2018's Top DSLR Cameras

Looking for the best DSLR camera? We’ve combed through and compared the best DSLR cameras available from all of the top manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and more to come up with this just updated best of list for 2018.

Having used, bought and sold DSLR cameras for many years, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what the best DSLR camera picks are based upon your needs and budget. There are hundreds of models to choose from, and our list below will make it easy for you to decide. Whether you’re looking for the best features no matter the cost, or if you’ve got a budget to stick to and want the best performance for the price, rest assured that there is a DSLR camera for you. 

#1 Overall Budget Pick

Nikon D3300 W/18-55MM Lens

MSRP $499.95 See Amazon Price

The Nikon D3300 is an incredibly solid camera for the price. Sporting a 24.2 MP Sensor and excellent 5 frame per second fast action capability, this DSLR is versatile and easy on the pocketbook. Also shoots high quality 1080P HD Video. Our pick includes the standard 18-55MM AF-P next generation lens that’s a good all around lens. Rounded out with excellent battery life (up to 700 shots per charge), the D3300 is a clear winner.

Best Premium DSLR

Canon EOS 80D w/18-135MM Lens

MSRP $1799 See Amazon Price

Wow. It’s hard to put into words how phenomenal this camera is. If you’re looking to buy a DSLR camera that offers excellent picture AND video quality, the Canon EOS 80D with 18-135MM lens is an excellent option. Recently released, this camera’s feature set is vast, including: 45 Point Auto Focus, built in Wifi, 7 frame per second stills, and expanded HDR modes. The 18-135mm stock lens is incredibly versatile for both close up and mid range distances.

Best Travel DSLR

Canon Rebel Sl2 w/18-55MM Lens

MSRP $699 See Amazon Price

If you’re a traveler, we really like the Rebel Sl2 for it’s small form factor. It’s one of the smallest DSLR’s on the market, but retains the picture quality and video quality of larger cameras. The SL2 is an updated version of the hugely popular SL1, and adds a better image sensor, 77% better battery life, and a more flexible LCD screen. Since it’s release, it’s earned it’s place as our favorite travel cam.

Best DSLR for Beginners

Canon Rebel T6 with 18-55MM Lens

MSRP $549 See Amazon Price

The Rebel T6 offers an easy to use menu, and excellent “auto” settings to enable even the newest DSLR camera owners to produce excellent pictures. At currently under $400, it’s one of the most budget friendly DSLR cameras on the market. Just because we labeled it best DSLR for begineers, doesn’t mean you can’t grow with this camera. It’s got manual settings to explore once you’re comfortable that will expand your profficiency to create better and better images.

Best DSLR for Video

Canon Rebel T6i with 18-55MM Lens

MSRP $899 See Amazon Price

Thousands of high quality short movies have been filmed with the T6i. Just search Youtube, and you’ll see why we really like the T6i for video. The T6i is the big brother to the Rebel T6 and offers substantial upgrades including a larger image sensor, an audio mic jack, tilting touchscreen, and vastly enhanced video capability. Excellent pick for the Vlogger or YouTuber. 

Best DSLR for the Pro

Nikon D750 DSLR Camera Body

MSRP $1999.95 See Amazon Price

The Nikon D750 is widely regarding by professional photographers as one of the best DSLR’s on the market. Sure it’s not the most expensive, but in terms of best value it’s tough to beat. The D750 is rated for up to 200,000 shots, has a great tilting LCD, and offers excellent performace at high ISO’s. The D750 also offers some of the best quality burst shot capability that we’ve seen.

Here’s the key qualifying factors we looked at to crown our DSLR champions:

Adaptability is a critical component of any DSLR camera. How many branded lenses are available for it? How many third party lenses are available? The best of below will offer a variety depending upon your shooting needs. You’re looking for a camera that you can use for years, and an adaptable camera is important.

Image quality is of course incredibly important. Most major camera manufacturers in 2018 offer at least adequate image quality. But if you’re looking for a new camera and shelling out money, you have a right to get the best image quality for your budget. Don’t just look at how many megapixels a DSLR has. That only tells part of the story. It’s even more critical for a DSLR to have a large and quality image sensor, an excellent image processor, and high quality optics (the lens). We’ve factored all of these into our best DSLR camera picks.

