At this point, the countdown until Christmas is entering hyper-speed (if you haven’t already bought presents for your loved ones that is). And that race against time may force you to spend more on said presents thanks to elevated shipping costs and convenience fees. While that might be fine for less expensive products (like socks), you’re going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place if you’re looking to buy something more expensive (say a DSLR).

Buying an entry-level professional-esque camera will likely cost you more than $600 (and that’s just for the body). But, we think that price is a little ridiculous, at least you consider that you can get industry-standard photo and video from a device you already own. And that’s why we think the best entry level DSLR is… your smartphone.

Best Entry Level DSLR on the Market Today Is…

Now, that may sound ridiculous seeing as the sensor on even Apple’s newest iPhone, the iPhone 6 still pales in comparison to most starter DSLR’s. And most of the features on the new iPhone lack the technical precision of a professional camera but, that still wasn’t enough to drive us away. Why you might ask? Because unless you are a professional photographer, or have a lot of extra money on hand, you probably don’t need one. You just need a few select features to reach professional quality photo and video. And, your smartphone probably has all of them.

(Quality) Pixels Per Dollar – A Photographers Version of the ‘Better Buy’

The iPhone 6 separates itself from the competition a bit thanks to HDR imaging, the new ‘focus pixels’ and image stabilization but, with a potential $1000 price tag it might not be worth it. So, for the best entry level DSLR we suggest you turn to upgrading a product that you already own. Namely, your current smartphone.

To get the most out of the HD video and high res camera attached to your smartphone you’re going to need to pick up some additional equipment. A high quality (and reasonably priced) lens grouping like the Olloclip will give you the functionality to create photo and videos that mimic DSLR quality. You’re also going to need a mini tripod that will give your camera the stability it needs to perform in low light situations. And finally, an app like Filmic Pro or Manual will give you complete control over your camera’s aperture, focus, filters and ISO which will make your smartphone more powerful than most point and shoots.

So, you can get the best entry level DSLR for less than $100 which, frankly makes the price of a DSLR look ridiculous. Especially, if you’re only using that camera for small package photo and video. Hopefully this tip helps you find a cheaper, quality alternative to some of the other camera’s you may have been looking at. Just remember, taking a great photo is about practice and thought rather than the cost of your equipment. Take care!

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