Good news for shooters on a budget – a list of the best cameras under £1000/$1000 is going to include some absolutely fantastic cameras. Whether you’re looking for a second-hand pro camera, or something brand new and entry-level, there are loads of excellent options out there. In fact, we had a hard time narrowing our list down to ten!

We’ve kept the options restricted to interchangeable-lens system cameras, as this is likely what somebody with a budget of £1,000/$1,000 is going to be looking for. If you think you’d prefer a fixed-lens camera, check out our list of the best compact cameras. For this list, you’re going to be choosing between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

If you’re buying new at £1,000/$1,000, you’ll be looking for entry-level to mid-range cameras. Step into the second-hand market and you can expect to see professional and enthusiast models. We’ve included all types in our guide, to give you plenty of choice. Before we get to the list, let’s look at the key specs you’ll want to be mindful of when picking your camera.

How to choose the best cameras under £1000/$1000

Here are the main points to look for when choosing your budget DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Image sensor size and resolution

Although we often first take into account how many megapixels a camera has, this really isn’t the most important aspect. The type of sensor generally matters more. There are various sensor types, ranging from medium format, full frame (FF), APS-C (crop sensor), Micro Four Thirds (MFT) and 1-inch, down to a 1/2.3-inch and smaller. In most DSLR and mirrorless cameras, you’ll find either a full-frame, APS-C or MFT sensor.

An advantage of a full-frame sensor is that it is better at dealing with image noise at high ISOs compared with an APS-C or MFT sensor, which makes it more useful in low light. It also has an increased ability to produce dreamy background blur at wider aperture settings, which is great for portraiture. For more on this have a look at our guide to APS-C vs Full-frame vs MFT.


Cameras have a lot of features and functions. Depending on what you plan to shoot, the main ones to consider will likely be ISO range, burst mode capability and video quality. If you are going to be shooting in low light, then a larger ISO range is hugely valuable. If video is a requirement, then check the camera’s video recording specs – its resolution and frame rate. And if you want to capture fast action, then you’ll need a camera with a faster burst mode. You may need to compromise when shopping on a budget, so prioritise one or two key features.

For a new camera up to £1000/$1000, you can expect to get some excellent features, such as 4K video and a generous ISO range. However, where these cameras differ in relation to more expensive ones is often in the build quality and image processing speeds. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have similar but different feature sets; check out our guide to DSLR vs mirrorless if you want to know the key differences.

If you’re a professional and on a budget, we suggest you take a look at the second-hand camera market. There are many excellent DSLRs and mirrorless models available – just check the shutter count and camera condition before buying.


Finally, do some research on lenses before you buy into a camera system. Each manufacturer’s system is different and there is a large variety of lenses out there. If you are switching from one system to another, and want to keep some or all your old lenses, you’ll need to purchase a compatible adapter mount to ensure they fit. This may affect lens functionality and mean you can’t use some features like autofocus, so double-check before making the switch.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What camera type do I want?
  • What image sensor type and resolution does the camera offer?
  • How big are the LCD screen and viewfinder (size and resolution)?
  • What features does it include?
  • What is the weight and build?
  • What lens mount does the camera support and what lenses are compatible?

Now you know what to look for, here is our list of recommendations the best cameras under £1000/$1000…

The best cameras under £1000/$1000

1. Canon EOS R10 – £899/$979 body only

Best cameras under £1000: Canon EOS R10

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP APS-C sensor
  • ISO 100-32,000 (expandable to 100 to 51,200)
  • 23fps shooting (electronic shutter)
  • 4K 30p video (4K 60p with crop)
  • 2.36m-dot viewfinder
  • 3-inch vari-angle LCD

The Canon EOS R10 is an exceptional offering from Canon, being one of the smaller and lighter mirrorless cameras in the Canon collection. This entry-level model should be attractive to both smartphone and DSLR shooters who want to move to mirrorless. Keep in mind as well that if you already have a collection of Canon DSLR-fitting lenses, the EF-to-RF mount adapter allows you to use them on the EOS R10 with full functionality, including autofocus.

