Surprisingly, the best cameras under 1000 dollars still packs big a photographic punch! We’ve gathered some of the best options on the market so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, there’s sure to be a camera under $1000 that meets your needs.
We have found that the best camera under $1000 is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. It takes this spot thanks to its video abilities, high resolution, and great looks.
13 Best Cameras Under 1000 Dollars
Now we’ll dive into our list of the best cameras under $1000. We’ll show you that a tighter budget doesn’t exclude you from the photography world. With compacts, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras, this list has something for any beginner or enthusiast.
1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a fantastic all-around camera. It has a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensor, which is smaller than APS-C and full frame sensors. That means Micro Four Thirds cameras are more compact and lightweight. And the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is the perfect demonstration that MFT cameras still pack a punch with performance.
Despite the smaller size of the Micro Four Thirds sensor, this interchangeable lens camera still gives you an image resolution of 20.3 MP. You see a massive jump in image quality from smartphone cameras. The color rendering and dynamic range are fantastic.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV also gives you the ability to create videos. The video quality is excellent at 4K. You can select your frame rate of 24, 25, or 30 fps. And the video quality is aided by the 5-axis image stabilization system. It keeps photos and videos sharp by reducing camera shake.
The autofocus system is another highlight. It uses 121 points of contrast detection. And it locks on and tracks your subject as they move. Sports and wildlife shooters will enjoy that. But it’s best to take an extra battery into the field because the battery life is disappointing.
But the it has 21 scene modes with fantastic filters. And there are nine advanced shooting modes, giving you plenty of freedom to experiment and learn. True beginners might find it complicated. But experienced beginners and enthusiasts will love the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV.
2. Canon EOS Rebel T8i
The Canon EOS Rebel T8i is a steal for under $1000. It’s a leader in its class with great performance and excellent features. This DSLR camera has everything beginners and enthusiasts need to be inspired. It’ll be money well spent if you opt for the Canon EOS Rebel T8i.
The sensor has a resolution of 24.1 MP so you’re almost guaranteed excellent image quality. And the low-light performance means you can keep shooting after dark. The ISO range is 100 to 12,800, giving you more shooting options in various lighting situations. You can shoot indoor sports and concerts with impressive results.
The Rebel T8i has reliable autofocus. It uses a 45-point cross-type system, giving you near full coverage of the frame even with moving subjects. And face detection is excellent for portraits, selfies, and vlogs.
The 4K video looks fabulous. It has a frame rate of just 24 fps at 4K. But that’s more than enough quality for all social media platforms. Vertical video mode and the articulating LCD screen will help with video blogs. And you can also use the Rebel T8i as a webcam using the EOS Utility software.
The Canon EOS Rebel T8i is an all-around DSLR with mass appeal. The battery life is excellent. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity make the camera even more accessible. And the 18-55mm kit lens completes the package.
3. Sony a6000
The Sony a6000 is the best mirrorless camera under $1000. Mirrorless cameras are more compact than DSLRs, but they perform just as well. In fact, Sony produces some of the best mirrorless cameras. While the a6000 has been replaced by the newer a6400, it remains an excellent option if you’re on a budget.
To say this camera has very good image quality would be an understatement. The sensor resolution is 24.3 MP. It’s an overachiever that produces stunning images in all situations. The dynamic range is excellent. And low-light situations aren’t an issue with the 100-25,600 ISO. There’s very little visual noise even at high ISO settings.
The autofocus system still holds up against newer models. It uses 179 phase detection points and 25 contrast detection points. And it tracks moving subjects across nearly the entire frame.
The continuous shooting speed of 11 fps is good for capturing fast action. But the lack of 4K does date the camera. The Full HD video still looks fantastic. But many photographers expect 4K video quality as standard these days.
The Sony a6000 is an interchangeable lens camera with a compact body. The photo power is impressive. You also get Wi-Fi connectivity for easy image transfer and sharing. And you can also use the camera remotely using the Sony app.
