Digital Cameras

2014 Entry-Level to Enthusiast DSLR Comparison Guide

2014 Entry-Level to Enthusiast...
Gizmag compares the specifications and features of some of the best entry-level to enthusiast DSLRs available in 2014
Gizmag compares the specifications and features of some of the best entry-level to enthusiast DSLRs available in 2014
View 127 Images
Even entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T5 or Nikon D3300 are considerably bigger than many mirrorless cameras The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparisonEnthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
1/127
Even entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T5 or Nikon D3300 are considerably bigger than many mirrorless cameras The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparisonEnthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparisonEnthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
2/127
The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparisonEnthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
Enthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
3/127
Enthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
Even the lightest DSLR in our line-up, the Nikon D3300 weighs 460 g before you've even mounted a lensThese weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs aroundThe size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
4/127
Even the lightest DSLR in our line-up, the Nikon D3300 weighs 460 g before you've even mounted a lensThese weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs aroundThe size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
These weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs aroundThe size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
5/127
These weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs aroundThe size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
The size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
6/127
The size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
Even these entry-level DSLRs feel solidMetal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdyThe Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
7/127
Even these entry-level DSLRs feel solidMetal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdyThe Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
Metal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdyThe Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
8/127
Metal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdyThe Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
The Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
9/127
The Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
10/127
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
11/127
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
12/127
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of the DSLRs in out selection come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixelThese resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed imagesNone of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
13/127
All of the DSLRs in out selection come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixelThese resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed imagesNone of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
These resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed images
14/127
These resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed images
None of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
15/127
None of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
The Nikon D3300 and D5300 both use the Expeed 4 image-processing engineThe Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
16/127
The Nikon D3300 and D5300 both use the Expeed 4 image-processing engineThe Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
The Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
17/127
The Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
18/127
With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
Each of these cameras features the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturerThere are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR camerasThe Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
19/127
Each of these cameras features the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturerThere are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR camerasThe Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
There are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR camerasThe Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
20/127
There are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR camerasThe Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
The Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
21/127
The Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
Entry-level and intermediate DSLRs are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalentCanon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
22/127
Entry-level and intermediate DSLRs are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalentCanon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalentCanon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
23/127
D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalentCanon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
Canon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
24/127
Canon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocusThe Nikon D7100 has 51 focus pointsWhile the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
25/127
All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocusThe Nikon D7100 has 51 focus pointsWhile the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus pointsWhile the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
26/127
The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus pointsWhile the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
While the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
27/127
While the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
The entry-level DSLRs do not have the burst shooting speed of the higher-end modelsThe Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per secondThe top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
28/127
The entry-level DSLRs do not have the burst shooting speed of the higher-end modelsThe Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per secondThe top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
The Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per secondThe top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
29/127
The Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per secondThe top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
The top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
30/127
The top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent yearsThese figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond thisDespite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
31/127
ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent yearsThese figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond thisDespite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
These figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond thisDespite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
32/127
These figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond thisDespite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
Despite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
33/127
Despite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
All of the DSLRs in our comparison are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p videoOur line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720pNot even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
34/127
All of the DSLRs in our comparison are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p videoOur line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720pNot even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
Our line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720pNot even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
35/127
Our line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720pNot even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
Not even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
36/127
Not even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengthsImage stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-heldWhile most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
37/127
Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengthsImage stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-heldWhile most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
Image stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-heldWhile most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
38/127
Image stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-heldWhile most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
39/127
While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of viewOf the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of viewThe viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
40/127
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of viewOf the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of viewThe viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of viewThe viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
41/127
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of viewThe viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
42/127
The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
The Canon Rebel T5 has the lowest monitor resolution of the bunchIt's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
43/127
The Canon Rebel T5 has the lowest monitor resolution of the bunchIt's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
It's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
44/127
It's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
45/127
The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
46/127
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
47/127
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
48/127
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still filesAll of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still filesAll of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
49/127
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still filesAll of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still filesAll of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still filesAll of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
50/127
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still filesAll of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
