These days with the ubiquity of smartphones and the ever-advancing camera systems within them, most of us don’t see the need to carry a separate camera anymore. For the vast majority of people, these cameras have become so good in recent years that it’s just not necessary anymore. But there are limits to smartphone cameras, and even the best can’t rival the quality of a DSLR.
DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex and is a staple in photographer’s setups, both hobbyists and professionals alike. But they’re quite expensive, so when good deals come around, it’s a good idea to take advantage. If your mom is one that takes pictures of everything, why not consider an excellent affordable DSLR instead? Mother’s Day is right around the corner.
Of course, no one’s preventing you from picking up one of these great DSLR deals yourself. Let’s look at the best deals we’ve found.
Canon EOS Rebel T7 — $400, was $450
The EOS Rebel T7 is one of the best beginner DSLRs on the market right now, with a good mix of value and functionality. This is also the same camera bundle that was sold at Kohl’s for Black Friday at the same price, $400, but this time you can buy it from Canon direct. It boasts a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor and a nine-point autofocus system, which means your pictures will always be vivid and, most importantly, in focus.
Intelligent shooting modes make getting great photos out of the box a reality, although as your skills improve, you’ll be able to tweak settings manually, too. There’s no 4K video capability, but you’ll be able to capture video at 1080p at either 24 or 30fps and 720p at the more cinematic 60fps. A 3-inch LCD monitor on the back allows you to see what you’re shooting, and the UI is easy to navigate, making this a great starter DSLR.
Nikon D3500 DSLR — $400, was $450
A good alternative to the Canon Rebel T7 is the Nikon D3500, which is currently on sale at Best Buy for $400 as well. But don’t mistake this camera as a purely entry-level model. At 12.9 ounces, it’s also the company’s most portable DSLR, and its compact and ergonomically sound design makes its a great secondary camera even for more experienced photographers.
The D3500 sports a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, and it has an interchangeable lens. Like the Rebel T7, it shoots 1080p video, but one area it lags is in photo burst capabilities: it only snaps 5fps bursts, half that of the T7. But it’s also smaller and fits better in the hand.
Nikon D3400 DSLR — $500, was $850
The Nikon D3400 is a step below the D3500 (and is also an older model). But you’re not losing much, and B&H is making up for some of the D3400’s shortcomings with a great package deal that includes both the DSLR itself as well as a telephoto lens for $470. So what exactly are you losing? It mostly comes in weight: The D3500 is lighter and a bit more beginner-friendly, but you’re not getting the extra lens out of the box, which is a drawback.
We recommend the D3400 for those looking to do wildlife shots. With the included telephoto lens, you’ll be able to snap photos from a reasonable distance away, lessening the risk of being spotted and messing up that perfect shot. One significant advantage over its competitors is the capability to shoot 1080p 60fps video: Neither of the above recommendations can do that.
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 — $600, was $750
While the Canon Rebel SL3 is by far the most expensive option on our list at $600 it’s feature-packed. It has the same 24-megapixel resolution as the other options; however, it has a host of features others don’t. It can record 4K video, has 143-point Dual Pixel Autofocus, has eye-detection autofocus, and a Creative Assist mode, where images are framed on the LCD screen rather than through the optical viewfinder. In other words, when the SL3 behaves like a mirrorless camera.
Its battery is also much better, allowing you to take more than 1,600 pictures on a single charge. If you’re looking for a camera that is more aimed at the more experienced photographer, or something you’ll grow into rather than have to buy another DSLR down the road when you’re looking for more functionality, the Rebel SL3 is it.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Take a look at the rest of the camera deals we’ve found.