If you're ready to graduate from a point-and-shoot to take advantage of all the features of a more advanced camera, you'll need a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. What's the best choice when you want to make that switch? Here's a look at five of the most popular DSLR models, based on reader nominations.
Title photo by Luke Ma
Shopping around is essential when buying cameras — prices vary widely (and you can often do better buying from overseas sites). With a DSLR, you'll need to buy both the body and any required lenses, though many stores offer beginner bundles combining the two which can offer considerable savings. Lens mounts typically remain consistent for a given manufacturer, so if you upgrade the camera body later on you can continue to use your lens collection.
Nikon's high-end D800 includes a stack of features and options, and offers unparalleled photo and video quality in a relatively compact and portable frame. It's a 36.3 megapixel model, can shoot photos at four frames per second, and can capture full 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second (fps). It utilises Nikon's F mount so you can use it with a massive array of lenses, and supports both SD and Compact Flash storage options. For more features and specs, check out Gizmodo's review.
The Canon EOS 5D series of cameras premiered in 2005. While we've linked to the year-old Mk III model above, many of you may be more familiar with the older 5D Mk II, which has been around since 2008. The Mk II has a 21.1 megapixel camera, shoots photos at 3.9 frames per second, and can capture full 1080p video. It supports CompactFlash for storage, and uses Canon's EF lens mount. The MK III is a 22.3 megapixel model, shoots at up to 6 frames per second, captures 1080p full HD video, and supports SD or CompactFlash storage. It also uses the EF lens mount. Check out Gizmodo's review of the Mk III.
The 600D was designed as a more affordable alternative to some of Canon's higher-end models. It packs an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, offers continuous shooting at 3.2 frames per second, shoots full HD video at 1080p, supports SD storage, and leverages Canon's widely used EF lens mount so you have access to a huge library of compatible lenses. Many of you nominated it as an incredible bang-for-the-buck model, especially for a budding photographer who shouldn't spend thousands of dollars on a camera before they develop their skills. Read Gizmodo's review here.
The Nikon D600 is a step down from the D800. It sports a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, offers continuous shooting at 5.5 frames per second, captures full 1080p HD video at 30fps, and uses SD cards for storage. It uses Nikon's F mount, so any lenses you may have for other Nikon cameras should work just fine. Many of you nominated it for cramming a number of the D800's better features into a smaller, slimmer body with a considerably lower price tag. Check out Gizmodo's review here.
The EOS 6D is a recent addition to the market, having launched late last year. It's a 20.2 megapixel model with a CMOS sensor, and is the first Canon EOS model to support built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, which let you auto-tag your photos and videos with location and instantly upload them. It supports SD storage, uses Canon's standard EF lens mount, offers continuous shooting at 4.5 frames per second, and records full 1080p HD video. Check out Gizmodo's review here.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favourite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Tell us your own favourite pick (and why it's worth the money) in the comments.