If you want to take up photography as a hobby or as a professional career, starting with a DSLR is the logical step to take.

Finding the correct DSLR

But with so many different models of DSLR’s, some very new and some quite established picking the one for your photography needs may be difficult. Here at Hometop, we understand this and we took it upon ourselves to research and review the mid range DSLRs for your budget.

To help find the best DSLR we worked with a college photography professor capturing images in different localities and lighting conditions to better understand the cameras performance.

In order to pick the best camera we took the opinion of a leading professional photographer Mr. Ashish Parmar to grade each camera based on photos he selected. This was done so we could not only get a professional's opinion on each photo but the cameras themselves as Mr. Ashish also has a camera rental service called “Pro Gear Hire”.

Best DSLR under Rs. 50,000

Canon 800D

The Canon 800D is simply one of the best DSLRs you can buy at this price point, with one of the best color reproductions, extremely fast focusing and a huge catalog of lenses. It's one of those rare “All-in-one” cameras, fast for wildlife photography, bright for low-light and easy to use for videography.

The video is limited to 1080p@60fps but comes with video stabilization and an audio port to connect external microphones. This makes it a versatile video camera along with an excellent still camera.


This is a really long post! Use the links below to jump around.


Why Trust Us?

To find the best DSLR under Rs.30000 we spend over 3 days capturing photos on the DSLR in different environments. Our review process was a two-stage one, the first being capturing images in set locations with the help of a photography professor. We tried a lot of different types of photographs ranging from street to architecture, birds to people to landscapes. This vast variety was selected based on the preferences of budding photographers.

Stage two of the testing involved getting the captured images graded by Mr. Parmar - Canon’s photographer of the year (2009). The grading procedure was done without disclosing the name of the camera to remove any brand bias.

How we selected?

We started by looking at DSLRs which were priced around Rs.50000. The DSLR market in that price range is again dominated by only two brands, Canon and Nikon. There are a mix of cameras in this range some new, some old. From the list comprising of the Nikon D5200, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5600, Canon 700D, Canon 750D, Canon 800D and Canon 200D we picked the latest one i.e. The Canon 800D and the Nikon D5600. We did not pick the Canon 200D as it has fewer autofocus points and its priced too close to the far more capable 800D.

How we tested?

We wanted to make sure that in the process of reviewing we also are able to show the true capability of the camera itself. To do full justice to that we brought along a photography professor who has professional experience.

So armed with the two DSLRs and an experienced professional we went around Bangalore to try and capture different types of photographs. We did a lot of street and architecture photography along with videography at Bangalore's famous M.G. Road. Next, we went to the lovely Sankey Tank to capture the birds and scenery, we waited till we could get sunset shots too. Our last destination was BEL Road to capture low light images and give a try at light streak imaging.

Testing to find the right DSLR choice

Most of the photos were captured with lenses other than the stock kit lens, like the 50mm f/1.8 Prime lens and 70-300mm/ 55-250mm Zoom lens.

With all the images captured, our next task was grading each camera. We printed out photos from the cameras and headed to our next expert, Mr. Ashish Parmar. One of India’s most diverse photographers with an experience of over 22 years.  A photo he shot was chosen by Apple as a part of their Shot on iPhone 6S world campaign and featured in the iPhone World Gallery. In 2009 he won the Canon Nature Photographer of the Year Award; and his images being recognized by National Geographic Stock imagery, TIME magazine, and Better Photography magazine.

Talks with Mr. Ashish Parmar on pictures

Mr.Ashish went through all the photos first without knowing which photo came from which camera. We then compiled the photos according to cameras and let him pick the best pictures. Our expert picked a set of images for each camera, without knowing which picture belongs to which camera and then we started the judging process. We graded each camera for parameters like color, noise, exposure etc. Once we revealed the camera name our expert contributed some more technical details on each of them from his side.

Best DSLR-In Detail

The best mid-range DSLR

Canon 800D: Full profile

Specifications

Pros

  • The best picture quality with excellent color reproduction

  • Great video quality with stabilizer support

  • Fast auto focusing

  • Touch Screen controls and articulating screen

  • Supports external mics

  • Huge lens catalog

Cons

  • Lacks 4K video support

  • Noise creeps in after ISO 6400

  • Plasticky body

  • Battery life could be better

Build & Usage: Well built and easy to use

Now the Canon 800D is a big camera, in fact, the biggest and heaviest in our test. Now, this can be very good people with large hands, but when we tried we did not find it to be uncomfortable to use. In comparison the Nikon D5600 is pretty compact in fact it was the smallest in dimensions, the size becomes a factor when your carry the DSLRs

The design is similar to most Canon DSLRs including the button layout, what is different is the articulating screen which can be pulled out and tilted and twisted to frame your shots more easily. We found that the added touch screen helps you control the image settings much faster and it becomes very handy in video recording. The screen also has good resolution at 1040K dots which allows you to frame your shots more clearly.

