If you love photography, you probably know that you can spend a lot of time on your hobby, with expensive new cameras coming out all the time. The trick, however, is that you don’t have to, and many fantastic models are available for less than $1,000, offering everything a photo enthusiast needs and more for a small price. And today, we are here with our list of the best cameras under $1000.
Whether you want a full-featured DSLR with a decent built-in lens, a compact fixed-lens camera designed to do it all in one package, or a lightweight, high-quality, fast, mirrorless camera, there are many great deals. Some are newer models designed for a more economical audience, others are more sophisticated cameras that are a few years old, and in some cases have been replaced by newer models.
Best Cameras Under $1000
We’ve put together a selection of the best cameras under 1000 dollars at the moment, and if this budget is more than you want to spend, take a look at our list of the best cameras under $500.
1. Fujifilm X-T200
We loved the concept of the X-T100, as a kind of bridge between the high-end professional X-Series models and the more novice shooters, so it was great to see the release of the X-T200, which builds on this concept while correcting some of the problems of the original. The video has been significantly improved over the X-T200, with the 4K now reaching a frame rate of 30p instead of the 15p of the X-T100. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under $1000.
As far as sensors are concerned, although the X-Trans chip is not yet used in high-end cameras, the 24.2MP APS-C CMOS model of the X-T200 is not to be neglected, and additional features such as 8fps burst shooting contribute greatly to the improvement. The camera is usually supplied with the OIS PZ XC15-45mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, making it an excellent starting point for anyone considering buying their first Fujifilm camera. The large variable angle display is great and the improved 4K video is a big step forward compared to the X-T100, but it’s a shame the price has gone up.
2. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is an exceptional camera and a worthy successor to the highly acclaimed Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. This new camera uses the latest 20.4 megapixels Micro Four Thirds sensor from Olympus, and although this may put off some people – these sensors are smaller than the APS-C – the image quality is very close, and this makes Olympus cameras and lenses particularly small and portable.
The capabilities of this new camera are astonishing, including excellent 5.5 EV body stabilization, an amazing 30fps Pro Capture mode with 14-frame pre-buffering, C4K, and 4K UHD video, Live Composite and Live Bulb modes, and much more. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars.
3. Nikon D5600
The Nikon D5600 is Nikon’s most exotic entry-level digital SLR. It is incredibly small and light, especially when combined with the kit’s 18-55mm retractable zoom lens. The D5600 does not have the “Guide” interactive shooting mode of Nikon’s D3xxx series cameras, which are more for beginners, but it is still very easy to get started with a simple and intuitive interface and control layout. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under $1000.
There’s an especially wide range of scene modes and effects to get the results you want with the minimum of fuss. An equally generous range of custom settings will appeal to the more expert photographer. The fully articulated touch screen lets you shoot from tricky angles and is ideal for solo shots. All in all, it’s a great buy for anyone who wants a small, lightweight camera for everyday and travel photography, but also a “real” DSLR.
4. Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Ideal for beginners, the EOS 800D was actually a bit too expensive when it was launched in 2017, but its price is now probably perfect. It’s easy to use, but also packed with features, thanks to Canon’s 24MP dual-pixel APS-C CMOS sensor, which provides first-class autofocus for both still and movie shooting. The 45 AF points offer generous coverage, and continuous shooting at 6 frames/second blends perfectly with a decent buffer capacity of 27 RAW files.
Although the 800D doesn’t really handle 4K video, it’s capable of shooting in Full HD at up to 60 frames per second for slow-motion shooting at full resolution. There’s something for enthusiasts, and now that it’s a few years old, the EOS 800D is a bargain for a whole range of different photographers and videographers. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars.
5. Panasonic Lumix ZS200
DSLRs with interchangeable lenses and mirrorless cameras are perfect if you want to get serious about photography, but can be overkill if you just want to take pictures in a casual way. Sometimes a compact fixed lens camera will be fine, especially if you want to travel a lot and are more concerned with capturing the moment than dealing with technical details. A super-zoom travel camera is a perfect solution, but most have really small 1/2.3-inch sensors that limit their image quality. The Panasonic ZS200 is different.