51/127
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cardsThe Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slotsThe Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
52/127
All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cardsThe Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slotsThe Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
The Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slotsThe Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
53/127
The Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slotsThe Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
The Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
54/127
The Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in wireless and GPS abilitiesThese DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cardsThe Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
55/127
The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in wireless and GPS abilitiesThese DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cardsThe Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
These DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cardsThe Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
56/127
These DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cardsThe Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
The Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
57/127
The Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
All of these DSLRs should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single chargeThe Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
58/127
All of these DSLRs should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single chargeThe Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single chargeThe Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
59/127
The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single chargeThe Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
The Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
60/127
The Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
The entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation cameraMid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-onlyEnthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
61/127
The entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation cameraMid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-onlyEnthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-onlyEnthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
62/127
Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-onlyEnthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
Enthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
63/127
Enthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
Gizmag compares the specifications and features of some of the best entry-level to enthusiast DSLRs available in 2014
64/127
Gizmag compares the specifications and features of some of the best entry-level to enthusiast DSLRs available in 2014
All of the DSLRs in out selection come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixel
65/127
All of the DSLRs in out selection come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixel
These resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed images
66/127
These resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed images
None of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
67/127
None of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
Even the lightest DSLR in our line-up, the Nikon D3300 weighs 460 g before you've even mounted a lens
68/127
Even the lightest DSLR in our line-up, the Nikon D3300 weighs 460 g before you've even mounted a lens
These weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs around
69/127
These weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs around
The size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
70/127
The size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
Entry-level and intermediate DSLRs are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value
71/127
Entry-level and intermediate DSLRs are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value
D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalent
72/127
D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalent
Canon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
73/127
Canon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
74/127
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
75/127
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
76/127
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
Even entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T5 or Nikon D3300 are considerably bigger than many mirrorless cameras
77/127
Even entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T5 or Nikon D3300 are considerably bigger than many mirrorless cameras
The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparison
78/127
The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparison
Enthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
79/127
Enthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
The entry-level DSLRs do not have the burst shooting speed of the higher-end models
80/127
The entry-level DSLRs do not have the burst shooting speed of the higher-end models
The Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per second
81/127
The Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per second
The top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
82/127
The top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
83/127
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
84/127
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
85/127
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
Each of these cameras features the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturer
86/127
Each of these cameras features the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturer
There are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR cameras
87/127
There are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR cameras
The Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
88/127
The Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
The Nikon D3300 and D5300 both use the Expeed 4 image-processing engine
89/127
The Nikon D3300 and D5300 both use the Expeed 4 image-processing engine
The Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2
90/127
The Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2
With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
91/127
With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in wireless and GPS abilities
92/127
The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in wireless and GPS abilities
These DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cards
93/127
These DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cards
The Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
94/127
The Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
95/127
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
96/127
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
97/127
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
98/127
All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
The Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slots
99/127
The Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slots
The Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
100/127
The Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
All of these DSLRs should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge
101/127
All of these DSLRs should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge
The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single charge
102/127
The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single charge
The Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
103/127
The Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent years
104/127
ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent years
These figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond this
105/127
These figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond this
Despite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
106/127
Despite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengths
107/127
Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengths
Image stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-held
108/127
Image stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-held
While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
109/127
While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
All of the DSLRs in our comparison are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video
110/127
All of the DSLRs in our comparison are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video
Our line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720p
111/127
Our line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720p
Not even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
112/127
Not even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
Even these entry-level DSLRs feel solid
113/127
Even these entry-level DSLRs feel solid
Metal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdy
114/127
Metal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdy
The Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
115/127
The Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view
116/127
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view
117/127
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view
The Canon Rebel T5 has the lowest monitor resolution of the bunch
118/127
The Canon Rebel T5 has the lowest monitor resolution of the bunch
It's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3
119/127
It's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3
The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
120/127
The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
121/127
The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocus
122/127
All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocus
The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus points
123/127
The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus points
While the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
124/127
While the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type
The entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation camera
125/127
The entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation camera
Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-only
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Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-only
Enthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
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Enthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens

