Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Panasonic 2. Nikon 3. Canon
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Best DSLR Camera Under $300 Nikon D60 Canon EOS 4000D

Photography embarks you on a journey full of adventures and stories through color and light. It essentially means capturing light through a digital sensor included in a camera, to form an image.

It emerged as an exciting form of art and expression in the 19th century, soon after Eastman Kodak released the film ‘Kodachrome.’


If you’re someone who is just starting out, don’t let the intricate details of photography overwhelm you. You can depict your story the way you want to without worrying about attaining the ‘perfect’ picture.

A digital single-lens reflex camera, commonly referred to as a DSLR, is a digital camera that combines the optics and the functions of a digital imaging sensor with a single-lens reflex camera.

There are several DSLRs available in the market that might help you improve your photography skills. However, finding the perfect camera gear with the right settings takes time and research.

Buying the best DSLR is no less than an investment, especially if you’re looking for one that covers all essential features. Nonetheless, the best DSLR camera under $300 will help you make a budget-friendly choice.

Read next to find some of the best DSLR cameras!

Top 5 Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 2021

1. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Best DSLR Camera Under $300

The Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera by Panasonic is an 18.1-megapixel video camera. It offers the photography enthusiasts an ideal combination of 4K photo with 4K video shooting performance, enhancing the photography experience of users.

This Panasonic camera encapsulates features like a super long 20-1200mm LUMIX DC VARIO lens combined with a bright F2.8-5.9 aperture range that is enhanced by the stabilizing feature developed by Panasonic’s POWER O.I.S. technology.

The ultra-long lens supports zoom up to 60 times. It doesn’t stop there, the flashing 30 fps burst feature offers its users 4K quality printable photos. And, as mentioned above, the 4K video technology helps in capturing fast-moving action photos.

Besides excellent picture quality during daylight or well-lit areas, the camera performs exceptionally well in low light surroundings, extending your photography passion even during the nighttime.

Considering the grip of the camera neglected by camera companies these days, Panasonic has left no stone unturned to provide excellent gripping features in the FZ80. Weighing around 1.3 pounds, it’s easy on the hands, further amplifying the suitability for avid photographers.

Keeping up with the technology, the camera supports USB charging and embedded Wi-Fi technology to offer seamless connectivity. Thus, making the camera ideal for travelling and vacations. The 3-inch LED touch display enhances the viewer feature on camera.

To make things even better, the camera comes with a warranty, guaranteeing maximum satisfaction to the buyers. Thus, further amplifying the trust of buyers with Panasonic.

The camera is available only in black and the box includes the DSLR, lithium ion battery and charging case.

To sum it all, FZ80 by Panasonic, a 4K digital video camera with O.I.S stabilization, touch screen and WiFi, makes it the best DSLR camera under $300, ideal for professional as well as travel photographers.


2. Nikon D60

Nikon D60

The D60 DSLR camera by the pioneer in photography, Nikon, encapsulates innovation and technology. Nikon has been a widely accepted brand for photography, from professional to travel photographers.

The D60 model camera embeds an intricate technology that translates complexities into fun, powerful and makes it easy to use. The 10.2 megapixels feature delivers in-depth creativity, versatility and ignores the complexities behind the processing of images.

Despite being a DSLR, it is easy to use without compromising on the quality. It provides an opportunity to all the budding photography enthusiasts to try their hands on a digital SLR.

The camera embeds one of a kind, the integrated dust reduction system, which minimises the deposition of dust in front of your lens through Nikon’s exclusive airflow control system, thereby ensuring clear and versatile pictures.

It doesn’t stop there, D60 derives the image sensor cleaning function from D300 for which it was originally built. Thus, seamlessly sweeping dust particles away from the screen automatically.

Jam Packed with features, the active D lighting featured in D60 doesn’t limit you from taking pictures only in daylight conditions. This feature automatically adapts to the lighting situation and produces an excellent image.

