Cheap cameras are almost dead, but you’ll never guess who might resurrect them

Vector graphic cartoon of old cameras in a graveyard
(Image credit: Future,

The beginner interchangeable lens camera landscape used to be a fertile one, with Canon and Nikon both producing sub-$400 DSLRs, like Canon’s Rebel T7 (EOS 2000D) and Nikon’s D3000-series. However, since the move to mirrorless, and the substantial price hikes brought about by world events over the last few years, we've seen the cost of entry-level cameras creep up, while some manufacturers have simply discontinued their budget offerings altogether. 

So if you're looking to buy your first standalone interchangeable lens camera to further your photographic skills, what's left out there at an accessible price? Canon still has a tiptoe in the DSLR arena with cameras like the aforementioned Rebel T7 at $479, and even the rock-bottom Rebel T100 (EOS 4000D), though the latter is so crude we wouldn't recommend it even at its current $379 price. The de-facto beginner DSLR for many years was a Nikon D3000-series model, but these are no longer an option since Nikon discontinued the D3500 without replacing it. Yet even with Canon still just about in the game, it's getting harder to recommend a new DSLR of any kind, due to all lens manufacturers discontinuing their DSLR lenses at an alarming rate. There's little sense in buying into a dying ecosystem, irrespective of how cheap the entry point may be.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.