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Canon essentially created the entry-level dSLR market with its first Rebel back in 2003, and has been staving off the competition since. Though the $550 list price has been significantly discounted off its original price when it was first released, the Rebel XS still holds its own against newer, similarly priced base-level models.
The Pentax K-x stands out from the crowd not only for its rainbow of body color options, but also for being the lowest-priced dSLR to offer HD video recording. With a list price of just $650, it bests similarly priced competitors by offering an 11-point autofocus system, a Live View shooting mode, and impressive sensitivity range (ISO 100 to 12,800 expanded), not to mention the 720p HD video recording mode at 24fps.
A step up in the entry-level category in terms of both price and features, the Nikon D5000 was among the first dSLRs to deliver HD video recording for under $900 when it first came out just over a year ago. Since then, the price has come down enough to make the D5000 a great value for the money (with a list price of about $750 with an 18-55mm lens).You'd be hard pressed to get a better combination of feature set, performance, and image quality (especially in low light) for the money.