DSLR Buyers Guide

Digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras closely follow the design of traditional film-based SLR cameras, except they are usually packed with enough technology and innovations to tackle most any situation a professional or talented amateur would encounter. While these cameras have undergone some radical design changes over the past few years, they are typically heavier and more feature rich than other camera types.

The biggest design difference in DSLRs is their use of a mirror to reflect the light entering a lens up into a viewfinder. The result is a totally accurate view of what the lens sees and what the digital sensors in the camera record, including focus and depth of field. Since you can view the target scene through an optical viewfinder, a DSLR feels and functions much like its film-based predecessor.

One other major feature of DSLRs is the ability to easily change lenses to meet most any shooting situation. A wide range of lenses are available for every lens mount – including those with extremely long focal lengths.

Other key features of a DSLR include very large, high-resolution light sensors which can produce brighter, sharper and cleaner images and more accurate color reproduction; a fast response and recycling time, that allows capturing bursts of images at speeds of 10 frames per second or more; and more accurate auto focus.

All of these advancements come at a price, however, since DSLRs can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars. You can also spend quite a bit on lenses, although most DSLRs come standard with a pretty capable zoom that will cover most any average shooting situation. DSLRs are also a bit noisier than compact interchangeable lens cameras because they have that mechanical mirror snapping out of the way as each frame is taken.

When shopping for a DSLR, it is best to look at such features as resolution (megapixels), manual and automatic capabilities, and the availability of additional lenses and accessories. You should also check out how much noise the camera makes when snapping a photo (a consideration if you take a lot of candid or nature pictures), as well as the placement of controls on the camera (forms shouldn’t get in the way of function). You might also check out the availability of lenses for each model, including those not branded and manufactured by the camera maker.

Recent DSLR Reviews


Nikon D3300

Externally, the D3300 appears a virtual twin to the D3200, with some slight contour changes to the body and a minor relocation of a couple buttons on the rear of[...] Read full article

Nikon Review

Nikon D3300 Review

All in all, the D3300 comes up with many more positives than negatives -- it's a good little camera whether trading up or jumping in for the first time. Read full article


Nikon DF

With its retro styling and mechanical dials, the Nikon Df is likely a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for most photographers. A blend of Nikon’s F-series SLR heritage and today’s technology puts this[...] Read full article


Nikon D610

The D610 shares the same 24 megapixel FX CMOS sensor as the D600, with essentially the same body, features and options. The new shutter mechanism shoots at 6 FPS, where[...] Read full article

Nikon Review

Nikon Df Review: Love It or Hate It?

With its retro styling and mechanical dials, the Nikon Df is likely a love-it-or-hate-it for most photographers. Find out if we think the Df is worth the price. Read full article

Nikon Review

Nikon D610 Review: Second Verse Same as the First, Minus Tons of Dust and Oil

The D610 is likely the best buy in full frame DSLR cameras right now, as it is a new and improved version of the very popular D600. Read full article


Pentax K-3

Barely 13 months after the introduction of its DSLR flagship K-5II/K-5IIs, Pentax is at it again: the K-3 becomes the new standard bearer of Ricoh Imaging’s burgeoning APS-C sensor equipped[...] Read full article


Canon EOS 70D

The EOS 70D is Canon’s latest addition to its midrange DSLR line, targeting “advanced amateur photographers and photo hobbyists”. The camera retains an APS-C sensor and 1.62x crop factor like[...] Read full article

Pentax Review

Pentax K-3 Review: Sharp and Speedy, No Video AF

The Pentax K-3 is a fantastic DSLR camera if you are looking to produce beautiful still imagery, but the lack of AF during video is a no-go with hybrid shooters. Read full article

Canon Review

Canon EOS 70D Review: Video Rock Star

If you are looking for a DSLR that can shoot amazing video with seamless AF, look no further than the Canon 70D! It will not disappoint. Read full article