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The 5 Best Cameras Under $1,000 - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best Cameras Under $1,000

There's no denying that photography can be an expensive hobby. But thankfully, there are plenty of entry-level cameras under $1,000 with a lot to offer. 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, there's no doubt you can find a camera that suits your needs without having to stretch your dollar too far.

We've bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras under $1,000. If you know you want a mirrorless model, you can also check out the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000. Or, if you're on an even tighter budget, try the best cameras under $500 instead. 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 Nikon Z 50 is the best camera under $1,000 with a kit lens included. For an entry-level camera, it's excellently constructed and comfortable to use, with well-placed controls and an intuitive user interface. It's even weather-sealed to give you more peace of mind when shooting in more adverse weather conditions. Aside from its awesome handling, it's also no slouch for image quality, with a solid sensor that performs well in low light.

    While it has a solid AF system that'll get the job done in most situations, the similarly-priced Sony α6400 has a slightly more reliable autofocus system but with worse ergonomics and a menu system that can be hard to navigate. If you're more style-conscious and willing to stretch your budget a little, the Nikon Z fc is also a great option that brings the nostalgia factor. It's one of the best-looking cameras on the market, designed to look like a vintage Nikon film camera. Its dedicated exposure dials give you a little more hands-on control over settings. However, it has basically the same internals as the Z 50, so you'll get very similar performance and features out of it.

    See our review

  2. Best Camera Body Under $1,000

    While the Nikon Z 50 with its bundled Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens is the best all-around camera kit under $1,000, the Fujifilm X-S10 is the best APS-C camera body you can get for under $1,000. You're only getting the body at that price, meaning lenses will bring up the cost; however, unlike the Nikon, the X-S10 has in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which makes a big difference when shooting handheld video or taking photos at slower shutter speeds.

    Other than IBIS, the Fuji is also super well-built and feels great in the hand. Image quality is excellent right out of the camera, with colors that pop and several film simulation profiles you can use to change up the look of your JPEGs. It's a great choice for video work, too, with a fair amount of frame rate options and excellent internal recording specs for the price. Overall, it's a fantastic crop-sensor model with a well-rounded feature set for hybrid photo/video shooters.

    See our review

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

    While most cameras in this price range have crop sensors, the Canon EOS RP proves that it's possible to get full-frame image quality without breaking the bank. You'll have to tip over $1,000 if you want 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 its 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 notably 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. But you'll have a hard time finding full-frame image quality for less, so if these aren't dealbreakers for you, the RP is a great deal for those who are serious about getting into photography and want to jump right into a full-frame model.

    See our review

  4. Best DSLR Camera Under $1,000

    Mirrorless options are a great choice 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 just about 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 camera like the ones mentioned above, 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, an excellent autofocus system, and a long line of lenses to choose from, make this one of the best DSLRs you can get for the price.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Camera

    There are some great camera options around the $1,000 mark, but if you don't need as many bells and whistles, you might be all set with an even cheaper budget camera like the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. It's simple, portable, and does just what you need, making it a great beginner camera. With a solid APS-C sensor inside, it can capture high-quality photos and videos. Plus, it uses Canon's excellent Dual Pixel autofocus system for quick and accurate focusing.

    You won't get the best build quality at this price, and while it can record 4k video, it's best suited to 1080p since 4k recording is limited by a heavy crop. Lens options are also a bit limited, so if you want to upgrade lenses beyond the kit lens, you might want to consider a Micro Four Thirds option like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. It's a bit pricier but still affordable, and you get more lenses and built-in stabilization to boot. Still, the simplicity and price point of the M50 make it one of the most attractive budget cameras around.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Fujifilm X-T30 II: The Fujifilm X-T30 II is a fantastic APS-C camera. You can get the body for under $1,000, but if you want a lens with it, it'll cost you more. It's more portable than the Nikon Z 50 but lacks weather-sealing and doesn't feel as comfortable in the hand. See our review
  • Nikon D3500: The Nikon D3500 is a good budget DSLR that's incredibly easy for beginners, thanks to its built-in 'Guide' shooting mode. That said, it has a fixed screen, a relatively simple autofocus system, and lacks any advanced video features, meaning the Canon EOS M50 Mark II has a little more to offer, depending on your experience level. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 16, 2023: Checked article for accuracy; no change to recommendations.

  2. Nov 23, 2022: Removed the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II as the 'Best Point-And-Shoot Camera Under $1,000' and the Sony ZV-E10 as the 'Best Vlogging Camera Under $1,000'. Added the Canon EOS Rebel T8i as the 'Best DSLR Camera Under $1,000' and the Fujifilm X-S10 as the 'Best Camera Body Under $1,000'.

  3. Sep 27, 2022: Restructured article to align more with user needs and current market conditions.

  4. Feb 02, 2022: Added the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV as 'Best Camera For Vlogging Under $1,000'.

  5. Dec 06, 2021: Moved the Nikon D5600 to Notable Mentions due to lack of availability and replaced the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III with the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II 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.