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The best camera under $1000: proper cameras at prices you'll like

best camera under $1000
(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

So what is the best camera under $1,000? Prices are changing constantly as we all know, so our list of candidates will change over time, but right now we reckon these are the cameras that give you most bang for your buck.

Related articles

Best cameras under $500 (opens in new tab)
Best cameras under $200 (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for beginners (opens in new tab)
Best DSLRs (opens in new tab)
Best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab)

If you're looking for the best camera under $1000 you've come to the right place. Whether you're looking for a traditional DSLR, a fixed lens compact or a modern mirrorless, we've put together a list of cameras that cover all the bases. No longer do you have to break the bank to own a camera that delivers outstanding image quality and lots of advanced features.

If you think you want to spend over $1000, you can also check out our guides on the best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab) or best DSLRs (opens in new tab). Don't think you have to spend loads though to own a high performance camera - even some of the cheaper cameras on this list are capable of producing amazing images.

Some of the cameras below are slightly more sophisticated than others, you'll need to consider what style of photography you want to focus on so you can decide what features are most important. If you want to do wildlife photography, it might be an idea to lean towards an interchangeable lens Micro Four Thirds cameras but if you want to shoot video as well as stills, look for a camera that has 4K capabilities.

We’ve rounded up the best cameras that fit a budget under $1000. We've featured compacts, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and where possible we've ensured our picks have included a lens as well as a camera so you can be sure that you'll get everything you need within the budget. 

• You can buy all of the DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in our list body only or with a choice of kit lenses; for this guide we have recommended a body and a lens to get you going, and still come in under the £1000 budget.

So, let's get started, and run through the best cameras under £1000!

Best camera under $1000 in 2021

Best Fujifilm camera: Fujifilm x-s10

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
One of the best value cameras on the market complete with 4K video and in-body stabilization

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26.1MP
Lens mount: Fujifilm X
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
Max continuous shooting speed: 30/8fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Intermediate/Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Small size & excellent build quality
+
Vari-angle touchscreen
+
In-body image stabilisation

Reasons to avoid

-
Conventional mode dial

The Fujifilm X-S10 is probably the best all-rounder in the Fujifilm stable right now, and is therefore our strongest pick for the majority of users. It's got a full-articulated screen and generally handles very well, despite having fewer external control dials and buttons compared to other cameras in the X-series. Having IBIS (in-body stabilization) is also a huge bonus, making it easier to shoot hand-held with slower shutter speeds, which is hugely useful for low-light work. In terms of APS-C cameras, we're hard pressed to think of one that offers a better balance of features, performance and price than the Fujifilm X-S10, and that's why it's our top pick. 

Read more: Fujifilm X-S10 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Future)
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Don't let the fact its Micro Four Thirds put you off - the crop factor can be a big advantage

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 20.3MP
Screen: 3-inch tiltable touchscreen, 1,037K dots
Viewfinder: Electronic 2,360K dots
Lens: Micro Four Thirds
Continuous shooting speed: 15fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Intermediate/Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Updated 20MP sensor
+
Flip-down monitor

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic build
-
No mic port for vloggers

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV's predecessor, the Mark III, was a great camera with plenty to offer. However, its aging 16MP sensor and contrast AF left room for improvement. Luckily the Mark IV is a great update, with the same 20.3MP sensor as the PEN-F and improved Continuous Autofocus. While some improvements are incremental, the Mark IV brings some interesting new offerings to the table including a zippy 15fps continuous burst mode. We're also a fan of the extra-tiltable screen, which is capable of flipping 180° down to create the perfect selfie screen. And Olympus has thankfully returned silent shooting to manual mode! Make sure you get this with the EZ 14-42mm pancake lens for the ultimate pocket-size travel camera.

