Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are popular devices that can capture excellent images. If you’re trying to determine which one to buy, then we have you covered. We have compared the major models on the market from a range of top camera manufacturers. We will let you know what specs are most important and give you some recommendations on different cameras depending on your needs and your budget.

Canon Full-frame DSLRs

canon-professional-cameras

Canon is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to DSLR cameras. We will first look at their full-frame models. These have large sensors that can capture professional-quality images. Of course, they don’t come cheap. Check out the table below.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Canon 1D XDual DIGIC 5+18.150 – 204,80061141080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kNo$4,600
Canon 1D X Mark IIDual DIGIC 6+20.250 – 409,60061164K 60fps 1080p 120fps1620kFixed$6,000
Canon 1D CDual DIGIC 6+18.150 – 204,80061144K 24fps

1080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1040kNo$3,700
Canon 5D Mark IIIDIGIC 5+22.350 – 102,4006161080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kNo$2,650
Canon5D Mark IVDIGIC 6+30.150 – 102,4006174K 30fps 1080p 60fps 720p 120fps1620kFixed$2,780
Canon 5DsDual DIGIC 650.650 – 12,8006151080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kNo$3,700
Canon 6DDIGIC 5+26.250 – 102,400114.51080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kNo$1,135
Canon 6D Mark IIDIGIC 726.250 – 102,400456.51080p 60fps 720p 60fps1040kRotating$1,900

Canon APS DSLRs

canon-eos-cameras

Canon also manufactures a variety of cameras with smaller APS sensors. These models are noticeably cheaper than their full-frame counterparts. Regardless, they can still take excellent photos.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Canon 7DDual DIGIC 418100 – 12,8001981080p 30fps 720p 60fps920kNo$845
Canon 7D Mark IIDual DIGIC 620.2100 – 51,20065101080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1040kNo$1,060
Canon 60DDIGIC 418100 – 12,80095.31080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kNo$790
Canon 70DDIGIC 5+20.2100 – 25,6001971080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kRotating$860
Canon 77DDIGIC 724.2100 – 25,6004561080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1040kRotating$800
Canon 80DDIGIC 624.2100 – 25,6004571080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1040kRotating$1,350
Canon Rebel T5DIGIC 418100 – 12,800931080p 30fps

720p 60fps

460kNo$370
Canon Rebel T5iDIGIC 518100 – 25,600951080p 30fps

720p 60fps

1040kRotating$480
Canon Rebel T6DIGIC 4+18100 – 12,800931080p 30fps

720p 60fps

920kRotating$450
Canon Rebel T6iDIGIC 624.2100 – 25,6001951080p 30fps

720p 60fps

1040kRotating$700
Canon Rebel T6sDIGIC 624.2100 – 25,6001951080p 30fps

720p 60fps

1040kRotating$600
Canon Rebel T7iDIGIC 724.2100 – 25,6004561080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1040kRotating$750
Canon Rebel SL1DIGIC 518100 – 25,600941080p 30fps 720p 60fps1040kFixed$600
Canon Rebel SL2DIGIC 724.2100 – 51,200951080p 60fps 720p 60fps1040kRotating$650

Nikon Full-Frame DSLRs

nikon-full-frame-cameras

Canon’s main rival is Nikon, which also manufactures a range of powerful DSLR cameras. The models below all have full-frame sensors.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Nikon D4EXPEED 316.2100 – 1280051101080 30fps

720 60fps

921kNo$5,500
Nikon D4SEXPEED 416.2100 – 1280051111080p 60fps

720p 60fps

921kNo$6,100
Nikon D5EXPEED 520.8100 -102400153124K 30fps

1080p 60fps

2539kFixed$6,500
Nikon D600EXPEED 324.3100 – 6400395.51080 30fps

720p 60fps

921kNo$1,500
Nikon D610EXPEED 324.3100 – 64003961080 30fps

720p 60fps

921kNo$1,500
Nikon D750EXPEED 424.3100 – 12800516.51080p 60fps1229kNo$1,800
Nikon D800EXPEED 336.3100 – 64005141080p 60fps921kNo$2,240
Nikon D810EXPEED 436.364 – 128005151080p 60fps1229kNo$2,800
Nikon D850EXPEED 545.764 – 2560015374K 30fps

