Best Cameras Under $1000 in 2023
Flagship cameras are all the craze this days with the release of the Canon EOS R3, Nikon Z9, and even the Sony A1. But for beginners or advance photographers, these cameras are still out of reach.
Luckily, there are gems that are within budget. They do not break the bank yet capable of producing crisp results.
Here's our pick for the best cameras under $1000.
Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless Camera
If you are looking for a small and lightweight camera that can deliver stunning image quality and performance, you might want to check out the Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless Camera with 18-45mm lens. This camera is part of the EOS R System, which offers a range of innovative features and lenses for creative photography and video.
The Canon EOS R10 has a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor that can capture detailed and vibrant images in any lighting condition. It also has Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which provides fast and accurate autofocus across the entire frame.
The Canon EOS R10 is also a great choice for video enthusiasts, as it can record oversampled 4K up to 30p or 4K/60p with crop. The camera has a built-in pop-up flash for extra illumination when needed.
The Canon EOS R10 comes with a versatile RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, which is ideal for travel and everyday shooting.
This camera has a 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder that lets you see your scene clearly and comfortably. It also has a 1.04M dot fully articulating rear touchscreen LCD that lets you adjust settings and compose shots from different angles. The camera has a single UHS-II SD card slot for storing your images and videos.
The Canon EOS R10 is available now for $1099 with the RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens included. However, some retailers are selling this combo for less than $1000.
Canon EOS M6 II
The Canon EOS M6 II might be the last of the Cano APS-C M-mount cameras but it certainly is still a contender for a camera under $1000. It is feature-rich with great image quality and color science.
This camera has a 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and only weighs 14.3 ounces.
The eye AF is also reliable and it can shoot up to 14fps in burst. Beginners would also benefit from the built-in flash and transferring on the go is easy through Wi-Fi.
However, there are minor hiccups such as sub-par 4K video capabilities, relatively short battery life, and there is no viewfinder to look at under bright sunlight.
Still, the Canon EOS M6 II is a steal for $850 (body only) and around $1,099 for the kit with the Canon 15-45mm lens.
Now, this camera is intended for beginners who wants something that they can use on the go. But for upgradeability, it is uncertain unless Canon announces a new road map for the Canon M-mount.
The Nikon Z50 is a great option with a 20.9 megapixel APS-C CMOS censor that works with Nikon Z-mount lenses.
This camera has excellent image quality and great color rendition. The lowlight performance is phenomenal while the built-in flash is helpful at times.
Another great feature is the button layout. The dials are all on the right for easy access and the buttons are well-placed.
The Nikon Z50 can shoot up to 11-fps despite its small and lightweight footprint. It is ergonomic too so it is not a pain to hold for longer times.
It can shoot 4K and 1080p video too for beginner videographers out there.
Lastly, the cons are there but they are not a deal-breaker. The AF tracking gets sluggish at times and the lens selection is not that great.
The Nikon Z50 retails for around $850 for the body and $1000 for the body and the Nikon 16-50mm lens.
The Sony A6400 is arguably one of the best cameras when it comes to Autofocus speed. Sony did its magic right with the A6400 as it can snap to focus faster than you can blink.
This camera has a 24.2-megapixel sensor, which is quite a staple in the Sony APS-C lineup. It produces great image quality and dynamic range with not-so-bad high ISO performance.
The camera flips for vlogging and it can also shoot 4K videos. Burst mode is at par with other cameras on this list at 11fps.
Of course, there are cons to this cameras too. It has a lot of options for autofocus and it can be confusing at times. The menu needs a little bit of optimization too.
All in all, the Sony A6400 is a great purchase at $900. The body and kit lens combo is also available for around $1000. However, this Sony kit lens is not the best one out there so it's better to splurge a little bit and get the Sony 18-105mm f/4.
Fujifilm X-T30 II
The Fujifilm X-T30 mark II has a lot of exciting features coming from the more expensive Fujifilm X-T4. Thus, it has excellent image quality and the famous Fujifilm color that is well loved.
The X-T30 has a 26.1-megapixel X-Trans sensor that is praised in the community for its filmic look.
This camera can also take 20 fps burst shooting and can shoot 4K video as well. The retro design is nostalgic yet ergonomic because the controls are easy to reach. If the dials are not your thing, the touch screen is responsive too.
Moreover, Fujifilm is focusing on APS-C cameras so there are a lot of lenses to choose from - both first-party and third-party options.
The cons include an awkwardly placed tilting screen and a 10-minute limit while shooting 4K. However, take that out of the equation and you have a bang for the buck camera.
The X-T30 mark II is available for $900 body only. The camera kit option is priced at $1,300 but do take note that the Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 lens that comes with it is the best kit lens out there.
The Nikon D7500 came out in 2017 but it is still a capable camera today. It has a 20.9-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and it is compatible with Nikon F-Mount lenses.
Despite its age, this camera can take 8fps burst mode which is good enough for action photography. It has 51 autofocus points that are reliable and accurate when it comes to tracking.
Low-light performance is top-notch and the build quality is excellent for its price. There is also a tilting LCD screen for easy controls.
Another thing, Nikon has great color science that provides accurate skin tones and top-notch dynamic range.
Moreover, the Nikon APS-C lens selection is massive and if you hunt for used lenses, you even have more options.
So what's the catch?
The D7500 has sub-par video quality and it is heavy. But that's it.
The Nikon D7500 body is available for $1000. Add the Nikkor 18-140mm lens and it will cost you around $1,400. But that's just right for a durable camera that will last you a long while.
The Sony A6100 is the little brother of the Sony A6400 and the successor of the Sony A6000. It has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor with a 3-inch tilting touchscreen with 425-point Phase-detection AF.
It improves upon the greatness of the Sony A6000 but adds more flair such as 4K recording, better tracking autofocus and more battery life.
However, the Sony A6100 still lacks in-body image stabilization and a little bit more EVF resolution would have been better.
Still, it is a great beginner camera for $850 and that's with the kit lens included.
Mirrorless Camera vs DSLR: Which One?
Mirrorless cameras are the mainstream cameras of today taking over the DSLR market. This seems like the trend now as manufacturers are slowly pushing forward their mirrorless development, leaving DSLR in shambles.
Companies like Canon and Nikon have been releasing mirrorless units now while their DSLRs are stuck in the past. New features are getting added and the specs are getting better and better.
Does it mean the DSLR options mentioned above are bad?
Nor really. DSLRs are still a great option because of the established system behind it. There are tons of affordable DSLR options with great and extensive lens choices.
Moreover, if you are not picky, the used DSLR market is full of great models that are sold at a bargain. Sometimes it even includes multiple lenses that are ready to use.
So for $1000, you can not go wrong with either of the two. It is now a choice between a maturing system or an aging system that mature yet slowly declining.
These are the top cameras under $1000 that are perfect for beginners and advanced photographers a like. Remember though, buying a camera means that you are buying into a system that will last a long time so choose wisely.