Best, Cheap DSLR cameras
Nikon D60 with 18-55mm lens
The Nikon D60 has a 10.2 megapixel sensor and it also comes equipped with an 18-55mm zoom lens. Nikon has put all the D60's functionality and features into a smallish, light camera body that is easy to hold and is no burden to carry around. Packing one of these SLRs in your carry-on luggage won't be a problem.
A 2.5in LCD screen, which is on the back of the camera, displays each shot as well as providing access to most of the Nikon’s functions. The LCD screen is good enough to be seen in bright sunlight.
The Nikon D60 also has a three-point auto focusing system that, while not as impressive as more expensive models, does a pretty good job when used for most users everyday photographic tasks. The autofocus system is accurate and quick.
Nikon has also included a wide range of in-camera tweaking that will allow you to deal with things such as high contrast between dark and light in an image as well as the dreaded red-eye effect. These features are accessed by using the LCD panel controls. To capture changing or fast-moving scenes, the Nikon D60 can also shoot up to three frames a second and it has an in-built flash that will shed light on the dimly lit subjects.
Reviews show that the Nikon 60 has a solid build, good image quality, and these combine to make it worthy of consideration for anyone looking for sub-$1000 camera.
Features: Light, compact camera body, in-camera editing functions, easily accessible menu structure
Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm lens
At first glance, the Canon EOS 1000D DSLR camera may appear a little too plastic to be a serious DSLR, but the outer case hides some impressive features.
This DSLR camera is built around a 10-megapixel sensor and it comes with a seven-point focusing system. Those two features put it ahead of the Nikon in this roundup.
This Nikon D60 feels solid to hold and also all of the button controls are located within easy finger reach.
Its 2.7in LCD monitor is both usable and sharp. It also displays shots taken, it will show key image settings, and it also provides access to the electronic function menu. The LCD can also be turned off to conserve battery power.
The menu on the Canon can be customized so that the functions you use most often are easily found when using the camera. The features, Dubbed My Menu, provide a quick list of the functions you nominate, and it removes the need to search multiple layers of options.
On the left side of the camera body, located behind a folding cover, are connection points for USB, video out, and also a remote control unit.
Settings such as ISo, numerous program modes, and also focus points are controlled by a single dial on the top right.
Reviews show that the Canon 1000D feels solid in the hand and it also produces high-quality images. Beginners of DSLR technology are likely to appreciate the fully automatic settings, while those with a little more experience and knowledge of photo basics can easily take control of functions such as aperture and shutter speed.
If you are in the market and looking for a cheap, reliable DSLR cameras that will produce crisp, good-quality images reliably, this DSLR camera is worth closer inspection.
Features: Customizable menu structure, accurate focusing system, large LCD display
Sony DSLR A300 with 18-70mm lens
As soon as you take the Sony out of its box, the Sony DSLR A300 demands to be held. Its streamlined buttons as well as sleek body design make it a very attractive DSLR camera to use and look at. This digital SLR camera is very similar to its siblings, the A350 and A200, but its mix of features as well as cheap sub-$1000 price make it probably the most enticing of the brood.
The chief feature that helps the Sony A300 stand out when compared to its peers in the price category is its nifty flip-out LCD screen. As well as being a novelty, this screen will come in handy when trying to take photos either around a corner or above your head. Once you get used to having this LCD screen, it is hard to let go.
The Sony A300 also takes a new, modern, and innovative approach to the live view feature, so you can both look at your subject on the LCD screen (rather than through the viewfinder) before pressing the button to take the picture. The DSLR camera has a separate sensor for live view, which means that it will deliver an image even when the internal camera mirror is down.
This feature helps reduces lag when taking any photos using the live view function, as other digital SLR cameras require lifting the mirror to get live view, dropping it again to check focus as well as exposure, and then raising the mirror to take the image. The Sony design will overcome this problem.
The Sony A300 DSLR main sensor is 10.2 megapixels and, together with a accurate exposure meter and responsive autofocus system, reviews show that it produces very impressive images in both strong sunlight as well as lower light conditions.
Sony took the additional step of opting to build its image stabilization technology into the DSLR camera body rather than the camera lens, which is the case with other manufacturers. This means it is easier to overcome shake regardless of the SLR lens you are using.
Features: Tilting LCD screen, streamlined body design, in-body image stabilization technology
If you have been shopping for a digital SLR camera for under $1000, you definitely will not be disappointed with any of the three cameras in this roundup.
Reviews show that all three of these cameras produce quality images and they also work fully automatically, or they can easily be tweaked in manual mode.
Nikon's in-camera image editing features are a big plus, as is the light, compact camera body. The Canon's bright viewfinder will make checking your images very easy and its customizable menu is a bonus.
However, due to its flip-out LCD screen and the clever live-view feature, ratings show that the Sony DSLR-A300 comes out on top by a nose in this review of cheap DSLR cameras.