Best DSLR Cameras | 2024

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The best DSLR cameras are classics for a reason. Durable, long-lasting and capable of capturing spectacular images, a good DSLR can be a photographic companion for life. While mirrorless may be where manufacturers are putting most of their resources, for many photographers, you can’t beat a good old DSLR. There’s no doubt about it – the best DSLRs are still some of the best cameras you can buy.

What makes a DSLR? Well, the acronym stands for “Digital Single-Lens Reflex”. These cameras are built on the same basic design as the film SLRs of old – they have a mirror system incorporated that allows them to field an optical viewfinder. They also tend to be built tough, with professional models having tank-like bodies that can stand up to some serious punishment.

The question is, therefore, which is the best DSLR camera to buy? Nikon? Canon? That's a debate for the ages. But nevertheless, we’ve put together this guide to help you answer that question, with our picks of the finest DSLR cameras available right now. We’ve included options for all budgets, running from the cheapest DSLRs available to high-end cameras designed for professionals.

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Our top picks

Canon EOS 2000D Digital SLR Camera Body

£429.00 View

Pros:

  • Highly affordable price tag
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • 24.1MP gives plenty of room for printing

Cons:

  • Only 3fps burst shooting
  • Fairly basic autofocus system

The EOS 2000D is one of the most affordable DSLRs around currently. Given this fact, you might expect it to be somewhat bereft of features. Not so! This is a well-equipped camera that provides enough of a jump in quality from a smartphone to be worth the investment. As well as access to the impressive stable of EF lenses, you also get a 24MP APS-C sensor that’ll capture images far more detailed than any phone.

Creative Auto mode, Creative Filters and Scene Intelligent Auto modes help users make the most of the EOS 2000D’s capabilities without getting bogged down in settings. There’s also Full HD video, which comes equipped with Video Snapshot mode to make easy, shareable highlights from your day. It’s easy to use the Canon Camera Connect app for Android and iOS to send images straight to your phone or other smart device, and have your creations ready to share instantly.

The version we’ve picked out also comes bundled with an 18-55mm IS II Lens, a useful standard zoom that produces reliably sharp and vibrant images in all different shooting situations. Like the 2000D itself, the lens is perfect for the novice photographer, but provides tremendous room to grow.

Canon EOS 250D Digital SLR Camera Body - Black

£619.00 View

Pros:

  • Guide modes to help beginners learn the basics
  • Shoots 4K video
  • Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus (in Live View)

Cons:

  • Crop on 4K video
  • Viewfinder AF uses dated 9-point system

One of Canon’s finest entry-level DSLRs, giving beginners an affordable option with plenty of extra features that provide room to grow, the Canon EOS 250D sports a 24MP APS-C sensor. This is the same resolution as the EOS 2000D – however, the 250D can also shoot 4K video. As such, if you are looking for an entry-level camera and want to shoot a mix of stills and video, this is the buy. With tons of handy guided modes, it’s a great camera for getting your head around the basics of shooting.

Also on board is Canon’s famous Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system, which helps track difficult fast-moving targets for sharp shots. When you also consider the fact that the EOS 250D has a vari-angle touchscreen, you start to realise that it’s an incredibly capable camera for its price point. Bear in mind however that the Dual Pixel CMOS AF only kicks in when you’re using Live View – that is, composing and focusing using the rear LCD screen. For viewfinder shooting, the EOS 250D relies on a less impressive 9-point autofocus system.

Canon EOS 90D Digital SLR Camera Body

£1,299.00 View

Pros:

  • Nicely lightweight with great handling
  • Uncropped 4K 30p video
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • No in-body stabilisation

An APS-C DSLR that’s popular among photographers and YouTubers alike, the Canon EOS 90D is something of a jack-of-all-trades. One thing that’s striking about this camera right away is the lightweight design – it doesn’t weigh you down in the hand, but still manages to field a satisfying chunky handgrip that provides a secure hold. There are lots of sensible control choices here too, with a handy joystick on the right-hand side of the display that makes it easy and intuitive to select a focus point.

