The best DSLRs still perform very well against the latest mirrorless cameras, especially if you appreciate old-fashioned controls over the latest equipment. Mirrorless cameras may be all the rage right now, but the DSLR design still offers a sturdy and rugged build, good value for money, and a range of lenses that mirrorless cameras have yet to find. We have tested every DSLR on the market and these are our favorites right now.
Even today, the best DSLR cameras aren’t far behind their mirrorless counterparts. Many DSLRs are equipped with modern mirrorless features such as 4K video, sensor phase detection autofocus, and powerful live view modes.
We have an article on DSLRs and mirrorless cameras (opens in a new tab) detailing all the technical and practical differences, and while mirrorless cameras have very obvious advantages in some ways, it’s certainly not one-sided.
DSLR cameras are a convenient way to switch between a point-and-shoot camera phone or a compact camera. Another big advantage of investing in a DSLR over a mirrorless camera is that you have years of lenses to choose from. For more information, check out our guide to the best camera lenses to buy (opens in a new tab).
So here we’ve rounded up what we think are the best DSLR cameras out there right now. Let’s start with affordable, easy-to-use entry-level cameras and move on to full-size professional models that still have what it takes to satisfy many professional photographers.
However, we think there are a handful of DSLR highlights that deserve special attention. The Nikon D3500 is, was and probably always will be the best easy-to-use entry-level DSLR you can get, while the Nikon D850 is a solid professional camera that’s a joy to use and has resolution, shutter speed, and even video capabilities that they are current today. . And for enthusiasts, the powerful Canon EOS 90D does everything the best mirrorless cameras in its class can do with DSLR cameras and an optical viewfinder.
APS-C sized DSLRs, like the previous ones on our list, offer a decent compromise between functionality, quality, and price, but professionals demand better image quality, which means a full frame DSLR. We found the Nikon D850 to be an expensive camera (although prices are falling), but its specs are in a league of their own. Its 45.7 megapixel resolution is jaw-dropping, has a 153-point autofocus system, and can shoot at 7 frames per second or 9 frames per second with the optional MB-D18 battery grip. Its stunning video capabilities also make it one of the best 4K camera options (opens in a new tab), although the new Nikon D780 (opens in a new tab) would be a better and affordable choice for videographers. We know the Nikon D850 lacks the hybrid sensor autofocus technology of the new Nikon D780, so autofocus speeds for live view are relatively modest, but we don’t see a major drawback for professional photography and that makes the D850’s De charm attractive as the best DSLR camera for professional photographers. It looked great when it first came out in 2017, and it looks just as good today … but for less!
The long-awaited update of the much-loved Nikon D750 certainly didn’t disappoint. The Nikon D780 has the same phase detection autofocus on the sensor as the Nikon Z6 and offers the same mirrorless live view performance – a big plus for stills and especially videography. Sure, Nikon has been a bit slow, as Canon has been using their own Dual Pixel CMOS AF on their DSLRs for years to do the same. But the D780 not only has advanced live view AF, it also has a high-resolution tilting touchscreen, 4K UHD video, two UHS-II compatible memory card slots, and up to 12fps continuous shooting in live view mode. Combine this with a solid design and comfortable grip and you have a camera that is an instant classic. We found that the D780, like other Nikon DSLRs, combines a well thought-out design with a solid build and very pleasant handling.
Pentax K-1 Mark II
The Pentax appears to continue in its bubble, seemingly untouched by external events, so we found the Pentax K-1 Mark II to be typically robust but adventurous in its specs when we reviewed it. It has a durable, weather-resistant build and a highly effective sensor-shift image stabilization system that works with any attached lens, unlike competing Canon and Nikon DSLRs, which lack built-in stabilization. Best of all, the 5-axis stabilization feature can work in makeup modes such as anti-aliasing correction, adding fine detail and texture with Pixel Shift for multiple exposures, and even an Astrotracer mode to hide stars in the sky. With a 36-megapixel full-frame sensor, the K-1 Mark II certainly offers a lot of megapixels for the money, although we think the 33-point autofocus looks dated and the Live View autofocus is certainly pretty weak. However, for DSLR enthusiasts who want a big, solid, high-quality traditional camera feel, we think this camera still has strong appeal.
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D
Some Canon cameras are cheaper than the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (known in Europe as 250D), but they lack its features and quality. You don’t have to pay much for extra features like a variable touchscreen, 24.3 megapixel sensor and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which makes live autofocus really fast, just like a mirrorless camera, and guided viewing options. to help you learn. It’s also capable of 4K video playback, so if you’re thinking you want to shoot a movie, this might be better for you than the Nikon D3500. After using Canon’s most affordable DSLRs (sorry Canon), we think the EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D is worth the extra money.
Canon EOS 90D
We have been testing the Canon EOS 90D for some time and are convinced that it is the best Canon camera (opens in a new tab) for enthusiasts. It arrived with groundbreaking specs unmatched by any other camera in its class, with an astonishing 32.5 million pixels – the highest for an APS-C camera to date – although you shouldn’t see a clear and immediate improvement in image quality. . wait . . It all depends on the lenses and the included 18-135mm lens isn’t one of Canon’s best. Instead, enjoy this camera’s 10 frames per second continuous shooting and unlimited 4K video recording – a consumer-grade Canon that doesn’t (finally) reduce the viewing angle of 4K videos. The extra megapixels compromise the EOS 90D’s high ISO / low light performance, but this camera has so many features and so much potential that we think it’s a great all-rounder for enthusiasts looking to experience all aspects of photography. Also, the pop-up screen and Dual Pixel CMOS AF are just like using a mirrorless camera in live view mode.
Although the Nikon D7500 was launched four years ago, we still believe the Nikon D7500 still deserves recognition as one of the best DSLR cameras for enthusiasts today. It’s a decent all-in-one and the Nikon equivalent of the Canon EOS 90D. It offers a slightly faster shutter speed of 8fps, although it lacks the resolution of the 90D. The 51-point autofocus system is reliable and has the ability to record 4K video. It has a tilting rear screen instead of the EOS 90D’s fully articulated design and relies on slower contrast AF in live view mode, but if you’re shooting most of the viewfinder these are minor points. Nikon fans who love sports photography may also want to check out the Nikon D500 (opens in a new tab), but this is a much more expensive and harder to find camera. DSLR fans should know that there are still great DSLRs out there and our time with the D7500 has convinced us that this is one of them.