Olympus PEN E-PL7 ( Body Only, Black)
A likeable interchangeable-lens model, the Olympus PEN E-PL7's overall package makes an attractive alternative to an advanced compact and has quite a bit to offer as a first ILC.
Canon PowerShot G7 X
The Canon PowerShot G7 X would jump from very good to excellent if it could just pick up the pace.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 ( with 14-42mm Lens, Silver)
Though it doesn't deliver the best photo quality, the sum of the Olympus OM-D E-M10's design, performance and features add up to a nice upgrade from a point-and-shoot.
Nikon D3300 ( with 18-55mm II lens, Black)
Very good photo quality for its class plus decent performance make the Nikon D3300 A solid choice for a first dSLR.
Olympus Stylus 1
For those who crave an enthusiast compact with more zoom range, the Olympus Stylus 1 should be high on your list for its excellent balance of performance, design, and features.
Fujifilm X-E1 ( Body Only, Black)
It's not a general-purpose recommendable camera thanks to subpar video and slightly sluggish performance, but for photo-quality-first photographers who want the analog-ish shooting experience, the Fujifilm X-E1 rules in its price range.
Fujifilm X-M1 ( Body Only, Silver)
While it may not be the best overall camera available for less than $1,000, the Fujifilm X-M1 does deliver the best photo quality in its price class.
Pentax K-50 ( with 18-55mm WR Lens, Red)
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.
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 ( with 18-55mm STM lens)
While the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is a perfectly reasonable entry-level dSLR, you can get the same photo and video quality in a smaller body for the same money (or less) by opting for a mirrorless interchangeable-lens model.
Canon EOS Rebel T5i ( with 18-55mm STM lens)
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.