With a budget stretching to $1500, things start to get really interesting in the camera world.
You can now move away from cheap plastic cameras with small sensors to the big leagues. Full-frame sensors, weather-sealed bodies, 4K video, and speedy autofocus — there are lots of features to choose from.
If you have decided to go for a DSLR over a mirrorless camera, and have $1500 ready, you have come to the right place. This list will help you figure out which camera might suit you. These mid-range cameras will help your photos look more aesthetic.
Let’s dive in!
Best DSLR Cameras Under $1500
1. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The original Canon 6D was released almost eight years ago and showed that even full-frame DSLRs could be made affordable.
The 6D Mark II takes that aim forward, giving you a big sensor in a big body with modern features like WiFi and GPS, while keeping the price tag reasonable.
Editor’s Choice – Best DSLR Under $1500
The main improvement is the new 26 MP full-frame sensor, the DIGIC 7 processor, and Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel autofocus. This allows the 6D II to have near-perfect skin tones and low-light capabilities, even up to ISO 6400.
The new sensor provides a wide dynamic range, which will be sufficient for everyone except the pixel-peeping crowd. Shooting in RAW will give you additional room for editing. However, it falls a bit short compared to the dynamic range of other full-frame cameras from Nikon and Sony.
The viewfinder autofocus of the 6D Mark II is a respectable 45-point system, with all cross-type points. This is certainly good enough for landscape photography. Still, action photographers might demand more, especially given its slow shooting speed of 6.5 fps and sometimes slow subject-tracking.
On the video side, the camera delivers but fails to live up to the higher expectations. It tops out at 1080p and does not provide the sharpest footage. The camera also does not have a headphone jack for monitoring the audio. However, with Dual Pixel AF allowing smooth continuous focusing, the overall experience is excellent and perfect for general vlogging and home videos.
In a nutshell, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II will not beat the best-in-class DSLRs from other companies, but it will compete with them easily. If you already have Canon lenses or want a semi-professional camera that can also be used for casual photography and family videos, the 6D Mark II is an affordable choice. It will also be an excellent choice for landscape photographers who want a portable full-frame body that is very rugged.
2. Canon EOS Rebel T8i
The Rebel series is designed for the enthusiast photographer, looking to get away from auto mode and into manual settings. And released in early 2020, the Canon EOS Rebel T8i — also known as the Canon 850D — is the latest in that lineup.
With a price tag that is almost half of the 6D Mark II, the Rebel T8i provides only a 24.1 MP APS-C sensor. However, some notable features of the T8i are its rotating touchscreen LCD, Dual Pixel AF, and the latest DIGIC 8 image processor with 4K video.
One of the best things about the T8i is that it uses the same 45-point AF system that can be found on more expensive cameras like the 6D and 80D. Combined with Dual Pixel in live view and Face Detection, the whole system becomes a portable, all-purpose family and travel camera. The shooting speed of 7 fps through the viewfinder is also decent for an advanced-beginner camera, and it will be sufficient for capturing your kids’ sports and pets.
The body of the T8i is nothing exceptional, mostly built from hard plastic without any weather-sealing.
At this price point, you will also lose out on many customizable controls and a viewfinder with 100% coverage.
Where the Rebel T8i compensates is the image and video quality. With the same 24 MP sensor found in the 80D, the camera’s dynamic range is excellent. Even low-light photos do not show much noise, as long as you don’t make a direct comparison with a full-frame sensor. For videos, the T8i offers 4K with Dual Pixel AF and an articulating touchscreen — an excellent package for vloggers — with the only downside being the cropped footage and a slight lack of sharpness.
The Rebel T8i is not designed to be outstanding, but simply as a high-end beginner’s camera. And it succeeds in both the stills and video department. Apart from the cheaper-feeling body, there are no significant downsides, and even those downsides are to be expected at this price.
3. Canon EOS 90D
Sitting between the 6D Mark II’s features and the T8i’s ease of use, the Canon EOS 90D is the latest offering in Canon’s semi-pro APS-C cameras.
The 90D is almost as expensive as the 6D Mark II, but that is with the often stabilized 18-55mm kit lens included. Where it beats the 6D Mark II is the resolution — a whopping 32.5 MP — and the 4K video capabilities, making it perfect for enthusiasts who want full-frame image quality in a more straightforward camera.
The EOS 90D utilizes the same 45-point all-cross type autofocus system, which changes to a 5