Best DSLR Cameras 2019

Product Use case Rating
Nikon D3500 Best DSLR for Beginners 4
Nikon D5600 Best Under $1,000 4
Nikon D7500 Best Under $1,500 4
Canon EOS 6D Mark II Best Full-Frame DSLR 3.5
Canon EOS 80D Best for Video 4
Nikon D7200 Excellent Midrange DSLR 4.5
Canon EOS Rebel T7i Strong Mid-Level Shooter 4

Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras have traditionally offered the best-quality images, mainly because these cameras have the largest type of image sensors, which let you capture sharp, detailed photos, especially in low light. In addition, you can change the lens on a DSLR, from fisheye and wide angle to telephoto, which expand your creative potential. Also, because there is tremendous competition in the interchangeable-lens camera market, it's common to find great DSLR deals.

After testing dozens of DSLRs under $1,500, we found that the best DSLR for beginners is the Nikon D3500, as it offers great image quality and approachability for under $500. For photographers who want to step up, we recommend the Nikon D5600, which has a better sensor and autofocus capabilities for under $700.

Make sure you check out all of our top picks for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and more on our best cameras page.

Latest News & Updates (April 2019)

  • Canon's newest DSLR is its smallest, too. The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 ($599, body only) weighs less than one pound, and is designed for those new to DSLRs. It has a 24MP sensor, and in a first for the Rebel series, can shoot video at a 4K resolution. The camera will go on sale by the end of April.




1. Nikon D3500

Best DSLR for most people

Rating: 4/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 24.3/APS-C | ISO Range: 100-25,600 | Max Video Resolution: 1080p/60 fps | Shooting Speed: 5 fps| Autofocus: 11-point phase/contrast | Display: 3-inch fixed LCD | Battery Life: 1,550 shots| Ports: USB, mini HDMI | Card Slots: one SD/SDHC/SDXC| LCD Slides: 4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches | Weight: 12.9 ounces

Pros: Affordable; Good image quality; Feature-rich; Excellent battery life; In-camera RAW processing

Cons: Fixed LCD; No touch capabilities; Modest video AF performance

A camera that lets you grow, the beginner-focused D3500 has guides to explain its more advanced features, but it will shoot great photos in almost any situation. While it has many of the same features as its predecessor, including a 24.3-MP sensor, the Nikon D3500 has a faster processor and a refreshed design that makes it easier to use. We also appreciate the longer battery life and the ability to control the camera (somewhat) from your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Read the full Nikon D3500 review


2. Nikon D5600

Best DSLR under $1,000

Rating: 4/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 24.2 APS-C  | ISO Range: 100-25,600 | Max Video Resolution: 1080p/60 fps | Shooting Speed: 5 fps| Autofocus: 39-point phase/contrast | Display: 3.2-inch articulating touch screen | Battery Life: 970 shots| Ports: UUSB, mini HDMI, microphone | Card Slots: one SD/SDHC/SDXC| LCD Slides: 4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches | Weight: 14.7 ounces

Pros: Top-notch image quality; Responsive performance; Very good battery life; External microphone jack; Easy transfer of images to mobile devices; Solid set of features

Cons: Minimal manual control for video; No 4K video

The D5600 sports a 24-megapixel camera and an articulating touch screen, which makes tapping to focus (stills and video) and snapping a photo with a single touch a cinch. The D5600 delivers very sharp and detailed images, and sharing them is now easier with the inclusion of SnapBridge, which lets you transfer photos to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Read our full Nikon D5600 review.

3. Nikon D7500

Great DSLR for enthusiasts

Rating: 4/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 20.9 APS-C  | ISO Range: 100-51,200 | Max Video Resolution: 4k/30 fps | Shooting Speed: 8 fps| Autofocus: 51 points | Display: 3.2-inch tilting touch screen | Battery Life: 950 shots| Ports: USB, mini HDMI, 3.5mm audio, stereo mic | Card Slots: one SD/SDHC/SDXC | Size: 5.4 x 4.1 x 2.9  inches| Weight: 22.6 ounces

Pros: Excellent image quality; Speedy continuous shooting; Fast autofocus; Responsive touch screen; Extensive feature set

Cons: No dual card slots; 4K video cropped; AF erratic in video capture

By combining the innards of its pro-grade D500 with the more compact body from its midrange DX-level cameras, Nikon's new 20.9-megapixel D7500 is an enthusiast's ideal DSLR. In addition to the Expeed 5 image processor it shares with the D500, the D7500 sports continuous shooting at up to 8 fps, 4K video recording up to 30 fps and a handy 3.2-inch tilting LCD display. And like all of Nikon's recent cameras, the D7500 sports the company's Snapbridge tech, so you can use Bluetooth, NFC and built-in Wi-Fi to for super-simple photo sharing.

Read our full Nikon D7500 review.


4. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The best full-frame DSLR

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 26.2 APS-C  | ISO Range: 100-102,500 | Max Video Resolution: 1080p/60 fps | Shooting Speed: 6.6 fps| Autofocus: 45-point phase detection | Display: 3-inch articulating touch screen | Battery Life: 1,200 shots| Ports: USB, mini HDMI, microphone | Card Slots: one SD/SDHC/SDXC | Size: 2.9 x 5.7 x 4.4 inches| Weight: 1.7 pounds

Pros: Fully articulated LCD touch screen; Solid battery life; Improved AF system; Faster-than-average Live View and movie AF

Cons: No 4K video; Limited AF point coverage in viewfinder; Single SD card slot, UHS-1 speed support only; Does not support EF-S lenses

Now that it's a few years old, this full-frame camera has come down in price to where it’s affordable for those whom photography is not a full-time profession. Thanks to its larger image sensor, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II takes excellent photos in a variety of conditions. We also like that it can shoot at 6.6 frames per second and has a fully articulated touch screen. Its autofocus has a good 45 points, but doesn't cover the entire sensor. We also wish that this camera had more than one memory card slot, but for those who want a full-frame DSLR without spending a truckload of cash, this is a good option.

