Best entry-level digital SLR cameras of 2015


Avid photographers who want full creative control over their images should consider a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera. These models offer the advanced features that experienced shooters need, and all of them are compatible with a wide range of interchangeable lenses and accessories. Of course, they're generally more expensive than point-and-shoot cameras, with prices starting at about $600 for the body only. The good news is that if you've already invested in a set of 35mm SLR lenses and accessories, there's a good chance that you'll be able to find a digital SLR body that's compatible with them.

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Nikon D5300

There aren't enough features to tempt existing users to upgrade, but newcomers to Nikon's mid-range SLR will not be disappointed with its performance.

Price: $843.00 - $1,999.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Nikon D5500

Lightweight and compact with everything the family photographer needs, the Nikon D5500 maintains its position as a great general-purpose dSLR.

Price: $649.00 - $899.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Canon EOS 750D

The Canon EOS Rebel T6i/750D continues the line's tradition of being the crowd-pleasing choice for family photographers.

Price: $647.00 - $949.95 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

While the Canon EOS Rebel T5i is -- almost literally -- the same solid camera as its predecessor, it's starting to lag frustratingly behind the competition in some ways.

Price: $489.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Nikon D5100

Though it doesn't rank first based on any individual aspect of the camera, the Nikon D5100 delivers a solid combination of image quality, performance, features, and design that puts it out in front if you're looking for a well-rounded option under $1,000.

3.5 stars Very good

Nikon D3300

Nikon brings its new entry-level SLR in line with higher-end models by removing the anti-aliasing filter and boosting its speed.

Price: $513.00 Check prices

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Offering the same image quality as other entry-level Canon SLRs but with a much smaller body, the 100D is a satisfying first step into the world of SLR photography.

Price: $607.00 - $675.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Pentax K-50

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.

3.5 stars Very good

Nikon D3200

A solid if unexceptional entry-level dSLR, the Nikon D3200 should still please most folks looking for an upgrade from their point-and-shoots.

3.5 stars Very good