DSLR cameras, or digital single-lens reflex cameras, are still some of the most popular types of camera around. With a strong visual resemblance to classic film SLRs, DSLR cameras are some of the most ruggedly built and dependable shooters around. They’re interchangeable-lens cameras, meaning there is an extensive range of DSLR lenses to choose from, no matter which brand of DSLR you use.
There’s also an extensive ecosystem of accessories available for your DSLR digital camera body, including tripods, bags, filters and more. We’ll dive into the best brands of DSLR and give you a few recommendations for which models to choose if you want to shoot stills, video or a bit of both. But if you're still not sure, be sure to check read our in-depth digital camera round-up and buying guide.
The Canon EOS 250D Digital SLR Camera Body is one of the lightest DSLRs equipped with a movable screen. Featuring intuitive, easy-to-use controls, classic handling, 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, DIGIC 8 image processor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF this camera will help you capture stunning photographs and 4K videos. It is a fantastic entry-level DSLR, ideal for users looking to step up from smartphone ...
The Canon EOS 90D Digital SLR Camera united with the 18-135mm IS USM Lens creates beautifully detailed stills and videos. The lens is light and compact making this combination ideal for on-location, fast-paced photography and 4K video capture. Thanks to the 32.5 megapixels APS-C imaging sensor and 4-stop Optical Image Stabiliser that counteracts camera-shake this camera and lens combination is ...
The Canon EOS 2000D Digital SLR Camera Body is the perfect beginner camera to get you started with DSLR photography. With its easy operability, intuitive design, and in-camera guide, the EOS 2000D will bring your images to life. Create effortlessly gorgeous background blur and capture exciting moments with cinematic Full HD video. Share these in an instant thanks to the Wi-Fi and NFC ...
The Nikon D780 comes as the eagerly anticipated successor to the well-regarded Nikon D750. It features a powerful 24.5 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 6 image processor. This camera body can offer something to every level of photography and videographer alike. It features a 51-point Phase-Detection AF via the Viewfinder and 273-point Hybrid-AF system in Live View. The camera can shoot up to 7 fps with AF/AE and up to 12 fps in Silent Live View Photography mode. When it comes to video, the camera is capable of capturing 4K/UHD footage at 30p/25p/24p with zero crop factor. It also features dual SD card slots and an incredibly useful and high-quality tilting touchscreen.
The Canon EOS 2000D Digital SLR Camera Body is the perfect beginner camera to get you started with DSLR photography. With its easy operability, intuitive design, and in-camera guide, the EOS 2000D will bring your images to life. Create effortlessly gorgeous background blur and capture exciting moments with cinematic Full HD video. Share these in an instant thanks to the Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. The 24.1-megapixel imaging sensor, with up to 19x more surface area than most smartphones, is sure to make your photographs stand out.
The Canon EOS 250D with 18-55mm IS STM Lens is an incredibly lightweight and compact DLSR with a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, vari-angle screen, 4K video recording, and Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Easy to use and packed with the latest technology, the 250D is an entry-level digital SLR aimed at users looking to step-up from smartphone photography or upgrade from their existing compact.
The Pentax K-1 Mark II is a powerful DSLR camera body that features a 36.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, Prime IV image-processing engine and an impressive Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution System. The body is weather-sealed and comes without an anti-aliasing filter that in turn priorities image quality. It also features an improved ISO range of up to 819,200 that is improves on this flagship camera's low-light capability and of course, this is compatible with the excellent range of Pentax K mount lenses.
Nikon announces the D7500, designed to expand the creative possibilities for photographers as they pursue their passion in photography. Powerful, nimble, and fully connected, the D7500 offers the same image quality as the D500 — Nikon’s flagship DX-format DSLR — and a level of performance that overcomes the most challenging conditions. This kit includes the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED ...
With Canon 90D’s 32.5 megapixels APS-C imagining sensor and IS STM’s lightweight design, weighing at only 215g, the user receives the perfect tool for wildlife and sports photography. The lens is also a general-purpose lens which doesn’t limit the user’s creativity. Whatever the occasion calls for, be it landscape or high action photography, this combination will not disappoint.
The newly designed Nikon D6 Digital SLR Camera Body builds off the huge success of its predecessor, the Nikon D5. The flagship D6 body features Nikon's most advanced autofocus system yet. using 105 all-selectable cross-type sensors with a 1.6x higher density coverage than the D5. The AF system that is used allows for extremely quick and accurate subject acquisition in a variety of shooting modes, including a solid performance even when shooting at 14fps. The imaging structure is built up of a large 20.8 megapixel CMOS sensor and a fast EXPEED 6 Image Processor. Thanks to this, the camera is able to perform incredibly well in adverse light conditions with an ISO range from 100-102400 (ext. 50-3280000). This camera has been built with professional photographers in mind and will meet the demands of any photoshoot.
Nikon extends its range of SnapBridge-compatible cameras with the D5600, a mid-range DSLR designed for hobbyists who want to explore the creative world of photography. Like its predecessor, the D5600 with 18-140mm lens uses the same 3.2" vari-angle touchscreen, 24-megapixel DX-format sensor, EXPEED 4 processor and 39-point AF system. It also comes with a host of new features, including time-lapse ...
