Best DSLR Cameras Today for Every Budget

It is hard to believe that DSLR cameras have been around for over 20 years. At this point, DSLR is a mature technology with an impressive line of cameras, lenses, and accessories.

Although mirrorless technologies challenge DSLR technology on all fronts, DSLR is still the king of digital photography.

Best DSLR Cameras Today for Every Budget

The biggest advantage of DSLR cameras is the variety of choices available. Regardless of your budget or the type of photography, you can find the perfect model to fit your needs. What is even more important is that you can pair your DSLR with a variety of lenses that also match your preferences and needs. There are no compromises in DSLR.

Because of the maturity of the DSLR market, entry-level cameras come with unparalleled reliability and quality.

It is not always easy to navigate the vast selection of DSLR cameras available today. That is why I am happy to offer a selection of the best DSLR models across different categories.

Summary: Best DSLR Cameras Today

  • Nikon D850 – Best All Around DSLR
  • Nikon D3500 – Best Entry Level DSLR
  • Nikon D500 – Best DSLR For Sports & Wildlife
  • Canon 6D Mark II – Best Entry Level Full Frame DSLR
  • Canon Rebel SL2 – Best DSLR For Vlogging
Nikon D850

Sensor Size: Full Frame 47MP, Weight: 915g (2lb), Size: 146.0 x 124.0 x 78.5 (5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1″)
Nikon D3500

Sensor Size: Cropped 24MP, Weight: 365g (13oz), Size: 124 x 97 x 69.5mm (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.7″)
Nikon D500

Sensor Size: Cropped 21MP, Weight: 860g (1.89lb), Size: 147 x 115 x 81 (5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2″)
Canon 6D Mark II

Sensor Size: Full Frame 26MP, Weight: 685g (1.5lb), 144 x 110.5 x 75mm (5.7 x 4.4 x 3″)
Canon Rebel SL2

Sensor Size: Cropped 24MP, Weight: 406g (14.5lb), 122.4 x 92.6 x 70mm (4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7″)

Best All Around DSLR Camera

The Nikon D850 is arguably the best DSLR camera ever built. It is a dream for landscape and travel photography thanks to its rugged, weather sealed body and dual card slot. It has an amazing sensor with the largest dynamic range of all cameras. It even has a built-in focus stacking functionality. But, this camera also has a highly rated shooting mode with a confident continuous autofocus that makes it the perfect choice for wildlife photography as well. It is a great choice for any type of photography.

Best Camera for Sports and Wildlife

The Nikon D500 is a 21mp cropped sensor (APS-C) DSLR camera. It was designed with one purpose in mind—speed. It has a fast rate shooting mode, a fast and confident continuous autofocus, and an incredibly deep buffer. It is a dream camera for sports and wildlife enthusiasts.

Best Entry Level Full Frame DSLR

The phrase “entry level full frame camera” does not sound appropriate because, for decades, full frame cameras were linked to the upper end of photography—the professional level with high price tags. Now, with the release of the Canon 6D Mark and its successor, Canon 6D Mark II, even aspiring amateur photographers can afford a full-frame DSLR camera.

Best Entry-Level DSLR

What stands the Nikon D3500 apart from the competition is its quality sensor that produces high quality images. It is surprising to find this level of quality at such an affordable price. The Nikon D3500 also excels in terms of economics and body design. You cannot go wrong with the D3500 as your first DSLR camera.

Best DSLR for Vlogging

Canon is the pioneer in bringing video to DSLR cameras. It revolutionized the industry with the introduction of video mode in the Canon 5D. With the latest Rebel SL2, Canon made sure to appeal to both photographers and videographers. It features a flip screen with industry-leading autofocus in video mode.


01. Nikon D850

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

Megapixels: 45.7MP
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Weight: 915g (2lb)
Size: 146.0 x 124.0 x 78.5 (5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Nikon D850 is the highest resolution DSLR in the Nikon stable to date, with a whopping 45.7mp full frame sensor. This is a fantastic camera for both stills and video especially as it hosts full uncropped 4k capture.

The weather sealed body coupled with 7fps shooting makes this a great option for travel photography, in fact this is a great all rounder as there’s very little the Nikon D850 can’t do.

Related: How to Select the Best DSLR for Landscape Photography

The body is  rugged and weather sealed to protect it from the elements and when you hold the Nikon in your hand you know you’re holding a quality piece of equipment.

This is arguably one of the best DSLRs on the market today.

