I miss yesterday's entry-level DSLRs, and their replacements are not what they seem

Nikon D3500
When the Nikon D3500 went, we didn't just lose a camera. (Image credit: Future)

For a long, long time we've been recommending the Nikon D3500 and the Canon EOS Rebel cameras as some of the best cameras for beginners. They don't cost much but they take high-quality images, you can swap lenses and you have many of the manual controls of professional cameras to help you learn about photography.

But the Nikon D3500 is no longer available new, and the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 looks like it's not far behind. That might seem natural enough as mirrorless cameras take over from old-school DSLR designs, and we have new low-cost mirrorless cameras like the Nikon Z30 and Canon EOS R100 to replace them. Most of the best Nikon cameras and best Canon cameras are now mirrorless, so what's the problem?

The new Nikon Z30 is actually very good value for a brand new mirrorless camera, as is the Canon EOS R100. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com