The Pentax K-70 Digital SLR Camera Body offers a plethora of advanced, user-friendly features for optimised image quality. This includes a large state-of-the-art 24 megapixel CMOS sensor; the Pentax-developed Pixel Shift Resolution System; an AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator; in-body shake reduction, and an optical viewfinder with almost 100 percent field of view. The camera body, on the other hand, offers a dustproof, weather-resistant, and cold-proof construction making it ideal for outdoor photography and high-action outdoor activity photography.
Digital SLR cameras are designed to meet the needs of photographers and videographers at all ability levels. Whether you’re a total beginner, a seasoned professional or something in between, there will be a DSLR out there for you.
What defines a DSLR? There are a few key criteria that mean a camera qualifies as a DSLR. The main one is a mirror system that enables an optical viewfinder, giving you a real-time eye-level view of the scene before you. While users of mirrorless or compact cameras have to rely on an electronic viewfinder or Live View on the LCD screen, DSLR shooters can view a scene in real-time.
As mentioned, DSLRs also have interchangeable lenses, meaning you can pick your own optics. This does mean you have to factor in some extra cost, and add the price of your chosen DSLR lenses to the DSLR camera body-only price.
DSLRs also tend to be more rugged than other types of camera, with good weatherproofing. This varies by model, so always check before you buy, but it’s a decent rule of thumb that outdoor photographers should consider using a DSLR.
DSLRs have good-sized sensors, which improves their dynamic range compared to a smartphone or cheaper compact camera. Expensive professional models will be full-frame, but even beginner DSLRs tend to be at least APS-C. If you’re finding all this terminology a little confusing, check out our DSLR camera buying guide.
Frequently asked questions
- Can DSLR lenses be used on mirrorless cameras?
Not natively, but there are mount adapters that allow for lenses from different systems to work with different cameras. Be aware that attaching a lens this way often means that certain features like autofocus will not work.
- Is a bridge camera a DSLR?
A bridge camera has a fixed lens and no optical viewfinder, and is classed as a type of compact camera. They are deliberately styled to visually resemble DSLRs however, so the confusion is understandable!
- Can you shoot video with a DSLR camera?
Emphatic yes! DSLR video capture has been getting better and better. The Canon EOS 5D series kickstarted something of a DSLR video resolution in the late 2000s and early 2010s, to the point where there were plenty of Hollywood blockbusters that included DSLR shots! Examples include 2012’s Avengers Assemble and 2014’s Whiplash. These days, DSLRs still shoot fantastic video and are the camera of choice for many filmmakers and video content creators.
- Is it better to have more megapixels?
Potentially, but not necessarily. More megapixels mean more detail in an image, allowing you to get better results from cropping in, and print in larger formats. However, if you don’t need this level of detail, more megapixels can cause more noise (unwanted visual artefacts) in an image.
Video users prefer lower megapixel counts on larger sensors, as they obviously don’t need to worry about printing. It’s all about personal preference and what you’re going to use the camera for!
- Can you use a DSLR camera body as a webcam?
You can! Though, depending on your camera, it might take a little technical know-how. Refer to the manufacturer for more info on your specific model.
The main producers of DSLR cameras are Canon, Nikon and Pentax. Let’s quickly run through what these brands have to offer.
Canon is possibly the best-known name in DSLRs, and produces cameras for users of all abilities. It’s easy to get confused by all the letters and numbers in its camera names – the general rule of thumb is, the fewer numerals a camera has between “EOS” and “D”, the more sophisticated and expensive it is. So, the Canon EOS 2000D is a camera for beginners, and the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III is a camera for professionals.
Best beginner Canon DSLR:
Canon EOS 250D. A great starter camera that lets you grow into it, with useful guide modes to help learn the basics.
Best professional Canon DSLR:
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. Quite simply one of the most capable cameras ever made.
Best Canon DSLR for video:
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. The latest in the line that kicked off the DSLR video revolution (more on this below), with class-leading 4K video capabilities.
Nikon is one of the most popular and enduring manufacturers of DSLRs, beloved by amateurs and professionals alike. Its incredible range of F-mount lenses is one of the best and most comprehensive in the world. Like Canon, Nikon produces cameras for every user from beginner to professional. Once again, the general rule is that fewer numerals in the name equals a more advanced camera.
Best beginner Nikon DSLR:
Nikon D3500. This is one of the best starter DSLRs full-stop, the perfect buy for a photography student.
Best intermediate Nikon DSLR:
Nikon D850. A full-frame wonder that’s great for all genres of photography.
Best professional Nikon DSLR:
Nikon D6. The full-frame flagship for working professionals, with peerless image quality and speed.
Best Nikon DSLR for video:
Nikon D780. A cutting-edge DSLR that inherits its powerful AF system from mirrorless cameras.
A more affordable option for budget users, Pentax Ricoh specialises in cameras with extensive weatherproofing. They’re a good choice for outdoor and landscape photographers.
Best beginner Pentax DSLR:
Pentax K-70. A user-friendly DSLR with a wide array of imaging tools and scene modes.
Best intermediate Pentax DSLR:
Pentax KP. Lightweight and compact, but with powerful imaging technology.
Best professional Pentax DSLR:
Pentax K-1 Mark II. The full-frame flagship of the Pentax range.
Don't forget the accessories!
The best DSLRs can be made even better with accessories! Some are completely essential – you need a good memory card to store your image and videos, for instance. DSLR users also need to make sure they have the lenses they need for whatever type of photography or videography they’re planning.
Other good choices include a tripod, which provides camera stability and enables techniques like long exposures, which aren’t possible shooting handheld. You can check out the full range of camera accessories here.