Top 5 Lightest DSLR Cameras in 2020

In Camera by Jacob GrozotisLeave a Comment

I’m a big advocate of traveling with the lightest DSLR camera, even when you need to carry your photography kit with you. If you’re a photographer who loves moving, you probably want to have the lightest of cameras around with you. That’s what we mean when we talk about lightweight DSLR cameras. The best DSLR cameras are not often the largest ones. Often, when considering DSLRs, the lightest and most compact ones sometimes outperform the larger ones. Should you be looking for good, superlight, lightweight DSLR cameras, here’s your ultimate top 5 list to check out.

Here are the Top 5 Lightest DSLR cameras in 2020. When hunting for the lightest DSLR camera, a lot of factors come into play. You need to consider the price, power, performance, your usage and a horde of other issues. however, if all factors are kept optimum, the following 5 are the top 5 Lightest DSLR cameras of the year;

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T8
  2. Sony Alpha A99 III
  3. Canon EOS 250D
  4. Nikon D5600
  5. Canon Powershot GI X  Mark III

The lightest DSLR cameras vary between primary DSLR options, hybrid cameras, and completely compact cameras. In this article, we will show you the difference between the three options. Besides, we will also go into which ones are better for you, depending on your level of photography experience and the type of shooting you intend to do.

Here Are The Top 5 Lightest DSLR Cameras in 2020

What are the advantages of using a DSLR camera?

Let’s start at the top of things. There’s a wide range of cameras you can choose from. However, since you have chosen to go for the lightest DSLR camera( that’s why you’re reading this), you might have weighed between a DSLR camera and a Mirrorless one. The route to picking a single camera over the rest is often circuitous and long. Despite all the confusion( which is often) and sometimes confusing marketing gibberish, it is important to consider DSLR cameras versus their mirrorless counterparts before jumping into a specific gene pool.

DSLR cameras have been around for a while. Although they currently face stifling competition from the mirrorless entrants, which are sometimes super light, they hold a few advantages over what the mirrorless cameras offer. Heres’s a shortlist of those advantages just in case you are stuck in limbo on whether to go for a DSLR Camera or a Mirrorless one.

Let’s cut the story short, shall we?

  • They are easier to use– Here’s the deal. There’s no much difference between how you use a DSLR camera and a mirrorless one. After all, only the end-product matters. However, the fact that DSLR cameras have been around for longer means that people have developed more hacks on how to use them. For a beginner, starting with a DSLR camera is a better idea. It will give you more space to teach yourself basic photography and videography hacks.
  • They are a little cheaper than mirrorless cameras-On average, most DSLR cameras are priced in the mid-range category. On the other hand, mirrorless cameras range from high midrange to extremely expensive. This is because the whole mirrorless technology is still a work in development. The difference in price also comes from the difference in power between mirrorless and DSLR cameras
  • Versatility– For a straight out videographer, choosing a mirrorless camera over a DSLR is a no-brainer. After all, the number of DSLR cameras that can support true 4K resolution doesn’t hold a candle to the mirrorless ones. However, the situation is quite different for those who want to take stills and videos at the same time. DSLR cameras perform a little better on this end.

More advantages

  • Longer battery life– The DSLR vs Mirrorless debate is often defined by the fact that DSLR cameras have better battery lives. This is a product of two things; the period of use and the fact that DSLR cameras are generally slightly bigger than mirrorless ones.
  • More accessories– Since we’ve had DSLR cameras for longer, we also have a larger number of accessories to complement their working. For instance, there is a larger number of camera lenses for DSLR options than for mirrorless cameras. The compatibility aspect in DSLR cameras also comes into play when comparing DSLR cameras to Mirrorless ones.  Given that you can’t use mirrorless lenses on a DSLR camera or vice versa, a mirrorless camera comes off as a strained option when thinking about lenses. Additionally, we also have more lighting options for DSLR cameras.

To cut the comparison short, how about reading through our wider and more detailed DSLR vs Mirrorless cameras; which one should you buy article?

Reviewing The Top  5 Lightest DSLR Cameras

Canon EOS Rebel T8

Canon EOS Rebel T7i US 24.2 Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black (1894C002)

This is the T7i, the T8i isn’t available yet on Amazon

It’s easy to confuse the EOS rebel T8 with the EOS Mark IV. The design line between the two is extremely thin. However, each of them is a distinctly different camera. Apart from how close they look, they are not even close. The T6 is a lightweight, and supremely compact DSLR while the EOS Mark IV is something between a DSLR and a Mirrorless camera( forgive the Canon design confusion.)

