Best DSLR Cameras 2014
Best DSLR Cameras 2014
DSLR cameras still are the best of the best—they have the largest sensors, most megapixels, and highest quality selection of lenses. Below we break down the leading digital SLRs on the market in 2014. The entry-level and prosumer models have crop-frame image sensors (DX for Nikon or APS-C for Canon), which means that the field of view is smaller than a full-frame 35mm format. These cameras also have and a number of automatic and manual shooting modes for learning and experimenting as you become more comfortable. Most professional photographers shoot with full-frame cameras, which have the largest image sensors and most megapixels but are considerably more expensive.
Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Nikon D3300
Sensor Size: 366 sq. mm
Weight: 16.9 oz.
Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Nikon D5300
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 below 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 currently selling at a big discount.
Sensor Size: 337.5 sq. mm
Weight: 26.6 oz.
Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Canon 70D
Nikon D7100 ($947)
The Nikon D7100 is Nikon’s leading DX-format camera and boasts outstanding image quality and build. Compared to the Nikon 5300 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.
Sensor Size: 366 sq. mm
Weight: 27 oz.
Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Nikon D7100
Full-Frame DSLRsCanon EOS 6D ($1,899)
The two leading choices in the relatively new entry-level full-frame DSLR market are the Canon EOS 6D and the Nikon D750 below. The Canon 6D is a terrific camera that boasts excellent image quality, Full HD 1080p video, and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. What are the weaknesses of the 6D? The number of focus points (11 vs. 51 on the D750) and megapixels (20.2 vs. 24.3 on the D750), making it inferior for fast-paced action and video. But the 6D also is cheaper, and it's a nice option for those looking to enter the full-frame market at a reasonable price point. You can’t really go wrong with either camera, but if you mainly shoot stills, we recommend saving with the 6D.
Weight: 27.2 oz.
Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Canon 6D
Canon EOS 5D Mark III (3,399)
The 22.3-megapixel Canon EOS 5D Mark III is Canon's top full-frame DSLR and a popular choice among professionals. For the majority of uses, there are few discernable differences in quality between it and the D810 below. 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 D810 will start to become apparent at multiple feet wide. What are the advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III over the Nikon D810? 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.
Sensor Size: 862 sq. mm
Weight: 33.5 oz.
Best Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon D810 ($3,297)
The D810 is the long-awaited successor to the D800 and a very impressive camera indeed. With the D810 you get the same powerful 36.3-megapixel full-frame image sensor at the D800, but new is the lack of an antialiasing filter for better sharpness, an upgraded Expeed 4 image processor, faster shooting at 5 frames-per-second instead of 4, a longer battery life, and an improved grip. The D800 is excellent in its own right, but the D810 is a worthy upgrade that quickly has become a favorite of top professionals. Of course, the cost is prohibitive to some, and you expect to spend a healthy amount more for FX lenses that measure up to the D810’s monster sensor.
Sensor Size: 861 sq. mm
Weight: 31.1 oz.
Best Lenses: See our Best Lenses for Nikon D810
What About Mirrorless?
Some of the product links on Switchbacktravel.com are affiliate links, meaning that we may receive a small commission on purchases. All of our recommendations are made independent of affiliate relationships. See more on How to Support Us.