Best DSLR Camera Under $300 [2022 Review]

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Whenever you think of getting a DSLR camera, the overall expense may have crossed your mind. If your budget for a DSLR camera is less than $300, you may have thought about which best DSLR camera under 300 dollars is in the market.

DSLR is the most advanced camera in the world of photography, and they are often used by professional photographers because of their incredible features and specs. This is also the reason why most of them are expensive. Luckily, several major camera manufacturers decided to create a series of DSLR cameras that are budget-friendly and won’t compromise the quality of the images and videos that you take with them.

Our Top DSLR Camera Under $300 Reviews

The DSLR camera is the most popular type of camera that is used by photographers and videographers because of its flexibility and its versatility. This camera allows you to have control over the settings, which is something that you can’t do with compact cameras.

Below are our picks of the best DSLR cameras under 300 dollars so you can get one even if you are on a tight budget.

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 is a point-and-shoot DSLR camera that has a small image sensor ideal for a massive zoom lens. The camera measures 3.7 x 51. x 4.7 inches and it weighs 1.4 pounds, so it is pretty easy to carry.

The camera has a Wi-Fi connectivity feature to let you transfer images and videos to another device faster, and it also comes with remote control. It is compatible with the Panasonic Image App, which is an app that you can download for iOS and Android. You can copy photos from the camera to your smartphone so you can edit and share them, and it also offers manual control and a live feed so you can use your smartphone as the camera’s remote control.

The autofocus system of the camera locks on the subject in 0.5-second at both the telephoto and wide end in very bright light. In low light conditions, it takes 0.9-second before it can focus and shoot at the wide end, and it hunts for the subject when it is focusing on the subject at 1200mm.

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 has an 18.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, which is an upgrade over the 16.1-megapixel sensor of the KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom. The FZ80 records in 4K UHD and it has a wide range of video features. The camera can record at this quality at up to 30 frames per second with a 100Mbps bitrate. The 4K UHD video can be recorded for up to 15 minutes continuously.

However, the camera does not have any image stabilization system built in unlike the Minolta MN35Z so if the camera shakes too much it will show on the images and videos. Also, it does not have a Silent Wave Motor feature that lets you zoom in without producing any noise.

Pro:

  • Wi-Fi connectivity so you can transfer files faster.
  • The weight makes it easy to operate and carry.
  • Can be connected to your phone via the Panasonic Image App for better. control

Cons:

  • No stabilization feature.
  • Does not come with a Silent Wave Motor, the autofocus produces noise.

Minolta 20 Megapixels WiFi Digital Camera 

The Minolta MN35Z can capture memorable moments thanks to its powerful autofocus system. It can capture 20-megapixel stills and its image sensor lets you create moments with clear high-resolution images that are suitable for enlarging and cropping without losing its quality.

The digital camera has the ability to record in full 1080p high-definition video that shows the rich detail of the scene and in vibrant and crisp colors. You can shoot in crystal clear quality with its 16:9 widescreen format at 60 frames per second frame rate.

The built-in Wi-Fi connectivity lets you share images with other devices that are Wi-Fi enabled, this is a feature that the Kodak PixPro Astro Zoom does not have. The transfer includes iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

With its 35x optical zoom lens and its image stabilization system, you can shoot for long distances and you can also capture close-ups. The advanced shooting features of the camera include face detection for security, multi-frame shooting, HDR, Panorama shooting, Burst, and ISO range of up to 6400.

With its 3 inch LCD screen display, it is easier to frame and capture shots, view images, read menus and view the content thanks to its massive clear screen.

The mode dial of the camera is one of its most important functions because it lets the user select between different shooting modes such as Shutter Priority, Program, Aperture Priority, and Manual. The scene modes have automated presets that let you capture portraits, landscapes, and more.

However, it is not sealed from external elements, so it needs to be constantly cleaned to keep its quality. Also, it has no Silent Wave Motor system, unlike the KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom so the motor makes a sound when you zoom in and out.

Pros:

  • Built-in stabilization for clear images and videos.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity for easy and faster transfer of files.
  • 35x optical zoom so you can capture subjects that are far away.

Cons:

  • Not sealed from weather and external elements.
  • No Silent Wave Motor feature, the camera produces noise when you focus on the subject.

KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom 

The Kodak PixPro Astro Zoom camera lets you enlarge, zoom and crop images without having to sacrifice the clarity and quality of the images.

The camera has a 16-1 megapixel CCD sensor that gives you clear images, although that is lower compared to the 18 megapixels of the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80.

The 42x optical zoom feature of the camera and its 24mm wide-angle lens lets you capture subjects that are a few feet away from you and it fits it into every single frame. The optical zoom feature of this camera is higher compared to Minolta MN35Z that only has a 35x optical zoom feature.

With its face detection feature, you can capture the facial features of the subject easily as it highlights them for you. This feature is also compatible with animals such as cats and dogs so you can snap photos of your furry friends. It also has a blink and smile detection feature that captures the best moments.

