Best DSLR Cameras 2014 - Top 10 Digital SLR Cameras
Best DSLR Cameras 2014
Choosing a DSLR requires careful consideration, whether you are buying your first camera or upgrading. With so many options available, and DSLRs having apparently identical features, picking the best one for you and your photography isn't always an easy task.
Overall performance, efficiency, functionality, versatility and adaptability are the SLR's strong suits. Performance indicates better responsiveness to the photographer's needs: flexibility in configurations and functions; sharp, clean, accurate and bright optical viewfinder; as well as the best image quality that the latest technology can offer.
Versatility means the SLR camera is part of a much larger system of components - ready to be customized and personalized to whatever kind of photography you intend to pursue.
One Size Doesn't Fit All
The price tag on a digital SLR varies from around $500 to more than $10,000, so naturally there are tons of variations. If you compare and contrast models at the extremes the distinctions will be totally obvious, however they are less noticeable when you compare models from adjacent classes.
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Top 10 Digital SLR Cameras
The Rebel is a solid anchor at the entry level end of Canon's SLR camera line, and the T3i is the latest type. It won TIPA's Best Entry level SLR Award in 2011.
It comes with an 18-megapixel sensor with Canon's Digic4 image processor, a 3-inch, million-dot, tilt-and-swivel LCD panel and does 1920x1080 HD video. With these specifications it might easily move up a weight class - but Canon presently has that section well-covered.
Pros: Adjustable 3-inch LCD; Outstanding image quality even at ISO 1600; Wireless flash transmitter for multiple flashes; Full HD recording options with external mic jack.
Cons: Some physical controls are oddly placed; Auto White Balance struggles in indoor lighting; Lack of single-button movie recording.
Nikon launched the D5100 early in this year. When compared to the D5000, the D5100 has been improved on many fronts: a bigger sensor (16,2 versus 12.3 mps), bigger LCD (3 inch versus 2.7 inch), broader iso range (100-6400 vs 200-3200) and much more advanced HD video modes.
Pros:Â Good image quality; Improved live view mode; Responsive AF; Excellent low-light/high-ISO performance; Impressive movie options.
Cons:Â Non-customizable effects; No AF-point lock; No remote commander; Requires AF-S lens with built-in AF motor.
The K-r pushes the performance envelope for this class of SLR camera with a fast burst rate of 6 fps, shutter speed of around 1/6000s and ISO sensitivity range of 200-12,800 (with + and - boost modes that extend it down to ISO 100 or up to ISO 25,600). It utilizes an 11-point AF system with 9 cross-type sensors, and has in-body image stabilization. It can command a Pentax auxiliary flash in wifi mode.
The 12.4-mp CMOS sensor also records 720p high definition video. The body of the camera is polymer over a stainless steel chassis. The K-r is among the few SLRs which can be used with standard AA batteries (using the optional AA-holder).
Pros:Â Excellent image quality;Â Easy to use;Â Thorough feature set;Â Excellent high ISO performance.
Cons:Â No depth-of-field preview button; LCD screen must be turned off and on manually; No AF in video recording.
Small, lightweight, inexpensive starter DSLR
The D7000 won TIPA's 2011 Best Advanced SLR award. This is a great example of technology leap frogging. When it was first released it closed the gap on Nikon's professional-class SLR cameras like the D300. Now it has the highest resolution sensor in the Nikon DX family 16.2 mega-pixels) and countless testers state high-ISO noise performance is remarkable.
Pros:Â Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots;Â Great low-light/high-ISO performance;Â Very good image and video quality;Â Fantastic Autofocus system;Â Great battery life.
Cons:Â Function and bracket buttons difficult to access;Â A little expensive;Â Kit lens doesn't show camera's full potential;Â Full-time autofocus in video mode needs work;Â New Nikon users will face a learning curve.
Canon EOS 60D
Canon unveiled the latest high-end APS-C digital camera, the EOS 7D that somewhat took over the market that the EOS 10D through BOD had served for ten years. So when Canon refreshed that series with the 60D in 2010, it geared the camera in a a little more amateur-friendly direction. The digital camera was a little bit small compared to earlier generations and had new Basic+ settings that simplified exposure settings. But additionally, it has many innovative and advanced content such as a swivel-tilt LCD screen, 18-mp sensor and top quality Hi-def video modes.
Pros:Â Vari-Angle Screen; Wireless flash control built-in;Â Superb video, external mic jack, and audio control;Â In-camera raw processing and image resizing;Â Extensive software bundle included;Â Good battery performance;Â Excellent image quality, even at high ISO settings.
