Top 10 amateur SLR cameras for beginners, comparison

Do you know the feeling when you realize that the possibilities of your digital “soap box” are not enough to realize your creative ideas? Or the feeling, when you regularly start to feel dissatisfaction with the quality of images obtained with the help of a smartphone camera? If so, then, most likely, the moment has come when you are ready to transfer your passion for photography to a new level. Obviously, in that case, the first thing that comes to mind is to buy an inexpensive amateur SLR camera.

You can ask why we are talking only about SLR cameras, while the mirrorless ones are actively gaining popularity and are winning the share of the camera market? The answer is simple – you can hardly find a mirrorless camera with a viewfinder for the same price as a DSLR.

By the way, if you think that compactness and light weight is one of the advantages of mirrorless cameras, then read this article: Comparison of a mirror camera with a mirrorless camera. We think you will be surprised.

In this article we will look at the top 10 amateur SLR cameras of 2017, from the point of view of questions: “what should I look for when choosing?” And “what camera to buy?”.

Moving to a SLR even on an amateur level is a big step forward (in comparison with a digital “soap box” or smartphone), not only in terms of image quality, but also in terms of creativity. Mirror, offering the user much more freedom in terms of manual control and selection of lenses, allows you to realize much more creative ideas. At the same time, many automatic shooting modes present on amateur SLR cameras allow beginners to feel quite comfortable during the development of the camera and studying the features of work in manual mode.

Obviously, the more you want to get from the camera, the more expensive it will be, but pause, and ask yourself the question: “Do I really need all those features and functions that I think?”. Mirrors included in our top-list are some of the most inexpensive on the market. But despite this, they all offer impressive performance and image quality, as well as functional enough to satisfy most of the photographer’s needs, especially the beginner.

What to choose: just a camera or camera complete with a lens?

When buying the first SLR camera, it makes sense to purchase the so-called whale kit, which usually includes the camera itself and an 18-55mm lens. This lens covers a wide range of focal lengths, suitable for shooting a variety of genres – from landscapes to portraits. Why the whale lens is the ideal choice for a beginner photographer you can read in the article: 8 reasons why a whale lens is an ideal lens for a beginner.

But the whale lens is just the beginning.

One of the main advantages of a SLR camera in front of any photomultiliner – even the top one – is that you can at any time supplement the camera with the necessary photo equipment and accessories: a wide-angle or telephoto zoom lens, flash, etc.

Photo market giant – Canon and Nikon – offer photographers the widest choice of lenses for SLR cameras, Pentax and Sony users are also available a lot of lenses. Do not lag behind the leaders and third-party manufacturers, for example, Sigma or Tamron, lenses that are not inferior in quality branded (and sometimes superior), and are cheaper.

Best amateur SLR camera 2017: Nikon D3300

Not the most expensive entry-level SLR, but, perhaps, the best.

Nikon D3300

Characteristics

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Nikon DX
LCD 3 inches, 921 000 points
Continuous serial shooting duration 5 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
User Level Newbie

Pros and Cons Nikon D3300:

+ Excellent image quality – Fixed LCD
+ Built-in tutorial – There is no built-in Wi-Fi

The Nikon D3400 should have been and could have replaced the D3300, but in our opinion, the Nikon D3300 managed to maintain its leadership position. Why? Because the D3300 is almost identical to the D3400, but it costs a little less. 24.2-megapixel sensor allows you to get images with a lot of details, like the more expensive Nikon models, and the lack of a smoothing filter allows you to increase the sharpness of the image.

This is a very convenient camera for everyday use and for gaining the skills of using DSLRs. The built-in tutorial allows the amateur photographer in real time to master all the main functions and features of the Nikon D3300.

Unfortunately, this model can not offer the user either a rotary touch-sensitive LCD display, no built-in Wi-Fi module. But for those who are critical of the presence of a Wi-Fi camera, Nikon can offer inexpensive Wi-Fi-adapters.

The D3300 offers the user a number of improvements, compared to its predecessor, and looks, in general, as a logical development of the idea of ​​Nikon to further strengthen its position in the segment of entry-level SLRs.

Features of the Nikon D3300

Unlike most cameras of the same class, the D3300 does not have built-in Wi-Fi. So, if you need the wireless features of the D3300, you will have to purchase an external Wi-Fi adapter for an additional fee.

The D3300 flaunts a 24.2-megapixel CMOS matrix DX-format, providing a resolution that surpasses the capabilities of many competitors.

Nikon D3300. Design

At first glance, the D3300 becomes clear that Nikon is striving to create an ideal entry-level SLR. The price of the novelty confirms these intentions as well as possible, while its characteristics meet all the requirements imposed on the camera for beginners.