The EOS Rebel T8 is the culmination of a formidable Canon entry-level DSLR camera range. That range includes the amazing T6, which was the camera with the highest number of cameras in 2016, and the T7, which essentially continued the domination by Canon on the low-end camera markets.

The perfect balance between size and power

The EOS Rebel T8, just like the T7 and the older T6, is small enough to fit into any camera backpack and large enough to call enough shots in terms of camera power and performance. Although you want to get yourself the DLSR camera, there’s always the concern that some cameras will sacrifice all their power and functionality for the minutest of size. Often, this camera is considered as the perfect balance between size and power.

According to Bestbuy, the Canon T line of cameras is often the most preferred camera for travel photographers. It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur photographer or an experienced one. They bet that one in every 5 such photographers has a Canon Rebel T6 or a T7, or has used it at some point.  I’m no travel photographer. That, however, doesn’t mean that I haven’t done my fair share of urban travel photography. If I were asked, those statistics are true to a huge extent. Yes, I have seen a good number of compact EOS Rebel T6 and T7 cameras along the streets.  Given that the T8 was launched recently in February, we are likely to see a larger number of people using it for their simple travel photography.

24.2 CMOS Sensor and a Great User Interface

The T8, just like the T7, is built around the same 24.2MP CMOS sensor technology. Though it doesn’t look as attractive to the cursory eye as its predecessors do, this camera has a little more to offer. For one, it is really easy to use. The replacement of the traditional Canon interface for a revamped easy interface makes all the difference. Though it looks rather standard, it has a nice grip, and good touchscreen LCD to help you through controls and resetting.

One thing which canon has not achieved yet is the art of making cameras small enough to be lightweight. I have no complaints about 536grammes. It is pretty light if we compare it to others. However, when compared to other cameras in this article, the Canon is a little heavy. The only reason why we had to have at the top is that we couldn’t place it anywhere else.

True 4K Videos are Finally Achievable on a Canon DSLR

We have been treated to an array of DSLR cameras that can’t, for their whole existence, justify why they simply don’t have the specs to shoot 4k videos. If you are a fan of shooting 4k videos(you should be), this one won’t disappoint you. According to multiple pre-purchase reviews and the grapevine on Canon releases, the T8 supports a healthy dose of 4k videos at 30fps.

Go for the older T7 and T7i if you want something time-tested

Usually, I recommend going for the older models if you want the same value, or closer to it for a lesser amount of money. On this review, I wouldn’t mind pointing you towards the T7 and the T7i. While the T8 is the most recent, most chic and probably the lightest DSLR camera among all its predecessors, the other two still have enough juice left for a round of usage.  It makes sense to go for something a little older if it performs just as well.

In retrospect, the T8 is more of a new set of jeans in the market. Though it comes from a well-known designer, we don’t know whether it will fade out at the first wash. Since we already have a few worries, we might as well go for something that has been around for a little longer. It will save us any disappointments, should there be any.

In terms of price, we expect the T8 to go for a little higher than $800. Generally, the whole T-series goes for entry-level prices. If you are a fan of Canon DSLR cameras( I’m not) you can pre-order the T8. alternatively, you can also go for the older and more available options.

Sony Alpha A99 II

Sony a99II 42.4MP Digital SLR Camera with 3" LCD, Black (ILCA99M2)

Recently, my camera tastes have been sharpened enough to know when I see a gem. The Sony Alpha A99 III is one. Since the primary intention for the release of this camera was to compete with the more established and ruthlessly efficient Canon EOS Mark III and others in the same price range, the lightweight nature of comes off as an astonishing thing.  Usually, you wouldn’t build a light camera to compete with heavy options. It doesn’t make sense. More often, you build something equally powerful and a little bigger.

Don’t expect a be a new A99 III any soon

For some time, we have been fantasizing about the prospects of getting an A99 III to beef up the presence of the A99 III. Whether Sony is ready to give us another DSLR epic, after fading off the stage for some time is a whole different story. Since we don’t have the A99 III yet, we might as well live with this lightweight camera for the time being.  To think of it, we might as well wait for our entire lives.

Recently, Sony has shown us that it considers DSLR to be actors fading off the stage. They are going for the cut with the E-Mount system and the more affable range of Mirrorless cameras. If you were a fan of the Sony DSLR magic like me, you probably feel a little nauseated at this thought. The sheer balls to leave us out here dry!

Small, powerful and lightweight, but expensive

The SONY A-mount system has a way of making cameras get smaller and lighter as you move higher. On this one, the mounting system is large enough to take the whole backside but small enough to maintain the camera’s weight without shedding any of its inbuild power.  Given that the camera design is inspired by compact cameras rather than the larger DSLR, it is only fair that Sony chose to include the compatible mount system on this camera.

