Best Dslr Cameras
DSLR cameras aren’t to be confused with the newer breed compact system cameras that are also infiltrating camera land. They are the ones that typically look a little more like point-and-shoot cameras or “mini DSLR” but also have interchangeable lenses (there are exceptions to that, with some models acting as out-and-out DSLR replacements). We’ve got the best system cameras covered in another feature, linked below:
Best Dslr Cameras
So you’re in the market for a new camera and have decided you want to opt for a DSLR. Well you’re in luck, not only because there are some great cameras out there, but also because we are here to help you pick the right one. New Atlas looks at some of the best DSLR cameras available for beginner photographers.
Best Dslr Cameras
Whether you’re new to the DSLR concept, are looking to upgrade, know plenty about cameras already and are weighing up the options, or are considering a more pro-spec option, we’ve broken down our list of great DSLR cameras into sub-headed categories to make things that bit easier to digest. You name it, we’ve got you covered.
Best Dslr Cameras
The D810 is Nikon’s leading DSLR and the whole package in terms of image quality, video quality, and features. You get a powerful 36.3-megapixel full-frame image sensor, a speedy processor, and superb low light performance for professional-level photos even in the toughest of conditions. For an extended period we had the D810 as the top DSLR on the market—it offers nearly 6 more megapixels than the Canon 5D Mark V below—but the release of 5DS R has bumped it down a notch. It will be interesting to see if Nikon releases an updated version this year—the D810 is two years old and counting and a lot has changed since. But taking the megapixel arms race out of the equation, the D810 is a fantastic full-frame DSLR that you’ll often see in the hands of top professionals, and for good reason. See the Nikon D810
Best Dslr Cameras
Sony is best known for its mirrorless cameras and premium point-and-shoots, but its current DSLR offerings are nothing to scoff at. Case in point: the Sony Alpha a68 is very competitive at the entry-level end of the DSLR spectrum. This camera features an advanced autofocus system that performs extremely well for action photography, along with built-in image stabilization to help offset camera shake. Along with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, the Alpha a68 is an intriguing competitor to popular DSLRs like the Nikon D5500 and Canon Rebel T6i.
Canon and Nikon are the dominant DSLR manufacturers. You’ll also find strong options from Pentax (which has a loyal following) and Sony, but the majority of professionals use cameras and lenses from Canon or Nikon. Current DSLR, your camera options will be determined by your lens collections.
When people are just getting into photography and ask which DSLR they should buy, we often recommend Nikon’s D3000 series. These entry-level cameras offer solid image and video quality, are easy to use, and relatively inexpensive for what you get. Down the road you may want to upgrade to an enthusiast or full-frame camera, but a DSLR like the Nikon D3400 is a terrific starting point.
Some enthusiast and full-frame DSLR cameras are weather sealed for added protection from the elements (you can see our full list of weather-sealed DSLRs here). Weather sealing varies by model and there aren’t universal standards, but the process involves adding rubber sealing and housing on the body and around the buttons to make the camera more resistant to moisture and dust (both can be an absolute killer to your electronics). Calling these cameras weatherproof or waterproof would be an exaggeration, but they can handle tough conditions well and are popular among those who frequently are out in the field shooting in inclement weather.
This is a question that just about every photographer must ask in 2017, and it’s getting tougher to answer with impressive mirrorless releases like the new Sony Alpha a6500. There is no doubt that mirrorless cameras have made inroads on the DSLR market—they forego the bulky internal mirror system for an all-digital design that is more compact. The lens options still are more limited than DSLRs but are expanding, and Sony has released a very attractive line of full-frame mirrorless cameras, including the powerhouse a7R II.
Our advice is to read the manual when you first buy a DSLR and watch the short introductory videos on its functionality. Before taking a big trip where you really want great photographs, head out for a test shoot to experiment and look at your results. You can always shoot with auto mode in a pinch, but it’s nice to have some fluency with things like shutter speed, ISO, and lens aperture. The process takes time, but with all of the available settings on today’s models, there is no reason to avoid taking the DSLR plunge. For a full list of beginner options, see our article on the best entry-level DSLRs.
At the top of the DSLR heap is the Canon 5DS R, a pricey yet extremely impressive camera for the most discerning of photographers (this camera has most serious landscape photographers salivating). Most notably, you get a massive 50.6 megapixels of resolution, which surpasses the high-end Canon 5D Mark IV by 20.2 megapixels and tops the Nikon D810 by 14.5 megapixels. For those who prioritize image quality above all else, this is far and away the premier DSLR on the market.
Looking to buy your first DSLR? Nikon’s D5500 is a good place to start. It isn’t Nikon’s least expensive DSLR (that recognition goes to the D3300 and D3400, which are both also very good), but the D5500 offers quality 24-megapixel photos and more useful features, for only a bit more money.
For more on the difference between a DSLR, mirrorless, or point-and-shoot camera, check our guide here. We also have tips on how to buy a camera, and if you’re buying your first DSLR camera, read up on how to select some lenses.
It seems like every DSLR update includes a higher resolution LCD screen with more features. That’s a good thing, and we particularly like touchscreen functionality that allows you to navigate the camera’s settings with more than a simple thumb toggle. Some LCD screens tilt and articulate, meaning that they are moveable depending on the angle of your shot (this is really handy for video shooters). A tilting or articulating LCD screen does add weight to the camera, which is something to keep in mind. And many pro full-frame DSLR do not have tilting or articulating screens—this feature is most popular on consumer models for people use for hand-held videos.
All this functionality doesn’t come cheap, though, and the cost of a DSLR can add up, especially when you start factoring in lenses. You also need to remember that you’re buying into a camera system. If your first DSLR is a Canon, chances are that your next one will be as well, simply for the fact that you’ll be able to make use of existing lenses and accessories. Below are the most important aspects to consider when you’re shopping for a digital SLR, as well as the highest-rated models we’ve tested.
For decades, the DSLR (digital SLR) has been the top choice for anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, a DSLR offers three key ingredients: manual controls, excellent picture quality and interchangeable lenses.
Over the years, Canon DSLRs have been known for producing the best video. Nikon bridged the gap recently but the distinction remains. For example, the entry-level Canon Rebel series is best in class in terms of video quality, and Canon has geared its kit lenses accordingly by adding STM (Stepping Motor) technology for smooth and silent video focusing. In the enthusiast DSLR category, the Nikon D500 and Canon 7D Mark II shoot by far the best video with autofocus and speed that can challenge many full-frame cameras.
A few SLRs on the market offer a third viewfinder option—an electronic viewfinder. Sony cameras that feature fixed, semi-transparent mirrors are sometimes referred to as SLTs. Rather than redirecting light to your eye, the semi-transparent mirror in these cameras redirects it to an autofocus sensor. If you aren’t set on an optical finder, these cameras are worth considering.
Moving down from the semi-pro category to entry level are the biggest sellers on the market. Our favorite entry-level DSLR is the Nikon D5500, which has been called an “advanced beginner” model and rightfully so. Compared to true entry-level DSLRs like the Nikon D3300 below, you get a number of nice features like a tilting touchscreen for navigation, built-in Wi-Fi, and perhaps most importantly, better autofocus. We like both cameras and there aren’t major differences in terms of image quality, so the choice mostly comes down to whether you value the extra bells and whistles. Perhaps the best comparison for the D5500 is to the Canon Rebel T6i, which shoots better video but is not quite as good for stills. See the Nikon D5500
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