The camera also has a face beautifier mode that has a lot of touch-up features that let you reduce any facial flaws, enhance the subject’s skin tone and improve how your portrait looks.

With the Panorama mode, you can create panoramic pictures easily, in full 180 degrees, just by panning the camera. It also offers continuous shooting.

However, the camera is not compatible with Ultra SD, Micro SD, Extreme SD, Extreme Plus, and SDXC cards. It only takes SD and SDHC memory cards and it should not be larger than 32GB.

Also, it does not come with a Wi-Fi connectivity feature so you will need to manually transfer the files from the camera to another device via cable.

Pros:

  • The 42x optical zoom feature lets you take images of subjects far away.
  • The camera has facial detection feature that captures the best moments of the subject.
  • Has built-in stabilization for distortion-free images and videos.

Cons:

  • No Wi-Fi connectivity feature, you need to manually transfer files.
  • It is only compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards with a limit of 32GB.

Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera

The Nikon CoolPix B500 has a super telephoto glass lens that lets you zoom in on your subject that is far away from you. It allows you to record in full high definition with 1080p quality and with its flip-up LCD screen, you can cover almost any angle.

The camera has a 16-megapixel sensor, which is a bit low compared to the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80. However, it can still capture beautiful images thanks to its low light sensor. It is also equipped with lens-shift vibration reduction that prevents distortion from forming and the menus and controls are very easy to navigate.

The autofocus feature is fast, so you can lock the subject right away. You can also connect the camera to your PC or smartphone via the Wi-Fi feature or the Bluetooth feature, which is what the  Kodak PixPro Astro Zoom does not have. You can share your images and videos instantly.

The camera has a 40x optical zoom feature and an 80x dynamic fine zoom for close-up photos. It provides a super-telephoto ability and it effectively doubles the reach of the camera’s built-in lens.

The camera is compatible with Nikon’s Snapbridge app that can be used to unlock the device’s capabilities such as NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth so that the connection between the camera and your smartphone or tablet does not get interrupted. It is also an app that lets you edit your images immediately after taking them, so your data is always ready to share.

However, the camera’s LCD is not a touchscreen, so you will have to do things manually. Also, the camera is not weather-sealed, which means you will have to put it in a casing to protect it from external elements.

Pros:

  • It has an 80x dynamic fine zoom so the lens can reach up subjects that far from you.
  • Has built-in vibration reduction so the pictures don’t come out distorted.
  • The LCD screen can be flipped so you can cover more angles.

Cons:

  • The camera is not weather-sealed, thus it needs to be cleaned frequently.
  • The LCD screen is not touchscreen, you will have to operate the camera manually.

Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera

The Canon PowerShot SX420 is a versatile digital camera that has a 42x optical zoom lens. That is higher compared to the optical zoom lens of  Minolta MN35Z. You can reach subjects all the way from 1008mm, so if you want to capture athletes in a sports event at the far end of the field, you can clearly see their movements and their expressions.

The 24mm wide-angle lens of the camera lets you capture amazing landscapes and massive group portraits. The camera’s optical image stabilizer lets you get a clear and noise-free picture whether you are shooting subjects that are near or far.

The camera’s Intelligent IS analyzes the movement and it applies the shake correction feature for the shooting situation. For pictures, the system chooses from Panning IS, Macro IS, Normal IS, and Tripod modes. When filming the video, the system chooses from Powered IS, Dynamic IS, Active Tripod IS and Macro IS modes. With Intelligent IS, you can focus on capturing images, letting the camera make effective IS settings to help get a steady picture.

The camera’s built-in Wi-Fi technology, a feature that the KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom does not have. It lets you share your images and videos with other people. You can also transfer the images and videos to your PC, smartphone, or tablet.

It also allows you to post your images on different social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Google Drive through the Canon Image Gateway. You can save the images on the online photo album so you can share them anytime.

However, it is not sealed, which means that external elements may affect its quality. Also, it has no touchscreen capability, so you need to operate the camera manually.

Pros:

  • The 42x optical zoom lens lets you capture subjects from far away.
  • It has a stabilization system that lets you take pictures without any distortion.
  • It has Wi-Fi connectivity that lets you send images to other devices.

Cons:

  • It is not weather-sealed.
  • It has not touchscreen feature, it needs to be operated manually.

Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera

The Sony DSCH300 DSLR camera has a powerful 35x optical zoom that brings that subject closer to you for a precise shot. Although the optical zoom is not as high as that of the Canon PowerShot SX420, it still provides clear and crisp images.

The 20.1-megapixel sensor and the high-definition videos produce amazing pictures and films. It allows you to capture movies and detailed pictures easily. The body itself is comfortable to handle when you pan, record, or shoot. With its built-in lens and its sensor, there is no scene too wide or subject too far.

The optical zoom feature of the lens allows you to take close-ups with blur-free precision and you can zoom out easily for wide-angle shots. With its sensor, you can capture images with vibrant color and clarity. With just a touch of a button, you can switch from images to film. 