Close-up ​Canon 800D's lens and other controls

The build quality is solid with minimal panel gaps and sturdiness to the screen movement also. But the excessive use of dull, black plastic does give it a slightly cheap appearance. The camera is also not weather protected, which means you have to be careful if you are shooting in rainy conditions.

We particularly loved the simplicity of the touch UI and the hardware buttons. The labels for functions are clearly mentioned which makes it more useful for a new user. The UI to control the manual settings of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed has a slider based UI which feels more intuitive than that of the Nikon dial shaped UI.

For connectivity, the 800D gets NFC, Wifi, and Bluetooth LE. Canon also has an app to connect and transfer images wirelessly from the Camera to your smartphone.

Coming to battery life, with the wealth of improvement in imaging and the touch-enabled controls means battery life will take a hit. Canon rates the battery life at 600 shots and based on our mixed usage we shot around 200+ images and we still had more than half of battery left.

Imaging & Video: Best Image Quality in its segment

The Canon 800D performs tremendously at imaging, it's not only that the captured images have great quality, but the quick focusing speed makes it such a joy to use. 

Canon 800D

​Nikon D5600

When we showed our expert the photos captured from this camera he instantly took a liking to the color reproduction of this camera. The blues of the sky, the colors of buildings are all rendered beautifully. You can have a look at the photo above where the blue color of the sky on the Canon 800D is miles better than that of the Nikon D5600. This beautiful color reproduction means you don't have to sit in post-processing boosting the colors in software.

When we showed our expert the photos captured from this camera he instantly took a liking to the color reproduction of this camera. The blues of the sky, the colors of buildings are all rendered beautifully. You can have a look at the photo above where the blue color of the sky on the Canon 800D is miles better than that of the Nikon D5600. This beautiful color reproduction means you don't have to sit in post-processing boosting the colors in software.

Using the 800D with a 55-250mm zoom lens lets you try your hand at capturing birds perched up a tree or animals that are hiding behind a tree. The photos we captured with this lens under sunset conditions did give a lot of noise. The noise creeps in once your cross the ISO 6400 mark, so make sure you keep your ISO low. Also, make sure you have a tripod ready at max zoom as you can get some shake in the images.

For new users who have shifted from smartphones or point and shoot cameras, the eagerness of the 800D to focus on a subject will make you instantly fall in love with this camera. It is safe to say this was one of the fastest camera in our tests by a mile. What this means is if you are capturing a lot of photos you will have most of them in focus rather than just a few.

Video recording on this camera is limited to 1080p@60fps, this is strange as smartphones today capture 4K@30fps but that's a discussion for another day. Now the 1080p captured on this camera is actually very good, great in fact, the colors are very well represented and the frame rate is smooth. The camera also has in-body video stabilization to prevent excessive jerks in motion. Audio recorded from the on-camera mic was decent with some wind noise creeping in though. The 800D does have a 3.5mm jack for adding external microphones too, this is a neat little addition for makers of short films and Youtubers.

Lenses:

The Nikon D3400 is compatible with all DX lenses under the AF-S & AF-P range. AF lenses will also be compatible but only partially as the Nikon D3400 doesn't have a built in autofocus motor and relies on the lenses focusing motor.

Below are a few budget lenses to start off your photography hobby:

Useful for: Street, Wedding, Portraits, Low-Light, Indoors

Zoom Lenses:

  • ​70-300mm F/4-5.6 IS II USM
  • 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS II

Useful for: Primarily outdoor use, sports, wildlife.

Ones that didn't get picked

Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600 is not a bad camera per se, it is similar in features and connectivity to the Canon 800D. But in everyday image capture, we felt it be much slower than the Canon 800D. Also, the color reproduction is way behind that of the Canon 800D. In fact, the much cheaper Nikon D3400 captures much better color than the Nikon D5600.

Another issue we saw was in the HDR mode, which is supposed to give your a great dynamic range as well as better highlights in photos where the sun is behind the subject. A look at the image below shows them improvements the HDR mode does to the image. The green leaves are more vivid, the bark of the tree is more visible and the ground is better highlighted. However the mist like formation around the lakes bank is uneven and the camera also applied a whitish tone ot the bark of the tree also, this is because the software is unable to correctly recognise and differentiate the difference. Also the sky which was overexposed in the normal photo is still over exposed. So not all the benefits of HDR are clear on the Nikon D5600.

Video recording is a smooth 1080p@60fps but it lacks any type of stabilization. You can plug in an external mic to record audio.

Also Canon wider range of lenses definitely helps the 800D, also the ease of use of the Canon 800D makes it a much better weapon of choice for most types of photographers.