What I like

  • Huge 45.7MP BSI-CMOS sensor with amazing low and high ISO performance
  • Weather sealed body and a very tough, chunky feeling body
  • A large selection of both 4K and 1080p modes for video

What I don’t like

  • Lens calibration is a necessity for this resolution, this can be a bit of an awkward process
  • Unfortunately, the live view is still not really up to par for both stills and especially for video

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02. Nikon D3500

Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black)

Megapixels: 24MP
Sensor Size: Cropped
Weight: 365g (13oz)
Size: 124 x 97 x 69.5mm (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.7″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Nikon D3500 is probably the perfect camera for those who have travelled with a smaller compact style camera and now want to take their photography to the next level.

It boasts a 24mp APS-C sized CMOS sensor, coupled to EXPEED 4 image processor.

This camera is not going to compare with the others listed here, as it is at a completely different price point to all the others.

However, it is a very capable travel camera and will get some amazing pictures for you.

The Nikon D3500 offer solid performance and frankly excellent image quality for the price point.


The body feels a little plastic in your hand and it is very compact. You won’t really notice the weight of this camera, even if you’re doing long hikes with it in your rucksack.

The Nikon D3500 won’t set the world on fire, but it IS a very capable little camera and will capture amazing images for you. A perfect camera if budget or weight considerations are tight.

I do have to say though, you may want to update the kit lens!

What I like

  • Amazing 1,550 shot battery life, perfect for travel
  • Really compact and lightweight body for a dSLR
  • Very, very simple and easy to use.

What I don’t like

  • No 4k, which we should really be seeing on all cameras now
  • No touch screen control on the LCD panel
  • No WiFi!

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03. Nikon D500

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body

Megapixels: 20.9MP
Sensor Size: Cropped
Weight: 860g (1.89lb)
Size: 147 x 115 x 81 (5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Nikon D500 was seen as Nikons return to the high end prosumer market and it was met with a lot of love which is fair, because this is a great camera.

This is a VERY capable APS-C camera which is reflected in its relatively high price point.

The D500 boasts a 20 MP APS-C sensor, 10 frames a second continuous shooting coupled with a very deep buffer. The 153 point auto focus is the same system that Nikon uses with the Nikon D5.

So, with an extremely fast fire rate, huge buffer, and an amazing autofocus system, this camera really does lend itself to sports or wildlife photography; however, if that’s not your bag, this is still a great camera to consider.

The Nikon D500 viewfinder is large and comfortable to use, important if you’re shooting large numbers of images… Unusually for an APS-C bodied camera, it also boasts two memory card slots. This is perfect for serious amateurs and professional photographers alike… While it is extremely rare to have a card fail, it does happen.

Related: Top Rated Mirrorless Cameras for Sports and Wildlife

The touch screen is really simple to use and is quite intuitive… You’ll find everything you need with a few simple swipes.

Possibly one of the most useful features is the inclusion of 4k video.  Point to note though, as it’s a cropped sensor, it is a little limited.

The Nikon D500 is definitely up there as one of the best dSLR’s with an APS-C sized sensor ever released.

What I like

  • Brilliant quality images, high quality RAW and JPG
  • Great quality 4K video, a welcome addition on an APS-C camera
  • Touchscreen is intuitive, simple and fast to use.

What I don’t like

  • The autofocus in certain conditions can be prone to a little bit of wobble
  • The battery can drain very quickly with certain settings

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04. Canon 6D Mark II

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body – Wi-Fi Enabled

Megapixels: 26MP
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Weight: 685g (1.5lb)
Size: 144 x 110.5 x 75mm (5.7 x 4.4 x 3″)
Price: Check the latest price here

An ideal camera for the first-time full-frame buyers or for those upgrading from Canon 6D, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a definite upgrade in all the possible specs and highlights. Be it the 45 point all-cross type focusing system, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the 26.2 MP resolution sensor, the articulated touch-screen, NFC and Bluetooth – all are proper upgrades to the earlier Canon 6D.

Ergonomics are one of Canon’s consistent strength. The body is a charm, even though it’s not as robust as 5D Mark IV, and the crop-sensor users like Canon 70D and 80D find a proper upgrade without much of the change in controls.

Related: Best Point and Shoot Cameras under $300 Today

The movie makers will enjoy the crisp colors, the smooth refocusing using the touch-screen panel and the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and also the in-camera stabilization for videos. What Canon could have done, though, was follow the examples of the nearest rivals in terms of cost and specs, and offered a full 4k video. It does offer 4k time-lapse feature, but the video is maxed at 1080P at 60FPS. The video is also softer, than and not as crisp as pictures the wonderful camera consistently produces, even at high ISOs. Lack of a headphone jack is another feature that could have easily been added by the world’s leading camera manufacturer.

