Best Nikon DSLRs Under $1,500

By Staff

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a total amateur, picking the right camera is no easy task; if you're shooting on a budget, the choice becomes even harder. As one of the most storied names in photography, Nikon has a laundry list of models at all price points, including many DSLRs well under $1,500.

Want a great starter model? You can probably pick one up for not much more than $500. Looking for a little more photographic horsepower? You'll probably be spending over $1,000, but the results will be spectacular.

Either way, our picks below should include at least a couple options that suit your needs. Want to learn more about any particular model? Just click through to the full review to learn more.

Updated January 22, 2017

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Nikon D7200

With weather sealing, a built-in autofocus motor, and some nifty video and timelapse features, the D7200 is built with sports, wildlife, and even amateur prosumer photographers in mind. It may sit in a weird middle spot in Nikon's lineup, since it's around the same price as the full-frame D610, but for sports and wildlife photographers who don't need full-frame and want weather-sealing, the D7200 is a great choice.

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Nikon D5500

With the D5500, Nikon introduced a suite of subtle improvements that streamlined and improved the already great D5300. It retains its predecessor's sturdy build while slightly slimming down the bulk. Better still, it comes with a touchscreen LCD—a handy addition, particularly when it comes to shooting video. Whether you're a Nikon die-hard or looking to pick up your first DSLR, the D5500 is a solid all-around buy.

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Where to Buy
Amazon $596.95 Buy
Adorama $596.95 Buy
Walmart $623.05 Buy
42nd Street Photo $529.00 Buy

Nikon D7100

The Nikon D7100 offers 51 phase detection focus points, a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, ample video options, and great usability features including a large 3.3-inch LCD. New users will be faced with a long learning curve, but once you get over the hump you'll find that the D7100 is powerful and versatile, and precise enough to help you nail exactly the shot you want. If you don't want to go full-frame, this is one of the best DSLRs you can buy.

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Where to Buy
Amazon $696.95 Buy
Adorama $696.95 Buy
Best Buy $699.99 Buy
Walmart $624.00 Buy

Nikon D3300

Nikon's most affordable DSLR holds its own in a sea of high-performance shooters, picking up where the well-received D3200 left off. With the D3300, you’re getting a lighter chassis, a 24.2-megapixel sensor with no anti-aliasing filter, and the new EXPEED 4 processor. If you've been waiting for an entry-level DSLR that checks all the boxes, it's tough to argue with what this camera has to offer.

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Where to Buy
Amazon $446.95 Buy
Adorama $446.95 Buy
Best Buy $449.99 Buy
Walmart $446.95 Buy

Nikon D5200

Nikon's midrange D5200 DSLR produced excellent results in our labs, including accurate colors and extremely wide dynamic range. Major changes over the D5100 include higher resolution and faster autofocus, and compatibility with the WU-1a WiFi adapter, allowing users to transfer photos directly to iOS or Android devices, which can also function as a remote viewfinder. Top-notch video and a swivel screen are icing on the cake.

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Where to Buy
Walmart $348.15 Buy

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