Updated: March 2011

Best Budget Digital SLR Camera

What type of person needs the best budget digital SLR?

You do if you've been longing to improve the quality of the photos you take and capture moments that just aren't possible with a compact point-and-shoot, but you find the price of digital SLR cameras extreme.

I'm not surprised if you find the prices daunting - film SLR cameras always cost a LOT more than their compact counterparts, and it was often hard for camera buyers to make that financial leap.

Now that the minimum price for a digital SLR is right around $500, it makes ditching your compact even harder to justify.

Having said that, I firmly believe that the additional cost is worth it when you realize that digital SLRs are able to capture a wider variety of shots than compact cameras.

Here's a question for you to consider: can you put a price tag on lost photo opportunities?

Once the frustration of missing great shot after great shot builds up, eventually a digital SLR won't seem all that expensive anymore.

The Best Budget SLR

canon rebel t3 1100d

As of March 2011, I think that the best budget digital SLR is the Canon Rebel T3 1100D.

With a suggested retail price (with lens) of $600 this camera is certainly not cheap, but it does provide a lot of features relative to the other DSLRs in this price range.

What you get with the T3 1100D is a 12.2 megapixel sensor, 3 photo-per-second continuous speed and 9 autofocus points.

You can review photos, take live view images or capture video using the 3 inch LCD screen.

The video mode is not the highest quality available in DSLRs and doesn't have a lot of customization features, but that may be just fine if you don't see yourself using a DSLR to capture video all that much.

The T3 1100D is a great camera for beginners since it includes many automatic and semi-automatic modes that help beginners learn how to use the more advanced features of a DSLR.

One of the best aspects of the T3 1100D is that it is compatible with a huge number of Canon and third party lenses (lenses made by companies that only make lenses like Tamron, Tokina and Sigma).

There's no image stabilization included in the body of the T3 1100D, but you can purchase image-stabilized lenses. The 18-55mm lens that's included in the T3 1100D kit does have stabilization.

For more information, you can read the complete list of Canon Rebel T3 1100D features.

Compare Prices

Canon Rebel T3 1100D
canon eos rebel t3 1100d
March 2011
  • 12.2 megapixels
  • 9 AF points
  • 3 photos per second
  • 3 inch live view LCD
  • ISO 100 to 6400
  • 720p HD video capture
$600 USD

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