Canon T6s

Cameras of the Year: Best Entry-level and Intermediate Cameras

The Imaging Resource Camera of the Year Awards

Best Entry-level and Intermediate Cameras

Entry-level and intermediate cameras have come a long way in the past few years! Their capabilities as well as their overall image quality and build quality have made dramatic leaps, placing the best ones closer in functionality to true “enthusiast-grade” cameras and therefore harder to slot into categories. We added our “intermediate” category this year to try and bridge the gap between “entry-level” and “enthusiast” but the lines can still be somewhat hard to define. (If your favorite camera didn’t make the cut in this category, stay tuned for our enthusiast and pro camera winners this Thursday!)

However, it wasn’t hard to define our winners in these categories for 2015! There were some truly outstanding cameras, very much deserving of recognition. For any cameras that strike your fancy, make sure to use the links and dive into our full reviews to see how they might fit your personal shooting style. Our Field Tests are a great place to start, as they’re written based on real-world shooting.

Camera of the Year, Best Intermediate DSLR: Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5500 is much smaller than typical enthusiast-grade DSLRs, and costs a lot less, but that’s where most of the major differences end. The D5500 offers excellent image quality and terrific high ISO performance in addition to excellent ergonomics and touchscreen functionality, the D5500 has become one of the most popular cameras on our site for good reason!
Our field tester dubbed the Nikon D5500 the “Best indoor sports camera for under $1000” as it can handle both the higher ISO demands as well as the autofocus and burst performance specs needed to perform in that trying arena. He also noted, “The D5500 is a joy ergonomically: It feels solid yet lightweight, and the controls are perfectly positioned.” Add to this excellent dynamic range, 24 megapixel resolution, fast start-up times and very good battery life, and you’re looking at quite a capable DSLR for its $699 body-only price.

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