Bulky and expensive digital single lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras are some of the highest performing cameras you can buy besides mirrorless cameras. They have larger sensors for better image quality and provide faster autofocus and shooting speeds than normal point and shoot cameras. These models have removable lenses so you can use the lens that is perfect for the shot you are trying to take.
Buyers should note that the prices we list reflect the camera body only and not any additional lenses. You will need to buy or use lenses for your specific task and also remember that each brand has its own mounting system so one lens will not fit all cameras. No matter how good your camera is, it still needs good quality lenses to take outstanding pictures.
One of the most important aspects of DSLR’s is the sensor. There are two main types or sizes of sensors available – APS-C and full-frame. Full-frame sensors are so-called because they are the size of one frame of 35mm film and are the best you can buy. The APS-C type sensor is smaller and cheaper.
Below you can read our reviews of the best DSLR cameras. For this list we focused on units that cost less than $4000 and also tried providing options from several different price points and tiers of quality. At the bottom of this article we also provide a spec comparison chart so you can easily compare one DSLR camera versus another.
Sensor: Full frame | Dimensions: 5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1 inches
We chose the Nikon D850 as the best DSLR camera. This camera offers a full-frame sensor with ultra-high resolution for superior image quality.
Other outstanding features include a 153-point autofocus system, 7 fps burst shooting, wide ISO range, 4K video, tilting touch LCD, large optical viewfinder, and dual card slots.
About the only slight weaknesses we could find would be if you need higher burst speeds or more of a feature set for video.
Without a doubt the Nikon D850 is among the best all-around still cameras you can get, in fact it can excel for any photographer whether you are shooting landscapes or sports, but you will have to pay a premium for it.
Sensor: Full frame | Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.1 x 3.0 inches
The Sony Alpha A99 II is similar to the Nikon D850 in that it is another full frame sensor, high megapixel camera, but it will cost more. However, it is an ‘SLT’ camera which uses a semi-transparent mirror that splits light between the sensor and an AF module near the viewfinder, which differentiates it from a traditional DSLR.
The A99 II received the highest score from the leading consumer magazine for a SLR camera. It can shoot at 12 fps with continuous autofocus and 8 fps with live view and minimal EVF blackout. Other features include 4K video, weather-sealed body, high resolution EVF, tilting non-touchscreen LCD, and dual card slots.
There really are no major weakness of the A99 II. Although the autofocus when video shooting is not that great.
Overall the Sony Alpha A99 II is a really great DSLR camera that we rank just a notch below the Nikon D850.
Sensor: APS-C | Dimensions: 5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 inches
The Nikon D500 graded out as the best camera with an APS-C sensor. Many other editorial reviews have raved that the D500 was among the best DSLRs they have ever tested. There are other cameras that offer excellent image quality like the D500, but what makes it stand out is the outstanding autofocus combined with the speed, ergonomics and reliability.
The D500 can shoot continuosly at 10 fps with a 200 shot buffer for Raw images which makes it perfect for action photography. Other features include dust and weather resistant design, XQD and SD card slots, tilting touch-screen LCD, and 4K video.
If you need higher resolution or the most detailed photos you can get then the D500 might not be the best choice for you. However, we highly recommend the Nikon D500 for action photographers.
Sensor: Full frame | Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 inches
If you want a great all-around full frame DSLR that costs under $1500 you can’t go wrong with the Nikon D750. It is not as fast as the D500 with 6.5 fps continuous shooting, but this full frame camera has better image quality.
The D750 has an advanced autofocus system that works well and excellent ergonomics. On the downside the buffer capacity is limited, it only shoots 1080p video, and it has poor camera control from a smartphone.
Overall the D750 is a great choice for anyone who considers themselves an enthusiast or prosumer looking for a full frame DSLR.
Sensor: Full frame | Dimensions: 5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9 inches
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is another great choice for a somewhat advanced photographer who needs the best image quality they can get without breaking the bank on a DSLR. The full frame sensor and 26.2 megapixels provide plenty of resolution and it shoots a respectable 6.5 fps.
The autofocus system on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is good for casual shooting, but far from great when shooting sports or action. It captures video in full HD, not 4K.
Overall we recommend the Canon EOS 6D Mark II for anyone who wants a quality DSLR for general shooting purposes.
Sensor: APS-C | Dimensions: 5.3 x 4.1 x 2.9 inches
The Nikon D7500 is an oustanding camera and we rate it as the best DSLR under $1000. Excellent ergonimics, a tilting touchscreen, speed – 8 fps, and added buffer depth all make this a DSLR full of quality features.
