DSLR cameras under $300 in 2023 photography

5 Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 In 2023

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So, you want to find DSLR cameras under $300 in 2023? Here’s my top pick:

The Canon EOS 60D

Read on to learn more about the Canon 60D and more options for DSLR cameras uner $300!

DSLR cameras can be notoriously expensive, with the most expensive hitting over $30,000. However, there are more affordable DSLR cameras that are amazing for beginner to intermediate photographers, and even for more experienced photographers as a professional back-up camera.

In this post, you’ll find the 5 best DSLR cameras under $300 right now. The first one is the best overall and is for the camera body only, while the rest include the lens in the below-$300 price range. So, read on to find the best DSLR for you!

Canon DSLR Camera Jordan Wadi Rum Desert Sunset

What is a DSLR and how do I know I’m getting one for sure?

DSLR stands for “Digital Single-Lens Reflex“. These kinds of cameras are in a class of their own because they take various lenses that can be switched out. DSLR cameras use a mirror that reflects your subject, and most include a digital screen where you can preview the image.

So basically, even if the camera looks like a DSLR in shape and size, and someone says it’s a DSLR, unless the lens can be removed and switched out, and unless there’s a mirror inside, you’re not looking at a DSLR.

📸 If you want a $300 or less DSLR in 2023, you’re going to have to buy a used, older DSLR model – but you can still get a really good beginner DSLR!

If you’re in the market for a DSLR under $300, read on – I’ve put together a list of the best used ones available!

DSLR cameras under $300 - Canon DSLR

5 Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 In 2023

1. Best DSLR Camera Under $300 Overall: Canon EOS 60D (body only)

I have this camera, and it was the first DSLR I owned myself – I used it for years! It’s in the intermediate level experience-wise. Canons are best when it comes to DSLRs and video, too. This 60D comes with:

  • 18MP sensor
  • 5.3 frame-per-second continuous shooting
  • 1080p HD video with manual controls
  • 3.0 inch Clear View LCD
  • 9-point AF system
  • Wireless flash control
  • USB 2.0 Audio input (3.5mm stereo mini external microphone input) Video out (NTSC/PAL selectable) HDMI mini out (Type C) Eye-Fi card compatible
  • Weight: 1.71 pounds


✔️ 18.0 Megapixel CMOS Sensor which gives relatively high resolution and noise-reduction of images

✔️ High ISO settings range, meaning you can take better photos in all kinds of lighting and at higher speeds.

✔️ HD video with audio input levels, wind filter, and more, and can even do minor edits in-camera.


✔️ There is some noise at high ISO ranges, and image quality isn’t quite as good as more current cameras on the market today.

✔️ Must use a high-quality memory card for video (same for all Canon DSLRs), or it will stop recording randomly.

✔️ Hard-to-see LCD screen outdoors in sunlight.


This camera is absolutely amazing, besides the simple fact that it’s a little out-of-date at this point. However, no one that’s not a professional photographer knows that my photos are from this camera, so who cares? This is a nice one to move up the ladder a bit from beginner, if you’re looking for a starter or backup camera!

📷 Click here to check prices for Canon EOS 60D

Sarah photography videography media DSLR camera
Me using my Canon 60D to film a bar mitzvah

2. Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 for beginners: Canon Rebel XTi DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (OLD MODEL)

This Canon Rebel XTi DSLR with lens is a fantastic deal for a beginner DSLR camera under $300. It has:

  • Compact Flash (CF) memory cards
  • DIGIC II Image Processor
  • Picture Style settings
  • 2.5-inch LCD display
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm, f3.5-5.6 zoom lens
  • 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor (captures detail for photo-quality 18 x 24-inch prints)
  • Includes self-cleaning dust function and Dust Delete Data Detection in included software
  • Takes JPG and RAW image formats
  • Weight: 1.23 pounds
  • Comes with: camera body, 18×55 lens, lens cap, battery, charger, USB cable, memory card, strap and manual on CD


✔️ An entry-level DSLR that’s a great value – allows for many manual adjustments

✔️ Has an auto-setting for anyone wanting to use it like a point-and-shoot

✔️ Captures 1080p video

✔️ Comes with a zoom lens


✔️ Slow frame rate and needs to recharge for 15-20 seconds between shots

✔️ Tends to underexpose, making photos turn out a bit dark (you may need to edit them)

✔️ Uses a CF memory card, which aren’t standard for more recent DSLR cameras


The Canon Rebel XTi DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (old model) is perfect for beginners who want to take professional-level photos, and comes in at well under $300 for both the camera body and lens. It’s lightweight, making it perfect for travel, and takes up to 1800 photos (without flash) on one battery charge. The focus is great in low light, and the image quality is high for its class. It also does well in sunlight.

