Dave's Picks

Professional SLR

and SLR-like digital cameras

Most Popular Professional SLR Cameras

Camera Name Res Lens Avg. Price
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 digital camera image Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 16.1 -- $2,191.65
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Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital camera image Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 -- $3,219.00
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Canon EOS 6D digital camera image Canon EOS 6D 20.2 4.38x $2,441.90
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Pentax K-3 digital camera image Pentax K-3 24.4 7.50x $1,000.64
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Nikon D610 digital camera image Nikon D610 24.3 3.54x $2,260.36
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Canon EOS 7D digital camera image Canon EOS 7D 18.0 3.80x $1,122.89
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Nikon D4S digital camera image Nikon D4S 16.2 -- $5,972.63
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Olympus PEN E-P5 digital camera image Olympus PEN E-P5 16.1 1.00x $1,345.34
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Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera image Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1 4.40x $3,499.00
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 digital camera image Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 16.1 -- $898.59
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Editor's Choice Res Lens Avg. Price
image of Canon EOS-1D X digital camera Canon EOS-1D X 18.1 -- $6,259.00
Canon's new flagship full-frame pro SLR is the one to beat Canon's curious move paid off, that of merging the 1D and 1Ds lines into one camera that captures very high-res images at a blistering frame rate. While it's not the highest resolution on the pro market, the Canon 1D X really impresses with its high ISO performance, and its 12-frame-per-second burst mode will keep up with athletic events, enabled by its dual DIGIC 5+ processors. Lock up the mirror and you can almost shoot 18-megapixel movies at 14 frames per second. Yet its 18-megapixel resolution is nothing to sneeze at, serving quite well for professional fashion and portrait work. Its 61-point autofocus system covers a good portion of the viewfinder, and includes five high-precision diagonal cross-type points for greater precision with fast lenses, also meeting the needs of the press photographer working in low light. Big and formidable, the Canon 1D X is very much made for pros, and its rugged build is as equal to the job as its impressive image quality. Easily one of the finest cameras on the market, the Canon 1D X is a sure Dave's Pick. (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha SLT-A99 digital camera Sony Alpha SLT-A99 24.3 -- $2,055.57
Sony delivers a no-excuses full-frame SLR breakthrough Sony's been trying to crack the pro SLR market for years, but with relatively little success till now. With the Sony Alpha SLT-A99, though, it looks like they finally have a winner: It's a blazingly fast shooter, yet delivers 24 megapixels of resolution, while Sony's unique translucent-mirror technology means it can focus rapidly, continuously, and accurately, whether shooting videos or rapid-fire bursts of stills. It's also the only full-frame camera with very effective sensor-based image stabilization built in, providing IS benefits regardless of what lens is attached. The list of the Sony A99's features goes on and on, including a unique range-sensitive AF mode, a super-resolution EVF, built-in GPS, and a rugged magnesium-alloy frame with full weather sealing that's both smaller and lighter than most other high-end full-frame SLRs on the market. If you're looking for a true professional-grade full-frame SLR with unparalleled continuous AF capability, great shooting speed, and a price literally half those of its nearest competitors, look no further than the Sony A99. It offers truly ground-breaking capabilities at a price sure to shake up the pro camera marketplace. (minimize)

image of Nikon D800 digital camera Nikon D800 36.3 -- $2,727.97
A premium performer that easily earns its selling price Shooting with a digital camera like the Nikon D800 is a treat. All the controls are ideally suited for the experienced photographer: Important controls have a button or dial, and there are even a few buttons you can program to work just how you want. Built for the rigors of professional photography, the Nikon D800 is substantial, and its output is weighty as well, putting 36.3 megapixels on your subject for detail most folks have never seen. Naturally there are pluses and minuses to that much resolution: Though you get finer detail than is offered by other cameras, your depth of field can be razor thin when shooting wide open, and the large files can tax all but the latest computer hardware. We don't think the Nikon D800 is a digital camera for everyone, but those who need it will surely love it. Click here to shop for your own Nikon D800. (minimize)

