Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 – 2019 Buyers Guide
A DSLR camera is one of the best cameras you can find in the market. The image and video quality are excellent and they advance lens technology improves. However, in the market, you can get a variety of DSLR cameras that range from full frame to mid-range as well as budget models. DSLR cameras are some of the expensive cameras, but since photography is such a widely held hobby, you can find models that are budget friendly. Today, you are going to see the best DSLR cameras under $300 in the market. You don’t have to break the bank for you to get your digital camera 😉
Now, what you need is to do a little research on the best DSLR cameras under $300 and here we review some of the top-rated options to help you choose the right one.
Are There Any Good DSLR Cameras under $300?
Undoubtedly, camera technology is advancing at a quicker pace, and image and video quality and other features DSLR cameras under $300 have are by far much better than what you could get a few years ago. With a $300 price range, you can get a great point and shoot camera with super-zooms. Unfortunately, DSLRs and other mirror-less interchangeable lens models are still expensive and you may require parting with not more than $400 if you won’t mind. Luckily, these models are still the best options for individuals on a budget. Below you can check out our comparison table, the best DSLR cameras under $300 and some great models above $300 but less than $400, and the buying guide for more information.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Best DSLRs Under $300 Full Review & Buyers Guide
- 1.1 PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80
- 1.2 Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
- 1.3 Nikon COOLPIX B530
- 1.4 Canon EOS Rebel SL1
- 1.5 Canon EOS Rebel T5
- 1.6 Nikon D3400
- 1.7 Canon EOS Rebel T6
- 1.8 Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 Buying Guide
- 1.9 Conclusion
Best DSLRs Under $300 Full Review & Buyers Guide
PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80
The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is our top pick in the best DSLR cameras under $300. What makes it our top pick? This model comes with a high-resolution sensor of 18MP with a 3-inch LCD for easy control. All the controls are limited to one button that can be pressed and turned in order to choose the various functions.
When compared to its predecessor, the FZ80 is a bit heavier. However, with the 4K capability, you won’t complain about its heaviness. This camera also allows for switching from the EVF to rear display via sliding the control button. The 4K video offers you the ability to capture a standard full resolution for a high-frame movement for an exciting scene or fast-moving actions.
It is ergonomically designed for easy holding compared to most models. It features a clear viewfinder even under very bright settings. It is also Wi-Fi enabled to allow easy wireless sharing of videos and images. Best of all, it can be controlled via a smartphone. You can easily travel with it as it comes with a USB for flexible battery charging.
When it comes to performance, this camera is a beast. With a 20-1200mm DC VARIO lens, you can be able to attain a focusing range of 11.81 inches which offers a precise and faster focusing. It comes with a greater autofocus performance in addition to its ability to capture up to 30 frames in a second.
Besides offering an outstanding metering performance, it also comes with a focus stacking feature that gives you a better depth focus. Even with the low price tag, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is undeniably a high-quality camera that is ideal for those kick-starting their photography passion.
- High-resolution 4K lens
- Ergonomically designed for better holding
- Reasonably priced
- Reliable zoom lens
- In-built Wi-Fi
- Easy to control with LCD touchscreen
- A bit heavy
Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
This is yet another great under $300 camera that is the latest model of Canon brand under the PowerShot models. It is a high-performing superzoom that offers you an excellent 40x zoom lens that allows for capturing things very close.
It features a 20.3MP CMOS sensor as well as DIGIC 6 image processor which are responsible for its 24-960mm zoom capability which makes it versatile when it comes to shooting a bit far subjects.
It comes with a single battery charge that is enough to power up to 250 shots. With its in-built Wi-Fi, it is really easy to share and transfer image and videos to your laptop, tablet or smartphone. This feature also makes it possible to control this camera remotely from a smart device.
It features a 3-inch touchscreen interface for easy controlling while it is fitted with a navigation-friendly dial to allow navigating through the menus in a simple way. It comes with a variety of settings and scene modes that enhances creativity for every shot taken.
It is a compact-sized camera that is also lightweight which makes it extremely portable thus you can carry it to wherever your tour takes you.
