Best DSLR

 

If you're shopping for a DSLR you've come to the right place! At Camera Labs I write in-depth reviews of cameras but understand you're busy people who sometimes just want recommendations of the most outstanding products. So here I'll cut to the chase and list the best DSLRs around right now.

On this page you'll find what I reckon are the best DSLRs at every price-point, starting with budget models, followed by step-up and mid-range options, and finally the top-of-the range professional cameras. If you like the idea of a camera with a big sensor and interchangeable lenses, but are willing to trade an optical viewfinder for electronic composition in a smaller and lighter body, check out my best mirrorless camera guide.

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Canon EOS T6s / 760D review - buy it from Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE!

Or if you prefer the Canon EOS T6i / 750D: Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE.

 

Canon's EOS 760D / Rebel T6s is a solid DSLR that represents a good step-up over entry-level models. This has always been a very successful category for Canon, so it's not surprising to find the company now splitting it into two options: the EOS 750D / T6i gives you the core spec of 24 Megapixels, 19-point AF, 5fps burst shooting, pentamirror viewfinder, fully-articulated touchscreen and 1080p movies. Then if you fancy something a bit more sophisticated, spending an extra $100 USD / 70 GBP or so gets you the EOS 760D / T6s which adds an upper LCD information screen, eye sensor, rear control wheel and viewfinder levelling gauge, along with digital zoom and HDR options for movies, and continuous AF in Live View. These additions add up to a camera that handles much better than its cheaper sibling and is well worth spending the extra on, but equally I feel mirrorless options such as Panasonic's Lumix G7 and Sony's A6000 offer more still to the target audience - compare closely if you're not wedded to the idea of having an optical viewfinder.




Canon EOS SL1 / 100D review - buy it from Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1, or 100D as it's known outside North America, is a low-priced DSLR that's the smallest and lightest model with an APS-C sensor to date. It's around 1cm smaller in every dimension than Canon's next smallest DSLR yet manages not to compromise on control, composition or connectivity. On the contrary it's surprisingly comfortable to hold and use and the touch-screen interface is one of the best around. It inherits the 18 Megapixel resolution and 1080p video of recent Canon DSLRs, and sports a hybrid AF system with phase detect points spread over 80% of the sensor, which allows it to confidently refocus while filming video. There's also a new EF-S 18-55mm STM kit lens which focuses eerily quietly, although it looks a little long mounted on the tiny body. Overall this mini DSLR is great fun to use and delivers quality stills and video.

Pros: Tiny DSLR with 18 Mpixels, decent movie AF and great touchscreen.
Cons: Canon shrunk the body but not the kit lens. No Wifi either.
Overall: It may be small on size but not on handling and performance.




Nikon D3300 review - buy it at Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

The D3300 is Nikon's entry-level DSLR. Like its predecessor, it boasts a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor, but this time Nikon has dispensed with the low pass filter for slightly crisper-looking photos that essentially match the D5300 and D7100. The other major new feature is an updated kit lens which collapses to save space during transportation - it's still nowhere near as compact as a mirrorless camera, but at least it's more portable than earlier Nikon DSLR kits. The D3300 also offers 1080p movies at 60p, a range of filter effects, and like earlier models in this series offers a friendly GUIDE mode for beginners - a benefit that's not to be underestimated if you're stepping-up from a more basic camera. In some respects the D3300 is falling behind rivals, for example there's no built-in Wifi and inexplicably still no AE bracketing, but it remains a solid entry-level DSLR.

Pros: 24 Megapixels, compact kit zoom, friendly operation.
Cons: Relatively pricey, no built-in Wifi, no auto bracketing.
Overall: A good first DSLR, but also consider mirrorless rivals.





Nikon D5500 review - buy it from Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

Nikon's D5500 is an upper entry-level DSLR aimed at photographers looking for a step-up from a budget model without the expense or complication of a higher-end camera. It shares the same 24 Megapixel resolution as the models above and below it, but remains the only model in the entire range to feature a fully-articulated, side-hinged screen. Like the D5300 before it, the screen remains large at 3.2in, but in a welcome upgrade, it's now touch-sensitive. The GPS of its predecessor has sadly gone, but the Wifi remains, allowing you to wirelessly transfer images or remote control it with your smartphone. The collapsing kit zoom impacts the ultimate image quality, and the movie / live view autofocusing is slower and noisier than rival Canon bodies fitted with STM lenses. But none of this stands in the way of what's a very solid DSLR for the money. Do compare closely with Canon's EOS T6i / 750D, and in the mirrorless World, models like the Sony A6000.