Other Top Choices Res Lens Avg. Price
image of Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1 4.40x $3,499.00
Astonishing image quality even at high ISOs, and the bonus of video capture, all for a relatively reasonable price
Canon has been adding something special to each of their new digital SLRs, something that sets the camera apart from the pack. This time, the something special is the HD movie mode in the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Capable of capturing 1080p movies, the new camera opens up a whole world of video opportunities for those with a selection of Canon full-frame lenses -- from capturing extreme wide angles to isolating subjects with long telephoto, the 5D Mark II is truly a video artist's tool. Of course, the 5D Mark II also has the goods for the more traditional still photographer, offering a 21.1-megapixel sensor, a tuned version of the sensor in the Canon 1Ds Mark III. Now the 5D Mark II's sensor has significantly better high ISO performance, able to produce nearly noise-free images up to ISO 6,400. If you can handle a little noise, you can even reach out to 25,600. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II's new high resolution LCD delivers a fine 640x480 image for better focus checking and a great image in Live View mode. The whole package comes in below the price of competing full-frame digital SLRs, at $2,699. Click here to read our full review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. (minimize)

image of Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital camera Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 -- $3,219.00
A superb full-frame DSLR, for both stills and video
The Canon 5D Mark III is a true "superstar" camera, with impressive capabilities for both still and video shooting. It suits the needs of well-heeled amateurs and working pros equally well, and while its resolution is only very slightly higher than that of the 5D Mark II, the Canon 5D Mark III offers so many improvements over its predecessor that it'll be an easy upgrade decision for many 5D Mark II owners. Image quality is superb, and the new autofocus system is fast and accurate. Those who handled the EOS 5D Mark III consistently remarked about the viewfinder experience, particularly the improved autofocus coverage area. There are issues, as with any system, including more limited dynamic range by comparison, and default settings for noise reduction and sharpening are a bit extreme in JPEGs, but most of that can be worked around or avoided by shooting raw. And while we wish the Canon 5D Mark III included a pop-up flash, the camera's low-light performance is stunning, so shooting in ambient light is easier than ever. Click here to read our full review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. (minimize)

image of Canon EOS 6D digital camera Canon EOS 6D 20.2 4.38x $2,441.90
Full-frame DSLR that's both affordable and advanced
Despite a few quibbles, the 20.2-megapixel Canon 6D lives up to its promise of housing a glorious, full-frame sensor inside a smaller, lighter and more affordable DSLR camera body designed for prosumers, enthusiasts and novices alike. Canon's done a great job of not dumbing down or cheapening the 6D to fit its "sweet spot" pricing, and the EOS 6D is a responsive shooter that boasts image and video quality rivaling the stepup 5D Mark III. However, Canon has had to nip and tuck a few features to meet the 6D's more affordable pricing and slighter build, although it boasts a couple wrinkles -- built-in WiFI and GPS -- that none of its direct competitors offer. Click here to read our in-depth Canon 6D review or shop for one now! (minimize)

image of Canon EOS 7D digital camera Canon EOS 7D 18.0 3.80x $1,122.89
One digital SLR that pretty much does it all
The Canon EOS 7D stands alone. It's a digital SLR camera that can capture 18-megapixel images at 8 frames per second and 14-bit depth, with a quite usable ISO range from 100 to 12,800. The Canon 7D offers Live View, full manual exposure control while recording movies, Full HD movie recording, a new 19-point, all-cross-type autofocus system, a near-100% optical viewfinder, and built-in support for controlling up to three groups of Speedlite strobes. You can choose from one or two of those items with other cameras from Canon and other manufacturers, but if you want it all in one body, the Canon 7D is your only choice at any price. Printed quality is nothing short of astonishing, with great looking images up to 24x36 inches. That you can get it all for $1,699 is pretty amazing. Click here to read our review of the Canon 7D. (minimize)

image of Canon EOS-1D Mark IV digital camera Canon EOS-1D Mark IV 16.1 -- $4,999.00
Pro camera gets greater resolution, higher ISO, better AF, and Movie mode, while maintaining fast 10 fps capture
When speed and quality are of the essence, the Canon 1D Mark IV has what the pro photographer needs. Its 16-megapixel sensor gives the Canon 1D Mark IV considerably more pixels than its predecessor, and the dual DIGIC 4 processors allow the camera to retain the 10 frame-per-second capture speed as well as employ better anti-noise processing for greater image quality at higher ISOs. Ranging from 50 to 102,400, the ISO sensitivity of the 1D Mark IV covers an impressive range. Given the trouble many had with the 1D Mark III, perhaps the most important upgrades are to the Autofocus system, which does indeed seem to be improved according to our tests. While the 1D Mark IV is still housed in the same rugged magnesium alloy body, the LCD cover glass is more durable, sporting scratch-resistant tempered glass. There's a lot to recommend this stout shooter, including Full HD movie capture, so click here for our review of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. (minimize)

