Best Cameras in 2018 Under $2000
Steve's Digicams Best Cameras...
Spending up to $2,000--sometimes for a body-only--represents a huge investment for enthusiasts and working pros, and it's a little intimidating to make it. But there's no need to worry here since you're at a budget level where you literally can't lose. Seriously. This $1,500 to $2,000 budget range is our absolute favorite, hands down, because every single camera company is producing something amazing at these price-points. That means that every single camera on this list produces incredible photos, with most of them sporting features and performance specs that were originally developed for $6,000 camera systems, features you're not getting for one-third the price.
So, at this level, quality isn't the question. In fact, if you're taking bad photos with these cameras, it's probably not the camera at fault. Instead of what's the best, the question you need to be asking yourself is, what do I need?
What type of photographer are you? What subjects do you shoot? What size sensor do you need? Have you already invested in certain types of lenses? Do you shoot still first, video first, or both? And what do you prefer in terms of ergonomics, special features, and weight?
Each of these sub-$2,000 cameras will allow you to grow and produce great work; it'll just be up to you to figure out which system fits your particular needs.
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 20.4MP | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: 3" fully adjustable touchscreen | Max Burst Shooting: 60fps | Video Recording: 4K/30p
PROS: 60 FPS, Really good image stabilization
CONS: Micro Four Thirds
Olympus has really stepped up its game with its flagship OM-D EM1 Mark II. And though the name is tricky and hard to remember, the images taken with this camera are not. For a Micro Four Thirds camera, this mirrorless is an action photographers dream. With up to 60fps, there isn't anything you'd miss, as it's basically slow-motion video at that point anyway. It also has a silent shutter mode that is imperceptibly quiet, helping you capture your images like a spy. Throw in the camera's 4K video capability and compact design, and it's a run and gunner's dream.
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 20.9MP | Viewfinder: Optical | Display: 3.2 Tilting Touchscreen LCD | Max Burst Shooting: 10fps | Video Recording: UHD 4K/30 fps
PROS: Dedicated thumb joystick for changing focus, Incredible battery life
CONS: Very large, 4K crop videos & AF
The Nikon D500 will reward you with it's tough as nails weatherproof body and flagship DX functionality. It's a crop sensor, which might not swing it for some of you at this price point, but don't let that fool you. This is a camera that's up to the task. It can take cinematic 4K UHD videos -- although there is an additional crop factor here and Nikon's contrast AF is mediocre at best -- has built-in Wi-Fi + Bluetooth capabilities, and will shoot almost anything you need professionally or otherwise. If you're stills-first OR don't need to shoot action video and/or have a partner to handle focus duties when you're shooting vlogs, the Nikon D500 is a fast DSLR with an incredible image sensor.
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 20.3MP | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: 3.2" adjustable LCD | Max Burst Shooting: Up to 30fps at 6k | Video Recording: 4k/60p, 1080p @ 180fps
PROS: 400 Mbps 10bit 4K video, Ultra slow-motion HD video
CONS: Low-light performance, AF can be slow
The Panasonic GH5 is for someone who wants to do as much or more with video as they do with stills. This is a camera people for people who want to shoot short films, commercials, and weddings. It's an incredibly powerful device even with a micro four-thirds 20.3-megapixel sensor. On the flipside, the still images aren't as good as the E-M1 Mark II, and its low-light video capabilities aren't great above 800 ISO (hello, noise) thanks to the smaller image sensor. Also, there are some issues with the camera's video AF performance (it's best to use a single point when recording oneself). While this camera will work for someone who shoots stills AND video equally, the GH5 is for video shooters first.