Read our full Canon EOS 6D Mark II review.

Credit: CanonCredit: Canon

5. Canon EOS 80D

Top DSLR for video

Rating: 4/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 24.2 APS-C  | ISO Range: 100-12,800 | Max Video Resolution: 1080p/60 fps | Shooting Speed: 7 fps| Autofocus: 40-point phase detection | Display: 3-inch articulating touch screen | Battery Life: 960 shots| Ports: USB, Mini HDMI, headphone, mic | Card Slots: one SD/SDHC/SDXC | Size: 3.09 x 5.47 x 4.14 inches| Weight: 1.4 pounds

Pros: 45 Autofocus points; Articulated LCD; Microphone and headphone jacks

Cons: No 4K video; Single card slot

When shooting video, the dual-pixel sensors of the EOS 80D lock focus on the subject you designate, keeping it sharp regardless of where it moves. Plus 45 autofocus points ensure that it can accurately track subjects moving in front of the lens. It's just too bad it doesn't shoot 4K video. A flip-out, tilting 3-inch touch screen lets you compose stills and video at a variety of odd angles, and a headphone and a mic jack will ensure you get the best audio.

Read our full Canon EOS 80D review.

Credit: NikonCredit: Nikon

6. Nikon D7200

Excellent midrange DSLR

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 24.2 APS-C  | ISO Range: 100-25,600 | Max Video Resolution: 1080p/60 fps | Shooting Speed: 6 fps| Autofocus: 51-point phase detection | Display: 3.2-inch LCD  | Battery Life: 1,100 shots| Ports: USB, Mini HDMI, headphone, mic | Card Slots: two SD/SDHC/SDXC | Size: 5.3 x 4.2 x 3.0 inches| Weight: 1.4 pounds

Pros: High image quality; Relatively fast continuous shooting; well-suppressed noise at high ISO; weather-sealed body; dual command dials

Cons: Limited manual exposure control for video capture; shallow handgrip; LCD doesn't tilt or rotate

Those who want to step up from their starter DSLR will find a lot to like in the Nikon D7200. Though it's been replaced by the D7500, the D7200 is still very capable, and costs less than $1,000 with a lens. It has two SD card slots, a bevy of ports (microphone jack, headphone, micro USB, HDMI and accessory), and is weather-resistant. The D7200 also lacks a low-pass filter, which makes images sharper, but more prone to moire effects.

The D7200 shows its age in a few places: The 3.2-inch LCD is not touch-enabled, and doesn't tilt or flip out, and the max video resolution is 1080p. But you can't ask for much more in a camera at this price.

Read our full Nikon D7200 review.

Credit: CanonCredit: Canon

7. Canon EOS Rebel T7i

Strong mid-level shooter

Rating: 4/5 stars

Megapixels/sensor: 24.2 APS-C  | ISO Range: 100-25,600 | Max Video Resolution: 1080p/60 fps | Shooting Speed: 6 fps| Autofocus: 51-point phase detection | Display: 3.2-inch LCD  | Battery Life: 1,100 shots| Ports: USB, Mini HDMI, headphone, mic | Card Slots: two SD/SDHC/SDXC | Size: 5.3 x 4.2 x 3.0 inches| Weight: 1.4 pounds

Pros: Very good image quality; Speedy autofocus; Good high-ISO handling; Full-featured mobile app; External microphone jack

Cons: Slightly larger and heavier than the competition; Only average battery life

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i has a lot of features and on-screen tips friendly to amateur photographers who are looking to grow in experience. It's a comparatively fast shooter, and its articulating touch screen means that it's easier to capture videos from above or below. There are also a number of creative filters built in, letting you achieve a more artistic effect with your photos. Canon's Dual Pixel Autofocus helps keep subjects in focus when using the camera to shoot video.

The T7i's low-pass filter helps eliminate moire patterns, but those who prefer a slightly sharper image might prefer Nikon's offerings. We also wish it had a longer battery life. But overall, this is another great camera under $1,000.

Read our full Canon EOS T7i review.

How We Test DSLRs

To evaluate DSLRs, we use them in a variety of settings, including low light, outdoors, indoors and more. We also photograph a number of subjects, such as people and pets, to see how well the camera captures skin tones. We generally use the kit lens that comes with the camera, to more closely emulate the same experience as consumers purchasing the camera.

In addition to still and video quality, we also rate the camera based on its ease of use: Are the physical controls easy to access, and are the menus logically laid out? Finally, we evaluate the camera's battery life and other features, such as wireless control.

Credit: Tom's Guide

8 comments
    Your comment
  • seoguy
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • STSinNYC
    The Nikon D7200 is now under $1,000, a much more capable camera than the D5600, particularly lens compatibility.
  • staging10_purch
    For me, Nikon is the best one i used so far..
  • sonali456
    Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is good. Full-frame cameras tend to be well-built across the board, and there are a lot of excellent options. But Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark IV is our pick. For the price, you get a lot of Canon’s latest tech inside a camera body that isn’t much larger than midrange APS-C DSLRs – great for sports photographers who need to run around or carry multiple cameras.
  • jeanscaraglinophoto
    You reference the d500 as a FF, when in reality it is a DX " The D7500 uses the same Expeed 5 image processor as some of Nikon's more expensive full-frame cameras such as the D500,"