image of Fujifilm X-Pro1 digital camera Fujifilm X-Pro1 16.3 -- $1,005.99
A retro look, great features and stunning image quality make the Fujifilm X-Pro1 a real winner
Quality prime lenses and a tack-sharp sensor come together with a unique hybrid optical viewfinder to form the Fujfilm X-Pro1, a digital camera built exclusively for enthusiast photographers. The X-Pro1 really hits the nail on the head, driving deep into high-ISO territory with tack-sharp images. Its controls and feature set are also ideal for the target market, and its available lenses are reasonably priced, small, well-made, and light weight. We found it to be a terrific photographic tool, easy to control, and a joy to use. Click here for our review of the Fujfilm X-Pro1, or just take our word for it and shop for the Fujfilm X-Pro1 now! (minimize)

image of Leica M9 / M9-P digital camera Leica M9 / M9-P 18.0 -- $7,999.99
A superb manual-focus digital camera with a rich heritage
Shooting with the Leica M9-P and 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M lens taught us a lot about why people love Leica cameras. But we also learned why most people don't shoot Leica rangefinders, and it isn't just about the very high price tag. Shooting with any manual focus, aperture-priority camera is a little more challenging than most people are used to. Once we got back into the swing of shooting with manual focus and exposure, shooting with the 18-megapixel M9-P was quite fun, and many of our images were stunning. Looking at our lab shots, we found a few nit-picky flaws, too, but not much that would keep us from recommending the Leica M9 wholeheartedly if photography is a hobby for you--and if you have the significant cash to afford one. Click here to see what we thought of the Leica M9-P! (minimize)

image of Nikon D3X digital camera Nikon D3X 24.5 -- $6,999.00
Nikon's D3x is the ultimate picture-taking machine, with the highest image quality we've ever measured.
The Nikon D3x produces the highest image quality of any camera we've tested to date. Its combination of resolution, color fidelity, and noise performance puts it at the very top of its class. Not only does the Nikon D3x sport an amazing 24.5 megapixels of resolution, it manages to wring more detail out of those pixels (particularly in its NEF-format RAW files) than anything else out there. The D3x also offers surprising speed, capable of 5 frames/second at full resolution, and up to 7.5 frames/second in its 10.5 megapixel DX crop mode. And then there's build quality: The D3x is built like the proverbial tank; capable of handling most anything a busy pro might care to dish out to it. The high-end SLR market often seems like a perpetual game of leapfrog, but for now, the Nikon D3x sits at the top of the heap, as the ultimate digital SLR. Calling it a five-star Dave's Pick is the highest praise we have to offer, but in the case of the D3x, that seems hardly enough... (minimize)

image of Nikon D4S digital camera Nikon D4S 16.2 -- $5,972.63
The Nikon D4S is a supremely swift shooter with "Pro" written all over it -- but can it dethrone the D4?
There are no two ways about it: The Nikon D4S is one seriously impressive DSLR. That's to be expected, bearing in mind its heritage. But casting judgement on its greatness depends very much on perspective, so we looked at Nikon's new pro flagship through two different lenses: That of the enthusiast looking to step up their game, and that of the pro upgrading to the latest and greatest. Whichever camp you fall into, we've got your answer. Read our Nikon D4S review, and find out if it's time you bought yourself a new DSLR! (minimize)

image of Nikon D610 digital camera Nikon D610 24.3 3.54x $2,260.36
An excellent, affordable full-frame DSLR gets even better
The Nikon D610 is the camera last year's D600 was supposed to be, with a redesigned shutter mechanism that eliminates the dust-and-oil spot issue that plagued its predecessor. The new D610 keeps the affordable full-frame DSLR price point, as well as the excellent image quality, great ergonomics and controls, and robust feature set. With just a few other minor upgrades, such as nearly six frames per second continuous burst shooting, a new Quiet Continuous mode and tweaked Auto White Balance, the D610 may not seem like a major step up from the D600. But in fixing its predecessor's glaring flaw, the Nikon D610 is now a camera that earns a whole-hearted recommendation for photographers looking to make the jump to a relatively inexpensive, full-frame camera. Read our Nikon D610 review for more, or shop for one now! (minimize)

