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The best DSLR camera

Which DSLR cameras are best?

There are different goals and purposes for a DSLR camera. Some photographers are looking for a piece of technology that is adaptable to different types of photoshoots. Other photographers might be looking for a camera that can capture high-quality images under specific circumstances, like low light or capturing fast-moving subjects.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is still the best of the best on the market, thanks to its 30.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and a high-speed DIGIC 6+ image processor. The versatility of such a high-end camera also sets it above the competition; it can even be used as a high-performance computer webcam for PCs and Macs alike.

What to know before you buy a DSLR camera


Your budget will largely determine what types of digital camera models you consider. You can get a versatile photography tool for a few hundred dollars, but high-quality technology for shooting the best photos and videos possible can raise the price into thousands. 

Also remember to factor in the prices of lenses when looking for a DSLR camera to buy. A benefit of DSLRs is that you can remove and interchange lenses, so you will not be merely purchasing a single camera. There are other equipment costs to consider, including lenses, stabilizers (tripods, monopods, etc.) and cases or bags for safe transportation and storage.

What are you shooting with a DSLR?

What images are you trying to capture? If you do not have specific subject matter, look for a DSLR camera that is adaptable to a variety of situations and lighting conditions. Shooting photos of different subject matter may be as easy as changing out your lens or adjusting the camera’s aperture or ISO. 

However, prior to buying a DSLR camera, consider what you will be shooting. Note that not all DSLR cameras are designed for filming videos, but some can double as a video camera.

Are you a professional photographer?

If you are new to photography using a DSLR camera, looking for an entry-level product that is easy to learn and use is important. Expensive DSLR cameras for professional photographers may offer higher specs and more options, but you have to be experienced enough to understand how to efficiently control and manipulate manual features. 

Everyone has to start somewhere and there are options for the best DSLR cameras for beginners to be successful right away and build their skills and knowledge over time.

What to look for in a quality DSLR camera

Image sensors

Canon is a brand that uses CMOS sensors, which turn light into electrical signals. Nikon has two different image sensor formats, DX and FX, with the primary difference being that the DX format is a smaller sensor than the FX. 

Generally, smaller image sensors are compatible with many different lenses, but opting for a larger, higher-quality image sensor will allow a photographer to capture much more in a single frame. Basically, the larger your image sensor, the better the quality of your images.

Image processor

Image processors matter if you plan to process images yourself after shooting with your camera. There are two main image file formats you could obtain while using a DSLR, RAW and JPEG. 

RAW image files are just the collection of data that the image sensor obtains and you need to use image editing software on a computer later to export an image file format that is shareable or printable. If you do not want to process your RAW images yourself, you will need a DSLR with an image processor that stores your photos as JPEG files. 

The best image processors are capable of capturing multiple images in rapid succession, one after another. Faster image processors also make a difference in the overall quality of your photos. Even if you are shooting in suboptimal lighting conditions, a fast processor might be able to compensate for that.

Battery life

You will need batteries that last long enough for your needs. To keep you in the field longer, find a DSLR camera with exchangeable battery units that keep your camera running for hours. Of course, you should always carry backup batteries with you, regardless of how good your battery life is.

There are also products that can augment or improve the battery life of your DSLR camera. For example, a battery grip can allow users to connect more than one battery to their camera at a time. 


Since DSLR camera lenses are separate and exchangeable, you should know what lenses a camera is capable of using. Some lenses have better f-stops that allow for a larger aperture, allowing more light in and taking better pictures in low-lighting situations. Be sure that your lenses are using the full potential of your camera’s image sensor.

How much you can expect to spend on a DSLR camera

Entry-level DSLR camera models can cost a few hundred dollars and serve the basic functions right away. High-end DSLR cameras can go for thousands and each separate lens is going to be hundreds of dollars on top of that. 

DSLR camera FAQ

Do you buy DSLR camera lenses separately?

A. Some DSLR cameras are sold as just the body of the camera itself, but sometimes a camera is sold in the form of a kit that comes with a lens or multiple lenses. If you are just buying a “body only” DSLR camera, you will purchase lenses separately. You can also buy additional compatible lenses separately for a camera you already have.

What lenses will work with my DSLR camera?

A. Your camera should be capable of using a variety of lenses designed for its model. For example, if you have a Canon or Nikon DSLR, those brands will have a variety of different lenses designed to easily swap out and work with your camera.

What’s the best DSLR camera to buy?

Top DSLR camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

What you need to know: This camera is perfect for photographers with advanced skills who need a professional camera that can adapt to all their needs.

What you’ll love: It has a 30.4 megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor. It can shoot seven frames per second for continuous speed and sports the DIGIC 6+ image processor. It is designed to handle digital streaming and can be used as a high-performance webcam.

What you should consider: There is not a built-in source of light, so lighting devices would need to be purchased separately. The Mark IV has advanced, complex features that are perfect for a professional but may be overwhelming for an amateur photographer to utilize.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top DSLR camera for the money

Canon EOS Rebel T7

What you need to know: The Rebel T7 is an affordable, effective camera that would help a novice grow and improve their photography skills.

What you’ll love: The 24.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor has solid performance. For casual users looking for a camera that saves JPEG files, it even has built-in Wi-Fi so you can instantly share your photos. It also captures video at 1080p HD quality.

What you should consider: According to user reviews, the Wi-Fi capabilities may not consistently function, but users are always able to connect the device to a computer via USB for file sharing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nikon D750 FX

What you need to know: This FX model uses a larger image sensor than the DX line of Nikon models to capture the best images possible at a mid-range price, great for professionals and newcomers alike.

What you’ll love: The FX sensor is full-frame, with 24.3 megapixels. Professionals will get use out of the manual controls, but the auto mode is helpful for newer photographers and takes good quality images in difficult lighting situations. It also has built-in Wi-Fi for easy image file sharing.

What you should consider: There is a challenging learning curve for a beginner to get the most out of all the features of this DSLR, but auto mode functions can assist a user as they learn to take full control and benefit from the manual features.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Elliott Rivette writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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