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Best DSLR cameras under $700

Beginner cameras can help you learn to use a digital SLR without breaking your budget. But these aren't stripped-down models. They offer most of the same features as pricier cameras, and experts say they'll deliver equally outstanding photos for your albums and frames. The three cameras in this section earn almost identical high ratings and glowing reviews.

The Nikon D3200 (Est. $530 with kit lens) just edges out the other beginner DSLRs with one marquee feature. Its outrageously high 24.2 megapixels -- rivals top out around 20 -- capture tinier details in your photos and HD videos. Still, those extra megapixels force some compromises including dim-light sensitivity, so lower-resolution competitors take fairly comparable photos in tests. Experts say the D3200 is a "DSLR with training wheels," making it great for novice photographers.

The Pentax K-50 (Est. $610 (with kit lens)) is the Nikon D3200's main rival. With similar photo quality, the K-50 is ideal if you shoot in rugged outdoor conditions; its weather-sealed body is good to minus-10 degrees C. The K-50 shoots at a faster continuous rate than the Nikon D3200, at 6 fps compared to 4 fps. Unique among DSLR cameras that are usually just black, the Pentax K-50 is customizable in 120 color combinations for the body and grip if you purchase it with the kit lens online from Ricoh.

Competing with both of these cameras is the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (Est. $650 (with kit lens)) , which replaces the highly reviewed and well-loved but now discontinued EOS Rebel T4. Unlike the fixed LCD panels of the Nikon D3200 and Pentax K-50, the Rebel T5i's LCD is an articulated touch screen, which was introduced in the Rebel T4. This allows you to shoot at creative, and sometimes crazy, angles. The T5i has a resolution of 18 megapixels, less than either of our other two beginner cameras, but reviewers rave about its video capabilities. Novices can take a product tour of the T5i's features, especially its well-reviewed Creative Effects.

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Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $529.95 $476.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with DA L 18-55mm WR f3.5-5.6 Lens (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $779.95 $525.89   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Canon Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera and 18-55mm EF-S IS STM Lens Kit
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from Amazon.com
New: $849.00 $749.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

Digital SLR Cameras Runners Up:

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Est. $3,400 (body only)

6 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Pentax K-50 Est. $610 (with kit lens)

5 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon EOS 70D Est. $1050 (body only)

4 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Pentax K-5 II Est. $925 (with kit lens)

4 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D5100 Est. $480 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Sony Alpha A77 Est. $1,050 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D600 Est. $1500 (body only)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, CNET…

Canon EOS Rebel T5i Est. $650 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D5300 Est. $1000 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D610 Est. $1700 (body only)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Pentax K-3 Est. $1450 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Sony Alpha A58 Est. $450 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: DPReview.com, CNET…

Canon EOS 60D Est. $1,100 (with kit lens)

2 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D3100 Est. $400 (with kit lens)

2 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D7000 Est. $1,000 (with kit lens)

2 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Est. $695 (with kit lens)

1 pick including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon EOS Rebel T3 Est. $495 (with kit lens)

1 pick including: Amazon.com, CNET…

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
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from Amazon.com
New: $3,999.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with DA L 18-55mm WR f3.5-5.6 Lens (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $779.95 $525.89   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Body Only)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,199.00 $1,099.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Pentax K-5 II 16.3 MP DSLR DA 18-135mm WR lens kit (Black)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,449.95 $991.12   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL)
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from Amazon.com
New: $649.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,399.99   
Average Customer Review:  
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Nikon D600 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,899.95 $1,569.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Canon Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera and 18-55mm EF-S IS STM Lens Kit
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $849.00 $749.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,299.95 $1,046.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Nikon D610 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,999.95 $1,896.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Pentax K-3 lens kit w/ 18-135mm WR 24MP SLR Camera with 3.2-Inch TFT LCD and 18-135mm WR f 3.5-5.6 (Black)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,649.95 $1,310.19   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Sony SLT-A58K Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm Zoom Lens, 20.1MP SLR Camera with 2.7 -Inch LCD Screen (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $599.99 $448.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $429.95 $380.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (DISCONTINUED)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $599.00 $528.49   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

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