image of Olympus PEN E-P5 digital camera Olympus PEN E-P5 16.1 1.00x $1,345.34
The mightiest PEN so far delivers blazing fast performance and excellent pictures
The Olympus E-P5 is the company's best PEN-series Micro Four Thirds camera yet, taking the best of its predecessor, the E-P3, and many features from the acclaimed OM-D E-M5, and adding a few new wrinkles of its own. Key upgrades include 5-axis image stabilization, a 1/8000s top shutter speed, an improved touchscreen LCD and increased ISO range. It also boasts a stylish retro design and plenty of physical buttons for accessing settings directly. Overall, this flagship mirrorless model delivers blazing fast autofocus, burst shooting near 10fps and exceptional image quality -- even at higher ISOs -- that rival the performance of many top enthusiast DSLRs. Read our in-depth Olympus E-P5 review for more info, or buy one right now! (minimize)

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 digital camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 16.1 -- $898.59
Fast AF, great images and the best video we've ever seen in a camera at this price
Featuring a new 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor and one of the deepest feature sets we've ever seen on a mirrorless compact system camera, the Panasonic GH3 outshines its predecessor, the GH2, by delivering better still images as well as stunning, pro-level video. Most importantly, the camera offers filmmaking features -- such as full 1080p video at 60fps and bit rates as high as 72 Mbps -- that you won't find on DSLRs twice its price. Add in a more durable, weatherized body, fast autofocus, and an upgraded interface that gives you more direct access for changing settings, and the GH3 is one unique, sophisticated photographic tool. Read our in-depth Panasonic GH3 review for more details, or buy one right now! (minimize)

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 digital camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 16.1 -- $2,191.65
4K for the masses: Powerhouse hybrid camera balances pro-level specs with enthusiast price point!
The Panasonic GH4 is arguably one of the best Micro Four Thirds camera on the market today, and follows in the footsteps of the highly-praised GH3. The GH4 includes improvements under the hood in almost every area -- faster burst shooting, quicker AF speed, improved dynamic range, and, of course, 4K video recording. The GH4 is also a very well-built camera with a solid-feeling, dust- and splash-proof magnesium body and comfortable DSLR-like ergonomics. Whether your stepping up to a more advanced mirrorless camera, a seasoned DSLR shooter, or a professional videographer, the Panasonic GH4 has all the bells and whistles, not to mention quality, to get the job done. Read more about Panasonic's flagship camera in our in-depth Panasonic GH4 review or buy one right now! (minimize)

image of Pentax K-3 digital camera Pentax K-3 24.4 7.50x $1,000.64
With groundbreaking technology in a compact, weather-sealed body, the Pentax K-3 puts forth a strong argument for ditching Canon and Nikon
Ricoh's flagship APS-C camera, the 24-megapixel Pentax K-3 is jam-packed with clever technology, yet it's also affordably priced and among the very smallest enthusiast DSLRs. As well as overhauled imaging, autofocus, and metering, it also boasts an industry-first system that lets you choose whether resolution or moir�-resistance are more critical for any given shot. But can its unique advantages tempt you away from mainstream rivals Canon and Nikon? (And should you upgrade, if you're already a Pentaxian?) Read our Pentax K-3 review, and find out! (minimize)

image of Pentax K-5 II digital camera Pentax K-5 II 16.3 7.50x $1,449.95
Pentax's enthusiast flagship boasts better low-light autofocus and a more rugged display
For the third straight generation, the Pentax K-5 II retains the surprisingly compact body that debuted with 2009's K-7. That's great news because it's still one of our favorites, pairing great ergonomics and a generous array of external controls. The Pentax K-5 II also retains the 16 megapixel image sensor that debuted in the K-5, and while that lags some current rivals in terms of resolution, it still impresses with swift burst shooting, great image quality and a wide sensitivity range. What's new? There's a tweaked AF system that focuses better in low light, and a more rugged tempered glass cover over the main LCD panel. Pentax's enthusiast flagship also carries more sensible list pricing than did the K-5. Sure, it's a relatively modest mid-term update, but given the popularity of its predecessor, that's no bad thing. If you're a still image shooter in the market for an enthusiast SLR, the Pentax K-5 II is a camera we're happy to recommend! Click here for more on the Pentax K-5 II, or click this link to shop! (minimize)