What I like

  • 45 point all cross-type focusing system 
  • The dual CMOS AF
  • Smooth touch screen focus in both video and photo

What I don’t like

  • A low ISO dynamic range that is lower than its crop-sensor competitors is something that could have been avoided.

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05. Canon Rebel SL2

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Digital SLR Camera Body - WiFi Enabled

Megapixels: 24MP
Sensor Size: Cropped
Weight: 406g (14.5lb)
Size: 122.4 x 92.6 x 70mm (4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The entry-level photographers, vloggers, and videographers, especially the latter, have a surprise in the form of the world’s most compact DSLR – Canon Rebel SL2. Canon hasn’t compromised with ergonomics and usability while cutting down on size. Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi coupled with flip-out touchscreen LCD clearly give the idea that the DSLR is aimed at the modern photographers and videographers looking for small and feature-rich camera for the age of social media. The features, such as external mic output and an excellent movie autofocus, especially for its size and price, make it a perfect buy for Youtubers and travel video makers. There’s also a very reliable subject tracking – both in still and video shooting.

Related: Top Canon Rebel t7i Bundle Deals

Despite being priced well over Canon’s cheapest DSLR, 1300D, the photographers don’t get much value of the difference in price. The JPEGs, though pleasing and saturated, suffer from a problem of oversharpening. The dynamic range of the camera lags below the competition. A small optical viewfinder (OVF) is further handicapped by an only 9-point autofocus system. Even though the dual pixel CMOS Auto-focus works great, there is a feeling that Canon was looking to cater more to the videographers than photographers.

What I like

  • Compact size closer to mirrorless cameras
  • Reliable autofocus in movie mode
  • External mic output is uncommon for the price range

What I don’t like

  • Low dynamic range
  • Unnatural sharpening of JPEG images

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06. Canon EOS 77D

Canon Cameras US 24.2 Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black (1892C001)

Megapixels: 24MP
Sensor Size: Cropped
Weight: 540g (1.2lb)
Size: 131 x 99.9 x 76mm (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Eos 77D is not a camera that you will be writing home about… This is about producing a capable camera at theprice point. While that may sound a little negative, this IS a capable camerafor the money…

It boasts a 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor which has been seen in a few of Canons APS camera and it is a good quality sensor. The 77D also utilises Canons 45 point dual CMOS AF system, coupled with their Digic 6 processor.

Related: Best Bridge Cameras for Travel

The body is a little bit plastic feeling and is very lightweight. This may be positive if you’re hiking long distances with a rucksack and just don’t want a hefty SLR.

The tilt and swivel touchscreen LCD panel is easy to use and as with most of Canons products is very intuitive.

Canon seems to have been a slow on the uptake for 4k video and you won’t find it here. However the 1080 HD video capture is still very capable. Coupled with the excellent AF system, you can still get great footage.

Related: How To Check the Shutter Count on Nikon Cameras

The EOS 77D does everything well… If you want a good, well made camera to move up to, if you’ve previously had an entry level dSLR, this would be a good option for you.

What I like

  • 24MP sensor brings Dual Pixel AF and Digic 7 processor
  • Interval timer for time lapse sequences
  • Great touchscreen, easy to use and guide your way around

What I don’t like

  • Lacks in camera Raw processing
  • No 4k video option. Not surprising at this price point, but it would be nice
  • Not the best feel in your hand, but it is a well built camera

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07. Canon 80D

Canon Digital SLR Camera Body [EOS 80D] with 24.2 Megapixel (APS-C) CMOS Sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF - Black

Megapixels: 24MP
Sensor Size: Cropped
Weight: 730g (1.6lb)
Size: 139 x 105 x 78.5mm (5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The 80D is Canon’s latest model at the mid level point.

The updated 24 megapixel APS-C sized sensor with upgraded Dual Pixel CMOS AF is a welcome addition to the body giving this an incredibly smooth AF especially while shooting video footage. While you’ll get amazing, smooth auto focus with all of Canons lens lineup, you’ll find it particularly good with their STM range of lenses.

The fully articulated touch screen is absolutely fantastic, especially when shooting video at awkward angles.

Related: Selecting the Right Camera for Hiking

The camera boasts built-in WiFi and has great quality weather proofing on the body.

Much like all of Canons line up the 80d is a very comfortable, ergonomically designed camera and it feels solidly built and really comfortable in your palm.

While the AF is a significant improvement and extra mega pixels are always welcome, I can’t help but feel that 4K video would have made this a truly superb camera at the price point.

As it stands it is still a really good quality camera that is very capable and well worth the money… But 4k would have made it amazing.

What I like

  • Really well designed body with weather resistance. It feels really comfy in the hand
  • Great battery life, especially important for travel photographers
  • Continuous AF while capturing movies is excellent, especially with STM lenses.
  • Articulating touch screen LCD (Why not on the 5D mk4?)

