avatarby Leon HitchensOctober 6, 20163 comments

While smartphone cameras are the go-to way to take photos and videos, there are better quality options that’ll work great in low light or when you need to zoom. DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras are used by everyone from professionals to parents taking higher quality photos than they would if they used their phones. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; carrying around a large DSLR camera isn’t always convenient, but with the extra capabilities the trade off of size is worth it.

The camera’s we picked out allow for you to swap out lenses to shoot video, portraits, or macro shots. You’re also able to change ISO, aperture, and other advanced settings to help you shoot the best photos.

In this feature, we’re going to talk about our favorite and the best DSLR cameras to fit any budget from $300 to a couple of thousand.

Canon Rebel T6i

Canon Rebel T6i Best DSLR cameras

Canon’s Rebel series of cameras have been a great starting point with DSLR cameras; they’re packed with features, shoot high-quality video, and are durable devices. The T6i is the latest version in the family of Canon Rebel cameras. It’s packed with the latest technology like Wifi and NFC to quickly and easily transfer photos from your camera to your phone. The built in Wifi also allows for you to control your camera directly from your phone. The 3-inch touchscreen display swivels around when you want to shoot a selfie or to shoot a family portrait without any help.

Overall, the Canon Rebel T6i is the latest Rebel series camera that’s full of current technology and updated sensors than previous versions. It’s a camera you’ll be able to keep for years without the worry you don’t have the latest and greatest.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 24.2 MP
  • Sensor: CMOS (APS-C)
  • Shooting speed: 5 FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Canon Rebel T6i Now

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300 Best DSLR

If you’re on a budget, the D3300 from Nikon is an inexpensive option that doesn’t cut corners in image or video quality. The controls are designed for novice users, but in the right hands, the camera is comparable to more expensive cameras. The camera is specifically designed for someone eventually looking to take a little more control of their camera. While there isn’t NFC, Wifi, or a lot of easily accessible camera modes, there is a 24.2 MP sensor that’s similar to what you’ll find in the Canon T6i.

The Nikon D3300 is one of the best basic camera kits from Nikon and outshines others with similar specs.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 24.2 MP
  • Sensor: CMOS DX-format
  • Shooting speed: 5FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Nikon D3300 Now

Canon Rebel T5

Canon T5 Best DSLR

If you’re looking for a basic DSLR camera that’s not going to break the bank, the Canon Rebel T5 will fit your needs. It’s dirt cheap and is relatively feature packed. While the camera doesn’t have Wifi, NFC, or a ton of shooting filters or modes, it’s still a capable DSLR. It still has a capable sensor that’s 18MP and can shoot 1080p video. The camera’s great if you’re going to take photos of your family, or trying to take a few action shots.

For the price, the Canon Rebel T5 is the best entry level DSLR from Canon. You’ll get a taste of what using the DSLR is like, and you won’t break the bank.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 18 MP
  • Sensor: CMOS (APS-C)
  • Shooting speed: 3 FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Canon Rebel T5 Now

Pentax K-1

PENTAX-K1 BEST DSLRThe Pentax K-1 isn’t geared toward novice DSLR owners but towards the enthusiast, expert. The camera is relatively inexpensive, around $2,000 most places, when compared to other full frame cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III. It’s not cheap, but within the budget of an enthusiast.  There’s a full frame 36MP sensor, and with the Pixel Shift modes, the extraordinary quality outshines others. The camera has not only exceptional image quality but also an excellent build. The tilting LCD gives you more viewing angles, and while it doesn’t revolve around for a selfie, it provides more accessibility, unlike fixed screens. There’s also LEDs on various parts of the body of the camera, making it easier to use at night.

In the end, the K-1 makes an excellent camera for landscape, still-life, and portrait photography, or any photos that don’t require fast autofocus.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 36.4 MP
  • Sensor: AA Filter-less CMOS
  • Shooting speed: 4.4 FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Pentax K-1 Now

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 80D Best DSLR

Want something a little more affordable, but as capable as the Pentax K-1? The Canon EOS 80D is an intermediate DSLR with amazing autofocus and superb image quality, especially at lower sensitivity settings.  The touchscreen is also a nice feature, and being on a variable angle hinge, you can always get the shot, even if it means flipping the screen to face the direction of the lens.

The Canon 80D excels with shooting video. You’re able to shot 1080p, 60fps video with lightning-fast autofocus. While there isn’t 4K video, the video still looks great, and in reality, most folks don’t have a 4K monitor or TV to watch 4K video. The 80D sounds expensive but is only around $1,200 for the camera and 18-55mm kit.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 24.2 MP
  • Sensor: CMOS (APS-C)
  • Shooting speed: 7 FPS
  • Video: 1080p 60 FPS
Buy the Canon EOS 80D Now

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200 Best DSLR

Maybe the Canon 80D doesn’t appeal to you because you’ve always had a Nikon brand cameras. The Nikon D7200 is a great alternative to Canon’s intermediate offering. The D7200 has a similar 24.2 MP sensor that’ll produce some of the sharpest images you’ll see outside of professional rigs. Not only that, but the camera can shoot six fps, just one fps shy of what the 80D can do.  The 51-point autofocus is pulled straight from pro-Nikon cameras and rivals the one Canon uses.