Keeping the shape in mind, D60 is ergonomically designed to facilitate gripping comfortably and naturally in the hands of photographers.

The touch information display in the 2.5-inch LCD monitor allows you to check essential camera information quickly and effectively.

The 0.19 seconds setup time is one of the fastest in camera space, leaving no room to miss capturing moments.

All in all, it’s a complete package with sophisticated technology supporting USB cable and fast charging. This DSLR is user-friendly with one-of-a-kind Technology by Nikon. The 3.5-5.6 G autofocus adds another brownie point.


3. Canon EOS 4000D

Canon EOS 4000D

The DSLR camera kit comes with a premium-quality Canon EOS 4000D camera body, two lenses, rechargeable LP E10 battery along with the charger, and a camera strap.

The DSLR camera is equipped with the EF-S of 18 to 55mm and supports a focal length of 3.5 to 5.6.

The lens provided in the kit is excellent and covers your basic shooting range requirement. Moreover, the photo bundle also includes a price of cloth that can be used to wipe the lens whenever needed.

The Canon neck strap can be used to support and stabilize the lens cap and the camera body. The camera is equipped with an 18.0 MP CMOS sensor and has the DIGIC 4 image processor and LCD to capture images in an elegant snap.

Additionally, the users can also minimally control the autofocus mode and the presence of 230K dot system helps to capture a video resolution of full 1080p HD.

The camera also includes ISO 12800 specifications, which results in producing sharper, clean images. It is also equipped with built-in WiFi and scene intelligent autofocus mode which contributes towards a high end photograph.

What distinguishes this camera from its competitors is its incredible aperture range along with a spectra coating and a micro motor app system.

You can optimally use the 18-megapixel EOS 4000 DSLR camera to create high-quality photos and HD videos and instantly share it with your smartphone over WiFi, provided it is enabled with Canon camera connect application.

The intelligent autofocus feature along with the creative filters will help improve your photography skills and will definitely deliver great results at a single click.

Therefore, it’s a must buy for photography enthusiasts and is reviewed to be the best DSLR camera under $300.


4. Sony Alpha A200K

Sony Alpha A200K

One of the best entry-level cameras available, the Sony Alpha DSLR A200K is equipped with a 10-Megapixel resolution. Just under $300, it provides high-end features and has become a popular option amongst recent photographers.

The DSLR comes with upgraded features such as the wider 2.7” clear image screen which allows playback easily. It also includes a dynamic range optimizer which enables continuous shooting at a range of three frames per second range.

Additionally, it is lightweight and has a compact camera body along with a mode dial for easy accessibility. The autofocus speed has been designed to be 1.7 times faster than the previous model.

The camera has an inbuilt predictive control performance along with a quieter shutter sound that reduces noise and delivers higher quality images.

It offers image stabilization even when you shoot at shutter speeds, which is around 2.5 to 3.5 steps slower than other models. With an automatic pop-up flash mechanism and a prolonged battery life, the camera is durable and reliable.

The lens that comes with the DSLR camera is made with advanced technology and captures high-quality images.

Thus, this DSLR camera is incredibly budget-friendly and a must-have for amateur photographers.


5. Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Canon Digital Rebel XSi

The Canon EOS Rebel is a point and shoot camera that contributes towards creating exceptional shots and remarkable images, while maintaining clarity and tonal range.

It offers a wide range of benefits and includes upgraded features such as an integrated cleaning system and live-view function. Additionally, it also has an optical image stabilizer that produces refined and stunning images.

The DSLR is equipped with a 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor along with a powerful image processor. It also comes with a 3” LCD monitor which is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards.

The camera is known to transform the lighting of the image by using light-gathering efficiency that enhances the image quality. It can convert light colours to darker ones and can also be used to capture images in all kinds of lighting.

Therefore, the CANON DIGITAL REBEL XSI 12.2 MP is extremely user-friendly and offers you great features.