So you're thinking about getting a new DSLR. Maybe it'll be your first interchangeable lens camera, or you might have been using one for years, but want to scratch the upgrade itch. Either way, we should have you covered with Gizmag's 2014 comparison of the specifications and features of some of the best DSLRs on the market from entry-level to enthusiast models.

In this guide we'll be looking at a range of cameras, some are intended as your first DSLR, while others are designed for demanding experienced photographers who know exactly what they want out of camera. They're not all aimed at the same audience, but instead represent what we've deemed to be some of the best DSLRs available for different levels of user.

To do this we had to limit our selection. For example, we've not included an entry-level Sony camera, and we didn't have space for the very able intermediate-focused EOS 700D. This is not a slight on those cameras, or any others we've omitted, but a sign of how many great DSLRs there are out there at the moment. You may also notice there are no full frame DSLRs included, this is because they'll battle it out in a separate upcoming article.

The cameras we'll be comparing are:

For each category there are three rows of images, in the same order as the list above. So if you lose track of which is which, you can always just zip back here to double check.

Size

Even entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T5 or Nikon D3300 are considerably bigger than many mirrorless cameras
Even entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T5 or Nikon D3300 are considerably bigger than many mirrorless cameras

The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparison
The Pentax K-S1 is the smallest DSLR in our comparison

Enthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models
Enthusiast-focused DSLRs like the Canon 7D Mark 2 are much bigger than beginner models

The general rule of thumb when it comes to DSLR size, is that the further a camera is up the manufacture's line-up, the bigger it will be. This is because higher-end models tend to be sturdier and include more controls.

This can be seen in the size of the Canon 7D Mark 2 compared with the entry-level models. The exception is that the smallest camera in our line-up is the mid-range and intermediate-focused Pentax K-S1.

Weight

Even the lightest DSLR in our line-up, the Nikon D3300 weighs 460 g before you've even mounted a lens
Even the lightest DSLR in our line-up, the Nikon D3300 weighs 460 g before you've even mounted a lens

These weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs around
These weights mean you are going to notice carrying any of theses DSLRs around

The size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models
The size and construction of these enthusiast DSLRs makes them heavier than lower-end models

It will come as no surprise that the bigger DSLRs also tend to weigh the most, with the Canon 7D Mark 2 coming in at a mighty 910 g before you've added a lens.

Even the smaller cameras in our line-up, like the Nikon D3300 and Canon Rebel T5 are considerably heavier than many compact and mirrorless cameras.

Build

Even these entry-level DSLRs feel solid
Even these entry-level DSLRs feel solid

Metal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdy
Metal construction makes cameras like the Pentax K3 feel very sturdy

The Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour
The Canon 7D Mark 2 is weather sealed, meaning you could use it even in a downpour

Looking at the materials used, it's clear that the higher-end models of DSLR are designed to take a lot more abuse with their metal construction and weather sealing.

However, even the smaller entry-level cameras will feel more solid in your hands than most compact cameras, though you won't want to use one in a downpour.

Sensor size

All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors

All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors

All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors
All of these DSLRs use APS-C size sensors

APS-C sensors across the board mean that physical sensor size isn't going to help you pick between these cameras.

Megapixel count

All of the DSLRs in out selection come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixel
All of the DSLRs in out selection come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixel

These resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed images
These resolutions are plenty to achieve highly detailed images

None of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files
None of thses DSLRs have resolutions that will produce monstrously large computer-crippling files

All of these DSLRs come in between 18 and 24.4-megapixels. This means they will all be capable of producing highly detailed images, while not giving you monstrously large computer-crippling files to deal with.

Processor

The Nikon D3300 and D5300 both use the Expeed 4 image-processing engine
The Nikon D3300 and D5300 both use the Expeed 4 image-processing engine

The Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2
The Pentax K3 uses the Prime III processor, while the K-S1 gets the Prime M 2

With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands
With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it can be hard know how they actually compare across brands

With each manufacturer using their own image processors, it is hard to compare them across brands. That said, you can identify which cameras use the newer ones in a manufacturers line-up.

For example, the enthusiast-focused Nikon D7100 uses the Expeed 3 image-processing engine, while the entry-level D3300 and intermediate D5300 get the newer Expeed 4.

Lens mount

Each of these cameras features the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturer
Each of these cameras features the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturer

There are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR cameras
There are plenty of lenses available for all of these DSLR cameras

The Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses
The Sony A77 II uses Sony A mount lenses

Again there are no big surprises here, with each of the cameras featuring the lens mount you would expect from its manufacturer. This means if you're already invested in one system, you'll probably be inclined to stick with it rather than having to sell your lenses and buy new ones again.

In addition to the lenses that are currently available for each mount, there are also plenty of older ones which are no longer in production, but which can still do a very good job, often at a fraction of the price. However, you'll want to check which features (such as autofocus and metering) they are compatible with on different cameras.

