It’s a great time to be looking for your first (or even second) camera as there are some fabulous deals to be had. See our list of best DSLRs under £300.
Whether you’re looking for your first DSLR because you want to get started with advanced photography, or you just want a second body as a backup to something else you own, here are some bargains which can be picked up right now.
Best DSLRs under £300: Canon EOS 1300D
If you’re willing to go body only, the Canon EOS 1300D is available for £289. That’s great news if you’re seeking a second body and want something that will accept your lenses and is familiar to use.
On the other hand, if you’re a first time camera buyer, the 1300D is available with an 18-55mm kit lens at just over the £300 mark, costing around £329.
The 1300D has an 18 million pixel sensor, Digic 4+ processor, and also has Wi-Fi and NFC inbuilt which means you can transfer images across to your phone, or remotely control the phone.
You can also shoot full HD videos, and naturally it’s possible to shoot in raw format and take manual control of your shots.
Best DSLRs under £300: Canon EOS 1200D
Canon’s previous entry-level model is remarkably similar to the newer 1300D, it just doesn’t have the inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC. So therefore, if you don’t think you’re going to need that, you can save yourself even more money.
It also has an 18 million pixel sensor, but the processor is one (half) generation behind, being a standard Digic 4 version. That said, there should be a very minimal difference in image quality between the 1300D and the 1200D – the latter being available for just £218 body only, or £249 with an 18-55mm kit lens.
Best DSLRs under £300: Nikon D3300
Maybe you would prefer a Nikon camera. The D3300 is particularly good for beginners as it has a special Guide mode which walks you through several aspects of taking a photo, helping you to learn the more you use the camera.
There’s also a 24.2MP DX-format (APS-C) sensor, which, like some of the other DSLRs in Nikon’s line-up, there’s no optical low pass filter which is good news for detail resolution.
The slightly bad news is that the D3300 is only available for under £300 if you’re happy to take it body only. That’s great if you’re looking for a backup camera, but if it’s your first camera, then you’ll be looking at just over £300 (it’s currently retailing for about £310) to buy the D3300 with an 18-55mm kit lens.
Best DSLRs under £300: Nikon D3200
If you’re on a stricter budget, the Nikon D3200 could be a good choice for you. Currently available for £299 with an 18-55mm kit lens, it also has some great features for beginners.
There’s also a Guide Mode here for helping you out when you’re just beginning, but while the resolution of the sensor is also 24.2, it is fitted with an optical low pass filter, making it slightly less suited to high detail shots. It’s something that you may only notice when examining shots very carefully at 100% though, or if you shoot a lot of macro type subjects.
Best DSLRs under £300: Pentax K-S1
Nikon and Canon have quite a strong dominance in the entry-level DSLR market, but if you have some old Pentax lenses hidden somewhere in the attic, then the K-S1 could be a good buy for you.
It’s got a 20 million pixel sensor, which is missing an anti-aliasing filter for increased detail resolution. There’s also sensitivity up to ISO 51,200 and a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000 seconds.
There’s a good range of features for the beginner here, or just someone who needs another Pentax body. You can pick it up for roughly £250 body only, but if you do need a lens to attach to it, you can buy one for around £70 extra.