With so many options out there, it’s hard to find the right DSLR to throw in your camera bag. This is why we have put together a list of the best DSLR cameras out there, including cameras in different price points and styles. Regardless of your needs, you should find a proper DSLR camera here.
Also read: The best DSLR lenses you can buy
The best DSLR cameras:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best DSLR cameras regularly as new products launch.
1. Nikon D3500
If your budget is tight or you are just getting started with photography, the Nikon D3500 is a great camera for beginners. You can purchase the body for just $319 on Amazon, making it one of the most affordable DSLR cameras out there.
It is a bit lacking in features compared to more expensive cameras, with just 5fps shooting speed, 1080p video resolution, and an 11-point autofocus system. Still, it can definitely get the job done.
The D3500 does have a good 24.2MP CMOS sensor, which is plenty good to take some great shots if you know your way around the camera, lighting, and composition. In fact, for a big portion of my product photography career, I used a D3200 and a D3300. You can take this camera on serious shoots too!
2. Nikon D5600
The Nikon D5600 is a nice upgrade over the D3500, and easily made our list as one of the best DSLR cameras you can buy. It keeps nearly all features, including the 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 5fps shooting, and 1080p video recording. Its true value is in a few extra features.
Also read: The best Nikon apps for Android
The Nikon D5600 has a full-articulating swiveling screen that can really make a difference when shooting at odd angles. In addition, it has integrated wireless functionality, improved battery life, a touchscreen, and more. The Nikon D5600 currently costs $596.95 for the body only.
3. Canon Rebel SL3
While Canon makes great cameras at a lower price, we believe the EOS Rebel SL3 is worth the upgrade. Not only does it have a great build quality, it also matches some of the features that come only with the expensive cameras. These include a swiveling screen, 4K video recording, WiFi, Bluetooth, and dual-pixel autofocus. It’s also super light and compact. The reason why it’s affordable is that it has a 24.1MP APS-C sensor and a 9-point autofocus system. At $549, you can’t go wrong with this one.
4. Canon EOS 80D
At $999 from Amazon, we are starting to talk serious cash with the Canon EOS 80D. However, this is easily one of the best DSLR cameras available today. You get quite a bit more with this one, even if it still has a 24.2MP APS-C sensor.
Also read: The best Canon cameras you can buy
Packed inside is a 45-point, dual pixel autofocus system. Now you can shoot at 7 fps. WiFi and NFC are included, and the build is taking on other levels of strength. For some reason it is lacking 4K video, but the Canon EOS 80D is still an amazing DSLR.
5. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is the company’s most affordable full-frame DSLR camera. It goes for $1,399 on Amazon and is for those who really want to take their photography to the next level. The 26.2MP full frame CMOS sensor is better at handling noise in low light situations and producing better quality images.
Other features include Canon’s amazing 45-point autofocus system with dual pixel technology. It can shoot at 6.5fps, and has 4K video recording. The articulating screen is a welcomed plus, and wireless technology makes your workflow more convenient.
6. Nikon D610
Those who prefer Nikon also have a relatively affordable option for switching to a full frame sensor. The Nikon D610 usually costs $1,500, but it currently goes for $896.95 on Amazon, making it one of the best DSLR cameras in its price range. This is an amazing deal for a full frame camera, considering it can cost less than some of the APS-C options in this list.
The 24.3MP sensor takes good quality imagery, but you don’t get many of the fancy features in other cameras. The unit shoots at 6fps and can only record at 1080p resolution. Wireless compatibility is only available through a dongle (not included). In short, you get a more basic experience, but enjoy the privileges of having a full frame sensor for a lower price.
7. Nikon D780
Just when we thought mirrorless cameras were replacing DSLRs, Nikon went out and announced the D780 right smack in the middle of January 2020. It succeeds the Nikon D750, which was a favorite among photographers, and things only get better with this iteration.
The Nikon D780 comes with a 24.5MP full frame sensor. It can shoot at 7fps and records 4K video at 30fps. The 3-inch touchscreen can tilt, making it easier to achieve complicated angles. You can also now enjoy modern features like eye autofocus, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and weather sealing.
The Nikon D780 costs $2,296.95 and it is a great camera to have. Many would say it is the best full frame DSLR at its price range.
8. Sony Alpha A99 II
Let’s take a break from Nikon and Canon to take a look at this beauty from Sony. The Alpha A99 II features a 42.4MP full frame sensor, a 399-point focal plane autofocus, a 12fps shooting speed, and 4K recording. The unit makes it easy to transfer files wirelessly, with the use of Wi-Fi and NFC. It comes with a heavy price of $3,198, but it is a great camera.
Also read: The best Sony cameras you can buy
9. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
We step into big boy territory with he Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, which costs a whopping $5,499 for the body alone. What you get is on another level, though. This camera is Canon’s top-tier model and features everything you need. It has a 20.2MP CMOS sensor that is claimed to offer “superb low-light performance.”
Other features include a 14fps shooting speed, 4K recording, dual processing units, 61 autofocus points, dual pixel autofocus, built-in GPS, and a sturdy construction.
10. Nikon D5
At $5,496.95 for the body, the Nikon D5 is for those who really want superior performance or have too much money to spare. However, that high price tag gets you one of the best DSLR cameras you can buy. This unit comes with a 20.8MP and Nikon’s new EXPEED 5 processor. It has a 153-point autofocus system, and can shoot at 12fps. Native ISO is limited to 102,400, but it can be extended to 3,280,000. And with 4K recording capabilities, this can also be used as a video production machine.
That’s our list of the best DSLR cameras, but we’ll keep an eye out for other great DSLRs to add to this list.
Knowledge, practice, and your eye are important factors to taking a good photo, and that applies even if you are shooting with a basic camera.
Other photography content: