Best entry level DSLR cameras in India - Complete buying guide

Hoping you have already read the criterias one should consider before buying your first DSLR Camera, in this article we show you which specific entry level DSLR camera models should be on your radar and how can you finalize one specific model that suits all your requirements and budget. You must have seen official websites of Canon and Nikon and seen a list of infinite features containing technical jargon which you have no idea, or seen contradicting features mentioned in different articles making the whole idea of buying a DSLR highly confusing and complicated.


In this article, we list down entry level DSLR camera models by major brands Canon and Nikon which are suitable for all beginners. We will show a detailed comparison of these models and help you buy the best entry level DSLR camera that fits your budget.

Best entry level DSLR cameras in India

Recommended Pre-read - How to choose your first DSLR Camera


You would most probably already know that one of the basic difference between DSLR camera and Point and Shoot or Bridge cameras is that you can change lens of the camera as per your need. Any DSLR camera comes with following options to buy -


You can buy a DSLR body only

Body only (You will not get any lens with the camera)


Since you are a beginner, you would not have any lenses separately. Hence it is not recommended to go with this option. You will anyway have to buy lenses and if you buy them separately, you would end up paying much higher.











You can buy a DSLR body with one lens

Body + one lens only

(You will get one lens along with body of camera)


You can go with this option of buying camera body with only one lens which is usually 18-55 mm lens in case of beginner's DSLR cameras. However you would very likely feel handicapped in capturing faraway subjects like birds and wild animals or while capturing only finer details like an eye of a person. You would feel the need to zoom in more during such situations and may want to buy a zoom lens separately.



You can buy a DSLR body with two lenses package

Body + two lenses (You will get 2 lenses along with body of camera)


We would recommend buying two lens combo packages. These packages are useful as you get a long focal length lens usually 55-250 mm lens (in Canon) or 70-300 mm lens (in Nikon) along with a basic 18-55 mm lens. This extra lens would not only be useful in situations where you want to zoom in, cost of buying combo package of 2 lenses is definitely lower than buying a separate lens.


However for uniformity in comparison, in this article we are showing approximate costs of single lens DSLR cameras only i.e. 18-55mm lens.


In our previous article, we had listed various criterias you might consider before buying your DSLR camera. In case you do not fully understand any of these features, we recommend reading the previous article which explains them in detail.


  1. Megapixel

  2. Sensor Size

  3. Image Processor

  4. AF Points

  5. ISO

  6. FPS

  7. Video

  8. LCD Screen

  9. Connectivity

  10. Brand

  11. Other features

  12. Budget


In last article we discussed why Megapixel should not be a criteria while buying your DSLR camera. All beginner's DSLR camera models start with 18 MP which is more than enough for your needs.


In terms of sensors, all beginner's DSLR camera models will have APS-C CMOS sensor. So no choices there.


In terms of Brand, we recommend either Canon or Nikon cameras due to 3 primary reasons -

  • Both Canon and Nikon have number of models in different price ranges which mean they would have some solution that fits your budget. This may not be the case with other camera manufacturers like Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm etc. Also choosing a camera manufacturer is a long term commitment. Once you go with a manufacturer, most likely you would not change it because your lenses from one manufacturer would not fit with other manufacturer's model without a lens converter. And lens converters tend to have their own issues such as speed of autofocus.


  • Both Canon and Nikon have wide variety of lens options which means whenever you plan to buy more lenses for different purposes, you would have options that will fulfill your requirement and budget. This is again not the case with other manufacturers.


  • Both Canon and Nikon have better servicing network than other brands through India which is useful


Now let us dive into rest of the 9 technicalities of specific models and see different beginner's DSLR cameras offered by Canon and Nikon.


We will talk commonalities and differences in various models offered by Canon & Nikon. We will show a detailed comparison of major characteristics of these DSLR cameras which should play a role in your final decision. Note that apart from these major characteristics, there would be other subtle differences between each of these models. But none of these differences should play a role in deciding the camera you need to buy. Also these differences would not play any significant role in your experience of shooting photographs.

Canon's beginners DSLR cameras in India

We would classify Canon's beginner level DSLR cameras in 3 categories -

1. Basic beginner level DSLRs (Around Rs.30,000) - Canon 3000D, Canon 1300D and Canon 1500D

2. Intermediate beginner level DSLRs (Around Rs.45,000) - Canon 200D and Canon 750D

3. Premium beginner level DSLRs (Around Rs.60,000) - Canon 800D, Canon 77D and Canon 80D


Let us understand each of these categories in detail and see various features offered by models in these categories.