Unlike many Canon cameras, the EOS 90D is capable of producing uncropped 4K video using the full width of its sensor – meaning your field of view is less restricted. It also boasts a superb Nano USM autofocus system with excellent tracking, and stills photographers get 32.5MP of resolution to play with. We recommend picking it up with the 18-135mm IS USM lens – not least because this lens provides a four-stop optical stabilisation system. As the EOS 90D lacks an IBIS (in-body image stabilisation) system of its own, this can prove immensely handy for getting sharp shots. 

Nikon D780 Digital SLR Camera Body

£2,029.00 View

Pros:

  • Smart hybrid autofocus
  • Uncropped 4K UHD video
  • Dual card slots

Cons:

  • No built-in stabilisation
  • Somewhat big and hefty

Nikon’s exemplary hybrid DSLR takes its cues from mirrorless cameras to deliver a superb shooting experience for both photography and video. Given that more and more content creators are dipping their toes into stills and video these days, cameras need to keep up. The Nikon D780 is a fantastic example of how the humble DSLR can be retooled to do just that – as well as producing sublime stills, it shoots 4K UHD footage at up to 30p with zero crop factor. In Live View, using the LCD screen, the D780 really comes into its own, with a 273-point Hybrid-AF system that is simply class-leading among DSLRs.

With dual SD card slots, a water-resistant body and an ISO range expandable to 204,800, the Nikon D780 is without a doubt a sublime professional tool and one of the best DSLRs you can buy right now. Brilliant for video and superb for stills, this is a camera that will suit any serious user.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body

£1,499.00 View

Pros:

  • Comprehensive weather sealing
  • Effective in-body stabilisation
  • Generous 36MP resolution

Cons:

  • Fewer lens choices than Canon/Nikon

The successor to Ricoh’s first ever full-frame Pentax DSLR, the Pentax K-1 Mark II is a beauty to behold and a joy to use. Robust and weather-sealed, the K-1 Mark II brings a new pixel-shift mode that allows you to create a super-high-resolution image using the built-in image stabilisation system to combine four files into one. It keeps plenty of features from the well-received K-1 as well, including the 36MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the 33-point AF system, the unique cross-tilt LCD screen, the built-in astrotracer for night photography and more.

While Pentaxians don’t have as many lenses to choose from as users of Canon EF or Nikon F cameras, there are still a fair few options for Pentax K-mount – including legacy lenses from the days of analogue SLRs. Bear in mind that not all of them will have the same level of comprehensive weatherproofing as the K-1 Mark II. In newer lenses, look for an “AW” acronym in the lens name – this stands for “All Weather”.

Nikon D850 Digital SLR Camera Body

Save £250, was £3249

£2,439.00 View

Pros:

  • Beast of a camera that can shoot basically anything
  • Big battery life
  • 4K video

Cons:

  • Big and heavy
  • Professional price

One of the best-loved workhorse cameras around, rated by enthusiasts and professionals alike – there are several high-resolution DSLRs on the market, but none of those quite beat the Nikon D850 when it comes to versatility. Though it packs a 45MP sensor, this device is far more than just a megapixel monster. The D850 does a fantastic job of sticking with moving subjects, thanks to its brilliant Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module and 153-point AF system, which operates down to -4EV, and includes 99 cross-type and 15 sensors that support f/8. 

Pair this with a 9fps burst mode — and not forgetting that superior resolution — and the D850 can photograph just about anything. A touch-screen display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a massive 1,840-shot battery life all only add to this versatile camera’s appeal.