The 42MP full-frame sensor is a powerful feature on this camera. in comparison to the more powerful Canon 5D( which has a 50MP CMOS sensor), you would think that the puny-sized Sony would be cowed. It doesn’t bow. For anything, it goes on to thrive where the Canon can’t; in shooting 4k videos for instance.

The target market for the Sony A99 was sports journalists and professional travel photographers. While the first group of people sees a lot of fast action, the second one are always looking for it. For this reason, Sony designed the camera body around a weather-sealed pouch. This ensures that the camera won’t crash to smithereens when the bounce gets bumpy. On videos, you will notice that the camera cuts down on motion blur to minimal levels. For any videographer, this auto-editing feature is a huge plus. Motion blur sucks when you are shooting fast action.

For around 3000 dollars ( while new) you can get yourself a small, lightweight but heavily powered Sony Camera to get you through shooting. In case you think that a Sony DSLR is a pointless camera, going for the mirrorless range of Sonys is a better option. Besides, they are more recent since most of them came to being post-2017!

Canon EOS 250 D; The World’s Lightest DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 250D (Rebel SL3) DSLR Camera with 18-55mm & 75-300mm Canon Lenses & Essential Accessory Bundle – Includes: SanDisk Ultra 64GB SDXC Memory Card, Extended Life Spare Battery & More

Since we are talking about lightweight DSLR cameras, here comes the record holder for the lightest DSLR camera in the world.

In reality, I only care a little when I start feeling like I have too much gear in my backpack. With the Canon EOS 250 D, you might keep worrying because you’ll keep thinking you’ve dropped your camera along the way. In a backpack, the camera feels so light. It almost feels like it’s not there at all. I hate that feeling.

Lightweight, low power

With the lack of weight, a normal camera design would’ve sacrificed a few things. We all expected it. After all, the slightly heavier 200D, which was the heavily touted precursor to this camera had all the features of a heavily cut-down design. The LCD touchscreen might be a little smaller than you would want it. It can only support 4K video at 24fps( pretty low.) The sensor is all of 24.2 MP and the viewfinder looks like an extension molding on top of the camera body.

As a fan of powerful, and equally light cameras, I find the 250 a little bit underpowered. It behaves like a huge car with a small engine. Wrong line. It behaves like a small car with an equally smaller engine. That’s a  little extreme though.

Great camera for beginners

I think it’s a befitting camera for a beginner.  With its easy to use LCD, a chunky design to enhance grip and a handful of dials and control buttons, anyone can teach themselves how to use a camera using it. Given that all the buttons and dials are concentrated on a single side of the camera( the right one), you can use it single-handed. I don’t recommend single-handed camera control for anything in the world. Nevertheless, if you’re trying to google out “how to take clear 4K videos with a DSLR camera’, you can go and commit that single sin. Yes, you’re forgiven now.

As an entry-level camera for beginners, the inclusion of a guided user interface is an important facet of the whole camera. It provides all the basic hacks you need to learn when using the camera.  While using it, a few hints will pop up on your 3-inch LCD screen. For instance, the camera will tell you to reset your shooting options to auto when the lighting keeps changing. It’s pretty neat.

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600 24.2 MP DSLR Camera + AF-P DX 18-55mm & 70-300mm NIKKOR Zoom Lens Kit + Accessory Bundle

This is the only Nikon to appear on this list. There are several reasons why Nikon doesn’t have as many light DSLR cameras as Canon does. Here’s a few of them in case you are wondering

  • Should you be interested, you should go on and read Nikon’s chequered and well-documented history.From the moment of conception in 1959, the company goes all out to make cameras that can be considered in the same frame as perfect workhorses. Designing a super light camera, in Nikon’s opinion, is not crucial. Instead, the company designs cameras that respond to work when they are called to.
  • Instead of designing lightweight DSLR cameras, Nikon went for creating equally lightweight mirrorless cameras. While this will disappoint all the DSLR fanatics, it will also impress the people who agree with me when I say that the DSLR platform is on its way out. In a decade or so, we’ll have Mirrorless cameras, and no DSLR options, unless the more powerful ones can reinvent and justify their future existence in some way. As a mirrored option, Nikon prefers designing compact cameras rather than DSLR options.

The Nikon heritage and design policy aside, I think the D5600 is Nikon’s best entry-level DSLR just yet. It’s relatively smaller than all other Nikon DSLRs. It also comes with a lot of power under the hood. Moreover, a beginner would find themselves right at home when using it. This means that for an entry-level Nikon, it outperforms what we expect of it on most occasions.

