Top 10 Digital SLR Cameras

Webmaster October 29, 2011 2

Finding the best digital SLR is a difficult task. It is difficult enough that we cannot simply offer a single recommendation for “the best digital SLR.” Instead, we have compiled this “top 10” list, ordered based on the needs of amateur photographers who seek usability, professional features and quality at reasonable prices. On the following list you will find cameras geared toward both novice and experienced users alike. Any one of the following picks will provide excellent images, room for expandability and a strong foundation for a better digital photography experience.

1. Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18MP

With the introduction of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon began a new era for amateur digital SLRs. In fact, in the eyes of many professionals, this camera is worthy of professional level digital SLR status. The only thing that keeps it a consumer grade product is low price.The T3i is actually very close to the more expensive Canon 7D, featuring the same 18 megapixel image sensor as the 7D—with almost identical functions, settings and overall performance. The T3i is also easy to use. Despite being labeled by Canon as a consumer camera, many professionals could make a living using only this camera—it is simply that good.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP Digital SLR Camera

2. Nikon D5100 16.3MP DX

An affordable and capable digital SLR, the D5100 offers many of the features of the more expensive cameras in a smaller body. The D5100 has an impressive array of automatic shooting modes and settings that make capturing professional quality images with the 16.3 megapixel image sensor easy. Additionally, it includes 1080p resolution full HD video shooting ability, a useful 3.0 inch, super sharp, 921,000-dot Vari-angle LCD monitor and a sturdy build quality. The D5100 delivers outstanding image quality and it is an excellent and affordable digital SLR choice.

Nikon D5100

3. Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2MP

The Canon Rebel T3 offers a good mix of professional features at a consumer level price. Perhaps the best qualities of the T3 are ease of use and affordability. Even novice photographers find that right out of the box it produces professional looking images. Image quality is in fact rated very high in tests. The 12.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor of the T3 perform admirably, creating sharp images with good color retention and very little image distortion. For the price, this camera is one of the best.

Canon Rebel T3

4. Nikon D3100 14.2MP DX

The Nikon D3100 offers an ideal combination of image quality and usability at a very reasonable price. Essentially, the D3100 is designed to meet the needs of amateur photographers who want the quality of digital SLR imaging with the ease of use found in a point and shoot camera. While the D3100 does not have many of the more advanced features found in more expensive professional and high end consumer cameras, it still delivers excellent photos with no questions asked. The D3100 is perfect if you require a high quality easy to use camera with no confusing functions and settings.

Nikon D3100

5. Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP

The EOS 5D Mark II is a powerful professional tool that is worth every penny of its somewhat expensive package. It delivers spectacular image quality and functionality with a full frame 21.1 megapixel image sensor, a DIGIC 4 image processor and features that match many of those found in the top end Canon EOS 1D. Along with Full HD (1080p) video recording ability, the 5D Mark II has an auto light optimizer and peripheral illumination feature, both of which work to improve image quality. This is the ideal camera for the experienced photographer who can live with nothing less than the best.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Digital SLR Camera

6. Canon EOS 60D 18MP

The Canon EOS 60D offers all of the options, features and settings of much more expensive digital SLRs in a package that consumers can afford and use. In addition to impeccable image quality and color reproduction, advanced amateur photographers love the fully customizable and quick control menu interface of the 50D. With professional features and a high quality image sensor and processor, the EOS 50D is a great choice if you need a camera that will keep up with professional grade Canon lenses.

Canon 60D

7. Nikon D7000 DX 16.2MP

The Nikon D7000 DX is a camera that pleases both the professional and amateur photographer. While a 16.2 megapixel image sensor and a range of functionality options produce high quality images, fully automated settings and processes geared toward amateur usability please novice photographers. In addition to 1080p HD video recording capability, one of the best features of the D7000 DX is automatic chromatic aberration correction, which works to enhance the quality of images that may display distortion due to poor exposure, lighting or optical quality.

Nikon D7000

8. Sony A77 24.3MP

Including all of the features of more expensive Sony DSLR’s at a more affordable price, the Sony A77 is a full frame digital SLR photographer’s dream camera. Labeled by Sony as the world’s fastest shooting DSLR with a huge 24.3 megapixel image sensor, the A77 offers image quality that rivals that of the Canon 5D Mark II at a much lower price. In-body image stabilization is also a feature that some users prefer over Canon’s lens-based system. Unfortunately, the lenses available for the Sony Alpha A77 are limited—specialty lenses like tilt/shift and longer focal length lenses are hard to come by, but for the most part, Sony has the popular zoom, telephoto, and prime focal length/feature combinations covered.

Sony A77

9. Pentax K-5 16.3MP

Before the advent of digital SLRs, Pentax was a notable film camera manufacturer that offered affordable and functional consumer grade products with innovative and useful functions and features. The K-5 effectively continues that trend. The K-5 has shake reduction built into the camera body, a 14.6 megapixel image sensor that supports over 5fps shooting and HD video capability, and an innovative 77-segment light metering system for very accurate image exposure. One of the best features of the K-5 is that it works with every lens ever made for a Pentax camera. Because of the popularity of Pentax film SLRs, very high quality lenses are widely available on the used market.

Pentax K-5

8. Pentax K-x 12.4MP

Like the more expensive Pentax K-7D, the Pentax K-x comes from a long line of cameras respected for their consumer appeal. And, while it lacks some of the more advanced features of the K-7D, the K-x makes up ground on the digital SLR market in usability. Pentax made this camera a point and shoot dream—it shoots excellent, high quality photographs that rival those of much more expensive digital SLRs. It also includes HD video capability and onboard shake reduction technology. Again, a very popular feature of this camera is compatibility with the entire line of Pentax lenses.

Pentax K-x   12.4 MP Digital SLR Camera


  1. Georgina Dind April 12, 2012 at 6:03 am -

    Very useful reviews enabling me to make a better informed decision on choosing from a large selection of SLR cameras.

  2. Ken April 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm -

    Great reviews, Just starting out in the SLR range and was not sure what camera to go for. this site gave me excellent reviews as well as the links to purchase the camera if I wanted to. well done.

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