image of Pentax K-5 IIs digital camera Pentax K-5 IIs 16.3 -- $777.69
Pixel-peepers of the world, form an orderly queue: the Pentax K-5 IIs was made for you!
Let's be clear from the start: the Pentax K-5 IIs is not a camera for the average photographer. Just as in Nikon's D800E, the lack of an optical low-pass filter in the K-5 IIs maximizes per-pixel detail at the risk of introducing moiré into your images. If you solely shoot subjects such as landscapes where the fine patterns that trigger moiré are rare, though, or you spend all your time in the studio with full control of your subject, that low-pass filter might just be robbing your images of subtle detail for no good reason, and removing its effect might be very desirable indeed. Sadly for you, there aren't many cameras without a low-pass filter, and fewer still of these are SLRs. The Pentax K-5 IIs represents your most affordable OLPF-free option in a weather-sealed DSLR body. In other respects, it's identical to the Pentax K-5 II, itself a Dave's Pick camera. If you have an insatiable desire for per-pixel detail, that makes the Pentax K-5 IIs something of a no-brainer! Click here for more on the Pentax K-5 IIs, or click this link to shop! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha ILCE-A7 digital camera Sony Alpha ILCE-A7 24.3 2.50x $1,864.88
Good news: The best full-frame mirrorless camera may also be the most affordable!
When we reviewed Sony's A7R mirrorless camera, we were thrilled by its combination of a full-frame image sensor and a compact body. The Sony A7 offers both, and yet it's even more affordable. It also boasts better autofocus and performance, but trades off some of its sibling's epic resolution to achieve these. We already knew the Sony A7 would be great, but we wanted to answer which was better: The Sony A7 or A7R? Does amazing image quality trump performance? Are you better off spending a little more, or can you be thrifty and still get the best full-frame mirrorless camera money can buy? Read our Sony A7 review and find out! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha ILCE-A7R digital camera Sony Alpha ILCE-A7R 36.4 -- $2,082.65
Our 2013 Camera of the Year marks the start of the full-frame mirrorless revolution
The news you've been waiting for has arrived! The age of the fully-featured, full-frame mirrorless camera is finally here -- and boy, what a duo of cameras kickstart the revolution. The Sony A7R promises absolutely amazing image quality in a compact body, while its closely-related sibling the A7 trades a little resolution for greater performance. Both cameras excite in their own way, but it's the Sony A7R -- our 2013 Camera of the Year -- which really floors us. This amazing compact system camera offers image quality to rival a medium format design, yet in a body that can fit in a coat pocket, even with a lens attached. Travel and street photographers in particular should have the Sony A7R at the top of their wishlist. Read our in-depth Sony A7R review for all the details, or shop for one now! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha SLT-A77 digital camera Sony Alpha SLT-A77 24.3 3.13x $1,438.20
Pro-camera burst performance and full-time AF in a camera that enthusiasts can afford
With the Alpha SLT-A77, Sony makes a bold step into pro camera territory by combining an extremely high-res 24 megapixel APS-C image sensor, a speedy Bionz image processor, and its phase detect-friendly Translucent Mirror design. The result? A camera that can shoot at up to an astounding twelve full-resolution frames per second, while still adjusting focus between frames. The Sony A77 also boasts a go-anywhere weather-sealed design, and yet still manages to include a versatile tilting LCD monitor, something not offered by its nearest rivals. Add built-in GPS and Full HD, 60 frames-per-second video with full-time phase detect autofocus, and you've got quite a camera on your hands. Whether you're a sports shooter, an enthusiastic videographer, or you've just got hyperactive kids to keep up with the Sony Alpha A77 should prove more than up to the task. All that at a price tag that an enthusiast can justify makes the Sony A77 an easy Dave's Pick. Click here for our review of the Sony A77, or click this link to shop! (minimize)

 
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