Best DSLR Cameras 2017

Product Use case Rating
Nikon D3400 Best DSLR 8
Nikon D5600 Best Under $1,000 8
Canon EOS 80D Best Under $1,500 8
Canon EOS 80D Best for Video 8

Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are some of the most reliable and consistent shooters out there. Because DSLRs tend to have the largest image sensors, they enable you to capture photos of the best quality, especially in low light. Plus, you'll be able to produce beautiful large prints. In other words, what you see through the optical viewfinder is what you'll get.

Our top DSLR is the $496 Nikon D3400, as it offers great image quality and approachability for those on a budget or those looking to invest in their first DSLR.

For photographers who want to step up, we recommend the Nikon D5500. However, you also might want to consider its successor, the Nikon D5600, which has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, making it easier to transfer photos from the camera. We've also picked alternatives for each price bracket, since many of you may already own several lenses for either Canon or Nikon.

MORE: How to Take Great Pictures with the Nikon D3400

Shopping Advice                                              

Advantages that DSLRs have over other cameras generally include a fast autofocus, larger sensors (which lets you make larger prints), and a much wider selection of lenses, flashes and other accessories. As such an established technology, DSLRs can provide entry-level models that are generally cheaper than equivalent mirrorless or bridge-camera options.

Keep in mind that DSLRs — and their lenses — are typically larger than most other cameras, which makes them less convenient for those who want to travel light. Also, many DSLRs are not as good as mirrorless cameras when it comes to video, as they lack autofocus in this mode, or, if they do have it, the noise from the lenses can drown out any audio. That said, there are some DSLRs that excel at shooting video, too.

With a few exceptions, all DSLR cameras come with a one-year warranty, though you can usually purchase additional coverage from the manufacturer.

With that in mind, here are our favorite DSLRs.

Alternative: Canon EOS Rebel T6s ($650)

Although it has a more limited ISO range than the Nikon D3400, the 18-megapixel APS-C sensor in the Rebel T5 takes great photos for the money. Newbies will also like the easy-to-use controls and the ability to capture 1080p/30fps video, though autofocus could be faster.

MORE: Canon EOS Rebel T6s Review

Alternative: Canon EOS Rebel T6s ($849)

Canon's new Rebel T6s offers a speedy hybrid autofocus system that makes capturing moving subjects easy, whether it's shooting stills or videos. It takes gorgeous pictures with its 24.2-MP sensor and kit lens, and can record video at 1080p/30 fps. A flip-out tilting LCD helps when shooting from awkward angles.

MORE: Canon EOS Rebel T6s Review

Alternative: Nikon D7200 ($1,199)

Advanced amateur photographers already invested in Nikon lenses will find the D7200 much to their liking. Its magnesium alloy frame is weather-sealed against rain and dust, and it has a microphone jack, for those who want better sound when recording video at up to 1080p/60 fps.


MORE: Nikon D7200 Review

Alternative: Sony Alpha 77 M2 Review

While its video autofocus still trails the superb Canon EOS 70D, the Sony Alpha 77 M2 was able to track fast-moving subjects. It can also shoot 12 frames per second for up to 5 seconds, and has a record-setting 79 focus points.

More Camera Recommendations:
Best Cameras for the Money
Best Bridge Cameras
Best Mirrorless Cameras
Best Point and Shoot Cameras
Best Waterproof Cameras
Best Action Cameras
Best 360 Degree Cameras
Best Security Cameras
Best Phone Cameras

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4 comments
    Your comment
  • Rui Soares
    the canon 70d is actually pretty bad for video, with terrible moire and mooshy video, the only good thing going for it is the decent aufocus in liveview.
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  • simmi_Saraf
    When u think of a DLSR, u think of a high quality photography. Best is Nikon.
    I have been using it since last 3 years as for personal and for professional use.
    No doubt the best!
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  • Anomy_
    1) Does the camera have a trip for the aperture in a manual lens?
    2) Does the camera indicate when the chosen focus spot is in phase (focus) with a manual lens?
    3) How easily can a CPU lens be manipulated in manual mode?

    These are my concerna because,
    1) No matter the genius of a programmer the programmer can't program a camera for every conceivable situation, but I can by going to manual mode,
    2) I use CPU lens, mostly in auto focus and manual exposure. Also, I have lenses going back more than 40 years that I have no desire to replace. Nor do I need to replace lenses because I have invested time in learning how cameras work.
    And, the Histogram is my friend.
    So, do these cameras have provisions for a manual aperture, and does the phased focus indicator depend on a CPU lens. ?
    Outside of these concerns, Meh.
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