- In-built Wi-Fi for easy sharing of pictures and videos
- Plenty of settings for enhancing creativity during shooting
- Larger LCD screen
- Reliable zoom lens
- No image stabilization
Nikon COOLPIX B530
This is one of the best cameras from that Nikon has in the market and it is a favorite for most photographers owing to its excellent features. It comes with a 40x optical zoom lens that zooms from 22.5 mm up to 900mm. with its in-built VR optical image stabilization that ensures the pictures are always sharp even in a low light setting.
It also features a 16MP CMOS sensor as well as several modes that will enable you to record a full HD video. Even though this camera doesn’t come with manual controls, you can easily change the ISO and the white balance settings.
With the in-built Wi-Fi and the NFC allows easy connection to any compatible PC or smartphone for easy transfer of pictures and videos. Besides, the also comes with a Bluetooth that allows you to use Snapbridge software.
It also comes with great battery life while when using the lithium batteries you can shoot up 1249 shots which are great. It also features great storage accessories, Xpix table tripod protective medium case, and compatible charger among other user devices.
- Excellent optical zoom and focus is outstanding to the telephoto end
- Image stabilization
- Excellent battery life
- In-built Wi-Fi technology
- At 30x optical zoom image quality drops
Canon EOS Rebel SL1
This is the smallest and the lightest DSLR camera you can find in the market today. It is an excellent entry-level DSLR that comes with advanced ability. Its compact size and lightweight doesn’t compromise its performance which is above per in the Canon EOS series.
It comes with an 18.0MP CMOS (APS-C) sensor which is great for enlargements or cropping detailed pictures. The sensor is capable of capturing images with outstanding clarity and tonal range. In fact, this is a first-class sensor that is designed with similar technologies used by professional Canon cameras in order to maximize its pixel light-gathering efficiency. It also features a DIGIC 5 Image processor that works with the CMOS to produce images and videos with extreme details in various settings minus the need to have artificial lighting.
This is a Full HD movie mode EOS camera that is easy to operate. It records professional videos without compromise. It can shoot several recording sizes as well as frame rate with outstanding video capturing performance and quality. It also allows for easy manual control of exposure, focus, and even in-camera editing.
It also features a 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD that is touch-sensitive to deliver an easy intuitive operation. A two finger touch gesture can be used to change pictures or zooming. You can also access the menu as well as a quick control setting. Besides, the 3.0-inch clear view LCD monitor is great for composing as well as reviewing images. If you are looking for a versatile DSLR camera that you can travel with to wherever adventure takes you, then this might be your best choice.
- Advanced creative filters
- Optical viewfinder
- Wider touchscreen LCD
- Small and lightweight for portability
- Not built in stereo
- No in-built Wi-Fi
Canon EOS Rebel T5
Canon is known for making excellent compact and easy to hold DSLR cameras and Canon EOS Rebel T5 is one of such models. Besides, it comes with a host of excellent features that make it one of the sort cameras in the market.
It features 18.0MP CMOS sensor with is accompanies with a DIGIC 4+image processor of the latest versions in the market. However, the EOS Rebel isn’t a new release in the market. It also comes with EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens that offers you with sufficient zooming for standard picture and video taking needs.
It has a 3-inch LCD screen monitor that is clear for easy access to controls. Besides, it offers a continuous 3FPS shooting. With a 1080p Full HD movie shooting, it offers you a high-quality shooting of movies right in the comfort of your place of interest. This makes it an ideal decent camera for all beginners.
- It is compact
- Clear wider LCD screen
- Full HD video recording
- Lacks image stabilization
- Lacks audio jack
Nikon D3400 is a digital SLR camera that is designed just for you. It comes in a compact size and it is also lightweight for portability-everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter whether you are a first-timer or not, with Nikon D3400 you will easily feel comfortable and confident with it.
It features ergonomically and smartly laid control dials for comfortable and intuitive control. With the bright optical viewfinder, you can be sure to have a sharp and glare-free view while comfortably holding the camera.