The D3300 retains a visual display of the camera’s basic settings on the LCD, successfully debuting on the D3200. This function is especially useful for beginners who can visually observe how the aperture, shutter and ISO sensitivity settings change, depending on the manipulations they perform. Especially successful is the display of the aperture settings, which becomes larger or smaller as the user selects the appropriate values.
Nikon D3300

Resolution

Thanks to the solid number of megapixels and the absence of an anti-aliasing filter, the D3300 provides an impressive level of detail. With ISO values ​​from 100 to 400, the camera is able to capture about 34 lines per 1 mm (lpmm) on the test plot.

The level of detail is kept at a high level throughout the entire ISO range, a noticeable decrease is observed only with ISO 6400 – here it drops to 28 lpmm. At ISO 25 600, the result of the D3300 is 24 lpmm.

Noise

In the range from ISO 100 to ISO 400, the camera is able to cope with the noise, although already at ISO 400 there is sometimes a color noise in the shadow area.

At ISO 800, the noise becomes more noticeable, however, the inclusion of an intra-camera shumodav significantly improves the situation, coping with most of the noise.

As was to be expected, at ISO 12 800 noise is already becoming a significant problem, absorbing most of the small details and negating all the increased detail of the images expected from the D3300.

Video recording

Despite the fact that to expect from an entry-level SLR of any outstanding results in video recording, the D3300 provides rather high video recording performance. New Nikon allows you to shoot movies as 1920 x 1080 Full HD, at a frame rate of up to 60 frames per second.

To connect to a TV or monitor for viewing video on the camera, there is an HDMI output. Also on the camera there is a standard 3.5mm mini jack connector for connecting an external microphone.

Nikon D3300. The result.

The market of entry-level SLRs, recently, is experiencing a very significant pressure from mirrorless compacts, successfully competing with DSLRs due to smaller dimensions and increasingly impressive characteristics.

Despite this circumstance, the Nikon D3300 is a good example of that entry-level SLRs still have something to offer the user. The improved design made the D3300 one of the most compact DSLRs, while the camera retained an optical viewfinder, which, in the opinion of many, is lacking in compact mirrorless devices.

The presence of a 24-megapixel sensor and the lack of a low-level anti-aliasing filter allow the D3300 to provide a level of detail that exceeds the capabilities of most competing DSLRs and mirror-free compacts.

The reverse side of the medal of a large number of megapixels in combination with the crested matrix is ​​that at low ISO values ​​noise becomes a very significant problem.

Another disadvantage for a number of users is the lack of an integrated Wi-Fi module in the D3300, although, in our opinion, this defect is completely leveled by the impressively low price of the camera.

In general, if you are looking for an entry-level SLR with high resolution, the purchase of which does not get too expensive for you, then the Nikon D3300 is certainly worth your attention.

As a traditional bonus, we offer you a video review of the Nikon D3300:

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Canon EOS 750D

Canon EOS 750D

A stunning combination of first-class ergonomics and an excellent sensor.

Characteristics

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Canon EF-S
LCD display 3 inches, 1,040,000 points, rotary, touch
Continuous serial shooting duration 5 frames per second
Maximum Video Resolution 1080p
User level Newbie / Amateur

Pros and cons

:

+ A stunning sensor – Low capacity Batteries
+ Wi-Fi with NFC – The viewfinder covers 95% of the frame

Nikon did not manage to gain a foothold in our top-list as the sole leader, because by spending a little more money, you will get a much more productive camera.

We mean Canon EOS 750D. Yes, it’s possible that the Canon EOS 800D will be able to displace the 750D from the pedestal, but it will be available only by the end of spring, and it’s possible to make unambiguous conclusions about the quality of the Canon novelty before the second half of 2017. And the cost of the new model at the start of sales will clearly exceed the cost of Canon EOS 750D. So, we can say with confidence that this year the acquisition of 750D will be a good choice.

As for the short characteristics of the 750D, we can mention an excellent 24.2-megapixel sensor that provides stunning image quality, a high-performance and reliable autofocus system, a built-in Wi-Fi module with NFC, and a rotary touch-sensitive LCD display.

Benefits:

  • Swivel on all axes display.
  • A fast autofocus system with 19 cross points.
  • Serial shooting 5 fps with a capacious buffer in JPEG.
  • Built-in correction for vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberration of lenses
  • Good recording quality of FullHD video 24p / 25p / 30p with manual settings.
  • Create HDR photos;
  • Availability of Wi-Fi and NFC modules
  • Exit to external microphone
  • Comes with silent stepper STM-lens
  • Rate of 5 frames per second.
  • Presence of standard microUSB and miniHDMI connectors.
  • Displays the AF area illumination in the viewfinder.
  • Support for wi-fi synchronization and remote control of the camera via wi-fi.
  • The presence of NFC synchronization.
  • Remote management of external flashes.
  • You can focus through the touch screen.

Disadvantages:

  • There is no FullHD 50p / 60p video recording support.
  • A cheap plastic case
  • Poor software for Android.
  • There is no shooting mode with interval (which is very convenient for fireworks and lightning) and HDR.
  • Optimization of wi-fi power consumption, or rather its absence.
  • There is no proximity sensor in the viewfinder, with a touch screen it would not hurt to get them.