Stand-out features of the Canon EOS R10 include the superb autofocus system and high-quality video (Full HD shooting at up to 120fps). It’s also possible to record 4K video at 60fps, albeit with a 1.6x crop. The large ISO range, and burst mode of up to 23fps when shooting using the electronic shutter, are also useful. The buffer isn’t huge, at 29 raw files at 15fps, or 21 files at 23fps, but for one of the best cameras under £1000/$1000, this is to be expected.

What we like:

  • Fast autofocus and fast burst
  • Affordable entry point for EOS R
  • Great APS-C image quality

What we don’t like:

  • Few native RF-S lenses
  • Slim shot buffer

Best for: travel

2. Nikon Z50 – £899 / $856 body only

Nikon Z50 in hand with lens, Photo: Michael Topham

Nikon Z50 in hand with lens, Photo: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 20.9MP APS-C sensor
  • Nikon Z-mount
  • 11fps continuous shooting with AE/AF
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • 2.36m-dot viewfinder
  • 4K video at 30p

The Nikon Z50 is a five-star camera with many enticing features such as 4K video and a tilting touchscreen. The Z50 was Nikon’s first DX-format (APS-C) mirrorless Z-mount camera, and it is compatible with a wide range of excellent lenses, including F-mount DSLR lenses via the FTZ adapter. This gives the user plenty of options.

In our 2019 review, we found the electronic viewfinder and responsive touchscreen to enhance our shooting experience, and were impressed by the 11fps continuous shooting and responsive autofocus system.

It’s worth noting that the Z50 is almost identical spec-wise with the newer Nikon Z30. However, this model does not include a viewfinder. The Z30 retails for almost £200 cheaper than the Z50 but does includes a more advanced video system that has been designed to entice vloggers.

What we like:

  • Excellent electronic viewfinder
  • Shoots at high ISOs
  • Silent shooting mode

What we don’t like:

  • Port is Micro USB, not USB-C
  • Mode dial easily knocked

Best for: portrait shooters

3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV – £679 / $699 body-only

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV in hand, with selfie screen

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV in hand, with selfie screen

At a glance:

  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 (expandable to ISO 80-25,600)
  • Up to 15fps shooting
  • 121-point contrast-detect AF
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation

The Olympus (now OM-System) E-M10 range represents their entry level OM-D mirrorless models, and sits between the simpler PEN series and the higher-end, enthusiast-focused E-M5, as well as the new flagship OM-1.

When we reviewed the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV back in 2020, we found it produced excellent colours straight from JPEG. We also appreciated its stylish and well-built body for a camera at this level, which we found easy to operate while offering room to grow.

The E-M10 Mark IV has a great set of advanced features for a camera of this level, including a 121-point contrast-detect AF system and 5-axis in body image stabilisation.

What we like:

  • Tiny and portable
  • Loads of MFT lenses
  • 5-axis stabilisation

What we don’t like:

  • Smaller sensor than APS-C
  • No mic port

Best for: beginners to enthusiasts

4. Panasonic Lumix G100 – £569 / $497 with 12-32mm lens

Panasonic Lumix G100 in hand

Panasonic Lumix G100 in hand, Photo: Richard Sibley

At a glance:

  • 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor
  • Contrast-detect autofocus with 49 points
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • 4K 30p

The Panasonic Lumix G100 is part of the Micro Four Thirds system with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV featured above, meaning they can both use the same lenses. Like all Panasonic Lumix G cameras from the past few years, it is capable of shooting excellent 4K video – however the difference with the G100 is that it has been specifically optimised for vloggers.

This means you get a three-capsule built-in mic setup, powered by Nokia’s OZO audio, which delivers sound that’s a cut above what you’d expect for a camera of this type. It’s particularly good for isolating speech from background noise, and is cleverly aided in doing so by the camera’s face-detection system.

The G100 costs a little more than £500 or $400 with a 12-32mm lens, giving us plenty of change from our £1,000/$1,000 budget for an extra Micro Four Thirds lens or two. Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus AF system is showing its age (and has since been retired for the full-frame S5 cameras), but otherwise this is a solid entry-level choice.