Cons:Â Poor Auto White balance under tungsten lighting;Â Slow focusing in Live View;Â Clumsy access to Movie mode.
An excellent upgrade for EOS Rebel owners
Sony SLT65 and SLT77
SLT cameras make use of a fixed mirror and no pentaprism. There are many advantages to this such as less vibration since the mirror is not flapping down and up during exposure, size and weight advantages. Sony's SLT65 / SLT77 have a lot in common, including 24-mp sensor, high resolution 3-inch LCD screen, 2.3-million-dot electronic viewfinder, 1200-zone metering system and built-in GPS.
The SLT77 is a little bigger, slightly heavier and costs $350-400 more, but offers you a bigger buffer, 1/8000 top shutter speed (versus 1/4000), broader plus more flexible EV and flash compensation, and an screen with more movement angles.
Pros:Â Fastest continuous shooting speed in its class;Â Excellent image quality;Â Generous range of HD movie recording options;Â Lots of useful features and customization options.
Cons:Â Â EVF still not as good as a traditional viewfinder;Â Poor battery life.
On paper the Olympus E-5 does not seem very impressive: only12.3-mp sensor and "simply" 720 HD. But the proof is in the using, and this digital slr was extraordinary enough to win TIPA's 2011 Best Expert SLR award. The E-5 is a minor improvement to the E-3 and carries forward the durable dustproof and splashproof construction. It's now the Olympus flagship.
Pros:Â Weather-resistant body;Â Dual card slots (CF and SD);Â Wireless flash control built in;Â In-body image stabilization;Â Fast auto-focusing;Â Level gauge;Â Tilt-and-swivel 3-inch LCD;Â 100-percent field-of-view optical viewfinder.
Cons:Â Lackluster high ISO performance above 1600;Â Only 5 fps burst mode;Â Limited video options;Â No mode dial;Â 12 megapixel sensor.
A rugged, dependable DSLR body with a broad, creative feature set
EOS 1Dx Canon's New Top Gun
Canon introduced the latest flagship, the EOS 1Dx, which is going to replace the 1D Mark IV and IDs Mark III. It will not be available until March 2012, but Canon Canada has set the market price at $6999, and even included a lot of detail in its media announcement.
The IDx features an 18-mp full-frame CMOS sensor. The sensor uses "oversized" pixels-1.25 microns larger than the EOS-1D Mark IV sensor and 0.55 microns larger than the EOS-5D Mark II sensor-and an innovative gapless microlens design. What this means is higher level of sensitivity and much less noise.
The digital camera runs on the trio of processor chips, two of the revolutionary DIGIC 5+ variety and a DIGIC 4 processor only for metering and auto-focus. The auto-focus system is new - Canon calls it the 61-point high-density reticular AF, A second AF system called ITR uses facial recognition as well as the typical phase-detection system. Native ISO sensitivity is of 100 to 51,200 but one low mode drops it to 50 and 2 high modes boost it to 204,800. EOS-1D x includes two flash card slots and built-in gigabit Ethernet capability.
Pros: Performs exceptionally well in low-light situations;Â Capable of shooting breathtaking bursts at high speed;Â Feels robust and up to the task of any photo challenge.
Cons: AF drive mode isn't displayed through the viewfinder when it's being changed;Â Star rating isn't as intuitive as that on the EOS-5D Mark III; No identifiable movie-record button on the body
Video performance has been improved in two ways. To begin with, full 1920x1080 Hi-def video can be captured at more bit rates, including 24p, 25p and 30p, But the camera also breaks the 4GB video file size barrier by a file-splitting technique which allows recording to multiple 4GB files with no frames lost - up to a maximum of 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
The K-5 is really a tough warrior in an extremely cut-throat category. The camera works by using Pentax's newest 16.28 megapixel CMOS sensor and Prime II image processor. The ISO sensitivity is 100 to 12,800, but special modes at both ends drop it down to ISO 80 or as much as ISO 51,200.
One of the features of the K-5 is its design and construction. It is magnesium alloy over a stainless steel chassis, and just about any crack is sealed. The entire body has 77 special seals, and the company says it's dustproof, weather resistant and cold resistant (works to -10Â°C).
Pros:Â Â Great ergonomics;Â Fantastic high-ISO performance;Â Outstanding dynamic range;Â Improved auto-focus, especially AF-C compared to the K7;Â Easy to navigate menu system.
Cons:Â Â Audio records at 32KHz sample rate;Â Only has a single SD/SDHC slot; Limited to 1/180 X-Sync speed;Â Images shot in portrait don't auto-rotate on playback.
The K-5 brings Pentax up to a new level of quality imaging