What you need to pay attention to:

  • Automatic ISO is limited only by the ISO 6400 threshold, although the camera can also shoot with ISO 12800 and ISO 25600.
  • In the settings you will find the option to turn on the GPS module, but it is activated only for an external sensor.
  • The minimum shutter speed is 1/4000.
  • X-synchronization 1/200.
  • The camera supports SD memory cards.
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E17.

Canon EOS 750D – conclusion

The camera will be an excellent choice for a beginner photographer. Such a workhorse with a bunch of lotions inside. The 24-megapixel matrix, tenacious autofocus, the availability of Wi-Fi and NFC modules all make the 750D a very good investment in its photographic future.

Canon EOS 750D has received a lot of improvements in comparison with its predecessor, which makes it a very tasty purchase. The camera will be an excellent choice for a beginner photographer. Such a workhorse with a bunch of lotions inside. The 24-megapixel matrix, tenacious autofocus, the availability of Wi-Fi and NFC modules all make the 750D a very good investment in its photographic future.

First of all, it deserves attention from not only beginners, but also amateur photographers. Particularly will appeal to fans of technology and social networks, tk. With new ways of synchronization, you will not be able to post pictures immediately after the shooting.

If you are just beginning your acquaintance with a SLR camera, we strongly recommend to buy a camera with a whale lens 18-55 II IS.

Canon EOS 750D – video review

The highest image quality, excellent ergonomics and more control over the shooting process allowed the Canon EOS 750D to move the Nikon D5600 to the third place.

Best amateur SLR camera 2017: Nikon D5600

Never before has the choice between Canon and Nikon been so complicated!

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Nikon D5600

 

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Nikon DX
LCD 3 inches, 1,040,000 points, rotary, touch
Continuous continuous shooting time 5 frames per second
Maximum Video Resolution 1080p
User Level Newbie / Amateur
Pros and cons:
+ Excellent image quality – Slow Focusing in Live View
+ Turning Touchscreen LCD display – SnapBridge requires revision

The Nikon D5600, when replacing the D5500, made direct competition to the Canon EOS 750D in the upper price range of the amateur segment of the SLR segment. And if the Nikon d3000-series cameras are perfect for those who want to buy a good amateur DSLR for a little money, then the d5000-series is aimed at amateur photographers who want to get more creative space.

The Nikon D5600 features a large 3.2-inch swivel LCD touchscreen display, and a high-performance and accurate AF system with 39 dots. All this in combination with a 24.2-megapixel sensor and a simple, intuitive system of setup and control allow the beginner to quickly master this camera and get excellent results.

Survey quality: as usual, flawlessly

The Nikon D5600 provides very good shooting quality for the camera for this price. At the standard Picture Control settings, you get accurate color reproduction and a nice-looking picture. This is an excellent setting for everyday use, but you can always choose other modes at your discretion: Vivid, Neutral, Even, Portrait, Landscape, Monochrome.

The NIKKOR 18-55mm AF-P standard lens provides high definition in detail – in part, due to the lack of an optical low-pass filter. Such a filter usually softens the picture to prevent the appearance of moiré. NIKKOR 18-55 mm AF-P with an equivalent focal length of 27-82.5 mm is a perfect universal lens, unless you are engaged in photography of wild animals.

Video: excellent, but without 4K

The Nikon D5600 belongs to the middle-level cameras, so the maximum resolution of the video shooting is limited to Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a frequency of 60/50/24 frames per second. Supports also shooting with HD resolutions of 1280 x 720 @ 60 fps and VGA 640 x 424 @ 30 fps. Provides a mode of slow motion (time-lapse).

The sensitivity of the built-in stereo microphone can be adjusted automatically or manually. For best sound quality, you should use an external stereo microphone, connecting it to a 3.5 mm jack. The chamber has a filter to reduce the noise from the wind. It is important that the Nikon D5600 writes video in the .MOV format, which simplifies its viewing and editing.

In the manual shooting mode, only the shutter speed and ISO sensitivity can be edited. Unfortunately, there may be a sound from the shutter speed dial on the recording. The good news is that if you shoot a video with a Nikon AF-P lens 18-55 mm (and not AF-S), then you probably will not hear autofocus and zoom sounds.

The quality of the video shooting Nikon D5600 is quite good, with accurate color reproduction and a smooth video. The autofocus function is available for touching the display and AF AF tracking AF.

Shooting speed and battery life

Amera has a very good autonomy: the CIPA technique, the battery should be enough for 820 pictures. After a whole day of shooting, we returned home with a decent battery reserve.

Nikon D5600 | Conclusions

Nikon D5600 is a high-quality SLR camera at an affordable price, which is addressed to the widest range of amateur photographers. Beginners can immediately make decent shots, and more experienced users will appreciate a variety of different settings. Those who regularly share photos with friends, should like the ease with which pictures can be sent to social networks through the SnapBridge application.

Of course, the most important thing in the camera is the quality of the shooting, and in this respect, the Nikon D5600 does not disappoint at all. The compact and lightweight body will not be burdensome on trips, walks around the city or even when climbing mountain peaks. Perhaps the addition of SnapBridge and some new features of the touch screen and will not force D5500 owners to upgrade to a new model, but overall, this is a great digital SLR.

Advantages:

  • Great photo quality
  • Good performance
  • Very good battery life
  • External microphone connector
  • Easy transfer of images to mobile devices
  • A large set of settings

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum of manual settings for shooting a video
  • Lack of 4K video support
  • Not always stable Wi-Fi communication

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Canon EOS 760D

Complete analog EOS 750D, but with improved controllability and an additional LCD monitor

Canon EOS 760D

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Canon EF-S
3 inches , 1,040,000 points, rotary, touch
Continuous serial shooting duration 5 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
User level Newbie / Amateur
Pros and cons:
+ responsive touchscreen – Inconvenient AF point selection
+ Excellent sensor – Price

Understand the logic of the company Canon, which replaced the 700D two cameras: 750D and 760D can be very difficult. After all, in terms of technical stuffing, both cameras are almost identical, and differ only in ergonomics and external controls. The EOS 760D, for example, has an additional monochrome LCD display, typical for older Canon models. The Canon EOS 750D is the best option for beginner amateurs, but if you need a compact digital SLR camera with a full range of functions and controls for higher-level DSLRs, then by choosing the EOS 760D, you will not be mistaken. And given the release of the Canon EOS 77D in April, the cost of the 760D should go down a little, which makes the purchase of this DSLR very attractive.

Conclusions about testing the Canon EOS 760D

Canon EOS 760D camera can be easily recommended to all enthusiastic photographers who would like to have advanced modern functions in their DSLR, but at the same time the budget is limited and does not allow looking to more expensive models, in particular, 80D or 7D Mark II.

8 major pluses 760D

  1. Advanced ergonomics in older models: second screen, mode dial lock, ring around the joystick with locking
  2. High resolution matrix, fast processor
  3. Swivel touchscreen, eye sensor, electronic horizon
  4. Fast and accurate autofocus module: 19 cross sensors
  5. Excellent Live View mode, best in its class: hybrid autofocus, speed and responsiveness, displaying all exposure settings in creative modes
  6. Chain tracking autofocus in Live View for both photo and video
  7. Good video capture capabilities, external microphone connector
  8. Wi-Fi + NFC

8 main minuses 760D

  1. No focus microscope for lenses
  2. There is no exact white balance setting in the Kelvins
  3. No frame density of 60p for Full HD video
  4. No headphone or zebra output for video, no microphone level output
  5. Weak battery
  6. The viewfinder is a pentaser mirror, covers only 95% of the frame
  7. The NFC tag is inconvenient
  8. There is no TimeLapse function, sketching panoramas

Video review – comparison of Canon 750, Canon 760D vs Nikon D5500

Best amateur SLR camera 2017: Nikon D3400

Many amateur DSLRs just need a little cheaper.

Nikon D3400

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Nikon DX
LCD display 3 inches, 921,000 points
Continuous serial shooting duration 5 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
User level Newbie
Pros and Cons:
+ Excellent battery capacity – The price is higher than that of competitors.
+ Good performance in frame-by-frame autofocus mode – No touch-sensitive LCD display

Nikon d3400 in terms of technical characteristics is almost identical to the leader of our top-sheet – Nikon d3300. The main differences between these cameras are the availability of the D3400 support for SnapBridge and Bluetooth technologies, which allow you to transfer images from the camera directly to your mobile devices, and then share them with friends through social networks, for example.

The Nikon d3400 is an excellent entry-level SLR that targets a younger generation of users who want to be able to quickly share their photos with friends. However, the d3300 offers the best value for money, which did not allow the d3400 to claim the leader’s seat, at least until it becomes a bit cheaper.

Conclusions

Nikon D3400 is a logical, verified, logical development of the line of the most affordable DSLRs. Available not only for price, but also for use

The device is made so that it can be used by a child, a housewife, and a pensioner. To get quality frames, it is enough to find the shutter button on the camera and set the “green” mode. Nikon D3400 can work on a full machine. But at the same time he is ready to grow with you. The help function will make it convenient and accessible to learn the basics of photography. Semi-automatic and manual shooting modes allow you to customize all parameters of the shooting.

Nikon D3400 is suitable for those who take off from time to time (for example, during vacation), non-professional photographers, those who do not have time to study manual settings and techniques and who need a tool capable of capturing important moments of life.

Nikon D3400 can become your guide to the world of photos. The matrix of the device is capable to give the image of excellent quality, and the replaceable optics will allow to expand your toolkit. The device is easy to use, and all the basic settings in it are done by pressing a pair of buttons.

