4 Best Cameras for Photographers on a Budget

By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

Instagram enthusiasts are happy to use their smartphone cameras to capture the moment, but if photography has really sparked your interest, it's time to upgrade. Even with the jumps in performance that smartphones have gone through in the past few years, their cameras are still very limited. Luckily, entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are now priced low enough that those curious about the craft can try it out on a relatively modest budget.

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Cheapism.com has identified four entry-level models that are inexpensive yet lauded in expert reviews. Two are DSLRs, or digital single-lens reflex cameras, while the other two are more compact mirrorless cameras. In either case you'll have access to a wide range of interchangeable lenses and manual controls galore, as well as automatic settings. Of course you'll also be able to shoot high-quality photos and videos -- all four cameras can capture video in 1080p HD.

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The recommended cameras use image stabilization to keep pictures looking crisp, even in low-light situations, and they range in resolution from 16 to 24 megapixels. Manufacturers may tout megapixel counts, however the image sensor is what really makes the difference. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have larger image sensors than you'll find in a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera, which is one reason you'll get higher quality photos even if the number of megapixels is the same.

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Click through the slide show to see Cheapism.com's four top picks among budget DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

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