Thus, there are several DSLR cameras that include almost all fundamental shooting modes; macro, landscape, manual, auto, portrait, sports and TV. If you’re a beginner, the auto-mode will help you shoot great images.

To become a skilled photographer, it is essential that you acquaint yourself with the features offered by a basic DSLR camera. You should also consider some of the factors listed below before you invest in a DSLR.

Factors To Consider Before Buying A DSLR Camera

There’s no ‘right’ model of a DSLR. the type of camera you should invest in depends entirely on your requirements. If you are aiming to form a career in photography, then you might need to buy a camera that offers professional and advanced features.

However, mentioned below are some of the essential features that you should look out for.

1. Sensor Size

One of the most essential reasons behind buying a DSLR is the image quality and exposure
triangle flexibility. In addition to that, DSLRs offer larger sized sensors and photosites which contribute towards capturing a great image.

A dynamic size range helps in capturing bright images even in contrast conditions. These sensors are also able to record every moment in both bright and dim areas.

2. Size And Weight

Size, weight, and price of a DSLR are all interdependent. The lightest, smallest cameras will also be amongst the most expensive ones. If you’re a travel photographer looking for a lightweight camera, be prepared to splurge.

However, if you’re going to carry a camera bag either way, then you can save money by purchasing cameras known for their features rather than their size and weight.

3. Lens

Almost all basic DSLR cameras are equipped with a medium-range zoom lens. However, most high-end models offer at least two lenses.

Besides the basic lens, the other lens that is offered has increased zooming capabilities with the focal length ranging from 70mm to 200mm.

If you want to buy additional lenses than those coming with the DSLR, you should opt for lenses offered by Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax. These lenses usually mount over most of the DSLR cameras without compromising on image quality.

4. Price

If you are an entry level photographer, you can easily buy the best DSLR camera under $300.

DSLR cameras start from as low as $300 and can go beyond $8000. However, you need to remember that an investment in a camera lens is more advisable than on a camera body.

For example, it would be next to useless to buy a $1500 DSLR and use a $100 lens.

5. Megapixel Resolution

The number of megapixel resolutions offered by the DSLR camera is a vital factor that you should consider before buying one.

The number of megapixels supported in an image file determines the image quality when printed on a certain size. You can easily print a high-quality A3 sized image with the help of an A5 16-megapixel camera.

The general advice is to buy cameras that offer high-grade pixel count.

6. Durability

Durability is an important factor to look into before buying any gadget. If you’re investing a large amount of money, then you would want the device to last longer.

While a lot of DSLR cameras are built with plastic, several are also made out of metal. Both these materials have their pros and cons; just remember to purchase one that offers the highest quality of any material.

7. User Manual

A user manual will help you decode the features of your DSLR. Almost all the devices listed in the ‘best DSLR camera under $300’ list offer an easy-to-understand user manual.

The presence of a manual will allow you to start shooting in the manual mode and ditch the autoshoot mode. You can also learn about how to control the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture settings of your camera.

8. Video Recording

If you are thinking about using your DSLR for more than just photography, then you will have to look at the videography capacity of a camera.

Only specific entry-level DSLRs have the feature to record in full 1080p HD. The basic average-priced ones are limited to 720p or non-HD recording.

They also offer different video frame rates, with the higher ones smoothing out motion better than the lower ones.

Even if you don’t plan to engage in videography anytime soon, you still might want to purchase a camera that makes the option of video recording available to you.

Therefore, there are various factors to consider before you choose a DSLR that best suits your requirements.

If you’re a beginner, you can easily purchase any one of the best DSLR cameras under $300 and save money without compromising on the DSLR camera’s quality.

Photography Tips And Tricks

A photograph represents reality and can also have a huge impact on people. You can use photography to market products, capture emotional moments or even to create art.

A DSLR camera will allow you to keep experimenting until you find your unique way of clicking pictures. With the various filter options available, you don’t necessarily have to stick to using high-calibre styles.