1080p 120fps

2539kRotating$3,300

Nikon APS DSLRs

nikon-dslr-comparison

Nikon also has a range of cheaper cameras, equipped with APS-C sensors. Check them out below.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Nikon D500EXPEED 520.9100 -51200153104K 30fps

1080p 60fps

3.2″ 2359kRotating$1,900
Nikon D7100EXPEED 324.1100 -64005161080p 60fps1229kNo$725
Nikon D7200EXPEED 424.2100 -256005161080p 60fps1229kNo$1,000
Nikon D7500EXPEED 520.9100 512005184K 30fps

1080p 60fps

3.2″ 922kRotating$1,250
Nikon D5100EXPEED 216.1100 – 64001141080p 30fps

720p 30fps

921kNo$444
Nikon D5200EXPEED 324.1100 – 64003951080p 60fps

720p 60fps

921kNo$600
Nikon D5300EXPEED 424.1100 – 128003951080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1037kNo$555
Nikon D5500EXPEED 424.1100 – 256003951080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1037kRotating$640
Nikon D5600EXPEED 424.2100 – 256003951080p 60fps

720p 60fps

1037kRotating$790
Nikon D3200EXPEED 324.2100 – 64001141080p 30fps921kNo$300
Nikon D3300EXPEED 424.2100 – 128001151080p 60fps921kNo$400
Nikon D3400EXPEED 424.2100 -256001151080p 60fps921kNo$500

Olympus DSLRs

olympus-dslr-camera-comparison

Olympus stopped making DSLR cameras in 2010, instead focusing on mirrorless cameras. Regardless, we will quickly cover the company’s older models. All these devices have four-thirds sensors.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Olympus

E-30

TruePic III+12.3100 – 320011NANA2.7” 230kNo$1,300
Olympus E-3TruePic III10.1100 – 3200115.2NA2.5” 230kNo$700
Olympus E-5TruePic V+12.3100 – 6400115720p 30fps

480p 30fps

3” 921kNo$590
Olympus

E-620

TruePic III+12.3200 – 320073.9NA2.7” 230kNo$280

Pentax DSLRs

pentax-cameras

Pentax is another popular DSLR manufacturer. We have outlined the major models below. Keep in mind, all these cameras have APS-C sensors unless otherwise stated.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Pentax 645Z (medium format sensor)PRIME III51.4100 – 204,800273.11080p 60fps

720p 60fps

3.2” 1037kNo$6,100
Pentax

K-1

(full-frame sensor)

PRIME IV36.4100 – 204,800334.61080p 60fps

720p 60fps

3.2” 1037kNo$1,700
Pentax

K-5 II

PRIME II16.3100 – 12,800116.71080p 25fps

720p 30fps

3” 921kNo$775
Pentax

K-30

PRIME M16.3100 – 12,800115.51080p 30fps

720p 60fps

3” 921kNo$515
Pentax

K-50

PRIME M16.3100 – 51,2001161080p 30fps

720p 60fps

3” 921kNo$600
Pentax

K-70

PRIME MII24.24100 – 102,400116.11080p 60fps

720p 60fps

3” 921kNo$600
Pentax

KP

PRIME IV24.32100 – 819,200277.11080p 60fps

720p 60fps

3” 921kNo$900
Pentax

K-S1

Prime M II20.12100 – 51,200115.41080p 30fps

720p 60fps

3” 921kNo$500
Pentax

K-S2

PRIME M II20.12100 – 51,200115.21080p 30fps

720p 60fps

3” 921kNo$700

Sony DSLRs

sony-dslrs

Sony is another manufacturer that has moved away from DLSR cameras. Regardless, the company does have a few models still available. All cameras models have APS-C sized sensors unless otherwise stated.

