Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced photographer, we will help you buy your next DSLR camera. We tested more than 20 different models from 5 different brands, and came up with the best DSLR cameras of the year. We didn’t rank them in any particular order, since all of them have their pros and cons, however, you won’t go wrong with any of these. Let’s get started with the list!
1. Nikon D3300
From a matter of fact most camera manufacturers divide special attention to their entry-level cameras, which may seem a little counter-intuitive, however, most users continue with the same brand of camera they have started their journey on if they had a pleasant experience. Nikon has dominated the entry-level DSLR market for years now, which in turn has paved the way for companies further success, the Nikon D3300 is an excellent camera that provides perfect value for its price with its performance, image quality, fun factor, and its ease of use.
The Nikon D3300 has a very interesting construction made of a single piece of polycarbonate in its body, that provides tons of sturdiness without raising the costs and the weight. It is relatively small and weighs just 460grams in total including the battery and memory card. On its right, it has a pretty deep and comfortable grip that gives a great sense of security thanks to its texture. In Amazon, you can find it in many different setups but I would recommend you get the version with the 18-55mm kit lens which is very adequate for this camera and will further increase its value.
It is equipped with an 11-point AF with 1 cross-type AF point, an AF assists illuminator and 3D tracking AF system, which is perfect for the price of this camera and will teach you a lot about AF systems. Interestingly I found its speeds very high, which was not expected, in good light conditions it was fantastic, and it didn’t lack so far behind in dimly lit rooms.
This camera is capable of 5 frames per second burst shooting and an amazing battery life of approximately 700 shots, and in addition to that, it has a dedicated 420-pixel processor to gather plenty of exposure for white balance and focus. It has an ISO range from 100 to 12800 and it is expandable up to 25600, however, it lacks a low-pass filter, and despite that the colors are very punchy and details are exceptional for an entry-level camera.
If you want to start your photography journey there is no better way than with the Nikon D3300.
2. Canon Rebel T6
The Canon Rebel T6 might look “weaker” than other DSLRs on this list but this is an excellent entry-level camera that provides excellent value for the price, and I can comfortably say that you cannot buy a better camera for that money. It is very easy to use, has a solid image quality, interesting features, a good screen, and overall decent performance, this camera offers the best bang for your buck.
It has an attractive design that looks pretty fun, with a textured coating on the front grip and a thumb rest on the back, really reminiscent of high-end cameras, and for once I did not feel like I was using an entry-level camera. The button and control configuration is very intuitive and very easy to learn even for beginners, and if you have used any other Canon camera in the past you will not feel estranged. The screen is not touched capable, so you will have to select all your settings manually from the controls.
The Canon Rebel T6 is equipped with a 9-point AF system with a 1 cross-type AF point, and AF-assist illuminator and it is also capable of tracking moving objects, which was a little surprising in this price range. The system is pretty quick in good light conditions but not as good in dimly lit rooms, and as I mentioned earlier it can track moving subjects but don’t expect to shoot racing cars or fast-moving wildlife adequately.
In the processing department, it is equipped with the upgraded DIGIC 4+ processor, which produces pretty good images with perfect levels of warmness and saturation. In the Raw image format, the pictures were a little lacking in contrast and will require a little touch-up. Canon’s 18MP sensor has proved itself throughout the years and it performs well from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, higher than that it gets a little noisy.
A great entry-level camera that offers much more than its price would suggest, and will teach you the basic elements of photography.
3. Canon EOS Rebel SL2
When considering buying a new camera for your photography hobby or even your job, it is important to take into consideration the purpose you are going to use that camera. For example, if you are going on a photography excursion or your job requires you to shoot photos all day long, you need a lighter camera to make things easier. The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is an excellent lightweight DSLR camera, that is appropriate for every skill level thanks to its user-friendliness and Canon quality.
I want to start by saying that the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is the smallest DSLR coming with a vari-angle screen, and it weighs 450grams fully assembled. You can get the camera in White, Tan Silver or the plain Black, while the White and Tan Silver paint jobs look pretty interesting and attractive, the classic Black version looked fantastic.
