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Best entry-level DSLR 2018: 10 budget DSLRs perfect for the beginner

An entry-level DSLR is the natural progression when you feel like you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot compact camera or are no longer satisfied with the snaps you get from your smartphone. If that’s that case, you’ve come to the right place to find out what the the best entry-level DSLR is to help you take your photography to the next level.

Entry-level DSLRs deliver a big step up in image quality over a compact camera or smartphone. They may share the same amount of megapixels, but the size of an entry-level DSLR’s sensor is physically much larger in most cases, allowing for superior results with more detail and better low-light performance. That’s not forgetting that entry-level DSLRs offer far more manual control and the ability to change lenses to tackle a huge variety of projects. Don’t worry though – there are also a host of auto modes to help you out until you’re comfortable with the more creative controls that a DSLR offers.

The best entry-level DSLRs

Obviously, the more features you want on your entry-level DSLR, the more you’ll pay, but do you actually need them? Our top camera is one of the cheapest on the market, but still offers impressive performance and image quality, plus enough features to handle most photographic assignments, especially if you’re still learning.

You may also want to consider a mirrorless camera as an alternative. If so, you’ll find our video above or Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences guide very useful. Or, if you’re not sure what kind of camera you need at all, then read our easy-to-follow guide to camera types: What camera should I buy?

Should you buy a mirrorless camera over a DSLR? Watch our guide video below to learn more: 

Entry-level DSLR bundles

If you’re buying your first DSLR, it makes sense to buy it as a kit, which generally includes the camera body along with an 18-55mm lens. Often referred to as a ‘kit’ lens, this covers a pretty broad zoom range, perfect for everything from landscapes to portraits, but that’s just the start. 

They’re more than adequate to get started, but the key advantage of DSLRs over compact cameras is that you can add to your kit with additional lenses. For example, wide-angle and telephoto zoom lenses, a flashgun, and other accessories, to make the most of whatever types of photography you’re into.

Best entry-level DSLRs for beginners

Nikon D3400

1. Nikon D3400

Not the most expensive entry-level DSLR, but we think it’s the best

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Nikon DX | Screen: 3-inch, 921,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner

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