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The 6 Best Cameras Under $1,000 - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Cameras Under $1,000

There's no denying that photography can be an expensive hobby. But thankfully, there are some great entry-level cameras with a lot to offer that you can find for under $1,000. These include interchangeable-lens DSLRs and mirrorless models, as well as point-and-shoots with fixed lenses and dedicated vlogging cameras. Given the wide variety of options and how far camera tech has come, it's hard to go wrong with any modern-day camera. That said, we've done some work to narrow down the options and help you find the best camera for your needs.

We've bought and tested over 100 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras under $1,000. If you're on an even tighter budget, you should see the best cameras under $500 instead. If you want to get a mirrorless model, check out the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000, and if you're specifically looking for beginner-friendly options, you can also see our picks for the best cameras for beginners.

  1. Best Camera Under $1,000

    The Canon EOS R10 is the best camera we've tested that you can buy new for under $1,000. Getting a kit lens will bump the cost over $1,000, but at this price point, it's still one of the best-value APS-C cameras on the market. With some impressive video specs, including 4k 60p recording (with a crop), along with one of the most reliable autofocus systems around, this is an excellent hybrid camera. It also delivers great image quality and a blisteringly fast 15 fps burst rate to capture moments of fast action. All of that, plus an easy-to-use interface, comfortable ergonomics, and a solid battery life.

    Another excellent choice that falls around the same price is the Fujifilm X-S10. It's one of the few cameras at this price point to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which can help you get clear handheld shots at slower shutter speeds and reduce camera shake in videos. It also has a more established lens ecosystem than the Canon, which is still limited in terms of lens selection. That said, the X-S10's autofocus system isn't nearly as reliable as the AF on the R10, and the camera's internal video features are a bit more limited.

    See our review

  2. Best Camera Under $1,000 For Lens Selection

    If you want to invest in a well-established lens ecosystem, the best option under $1,000 is the Sony α6400. Since it's part of Sony's long-standing E-mount system, you'll find a very wide range of native and third-party lens options to choose from. Despite the camera's age, it still has one of the best autofocus systems of its class, along with some decent video specs and a high-resolution sensor capable of capturing excellent images. 

    Though it's been surpassed by the more advanced Sony α6700, the α6400 still has a lot to offer at a notably lower price point. If ergonomics and ease of use are a priority, consider the Nikon Z 50 or the vintage-inspired Nikon Z fc instead. The AF on these cameras isn't quite as snappy as Sony's, but the Z 50 has excellent ergonomics and build quality, while the Z fc has style for days. Both use the same sensor and offer great image quality. There are some great lens options for the Z-mount, but selection is still notably more limited than Sony's E-mount.

    See our review

  3. Best Beginner Camera Under $1,000

    For those just getting started in photography, the Canon EOS R50 is one of the best beginner cameras and one of the best-value options at this price point. With a portable design, simple controls, and Canon's incredibly intuitive menu system, it's super accessible for people jumping to their first "proper" camera from a smartphone. Its extensive auto and creative shooting modes make trying different photography styles easy while you learn the ropes, and image quality is great for its class.

    If you want to save even more money, dipping into the used market and looking for older DSLRs like the Nikon D3500 can be a great way to save money. DSLRs also have more established lens lineups, giving you more options to choose from as your skills grow. The D3500 is still one of our favorite beginner cameras because of its built-in Guide Mode, which breaks down the fundamentals of photography for newbies. It's positively no-frills compared to the mirrorless R50, so you'll lose out on things like 4k video capability and a flippy screen.

    See our review

  4. Best DSLR Camera Under $1,000

    Mirrorless options are great for hybrid or video shooters thanks to their quick autofocus systems, but you can't go wrong with a tried-and-true DSLR for photography. The best DSLR camera we've tested under $1,000 is the Canon EOS Rebel T8i. It's Canon's most capable entry-level DSLR, providing all you need in a starter camera.

    Though you can't see image adjustments in real-time through the viewfinder as you would with a mirrorless model like the Canon EOS R50, the optical viewfinder gives you a direct, unfiltered view of your subjects. The roomy handgrip and well-spaced controls make for a very comfortable shooting experience. All of that, plus a battery life that's hard to beat, a great autofocus system for its class, and a wide range of lenses to choose from, make this one of the best DSLRs you can get for the price.

    See our review

  5. Best Vlogging Camera Under $1,000

    If you're looking for a vlogging camera that comes in under $1,000, the Sony ZV-E10 is the best option on the market. With no viewfinder, a fully articulated screen, and a built-in vlogging microphone, it's designed specifically for vlogging. On top of that, it's nice and portable, and its APS-C sensor captures high-quality photos and 4k video at up to 30 fps. It also comes with neat vlog-oriented features like a 'Product Showcase' mode that prioritizes the focus on objects held up in the frame.

    That said, if you don't need interchangeable lenses, the compact Sony ZV-1 is the point-and-shoot cousin of the ZV-E10, sitting around the same price point. It uses a smaller sensor, so you won't get as much dynamic range out of it, and its fixed lens is a bit more limiting. Plus, battery life is naturally worse. However, it's a great alternative if you want an all-in-one camera. If you prefer a wider-angle view, the newer Sony ZV-1 II has an updated lens, but it'll cost you a bit more and lacks optical stabilization.

    See our review

  6. Best Full-Frame Camera Under $1,000

    While most cameras in this price range have crop sensors, the Canon EOS RP proves it's possible to get full-frame image quality without breaking the bank. You'll have to pay over $1,000 to get a lens bundled with the camera, but it's still one of the most affordable full-frame cameras on the market unless you shop second-hand. It's also relatively small and lightweight, and the simple control layout and easy-to-use menu system make it fairly accessible to newer users.

    Some trade-offs come with this attractive price tag. The camera's all-plastic construction feels cheaper than higher-end full-frame cameras aimed at enthusiasts and pros. It also has a disappointingly short battery life and a slow max burst rate. Still, you'll have a hard time finding full-frame image quality for less, so if these aren't dealbreakers, the RP is a great deal if you're serious about getting into photography and want to jump right into a full-frame model.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Fujifilm X-T30 II: The Fujifilm X-T30 II is a great APS-C camera that falls around the $1,000 mark. It's much more portable than the Canon EOS R10 but has a worse autofocus system and less advanced video features. See our review
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is another great beginner camera for those on a budget. It's more portable than the Canon EOS R50 and has more lens options, but it uses a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor and has a less reliable autofocus system. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 16, 2024: Replaced the Fujifilm X-S10 with the Canon EOS R10 as the 'Best Camera Under $1,000' because of its better autofocus and internal video specs. Also replaced the Nikon Z 50 with the Sony α6400 and renamed it to 'Best Camera Under $1,000 For Lens Selection'.

  2. Nov 13, 2023: Removed the RICOH GR III due to price and lack of availability.

  3. Sep 15, 2023: Renamed the Fujifilm X-S10 to 'Best Camera Under $1,000' and renamed the Nikon Z 50 to 'Best Camera Bundle Under $1,000'.

  4. Jul 20, 2023: Moved the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV to Notable Mentions, added the Canon EOS R50 as the 'Best Beginner Camera Under $1,000', added the Sony ZV-E10 as the 'Best Vlogging Camera Under $1,000' and removed the Sony ZV-1, and added the RICOH GR III as the 'Best Point-And-Shoot Under $1,000'.

  5. May 23, 2023: Moved the Fujifilm X-T30 II to Notable Mentions and added the Sony ZV-1 as the 'Best Compact Camera Under $1,000'.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cameras under $1,000 for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for cameras under $1,000. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.