If you're looking for the best cheap digital SLR camera you're in the right place. We tested over 15 new very cheap DSLR cameras to find a perfect, money-saving alternative for the bestselling (but expensive) Canon EOS Rebel T5i. The winner is called Nikon D3300. It's a fantastic and very affordable camera that offers equal if not better features than Canon's T5i. Best of all, it won't break the bank. So get excited, because the tricky search for cheap but good DSLR cameras is officially over! Let's take a look.
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of Canon's all-time bestselling cameras and for a good reason. It's a great product that offers everything you need for top-notch photos and videos. The only downside is the camera's high price. We, therefore, recommend the T5i to people who already own Canon lenses and also dedicated fans of the brand. For everybody else, save yourself a lot of money and get the great Nikon D3300 which is the top cheap digital SLR camera on the market at the moment.
Frankly, the Nikon D3300 is the best cheap digital SLR camera we've ever tested. It offers a wide variety of top-notch features that the Canon T5i doesn't have and that are usually reserved for much more expensive DSLR cameras. These specs include an incredible 24.2 MP resolution, 11 auto focus points with 3D tracking, and more. You get all this at one of the best price points for any DSLR on the market. In short, the D3300 is the best cheap digital SLR camera you can currently buy. You'll love it!
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i features 18 megapixels. This is an excellent resolution and enough pixels to print images with 20x30-inches size in superb quality. The T5i has enough MP for almost any use.
The Nikon D3300 offers an incredible 24.2 megapixels. Together with the excellent sensor (more about this below) this means you could print images in top quality at a staggering 30x45 inches size.
The Rebel T5i has an ISO range of 100-12800. This makes the camera take great pictures in bright light (low ISO setting) and even in very dark environments for nighttime photography (high ISO). The ISO range furthermore expands to 25600 in Cannon's "H-Mode" for high-speed continuous shooting which brightens pictures.
The Nikon D3300 offers excatly the same, superb ISO range that the Canon T5i has. It ranges from 100 to 12800, offering you the ability to take great looking pictures in essentially any lighting conditions (except pitch black night). ISO can be expanded to 25600 in some modes, just like with the Canon.
The T5i has nine auto focus points which result in a very quick and reliable focus. This ensures that your images look sharp and in focus, no matter what you're photographing.
The Nikon D3300 outperforms the Canon again, offering a very high 11 auto focus points (instead of nine). It additionally includes a well-designed 3D tracking feature that rapidly focuses scenes.
The Canon DSLR lets you take video at 1080p full HD resolution with 30, 25, and 24 frames per second. You can also shoot 720p HD with higher frame rates at 60 and 50 FPS. All videos are recorded in the standard H.264 format with a 30 minute limit per clip. In short, this means that Canon offers are very good but mainstream set of options for video recording. It includes everything you will need in typical situations. However, Nikon offers more video format options.
The Nikon digital SLR camera lets you shoot video in several different resolutions and frame rates. You can shoot 1080p full-HD with 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 FPS as well as 720p HDwith 50 and 60 FPS. Additionally, the camera supports VGA 640p at 25 and 30 FPS. Videos are recorded in the very good H.264 format with 30 minute limit per clip. All in all, Nikon offers all video resolutions Canon does and more. Therefore, the camera wins this comparison.
The EOS Rebel T5i offers 5 frames per second continuous shooting. This lets you capture fast-paced scenes like sports, kids, and animals.
The D3300 offers the same, fast 5 frames per second continuous shooting mode. It's a great choice for quickly moving objects.
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i standard package includes a versatile 18-55mm lens. It's the ideal beginner DSLR lens, perfect for both close-up and far away scenes. You can also get the camera with 18-135mm, and 18-55mm plus 55-250mm II lens kits at different prices. We always recommend starting with 18-55mm at first.
The Nikon D3300 in its base configuration also includes an all-around excellent 18-55mm lens. It's exactly the right choice for a DSLR starter lens and allows for a lot of versatility. You can also buy the camera with an 18-55mm plus 50mm, 18-55mm plus 55-200mm, and 18-55mm plus 55-300mm lens kits at various price points.
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i has an APS-C sensor. It's the second largest sensor size after the much more expensive full-frame and a great choice for entry-level DSLR cameras. This large sensor size ensures that you can fully use the many megapixels in the camera.
The Nikon D3300 also uses an APS-C sensor, though the company calls it DX format. This large sensor size is an excellent choice for beginner DSLR cameras and ensures that your pictures (especially in the very high 24.2 MP resolution) look amazing.
The T5i includes a three-inch articulating touch panel LCD with 1,040,000 dots. The display looks great even in direct sunlight.
The D3300 also offers a three-inch LCD with 921,000 dots. The screen has a lower resolution than Canon, but images look great.
The T5i offers a good battery life of 440 photos on average.
The D3300 beats Canon by offering an amazing 700 photo battery.
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i measures 3.94 x 3.11 x 5.24 inches.
The Nikon D3300 measures 3.86 x 2.99 x 4.88 inches.
The T5i weighs about 1.28 pounds with battery.
The D3300 weighs approximately 1.45 pounds with battery.