Pros:

  • Excellent image quality;
  • low level of digital noise at high ISO;
  • compact size and light weight
  • good autonomy: about 740 pictures per battery charge
  • excellent ergonomics: each button in its place;
  • Quick and accurate focusing with both the optical viewfinder and with the display;
  • Quality implementation of Live View;
  • SnapBridge technology: photos are automatically transferred to your smartphone
  • advanced work of auto-ISO (in the parameters of this function you can set the maximum shutter speed, insuring yourself from blurring the images, which is especially important for beginners)
  • Guide mode for beginning photographers will help you master all the basic techniques of working with the camera
  • A perfect balance between ease of learning and the availability of advanced features: the device will allow the owner to learn from scratch and develop in photography.

Cons:

  • Absence of ultrasonic matrix cleaning system
  • RAW images are not as flexible in processing as in older Nikon models;
  • Record video in crop mode with mono sound

Video review of the Nikon D3400

Best amateur SLR camera 2017: Nikon D5300

Almost ideal for a beginner.

NikonD5300

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Nikon DX
3.2 inches, 1,037,000 Points, rotary
Continuous series duration Th 5 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
User level Newbie / Amateur
Pros and cons:
+ High-resolution sensor without anti-aliasing filter</td > – Slow focusing in Live View
+ Built-in GPS -No touch LCD display

The Nikon D5300 appeared about a year before it was replaced by the D5500. Both cameras use a 24.2-megapixel sensor, a DIGIC 4 graphics processor and a 39-point focusing system. The maximum ISO sensitivity of both cameras is 25,600.

The capacity of the D5300 battery is enough for about 600 shots, which is less than the D5500, but still more than the Canon EOS 750D.

Traditionally, the five-thousand-series SLRs from Nikon are known for their balanced features at an affordable price. Their functionality, including the management interface, is sufficient for serious photography. The Nikon D5300 was no exception. With the seeming minimalism of the buttons, the basic functions are always at hand at the photographer’s fingertips.

Conclusion about the Nikon D5300

Our big test is over. Strangely enough, but even for a week I could not tell about all the functions and capabilities of this camera. For example, I have never been able to use the tracking autofocus Nikon D5300 – there was no suitable story. But it does not matter, it works exactly the same as in Nikon D5200, and we very diligently tested it earlier.

But the main goal is achieved – I can say for sure that in the hands of a beginner, and in the hands of a more experienced photographer, the Nikon D5300 is able to provide the highest image quality in almost any shooting environment. The landscapes I shot during the test simply amaze with their detail. I really like how the camera worked out contrasting subjects, automatically correcting the details in the shadows and lights. There were no noticeable problems when shooting with insufficient lighting. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for me to shoot at the museum: autofocus worked properly the first time, the stabilizer in the whale lens worked out even very long exposures for shooting from the hands, the images were highly detailed and not very noisy.

If at the beginning of the test I still had some questions on the management of the D5300 (then I can not immediately find the ISO setting, then the focus mode), after a week I got used to the camera, to its small but convenient and understandable set of buttons. They are enough to quickly change the necessary parameters, but at the same time a beginner can relatively quickly learn by heart the purpose of all controls. Plus the on-screen menu, which helps out literally in any situation. But still it is a SLR, and quite a high level. So the potential owner of Nikon D5300 will at least once carefully read the instructions, so as not to be disappointed in the possibilities of the camera.

The swivel display – a seeming trifle – was also very helpful: without it a number of frames I simply would not have done. Of the hundreds of other nice “little things” I should mention a couple of innovations: Wi-Fi and GPS. The first allows you to “make friends” with the camera with a smartphone, share pictures and even manage the camera. GPS is called to answer for you to the usual comment of curious people: “Beautiful! Where is it?”

From the formal drawbacks, I would like to note a not too large buffer size when shooting in RAW + JPG – only six frames. On the other hand, this camera is not positioned in the role of professional reporters. By the way, in JPG at a speed of 5 frames / s Nikon D5300 is able to make 13 shots, and only then the speed of shooting falls. So almost any, even a very dynamic plot, will be this model in the teeth.

Pros:

  • correct operation in auto mode;
  • high image detail;
  • low noise level up to ISO 3200 inclusive;
  • good color rendering;
  • sufficiently advanced management;
  • high firing rate for amateur cameras
  • fast auto focus
  • coverage of autofocus points for most of the frame
  • Integrated Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Rotary screen
  • Postprocessing functions in the camera itself

Cons:

  • the need to read the instruction from cover to cover at least once
  • small buffer size when shooting in RAW + JPG;
  • all the advantages of autofocus appear only when shooting through the viewfinder.

Our opinion

Nikon D5300 – a sample of an excellent camera for a beginner or an advanced photographer: the simplicity of work and excellent results in auto mode will be liked first, and the highest for its class image quality – the second. The camera can surprise: when shooting with good lighting – the highest detail, when shooting with low lighting – clean and noiseless picture. She is equally easy to take pictures in different genres, from landscape to portrait. And excellent autofocus allows you to even try yourself in a reportage shooting – the camera is quite capable of shooting offhand. But still I would not consider the Nikon D5300 as a professional model: where the photographer should at all costs guarantee the customer a quality result regardless of the shooting conditions, it is better to prefer the more expensive SLRs.