4. Panasonic Lumix ZS200
The Panasonic Lumix ZS200 is an excellent fixed lens compact camera. It’s the best camera under $1000 if you’re looking for something that fits in your pocket. It has a small camera body. And you won’t believe a camera this size can perform so well. Beginners will love the easy point-and-shoot style. And enthusiasts will get excited about the advanced features.
The 1-inch sensor has a resolution of 20.1 MP, outperforming many larger cameras. And it certainly leaves smartphone cameras in the dust. The stunning images are also influenced by the optical quality of the lens. The ZS200 has a Leica fixed lens that gives you 15x magnification. No distance is too great with a zoom lens like that.
The video resolution is 4K with a frame rate of 30 fps. It’s super smooth and has stunning color rendering. You also have higher frame rate options for dramatic slow-motion videos. And Panasonic’s 4K photo allows you to select individual frames from the 4K video and use them as photos. It’s the ultimate burst mode.
The optical image stabilization also sets the ZS200 apart from lesser compact cameras. And the Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to share images wherever there’s Wi-Fi. It’s an ideal travel camera. The specs make it sound like a pricey camera. But you’ll receive a healthy chunk of change from your $1000 budget.
5. Nikon D3500
The Nikon D3500 is the best entry-level DSLR camera you’ll find. It’s one of Nikon’s best-selling cameras. And it comes in well under $1000 and even includes a kit lens and other accessories. It’s the ideal first camera for anyone starting their photography adventure.
The Nikon D3500 is equipped with an APS-C sensor that has a resolution of 24.2 MP. The quality will fuel a young photographer’s enthusiasm for taking pictures. And the low-light performance allows them more shooting opportunities. You have a healthy ISO range of 100 to 25,600.
The autofocus isn’t the most advanced system for a DSLR. It only has 11 detection points, which limits tracking. But it is still quick and reliable for most types of photography. The max burst speed is a sluggish 5 fps. And the maximum video resolution is Full HD. It does shoot at 60 fps, giving you smooth footage. But serious filmmakers might look elsewhere.
While not a true hybrid camera, the photography specifications are fantastic. It’s a true beginner’s camera with several guide modes to help people along. And there’s an entire catalog of Nikon F-mount lenses if you want to upgrade your glass.
6. Canon EOS M50 Mark II
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a small mirrorless camera packed with fantastic features. The photography specifications are really strong for an APS-C camera. And it’s an excellent choice for vloggers and video makers.
There’s no doubt you’ll be impressed with the images from the 24.1 MP sensor. And you’ll continue to get stunning results when the sun goes down. The low-light performance is fantastic, with very little noise throughout the 100-25,600 ISO range. And the image stabilization gives you five stops of shake reduction for crisp images.
The 4K video shoots at 24 fps. That’s a slower frame rate than other cameras, but it’ll look smooth on social media platforms. The video autofocus has face and eye detection. The articulating screen helps with vlogging and selfies. And there’s a vertical shooting mode so your videos fit a smartphone format.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II becomes a webcam with the EOS Utility app. And there’s an external mic input for extra sound recording options. Wi-Fi connectivity is another handy feature. And all this is packed into a compact camera body. This Canon’s a bargain.
7. Panasonic Lumix G100
The Panasonic Lumix G100 is a specialist vlogging camera. It has a compact body with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. The photo performance is strong. But the video features make this the best camera under $1000 for vloggers. And you’ll also have change for strip lights and ring lights.
The MFT sensor produces beautiful images with a resolution of 20.3 MP. But you can expand your content creation with fantastic video features. You can record 4K video at 30 fps. And you have the option of Full HD at 60 fps. And that’s for recording and live streaming.
There’s no need for an external microphone input. The G100 has a built-in mic with audio tracking. The autofocus also detects eyes and tracks faces, so you won’t lose focus while you’re talking on camera. And with the Lumix software, your G100 becomes a webcam with 4K quality.
