Compare Cameras > Inexpensive Digital SLR
Updated: August 2012

Inexpensive Digital SLR Cameras

Today, finding an inexpensive digital SLR camera is much easier than it used to be

While the average price for a new digital SLR still hovers around $700 USD, there are several low-cost options out there.

Digital SLR cameras are a lot like cars and computers: as soon as a camera is released, its value starts falling.

That's why most of the inexpensive digital SLR cameras I list below are several months old.

If you absolutely want the latest and greatest digital SLR camera, then you're going to have to pay a bit more to get it.


The Real Bargains: Old Models

If you'd like to get your feet wet in the world of digital SLR cameras, and really aren't keen on paying a ton of money, then your best bet is to find a camera that's several years old.

Older digital SLRs work just fine - mine from 2004 is still plugging along - they just don't have all the latest features like dust control, live view and face-detection autofocus.

Since camera technology advances so quickly, many models from just 3 years ago are no longer available new - the only way to get your hands on one is to find one used.

The good news for you is that there are plenty of people out there upgrading to new cameras to get the latest features.

This means that a quick search of eBay should yield plenty of inexpensive digital SLR cameras for you to choose from.

Low-Cost (New) Cameras

For those who aren't keen on the idea of buying a camera that's already somewhat obsolete, don't worry — you've still got options

The latest inexpensive digital SLR cameras fall into a category that I call "entry-level". In essence, these are cameras designed for people just migrating from a point-and-shoot compact camera.

They work well in full AUTO mode (but can be used manually as well) and they don't offer a lot of customization features that more advanced photographers expect.

This lack of customization is actually a benefit if you're a beginning SLR photographer: the camera settings are relatively straightforward and the manual isn't 700 pages long.

And now, without further delay, here are some of the least expensive digital SLRs you can get today.

Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D)
Release Date: March 2011
Key Features12.2 megapixels, dust control, live view LCD canon eos rebel t3 1100d
Great ForSnapshots
Basic and beginner are the two words that leap to mind to describe the Rebel T3 1100D. Canon has kept the feature set on this camera limited in order to keep the price down, but this camera can still out-perform many compact digital cameras. It even includes an HD movie mode, if you want to use the camera for both stills and video.
Price (With Lens): $460 USD
Nikon D3100
Release Date: September 2010
Key Features14.2 megapixels, Full HD 1080p video, 3 inch live view LCD nikon d3100
UniquenessBasic camera with video
Great ForPoint-and-shoot
The D3100 includes some big features that were missing from the D3000: namely, a live view LCD screen and the ability to capture Full High Definition 1080p movies. Like its predecessor, the D3100 includes Nikon's Guide Mode, which is designed to introduce beginning photographers to DSLR controls and functionality.
Price (With Lens): $500 USD

Learn More About Digital SLR Cameras - Free!

The monthly newsletter is packed with digital SLR tips and advice. Current Issue
First NameE-mail Address 
Your privacy is respected and your information is NEVER shared with anyone.
digital slr lessons
What's New? On Facebook: On Twitter:
Home Lessons Free Newsletter DSLR Store About Contact Site Map Mirrorless Cameras