Read more: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Future)
Available in six different colors, the Nikon Z fc has a vintage look but is packed with modern features

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Megapixels: 20.9MP
Monitor: 3-in vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots
Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p
User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Good value from the start
+
Compact body and kit lens
+
4K video and 11fps shooting

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body stabilization

The Nikon Z fc combines the features of the Nikon Z50 into a body that looks more like a Nikon FM2 - only in bright colors. The Z fc is much smaller than Nikon's full-frame systems such as the Z6 II (opens in new tab) and Z7 II (opens in new tab) which make it an ideal choice for travel or street photography. Whether you want it for photos, videos or both, it's capable of recording 4K 30p, can shoot up to 11fps in burst mode and has accurate and fast autofocus and Eye AF. You can also transfer images on the go via WiFi using the Nikon app or you can use it as a wireless remote. 

It uses the Nikon Z mount which means you can use any of the full-frame lenses available. Nikon and other third-party brands are starting to bring out more APS-C specific lenses and you can also use the FTZ adapter if you want to shoot with F mount lenses. This camera is a little over budget (depending on where you buy it from) but it's such a good bit of kit we still think it deserves a place on the list. 

Read more: Nikon Z fc review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
A mid range APS-C camera that perfectly balances size, price and features

Specifications

Type: CSC
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Screen: 3in tilting screen, 921k dots
Viewfinder: Electronic 1,440k
Lens mount: Sony E
Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Conveniently compact build
+
Fast autofocus is good for tracking
+
Great vlogging camera

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks in body stabilization
-
Some Sony lenses are large compared with the body

Small but with a comfortable and natural feel, thanks to generously proportioned grip areas, the Sony A6400 is a mid-range model fitting somewhere between the bargain A6000 and the new flagship A6600. The A6400 just squeezes in under budget with a zoom, and is a particular great choice for those who want to shoot video as well as stills, as this mirrorless model was built with vloggers in mind. The 16-50mm PZ (Power Zoom) kit lens is a good match for the body, although some of Sony’s other E-mount lenses can seem comparatively large on such a slimline camera. The 16-50mm lens also features optical image stabilization. That’s good news, because unlike the top-end A6600, the A6400 has no sensor-shift stabilizer.

(Image credit: Panasonic)
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5. Panasonic Lumix G95

With DSLR style handling and a high-res viewfinder, the Lumix G95 is a joy to use and delivers excellent images

Specifications

Type: CSC
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 20.3MP
Screen: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 2.1m dots
Viewfinder: Electronic 2,360k
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
Continuous shooting speed: 9fps (6fps with AF)
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Very good build quality and handling
+
Clear, high-res electronic viewfinder
+
Fully pivoting touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite big for a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera

The Lumix DC-G95 benefits from a chunky handgrip and large viewfinder that make it feel like a serious camera. Its handling and built quality is very good plus it's splashproof and dustproof. It has 5-axis sensor-shift stabilization which can be used alongside OIS (optical image stabilization) found on lenses for ultra-smooth video. You can shoot up to 9fps in continuous burst mode or up to 30fps when using the 4K photo mode. Talking of 4K, you can also shoot 4K video making this features packed camera a great all-rounder. The viewfinder is super sharp, it has a fully articulated screen which also makes it great for vlogging and an easy-to-navigate menu system. If it wasn't for the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor, it would appear higher up in the list. 

(Image credit: James Artaius)
Perfect for beginners, the EOS M50 II can shoot 4K and up to 10fps

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Lens mount: Canon EF-M
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots
Max burst speed: 10fps
Max video resolution: 4K UHD

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in electronic viewfinder
+
Excellent vari-angle touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
4K video limitations
-
Simplified exterior controls

The  EOS M50 Mark II packs a lot of tech into its compact body, and the fact it has a viewfinder – when so many similarly priced mirrorless cameras don’t – is a big selling point. The retracting 15-45mm kit lens can be a little awkward to use, and the 4K video mode brings a cropped view and autofocus limitations, but this is still a cute and easy to use camera which is really rather versatile. It's a great mirrorless alternative to the Canon Rebel SL3 below, but offers similar features in a smaller camera. You can get this with a 15-45mm lens for well under our budget, and if you shop around you may find twin-lens kits with a telephoto zoom that are still under $1,000. All so check out EOS M50 deals (opens in new tab) - as the older version is still on sale, and is practically identical, and sometimes cheaper.

