If you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot camera and feel like you’re ready to take your photography to the next step, then an entry-level DSLR is the obvious choice. You might also want to consider a mirrorless camera as an alternative, although you won’t find one with a viewfinder at the same price as a DSLR.
In this article, we help you choose a great camera without spending a fortune.
Stick the 700D next to the 750D and you’ll struggle to tell them apart, as the new camera inherits the 700D’s excellent ergonomics and class-leading touch-sensitive screen. Even the good old button controls are more comprehensive than on rival Nikons, making the 700D intuitive to use, regardless of your ability. However, the 700D’s sensor can trace its roots back to the 550D released in 2010 and it’s now outclassed in terms of noise suppression and dynamic range. The 9-point autofocus system is also dated and you don’t get Wi-Fi connectivity. The 700D’s slashed price does make it a tempter, but the 750D is a more future-proof choice. – $599.99 at Amazon
4. Nikon D5300
The D5300 was around for little more than a year before the D5500 technically replaced it, but unlike the equivalent Canon 700D, the D5300 is still a contemporary camera. It shares the same 24.2MP sensor with an identical maximum ISO 25600 sensitivity as the D5500, whilst the D5300’s EXPEED 4 image processor and 39-point autofocus system have also been carried over to its replacement. Whilst the D5300 doesn’t sport fancy touch-screen control, you do get GPS instead. The D5300’s 600-shot battery life has since been beaten by the D5500, but it’ll still outlast a Canon 750D – the D5300 is still a smart buy. – $796.95 at Amazon
3. Nikon D5500
The D5500 competes directly with Canon’s 750D at the upper end of the entry-level DSLR market. Where Nikon’s D3000-series cameras are designed as cost-conscious introductory DSLRs, the D5000-series is preferable if you want to get more creative. This latest addition to the series is bang up-to-date and is the first Nikon DSLR to get touch-screen control, plus there’s also built-in Wi-Fi – but it’s a pity GPS hasn?’t been carried over from the D5300, and live view autofocusing speed is no faster. There isn’t much wrong with the D5500’s 24.2-megapixel, non-anti-aliased sensor, though. It may be pinched from the older D5300, but it still delivers excellent image quality. – $896.95 at Amazon
Nikon doesn’t have the top spots in our line-up all to itself because by paying more cash will get you a lot more camera. The Canon 750D is new and still rather pricey, but its new 24.2-megapixel sensor delivers stunning image quality with impressively low noise levels at high ISO sensitivities. The 750D also receives much-improved autofocus and exposure metering systems over Canon’s older 700D, as well as built-in Wi-Fi with NFC pairing. Although outwardly similar to its 700D predecessor, that does mean you get the same articulating, touch-sensitive screen to enjoy. Assuming the 750D’s price tag falls in line with that of the Nikon D5500, the Canon is our preferred choice thanks to more comprehensive controls and marginally superior image quality. – $779.00 at Amazon
1. Nikon D3300
The D3300’s 24.2 megapixel sensor resolves bags of detail with minimal image noise up to ISO 3200, and also produces decent results at higher sensor sensitivities. Much like pricier Nikon DSLRs, it does away with an anti-aliasing filter to maximise image sharpness. This is also a very easy camera to live with. Its clever Guide Mode is a useful learning tool that gives real-time explanations of important features, whilst the collapsible 18-55mm kit lens is great when you?re on the go. It’s a shame you don’t get an articulated touch-screen display or Wi-Fi connectivity, but Nikon does make a cheap plug-in Wi-Fi adaptor. – $546.95 at Amazon