Digital Cameras 2013

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Best SLRs | Digital Camera HQ's Buyer's Guide

Last updated on 01/28/2010

This year has seem some extraordinary advances in digital SLRs, namely the introduction of high-definition video to this class of cameras. For consumers looking to get into high-level photography or in search of the perfect gift for your camera-loving loved one, these five SLRs are the cream of the crop. There's a camera here for all skill levels, from the budding enthusiast to the consummate professional. Take a closer look at what makes them so special.

[Read our full Nikon D5000 Review] The Nikon D5000 follows up the innovative D90 by carrying many of that camera's features into a more accessible package. Like the D90, the D5000 carries Nikon's DX-level CMOS sensor, for 12.3-megapixels of resolution. It also features Nikon's D-Movie mode, which allows for the recording of high-definition video clips at 1280 x 720 resolution. The differences are mostly cosmetic. The D5000 is lighter and smaller, thanks to a body based on plastic rather than the more solid feel of the D90. It also has a smaller, 2.7-inch Live View LCD display, though it does come on a variable-angle mount, which lets it twist away from the body. The D5000 is, in essence, the simpler, less daunting, and more affordable version of the D90.
Nikon D60
A Strong, Affordable dSLR
The Nikon D60 is the excellent follow up to Nikon's inaugural affordable SLR, the D40. It continues in the tradition of that camera, providing exceptional performance at a fraction of the price you'd expect. It's small, lightweight, and highly portable, making it a perfect choice for travel and vacations. Though the 10-megapixel sensor may seem small by today's standards, that's more than enough power to take incredibly detailed, high-quality photos that will help you capture those memorable moments with stunning clarity.
The Canon EOS 500D is better known as the Digital Rebel T1i, the latest entry in Canon's entry-level SLR line. The Digital Rebel T1i is a tremendous camera, blending professional-level quality and power with a comfortable, approachable design that makes it easy for budding photographers to pick it up and take great shots. Try as you might, it's virtually impossible to take a poor photograph with this camera. The 500D ups the ante with the inclusion of high-definition video at the full-HD resolution of 1080p. The only minor drawback is that it films at 20 frames per second, rather than the standard 30fps. [720p can be filmed at 30fps, however].
The Canon 50D is this year's professional-level superstar. The 50D packs a 15-megapixel CMOS sensor, which allows for high-quality images while keeping the overall size of the camera manageable. It also boasts a vivid 3-inch LCD display with Live View capabilities. Canon's big update over the 40D involves their DIGIC 4 Processor, which is said to result in faster image processing and cleaner final products. If you're thinking about making photography a big part of your life, or perhaps your career, then you need a camera that will elevate your photography to that level: the Canon 50D.
Though the Canon EOS 5D Mk. II is quite expensive and intended mostly for serious professionals, we can't simply ignore it. It's got a huge 21-megapixel sensor, for outrageously large photographs, features a Live View LCD, and has full-HD 1920 x 1080 video recording, which can be used with its various interchangeable lenses. If you want true, raw power, the 5D Mk. II is a solid and substantive choice. For those not ready to step up to this impressive camera, it gives something to aspire to.
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