This is a premium Canon camera, you can see that by its build quality, as it is made from polycarbonate resin and carbon glass fiber. This combination is very durable and sturdy but doesn’t feel nice on touch. On the other hand, the handgrip is pretty deep and offers perfect support for this small camera, this is a serious issue in other smaller cameras in this category.
Despite other Canon, models use 45-point AutoFocus system, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 uses the same 9-point AutoFocus system that was present on its predecessor as well, a little disappointing but not a deal-breaker. The AF points are aligned in a diamond shape and spread pretty well around the frame, however, you will spot just one cross-type AutoFocus point. Throughout testing, I found that the AF system performed decently in all light conditions, well lit and dim rooms, and it was excellent in focusing on low-contrast subjects.
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 features a burst shooting speed thanks to its new DIGIC 7 engine, and other different lens aberration corrections and time-lapse movie mode. I was really surprised and pleased with the implementation of the in-camera RAW picture processing, so you get your photo without any loss in quality.
4. Canon EOS 80D
DSLR cameras come in various tastes and forms, but if you want a machine that is capable of performing pretty well in every task, look no further, than the Canon EOS 80D. This camera while it is the most versatile of the bunch, it is also an amazingly capable machine thanks to its features, performances, ergonomic body shape, and a good set of controls that are intuitively placed and appropriate for every skill level. You will be pleased with its level of detail of your photos and HD quality video.
Design-wise the Canon EOS 80D is very similar to its predecessor, which is a good thing, however, this time around the designers have implemented a larger thumb rest and better controls and dials. The camera has an aluminum, polycarbonate resin with glass and conductive fiber construction, delivering a great feel and reassuring safety and solidness, as every device is drop-tested. On top of that, the camera can oppose weather elements such as rain and many other elements, I found that the touch screen and controls work perfectly in the rain as well, one of the most durable machines on the market for sure.
The Canon EOS 80D is available in many different setups to form Amazon, but I would recommend you to get the version with the anon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens because it provides astounding value and is pretty versatile. The continuous autofocus in live view is one of the major selling points of this dual-pixel AF camera.
This camera features a 24MP resolution to result in better-detailed photos with lower noise levels, that its predecessor suffered from, your photos will turn out excellent. Another selling point of this camera is its ability to shoot footage in 1080p at 60, 30 and 24 frames per second, a feature great for amateur filmmakers, on top of that it also has video AF and your videos will turn out amazing.
I can comfortably recommend this camera for everybody, one of the best in the market, thanks to its amazing build, design, video, photography, and amazing autofocus that is amazing.
5. Nikon D500
Begining this list I have a very capable DSLR camera that is aimed at professionals, the Nikon D500. I specifically said for professionals because this camera performs like a dream, with its quick and capable autofocus system, continuous 10 fps shooting, white balance systems and low-light performance that is only apparent in cameras that cost five times its price. On top of that, it is capable of 4K video, amazing image quality and perfect build.
The Nikon D500 has adopted a similar body and construction to the very expensive D5, with its metal body that is very durable and is sealed against the elements so you can use it in any scenario. It feels pretty solid in hands and minus the weight of its full body counterpart, giving a solid experience overall with its texture coated grip and a thumb rest on the back. You will get the full array of controls that are pretty accessible and offer a pretty wide range of options.
The Nikon D500 is equipped with a 3.2-inch 2.359.000-dot screen that is touch-sensitive, meaning that you can’t select all the settings from the screen, just the AF point and viewing your photos, but it is enough for a professional in my opinion. It is worth mentioning that the screen is very sharp and has plenty of brightness for bright sunny days, plus it is one of the sturdiest on the market.
This camera comes with the APS-C format sensor with 20.9MP, and it doesn’t have the extreme sensitivity range of the D5 due to its smaller sensor, however, but it has an ISO range from 100-51200 and from the five expansion settings you can take things up to 1640000, that is incredibly high and outstanding. It sports the Expeed 5 processor, and 153-point Multi-Cam 20K autofocus system with 99 cross-type points, it is worth stating again that this processor enables the camera to shoot 10 frames per second continuously, while still keeping amazing focus.
The performance of the Nikon D500 is amazing in every scenario, delivering perfect results in every light condition, making it a perfect camera for professionals.