Bonus – video review of Nikon D5300

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Canon EOS 700D

Still good outside, and not too bad from the inside.

Canon EOS 700D

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 18 MP
Type of bayonet Canon EF-S
LCD display 3 inches, 1,040,000 dots, swivel, touch
Continuous serial shooting duration 5 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
user level Newbie / Amateur
Pros and cons:
+ Excellent ergonomics
+ Rotary touch LCD display – No built-in Wi-Fi

Outwardly distinguish between the EOS 700D and EOS 750D, especially the newcomer, will not be easy – 750D inherited from its predecessor and touch LCD display, and the best in its class ergonomics. In the EOS 700D, even the control buttons are much more convenient, and the control is more intuitive than the competing Nikon cameras. What makes working with this DSLR is comfortable and simple, regardless of your photographic skills.

However, the EOS 700D has a lot of weaknesses. This is an outdated sensor, released in 2010, inferior to modern performance sensors in terms of noise suppression, and in the dynamic range. And a 9-point autofocus system, and the lack of a built-in Wi-Fi module.

All this is somewhat leveled by a very attractive price, but it should be recognized that the acquisition of Canon EOS 750D or 760D is a more promising solution. With a high degree of probability, we can assume that with the sale of the Canon EOS 800D, 700D will soon disappear from the shelves of stores.

The Canon EOS 700D can claim to be the most balanced DSLR in terms of price / performance / functionality. It will be a good choice for those who first buy a camera that is different from the built-in phone, for users who want to get more features and better photo / video quality than compacts, as well as the owners of outdated DSLR models that are no longer satisfied with strong noises at high ISO , I want to still and sometimes remove the video, and watch the material on a large detailed touchscreen rotary display. It can also be an excellent backup camera for professional photographers with large expensive Canon cameras.

Pros

  • versatility: from fully automatic modes to manual settings
  • quality presets for shooting;
  • a flip-up display with a touchscreen
  • In general, convenient work with video
  • interchangeable optics – the ability to use any EF and EF-S lenses
  • A wide range of ISO operating systems.

Cons

  • large size – you really need to get carried away with photography in order to carry such a large camera with you
  • demanding lighting in automatic modes: the camera often puts the shutter speed too long.

Conclusion about Canon EOS 700D

The best camera is suitable for those who have long been photographing on the “soap box” and wants to grow in this direction. If the photo became a serious hobby, and the possibilities of digital soap cases have ceased to satisfy, then Canon EOS 700D is perfect – you can experiment with lenses, deal with typical settings of DSLRs.

For quite early photographers, it’s better to choose a compact as a less burdensome option. Professional photographers know us better than they will. And amateurs with experience can use the camera as a second – not to twist the lens from the main camera for reporting shooting, for example. In the capable hands of Canon EOS 700D provides the highest quality images.

Video

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Canon EOS 100D

Cheap and very interesting amateur DSLR.

Canon EOS 100D

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 18 MP
Type of bayonet Canon EF-S
LCD display 3 inches, 1,040,000 points, touch
Continuous serial shooting duration And 4 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
User level Newbie
Pros and cons:
+ Compact SLR camera – Low battery capacity
+ Touch control – No swivel LCD display

With the release of the EOS 100D, Canon planned to fight the influx of mirrorless cameras, because at the time of its appearance in March 2013, the 100D was the smallest DSLR in the world.

Over the years since its inception, the Canon EOS 100D is a little outdated, but it is still able to offer good image quality for more than acceptable money, which makes it a good choice for amateur photographers looking for the first DSLR.

What can the owner of this camera count on? First of all, the 18-megapixel sensor and hybrid CMOS-autofocus second version, allowing the EOS 100D to focus faster than the Canon EOS 1200D. The smallest Canon SLR camera is equipped with a 3-inch LCD touchscreen, which, in combination with the excellent interface of the Canon brand menu, makes the operation of this camera convenient and intuitive even to the most inexperienced amateur photographer. A smaller number of buttons than, for example, the 750D, is for beginners rather a plus, rather than a disadvantage.

Canon EOS 100D – The smallest DSLR in the world

Ergonomics 100d, and especially the large handle of the case, despite the small overall dimensions of the camera as a whole, allows it to lie securely and confidently in the hand. The image quality is good, but the 24-megapixel Nikon D3300, of course, makes more detailed images.

