Page: 5 of 7
In this report

Semi-pro DSLRs for serious enthusiasts

These $3,500-and-under DSLRs offer the same full-frame image sensors as their $6,000-plus, top-of-the-line siblings. They don't shoot as speedily and aren't quite as rock-solid durable, but they'll save you thousands of dollars.

Nikon rules this class right now with two new cameras that have critics' full attention. A headline-grabbing 36.3 megapixels -- the most ever on a 35 mm format DSLR and 50 percent more than its nearest rivals -- makes the Nikon D800 (Est. $2,800 body only) the hottest semi-pro DSLR in reviews. Of course, it takes more than megapixels to create great photos, and experts say the D800 delivers. "The results from the D800 will blow you away" with staggering detail and a vast tonal range that looks great blown up giant-size, says Phil Hall at WhatDigitalCamera.com. True, that monster megapixel count takes a bit of a toll on shooting speed and low-light prowess, but those are small sacrifices, he says. Others agree wholeheartedly: The D800 is the most often recommended pro DSLR at any price.

Still, it's nearly a tie between the Nikon D800 and its archrival, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Est. $3,400 (body only)) . The Nikon inches ahead thanks to its jaw-dropping resolution, but the Canon shoots faster and handles dim light better. With 61 points, the EOS 5D Mark III's autofocus system is "extraordinary," and the high quality of its video makes the camera a choice for serious videographers.

Meanwhile, the competing Nikon D600 (Est. $1500 (body only)) has spawned an entirely new category: budget pro DSLR. The D600 has a full-frame sensor and includes many of the features of more expensive Nikon DSLR cameras, including dual memory slots. However, after only one year on the market, the D600 has a successor: the remarkably similar Nikon D610 (Est. $1700 (body only)) . The D610 has a new shutter mechanism that provides faster continuous shooting with a quiet shooting option. Reviewers speculate that this change also address the "oil on the shutter" problem users identified with the D600.

image
Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $2,999.95 $2,996.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $3,999.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D600 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,899.95 $1,549.09   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D610 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,999.95 $1,896.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

Digital SLR Cameras Runners Up:

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Est. $3,400 (body only)

6 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Pentax K-50 Est. $610 (with kit lens)

5 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon EOS 70D Est. $1050 (body only)

4 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Pentax K-5 II Est. $925 (with kit lens)

4 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D5100 Est. $480 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Sony Alpha A77 Est. $1,050 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D600 Est. $1500 (body only)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, CNET…

Canon EOS Rebel T5i Est. $650 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D5300 Est. $1000 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D610 Est. $1700 (body only)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Pentax K-3 Est. $1450 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Sony Alpha A58 Est. $450 (with kit lens)

3 picks including: DPReview.com, CNET…

Canon EOS 60D Est. $1,100 (with kit lens)

2 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D3100 Est. $400 (with kit lens)

2 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Nikon D7000 Est. $1,000 (with kit lens)

2 picks including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Est. $695 (with kit lens)

1 pick including: Amazon.com, DPReview.com…

Canon EOS Rebel T3 Est. $495 (with kit lens)

1 pick including: Amazon.com, CNET…

image
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $3,999.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with DA L 18-55mm WR f3.5-5.6 Lens (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $779.95 $525.89   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Body Only)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,199.00 $1,099.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Pentax K-5 II 16.3 MP DSLR DA 18-135mm WR lens kit (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,449.95 $991.12   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $649.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,399.99   
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D600 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,899.95 $1,549.09   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Canon Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera and 18-55mm EF-S IS STM Lens Kit
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $849.00 $749.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,299.95 $1,046.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D610 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,999.95 $1,896.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Pentax K-3 lens kit w/ 18-135mm WR 24MP SLR Camera with 3.2-Inch TFT LCD and 18-135mm WR f 3.5-5.6 (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,649.95 $1,310.19   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Sony SLT-A58K Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm Zoom Lens, 20.1MP SLR Camera with 2.7 -Inch LCD Screen (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $599.99 $448.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $429.95 $350.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (DISCONTINUED)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $599.00 $528.49   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

Back to top