Just press the recording button to begin shooting in a 720p high-definition video. You can record in MP4 at 30 frames per second, making it ideal for fast editing. The controls of the DSLR are easy to operate and easy to reach, and the shot is steady every time.

If you want to take a Panoramic shot, you can do it by changing the mode. Just press the 360-degree Sweep Panorama button and move the DSLR camera as it creates a series of frames for a beautiful panoramic image.

However, it does not have Wi-Fi connectivity, unlike the Minolta MN35Z. Also, it does not come with a stabilization feature. To make sure that your images and videos are not distorted or blurry, you can attach the DSLR camera to a stabilizer or a tripod.

Pros:

  • It comes with a Sweep Panorama button that creates frames for a great panoramic picture.
  • The body is easy to hold and comfortable to grip.
  • The 35x optical zoom lets you take images of subjects that are a few feet away from you.

Cons:

  • It has not built-in Wi-Fi connectivity feature, you will need to transfer files manually.
  • No stabilization, it is best to attach it to a tripod or stabilizer to prevent distortion on images.

The $300 price would definitely be considered entry level. If you can up your budget a bit, you’ll get a better camera:

Features to Consider in DSLR Cameras Under 300

If you have been waiting for the right model to come along to purchase your first DSLR camera, now is the best time. The combination of performance, incredible resolution, great sensor size, and budget-friendly price offered by most models is good enough to satisfy the needs of photographers, especially professional ones.

DSLR cameras under 300 may sound too good to be true, and some are skeptical that there are areas that may have been compromised due to the price. This is why there are certain features that you need to make sure that is present before you purchase a camera.

Image StabilizationOptical ZoomWi-Fi Technology
Panasonic LUMIX FZ80No60xYes
Minolta MN35ZYes35xYes
KODAK PIXPRO Astro ZoomYes42xNo
Nikon COOLPIX B500Yes40xYes
Canon PowerShot SX420Yes42xYes
Sony DSCH300/BNo35xNo

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a camera feature that ensures your images and videos are clear and sharp. Most of the time, a shaky camera affects the overall quality of your content, it produces blurs and distortion on images and the videos do not become steady.

A black Sony camera

Image stabilization is a feature that can correct all of that. With this feature, you can hold the camera in your hand and move around without having to worry about the quality of your content. The DSLR cameras that have this feature are Minolta MN35Z, KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom, Nikon COOLPIX B500 and Canon PowerShot SX420.

Optical Zoom

All DSLR cameras have built-in lenses that you can use to focus and zoom in on your subject. In choosing a camera, you need to consider the type of photography you want to do because you will also need to select the zoom range of the lens based on that.

If you plan to use the camera to capture sports events and concerts, you will need to have a camera with an optical zoom range equivalent to a telephoto lens. You also need to have a camera with an optical zoom range equivalent to wide-angle lenses if you plan to capture landscape and portrait images. If you are into real estate photography, then you need proper zoom lenses.

The DSLR camera with the most optical zoom range is the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 as can go up to 60x.

Wi-Fi Technology

Photographers transfer their files from their DSLR camera to their computers or laptops. This is done because most images still need to undergo edits and some of the images are kept in a folder or attached to emails. However, there are instances wherein you do not have the right cable to do the transfer, and that is when the Wi-Fi connectivity of the DSLR camera comes in handy.

The DSLR cameras that have Wi-Fi connectivity are the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80, Minolta MN35Z, Nikon COOLPIX B500, and the Canon PowerShot SX420.

A Minolta camera on a white rug

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Average Cost of a DSLR Camera and What Makes It Different From a Mirrorless Camera?

On average, a DSLR camera costs $79. However, it depends on the brand of the DSLR camera and it also depends on the features that it has. The most basic DSLR camera can cost as low as $100, especially when it is used,  while the one with the latest technology and a brand new one can go as high as $6,000.

For professional photographers, DSLR cameras are more commonly used because of their built-in viewfinder and their ability to accept any type of lens. It also has a wide range of options especially when it comes to features.

Mirrorless cameras are also very popular among photographers, and on average it costs around $868. They are similar to DSLR cameras, however, they do not have a mirror that reflects the light from the pictures. Instead, the light goes to the camera’s sensor.

Since there is no mirror, they are lighter, more compact, and they tend to take pictures faster. 

What Affects the Price of a DSLR Camera?

The number of features that your DSLR camera has will influence its price in the market. An entry-level DSLR camera is good enough for beginners as it does not have sophisticated features, just the basic ones.

The features that will surely increase the price of a DSLR camera are video capture, live view, full-frame, half frame, 4K capability, megapixels, and autofocus capabilities.

A Panasonic camera on top of a wooden table

Conclusion

If you are new to photography, you do not have to spend a fortune just to get started. There are best DSLR cameras under 300 that can help you with your journey, and they can serve as a great practice tool.

The DSLR cameras under 300 work well for those who are on a budget, as you do not have to sacrifice quality just to prevent spending a lot of money.