📷 Click here to check prices for Canon Rebel XTi DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (OLD MODEL)

Tip: The newer model of this is just over $300 – check prices here

3. Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 for beginners: Canon EOS-a EF-S 18-55mm is II Kit

This Canon has 18 pixel resolution, 1080p video, is lightweight and shoots in low light. It’s an excellent choice for people who are new to the DSLR world! Plus, it comes with a zoom lens and you can manually zoom, giving you tons of freedom for this level of camera.

  • 18.0 Megapixel image sensor and high-performance Image Processor for fast speed and high quality
  • ISO 100–6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting in any kind of light
  • EOS Full HD Movie mode
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode for better night photography
  • Good autofocus performance options for accurate photography
  • Weight: 0.96 pounds
  • Comes with: camera body, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens, eyecup Ef, battery pack, battery charger, strap, USB Cable, EOS Digital Solution Disc and Software Instruction Manual CD, Camera Instruction Manual, One Year Limited Warranty Card


✔️ Good manual controls including Exposure (f-stop/aperture) ISO, focus, shutter speed, and white balance

✔️ Really lightweight (0.96 lbs) so it’s great for travel

✔️ Good low-light performance

✔️ Included lens has image stabilization


✔️ Video recording gets cut off after 4GB memory is reached

✔️ Only takes photos in 3.2 aspect ratio

✔️ No external audio jack for video


This is another excellent DSLR, even though you’ll have to buy it used and it’s a bit out-of-date, but it will give you great quality photos and all the settings you need with a good DSLR.

📷 Click here to check prices for Canon EOS-a EF-S 18-55mm is II Kit

4. Lowest Price for DSLR Cameras Under $300: Nikon D40x 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens (OLD MODEL)

The Nikon D40 is another circa 2006 DSLR that you can now buy used for under $300. It’s another great starter camera and has high reviews, which is why it made this list. There are auto and manual options, great color quality and more of what makes any decent DSLR camera.

  • Includes 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens
  • Image optimization functions and in-camera image retouching
  • 10.2MP captures enough detail for large photo prints
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II for ideal exposures in most lighting
  • Manual and Auto focus capability
  • Weight: 2.43 pounds


✔️ Includes Nikon’s “assist images” feature that helps you know the correct settings for each image by showing an example when you press the “?” icon on the LCD screen.

✔️ 3-area Auto Focus, which was taken from advanced cameras at the time of production

✔️ Shutter speed of up to 2.5 fps (frames per second)


✔️ You can only use the Auto Focus with AS-F or AS-I lenses, and sometimes takes awhile to get it to focus

✔️ Heavier than the others on this list, which makes it not as easy to travel with

✔️ Lower Megapixels means lower photo resolution than some cameras


This camera is a great one for starting out using a DSLR. The main downside is the low number of megapixels, but you can still get excellent photos (many people say megapixels aren’t everything – it’s how you take the photo!).

📷 Click here to check prices for Nikon D40

5. Great DSLR Cameras Under $300 for beginner-intermediate photographers: Canon EOS-a EF-S 18-55mm is II Kit

The Canon EOS-a EF-S is another great DSLR for new photographers. It has great Megapixel quality, is lightweight and more.

  • 18.0MP image sensor and high-performance Image Processor for excellent speed and high quality
  • ISO 100–6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting in all types of light
  • EOS Full HD Movie mode
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode produces expertly optimized photos and improved scene detection for amazing results when night shooting
  • 9-point AF system provides options for autofocus performance and accurate results
  • Weight: 0.96 pounds


✔️ 18 MP sensor – good image quality

✔️ HD video (1920×1080 resolution) that shoots at 30p, 24p and 25p frame rates

✔️ Lightweight and compact


✔️ No self-cleaning sensor

✔️ Image noise past a certain ISO with photos, and also with video in low lighting.

✔️ Doesn’t do well taking photos of fast-moving objects, and no continuous Auto Focus in video mode

✔️ No external mic jack and mono sound


This model is truly manufactured for beginners, so it does have a lot of great quality and features for just that. It’s a step up from the T3 so, while it doesn’t have some things like continuous AF while shooting video, it does have great image quality, manual controls and shooting at fast speeds for video.

📷 Click here to check prices for Canon EOS-a EF-S 18-55mm is II Kit

Must-Have Camera Accessories for DSLR Cameras Under $300

✅ SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Card

This is the kind of Memory card you’ll need for most DSLR cameras, especially for longer and more reliable video recording – check and make sure, but basically, you’ll need the extreme pro version to ensure that it works right!