Kit lens

Entry-level and intermediate DSLRs are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value
Entry-level and intermediate DSLRs are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value

D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalent
D7100 kit lens covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalent

Canon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only
Canon's 70D and 7D Mark 2, along with the Sony A77 II are typically available body-only

While higher-end DSLRs typically come body-only, entry-level and intermediate cameras are often available with a kit lens, which can offer great value and gives you something to get shooting with before you decided which lens to buy next.

The majority of the kit lenses offered with these cameras are 18-55-mm (offering a 28-88-mm equivalent) with a F3.6-F5.6 maximum variable aperture. The only exception to this is the D7100 kit lens which stretches longer and covers 18-105-mm, giving it a 28-168-mm equivalent.

Autofocus

All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocus
All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocus

The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus points
The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus points

The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus points
The Nikon D7100 has 51 focus points

All of the DSLRs in our line-up feature phase-detection autofocus, which is one of the things which traditionally makes these cameras faster than mirrorless alternatives.

The higher end models feature more focus points which means you can better autofocus on subjects spread around the frame (without having to focus and recompose) and track moving subjects. While the Sony A77 II has the most focus points with 79, only 15 are the better cross-type. All 65 autofocus points on the Canon 7D M2 are cross type.

The two higher-end Canon models also feature Dual Pixel autofocus which gives them the edge when autofocusing while recording video or shooting stills in live view mode.

Burst rate

The entry-level DSLRs do not have the burst shooting speed of the higher-end models
The entry-level DSLRs do not have the burst shooting speed of the higher-end models

The Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per second
The Nikon D7100 can shoot at 6 frames per second

The top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects
The top speeds of the Sony A77 II and Canon 7D M2 should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects

Because DSLRs use flapping mirrors when taking photographs (the exception here being the Sony A77 II which is technically a SLT with its Translucent Mirror Technology) entry-level and mid-range ones tend to lag behind mirrorless cameras when it comes to burst speed shooting.

This can be seen in cameras like the Canon Rebel T5 and the lower-end Nikons which can only muster speeds of three and five frames per second.

That said, by the time you reach the likes of the Sony A77 II and the Canon 7D M2 their top speeds should be quick enough to capture all but the fastest moving of subjects.

ISO

ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent years
ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent years

These figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond this
These figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond this

Despite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200
Despite its recommended ISO range, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200

ISO performance and the ability to shoot in lower light conditions is an area in which camera manufacturers have made great improvements in in recent years, as these ISO ranges show.

It's worth noting that these figures are the recommended ISO ranges and most of the cameras can shoot beyond this. For example, the Canon 7D M2 can be expanded to ISO 51,200, but going beyond the recommended range is always going to result in more noise and loss of color in images.

Video recording

All of the DSLRs in our comparison are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video
All of the DSLRs in our comparison are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video

Our line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720p
Our line-up of DSLRs can often shoot at higher frame-rates if dropping the resolution to 720p

Not even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video
Not even the top-end of our DSLR line-up can shoot 4K video

All of these DSLRs are capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video, though at different frame-rates. However, some users will no doubt be disappointed that 4K does not feature on any of the spec sheets … we'll be surprised if it hasn't made an appearance by this time next year.

Image stabilization

Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengths
Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengths

Image stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-held
Image stabilization comes in handy when shooting hand-held

While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction
While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, this Pentax duo feature sensor-shift shake reduction

Image stabilization is a great thing to have if you're shooting either at slower shutter speeds or long telephoto focal lengths, where it can be hard to hand-hold a shot without suffering wobble-induced blur.

While most DSLRs rely on lens-based stabilization, our Pentax duo and the Sony feature sensor-shift shake reduction, which means you don't need stabilized lenses.

Viewfinder

Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view

Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view
Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view

The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic
The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic

The viewfinder on the Sony A77 II stands out here for the reason that it's electronic, rather than the traditional optical type. This is because the camera is technically an SLT that uses Translucent Mirror Technology.

Of the optical viewfinders it's worth noting that not all offer a 100 percent field of view, meaning that when shooting with some, the recorded image will be slightly wider than that seen in the viewfinder.

Monitor

The Canon Rebel T5 has the lowest monitor resolution of the bunch
The Canon Rebel T5 has the lowest monitor resolution of the bunch

It's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3
It's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3

The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen
The Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen

Interestingly it's not the most expensive DSLRs in our selection which have the biggest screens, that honor instead goes to the Nikon D5300, D7100 and Pentax K3.

