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Your guide to buying the best

DSLR Cameras

ABOUT CREATORS INTERNET

If you're a content creator of any kind, you know that good lighting is key to creating high-quality videos. But shopping for video lighting kits can be daunting, with all the different options available.

In this guide, we'll help you find the best kit for your needs and budget. We'll also give you tips on how to use your new gear to create stunning videos. So read on, and get ready to take your content production up a notch!

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Key Takeaways

Pros
Cons
Canon
5D Mark IV

Best for Experts

Designed with advanced photographers in mind, this exquisite camera offers everything the professional would need.

Features a new 30.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting. Offers up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed and a speedy DIGIC 6+ image processor. Can be used as a high-performance webcam for Mac and PC.

Low light settings suffer where more expensive cameras may thrive.

Panasonic
LUMIX FZ80

Bargain Pick

Travel camera with a little extra strength for those aspiring photographers who want professional equipment.

Eighteen-megapixel camera with 4K images, 60x zoom, a 20-1200mm Vario Lens, stabilizer, and touch-enabled LCD screen for easy setup. Buyers laud the bargain price compared to 4-figure competitors. Excellent video capture.

Low light settings suffer where more expensive cameras may thrive.

Nikon
D3500 DSLR

Customer Favorite

This affordable, user-friendly model has plenty to offer those just getting started with DSLR.

A 24.2-megapixel camera with up to 60 frames per second. Easy to operate. Features are designed with the beginner in mind. Its APS-C-size image sensor is more than adequate for many photography situations. Long-lasting lithium-ion battery. Includes 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses.

Serious photographers may find the image quality lacking. Not WiFi-enabled.

Canon
EOS Rebel T7

Solid Performer

A great investment for photographers graduating from novice to intermediate.

24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor captures impressive detail. Shoots well in most light conditions. Has built-in WiFi for instant photo sharing. Captures video at full 1080p HD. Easy-to-navigate LCD display without too much of a learning curve.

Mixed reviews on the reliability of the built-in WiFi, so most users just connect via USB.

Nikon
D850 w/ Zoom Lens

Trusted Brand

Nikon has created something special here with its outstanding resolution that both experts and beginners can appreciate.

The 45.7 megapixels provide stunning quality even with multi-shot sessions. Comes ready to shoot with a 200-500mm zoom lens that is perfect for shooting nature or event photos. Has a focus-shift function making it easy to capture multiple photos and combine them on the go.

Some of the settings can be hard to access and customize.

Nikon
D850 w/ Zoom Lens
bottom Line

Trusted Brand

Nikon has created something special here with its outstanding resolution that both experts and beginners can appreciate.

PRos 

The 45.7 megapixels provide stunning quality even with multi-shot sessions. Comes ready to shoot with a 200-500mm zoom lens that is perfect for shooting nature or event photos. Has a focus-shift function making it easy to capture multiple photos and combine them on the go.

CONS

Some of the settings can be hard to access and customize.

Canon
EOS Rebel T7
bottom Line

Solid Performer

A great investment for photographers graduating from novice to intermediate.

PRos 

24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor captures impressive detail. Shoots well in most light conditions. Has built-in WiFi for instant photo sharing. Captures video at full 1080p HD. Easy-to-navigate LCD display without too much of a learning curve.

CONS

Mixed reviews on the reliability of the built-in WiFi, so most users just connect via USB.

Nikon
D3500 DSLR
bottom Line

Customer Favorite

This affordable, user-friendly model has plenty to offer those just getting started with DSLR.

PRos 

A 24.2-megapixel camera with up to 60 frames per second. Easy to operate. Features are designed with the beginner in mind. Its APS-C-size image sensor is more than adequate for many photography situations. Long-lasting lithium-ion battery. Includes 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses.

CONS

Serious photographers may find the image quality lacking. Not WiFi-enabled.

Panasonic
LUMIX FZ80
bottom Line

Bargain Pick

Travel camera with a little extra strength for those aspiring photographers who want professional equipment.

PRos 

Eighteen-megapixel camera with 4K images, 60x zoom, a 20-1200mm Vario Lens, stabilizer, and touch-enabled LCD screen for easy setup. Buyers laud the bargain price compared to 4-figure competitors. Excellent video capture.

CONS

Low light settings suffer where more expensive cameras may thrive.

Canon
5D Mark IV
bottom Line

Best for Experts

Designed with advanced photographers in mind, this exquisite camera offers everything the professional would need.

PRos 

Features a new 30.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting. Offers up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed and a speedy DIGIC 6+ image processor. Can be used as a high-performance webcam for Mac and PC.

CONS

Low light settings suffer where more expensive cameras may thrive.

How we tested
We know you're overwhelmed by all the options on the market, which is why we've done an intensive research process for you to help you find the top products to fit your needs. We’ve spent hundreds of hours investigating product features, customer reviews and connecting with content creators to determine what matters when picking a product. We have brought all of that information together for your convenience!
51
Models Considered
154
Creator Opinions Analyzed
9
Hours Researched
Updated on
Dec 1, 2022

Buying guide for

DSLR Cameras

Updated
Dec 1, 2022

If you are serious about your content creator career, at some point, you will want to move away from your phone and graduate to a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera.

These are the best cameras are those that can grow with you. This means having features and settings to accommodate your level of experience, not only in photography but also as an amateur or professional wanting high-quality pictures from their device!

Creator Tip
"DSLR cameras use interchangeable lenses. This means you can change the performance of the camera by using a different lens."

Although most DSLR cameras share similar looks, there are quite a few differentiating features that separate them:

Image quality

Depending upon the model and price point, you'll experience an array of image quality in the DSLR community.

Features

We have laid them all out for you to decide which features matter the most to you and your content needs.