1. Basic beginner level DSLRs (Around Rs.30,000)

Canon 3000D, Canon 1300D and Canon 1500D


All these 3 cameras are sub Rs.30,000 models when you choose a 18-55 mm lens with body. The prices might be pushed up by Rs.7,000-10,000 if you choose a combo package with two lenses - 18-55mm and 55-250 mm lens. These 3 models are similar to each other in terms of features as well a prices. Canon 1300D has been around since 2016 while 3000D and 1500D were launched together in 2018.

* Pictures may not represent accurate comparison of size


Similarities between Canon 3000D, Canon 1300D and Canon 1500D are -
















The main difference between Canon 3000D, Canon 1300D and Canon 1500D is -


VERDICT - So if your budget is around Rs.30,000 - Canon 3000D, 1300D and 1500D are the models for you. Bigger LCD screen size with better resolution helps during travel when you want to see on the go if your shot is satisfactory. So Canon 1300D or 1500D are definitely better options with minor increase in price compared to Canon 3000D. Out of Canon 1300D and 1500D, we would recommend Canon 1300D as there is not much benefit of extra 6 megapixel that you get by buying Canon 1500D. Why pay more for something that you do not need? Despite being a new camera, the incremental advantage you get in 1500D is minor compared to 1300D. If the price difference between Canon 1300D and 1500D is nominal, you should go for Canon 1500D.

If your budget is higher, read on to understand what you get by spending little more in higher category models.


2. Intermediate beginner level DSLRs (Around Rs.45,000)

Canon 200D and Canon 750D


Canon 200D would cost you closer to Rs.40,000 while Canon 750D would cost you around Rs.45,000 when you buy them with a 18-55mm lens. Canon 750D is a 2015 model while 200D was announced in 2017. Note that both these models are from different series of DSLR Cameras by Canon but included here in same category due to closeness in pricing range. Being a relatively new model, Canon has packed in some attractive features in 200D and is clearly a winner between the two.

* Pictures may not represent accurate comparison of size


Similarities between Canon 200D and 750D are -












The main difference between Canon 200D and 750D is -



































VERDICT - So if your budget is around Rs.45,000 - Canon 200D and Canon 750D are the options for you. Canon 200D is definitely a winner here with much better features and lower cost compared to 750D. Also 750D should soon be phased out given a newer version 800D is available. Note that 200D is much smaller in size and lightweight. This could be a boon for some who prefer lighter camera while traveling while it can be a problem for those who have longer fingers and bigger palms.

If you are wondering what more features and capabilities can you get if you spend some more money, read on to see the best beginner level DSLR cameras from Canon.


3. Premium beginner level DSLRs (Around Rs.60,000)

Canon 800D, Canon 77D and Canon 80D


Canon 800D and Canon 77D are very similar in configuration and were launched together in 2017. The main difference lies in their ergonomic design as 77D tends towards professional DSLRs. Canon 80D is one year older launched in 2016 and edges slightly ahead of Canon 77D despite having inferior key specifications. Canon 800D with a single lens would fall in Rs.50,000-60,000 range while 77D would be closer to Rs.60,000. Canon 80D as mentioned demands little more premium and would cost closer to Rs.75,000.

* Pictures may not represent accurate comparison of size


Similarities between Canon 800D, 77D and 80D are -
















The main difference between Canon 800D, 77D and 80D is -


VERDICT- So if your budget is around Rs.60,000 - Canon 800D, Canon 77D and Canon 80D are the options for you. We would recommend Canon 77D out of the three. While 77D is very similar to 800D, the ergonomics, design and controls of 77D are one notch advanced closer to professional DSLRs. Spending some extra money for this is worth it. Secondly, the advantages Canon 80D has over Canon 77D such as weather proofing, better live view coverage, higher max shutter speed and increased continuous shooting speed does not seem adequate enough and does not seem worth the extra cost. Also its inferior digital processor and ISO capabilities are a deal breaker. Canon 80D is a great DSLR if you plan to build a career in sports photography as 1/8000 secs shutter speed and 7 FPS continuous shots might make a difference. For everyone else, Canon 77D is just perfectly fine.

Nikon's beginners DSLR cameras in India

We would classify Nikon's beginner level DSLR cameras in 2 categories -

1. Basic & Intermediate beginner level DSLRs (Rs.30,000 - Rs.50,000) - Nikon D3400, Nikon D3500, Nikon D5300 and Nikon D5600

2. Premium beginner level DSLRs (Upwards of Rs.60,000) - Nikon D7200 and D7500


In Nikon, you will note 2 models of the same series, one older while other new and upgraded; both offered simultaneously. With the advent of the new model, you would see a price drop in older models. Another thing you would notice is that Nikon costs a bit more than Canon mainly because it offers superior autofocus points and sometimes better video taking capabilities compared to Canon.


Let us understand each of these categories in detail and see various features offered by models in these categories.