The main weakness of the D7500 is video. It does shoot in 4K, but the video autofocus is not very good and the 1.5x crop is a big negative for movie makers.
Overall the Nikon D7500 is great for anyone looking for a DSLR full of features and works great for anyone from stills shooting to sports and action shooters.
Sensor: APS-C | Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 inches
The Canon EOS 77D is a solid all-around camera for the price and was rated as a Best Buy by the leading consumer magazine. It has Dual Pixel Autofocus that works well and uses Canon’s DIGIC 7 processor. It also has an optical viewfinder and a fully articulating 3″ touchscreen LCD.
While the image quality is very good, the video quality is just average. It does not shoot in 4K, instead it captures video in full HD at 60p.
Overall the Canon EOS 77D is a good camera for anyone looking for a midrange DSLR. At 6 fps there are better options for sports shooters, however.
Sensor: APS-C | Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 inches
Canon EOS Rebel T7i is very similar to the EOS 77D, with the main difference being the lack of an extra control dial and slightly different design. Their specs inside are basically identical.
Overall the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is another solid all-around DSLR that you might be able to find even cheaper than the EOS 77D with the same image quality.
Sensor: APS-C | Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.8 x 2.7 inches
As the cheapest DSLR camera on our list, the Nikon D3500 is a great entry-level DSLR. While much cheaper than the competition, the image quality is still really good. It is also designed to help new photographers with its Guide Mode that provides useful information on camera modes and operations.
On the downside, the D3500 does not have Wi-Fi, but it has Bluetooth connectivity for transferring images from the camera to a smartphone. It is also a bit on the slow side with 5 fps continuous shooting. There is full HD video recording, but no 4K.
You will be tempted to buy the Nikon D3500 because it has a cost that is similar or cheaper than many point and shoot cameras, but with image quality that is superior to most of those models as well. Overall this thing is great for anyone who wants to step up their photography to the next level with an entry level DSLR.
Sensor: APS-C | Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7 inches
The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is another good choice for novice photographers or anyone who wants to take better photographs than most point and shoot cameras can take. Some of its positive features include Dual Pixel Autofocus, fully articulating 3″ touchscreen, optical view finder, Wi-Fi, and 4K video.
You might not like the EOS Rebel SL3 if you are a more advanced user who wants more controls and customization, or those wanting to shoot fast action since its burst shooting is limited to 5 fps. The video quality is also just average.
Overall the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a solid entry-level DSLR for anyone who wants good image quality, but also wants 4K video and Wi-Fi which are two features the Nikon D3500 lacks.
Best DSLR Camera Comparison Chart
|Rank||DSLR Camera||Rating||Best Price||MegaPixels||Sensor||Shutter Speed||Max ISO||Video Resolution||Wi-Fi||Weight (oz)||Dimensions (in)
W” x H” x D”
|1||Nikon D850||9.3||$2,796.95||45.7||Full frame||30 – 1/8000||102400||4K 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p)||Yes||32.3||5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1|
|2||Sony Alpha A99 II||9.2||$3,198.00||42.4||Full frame||30 – 1/8000||102400||4K 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p)||Yes||29.6||5.6 x 4.1 x 3.0|
|3||Nikon D500||9.2||$1,496.95||20.9||APS-C||30 – 1/8000||1,638,400||4K 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p)||Yes||30.2||5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2|
|4||Nikon D750||9.1||$1,496.95||24.3||Full frame||30 – 1/4000||51200||HD 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)||Yes||54.7||5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1|
|5||Canon EOS 6D Mark II||9.1||$1,199.00||26.2||Full frame||30 – 1/4000||102400||HD 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p)||Yes||55||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9|
|6||Nikon D7500||9.0||$896.95||20.9||APS-C||30 – 1/8000||1638400||4K 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p)||Yes||42.2||5.3 x 4.1 x 2.9|
|7||Canon EOS 77D||8.9||$699.00||24.2||APS-C||30 – 1/4000||51200||HD 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p)||Yes||37.2||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0|
|8||Canon EOS Rebel T7i||8.9||$699.00||24.2||APS-C||30 – 1/4000||51200||HD 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p)||Yes||26.3||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0|
|9||Nikon D3500||8.8||$396.95||24.2||APS-C||30 – 1/4000||25600||HD 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)||Yes||21.7||4.9 x 3.8 x 2.7|
|10||Canon EOS Rebel SL3||8.7||$549.00||24.2||APS-C||30 – 1/4000||51200||4K 3840 x 2160 (25p, 24p)||Yes||23.4||4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7|
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