Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best DSLR Camera - 2020

Last updated on October 9, 2020

We looked at the top 18 DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from 132 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best DSLR Cameras.

Best DSLR Camera

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top DSLR Cameras

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best All-Purpose

Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR

Nikon

D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR

Overall Take

Long Battery LifeTraveling with this DSLR camera is a breeze thanks to its lightweight design.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Digital Camera World, DP Review. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
" Great image quality in a lightweight and easy-to-use camera with great battery life."
Cons
"Fixed rear screen No 4K video."
  Best for Travel

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital DSLR Camera

Sony

Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital DSLR Camera

Overall Take

Lightweight and CompactThanks to this DSLR camera's intuitive controls, you're sure to capture professional-quality shots every time.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Best for Outdoors

Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR Camera

Pentax

K-1 Mark II Weather Resistant DSLR Camera

Overall Take

Weather-ResistantThis DSLR camera uses an engine accelerometer sharper images and faster focusing.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Best for More Advanced Photographers

Canon EOS 5D DSLR Camera

Canon

EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

Overall Take

Eye-Popping ImagesThis DSLR camera provides top-notch photos and videos that even a professional would be jealous of.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus CNET, Tech Radar, Digital Trends, BestReviews, DP Review, Imaging Resource and 11 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.
Pros
" Given the updates, the autofocus is likely faster, especially for Live View."
Cons
"Expensive compared to rivals."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
25

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the dslr cameras available to purchase.
18

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

132

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Tech Radar, CNET, DP Review, Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter.

56,690

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 18 DSLR Cameras and also dug through the reviews from 132 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best DSLR Cameras.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR


Our Expert Score

9.6
3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.5
573 user reviews

Our Take

At only 0.86 pounds, this DSLR camera is one of the lightest in its class, making it a great choice for those who want to tote it around on long shoots. The battery life has increased 30 percent over previous versions of the camera, which also comes in handy for long days. This is more of an entry-level option though, with a price point that's perfect for someone who wants to learn photography.

What other experts liked

Great image quality in a lightweight and easy-to-use camera with great battery life.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Value for money All-round image quality.
- Digital Camera World
Despite using the same sensor, processor and display as its predecessor, the D3500's battery life has increased by 30% (CIPA) compared to the model that it replaces.
- DP Review

What other experts didn't like

While the D3500 can shoot high-quality 1080/60p video, this camera is not designed with the videographer in mind.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Fixed rear screen No 4K video.
- Digital Camera World
Being an entry-level camera, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that there's only one control dial.
- DP Review

Overall Product Rankings

Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR

1. Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 6

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital DSLR Camera

2. Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR Camera

3. Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 1

Canon EOS 5D DSLR Camera

4. Canon EOS 5D DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 24

Nikon D7200 DSLR Camera

5. Nikon D7200 DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 22

Nikon D850 Digital SLR

6. Nikon D850 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 9

Nikon D750 DSLR Camera

7. Nikon D750 DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 21

Sony A7II DSLR Camera

8. Sony A7II DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 8

Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera

9. Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 8

Canon EOS REBEL T7i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit

10. Canon EOS REBEL T7i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 11

Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera

11. Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera

12. Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 13

Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera

13. Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 10

Pentax DSLR Camera

14. Pentax DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 12

Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera

15. Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 6

Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera With WiFi

16. Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera With WiFi

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 7

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

17. Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 12

Canon EOS Rebel DSLR Camera

18. Canon EOS Rebel DSLR Camera

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 12

Our DSLR Camera Findings


Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR

What We Liked: At only 0.86 pounds, this DSLR camera is one of the lightest in its class, making it a great choice for those who want to tote it around on long shoots. The battery life has increased 30 percent over previous versions of the camera, which also comes in handy for long days. This is more of an entry-level option though, with a price point that’s perfect for someone who wants to learn photography.


Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital DSLR Camera

What We Liked: Need to take pictures of your kids on the soccer field? Go with this DSLR camera, which shoots 11 frames per second. The camera has built-in Wi-Fi, which means it also allows for instantly sharing your favorite pictures using your smartphone.


Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR Camera

What We Liked: Stunning images are what you’ll get when you go with this DSLR camera. It comes with a built-in GPS monitor, an in-body shake reduction mechanism and has a night vision LCD display. To make the camera more user-friendly, the monitor also twists and tilts, so you can view your images at any angle.


Canon EOS 5D DSLR Camera

Best for More Advanced Photographers

What We Liked: For the serious photographer, this DSLR camera brings high image quality at all angles, including great resolution even in lower lighting. You’ll also have the benefit of sharp 4K video and impressive audio quality. Though it boasts a high learning curve, a touchscreen makes it easier to become more familiar with operating the camera.


Nikon D750 DSLR Camera

What We Liked: Image quality doesn’t get much better than with this DSLR camera. It can hone in on a subject and create a high-quality image in less than 0.7 seconds. A 24-MP sensor and reduced noise distortion makes this a great camera for professional photographers. You’ll also get a shutter speed of 6.5 frames per second at full resolution, which helps when trying to capture that perfect action shot.

Our DSLR Camera Buying Guide

At one time, you couldn’t get the same high-quality picture with a digital camera as you could with traditional, film-based cameras. But DSLR cameras changed all that, providing high-quality, professional results without the need to go through the process of developing prints. This allows professional photographers to service the many customers who now prefer digital files to paper-based photos. It also lets amateurs refine their photography skills without the cost of film developing.

But if you’re in the market for a DSLR camera, be prepared to spend some money. Top-notch DSLR cameras can cost in the thousands, making it tough for hobbyists to make room in their budget. However, you can find a DSLR camera for a few hundred dollars, so it’s important to go into your shopping trip knowing exactly what features you’ll need.