In terms of screen resolution the cameras are again comparable with the exception of the Canon Rebel T5. While the Nikon D7100 and Sony A77 II have bigger dot counts, this is because they use additional white pixels to achieve brighter screens, rather than having substantially more detailed ones.

The monitors on the Nikon D5300, Canon 70D and Sony A77 II can all be angled to make them easier to use in unusual shooting positions, while the Canon 70D is the only offering here to use a touchscreen.

Flash

As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes

As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes

As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes
As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes

As you would expect of a DSLR lineup like this, all of these cameras have built-in flashes and hot-shoes.

File types

All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files

All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files

All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files
All of these DSLRs can shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files

It would have been disappointing if these cameras hadn't been able to shoot both JPEG and the more post-processing friendly RAW still files.

Storage media

All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards

The Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slots
The Nikon D7100 and Pentax K3 both feature dual SD card slots

The Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash
The Canon 7D M2 has dual card slots, one SD and one CompactFlash

All of these cameras can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. However, the Nikon D7100, Pentax K3 and Canon 7D M2 include dual slots so that users can increase storage, instantly backup as they shoot, or record stills to one card and video to another. The Canon feature one SD slot and one CompactFlash. The single card slot on the Sony A77 II can take either SD or Memory Stick cards.

Wireless capabilities

The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in wireless and GPS abilities
The Nikon D5300 comes with built-in wireless and GPS abilities

These DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cards
These DSLRs can gain wireless abilities with adapters or special SD cards

The Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities
The Canon 70D and Sony A77 II come with built-in wireless abilities

Though only three of these DSLRs – the Nikon D5300, Canon 70D and Sony A77 II – come with Wi-Fi baked-in, most can gain some sort of wireless ability with optional adapters or special SD cards.

This makes it easier to quickly share images, or even remotely control the cameras via a smart device. The Nikon D5300 and Canon 7D M2 also feature built-in GPS for geo-tagging images.

Battery life

All of these DSLRs should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge
All of these DSLRs should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge

The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single charge
The Nikon D7100 has the stamina to last for around 950 shots on a single charge

The Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge
The Canon 70D will last for around 920 shots on a single charge

The number speak for themselves and all of these cameras should last for a good number of shots on a full battery charge. But it's the Nikon D7100 and Canon 70D that really stand out when it comes to stamina and should be good for around 950 and 920 shots.

Price

The entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation camera
The entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation camera

Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-only
Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-only

Enthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens
Enthusiast DSLRs tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens

As you can see the entry-point for beginners into the DSLR fun is currently around the US$500 mark for a new current generation camera, with the Canon Rebel T5 and Nikon D3300 being the easiest on the wallet. Once you get to enthusiast-focused cameras you're looking more at the $1,000 to $1,800 price bracket.

Entry-level DSLRs tend to come bundled with kit lenses, because if you are buying this level camera the chances are you don't already have an arsenal of glass at your disposal. Mid-range DSLRs can be had either with kit lenses or body-only, and enthusiast models tend to be available body-only, though that's not to say you can't find them bundled with a lens.

Summing up ...

If you're just starting out and looking for your first DSLR, you really can't go wrong with any of the entry-level or intermediate cameras included here. While ones like the Canon Rebel T5 and Nikon D3300 will help you to learn your way around a DSLR a bit easier, offerings like the Nikon D5300 or Pentax K-S1 might give you a little more room to grow as a photographer.

For people looking upgrade from their current entry-level or intermediate DSLR, we'd normally suggest moving up the line-up, rather than opting for a newer camera at the same level. For example, if you already have a Nikon D3200, the D3300 isn't going to be that much of an upgrade, and you might be better off looking at the D5300, or even D7100.

If you're looking at an enthusiast level camera, the chances are you've already invested in a specific DSLR system and will therefore mostly be focusing on models from the same manufacturer, rather than having to replace all of your lenses too. Unless a camera from a rival manufacturer offers something your current brand can't, that is. On that note, while Sony and Canon introduced the A77 II and 7D M2 this year, Nikon fans are still waiting on the elusive D400, with its current APS-C DSLR line-up topping out with the D7100.

There's also the question of whether you should be upgrading your camera anyway. Unless you need a new camera for a specific feature you need or want, have you considered whether new lenses would be a better bet? You might find that investing in glass widens your shooting options more than a new camera body could, and allows you to do more. There's always our lens guide if you're wondering what glass to buy next.

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