Features a 30.4-megapixel full-frame sensor for versatile shooting. Offers up to 7 FPS continuous shooting, built-in wifi, a 61-point autofocus system and a rugged enclosure.
This camera is expensive and does not have a built-in flash.
Canon's Rebel series is designed for new photographers, allowing them to get great shots without spending too much. Two included lenses offer flexibility and a way to get familiar with customizing your equipment.
Only records video in 1080p.
This premium camera's 45.7-megapixel sensor is one of the largest available on a DSLR. This kit includes the camera, a carrying case, two memory cards, three batteries and more.
No lens is included in this kit.
An excellent pick for enthusiasts with numerous capabilities and great versatility. Impressive 32.5 megapixels for outstanding image quality. High-speed continuous shooting with no lag. Includes uncropped 4K video capture.
Frustrating face-recognizing autofocus often chooses the wrong subject.
Takes 4K HD photos and 1080p video with clear sound. Has a 3.2-inch rotating LCD screen. Features a 51-point autofocus, 18-140mm VR Lens, and takes 8 frames per second continuously. Offers a 5x optical zoom and integrated flash.
May be better for beginners.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Historically, nothing has separated a photo enthusiast from a casual picture taker like the sight of a DSLR camera slung around their neck. The camera industry, however, is in transition.
DSLR cameras, formerly occupying flagship positions in manufacturer portfolios, are being phased out in favor of lighter, smaller mirrorless cameras. If you’re a DSLR lover, the outlook may appear grim in the long term, but you can actually benefit from this current shift because the cameras still being sold include some of the best, most well-refined features offered in their respective product lines, to say nothing of the decades-deep selection of DSLR lenses and accessories you can tap into.
Our top pick is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera. Loaded with functions that make taking fantastic photos a breeze, it’s an excellent choice for anyone wanting to get serious about photography or those who want to grab what may be one of the last great DSLR cameras on the market.
Canon’s Mark IV SLR offers a 30.4-megapixel sensor for shooting in a variety of lighting conditions, as well as a nearly instantaneous 61-point autofocus system that lets you reliably take sharp photos as quickly as possible. It features up to 12 stops of dynamic range, so you can take vibrant photographs even in dimly lit restaurants or outdoors in the evening. It can capture video in 4K resolution and features built-in Wi-Fi for moving images onto your computer wirelessly. Able to shoot continuously at 7 FPS, the Mark IV is also great for sports and action shots. Users appreciate this camera’s rugged moisture-proof and dust-proof construction as well as how deeply they can customize its settings to meet their needs as they shoot.
Rebel cameras have been Canon’s long-standing gateway product line for those interested in purchasing a DSLR camera without spending excessively. A fantastic value, this kit includes the camera, a padded carrying bag and a pair of lenses that give aspiring shutterbugs a wide range of shooting options. This entry-level camera has Canon’s Scene Intelligent Auto mode, a feature that automatically adjusts the camera’s settings based on your surroundings to provide the best image possible. Moving subjects can be photographed at three frames per second and you can record video in full 1080p HD. While marketed to beginners, this camera is competent enough for experienced photographers and is fully compatible with Canon’s EF and EF-S-mount lenses.
Nikon’s D850 offers professional performance and gallery-ready results, thanks to its 45.7-megapixel sensor, one of the highest resolutions available on a DSLR camera. Its 7 FPS burst mode is excellent for photographing moving subjects. Its magnesium alloy body keeps the camera weather-resistant and safe from bumps and light impacts. A wide range of autofocus options and the ability to capture 4K video or 8K time lapses make this camera appeal to filmmakers as well. While this kit doesn’t come with a lens, it does include two 64GB memory cards, a card reader, three batteries, two chargers, cleaning tools, lens caps, a shoulder strap and a padded bag for your gear. The Nikon D850 has been on the market for a few years and is still an expensive option, but for professionals who require a premium camera, it stands the test of time.
Canon’s intermediate-level DSLR camera doesn’t slouch on features, as it includes a 32.5-megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot continuously at 10 FPS. It has built-in Wi-Fi for easily transferring photos to your computer, as well as Bluetooth connectivity that you can use to send pictures to your phone for sharing with friends or on social media. It can capture video in 4K and has built-in flash and autofocus features that all but ensure your snaps will look great no matter where you’re shooting. Some professional photographers may take issue with the noise present in this camera’s low-light images, but users looking to graduate from an entry-level DSLR will find this camera’s build, features and picture quality to be a significant upgrade.
Those looking for Nikon quality without blowing their budget will find a lot to appreciate in the D7500. Its 51-point autofocus system provides fast, accurate focusing even on subjects in motion. The camera’s 3.2-inch touchscreen is hinged, letting you tilt and pivot it to a comfortable viewing position. It features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to share photos wirelessly or use your connected device as a remote control. Special effects let you mimic the look of shooting with night vision, a toy camera or customize your photos with a number of fun filters. It can shoot at 8 FPS and includes the same sensor and processor built into Nikon cameras that cost hundreds of dollars more.
If you have the cash to spare, this new DSLR from Canon features cutting-edge technology and is the most advanced model the company will ever make. Built to yield gorgeous, brilliant photos of moving subjects in nature or sports, the 1D X Mark III can shoot up to 20 FPS and has an incredible 191-point autofocus system that uses deep learning to recognize subjects under the most dynamic, demanding conditions. WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS come built-in, and you can record video at up to 5.5K resolution, depending on the format you choose. The 1D X Mark III is bulky and certainly not for the inexperienced, but professional users are astounded by its ability to deliver incredibly detailed shots and it will go down in history as Canon’s final flagship entry into their legendary line of DSLR cameras.