First up is image quality, which is likely a top consideration, no matter how advanced your photography skills are. A bad camera can make it tough to provide images that have that “wow” factor, even if you have all the skills. There are multiple things that factor into whether a camera shoots well, though, including the lenses you use and the build of the camera itself. Little things, like whether your camera can shoot higher-quality images when lighting isn’t ideal, can make a big difference.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or someone still learning your trade, there are times when you’ll want to rely on autofocus. It can especially come in handy with action shots, where you don’t have an abundance of time.

Another important factor with action shots is whether or not your camera supports continuous shooting. The faster your camera can grab images at sports games, live performances or even red carpet events, the less likely you’ll miss that all-important shot. This is measured in frames per second, and the top cameras are all in a similar range. However, if you’re comparing two cameras and all other features are equal, frames per second can tip the scales.

If you plan to shoot outdoors even occasionally, you may want to consider your camera’s level of weather resistance. Some cameras are built specifically to withstand the rain and debris that you’ll at least occasionally encounter on outdoor shoots. A camera with that feature can come in handy over the years.

DWYM Fun Fact

DSLR cameras date all the way back to 1986, when Kodak and Canon worked together to insert a digital imaging sensor into a single-lens reflex camera. DSLR uses a mirror to transmit light coming in through the lens to the digital imaging sensor. It can alternately send that light to the viewfinder. In recent years, DSLR has faced increasing competition from a type of camera that doesn’t have a mirror inside at all. Called “mirrorless cameras,” the elimination of the mirror means you’re looking directly through the viewfinder, seeing exactly what the sensor sees. It also means one less internal part, allowing manufacturers to build cameras that are smaller and more lightweight.

The DSLR Camera Tips and Advice

  • Every camera promises to produce great images, but how do you know that’s what you’re getting? There are quite a few factors playing into whether your pictures look great, starting with range. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera offers high image quality whether you’re shooting wide-angle or using a telephoto lens to get up close and personal.
  • Trying to find the perfect lighting can dramatically shorten your shooting window each day. If you have a camera that can snap sharp images in a variety of lighting situations, you’ll give yourself a great headstart. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera can shoot sharp images even in low lighting situations with no flash. Although the Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR offers some of the best image quality you’ll find in a camera, it really shines in low-lighting situations.  It can lock onto a subject and create a great picture in just 0.7 seconds, even in extremely dim light.
  • Noise is also an issue in images. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR displays very little noise disruption in images, especially between ISO 100 to 1600.
  • Today’s DSLR cameras can also handle video, but not all cameras are created equal in this area. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera records 4K video, allowing you to even capture 8.8-megapixel screen grabs from each video frame. As an added bonus, you’ll get high-quality audio recording in video mode, as well. However, it can’t output 4K over HDMI, which means by the time you export it, you’ll find it drops down to 1080p.
  • The sensor on your camera will also play a big role in image quality. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera has a 30.4-megapixel sensor that can output impressive image quality, even at a higher ISO range.  With the Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera, you get a 24.7-MP sensor.
  • When shooting events, the pressure can be intense to get that perfect shot. Continuous shooting can lend a big hand. You’ll get the best results from the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera, which offers shooting speeds of 7 frames per second. Even when you aren’t aiming for a burst of continual images, this model is faster at getting ready for the next shot than comparable cameras. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR also has impressive shutter speed, offering 5 frames per second at full resolution.
  • If you’re toting your camera around a while, you probably won’t want a camera that weighs you down. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera weighs only 0.86 pounds, making it among the most portable in its class. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera weighs 1.76 pounds.
  • Although many photographers know autofocus has its weaknesses, technology has pushed the feature well beyond what it used to be. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera uses Canon’s specialized dual-pixel technology, which puts phase-detection points on the camera’s imaging sensor.
  • Even professional photographers don’t want to deal with complicated features that take hours to learn. The easier a camera is to use, the faster a photographer can get to work. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera is designed as entry-level cameras, so it’s ideal for the photographer who is still learning. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera can be complex, but a touch-sensitive screen helps take some of the sting out of learning.
  • You won’t exactly have access to a wall outlet every time you want to snap photos. That makes battery life an essential feature to consider. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera has great battery life, having increased by 30 percent over its previous model. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera also has an impressive battery life.
  • Camera prices tend to increase with the experience level of the photographers they’re built to serve. Keep your skill level in mind when looking at price.
  • One feature that’s increasingly important in newer cameras is Wi-Fi connectivity. Not only does this make it easy to move your photos from your camera to other devices for editing and sharing, but it also allows you to post your photos on social media. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The Nikon D750 DSLR Camera has integrated Wi-Fi, which also lets you use your smartphone as a remote control for your camera.
  • If you shoot outdoors, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of being limited by the weather. The right weatherproof camera lets you capture images even when it’s raining or snowing outside. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR is both gasketed and sealed to keep dust and moisture out. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera is also weatherproof.
  • Before setting aside part of your budget for a camera, make sure you know how much you’ll have to spend on accessories. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera comes with an 18-55mm lens, as well as an optional upgrade to include a bag. You can also upgrade to a 55-mm lens, but it will bump the cost up by a couple hundred dollars. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera has no built-in flash, and you’ll need to purchase a high-quality lens. There are a variety of bundle options, though, that will cost more but possibly save you money on buying the items separately. Look for a camera that comes with multiple accessories, including a rubber eyecup for the viewfinder, caps, a strap, a powerful battery and a built-in charger. Some models also come with an optically-stabilized lens.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a former information technology professional who spent most of her career working with computers and printers. Now a novelist and professional writer, her writings on electronics have been published on top tech sites. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.