You can simply switch between using HDR, panoramic shots, or even infrared settings to see what kind of images they produce.

You can also begin by shooting simple shots in black and white mode which will help you develop an idea about how to capture other landscapes and portrait shots.

To take a good photograph, you do need perfect lighting, a good background, and a dash of creativity along with a good DSLR. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, few tips and tricks in the field will always help you find your way around the device.

1. DSLR Camera Settings

What distinguishes a DSLR from other cameras is their enormous number of setting options.
The feature to control lighting is one such factor that is usually the most useful and attracts amateur photographers.

If you learn to handle and monitor the settings to achieve the perfect lighting, then you might be able to take a good vintage shot as well.

With the amount of shooting modes present, all you have to do is to just place a creative muse in front of the camera and begin clicking. With time and experience, you will develop the intuition of proportionately positioning your frame.

2. Inspiration

More often than not, photographers get overwhelmed by the technicalities that come with photography. While the best DSLR with exceptional features would contribute to capturing a great image, they are just a medium to express your personal creativity.

Research and take a look at some of the renowned photography portfolios and follow the journey of skilled photographers. While it may slightly intimidate you, it will also motivate you to keep creating.

Everytime you feel overwhelmed, take a moment and think of the reason behind your hobby. Experiment with several subjects before you find a muse that inspires you to keep going.

3. Avoid Camera Shake

Camera shake or blur could instantly ruin your perfect shot, and there are several ways to avoid it from happening.

Firstly, learn to use both your hands to hold your camera. Loop the camera strap on one wrist and hold the camera body, and use the other hand to hold the lens. This way, you can stabilize the position of the DSLR.

Next, try using a monopod or a tripod whenever you’re shooting for longer durations. Constantly holding the camera might cause fatigue which in turn could harm the image quality.

Lastly, remember to use a shutter speed based on your lens’ focal length. If your shutter speed is too high or too low, even the slightest movement of the camera will result in a blurry photograph.

Ideally, shoot at a shutter speed that is lower than your focal length. For example, the shutter speed should be around 1/100th of a second if you’re using a 100mm camera lens.

To learn more on shutter speeds and the exposure triangle, continue reading ahead.

4. Learn To Use The Exposure Triangle

The three elements that affect the exposure of an image is Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. The exposure triangle is an integral part in determining your image’s quality.

a. Aperture

Aperture is essentially a hole inside the lens which allows light to pass through the DSLR. The aperture is measured in f-stops and controls the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor, hence determining the depth of field of your image.

It has a simple concept – as you decrease the f-stop number, the aperture hole widens and allows more light to enter the camera.

A low f-stop will decrease the depth of field, but will allow you to capture great images in low light areas.

b. Shutter Speed

After passing the aperture hole, the light reaches the area controlled by the shutter mechanism of the camera.

Measured in fraction of seconds, the shutter speed can be used to darken the exposure or to capture stop motion images. Therefore, the duration of the shutter speed determines the amount of light entering in.

The longer your shutter speed, the longer your shutter will remain open, thus allowing more light to pass through.

c. ISO

The final part of the exposure triangle is the ISO setting. Amongst the steps on how to photograph in manual mode, learning how to operate the ISO setting can prove to be challenging.

As the ISO increases, the exposure level increases as well, but produces digital grain which hampers. Ideally, the base setting of ISO at 100 is perfect for capturing well-lighted shots.

However, if you want to capture images in low-lit areas, then you would have to increase the ISO in order to brighten the image, which might also result in a low-quality picture.

Thus, it is better to begin by shooting in aperture or shutter-priority modes before you completely switch to manual mode.

5. Composition 

Composition essentially refers to capturing an image exactly the way you see it in reality. Finding the right composition is not that challenging and with the help of a few fundamental rules, you can capture eye-catching images.

1. Rule Of Thirds

One of the most fundamental concepts, the rule of thirds refers to framing your subject proportionately by dividing it into a nine block grid.