Ease of use is an often overlooked factor. Some DSLR camera menu’s are so advanced it would seem you’d need to take college classes to be able to use it. We don’t feel that’s best for the average DSLR user. So, our list of the best DSLR camera options are going to include brands with simple to use menu’s and easy auto functionality- so if you want to “set it and forget it”, then you can.

Value is a fundamental attribute of a DSLR camera. If you can get the same feature set and quality for $500, instead of $800- what would you choose? It’s kind of a no-brainer, and our picks have factored this in. And- keep in mind, value is not the same as being “cheap”. A $2000 DSLR can offer great value for what it provides, and likewise a budget $399 DSLR can offer great value. It’s about the features and output you get from the camera at it’s specific price.

 

Pretty soon you’ll be taking expert pictures with your DSLR Camera. Out of the box, with any of the best DSLR camera of 2018 pick, you are ready to shoot. However, there are some recommended accessories to maximize your new camera. Here are our top accessories for the best DSLR camera of 2018 winners:

Tripods:

Tripod for camera

This Rangers Aluminum Carbon Fiber Tripod is a great all around choice for photography with a DSLR camera. It’s light so you can pack it where you need to without discomfort, and it breaks down quite small for easy portability. It’s also most importantly very sturdy, so it will remain solid wherever you set it up. With an MSRP of under $70, you can’t go wrong.

Flexible tripods are really handy. Suited for outdoor settings like trees, walkway metal bars, or any other situation that demands it, our recommended pick is the Joby Gorillapod pictured above. It can hold a camera setup of up to 6.5 pounds, so any of the recommended best DSLR camera picks of 2018 will work with the Gorillapod.

Memory Card:

SanDisk Extreme 64GB SD card

Retailing at under $40, this SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SD card is our top pick. SanDisk has long been a leader within the memory and storage space. It’s a reliable and fast (95MB/S) SD card that’s perfect for current DSLR cameras. It does equally well for large picture formats like RAW, and also handles HD and 4K video. This card is available in a variety of sizes, so if you need a bigger or smaller version, Amazon has those available too.

Camera Bag:

Altura Photo Great Explorer backpack

This is our favorite camera bag available right now. Retailing under $70, the Altura Great Explorer Camera Bag is a fantastic option that you can grow with. It’s capable of holding up to:

  • 1-2 DSLR Camera bodies
  • 4-6 lenses
  • Camera Flash
  • Laptop computer/tablet
  • Myriad of other accessories

Camera Straps

 

OP/TECH Strap

The OP/TECH Super Classic Strap is our choice for the best camera strap. It retails at $22.75, so won’t break the bank. OP/TECH is an indusry leader in camera accessories and what we love about them is that a large amount of their products are produced in the USA! This strap is really comfortable and easily adjustable. This strap was built specifically for heavier cameras like DSLR’s even with larger lenses.

 

Photo Printers

Canon Pixma Pro 100 Printer

Canon’s Photo Printer PRO 100 wireless photo printer is our #1 pick. MSRP is $499, but street price is generally lower. It’s been an annual best seller for Canon and both hobby and pro photographers rave about it. One thing to note, this is a big printer. Because it handles larger print sizes, it has to be. It’s solidly built and weighs around 40 pounds.

Here are some great features the Pixma Pro 100 offers:

  • Wifi Printing
  • Capable of printing up to 13″X19″ prints
  • Utilizes 8 separate dye inks to create incredibly colorful and accurate pictures

 HP Envy 4250 All in One Printer

If you are looking for a more economical option that still offers good print quality, our #2 choice is the HP Envy 4250. With an MSRP of under $100, this all in one photo printer is a good budget pick. It can’t handle quite the size prints that the Canon Pro 100 above can, but it is able to produce up to 8″X10″ prints. A nice added benefit is that the Envy 4250 also has copy and scanning ability. The colors aren’t quite as vivid as the Canon Pro 100, but the HP Envy 4250 does put out pretty nice looking photos. It also offers wireless capability, which is handy and cord-free.