5 of the Best Used DSLRs Under $100 (2019)

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: April 28, 2019
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The best camera under $100 is going to be the newest camera you can find used. Taking that into account, eBay is going to be used as the reference point for prices.

Be on the lookout for a good deal at garage sales, thrift stores, Etsy, Amazon, Facebook groups, Craigslist, or other online marketplaces.

Best Camera Under $100 for photography in 2019.

1. Best Used Canon - Canon EOS 40D

Released in August, 2007, with a MSRP of $1,299, the Canon 40D is a prosumer camera with a 10.1 MP sensor. With the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom lens, the camera was priced at $1,499 when first released.

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The camera uses Type I or Type II CompactFlash memory cards with a maximum size of 32GB. BP-511A batteries are used, which can be charged with a Canon CB-5L charger. EF and EF-S camera lenses can be used on the camera.

  • 9 Autofocus Points
  • 3" LCD
  • 6.5 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • ISO 100-1600, Expandable to 3200
  • Live View
  • No video

You can install Magic Lantern on the camera, which greatly increases what you’re able to do with the camera. Magic Lantern is a third party open source program that runs from a memory card.

Canon DSLRs are the are the most widely available DSLRs on the used market. The cameras and lenses should be the easiest to find a deal on.

Other Good Canon Cameras Under $100

Canon EOS Rebel XSi (12.2MP) (Canon EOS 450D)
Canon Digital Rebel XT (8.0MP) (Canon EOS 350D)
Canon Digital Rebel Xti (10.1MP) (Canon EOS 400D)

DSLR Cameras for less than $100, Nikon.

2. Best Used Nikon - Nikon D200 (10.2MP)

Released in December, 2005, the Nikon D200 was targeted at professional photographers. The original MSRP was $1,699.

It features a 10.2 MP sensor and was not sold with a kit lens.

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CompactFlash memory cards are used by the camera, with a max of 32GB. EN-EL3 batteries are used which can be charged by a MH-18a or MH-19 charger. The camera uses Nikon F-mount lenses.

  • 11-Point Autofocus System
  • 2.5” LCD
  • 5 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • ISO Range 100-1600, Boost to 3200
  • No Video
  • No Live View

This camera is going to be difficult to find under $100. Most sales are slightly over $100.

However, it is the only professional level camera that made the list. The Nikon D200's handling, ergonomics, and build quality are going to be the best of any camera on this list.

Lens Selection

There are 60 years worth of Nikon F-mount lenses to select from. What is nice is the ability to find inexpensive specialty lenses. Ultra wide angle, macro, and telephoto lenses can be found without having to spend large amounts of money.

Similar Nikon Used DSLRs to Look For

Nikon D100 (6.1MP)
Nikon D80 (10.2MP)
Nikon D70, D70s (6.1MP)

If you need a small digital camera, take a look at Nikon's Coolpix lineup. With point and shoot cameras, the prices should be low enough that you'll be able to get video features.

Sony Camera Under $100 from years ago.

3. Best Used Sony - Sony Alpha A100

Released July, 2006, with an MSRP of $999, with the kit 18-70mm f/3.5 lens. This camera was targeted towards enthusiast photographers with its 10.2 mp sensor.

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The camera uses CompactFlash Type I or Type II cards. Sony Memory Stick Duo cards can be used, but require an adapter.

Battery model is NP-FM55H, which is charged by the Sony BC-VM10 charger. The OEM Sony charger is difficult to find and expensive. Try to find one bundled with the camera.

Lenses for the camera use the Sony/Minolta A-mount. Minolta developed the lens mount in the 1980’s. In 2005 Sony acquired Minolta’s camera division.

The Sony A100 is a successor to the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D.

  • 9 Autofocus Points
  • 2.5" LCD
  • 3 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • ISO Range 100-1600
  • No Video
  • No Live View

Sony has been marketing their mirrorless E-mount cameras and ignoring their DSLRs. A-mount lenses are likely the least expensive lenses of the cameras on this list.

The performance of the camera is going to lag behind the Nikon and Canon. Additionally, I was not a fan of how the camera handled when I briefly owned one.

