Best DSLR Cameras 2014

Best DSLR Cameras 2014

DSLR cameras are the best of the best—they have the most megapixels, largest sensors, highest quality lenses, and allow for the most manual control. The majority of DSLRs on the market in 2014 have APS-C format image sensors, which are smaller than full-frame cameras but still relatively large. Full-frame DSLRs have extra large sensors equivalent to 35mm film and are used by most top professionals. Both Nikon and Canon recently introduced “budget” full-frame DSLRs to appeal to a broader base of consumers.

 

Entry-Level DSLRs

The D3300 was Nikon’s big DSLR announcement to kick off 2014, and although the improvements are subtle, they should really hit the sweet spot among consumers. First, Nikon removed the optical low pass filter for better sharpness. Second, they added Nikon’s newest EXPEED 4 image processing engine to reduce noise. Finally, Nikon lightened the camera body slightly and cut the weight of the new 18-55mm VR II kit lens by 20%. This means the Nikon D3300 offers improved image quality in a lightweight set-up to rival a mirrorless camera. For those looking to save, the older Nikon D3200 currently is a good value.
Megapixels: 24.2
Sensor Size: 357 sq. mm
Weight: 15.1 oz.
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Nikon D5200Nikon D5200 ($697 with 18-55mm lens)
For those entering the market, the Nikon D5200 is a powerhouse DSLR available at a reasonable price point. The D5200 boasts a 24.1-megapixel sensor and a number of popular features you won’t find on the D3300 like in-camera HDR and panorama modes, a flip-out screen for movies, and advanced 39-point autofocus. This DSLR is easy-to-use with a number of automatic shooting but still offers more manual control for those who want it. The new Nikon D5300 has built-in Wi-Fi and does not have an optical low pass filter, but if these features aren’t important to you, we recommend saving with the D5200.
Megapixels: 24.1
Sensor Size: 366 sq. mm
Weight: 17.8 oz.
Lenses: See Best Lenses for Nikon D5200
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The popular Canon Rebel series cameras have stood the test of time as quality entry-level DSLRs. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is the newest in the Rebel line—the most notable improvement is the new 18-55mm STM kit lens, which has continuous live video autofocus and better optics than the kit lens sold with the older Canon Rebel T4i. If video isn’t a major consideration, the T4i has very similar specs and is slightly cheaper. Both Canon Rebel models (as well as earlier versions) are excellent DSLR cameras for beginners. 
Megapixels: 18
Sensor size: 332 sq. mm
Weight: 20.5 oz.
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"Prosumer" DSLRs

Nikon D710Nikon D7100 ($1,097)
The Nikon D7100 is Nikon’s leading DX-format camera and boasts outstanding image quality and build. Compared to the Nikon 5200 above, the D7100 shoots faster, has a more advanced autofocus, performs better in low light, and is weather sealed. With many of the bells and whistles of an advanced camera, the D7100 is an enthusiast's crop-frame DSLR and a great option for travel and the outdoors. The D7100 was the first Nikon DX-format camera to omit an optical low-pass filter for better sharpness, and based on its success, a number of recent Nikon models have followed suit (see the Nikon D3300 and D5300).
Megapixels: 24.1
Sensor Size: 366 sq. mm
Weight: 27 oz.
Lenses: See Best Lenses for Nikon D7100
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Canon EOS 70DCanon EOS 70D ($999)
Canon’s leading APS-C format camera is the 20.2-megapixel Canon EOS 70D. This “prosumer” DSLR is similar in specifications to the Nikon D7100 above but has a flip-out screen, built-in Wi-Fi, and continuous focus for video. One weakness of the Canon 70D—as well as the full-frame Canon 6D below—is a relatively unsophisticated autofocus (the 70D has only 19 focus points). It’s still a great camera, but those who frequently shoot action or video should take this into consideration. For those looking to save, the older Canon EOS 60D is a popular camera currently selling at a big discount.
Megapixels: 20.2
Sensor Size: 337.5 sq. mm
Weight: 26.6 oz.
Lenses: See Best Lenses for Canon 70D
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Full-Frame DSLRs

Nikon D610Nikon D610 ($1,897)
The Nikon D610 is Nikon’s flagship "budget" full-frame DSLR and an impressive all-around performer. The camera features a 24.3-megapixel image sensor, 39-point autofocus, Full HD 1080p video, a built-in flash, and dual memory card slots. The Nikon D610 replaced the controversial Nikon D600, which suffered from an unusual accumulation of dust and dirt on the camera's sensor. Nikon has attempted—and seemingly succeeded—to remedy the problem by sealing all joints on the D610 for dust and water resistance to the standards of the more expensive Nikon D800.
Megapixels: 24.3
Sensor Size: 861 sq. mm
Weight: 30 oz.
Best Lenses: See Best Lenses for Nikon D610
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Canon EOS 6DCanon EOS 6D ($1,699)
The Canon EOS 6D is Canon’s answer to the Nikon D610 above: an affordable full-frame DSLR. In fact, the Canon 6D is hitting the sweet spot among consumers and enthusiasts with excellent image quality, Full HD 1080p video, and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. Weaknesses of the 6D are its number of focus points (11 vs. 39 on the Nikon D610) and megapixels (20.2 vs. 24.3 on the Nikon 610), making it slightly inferior for action and video. But the Canon 6D also is cheaper and lighter than the D610, making it a winner for consumers looking to enter the full-frame market at a reasonable price point.
Megapixels: 20.2
Weight: 26.8 oz.
Lenses: See Best Lenses for Canon 6D
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Nikon D800

Nikon D800 ($2,997)
The full-frame 36.3-megapixel Nikon D800 is Nikon's highest resolution camera ever and can produce outstanding image and video quality in almost all conditions. It's currently a leading choice among many top professionals (the faster Nikon D4 is best for sports and action photography). For years, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II led the pack and Nikon was stuck on the 12-megapixel D700. Nikon made a huge jump to the D800 (Canon’s release of EOS 5D Mark III was less impressive) and the image quality and resolution now surpass all other full-frame DSLRs. At 31.7 ounces, it also weighs slightly less than the Canon 5D Mark III.
Megapixels: 36.3
Sensor Size: 861 sq. mm
Weight: 31.7 oz.
Best Lenses: See Best Lenses for Nikon D800
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Canon EOS 5D Mark III (3,399)Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The 22.3-megapixel Canon EOS 5D Mark III is Canon's top full-frame camera and a popular choice among professionals. For the majority of uses, there are few discernable differences in quality between it and the D800 above. If you plan on enlarging photographs to massive proportions, the difference in image quality between the 22.3 megapixels of the Canon 5D Mark III and 36.3 megapixels of the Nikon D800 will start to become apparent at multiple feet wide. What are the advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III over the Nikon D800? The Canon 5D Mark III is faster both in frames-per-second (6 fps vs. 4 fps) and shutter lag. And if you prefer Canon functionality over Nikon, the Mark III is a great choice.
Megapixels: 22.3
Sensor Size: 862 sq. mm
Weight: 33.5 oz.
Best Lenses: See Best Lenses for Canon 5D Mark III
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