2014 Entry-Level to Enthusiast DSLR Comparison Guide
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:
- Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D
- Nikon D3300
- Nikon D5300
- Pentax K-S1
- Nikon D7100
- Pentax K3
- Canon 70D
- Sony A77 II
- Canon 7D M2
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.
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.
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.
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.
APS-C sensors across the board mean that physical sensor size isn't going to help you pick between these cameras.
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.