Skill level

We've included DSLRs options for consumers of all skill level. Pretty much any one can now grab a DSLR and take a high-quality photo with just one click.

Price

Depending on the features included in the camera, DSLR prices vary. The cameras in our product list range in cost, but we believe that each is worth its asking price.

DSLR Categories

The first thing you need to know when shopping for a new DSLR camera is that every model won’t fit the needs of every content creator.

For example, some cameras carry too many features — and can be quite expensive. And experienced photographers probably wouldn’t want a simple DSLR that fails to offer advanced manual control options!

Entry-level DSLR cameras

These are entry-level DSLR cameras aimed at those new to DSLR photography. They have low price points and are relatively easy to use.

Consumer/hobbyist DSLR cameras

These are mid-range DSLR cameras that appeal to both inexperienced and intermediate-level photographers. They have plenty of features for manual control. They’re nice “bridge” cameras for those looking to move up from an entry-level DSLR.

Prosumer DSLR cameras

High-level photographers will be looking for DSLRs in this category. These cameras have the largest image sensors and the fastest image processors. They also tend to carry the highest price tags.

Expensive semi-pro/pro DSLR cameras typically have more advanced features than most beginners can handle. Therefore, it’s tough for a beginner to justify paying a high price for one of these models.

Investing in an expensive camera — and then never using it because it’s too complicated, too heavy, or not right for what you want to use it for — happens too often. Don't get one that's too impractical or complicated for what you will use it for. You can always grow into an advanced model in the future.

Creator Tip
"DSLR cameras use interchangeable lenses. This means you can change the performance of the camera by using a different lens."

DSLR Models

Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Minolta, Fujifilm, and Sony all made DSLRs in the early days. But as of today, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Fujifilm, and Sony have stopped making DSLRs. They now focus on mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Minolta no longer makes cameras at all.

Nowadays, Nikon, Canon, and Pentax still offer DSLRs. Nikon and Canon are the two largest makers. Some photographers prefer one brand of DSLR over another, but this is a personal preference. It has little to do with features and performance.

Image Sensor Explained

When it comes to understanding DSLR cameras, you must first start with the image sensor.

The image sensor is a computer chip that measures the light from the scene. It then turns that measurement into the digital bits used to create the photograph.

Image sensor size

As a general rule, the larger the image sensor, the better the photograph quality. Not surprisingly, DSLRs with larger image sensors also tend to cost more.

Full-frame image sensors

Measuring 24x36 mm in size, full-frame image sensors are the largest available in cameras produced for everyday use.

Nikon uses the term “FX” to identify cameras with full-frame sensors, while Canon just calls them “full-frame.”

Crop-frame image sensors

Crop-frame image sensors are smaller than full-frame image sensors. Nikon uses the term “DX” to identify cameras with crop-frame sensors.

The size of a crop frame sensor is listed as a “multiple factor.” Nikon DX sensors have a 1.5x factor, while Canon crop-frame sensors are available in both 1.3x and 1.6x factors. The 1.3x factor is the largest sensor, while 1.6x is the smallest sensor.

DX cameras are generally considered more consumer/hobbyist and FX cameras more semi-pro and prosumer. These markets are starting to get some crossover though, with entry-level full-frame cameras and advanced crop-frame cameras becoming more prevalent.

Other DSLR Terms to Know

Beyond the image sensor, it’s important to understand certain terms related to DSLRs. Knowing the jargon associated with DSLRs will help you successfully choose a model that will meet your needs.

Burst rate

The burst rate of a DSLR camera refers to how many photos it can record in a short time. This measurement is often provided in frames per second, or FPS.

Aperture

Aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens that allows light to travel through it and strike the image sensor.

Lenses with wider apertures are considered to be of higher quality.

The aperture of the lens is designated by an f-stop number. A lower f-stop number equals a larger or wider aperture, which can be a little confusing.

Build quality

Some DSLR cameras are made primarily of plastic, while others have a magnesium aluminum alloy body. The latter type of camera body is sturdier and better protected against falls. Such DSLRs will cost more, though.

Weather-sealing is another important aspect of build quality. Having a camera body sealed from light rain or dust can be beneficial for those who shoot photos in harsh conditions. These weather-sealed DSLR bodies are not waterproof, but they are better off than models with no weather seal.

Ergonomics

All DSLR cameras share a similar look, but different models have different ergonomics. How does it feel in your hand? Is it comfortable to use and carry matters just as much.

Image processor

The image processor is the computer chip inside the DSLR that moves data and controls the camera’s speed.

ISO

The ISO setting of the digital camera determines the image sensor’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO number makes the sensor more sensitive to light, allowing for better success with low-light photography. But using extremely high ISO also leads to loss of image quality the higher you go.

Lens

With a DSLR camera, you can change the lens you’re using to change the capabilities of the camera. (Fixed-lens cameras cannot change lenses.) Some DSLR camera bodies are sold with one or two lenses included; these are called kit lenses. You also can purchase extra lenses for your DSLR camera. Typically, kit lenses are fairly basic and cover a standard focal range. Many users will go on to purchase additional lenses of a higher caliber or for a more specific use after a while.

Lens mount

The lens mount is the part of the DSLR camera body to which you’ll connect a lens. It’s the large circle on the front of the DSLR body.

Lens manufacturers create lenses that fit a particular mount. So even though one type of lens mount will work with multiple lenses, each lens will fit only one type of lens mount.

Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels a camera can record. Pixels are tiny squares of color. When you look at a digital photograph with strong magnification, you can see the individual dots. But when looking at the photograph at a standard magnification, your eye naturally blends the pixels.

Resolution for DSLRs is measured in megapixels, or MP. This number refers to the millions of pixels in the photo. Don’t just pick a DSLR based on the largest number of megapixels, though.