Read more: Canon EOS M50 Mark II review (opens in new tab)  

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)
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If you're after something lightweight and easy to use, the Rebel SL3 ticks both those boxes

Specifications

Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Lens mount: Canon EF-S
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Max burst speed: 5fps
Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 25p

Reasons to buy

+
A lightweight, intuitive DSLR
+
Superb Live View shooting

Reasons to avoid

-
Larger than mirrorless rivals
-
Relatively few AF points

The pint-sized Canon Rebel SL3 has been around for a while now but it's still one of our favorites. Its 24.1MP APS-C sensor delivers excellent image quality, and Live View shooting with the LCD screen so easy and intuitive, with such good Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus, that we’d actually say this is one of the only DSLRs where composing shots with the screen is as easy as with a mirrorless camera. Canon also packs in 4K video, and wraps everything up in an ergonomically designed DSLR body that's just about the smallest on the market. The new EOS Rebel T8i is a lot more expensive but only marginally more desirable. With an EF-S 18-55mm kit lens the Rebel SL3 is well below our $1,000 budget limit, and it's worth looking out for twin-lens kits that add a telephoto zoom – and still for less than $1,000.

Read more: Canon EOS Rebel SL3 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Future)
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One of the best value full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market by far

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 26.2MP
Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots
Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36 million dots
Max video resolution: 4K UHD
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Size, weight and low cost
+
Fully articulating screen

Reasons to avoid

-
1.6x crop and no Dual Pixel AF in 4K
-
Weak battery life

We are being a bit cheeky slipping the EOS RP into this guide because at the time of writing it's around $999 body only – so you will have to budget extra for a lens! The EOS RP was Canon's second full frame mirrorless camera, and it's smaller, lighter and a lot cheaper than all of the others. It's designed to be a compact, affordable and easy to use entry point into Canon's full frame mirrorless system, and it succeeds brilliantly. Its small dimensions mean it can sometimes feel overbalanced by larger lenses, though, and the 4K video mode comes with some caveats – the image frame is cropped by a factor of 1.6 and you can't use Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system unless you drop the resolution to full HD. On the upside, the pictures are clear and sharp, the vari-angle touchscreen display is a real advantage for both stills and video, and the inclusion of an EF lens adaptor means you can use existing Canon DSLR lenses alongside the new but growing RF lens system. 

Read more: Canon EOS RP review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Panasonic)
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A pocket-sized Micro Four Thirds camera with a fast aperture fixed lens

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 17MP
Lens: 24-75mm, f/1.7-2.8 (equiv.)
LCD: 3in fixed, 1,24 million dots
Viewfinder: EVF
Continuous shooting: 11fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Enthusiast/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Only compact with MFT sensor
+
Fast f/1.7-2.8 lens
+
4K video, 4K Photo modes

Reasons to avoid

-
17MP is lower than some rivals

The trouble with big sensors is that you need big lenses to go with them, so there goes any kind of pocketability. Usually. But Panasonic has really hit the sweet spot with the Panasonic LX100 II. It combines a Micro Four Thirds sensor that's not much smaller than the ASP-C sensors in mode DSLRs, with a miniaturised lens assembly that powers down into a camera body slim enough to carry around anywhere. The LX100 II is a brand new version of the original LX100, which was, admittedly, starting to show its age. The new model has a 17-megapixel ‘multi-aspect’ sensor, which means you can use its native 4:3 aspect ratio, the 3:2 ratio used by most DSLRs and mirrorless models, or a 16:9 ‘wide’ format without losing lots of megapixels through cropping. With an external shutter speed dial, lens aperture ring and aspect ratio switch, the LX100 II is a dream compact camera for enthusiasts and experts.

Read more: Panasonic Lumix LX100 II review (opens in new tab)

How we test cameras

We test mirrorless and DSLR cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use these real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides. 

Read more:

Best cameras under $500 (opens in new tab)
Best cameras under $200 (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for beginners (opens in new tab)
Best DSLRs (opens in new tab)
Best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab)

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