As the end of the year approaches, numerous best-of lists start popping up to illuminate the cream of the crop in DSLR technology. Unlike, say, top 10 lists for books, music, movies, video games or any other number of things, the way they’re done for digital cameras seems to be a little different.
The majority of year-end round-ups that I came across tended to be less defined by the previous twelve months and more focused on a cumulative approach of the best DSLRs on the market right now, regardless of when they were launched to the public. Of course, this includes numerous models that were released within the past year, but in many cases, cameras that have been around for 2 or even 3 years make the cut. Frankly, it’s an approach that works for cameras, since, theoretically, a well-built camera should stand the test of time for at least a few years before something better comes along. So having said all that, what are the best DSLRs on the market today?
Across the board, Canon still seems to hold the crown for top DSLR manufacturer, with numerous models appearing on best-of lists. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV takes the top position for many experts with the conclusion that it’s one of the most complete DSLRs ever made. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering the 5D series has always been something of a gold standard, but this year’s Mark IV model really takes the cake, with a 30MP full-frame image sensor and a 61-point autofocus to up your photography game. 7fps continuous shooting, 4K video capabilities and a stunning optical viewfinder are only a few other things that add to the quality.
Since the 5D Mark IV is generally for more expert photographers and can be quite expensive, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 18-55mm SLR shows up on several lists as the camera that can give you the best bang for your buck. Introduced a couple of years ago, the Rebel T5 is noteworthy for being a perfect entry point for beginners while keeping a consistent level of quality. The 18MP sensor gives you crisp imagery that is usually only seen on higher-priced models. It also boasts a user-friendly design and ways to adjust ISO, shutter speed, aperture, exposure and much more with ease.
If another company were to seriously compete for Canon’s dominance, however, it would be Nikon. They also have a number of cameras that pop up on best-of lists, particularly the newly released Nikon D5. Introduced back in the summer, the latest top-tier camera from Nikon has a 20MP full-frame image sensor and a fast 153-point autofocus system. It’s got a large body but you can be guaranteed that it’s tough and will stand the test of time.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for something a little less daunting, the more compact Nikon D500 shows up as well. Released at the beginning of the summer, it still has a solid build with a high ISO image quality. There’s also an advanced edge-to-edge autofocus system and a large buffer for extended shooting. It’s definitely the go-to this year for a top-notch APS-C SLR.
Beyond Canon and Nikon, Sony also shows up on a few lists with their Alpha 77 II from a couple of years ago. If you want a fast autofocus system, the Alpha is the way to go, with the added bonus of shooting at 12fps.
If you’re looking into getting a new camera, now is certainly the most informative time of the year to do so. Look up some lists yourself and keep an eye out for models that start popping up more than once.