ModelImage ProcessorMegapixelsISO RangeAF PointsBurst mode (fps)VideoDisplay (Size and Resolution)Touch Screen (Fixed or Rotating)Approx. Price
Sony A37BIONZ16.1100 – 16,000155.51080p 60fps2.6” 230kNo$520
Sony

SLT-A57

BIONZ16.1100 – 16,00015101080p 60fps3” 921kNo$410
SLT-A65BIONZ24.3100 – 16,00015101080p 60fps3” 921kNo$430
SLT-A99

(35mm

size sensor)

BIONZ X42.4100 – 25,6007910.54K 30fps

1080p 60fps

3” 1,228kNo$2,100

Understanding the Specs to Capture Quality Images

While it’s handy to know a camera’s megapixels, this spec is a bit overrated. Your first consideration should be sensor size. The greater it is, the higher an image’s depth of field and the higher the level of detail. Full-frame sensors are the biggest and considered the professional standard. A bit smaller are APS sensors, followed by 1.5” and 4/3” sensors.

Don’t forget about a camera’s ISO range. ISO is a camera setting for determining the amount of light present in an image. Simply put, cameras with low minimal ISOs will be good for photographers who plan to do a lot of filming outdoors during the day. Cameras with high max ISOs are important for photographers who plan to film at night or indoors.

What about Handling Moving Subjects

If you plan on filming sports, wildlife, or anything else with fast-moving subjects, then you will want to select a camera with a decent burst speed. It can be difficult to take a good shot of a moving subject, so the more images you end up with, the greater the chance that one will be excellent.

Don’t forget about autofocus points. The more available, the easier it is to identify and track moving subjects.

Beyond Still-Shots: Recording High-Definition Video

Don’t think that you’re just limited to photos. If you’re seeking high-definition footage, then these cameras are up to the task. Most can film in 1080p and 720p. Some can even film in 4K, which is ultra-high-definition footage. Don’t forget about the fame rate. 30fps is ok, but 60fps is much better.

Remember, to edit 1080p footage, and especially 4K footage, you will need a computer with the latest hardware. You will also need a considerable amount of storage space for the footage.

Best High-End DSLR Cameras for Professionals

Canon and Nikon are the main professional-level DSLR manufacturers. Therefore we will recommend our favorite device from each of them.

The Canon 1D X Mark II is hard to beat. The 20.2-megapixel full-frame sensor can take superb photos. The extensive ISO range makes it possible to shoot in any lighting conditions. A 16fps burst makes it easy to shoot moving subjects while 61 autofocus points make it simple to hone in on and track subjects. Don’t forget this camera can record 4K at 60fps. Make sure you have cash in the bank as you’re looking at a price tag of around $6,000.

Your other powerful option is the Nikon D5. The full-frame 20.8 sensor will capture excellent images. A whopping 153 autofocus points make it simple to hone in on a subject. A 12fps burst is excellent for action photography. This camera can also film 4K at 30fps. Of course, except another high price tag of around $6,500.

Best Mid-Range DSLR Cameras for Photography Enthusiasts

For those seeking a mixture of value and power, we have some recommendations that come with a lower price tag.

The Canon 7D Mark II is a solid all-around camera, which only costs about $1,060. It has a 20.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, which can capture excellent imagery. 65 autofocus points are more than enough for most photographers. A 10fps burst mode is also ideal for shooting moving subjects. While this camera can’t record 4K, it can record 1080p at 60fps.

Another mid-range option is the Nikon D7500. This camera can record 4K at 30fps, has 51 autofocus points, and an 8fps burst. These specs make it a powerful all-rounder for only $1,250.

Best Low-Cost DSLR Camera for Those On A Tight Budget

If you’re simply after a basic camera that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, then you may want to consider the Nikon D3300. You can get a new model off Amazon for around $400. Used and refurbished models are significantly cheaper. While this device isn’t the highest performing, it still does basic photography well. A 24.2 megapixels APS-C sensor allows you to take quality shots. You will also be able to take advantage of 11 autofocus points and a 5fps burst mode. This model can also record 1080p at 60fps. These specs are a great value, considering the low price tag.

A slightly cheaper option is the Canon Rebel T5. You can usually pick up a new one for around $370 off Amazon. Don’t expect the best specs. However, you will still have an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor and nine autofocus points. This camera can shoot 1080p video at 30fps and 720p video at 60fps.

Final Thoughts

Don’t rush your decision. It pays to take your time when selecting a DSLR camera so that you can get the model that’s perfect for you. You don’t want to hand over a significant wad of cash and then have doubts. Take advantage of our tables and recommendations so that you can fully compare your different options.