I would recommend trying to hold one before making a purchase.

More Sony DSLRs Under $100

There aren’t any. The Sony A200 is more than $100.

Minolta had to recall almost every Maxxum 5D, and every Maxxum 7D. The expense is why Sony ended up with their camera division. Avoid those two cameras as they can prone to problems.

Best Camera For Good Price

4. Best Used Pentax - Pentax K-x

Released October, 2009, with an MSRP of $649, including a 18-55mm kit lens. The camera body and lens could be purchased in black or white colors. Red and navy blue were limited edition colors.

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This camera was targeted towards entry level consumers. It has a 12.4 MP sensor.

The camera uses SD and SDHC memory cards. Unlike the other cameras listed, the camera uses four AA batteries. Lenses for the camera use the Pentax KA mount.

  • 11 Autofocus Points
  • 2.7” LCD
  • 4.6 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • ISO Range 100 - 12800
  • Live View
  • Can Shoot 720p Video at 24fps

Color matched lenses make this an easy camera to find with a lens. That also means you might need to be okay with a bright red camera.

Using AA batteries also means there is no expense involved in tracking down replacement batteries and a charger.

The body is plastic and does not have a magnesium alloy chassis like the other cameras on this list. It is going to feel cheap in comparison to any of the other cameras listed, including the similar Pentax models bellow.

Make sure to include the dash in your searching. The Pentax KX is a 35mm film camera. The K-x is the digital camera.

More Second Hand Pentax Options

There three cameras all have a higher build quality than the K-x. They are going to be more difficult to find under $100.

Pentax K10D (10.2MP)
Pentax K200D (10.2MP)
Pentax K-7 (14.6MP)

Good Camera for Under $100

5. Best Used Olympus - Olympus EVOLT E-510

Released June, 2007, with an MSRP of $799, or $899 with the kit 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Another kit was available that included a second lens, the 50-150mm f4.0-5.6.

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This camera was targeted at photography enthusiasts with its 10 MP sensor.

CompactFlash or xD memory cards can be used. xD memory cards have been discontinued and are not longer used. High capacity xD cards are expensive to find used.

Batteries used in the camera are PS-BLM1 changed with the BCM-2. The camera uses Four Thirds mount lenses, which have been discontinued. The Four Thirds mount was replaced by the Micro Four Thirds mount, which can lead to confusion.

  • 4 Autofocus Points
  • 2.5" LCD
  • 3 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • ISO Range 100 - 1600
  • Live View
  • No Video

The downside to the EVOLT cameras are going to be their poor low light performance and slow autofocus speed. Nikon and Canon cameras are going to have better performance.

Another issue is going to be finding lenses for the cameras. It is nearly impossible to find a Four Thirds mount lens that isn’t one of the two kit lenses that came with the cameras.

In terms of build quality and usability, the E-510 uses a pentamirror for the optical viewfinder. Pentaprisms are superior and used on the Nikons and Canons listed above.

More Olympus Cameras for Less Than $100

Olympus EVOLT E-500 (8.0MP)
Olympus EVOLT E-450 (10.0MP)
Olympus EVOLT E-420 (10.0MP)

Look for Complete Kits

A camera body on its own is not going to be very useful. If you don’t already have any of the following, factor in the cost to get what you need before you buy a camera.

Lens – The cheapest lens you’ll be able to find for any of the cameras listed below will be $15-$20. Look for cameras that come with the 18-55mm zoom lens that they were sold with. You’ll get a better deal than by buying a camera body and lens separately.

Memory Card – Used memory cards can cost $5-$10, and new name brand cards are more than $10. Be careful of generic memory cards as they are either slow, have problems, or are not even the their labeled capacity. Also make sure to check on what kind of memory card the camera uses.

Battery Charger – Replacement battery chargers are widely available, but they cost around $10. They also are not as nice as the original OEM chargers.

Batteries – Batteries are likely going to need to be replaced. All of the cameras on the list are more than 10 years old and lithium ion batteries do not last that long.

Neck Strap – If you see yourself wanting to use a neck strap, make sure the camera comes with one. You also might be able to find included cases, filters, or possibly a tripod.Image credits

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