The electronic viewfinder is bright and accurate. And vloggers and selfie enthusiasts will love the articulating LCD screen. You also have access to the full line of Lumix lenses with specialist options for portrait, travel, and landscape photography.
8. Sony ZV-E10
The Sony ZV-E10 is a compact camera that allows you to use any Sony E-mount lens with it. It is quite a unique camera as it is specifically built with social media in mind. This means its features will perfectly suit an influencer or vlogger.
Some of these great features include excellent connectivity and a smart autofocus system. In terms of connectivity, the ZV-E10 can connect to your computer easily and be set up as a webcam with continuous recording. You also get a great app that allows you to control the camera remotely.
I am seriously impressed by the autofocus system. Not only does it have real-time subject tracking for faces, eyes, and even animals, it also has product recognition. This is perfect for bloggers who do product reviews. Once you lift a product to the camera, it seamlessly and quickly transfers the focus from you to the product.
The size is also one of the best selling points about this camera. To have a compact camera this small with great video abilities makes a huge difference. It would be particularly helpful for traveling or concert photography.
9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a brilliant fixed-lens compact. The compact body is packed full of excellent photography features. It’s easy enough for beginners and there are plenty of features to keep experienced shooters entertained. It’s a quality compact that’ll give you plenty of change from your $1000.
The PowerShot G7 X Mark III is armed with a powerful 1-inch sensor, giving you a resolution of 20.1 MP. It can’t compete with full frame mirrorless cameras. But it puts smartphones and weaker compacts in the shade. The fixed lens has a focal length of 24-100mm, which gives you 4.2x magnification.
It’s a hybrid compact, giving you video quality equal to the photos. You can shoot at full resolution with 30 fps. Or you can shoot at 120 fps for Full HD slow-motion videos. Downloading the Canon Utility app transforms the camera into a webcam. That’s good news for vloggers and streamers.
The tilting screen is essential for vlogs and selfies. And there’s an external mic input and HDMI connection, making the Canon PowerShot G7 X M III a complete multimedia package. And there’s convenient USB charging when you’re on the go.
10. Canon EOS M6 Mark II
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II will push your $1000 budget to the limit. But it’s a fantastic mirrorless camera that’s well worth the money. It’s not the most affordable camera on the list, but it marks a true upgrade if you’re graduating from beginner models.
Many mirrorless cameras have an APS-C sensor. But very few have the power and quality of this 32.5 MP CMOS sensor. The increased image quality will be obvious after the first picture you take. The detail is incredible, and the colors are vibrant and true to life.
The autofocus is advanced for a camera under $1000. It has 5,481 manually selectable AF positions that offer near-full coverage of the frame. And it has eye detection and face tracking. And you get 14 fps from the mechanical shutter with AF tracking. There’s also a RAW burst mode that gives you 30 fps of continuous shooting. You won’t miss a thing with a burst mode like that.
The 4K video is also impressive with a smooth 30 fps frame rate. And you can shoot at 120 fps for fabulous slow motion. The Canon EOS M6 Mark II also doubles as a webcam for livestreaming. But you’ll need the Canon EOS Utility App to go live. It’s a high-quality mirrorless camera at a very reasonable price.
11. Nikon Z30
The Nikon Z30 is one of the newest mirrorless cameras from Nikon. It’s a compact camera, but it still takes all the excellent Nikkor Z lenses. The camera is mainly aimed at vloggers who want a step up from their phone cameras.
It has an impressive 20.9 MP resolution for such a small camera. This is emphasized by its amazing video capabilities, which can shoot in 4K UHD at 30 fps. If you want slow-motion video, it records in Full HD at 120 fps.
The camera also has great autofocus and other features that help produce smooth and crisp video. My favorite feature is the e-VR (electronic vibration reduction.) This helps with your handheld shooting and makes a huge difference in the final video output.
