The days when high-quality photography was feasible only for high-end cameras that cost a fortune are getting behind us. Today, you can buy a camera for less than 300 dollars that can shoot great images, performs very well in everyday use and can actually last more than a few years. Technology that goes in our cameras has progressed over the years, where it has become a norm for an average point and shoot camera to have optical zoom, record at full HD, with an amazing image quality.
Nikon D3200 embodies the latest generation of entry-level Nikon cameras. It has a 24-megapixel sensor which puts it in the league with NEX-7 and Sony’s Alpha SLT-A65. It records in full HD at 24. 25 or 30 frames per second and has 920k-dot LCD. There’s the added option for Wi-Fi transmitter, yet it lacks a built-in focus motor, auto exposure bracketing and oddly enough, any onboard filter effects. You do, however, have an option for re-processing JPEGs with multiple “effects” including a simulation of tilt and shift as well as selective color. It shoots RAW pictures using manual focus with 11 different focus points.
The D3300 represents the next generation of Nikon’s small, entry-level DSLR. It’s considered to be one of the best when it comes to beginner-friendly DSLR cameras with the same 24-megapixel APS-C sensor as its predecessor, the D3200. Nonetheless, it’s capable of recording in full HD at 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, it features a fixed, 3 inch LCD screen instead of a fully articulated one. What is new is its ISO range of op to 12800, and with expansion up to 256000. Although it lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, there is actually not much to nit-pick, as there isn’t anything really lacking with this camera.
Canon EOS 1200D (EOS Rebel T5)
The EOS Rebel T5 improves a lot when compared to its predecessor, rebel T3. It features an 18-megapixel sensor able to shot at a max resolution of 5184 by 3456. Beginners will appreciate the Creative filter, Creative auto and Basic+ controls, while a more advanced users are happy to hear that it features excellent customization options and manual control. Using the onboard Q-menu, one can quickly find the frequently used settings, with the overall interface being very user-friendly. This compact SLR has a 3 inch 460.000-dot LCD screen, with shutter speed maxed out at 1/4000 sec.
Canon EOS 1300D (EOS Rebel T6)
The T6 uses the same 18 megapixel APS-C sensor as the T5, with a 9-pint AF system featuring a cross-type of sensor in the center. It can record full HD at 24 or 30 frames per second, with the ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded up to 12800. It’s capable of 3p frames per second burst shooting and has a 3 inch 920.000-dot LCD screen, with an optical viewfinder. It features a number of scene modes, such as a Scene Intelligent Auto mode and a number of different creative filters. The Canon EOS 1300D also has NFC, which makes sharing a breeze using the Camera Connect app Canon is offering.
The last on our list is the Pentax K-S1, a unique entry-level DSLR, with somewhat futuristic design features and a solid set of characteristics under the hood. It’s 20 megapixel CMOS sensor, which has the AA simulator that lets the user choose between moiré reduction and high resolution. All Pentax cameras have an in-build shake reduction, so any lens can have that perfect image stabilization. It records full HD at 30 frames per second, with the top shutter speed of 1/6000 and 5.4 frames per second burst shooting. It’s somewhat more expensive than the other camera featured on this list, however, when you consider it’s characteristics, this price difference becomes insignificant.
Whether you are just getting into photography, looking for an upgrade or already know a lot about cameras and are considering your options, those were some of the best DSLR cameras you can buy for under 300 dollars.