For decades, the DSLR (digital SLR) has been the top choice for anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, a DSLR offers three tempting ingredients: manual controls, excellent picture quality and interchangeable lenses.
That’s not quite so clearcut now though with the arrival of mirrorless cameras, which are becoming more and more popular and tempting potential buyers away from DSLRs.
This is because the internal mirror box has been removed (hence the name), which sees mirrorless cameras typically smaller (in most cases at least) and mechanically simpler than a DSLR, while also taking interchangeable lenses.
While mirrorless cameras are grabbing all the headlines at the moment, don’t think DSLRs are dead and buried.
A DSLR is still the cheapest way to get a camera with interchangeable lenses and a viewfinder (you’ll find most entry-level mirrorless cameras don’t have viewfinders) and, at the other end of the scale, almost all professional sports, press and wildlife photographers choose full-frame DSLRs over every other camera type.
That said, there are some cracking mirrorless cameras out there at the moment that are taking the place of DSLRs in pro photographer’s kit bags, including the Nikon Z7, Fujifilm X-T3, Panasonic Lumix G9 and Sony Alpha A7R III.
In between entry-level and full-frame DSLRs are a whole range of models aimed at different users, different levels of experience and different budgets. Here’s our pick of the best DSLR cameras you can buy right now.