What we like:

  • Excellent built-in mic setup
  • Impressive EVF for the price
  • Slow-mo and time-lapse options

What we don’t like:

  • Electronic stabilisation incurs 4K crop
  • Not the best AF system

Best for: Vloggers on a budget

5. Canon EOS 250D (Rebel SL3) – £599 / $649 body only

Canon EOS 250D DSLR with 18-55mm lens

Canon EOS 250D DSLR with 18-55mm lens

At a glance:

  • 24.1MP APS-C sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • 5fps continuous shooting
  • Articulating monitor
  • 4K 30p

Although mirrorless has made a massive impact on the camera market, there are still photographers who prefer the build and handling of a DSLR system. The main advantages of a DSLR over mirrorless are the optical viewfinder and longer battery life – plus, they are also a bit cheaper. The Canon EOS 250D is a great choice, and a worthy contender for any amateur or beginner photographers.

The small compact body is comparable to a mirrorless camera in size, weighing a mere 449g. Other great features include the 24.1MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS autofocusing that gives pin-sharp results in stills and video.

If a DSLR is the way you want to go, check out our other recommendations of the best Canon DSLRs you can buy in 2022.

What we like:

  • Optical viewfinder
  • Excellent battery life
  • Lightweight build

What we don’t like:

  • Rudimentary 9-point AF system
  • No weatherproofing

Best for: Beginners who want space to improve

6. Sony A6400 – £849 / $898 body only

Sony Alpha A6400 in hand, with 18-135mm lens, Andy Westlake

Sony Alpha A6400 in hand, with 18-135mm lens, tested by Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-32,000 (expandable to 100-102,400)
  • 11fps continuous shooting
  • 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch, 921,600-dot tilting touchscreen

When we reviewed the Sony A6400 back in 2019, we gave it a solid 4 stars. We were impressed by the excellent autofocus tracking feature, producing high quality images in almost any shooting scenario. We also appreciated how compact it is in size, with a solid construction. For any action, event, wildlife or sports photographer, the Sony A6400 is a superb of the best cameras under £1000/$1000, as the autofocus system is one of the best for a camera at this price point.

The Sony A6400 is not perfect though, as the design of the camera is unfortunately a bit dated, and the lack of in-body image stabilisation is disappointing. If these aspects don’t concern you, then this camera is well worth considering as it’s a great shooter that will produce high-quality imagery.

What we like:

  • Compact in size
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Loads of E-mount lenses

What we don’t like:

  • Boxy, uninspiring design
  • No in-body stabilisation

Best for: sports photography

7. Fujifilm X-T30 II – £769 / $899 body only

Best cameras for black and white - Fujifilm X-T30 Mark ii

Fujifilm X-T30 Mark II Camera Body. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:

  • 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS IV Sensor
  • ISO 160-12,800 (expandable to 80-51,200)
  • Up to 30fps continuous shooting with electronic shutter (cropped), 20fps uncropped
  • 3-inch 1.62m-dot, tilting touchscreen
  • 4K 30p video
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in

The Fujifilm X-T30 II is a top-notch camera that works out as excellent value for money. The X-T30 II upgraded the Fujifilm X-T30 (and before that, the X-T20) and was well received across the industry, including by our review team, who gave it the full five stars.

The Fujifilm X-T30 II doesn’t only look good on paper – it delivers when put through its paces. The impressive specs such as the 20-30fps continuous shooting and 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS IV Sensor (as used in the flagship X-T4) perform as well as you’d expect, and even JPEGs straight from the camera produce lovely colours.

On the downside, in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) isn’t included in the X-T30 II like it is in Fuji’s X-S10 listed above. However, this camera retails for a cheaper price, so is worth considering on that basis.