1. Basic & Intermediate beginner level DSLRs (Rs.30,000 - Rs.50,000)

Nikon D3400, Nikon D3500, Nikon D5300 and Nikon D5600


We have classified both Basic & Intermediate level models together because as such only D5600 would qualify as intermediate and is an upgradation of D5300. Nikon D5600 (launched in 2016) is an upgraded version of Nikon D5300 (launched in 2013) and D5500 (launched in 2015). Since Nikon D5500 is no longer manufactured, but D5300 is, we have included this model here. Similarly Nikon D3500 (launched in 2018) is an upgraded version of Nikon D3400 (launched in 2016) and Nikon D3300 (launched in 2014). Nikon D3300 is no longer manufactured but you might come across old stock while browsing ecommerce sites. You should ignore such models.


Both Nikon D3400 & D3500 cost around Rs.30,000-35,000 when you choose a 18-55 mm lens. It would cost Rs.7,000 - 10,000 more if you buy the combo package with another lens usually 70-300 mm. Cost of Nikon D5300 has reduced due to launch of Nikon D5600 and is available at prices similar to Nikon D3400 & D3500. We expect Nikon D5300 to be phased out soon but is a catch at current prices.

* Pictures may not represent accurate comparison of size


Similarities between Nikon D3400 and D3500 as well as between Nikon D5300 and D5600 -



















The main difference between Nikon D3400, D3500, D5300 and D5600 -

















































VERDICT - So if your budget is around Rs.33,000, you have 3 options - Nikon D3400, D3500 and D5300 . Despite being an old model, we feel D5300 is a better option than D3400 or D3500. Apart from the useful Wifi connectivity and LCD screen that can flip, one of the key reasons for suggesting D5300 is the highly superior number of autofocus points. Despite having poorer ISO, we feel the pros outweigh the cons. But if shooting in low light is a major criteria for you, Nikon D3500 would be a better choice in this range. Also it goes without saying that D5600 is the best of all these 4 models provided it fits your budget.

If your budget is higher, read on to understand what you get by spending little more in higher category models.


2. Premium beginner level DSLRs (Upwards of Rs.60,000)

Nikon D7200 and Nikon D7500


Nikon D7100, launched in 2013 was replaced by Nikon D7200 which is still an older version launched in 2015. D7500 is an upgraded version launched in 2017. You should not consider Nikon D7100 anymore though they are still available on ecommerce sites. These models come with a superior 18-105 mm lens and not 18-55mm lens. The price range we have used here is only for body. Nikon D7500 is clearly a winner here but it comes with a considerably higher cost. In fact, D7500 is one step ahead of D7200 in almost every department. There are very few commonalities between the two.

* Pictures may not represent accurate comparison of size


Similarities between Nikon D7200 and Nikon D7500 are -











Differences between Nikon D7200 and Nikon D7500 are -


VERDICT - So if your budget is upwards of Rs.60,000, you can consider - Nikon D7200 and D7500. As it is very clear, Nikon D7500 is better in almost all aspects but you will have to spend considerably more. So based on your budget, you can make a choice out of these two higher end beginner's DSLRs from Nikon.

Which entry level DSLR camera should you buy?

Now that you have a fairly good idea of various entry level DSLR camera models offered both by Canon and Nikon, you should be in a position to finalize the right camera for you that fits your budget. If you are still confused between a specific model between Canon and Nikon, let us make it easier for you. Given below is a comparison chart of all entry level models of Canon and Nikon based on our perception of models.


How to read Canon - Nikon comparison chart

On X axis is cost, one of the major criteria that will drive your final decision. On Y axis is features in DSLR. The higher you go, more features you get. The chart clearly shows where each model stands in this feature vs cost comparison summarizing what you have already read in detail above. For example, you hardly get any extra feature between Canon 1300D and 1500D, but Canon 1500D is little more costly. Now if cost is a major criteria, go for Canon 1300D. Similarly you clearly see how Canon 200D is a winner when compared to Canon 750D both in terms of features and cost.


  • If price is a major criteria - Define your budget and decide which model gives you maximum features

  • If you are little flexible with price - Identify what are the minimum features you need? For example, if you would shoot a lot in lower light conditions, choose what is the minimum ISO you need.

  • If you plan to shoot a lot of birds and wildlife, what is the minimum continuous shooting speed you need?

  • Is Flip screen or touch screen necessary to you?

  • If you are going to shoot a lot of videos, would you need 4K or would Full HD at 60 FPS be needed?


Once you satisfy your basic features, see if you can go higher (and get more features) without moving too much sideways (and increasing cost). Your objective should be to get more features without paying much incremental cost.


If you would like to get serious and learn photography, get in touch with us for personal tutoring sessions and regular review of your work.



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Hope this guide helped you choose and buy the right entry level DSLR camera. If you feel we have missed any points worth mentioning or have made an honest mistake in our evaluation, feel free to let us know so that we can improvise the article.


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