It comes with a snapbridge Bluetooth connectivity that makes sharing and transferring pictures and video easy and convenient. You simply need to pair with the compatible devices than share your images. Besides, you can easily backup and automatically store your pictures in the cloud on the Nikon Image Space.
It also comes with 24.2 megapixels paired with an APS-C sensor for a better performance and image quality than its predecessor. It features 1080p video at 60 frames in a second making it a standard speed in most DSLR camera models in the entry-level space. Besides, it is fitted with ISO 100-25,600 on its 18.55mm VR kit lens that allows for capturing a high-quality and detailed image.
With its price tag compared with its performance and comfortable frame, you can be sure that you have the best camera that can take your photography to the next level in an affordable manner.
- High image and video quality
- Excellent battery life
- Easy to use
- SnapBridge Bluetooth connectivity for convenient sharing of pictures
- Not great in low light setting
Canon EOS Rebel T6
This is one of the best and widely considered DSLR cameras in the Canon’s EOS line models. With 18 megapixel CMOS sensor that is paired with 4+Image Processor, you are in for clear and colorful images even in the low light environments courtesy of its wide ISO of 100-6400.
It features a 9 point auto-focus system which is not only precise but also accurate thus enabling you to capture images as they occur even the fast moving objects. Furthermore, the optical viewfinder effectively pairs up with the 3-inch LCD screen display that allows steadying and lining up the camera prior to capturing a perfect image.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 comes with different scene modes that allow beginners to effectively determine the most appropriate aperture, focus and white balance prior to pressing the shutter dial. Best of all, it goes further than the intelligent scene mode to add a feature guide that illustrates functions during shooting.
It features an in-built Wi-Fi and NFC that allows for convenient sharing and transfer of images to social media and other compatible devices besides enabling remote shooting via the free Canon camera Connect app. You can also record a Full HD video with top-quality and elegant setting even under low-light conditions. Since this camera is compatible with EF/EF-S lenses, you can try various lenses to improve your fun, creativity and new perspectives.
- Easy manual controls
- High-quality pictures and videos
- Compact and lightweight
- No audio jack
- No changing of ISO
Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 Buying Guide
Finding Your Price
Certainly, the right camera for you doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg nonetheless; you will have what you pay for. Essentially, it is important to pick what you want. Even though most expensive models come with excellent feature some of which you might not even use, still it will give you room to expand your photography profession or passion.
On the other hand, buying a cheap DSLR camera may be disappointing especially when it comes to image and video quality. A camera with a $300 price range will give you more versatility than what smartphones offer. Simply settle for the right one within your budget and you can be good to go. It is important to keep in mind that the most expensive DSLR camera won’t make you the best photographer.
The Megapixel Myth
If you read through camera specification sheets you will find out that DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras often come with similar megapixel count. However, the overall performance and the image and video quality are quite different. What matters most is the physical size of the sensor the camera has. Even if a point-and-shoot camera comes with a 1/2 3-inch sensor, it won’t keep up with the DSLR that comes with a full frame sensor or a larger APS-C even if they have the same number of pixels.
There are also other determining factors like depth of field control which is seen in most large sensors. However, a larger sensor gathers more light hence high quality of images and video. As such even in a low light situation, you can have better color and contrast. Surely, you won’t compare a point-and-shoot to a DSLR even when comes with a higher megapixel.
A number of features are vital at differentiating a great camera from a good one and perhaps a lens is one of the key features. Cameras that allow swapping of lenses offer you a variety of creative options to pick from. On the other hand, high-end point-and-shoot cameras come with great optics but won’t match up with the flexibility an interchangeable lenses cameras offer.
Typically, DSLRs, as well as mirror-less camera models, come with a basic kit lens as a package. This short zoom is not only convenient but also compact. Nonetheless, it doesn’t portray the actual potential of the camera. Even though you can purchase a number of lenses to use such as wide-angle or telephoto, once you change a lens it basically changes your perspective. Besides, you can’t use a different brand lens on your camera minus having a third party adapter as well as compromising a degree of performance. You can also choose to use a third-part lens that can mount on a number of camera brands.