A camera’s image sensor converts the light it receives through the lens into digital data that can then be displayed as an image. You can think of an image sensor as occupying the role that film would in a traditional camera, in that it is the surface upon which light is focused and captured.
When it comes to image sensors, larger is better. The bigger your camera’s sensor, the higher its resolution can be, the more dynamic range you will be able to capture between tones and the more flexibility you have when it comes to creating a tastefully blurry background.
Large sensors come at a price, however, as cameras that include them are more expensive than those with small ones. Different manufacturers use different proprietary terms to identify the sizes and types of their sensors, so pay close attention to factory specs while shopping.
Resolution for DSLRs is measured in megapixels. A single megapixel is equivalent to one million pixels, and this metric often receives top billing when it comes to a DSLR camera’s listed specifications.
While many may assume that a higher megapixel count will automatically yield better images, factors such as sensor size, lens quality and imager format all contribute to the quality of a camera’s output. Because of this, it's important to take more than just the camera’s resolution into consideration.
Autofocus automatically adjusts a camera’s lens to keep your subject clear and free of blurriness. Some cameras feature autofocus technology that will even track a person’s face as they move. Autofocus is measured in points, which is a term applied to specific areas within the frame where the camera is able to focus. More points mean more places where a subject can remain crisp.
The burst rate of a DSLR camera refers to how many photos it can record in one second. This measurement is provided in frames per second, or FPS. Burst mode is used to capture several photos of a subject in motion without having to repeatedly tap the shutter button or time your snap to perfection. If you plan to shoot a lot of action, whether it's football tackles or birds in flight, look for a camera with a high FPS.
Most DSLRs, at this point in time, offer video resolutions of 4K, although some older models still only shoot in 1080p. Some cameras allow you to create time-lapse videos as well.
Keep in mind that recording video tends to heat up your camera. Some models have an auto shutoff feature that is designed to prevent them from overheating but may interfere with your workflow if you intend to record long, uninterrupted shots.
DSLR cameras were not designed with video in mind, but they have still become the primary means by which to record it for many. If you intend to use your DSLR for video more than photography, consider investing in a dedicated video camera instead.
High-end DSLR cameras feature aluminum bodies designed to take various amounts of abuse depending on the model you purchase. Bodies with more plastic parts can crack or shatter if dropped, but more metal adds more weight to the camera.
Weather sealing is another important quality to keep in mind. Having a camera body sealed from light rain or dust can be beneficial for those who shoot photos in harsh conditions. Weather-sealed DSLR bodies are not fully waterproof, but this designation gives you some peace of mind if you are likely to shoot in inclement weather and want to ensure that your camera’s delicate components stay clean and dry.
All DSLR cameras feel different when it comes to how they are gripped or how their weight is distributed. Select a camera that has its screen or viewfinder in a position that makes shooting feel as natural as possible. Keep in mind that the length and heft of the lens you’re using will have a huge impact on the balance of your camera.
With a DSLR camera, you can swap the lens you’re using to change the capabilities of the device. While most premium DSLR cameras are sold without lenses, beginner and intermediate cameras sometimes come with one or two. You can purchase extra lenses for your DSLR camera as you learn more about its capabilities and how you use it the most.
The huge selection of lenses available for DSLR cameras is a major selling point for them among photographers, as they have a tremendous lead on new mirrorless models.
The lens mount is the part of the DSLR camera body that you connect to a lens. It’s the large circle on the front of the DSLR body and, frustratingly for many, there are various types of lens mounts even among cameras built by the same manufacturer.
Thankfully, lens adapters are available. However, using lenses built by other manufacturers via an adapter may prevent you from using some autofocus and zoom features.
A. Beginners can find decent DSLR cameras for $500-$800. Intermediate users, or those who want a camera that will grow with them, should expect to spend $1,000-2,000 on a camera with more versatility. Professional DSLR cameras can cost $5,000-$7,000.
Note that the inclusion of a lens or two plus a camera case to carry it all in can greatly impact the cost of the camera.
A. If you’re unfamiliar with photography, the wealth of options on a DSLR camera may be overwhelming at first. However, they all feature modes that automatically adjust to the subject you’re shooting to let you take a good photo without much experience.
How deep you want to dive into the ins and outs of photography is up to you. You can experiment with your camera’s settings to find your unique style or simply choose to let it take over every time.
A. Yes. Some manufacturers are already marketing current models as the last in the line. However, they will continue to be powerful tools for years to come among professional and amateur photographers alike.
A. Currently, many photographers prefer DSLR cameras over mirrorless models. Factors contributing to this range from the subjective, such as familiarity, to the factual, such as the fact that mirrorless cameras are still new and currently lag behind DSLRs in terms of lens selection and battery life.
However, technology matures quickly and we can expect mirrorless cameras to tick all the boxes of previous models and then some within the next few years.
While DSLR loyalists are sure to cling to their favorite cameras and lovers of the cutting edge will certainly purchase mirrorless alternatives, taking a great picture is never entirely dependent on the technology. Photo lovers should select a camera that inspires them, is easy to use and makes the process as fun and natural as possible.
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