Amazing pixellation on stills

Nikon’s entry-level cameras are more often created for perfect stills more than videos. Using the 24.2MP will give you great videos. It will also produce an acceptable quality for videos in 1080p. However, you will notice that the camera packs an amazing amount of detail into every frame. It feels like a more powerful option, given the clarity of pictures and videos you can shoot while using it.

The Camera’s optical viewfinder is among the best features it has. It’s placed centrally and has a view of more than 95% of the whole lens field. This is pretty high for an entry-level DSLR. However, the 5% deficit means that you have to check on your screen to ensure that nothing else has crept into the frame while you peered into the viewfinder. All said the pixellation on the camera’s end-product is astonishing.

On the video side, you shouldn’t expect anything new with the D5600. Now, I should cut the tone here. Though I’m no fan of using 1080p, I think it’s good enough when the camera can bring out the best of the resolution. Nikon D5600 does just that. Even at higher frame rates, the video remains as clear and as sharp as it can be. Since the camera comes with a good inbuilt audio system, a beginner would learn a lot on how to shoot videos using it.

Same Timeless design, expected performance

Arguing that the Nikon D5600 is a revolutionary piece would be going overboard with the marketing gimmick. It’s not. It’s just a normal camera, which is super light and handy. It also is a reflection of years of sturdy work and a little design ingenuity. Should the price on the camera appear a little weird to you, you can go for a few of the older models that came before the D5600. In retrospect, even the newness of the camera does not mean that Nikon brought out anything new. It’s still the same old workhorse Nikon, with a new facade. In can’t say that I’ve not been lulled to sleep with how boringly predictable Nikon DSLRs can be sometimes.

Canon Powershot GI X  Mark III

As you descend the list of the lightest DSLR cameras in the market, you get to a point where you don’t know whether you’re looking at a full-frame DSLR camera or a compact camera. That is the point where you will find the Canon Powershot Mark III. It confuses you in the same way as it amazes you. As a camera, it looks like the designer couldn’t decide on whether to go completely compact( the size) or upscale it to a DSLR camera( the zoom lens.)  It simply hangs its entire existence on a blurred line between DSLR and Compact cameras.

Confusion aside, the camera is a great buy on all fronts. It’s not superbly powerful, or insanely jaw-dropping. Neither can it be called in the same line with mediocre pieces. It’s just a solid option when you don’t want to go into either of the industries too deep.

It comes with a solid aperture, which is built around a 24.2 MP sensor. In retrospect, this is the largest sensor I have seen on any member of the Canon Powershot series. For videos, the camera can support a healthy 1080p at 60fps. While there’s nothing to acclaim about 1080p, there’s just enough power in the camera to ensure that you get superior pixelation on the same resolution.

Small size, lower zoom

The ultimate selling pivot for the camera is the size. Should you buy it, you will be buying into a pocket-size DSLR. There are only a few good DSLRs, with the affinity to fit into your jacket pocket. this puny size means that the camera comes with better portability than most others. However, the size also implies that something was sacrificed. On this camera, the ultimate sacrifice was the zoom. While there’s a zoom lens, it can only zoom up to 5X. The lenses also have a shorter range. While using it, you get clearer stills and videos only by moving closer.

Often, the camera is compared with the Sony RX 100 III. It needs no saying that the Sony is an affable and often acceptable camera in the same price range. however, it is mirrorless. This means that it’s as different from the Canon Powershot as American Football is to soccer. The only point of comparison is the fact that both of them are among the lightest cameras around.

Given the small size, I expected the camera to come with a smaller battery. I wasn’t let down on that. The battery is small. You need a spare battery for a full shoot. The charging speeds are not pleasing either. Though the camera package includes a compact wall-charger, it also takes long to charge up the batteries.

Should you be looking for a pocket friendly, light DSLR camera for simple travel shoots, you might want to buy this. However, don’t expect it to be a workhorse. It’s simply not meant for such exertions.

Winding Thoughts

Among the lightest DSLR cameras, you will find a dizzying arrangement of cameras. Every camera manufacturer( apart from Nikon) wants to create the lightest DSLR in the market. That said, you need to balance the need for lightweight cameras with the penchant for power. For most light DSLR cameras, the power value is a little low. In case you want extremely light cameras, way lighter than what DSLR cameras can have, check out our curated list of the 10 Best Mirrorless Cameras of 2019 (For The Best Image Quality). Often, mirrorless cameras are lighter than DSLRs by a mile.

However, if you are a stickler to the DSLR gospel, you might need a camera that’s a little more powerful than what the lightest DSLR cameras provide. For this reason, you can get yourself a good medium-range DSLR workhorse, and a good camera backpack to complement the camera.

About the Author

Jacob Grozotis

Jake(me) is a fan of photography, traveling writing, and free food. He has been behind the camera for more than ten years of his 29-years of life.

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