The Nikon D850 also shoots 4K UHD 30p video using the full width of its sensor, so hybrid content creators are well catered for. It's possible to capture stunning 4K time-lapses in camera, or even amazing high-res 8K time-lapse sequences. The D850 is simply a camera that does everything, and one of the best DSLRs ever made.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body

Save £80, was £1349

£1,399.00 View

Pros:

  • Great-quality shooting with capable autofocus
  • Vari-angle touchscreen

Cons:

  • No 4K video
  • Lower resolution than some rivals

One of the finest full-frame DSLRs ever made, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II one of the most affordable routes into full-frame. If you want to take full advantage of Canon’s enormous catalogue of EF lenses, this is one of the best places to start. With 26.2MP of resolution across its full-frame sensor, the 6D Mark II benefits from a sophisticated autofocus system with 45 cross-type points, and continuous shooting of 6.5fps. 

Thanks to sporting a vari-angle touchscreen, the EOS 6D Mark II enables shooting from all sorts of unusual and creative angles. Its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections also mean it’s possible to control the camera with your smart device from range, further expanding the user’s shooting options. There’s no 4K, so if that’s your bag you’d be better off looking elsewhere, but the EOS 6D Mark II is a powerful piece of kit, and a versatile workhorse for professional and amateur photographers alike.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital SLR Camera Body

£2,339.00 View

Pros:

  • Superb full-frame image quality
  • Solid, weather-sealed body
  • Intelligent viewfinder displays shooting information

Cons:

  • 4K video is cropped
  • Rear screen is fixed

Bringing pristine 4K 30p video to the party, the EOS 5D Mark IV is one of the finest video DSLRs around right now. The fourth camera in the series that kickstarted the DSLR video revolution, the EOS 5D Mark IV blends a high resolution sensor, 4K video, great connectivity options and the fantastic image quality we’ve come to expect from the EOS 5D line. 

This is a camera that can handle the unique challenges of every location, thanks to its superior build quality and solid weather-sealing. It records exactly where every shot is taken via built-in GPS, and with Wi-Fi connectivity, images can be shared quickly and easily. Add to that a 61-point phase-detection AF system with 41 cross-type points, for fast and accurate focusing, and a top burst rate of 7fps, and you won’t miss a moment. 

The 5D Mark IV is a great full-frame all-rounder, sporting an intelligent viewfinder with 100% coverage that can display shooting information. The touchscreen interface works well too, and there’s a nice 21-RAW buffer that’s useful for fast shooting. 

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FAQs

What is a DSLR camera?

A DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera is a type of digital camera that uses a mirror mechanism to reflect light from the lens up into an optical viewfinder. This allows you to see exactly what will be captured through the lens. 

How does a DSLR camera work?

The mirror mechanism inside reflects light from the lens up into an optical viewfinder. When the shutter button is pressed, the mirror flips up, allowing light to hit the camera's image sensor, capturing the image. 

What are the advantages of using a DSLR camera?

DSLR cameras offer several advantages over other types of cameras such as compact cameras, including superior image quality, interchangeable lenses, manual controls, and an optical viewfinder.

What should I consider when buying a DSLR camera?

Before buying a DSLR camera you’ll need to think about serval factors such as sensor size, megapixels, lens compatibility, features, and budget. But the best place to start is to consider what you want to take photos of. Once you know this, it’ll make your decision much easier.

Are DSLR or mirrorless cameras better?

It all depends on individual preferences and shooting needs. DSLR cameras offer optical viewfinders and a wide range of compatible lenses, while mirrorless cameras are typically lighter, more compact, and offer advanced autofocus systems and electronic viewfinders. They both have strengths and weaknesses. It’s best to try out both to get a feel for what you like.

How do we decide?


Our in-house photography experts, store staff and partners all work collaboratively to pour over these guides. The cameras and equipment recommended in our guides are based on their personal opinion, empirical experience and of course, feedback from our customers. We way up price, features, quality and the all-important 'je ne sais quoi' to make sure we recommend products that will delight and inspire. 

If you would like more advice on any purchase our contact centre staff are here to help. Alternatively, you can reach us via email or social media. And don't forget. If you were to purchase anything based on our recommendations you'll be covered by our full returns policy