This is a camera that is aimed toward point-and-shoot photography. So, if you’re looking for a camera to help you progress into manual photography, this isn’t the camera for you. If you aren’t interested in that but just want great pictures and videos, the Nikon Z30 is a great choice.
12. Pentax K-70
Pentax has built a reputation on its rugged and reliable DSLR cameras. And the Pentax K-70 is the perfect example. It’s an entry-level camera. But Pentax didn’t cut any corners where performance is concerned. The K-70 has excellent photography specs. And it’s protected by a strong and durable camera body.
The APS-C sensor gives you 24 MP of image resolution. That’ll get beginners excited about the results and keep them shooting more. The ISO range is very impressive for a camera at this level, giving you an ISO range of 100 to 102,400. You’ll be able to shoot concerts, indoor sports, and night photography. And there’s a shake reduction mechanism to keep photos sharp.
There’s 4K video for budding filmmakers. And the autofocus is quick and reactive when shooting photos and videos. The burst mode is a bit slow at 6 fps. But it’s okay for beginners who want to capture sports or wildlife.
The Pentax K-70 is completely weather sealed. It’s splashproof and dustproof. And the battery life is incredible. And there’s Wi-Fi connectivity, USB charging, and dual card slots. It’s an ideal camera for beginners interested in wildlife, sports, and landscape photography. You can even use the K-70 for astrophotography.
13. Nikon CoolPix P950
The Nikon CoolPix P950 is a great camera for people taking their first steps into photography. It’s a bridge camera that combines the simplicity of a point-and-shoot camera with the features of a DSLR. It has a fixed lens. But you can develop your photography skills and create brilliant photographs.
The APS-C sensor has a resolution of 16 MP. It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s a noticeable improvement from smartphone cameras. And it’s enough to fire the enthusiasm of a young beginner. You also get smooth 4K video shot at 30 fps. It’s ideal for multimedia creators.
The standout feature has to be the zoom lens. It’s a fixed telephoto lens that gives you a staggering 83x level of magnification. Distance might as well be meaningless because you can shoot subjects no matter how far away they might be. And it’s an optical zoom, so there’s no degradation in quality when you zoom in further.
The Nikon CoolPix P950 is equipped with a vibration reduction system. It detects motion and reduces image blur caused by camera shake. There are even specific modes for bird photography and shooting the moon. The time-lapse mode is another bonus feature. It’s a brilliant entry-level camera for nature enthusiasts.
Can You Buy Good Cameras Under 1000 Dollars?
Yes, you can. Marketing campaigns will have you believe you need the newest flagship camera from the main camera brands. They’ll try and impress you with groundbreaking specs and features. But your excitement is soon deflated once you see the price.
But there are plenty of bargains to be had. A budget of $1000 still gives you plenty of choice in camera brand and type. We have Nikon, Canon, and Olympus on this list. And you’ll find compact, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras.
Professional photographers will have to break the $1000 ceiling. This budget is limiting for professionals. And the best cameras will exceed the $1000 mark. But beginners and enthusiasts have an excellent selection of cameras to choose from.
Photography should be for everyone, no matter what your budget. While there’s no denying it can be a pricey hobby, you can find fantastic cameras at bargain prices. And the best camera isn’t determined by the price tag. It’s determined by what you need. And this list has everything you need under $1000.
Finding the best camera under $1000 isn’t as difficult as you might think. Having a smaller budget can lead you to think you’ll have limited options in the camera market. But that’s not the case. You actually have a wealth of fantastic camera options. And you’ll often have money left in your pocket.
Professional photographers will have to increase their budget. But beginners and enthusiasts have plenty to choose from. They can go for DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Or they can go for a compact or a bridge camera. And there are cameras that perform as well for video as they do for photography. All the big names are here, so the choice is yours.
We would still suggest the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV because it’s a great introduction to serious photography while also keeping photography fun.