What I don’t like

  • Dynamic range is nowhere near as good as its competitors
  • Subject tracking, setting the 45 point AF and the multi live view focus are all quite‘clunky to get to grips with and can be awkward to set up
  • No 4K

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08. Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body

Megapixels: 21MP
Sensor Size: Cropped
Weight: 640g (1.4lb)
Size: 135.5 x 104 x 72.5mm (5.3 x 4.1 x 2.9″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Nikon D7500 is Nikon’s current upper mid range dSLR which sits below the D500.

This is a replacement for Nikons excellent D7200 which had been on the market for around 2 years, when this was released.

It has the same sensor as the Nikon D500; a 20.9 MP APS-C sensor coupled with the EXPEED 5 processor.

In many respects this is a very similar camera to the D500; same great image quality, 4K video, large burst rate… In fact there’s not a huge amount of difference between the two cameras image wise, which is probably why Nikon decided to remove the two card slot feature that the D7500’s predecessor, the D7200 boasted.

Related: How to Select the Best Point-and-shoot Camera for Landscape Photography

The D7500 can shoot 50 RAW images at 8 frames per second and has an impressively deep buffer…

The build quality and feel is good, although iIt would have been nice to have a vertical grip option to beef it up, just a little bit.

A great camera, which will produce amazing stills for you AND will shoot 4k video, albeit on a cropped sensor which can be a bit limiting. At this price point though, who’s complaining?

What I like

  • Brilliant quality images, high-quality RAW and JPG
  • Great quality 4K video.
  • Touch screen is intuitive, simple and fast to use.
  • Reliable autofocus performance, even at 8 fps

What I don’t like

  • The autofocus in certain conditions can be prone to a little bit of wobble
  • One card slot (compared to the two of its predecessor the D7200)
  • No vertical grip, which would have been nice in certain circumstances

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09. Canon Rebel T7i

Canon Cameras US 24.2 Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black (1894C001)

Megapixels: 24MP
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Weight: 532g (1.2lb)
Size: 131 x 100 x 76mm (5.2 x 4 x 3″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Canon EOS 7Ti is the replacement to the a worthy predecessor, the Canon EOS T6i

Once again Canon utilises the 24MP APS-C sensor with the DIGIC 7 processor and the 45 point AF system.

This is a well built, well specified camera, but it is clearly aimed at the low end of the market. The build quality of the camera is good, but it feels really lightweight and quite ‘plasticky’ in the hand.

Probably the biggest failing of the camera and in fact all of Canons current line up is the lack of 4K video.

It’s true to say that this a low end camera and you just can’t have everything, but Nikon seems to be including the feature in most of their line up and 4K shooting is now included in some smartphones. Is this a cost cutting exercise on Canons part or is there concern they’ll lose sales of the higher end cameras?

However, 4K issues aside, the Rebel T7i is generally pronounced to be one of the best Rebel series cameras produced to date and it’s hard to disagree.

Included in the body is an interval timer, which is a function you previously had to purchase an expensive remote to attain. It also has built in WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. The Wifi connection to a smartphone or tablet is particularly useful, allowing you to not only view the images you’ve taken, but activate the camera as well.

So, if you’re looking for a new dSLR, this is a good option. It will perform well and provide you with great images.

If however your first passion is video, this might not be the best buy for you.

What I like

  • 24MP sensor brings Dual Pixel AF and Digic 7 processor
  • Interval timer for time lapse sequences
  • Great touchscreen, easy to use and guide your way around
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Bluetooth and NFC

What I don’t like

  • No 4k video option. Not surprising at this price point, but it would be nice
  • Not the best feel in your hand, but it is a well builtcamera.
  • Video is just a touch soft at 1080p

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10. Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

Megapixels: 30MP
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Weight: 800g (1.8lb)
Size: 150.7 x 116.4 x 76mm (6 x 4.6 x 3″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Canon 5 series has been one of the market leaders since its original inception. Now on the fourth generation, it just seems to be getting better, especially for video work.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV boasts a 30.4 mp full frame sensor, coupled with dual pixel CMOS AF.

Body wise, this is the same rugged construction we’ve come to expect from Canon, but now with improved weatherproofing.
Perfect for travel photographers we have built-in GPS as well as WiFi with NFC.

Image quality in the 5D mk4 is significantly better than the 5d Mk III and the 4k movie capture is a step up, catching greater detail.

There is a good reason that the 5D Mk 4 is a preferred camera for many professional photographers the world over; If you decide to invest you will not be disappointed, especially if your preference is for filming over stills.

