Best $1000 Budget Camera Gear Guide

I’m sure there are exceptions here, if something is on sale or can be purchased dirt cheap. Several combinations of cameras and lenses can end up being less than $1,000. This is my personal list and if I lost all my equipment today, and had just $1,000 left, this is what I would buy to keep on shooting great shots.

Camera: Nikon D5300 DSLR w/ Kit Lens

$579 brand new with 18-55mm Kit Lens. This is a great camera for a great price. Sure, it’s a cropped sensor, but the absolute best bang for the buck out there and produces amazing images. Do your own research and you will see that this little camera can beat out DSLR’s that cost 2 or 3x as much.

Prime Lens: 50mm F/1.8G Prime Lens

$220 brand new. With the kit lens being a F/3.5, you will need something a little better and brighter to do portraits, and this lens is absolutely stunning. The reviews do not lie. This tiny and affordable and lightweight lens is a giant killer. In the world of portraiture it holds its own. It produces fast, sharp and bright images with no distortion.

Zoom Lens: Nikon 55-200mm F/4 Zoom Lens

$195 brand new. This lens will help fill in the remainder of the range that you need to start with. It isn’t the sharpest or fastest by any means, but at the sub $200 range it cannot be beaten.

Brand New Total: $994. $6 under budget. 

Keep in mind that these prices are brand new, and I did that for a reason, because the more cost-effective people among us will know to look around, on ebay, craigslist, amazon marketplace and other aftermarket stores to find a great deal. I know I would. You can probably get everything above for $800 or less if you shop around, leaving you with a remaining $200 for some extra batteries, an affordable external flash (I love Yongnuo) and even a great tripod. Bam, now you’ve got a killer set up for less than what most cameras cost.