14 Pro Cameras Under $1,000 [April, 2024]

There are camera bodies that are perfect for professional work and other’s that would be an enthusiasts dream.

Most of these cameras need SD cards with high sustained write speeds for best performance. A V30 or V60 card might be needed.

  • Most Expensive: Nikon D4S ($6,499)
  • Cheapest: Olympus PEN-F Digital ($1,199)
  • Oldest: Nikon Df (2013)
  • Newest: Canon R8 (2023)
Model Year MSRP MP Weight Sensor Video
Pentax K-1 2016 $1,799 36.4 1010g FF 1080p30
Olympus PEN-F Digital 2016 $1,199 20.3 427g MFT 1080p60
Panasonic S1 2019 $2,499 24.2 899g FF 4k60
Canon 5D Mark IV 2016 $3,499 30.1 800g FF 4k30
Canon 5DS / Canon 5DS R 2015 $3,699 / $3,899 50.3 845g FF 1080p30
Nikon Df 2013 $2,749 16.2 760g FF None
Nikon D4S 2014 $6,499 16.2 1180g FF 1080p60
Blackmagic Design Pocket 4K 2018 $1,295 Cinema! 720g MFT or EF 4k60
Sony A7III 2018 $1,999 24.2 650g FF 4k30
Sony A6600 2019 $1,399 24.2 503g APS-C 4k30
Panasonic G5H II 2021 $1,699 20.3 727g MFT 4k60
Canon R8 2023 $1,499 24.2 461g FF 4k60
Leica T (typ 701) 2014 $1,849 16.0 384g APS-C 1080p30
Leica TL 2016 $1,695 16.0 384g APS-C 1080p30

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Some more expensive Leica cameras don’t have video.

This is Pentax’s first full frame DSLR. That fact alone will keep the price elevated compared to Canon and Nikon.

As all previous models used APS-C sensors, modern lens selection is not good. That’s not a problem, as the camera is compatible with AF lenses that were designed for 35mm film cameras.

Make sure to know what lenses you’ll be interested in, how much they will cost, and if they are available.

This is the least expensive Panasonic full frame camera. It uses the L-mount, which also includes Leica, Sigma, Samyang, and Astrodesign. That’s beneficial to the lens ecosystem.

The R variant doesn’t have a low pass filter.

These are the only high-resolution models at this price range. I’d recommend using L lenses to make the most of the sensor.

Options for higher resolution involve multi-shot on a mirrorless or moving up to medium format.

Last in the 5D line. Unfortunately Magic Lantern is not compatible with the camera.

With so many, it will remain a popular camera for many years to come. They are going to be extremely popular models for people that want to continue to shoot with a DSLR.

The only sports, action, and wildlife camera. A Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 VR ED can be found for less than $800.

Make sure to check lens prices.

Make sure to check lens prices.

Model Year MSRP MP Weight Sensor Video
Panasonic G5H II 2021 $1,699 20.3 727g MFT 4k60
Blackmagic Design Pocket 4K 2018 $1,295 Cinema! 720g MFT or EF 4k60

Pay special attention to the memory cards used. The high bitrate video the camera can capture requires cards with a high sustained write speed.

It’s a cinema camera. It’s small and comes in Canon EF or MFT mounts.

Model Year MSRP MP Weight Sensor Video
Olympus PEN-F Digital 2016 $1,199 20.3 427g MFT 1080p60
Nikon Df 2013 $2,749 16.2 760g FF None

A system highlight for fans of Olympus. This is a take on the analog PEN-F, with controls that mimic the film shooting experience.

These carry a large premium and can be difficult to find.

It has vintage styling and can use as well as meter correctly with non-Ai lenses. These are the oldest F-mount lenses that use prongs to relay the lens aperture to the camera.

If you don’t understand the appeal behind that, this is likely not the camera for you. Better price to performance can be had from a hybrid camera.