To understand and use the rule of thirds, imagine two lines lying horizontally and two vertically, creating nine perfect squares.

With this rule, you can easily define the focal points and place your subject accordingly in the frame.

2. Leading Lines

While the rule of thirds is simple to understand concept, you can opt to use the naturally occurring leading lines lying in the image, to create and capture a better framed picture.

Since an image is a visual representation of your perspective, it’s essential to add proper and a proportionate balance to make the image more realistic.

Leading lines refers to aligning your camera based on the intersection points of the subject. For example, if you’re capturing an image of a street, you can easily form an ideal image composition by letting the building and street lines guide you.

6. Flash

The flash option may seem like an easy way to capture bright images. While taking a picture with the flash on will ensure a well-lit image, it can also make indoor portraits look harsh and unnatural.

Therefore, you should ideally avoid using flash indoors. There are various ways to take an image in low-light areas without resorting to flash.

As mentioned earlier, you can easily crank up the ISO to 800 or 1600 along with a wide aperture, to capture shots in dim areas. This will allow you to create a blurred background and also let more light enter in.

7. Keep Experimenting

Once you get comfortable with the basic camera settings, you can and should go on to experiment with the mechanisms to improve your photography skills.

a. Panning Technique

If you want to capture a subject while they’re in motion, set the shutter speed two levels lower than required. For example, if the shot asks for 1/250th second, set it at 1/60.

Go on to using the panning technique by first locking the focus and then moving the camera along with your subject as you click the image.

b. Light Trails

If you’re taking a night shot, you can easily experiment with the shutter speed to create some beautiful light trails.

The trick is to set the shutter speed at around 4 seconds to capture the light trails as your object moves.

However, remember to first stabilize the camera’s position otherwise you will just end up capturing blurry images.

Thus, there are several other tips and tricks that can get you started on photography. It is essential that you keep experimenting with moving objects and different backgrounds to understand the technicalities of the DSLR.

FAQs on  DSLR Cameras Under $300

Q1. Should I Buy A Mirrorless Camera Or A DSLR?

While mirrorless cameras are gaining popularity due to their lightweight, fast and compact nature, a DSLR is still considered to be a better option when it comes to buying lenses and accessories.

Even though DSLRs are a bulkier and complex option, they still provide you with the option to select your own lenses and optical viewfinders based on your requirements.

Q2. What Mode Of Shooting Is Ideal For Professional Photographers?

While amateur photographers choose to shoot in autofocus mode, professionals always choose the manual or aperture priority mode.

By choosing the manual mode, you can easily change the camera settings according to your will. The exposure triangle becomes more accessible and you can achieve better quality shots by controlling the camera settings.

Q3. Is Canon Better Or Nikon?

You can shoot quality images and videos on cameras offered by both these brands. However, Canon cameras have a slightly better advantage since they provide better autofocus, advanced EF electronic system and an incredible in-house digital sensor.

Nonetheless, Nikon offers great entry-level devices and offers some of the best DSLR cameras under $300.

Q4. What Is The Difference Between A DSDLR And SLR Camera?

Both the camera types produce photographs by reflecting light on a viewfinder, which is entered through the lens using a mirror.

The difference lies between their ways in recording the image. A SLR camera uses a film made of gelatin and plastic while a DSLR captures the image digitally on a memory card.

Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 – Conclusion

Therefore, you can gain an incredible experience even if you buy the best DSLR camera under $300. It will encourage you to focus on improving your photography skills before you invest in a high-end camera.

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, once you buy any DSLR camera, you will eventually develop your creativity levels and create high-quality portrait and landscape shots.

Once you get used to using a camera, you’ll find that it is easy to handle and operate. This will encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and start experimenting with other shooting modes and styles as well.

Whether it’s daylight or nighttime, you can easily shoot your subjects with the help of a DSLR. at the end of the day, don’t let photography overwhelm you with its intricacies, stay true to your inspiration and let your creativity speak for itself.

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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