Canon EOS 70D review - order from Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

The Canon EOS 70D is a mid-range DSLR featuring a 20.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor, Full HD video, a fully articulated touch-screen monitor, built-in Wifi and an innovative new 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' system which delivers far superior continuous focusing during Live View and movies. It's the latter which has always plagued DSLRs, but by effectively switching any of the sensor pixels into confident phase-detect AF points and back again, Canon's nailed the solution. It's literally revolutionary if you use your DSLR for movies, but Canon's not neglected the traditional aspects, bringing it close to the semi-pro 7D and even surpassing it in some respects. So with the 70D you get a camera that takes great quality stills and movies. Compose with the viewfinder and you'll enjoy a fast AF system and quick burst shooting which makes it ideal for action or quick portrait and street shots. Switch to Live View and you'll enjoy a fully-articulated touch-screen and Single AF acquisition that's as good as the best mirrorless models. Start filming video and you'll benefit from the best continuous movie AF on the market. It's an easy camera to Highly Recommend.

Pros: Quality stills & movies; best C-AF for movies; Wifi; articulated touchscreen.
Cons: Live View AF is confident but slow. No built-in GPS. No miniature mode.
Overall: A powerful DSLR balancing traditional and modern features.




Nikon D7200 review - buy it from Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

The Nikon D7200 is the company's latest upper mid-range DSLR aimed at enthusiast photographers. Successor to the D7100, it slots between the D5500 and D610 in the range, making it the highest-end Nikon DSLR with a cropped DX-format sensor. Externally the D7200 is essentially identical to the D7100, so you get a weather-sealed body with an optical viewfinder boasting 100% coverage, 3.2in / 1229k dot screen, 6fps burst shooting (boostable to 7fps in 1.3x crop mode), twin SD slots and a wealth of ports. The resolution remains 24 Megapixels but new to the D7200 are improved low-light AF, an enlarged buffer and built-in Wifi with NFC. Other enhancements include the faster EXPEED 4 processor, 9-frame AEB, a 50p / 60p video option (albeit only in the 1.3x crop mode), timelapse shooting, slightly extended battery life and a flat picture control profile. Compare closely with the Canon EOS 70D (above) and 7D Mark II (below).



Canon EOS 7D Mark II review - buy it at Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama or Amazon DE Thanks!

 

Canon's EOS 7D Mark II becomes one of the toughest, fastest and most confident DSLRs for sports, action and event photography. If you always wanted the flagship 1Dx but couldn't afford it or accommodate the size and weight, the 7D Mark II will give you most of its handling performance in a smaller, lighter and much cheaper package. Indeed it'll also throw-in AF in lower light, effective focusing for movies and a built-in GPS receiver. Sure it can't compete with full-frame cleanliness in low light, but the field reduction applied by the APSC sensor is actually preferred by many sports and wildlife photographers. If you're after a camera mostly for landscape, architecture or more general-use, you'll be better-served by one of the many high-end mirrorless options now available, but if you're a sports, action or event shooter who likes to seamlessly capture quality stills and video, the 7D Mark II will make your job a breeze.

Pros: Tough; powerful 65-point AF; fast 10fps shooting; movies with continuous AF.
Cons: No built-in wifi, no flip-out or touch-screen; no video above 1080/60p or 4k.
Overall: A very confident performer for sports, action and event photography.




Nikon D610 review - order it from Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

The Nikon D610 is a 'budget' full-frame DSLR aimed at enthusiasts upgrading from mid-range models or pros looking for an affordable backup for a higher-end body. It's positioned roughly between the full-frame D800 (below) and the crop-format D7000 and combines many aspects of both. Along with a 24 Megapixel full-frame FX-format sensor, you get the 100% viewfinder coverage and 3.2in screen of the D800 in addition to most of its movie features including microphone and headphone jacks and uncompressed HDMI output; you also get the build and twin SD card slots of the D7000. The D610 also features a 39-point AF system, 5.5fps continuous shooting and a built-in flash, and supports the optional WU-1b for wireless remote control with compatible smartphones. Most important is the price: with the EOS 6D, it's the joint-cheapest new full-frame DSLR and brings this cropless factor to a wider audience than before. Great quality, features and value. What more could you want from a DSLR at this price-point? Do compare closely with the Canon 6D and Sony A7r / A7 though.