📷 Get the SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Card

✅ 4-In-One Travel Tripod

This all-in-one tripod works for cameras, smartphones and doubles as a selfie stick, monopod and as trekking poles! Made with durable and lightweight (2.8 lbs.) aluminum alloy, and it’s super affordable. It’s also packable – it folds down to a smaller size and comes with a carrying case.

📷 Get this 4-in-1 Tripod for your DSLR camera

Waterproof Backpack

The Peak Design Everyday V2 20L waterproof hiking backpack will fit your DSLR, lenses, accessories and more, and it’s top-rated by reviewers and companies alike!

🎒📸 Learn More About the Peak Design Everyday V2 20L backpack here

✅ DSLR Waterproof Camera Insert Case

This water resistant DSLR Camera Insert Case is perfect for fitting a DSLR and up to 2 lenses into a backpack, so you don’t have to buy a specialty bag just for your camera.

In the past, I’ve used a backpack specially designed for camera equipment and a camera bag, but this is way better. On my last trip abroad, I was able to put this in my carry-on backpack, and switch to my daypack backpack! It’s ideal for travel photography.

📷 Get the DSLR Waterproof Camera Insert Case

✅ External Hard Drive for backups

You’ll need to backup your photos in 2-3 places to make sure you have them! This should include cloud storage, an external hard drive or two, and the memory card or a flash drive, if you want a 3rd place. These Seagate drives are what I’ve used for years, and they’re great!

📷 Get the Seagate 2TB External Hard Drive

✅ Camera Strap for DSLRs

Make sure you have a camera strap, which your DSLR should come with. But, in case you don’t have one, need a backup or just want a better-looking strap, this Cute DSLR Camera Strap should do the trick!

📷 Get this Aesthetic DSLR Camera Strap

📸 👉 Check out even more options for carrying your camera with this post on the Best Camera Straps For Hiking & Backpacking here!

✅ Other accessories

These will vary depending on your camera and lens (hence why I’m not including links – just google your camera and these items), but you’ll also need a backup battery, a battery charger and a backup lens cover is nice to have, as well.

DSLR cameras under $300 - taking a photo using a Canon DSLR

Important Things To Consider When Choosing The Best DSLR Camera Under $300

✔️ Price

When you’re shopping for DSLRs, remember the prices tend to be higher for better ones. But, also remember that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a “bad” DSLR. It all depends on what you’re looking for, and how you use the camera you buy.

Consider your budget and your experience level, as well as if you’re taking photos professionally or not. If you’re a beginner-intermediate, or as a backup these are excellent options – and, talent and a good eye go a long way – you really can do a lot with a camera if you’re a good photographer.

✔️ Lens

Look to see if a lens kit comes with the camera, because some of these do. You’ll want a standard lens for just any photo, something like a 50 mm that doesn’t zoom much, or a 18-135, which is more versatile because it has more zoom capability.

Go for a wide-angle lens for landscape photos, or a macro lens for macro photography (super close-ups).

There are more kinds than these, but if you’re a beginner or want something that’s the most versatile, these are what you should be looking for.

✔️ Features

If you’re a beginner and wanting to test out and learn how to use a DSLR camera, the more features, the better! That way you can learn. However, at the same time if you’re on a tight budget, it’s not the biggest deal – you can keep learning as you move up later on.

Make sure you have manual and auto settings for as many things as possible. The self-cleaning sensor is nice to have, as is autofocus on video if you’re going to be making a lot of videos.

Also check what you get with audio if you’re planning to do videos with sound – a mic jack may be necessary, and dual audio is better.

Travel photography camera - DSLR cameras under $300

Conclusion: The Best DSLR Camera Under $300 In 2023

In all honesty, any of these DSLRs are an excellent choice for beginners, for backup cameras and for many other purposes. They’re all high quality cameras from the best brands in the DSLR world. If you haven’t used a DSLR yet, you’ll be so glad you did!

The other thing to remember is that learning to take photos isn’t only about learning to use the camera – when you learn to take good photos using composition, lighting etc., you’ll realize that you can make almost any camera work if needed. The best photos are about the photo itself more than the camera used, but DSLRs do make a difference!

Check out these posts for more photography tips & info:
📸 Top 5 Camera Straps for Hiking & Backpacking
📸 Amazing Lake Photography Ideas (Full Guide)
📸 The Best Cameras For Surf Photography (For Every Skill Level)

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