What I like

  • 30.4MP CMOS full-frame sensor, coupled with Dual Pixel autofocus
  • Truly amazing high-end ISO quality
  • Both 4K/30p video + HDR 1080p
  • Really impressive AF performance for video work

What I don’t like

  • Really could do with a tiltable screen to help with video work
  • iTR subject tracking is not as capable as it could be, especially as the competition is doing it well.

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Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Frame 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR with 3.2' TFT LCD, Black

11. Pentax K-1 Mark II

Megapixels: 36MP
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Weight: 925g (2lb)
Size: 136.5 x 110 x 85.5mm (5.4 x 4.3 x 3.4″)
Price: Check the latest price here

Ask a group of avid photographers which is the best camera brand to buy; You will hear some say ‘Nikon’ some say ‘Canon’ and increasingly you’ll hear many say ‘Sony’. Once upon a time that would have been Canon, Nikon, or Pentax…

Pentax have been quietly producing digital cameras for many years now and for their fans, they’re considered to be really good options.

The Pentax K-1 Mark II is a very capable camera with some great features and well worth considering.  It boasts a 36 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with built in 5 axis stabilisation.

The body is nice to handle, it feels weighty and really well made. Of real interest to travel photographers; The Pentax K-1 Mark II has one of the sturdiest bodies you can find on a dSLR with extensive weather sealing.

The viewfinder gives a 100% view, with a small 0.7x magnification. It’s great to be able to see a full view of what will be recorded on the sensor.

The Pentax K-1 Mark II has some a couple of interesting features to keep speeds up on the camera even though it has a large Sensor. The first is to install a pre-processor to the sensor, although many have noted this does deem to add some noise to the image. The second is to reduce the effective size of the sensor to an APS-C size. This means the camera can rattle out 4.4 frames per second in full frame mode or 6.5 frames per second on APS-C cropped mode. This is pretty quick, considering the large megapixel count.

If you’re an avid Pentax fan, or if you enjoy traveling to extreme places and need an extremely durable camera, this might just be perfect for you. Otherwise, you might be better off with offerings from Canon, Nikon or Sony, especially if you want to shoot video.

What I like

  • Extremely well-built body, possibly the toughest you’ll find
  • 36.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter
  • 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization

What I don’t like

  • No 4Kvideo option
  • Does everything competently, doesn’t really excel at anything

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Canon EOS 5DS R Digital SLR (Body Only)

12. Canon EOS 5DS R

Megapixels: 50.6MB
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Weight: 920g (2lb)
Size: 152 x 117 x 76mm (6 x 4.6 x 3″)
Price: Check the latest price here

If you’re looking at the EOS 5DS R, then you must have a really good reason for needing the whopping 50.6 megapixel full frame sensor. Canon themselves list Landscape photographers and those needing to crop in on small areas of the frame. Possibly also some studio photographers, although many of these will use a medium format with a digital back.

Of these it’s fair to say that probably the biggest take up will be among landscape photographers. When you’re shooting landscapes it’s all about kit that is lightweight, with the largest sensor possible and the sharpest images available.

Related: Understanding the Difference between Nikon D5300 vs D5600

The Canon EOS 5DS R excels at this. The 50.6 megapixel CMOS sensor is simply huge, producing massive, crisp, beautifully coloured images. In this particular version the Low Pass Filter is cancelled out. For those who don’t know, the Low Pass (LPF) filter reduces a lot of the colour artifacts and moire that you get when photographing digital images. The downside of this is that is does reduce detail. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

Coupling this with a dual digic 6 processor means that performance is still quick, in spite of the sensor size and you can actually shoot at 5 frames a second with good buffering.

As soon as you hold the camera in your hand, you can ‘feel’ the quality. The buttons and layouts are all incredibly intuitive. The 3.2” screen carries a 10.4M dot resolution to show off thosegorgeous full frame images.

Canon dub the Canon 5DS R a video ‘Powerhouse’… While this may be earned by the sharpness and resolution, possibly the lack of  zebra, 1080/60p, flat gamma profile, or peaking options, means that for many, this just doesn’t ring true.

If you absolutely need a 50.6 megapixel count, and you’re already invested in Canon glass, then this would be a great addition to your camera arsenal.

What I like

  • Huge 50.6megapixel sensor with dual Digic 6.
  • Gorgeous color tones, especially skin tones
  • Ergonomic and extremely well built, with weather sealing

What I don’t like

  • Base ISOimages can show a little more noise than other cameras in this class
  • Not quite as good as others in the class for low light
  • Could really benefit from:  zebra, 1080/60p,flat gamma profile and peaking options for the video function

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