It has a much larger one-inch sensor for much better pictures, combined with a large 15x zoom – and yet it still fits in a jacket pocket when it’s turned off. The ZS200 isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s certainly one of the best long-zoom compact cameras you can get, and it has features and controls that even the experts will love. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under $1000.
6. Panasonic Lumix G95
The Panasonic Lumix G95 (G90 outside the US) is an excellent camera and video camera for amateurs and vloggers. The handling and layout of the controls are excellent, and the autofocus is really fast. The only problem is the price. It’s a good camera for photographers, videographers, and vloggers, and Panasonic’s underestimated 4K photo modes offer capabilities that other cameras don’t have. The Lumix G95, however, is not cheap, although it has Panasonic’s V-Log mode as standard rather than a paid mode.
It also has strong competition with other Lumix models, so keep reading to see other Panasonic Lumix alternatives. The Lumix G9 (below) is especially suited for experts and videographers, while the new G100 could offer almost everything the G95 offers, but in a smaller, cheaper, and more user-friendly unit. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars.
7. Ricoh GR III
The Ricoh GR has a long history, both as a high quality 35mm compact camera and now as a digital model. However, its features and performance are now somewhat behind its latest rivals. GR fans, or GRists as Ricoh calls them, will love this update to an iconic camera. But in the world of multi-lens phones, the appeal of this fixed-lens compact will probably be limited. It’s a nice sized APS-C compact, ideal for carrying it in your pocket, and for discreet street photography. But it is sold at a luxury price that is no longer justified by manufacturing quality or features. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under $1000.
8. Sony Alpha A6400
The A6400’s lack of internal stabilization and headphone jacks can make the A6400 feel under-equipped for video recording. But its excellent image quality (smooth motion, impressive levels of detail), rugged magnesium alloy construction, affordable price, and most importantly, its superb advanced autofocus system make it an ideal candidate for most 4K cameras. Autofocus, which includes excellent tracking of eyes and faces in real life, makes video and still images much easier to shoot, especially if you frequently film other people – or yourself.
Sony’s A6600, the top-of-the-line model in the range, retains many of the features and functions of the A6400 but adds internal stabilization, a headphone jack, and longer battery life. We’ll be looking at whether this model is worth the price, but for now, the A6400 is our choice at Sony. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars.
9. Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark VI
With a budget slightly below our $1000, thanks in part to the release of a successor in the form of the RX100 VII, the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 VI remains one of the best large-sensor compact cameras ever made and represents exceptional value for money. Equipped with a generous zoom range equivalent to 24-200mm, it is well equipped for the vast majority of shooting situations.
Impressive burst speeds of 24 fps combined with 4K UHD video and ISO sensitivity up to 12,800 for an amazingly well-designed camera that does virtually everything you could possibly need, all in a body that fits in your pocket. When it comes to composing, you can choose between an LCD screen or pop-up viewfinder, and the wireless connectivity lets you instantly share your images with a smart camera. Surprisingly well-equipped, the RX100 VI is an exceptional camera. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under $1000.
10. Nikon Z50
The mid-range market without mirrors has never been so crowded. Does this make Nikon’s first foray into the APS-C arena any less appealing? Not at all: with its fantastic handling, compact construction, and many features, the Z50 offers an excellent price-performance ratio for Nikon fans. It’s not as small as some of its competitors, but its deep grip and the good distribution of buttons make it a pleasant camera to hold and use – even if a joystick would allow you to select the AF point faster by looking through the viewfinder (which you will often do, considering its ease of use).
Supported by an Expeed 6 processor (like the one of the Nikon Z6/Z7), the 20.9MP sensor is very powerful. In addition to facilitating 4K video recording, it can produce images with vivid colors but realistic and with a good level of overall detail. Performance in low light could be much worse, and while it’s certainly not a sporty model, AF does a decent job with eye detection. Overall, this is one of the best cameras under 1000 dollars.