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The best entry level DSLRs are the best choice to hone your photographic skills once you have grown out of your compact camera and want more creative control over your pictures.

The best entry level DSLRs these days offer the perfect bridge between the advanced point and shoots and the professional SLRs. Although the sensor size is smaller than the higher-end dSLR's they produce excellent image quality. The best entry-level dSLR's these days offer quite a few of the features previously found only in higher-end models. This is coupled with the user-friendly interface for DSLR , like for eg the NIKON 3100 provides a Guide mode for users to select settings easily. They thus provide bang for the buck as well.

Some of the factors to be taken into consideration while selecting an entry-level dSLR would be the resolution, built in image stabilization either in the body or the lens, continuous mode and ease of use. The best entry-level dSLR's are typically a step-up camera which provides all the features of a professional dSLR but easy to use for those who are accustomed to point-and-shoot cameras. They are also considerably more lightweight than the professional dSLR's so are easier to carry around. Some of the best entry-level dSLR's are available starting at $600-$800 with a lot of useful features for you to get started on some serious photography.

Browse All Top Entry-level DSLR Camera »

Pentax K-3

Pentax K-3 SLR Camera - Body Only


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Pentax K-3
Nikon D5300
Canon EOS 700D (EOS Rebel T5i)
Pentax K-50
Canon EOS 100D (EOS Rebel SL1)
Pentax K-3 SLR Camera - Body Only
Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera
Canon EOS 700D (EOS Rebel T5i) Digital Camera
Pentax K-50 Digital SLR Camera
Canon EOS 100D (EOS Rebel SL1) Digital Camera
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Release Date
Oct 2013
Oct 2013
Jun 2013
Jun 2013
Mar 2013
Camera Type
SLR/Professional, Mid-size SLR
SLR/Professional, Compact SLR
SLR/Professional, Compact SLR
SLR/Professional, Compact SLR
SLR/Professional, Compact SLR
Resolution
24.0 Megapixel
24.0 Megapixel
18.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
18.0 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.2 in.
3.2 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
28.2 mm
28.2 mm
26.81 mm
28.42 mm
26.81 mm

  • The Pentax K-3 is the most refined K-mount SLR to date, offering fast autofocus and superb image quality. Its video autofocus implementation isn't the best, but it still manages to snag our Editors' Choice award.


  • The Pentax K-3 is the most full-featured prosumer DSLR camera on the market, but not only that, it also delivers great performance, weather-resistant build quality, slick handling and excellent image quality too. The K-3 certainly has what it takes to compete with its main rivals, the Canon EOS 70D and Nikon D7100.
    The Pentax K-3 builds on the proven handling of the K-5 II camera.


  • A completely weatherproof body, good image quality and intuitive handling puts the K-3 cat among the pigeons, but there's still work to do if Pentax is to seriously compete with the DSLR options from Canon and Nikon.


  • So while the Nikon D5300 doesn't add that many new features to the year-old D5200, what it does add makes it a unique product at the mid-range price-point, offering something genuinely different to the likes of the Canon EOS 650D, Pentax K-5 II and the Sony A65. The combination of a free-angle screen, great video mode, high-quality stills and new connectivity options mean that the Nikon D5300 is a worthy winner of our Highly Recommended award.


  • The Nikon D5300 is what's often referred to in the technology world as an 'evolutionary' upgrade. Nikon has abandoned the D5200's optical low pass filter, which might have been considered revolutonary a year ago, but now looks, to borrow a fashion industry term, 'on trend'. That's not to say it's frivolous or unwarranted, given that it improves the D5300's image quality with no apparent drawbacks (Moire wasn't an issue in any of my test shots) it's absolutely the right move.


  • Although the upgrades made to the D5200 by the D5300 are solid, they are unlikely to attract D5200 users to upgrade.
    They may make the camera more attractive to photographers without a brand commitment, but they aren't especially forward-looking or novel. The variangle screen and Effect modes encourage the user to shoot in live view mode (and compose the image on screen), but the live view AF system's performance lags behind that of many compact system cameras, and the screen isn't touch-sensitive.


  • The official launch price of the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i has dropped slightly compared to the previous model's full RRP, perhaps its most attractive feature when compared directly against its predecessor, especially as the STM kit lens is a better partner, especially for shooting video.


  • The Canon EOS 700D is a very capable and versatile camera that produces high quality images. It has a comprehensive feature set and affords all the control expected by enthusiast photographers while providing automatic hand-holding options for less experienced users.
    It produces images that are of very similar quality to those from the Canon 650D, although our tests reveal that they are a little noisier.


  • The Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i is an upgrade to the 650D almost in name only, but still combines very good image quality with a comprehensive, well-designed touchscreen interface. AF performance in live view mode and video is an improvement over early Rebel DSLRs, but still lags behind mirrorless options.


  • A reasonable option for an entry-level dSLR, the Pentax K-50 should satisfy if you need the weather-sealed design. But while acceptable, it and its cheaper sibling the K-500 lag behind the competition in image quality and performance.


  • The Pentax K-50 is a fully weather-sealed D-SLR camera with an big optical viewfinder and fast burst shooting capability. It's available to order in any of 120 color combinations, but its video functionality is behind the times.


  • While it won't win any awards for originality, the Pentax K-50 remains an excellent stills camera that offers decent weatherproofing and handling at a price that won't break the bank, making it a great introduction to the world of DSLR cameras.


  • In summary the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is a surprising camera in many ways, not least that it delivers the typical EOS experience without too many compromises at all. It makes a compelling alternative to a compact system camera when paired with the smaller Canon lenses (including the EOS M), but we'd choose the more capable EOS 700D instead as a natural partner for Canon's larger optics.


  • Overall I'm going to give the EOS SL1 / 100D a Recommended rating. It misses out on our top award as I honestly think most people buying an entry-level DSLR would be better-served by a mirror-less camera these days. But for those who understand the differences and would genuinely prefer a traditional DSLR, the EOS SL1/ 100D represents a compelling option and a decent upgrade over the company's previous entry-level model, the EOS T3 / 1100D.


  • It's hard to know what to say about the Canon 100D. Canon has once again produced an incredibly capable DSLR, which produces excellent images.
    The miniaturisation element is fun, and a nifty feat of engineering, but there's still no way that a camera and system such as this can compete with the likes of the Micro Four Thirds system in terms of weight and size.