When buying your DSLR camera under $300, it is important to consider the zoom range. The higher the zoom the higher the performance of a camera and the zoom of the camera increases with its price tag. So a camera with a higher zoom capability comes at a higher cost. However, within the price range of $300, you can find a camera with a higher zoom but with small sensors and poor low light performance. So before making a purchase, it is recommendable to consider the zoom capability of the camera.
When making a camera purchase decision, the size of the sensor is one of the important aspects to consider. If you look at the sensor size from the image quality point of view, a larger sensor implies that more light and information is allowed into the camera and hence the images and videos produced will be of precise and detailed.
If you intend to have your image shared electronically or on social media platforms, a camera with a smaller sensor will be just fine. On the other hand, a larger sensor is ideal if you are planning to be shooting in unfavorable settings or making large prints, be sure to up your budget for larger and better sensor size. But the significance of buying a camera with a small sensor is that it opens up more options for zooming and other features.
Today, all cameras come with the capability to record videos and even shoot at 4K Ultra HD resolution. Most high-end DSLRs often offer video features that are efficient and ideal for cinematic filmmaking. These features also enhance your creativity options owing to the choice of lenses they come with.
When it comes to video features the most important feature to pay attention to is the frame rate. Having a 24 to 30 fps is normal compared to 60 fps which are great for a super smooth slow-motion or playback. Make sure you are careful as some manufacturers will advertise a camera to be capable of recording a 4K video but once you have it you will find it’s only capable of 15 fps. Also, you can consider having one with a greater video stabilization in case you don’t want to carry a tripod with you.
Wi-Fi and GPS
With the popularity of social media, a Wi-Fi is absolutely a must-have feature for any technologically advanced camera. Besides, if you intend to share your images directly to your social platforms minus having to plug your camera to the computer, then the camera you intend to buy must have an in-built Wi-Fi. Today, most manufacturers include iOS or an Android app which connects the camera wirelessly when transferring images and videos.
On the other hand, a GPS feature is not a necessity for most individuals. The GPS is great for those who like traveling a lot especially for geotagging your picture allowing you to know where and when they were taken. Some cameras feature GPS feature as optional but bear in mind that whenever the GPS is active, the camera’s battery is bound to drain faster than you expect. So if you fancy these features, consider checking them out.
Weather-proofing, Dust-proofing, and Shock-proofing
The first thing you need to know is that when a camera is weatherproof or splash-proof doesn’t mean that it is waterproof. If it is weatherproof and it is submerged in water, it won’t survive. While a weatherproof camera is designed to keep away light rain, mist, and splashes, a waterproof model will is designed to totally keep way water even when submerged. So if you are planning to record or take pictures while snorkeling, you will have to consider buying a waterproof camera.
Several DSLR cameras come with weatherproof features which makes them ideal for use in a wider range of outdoor settings. So a few rain-drops or mist won’t damage them. However, it is important to bear in mind that your lens is not weatherproof you can still have trouble with your weatherproof camera. Waterproof cameras also tend to be shockproof, so if the drop even from a higher point, they will surely survive. So before buying, make sure you check weatherproof, shockproof and dust-proof features in your camera.
With a limited budget of about $300, it is important to make an informed decision of whether you need a standalone camera in the first place. Otherwise, ensure you choose a camera with features like a zoom lens, waterproofing, interchangeable lenses that your smartphone doesn’t come with. By the way, don’t expect a substantial image and video quality improvements. But if you are willing to up your budget a bit, consider choosing an improved compact 1-inch sensor type camera that is quite simple.
As you can see, you don’t need a high-end DSLR camera if you are limited by your budget. You can still find a camera within your budget that still comes with excellent features that you can use effectively. Even though all these cameras come with great features at around $300, the winner in this review is Panasonic Lumix FZ80 which comes with an excellent video, great megapixel a wide range of zoom yet at a price just below $300. These are some of the features you ought to consider when making a purchase decision. We believe that this review has given you enough information that will be crucial to making a crucial buying decision!