Advantages

  • Compact size and weight.
  • Good ergonomics for such dimensions.
  • Work of phase sensors in Live View and when recording video, even compared to older devices.
  • “Friendly” management interface for newbies, plus hints.
  • Responsiveness of touch screen controls
  • Special fingerprint protection on the screen
  • Many understandable creative modes.
  • Sensor operation at high ISO sensitivities
  • FullHD video recording 24p / 25p / 30p with manual settings.
  • Exit to external microphone
  • Capture a 1280 x 720 video at 60 fps for the SlowMotion effect.
  • Tough autofocus using a central cross-point.
  • Exact metering and white balance.
  • Built-in correction of vignetting and chromatic aberrations of lenses.
  • Spectacular appearance in white.
  • Automatically create HDR photos.
  • Hand-held mode at night.
  • Night portrait shooting mode
  • Quick, quiet and high-quality complete lens with STM motor

Disadvantages

  • Not a rotatable display.
  • There are no built-in Wi-Fi and NFC modules.
  • Implementing autofocus lights using a flash.
  • One cross-shaped autofocus point of nine available.
  • Not the highest battery capacity and battery life
  • Not a functional five-way joystick.

Conclusions

If you do not want to carry extra hundreds of grams of plastic in your bag, and there are few places there, then you should take a closer look at the Canon EOS 100D SLR camera. It combines the most compact dimensions among the existing DSLRs in the market and the minimum weight, while maintaining a good ergonomics, similar to the older models, the quality of shooting photos and video, fast autofocus and many auxiliary functions for beginners in photography. And in general, with such a camera you get a fan more from daily use than with older burdening bricks. Professional photographers can also pay attention to the EOS 100D, because an additional 400 grams in the weather jacket will not do, but to save the situation in case of failure of the main camera can be quite. Girls in general have now left no choice, 100D in white – just a must have for them.

Video review of Canon EOS 100D:

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Canon EOS 1300D

Excellent replacement for Canon EOS 1200D.

Canon EOS 1300D

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 18 MP
Type of bayonet Canon EF-S
LCD display 3 inches, 920,000 points
Continuous serial shooting duration 3 frames per second
Maximum Video Resolution 1080p
User level Newbie
Pros and cons:
+ Low price – Slow Focusing in Live View
+ Good image quality – No touchscreen LCD

The Canon EOS 1300d uses the same sensor as in the 1200d, but thanks to the newer graphics processor, images at 1300d are better. Although, in actual conditions, the ignorant spectator is unlikely to notice the differences between the photographs from the two above-mentioned cameras.

The Canon EOS 1300d offers the user the capabilities of an integrated Wi-Fi module and NFC technology. This means that you can not only transfer photos from the camera to a smartphone or tablet, but also use a smartphone to remotely control the camera – which is very convenient for taking group photos, which will be attended by the photographer himself.

Perhaps, it’s worth mentioning that the resolution of the 3-inch LCD is increased from 460 000 to 920 000 pixels, which makes the image more clear when viewed on the LCD and focuses in Live View mode.

Canon 1300D: Pros and Cons

So, let’s take a closer look at Canon’s new product. The stuffing of this camera is really quite outdated, though, outwardly the camera looks very good. On some positions Canon 1300D is inferior even Canon 100D. First of all, this camera uses the old type of processor, in addition, it seems that the matrix used in the new Canon camera is older than the 100D matrix. By the way, the 1300D does not have a touch screen, which is already used to many users of compact cameras and DSLRs.The 1300D whale lens can also be called very budgetary. It’s about the Canon 18-55mm DC III – a really very old and very simple lens without a stabilization system (which you can not close your eyes to), and with an outdated focusing system (which is often not enough for normal focusing when shooting video). The next generation of this lens received a new silent drive of focus and the abbreviation STM, which allows the lens not only to quietly focus, but also to draw a much better image.

The quality of the image, drawn by a novelty paired with a whale lens, can be called acceptable, but no more. You can rate it yourself by viewing examples of images to this review. Just be careful: some photos were shot not on the whale lens, but on the Canon 24mm f / 2.8 EF-S, however, and they look not much more attractive.

Summarizing, the quality of photos Canon 1300D can be said very simply: an experienced photographer, familiar with all the tricks of composition and lighting, is able to pull out of this camera very decent results. And a beginner? We think that the person who first took a DSLR in hand, the quality of photos will satisfy completely.

In short, the quality of photos of the new budget camera Canon can be called worthy. But there is one “but”: improving the quality of images does not give the 1300D any significant chances in the fight with more expensive cameras in this market segment. It’s safe to say that the Canon EOS 1300D will not only lose the Nikon D3400, but even the Nikon D3300. And yes, the user will always be tempted to buy for the same money mirrorless, for example, Sony A5100.

Canon 1300D: Conclusion in two sentences

Even the cheapest mirror on the market is able to shoot photos of good quality, but still the difference in the quality of images with more expensive DSLRs, even the entry level, is very noticeable. Advise to buy Canon 1300D, we can only a person whose budget is strictly limited, and he is not too demanding on the performance of the acquired camera.

Canon EOS 1300D outputs

The Canon EOS 1300D is an excellent example of a SLR camera with an attractive price. Discard ambitions and take a closer look at this amateur camera. He knows all that a modern camera should be able to do: it makes it possible to use all manual settings, provides high quality images in moderately difficult conditions, can shoot with a blurry background and allows the use of interchangeable optics. The last, perhaps, the main plus. This camera is the starting point for entering a serious photo. Its capabilities are sufficient for creative shooting, whether it is a landscape or a portrait, sketches from a trip or a small report from an event.