Pros: Superb quality, only out-resolved by the D800 and A7r. Great movie options.
Cons: Basic 3-frame bracketing. Lacks built-in Wifi and GPS of EOS 6D.
Overall: A more affordable version of the D800 with few compromises. A great DSLR.




Nikon D750 review - buy it from Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!

 

The Nikon D750 is a very capable high-end DSLR that successfully positions itself between the existing D610 and D810 - a slot which may, at first, seem unnecessary, but which has ended up delivering one of the most compelling models in the range. Nikon's been very careful with the feature-set, picking aspects of both models on either side of it, while adding others that make it unique and arguably the company's most forward-thinking full-frame DSLR to date. So the D750 gives you a 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor in a tough body that's weather-sealed to the same extent as the D810, a 51-point AF system that works in lower light than the models on either side of it, 6.5fps continuous shooting, 1080 video at 60p, 9-frame AEB, and becomes the first full-frame Nikon DSLR to feature an articulated screen and built-in Wifi. It lacks the ultimate resolving power of the D810, not to mention its 1/8000 shutter and PC Sync port, but costs around $1000 USD less while also including Wifi and the tilting screen. It's become my favourite DSLR in the current Nikon line-up.

Pros: Great quality stills & video, tough build, fast low light AF, tilting screen, Wifi.
Cons: Basic Wifi capabilities, no focus peaking, maximum 1/4000 shutter speed.
Overall: Nikon's most compelling FF DSLR if you don't need 36MP.





Canon EOS 5DS (r) review - buy the 5Ds at Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama or Amazon UK. Thanks!

Or go for the EOS 5DSr at Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama or Amazon UK. Thanks!


 

The Canon EOS 5Ds is essentially an EOS 5D Mark III with double the resolution: no fewer than 50 Megapixels, making it the highest resolution full-frame DSLR to date. Sure there's a number of other small but useful upgrades, many focused on ensuring the resolution isn't squandered by vibration, but there's no denying the 5Ds is all about the sensor. Basically if you loved everything about the EOS 5D Mark III but wished it delivered bigger files, then this is the camera for you. The only question for those who want to stay committed to the EF system is whether to go for the 5Ds or the 5Ds R which cancels the effect of the low pass filter for potentially crisper results at the risk of greater moire. It depends on your subject and how bothered you are about moire. If you shoot natural landscapes or other organic shapes, there's normally little chance of the fine repeating patterns which can trigger moire, in which case go for the 5Ds R. But if you mostly shoot man-made textures like clothing, or even fine patterns in buildings, then moire can be an issue, in which case the 5Ds is probably a safer bet. If you're open to the idea of mirrorless though, I'd strongly recommend considering the Sony Alpha A7r Mark II.


Nikon D810 - order it from Amazon USA, B&H or Adorama. Thanks!

 


Nikon's D810 is the company's highest resolution DSLR, boasting a 36 Megapixel full-frame sensor which delivers images jam-packed with fine detail. It's the joint-successor to the D800 and D800e, sharing essentially the same body, but with reduced vibrations and an improved sensor. Unlike the earlier D800e which cancelled-out the effect of its low pass filter, the D810 has none at all to deliver what Nikon describes as its best quality yet. The new sensor is coupled with the latest EXPEED 4 image processer, inherited from the D4s. This boasts lower noise and more accurate white balance, as well as supporting 1080p video at 50p / 60p and slightly faster continuous shooting rates up to 5fps in FX or 7fps in DX. Also inherited from the D4s is a 51-point AF system which supports zonable areas. There's also a new clarity picture adjustment, a flat rendering option for stills or video destined for post production, and a new highlight-weighted metering option. What the D810 doens't have though is Wifi, focus peaking, 4k video or a tilting touch-screen, but I suspect those who are bothered about those have already migrated to mirrorless. Everyone else will love the sheer confidence of the D810 and the images it produces.

Pros: Incredible detail. Superb ergonomics.
Cons: 'Only' 5fps in FX mode. No 4k video, focus peaking, Wifi or touchscreen.
Overall: Top-end photos, but I believe the same sensor is in the mirrorless Sony A7r.




     
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Best Canon lenses

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