers) on our website – don’t forget to filter by price!
|This colourful picture was taken with the Canon 4000D – the cheapest camera on the list!|
Which brand of DSLR should I buy?
There is obviously no right or wrong here – each brand has their own charms. If you have used a particular brand before (you may have one of their compacts or have used a certain type at college), then you may already be used to how their systems work.
One important consideration is that once you’ve invested in the camera, you can add extra lenses at a later date to really open up your world of photography. You may wish to consider second-hand options, or if you know someone who already owns a DSLR with lenses, then if you ask politely, they may let you borrow them! It’s a great way to open your eyes to the power of your camera.
What lenses should I choose for my DSLR?
Our guide explains the differences between lens types, but for the sake of convenience, this guide only looks at ‘kits’ – where the camera comes with a standard zoom lens.
Without a doubt, these lenses are best suited for everyday photography – perfect for when you are learning. But if you are buying a new camera with certain genres in mind, such as wildlife photography, then be aware you may need to buy a telephoto lens from the start.
|All the cameras we’ve chosen come with a standard zoom lens – you can add more later!|
Things to remember when buying a DSLR
• An absolute essential purchase is a memory card – you’ll need this to be able to use your camera and save your photos
• A camera case
• UV filter for your lens – this will protect your lens elements from dust and scratches.
Entry-level DSLR specification comparison table
This table looks at basic comparison points. With cameras it’s fair to say that you do generally pay for what you get – so more expensive cameras will likely have better build quality, faster and more responsive autofocus, and work better in low-light conditions.
Price* (with kit lens)
Continuous shooting (frames per second)
Connect to phone?
Canon EOS 4000D
|£369||18- 15mm f/3.5-5.6||18MP||3fps||Yes, via Camera Connect app||2.7”||Full HD @30 FPS|
Canon EOS 800D
|24.2MP||6fps||Yes, via Camera Connect app||3″ Vari-angle touchscreen||Full HD @60 FPS|
|£469||18-55mm||24.2MP||5fps||Yes, SnapBridge utilises Bluetooth||3″||Full HD @60 FPS|
|£779||18-55mm||24.2MP||5fps||Yes, SnapBridge utilises Bluetooth||3.2″ Vari-angle touchscreen||Full HD @60 FPS|
|£729||18-50mm||24.2MP||6fps||Yes, via WIFI||3″ Vari-angle||Full HD @30FPS|
*As at time of publishing, check our website for current prices
• Value for money – so much kit for under £400!
• WiFi connectivity
• Scene Intelligent Auto –point and shoot for great results
• Canon’s wide range of lenses,
• Vari-angle touchscreen – easily shoot from high/low angles
• Fantastic image quality from 24.2MP CMOS sensor
• Image stabilised kit lens
• In-body stabilisation for smooth HD video
• Extensive pre-set scene / Guide modes
• 5FPS – great for capturing fast-moving subjects
• Fantastic SnapBridge smartphone app – upload pics onto social media instantly
• Great low-light capabilities for the price
• In-camera editing
• Great battery life – up to 1200 shots on one charge
• Vari-angle touchscreen – easily shoot from high / low angles
• In-camera time-lapse movie function
• Great autofocus
• Fantastic SnapBridge smartphone app – upload pics onto your phone instantly
• Lightweight but tough
• In body image stabilization (‘Shake Reduction’)
• ISO range 100-102400 – great for low light
• Incredible spec for the money
• 2 control dials akin to top levels DSLRS for using manual mode
• Weather sealed body, solid grip for a robust feel
We know that we can’t cover everything, so if you enjoyed this, you may want to check out Beginner’s Guide to Digital Photography