In the best traditions of today’s day, the Canon EOS 1300D captures full-HD video at up to 25 (30) frames per second. All manual settings for video shooting are available. And in it there is Wi-Fi for wireless communication with a smartphone or tablet and for remote control.The cons of Canon EOS 1300D are obvious. Being the youngest model in the lineup, it differs from more expensive cameras with lower speed of serial shooting, smaller buffer volume, simplified autofocus system, slightly worse results of shooting at high ISO, irrevocable display design. All this practically does not limit the photographer in his work, but does not allow using the camera in commercial photography.

We recommend this model to beginning photographers as the first SLR camera or those photographers who want to upgrade to a higher quality level after using a compact or smartphone. Canon EOS 1300D is able to provide an appropriate level of quality, especially in the case of high-speed optics. But the use of interchangeable optics is one of the main advantages of SLR cameras!

Pros:

  • availability;
  • light weight and size
  • simplicity of the interface;
  • the prompt system in the on-screen menu
  • small turn-on time;
  • APS-C large image sensor;
  • high quality images up to ISO 1600;
  • large buffer size in JPEG;
  • Integrated Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Full HD video.

Cons:

  • strong noises and loose picture at ISO 3200 and higher
  • slow autofocus when viewing the display
  • small amount of buffer in RAW;
  • Non-rotating display.

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Pentax K-70

One of the most protected amateur DSLRs.

Best Amateur SLR Camera 2017: Pentax K-70

 

Sensor type CMOS APS-C
Sensor Resolution 24.2 MP
Type of bayonet Pentax-K
LCD display 3 inches, 921,000 points, inclined
Continuous serial shooting duration 6 frames per second
Maximum video resolution 1080p
User level Newbie / Amateur
Pros and cons:
+ Weatherproof – Few AF points
+ Hybrid autofocus in Live View – Mediocre whale lens

The company Pentax is famous for the production of SLR cameras with an excellent price-to-quality ratio, and the k-70 is no exception. Mirror cameras with all-weather protection from rain and dust are usually quite expensive, but the k-70 offers photographers such protection for a reasonable price. Want to shoot in any weather conditions – please! Just do not forget that to achieve maximum results you will need to use more expensive lenses with all-weather protection.

No matter what lens you use, you will be pleased with the autofocus system, which is so effective that it turns the focus in Live View mode into a worthy alternative to focusing with the viewfinder. And Pentax’s patented vibration suppression system is able to correct even a slightly buried horizon.

The only reason the K-70 takes the last place in our top-list is a relatively limited set of available lenses.

Of course, you can disagree with our top-list and find some other camera worthy of being included in it. Therefore, we invite you to express your opinion and suggestions in the comments to this article. All comments and wishes will be taken into account.

Camera Features

In the case of PENTAX K-70 there are about 100 seals, including in the design of the LCD monitor, which reliably protects internal mechanisms from penetration of moisture and dust. Of course, protection can only be provided with AW (All Weather) and WR (Weather Resistant) lenses. Competitors offer a similar level of protection only for much more expensive models, made in a magnesium case (here, of course, plastic). We also tested the frost resistance of the device, for which he, along with the lens, was placed for half an hour in the freezer. And at this time the camera was writing a video. The bottom line: the case and optics were misty, but they worked without problems.

Another unique feature for classic DSLRs is the stabilizer built into the camera body. It uses not a five-axis, as on the K-1, but a three-axis stabilizer, but according to the stated efficiency, it almost does not concede – 4.5 EV against 5 EV. The stabilization mechanism is compatible with all ever released PENTAX lenses, including for film cameras. Moreover, it will work also when using threaded lenses connected with the M42 adapter. Thanks to the PENTAX SR function, among other things, the horizon line can be automatically adjusted in the range from -2 to +2 degrees. But the function of the composition of the frame due to the shift of the sensor is not provided.

Of course, you can not forget about the built-in Wi-Fi module, which allows you to not only view the captured images, but also control the camera in LiveView mode (shutter release, focus points selection, exposure settings, and exposure settings).

Conclusion

Pentax K-70 definitely deserves attention. The main points that I would like to emphasize when comparing with competitors: a protected case, built-in stabilizer, “screwdriver” of the autofocus drive and backlighting of the edges of focus with manual focus, a minimum shutter speed of 1/6000 seconds, a viewfinder with a 100% frame coverage. In addition, the autofocus module does not even have a huge number of points, but it can provide focus at -3 EV illumination. We can not but mention the Pixel Shift Resolution function, which allows you to improve the quality of the picture, although it requires a tripod.

The shortcomings include slow autofocus in video mode, short battery life, a relatively short series of images in JPEG mode, and a small number of available TTL flashes. Of course, you can still find fault with the speed of the serial shooting, which in our case did not correspond to the declared level, but we’ll write it down to the flaws of the firmware of the sample.

Video test



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