What we like:

  • Gorgeous image quality
  • Fast burst shooting
  • Excellent X-mount lens range

What we don’t like:

  • No in-body stabilisation
  • On the pricey end, body-only

Best for: budget-conscious street photographers

8. Panasonic Lumix G9 – £899 / $997 body only

Panasonic Lumix G9

At a glance:

  • 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds MOS sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 (expandable to ISO 100-25,600)
  • 60fps continuous shooting
  • Five-axis Dual IS II image stabiliser
  • 4K video up to 60p (150Mbps bit-rate)

The only camera from Panasonic to make it on to our list is the Panasonic Lumix G9, but what a camera! The G9 is now available staggeringly cheap at under £1000, and is a great option for wildlife and adventure photographers, as can be seen in our Panasonic Lumix G9 field test by Dan Milner back in 2018.

Using a Four Thirds sensor, this camera comes with 20.3MP of resolution. However, the G9 also has the option to shoot at 80MP with Panasonic’s High-Resolution mode. Take note though you are somewhat limited here, as the camera needs to stitch images together to make the high-res composite, meaning it’s only really suitable for stationary subjects.

Videographers and vloggers will appreciate the Lumix G9’s high-quality 4K, and its in body image stabilisation also comes in handy. A great all-rounder that has plenty to offer.

What we like:

  • Great for outdoor shooting
  • Excellent 4K quality
  • High-Resolution stitch mode

What we don’t like:

  • Smaller sensor
  • High end of £1,000/$1,000 budget

Best for: wildlife and adventure photographers

9. Nikon D810 – second-hand from around $500 / $699

Nikon D810 camera

Nikon D810

At a glance:

  • 36.3МР full-frame ѕеnѕоr
  • 51-point AF system
  • 5fрѕ continuous shooting іn FХ fоrmаt (7fрѕ іn DХ fоrmаt)
  • ІЅО 64-12,800 (ехрandable tо 32-51,200)
  • Маgnеѕіum-аllоу bоdу wіth duѕt- аnd wеаthеr-ѕеаlіng

The full-frame Nikon D810 is a wonderful camera that produces excellent results and is built like a tank. When this camera was launched in 2014 it was aimed at professionals, Nikon having upgraded and fixed all the niggles of the D800 and D800E. The price tag of £2,700 was unaffordable for most non-professionals. Fast-forward eight years, and a second hand one with a low shutter count can be picked up for a great price, easily making it one of the best cameras for under £1000/$1000.

One of the D810’s greatest selling-points is its full-frame 36.3MP sensor that even in today’s market is decent in size. The 51-point AF focus system isn’t as impressive as when it was launched compared with more modern cameras, however the results cannot be faulted and images from the camera are sharp.

This camera won’t suit everyone, as the heavy build (despite being almost bulletproof) will put some off. However, for a landscape enthusiast, or a professional just starting out on a tight budget, this camera is a wonderful choice.

What we like:

  • Hardy build
  • Gorgeous full-frame quality
  • Significant price drop

What we don’t like:

  • Aging autofocus system
  • Big, bulky, heavy

Best for: landscape photographers

10. Sony A7 II – second-hand from around £649 / $668

Sony A7 II in hand, review image by Andy Westlake

Sony Alpha A7 II in hand. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 24.3MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 100-25,600 (50-25,600)
  • 5 axis in-body image stabilisation
  • 3.0-inch TFT LCD screen
  • Full HD 60p video
  • Weight approx 556g

And last but by no means least, the Sony A7 II makes it onto our top ten. This camera was announced back in 2014, but while the technology is not Sony’s latest. there are very few new mirrorless cameras with a full-frame sensor you can get for under £1000.

One of the flagship features of the Sony A7 II is its in-body 5 axis image stabilisation feature, which pioneered the technology at the time. The generous ISO range is also noteworthy for a camera at this price point.

If you’re after a no-thrills, simple mirrorless shooter with a full-frame sensor, and you primarily want to take still images, the Sony A7 II is really your best option for less than £1000.

What we like:

  • Broad ISO range
  • Excellent full-frame image quality
  • Powerful 5-axis stabilisation

What we don’t like:

  • Full HD, not 4K
  • Only 5fps burst

Best for: event photographers

If you’ve got more money to spend, then have a look at our guide to the best cameras for under £2000 / $2000

Text by Claire Gillo, with contributions from Jon Stapley.

Further reading

How to clean your camera and equipment

Best cameras for black and white photography

Is this the end for compact cameras?

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