The downside to the camera is the rear screen is fixed, not allowing for multiple viewing angles. Otherwise, the D7200 can handle high-ISO settings with ease and shines in action shots. It’s an alternative to Canon’s 80D, minus the screen functions.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 24.2 MP
  • Sensor: DX-format CMOS
  • Shooting speed: 6 FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Nikon D7200 Now

Nikon D500

Nikon D500 Best DSLR

If you’re looking for something that can shoot action shots with ease, and record 4K video, we have the camera for you – the Nikon D500. The camera’s capable of shooting ten fps, faster than most of the price range, which lets you capture a kids soccer game or a bird in mid-flight. The autofocus is also stellar, with 135 point system that has 3D tracking to make burst shooting smooth. Then 4K shooting is a major perk, as most DSLR cameras from Nikon and Canon are still lagging behind. The problem with the 4K shooting is it uses only part of the sensor, which means wide-angle lenses aren’t always going to work, and low light performance is going to fall behind.

Beyond video and image quality, the camera is durable; the carbon fiber body is sealed to prevent moisture or dust from entering and destroying the camera. The carbon fiber build also makes for a light and easy to handle DSLR.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 20.9 MP
  • Sensor: DX-Format CMOS
  • Shooting speed: 10 FPS
  • Video: 4K UHD

Buy the Nikon D500 Now


Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D Best DSLR

The Canon 6D is a full-frame DSLR that may not offer the depth of features that others in the range offer, but offers impressive high-ISO performance along with one of a kind low light autofocus. There’s also Wifi and GPS built-in features to geotag photos, but also easily transfer photos to your phone. The overall build quality of the camera feels premium, with the same moisture and dust resistance that other Canon cameras feature.

Overall, the camera is ideal for users who have been waiting for a full-frame DSLR without the premium price. I wouldn’t recommend the camera for anyone who requires a fast frame rate or video users who want to minimize moiré in the video. Another thing to consider is the camera doesn’t have a built-in flash.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 20.2 MP
  • Sensor: full frame CMOS sensor
  • Shooting speed: 4.5 FPS
  • Video: 1080p with manual controls
Buy the Canon EOS 6D Now

Canon EOS 7D MARK II

Canon EOS 7D MARK II Best DSLR

Canon’s 7D Mark II is priced for an amateur but includes all the feature that a pro would need or want. It’s still not cheap but doesn’t break the bank when the features are compared to others in the market. It borrows from it’s larger brother the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, which is a professional camera that cost $6,000. The 10fps shooting and professional autofocus system are brought to the amateur market. The fast shooting speed is perfect for action shots, and with its weather seal controls and body, you’ll never have to worry about not being able to get the shot.

The camera is a terrific all-around DSLR with pro-features, but without the premium price tag of other competitors. It’s a great fit for someone taking action shots, or owners who want a fast autofocus. I wouldn’t recommend the camera if you’re going to take landscape photos that need a full dynamic range mainly.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 20.2 MP
  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Shooting speed: 10 FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Now

Canon 5D Mark III

Canon 5D Mark III Best DSLR

The Canon 5D Mark III stands out from its competition. The camera is tailored to photographers who want a highly capable and versatile camera with the ability to shoot high-resolution and detailed raw photos. The downside to the 5D is the JPEG images lack as much detail as the RAW photos and can appear soft. The video controls let you record great videos with manual controls but also the advanced autofocus system.

The completeness and overall feel of the camera are what you’d expect from Canon, and they even found little room to improve upon previous versions of the camera. The brighter and better-looking screen allows you to view your images or videos in direct sunlight. The lack of a mobile screen is a little bit annoying, but a small downside.

Specs:

  • Megapixels: 22 MP
  • Sensor:  full frame CMOS
  • Shooting speed: 6 FPS
  • Video: 1080p
Buy the Canon 5D Mark III Now

Wrap up

Whether you’re going to buy the basic entry level DSLR to up your game when you’re taking casual photos, or if you’re looking to invest a couple of grand into a camera; we have one for you. There’re choices from Canon, Nikon, to Pentax, for everything from the best video recording to the best quality photos. Sure, there are plenty of cameras out there, but the cameras we picked not only have superior build but they help you get the most bang for your buck.  We’ll continue to help you navigate the waters of the camera market to find the cameras that best fit your needs and budgets.

Do you have a DSLR that should have made the list? – tell us in the comments below which one it is, and tell us which one your favorite of ours.

  • Jaded876

    So this list with no mirror less cams from likes of Sony etc

    • We’re planning to follow it up with lists looking at mirrorless, micro four thirds and full frame cameras, this list was more looking at traditional DSLRs 🙂

      • Jaded876

        Ok thanks looking forward to those. Keep up the good work.