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BEST DSLR CAMERAS OF 2018

Digital SLR cameras are among the cream of the crop. Image and video quality are outstanding, features continue to advance year after year, and they have the most varied selection of lenses. But the market is large, ranging from full frame (professional cameras with massive sensors) to a host of mid-range and budget models. Below we break down the top DSLRs on the market in 2018, including leading options from brands like Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony.

1. Nikon D850

Category: Full frame
Sensor size: 858 sq. mm
Megapixels: 45.7
What we like: Exceptional image and video quality.
What we don’t: Limited availability.
Lenses: 10 Great Nikon FX (Full Frame) Lenses

For years, Canon led in full-frame DSLR innovation while Nikon laid in wait. Well, the wait was worth it. The D850 is an absolute powerhouse DSLR and one of the top cameras on the market of any type. Compared to the Canon 5D Mark IV below, the D850 wins out in most categories that matter: it has 45.7 megapixels of resolution vs. 30.4 on the 5D Mark IV, superior autofocus, faster buffering speeds, a higher resolution LCD screen, and significantly longer battery life. The 5D Mark IV weighs a little less and has built-in GPS, but given that both cameras are similar in price, we favor the D850 in a big way.

2. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Category: Full frame
Sensor size: 864 sq. mm
Megapixels: 30.4
What we like: 4K video and a host of other modern features. 
What we don’t: The D850 above is so impressive that it overshadows the 5D Mark IV. 
Lenses: 10 Great Canon EF (Full Frame) Lenses

Canon’s 5D Mark IV was at the top of this list for much of last year, until the release of the Nikon D850 that is. When you put the two head to head, it’s flat out hard to argue that the Canon is better. It has lower resolution, inferior autofocus (although it does have dual pixel), and doesn’t offer much in the way of additional features or functionality. Having said that, the 5D Mark IV is a quality camera and all that most Canon professionals and enthusiasts will need. If you already own a bunch of L series glass, sticking with Canon is a fine choice. And as we’ve come to expect, this is an arms race and Canon likely will respond in kind.

3. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Category: Full frame
Sensor size: 861 sq. mm
Megapixels: 26.2
What we like: One of the best values on this list.
What we don’t: Video shooters may want to spend up for the 5D series.
Lenses: 10 Great Canon EF (Full Frame) Lenses

Here’s a fun one: if Canon’s 5D series above is too rich for your blood, the 6D series offers a reasonable entry point into the full-frame camera market. Released in 2017, the 6D Mark II offers notable improvements over its predecessor while still staying well below the $2,000 price threshold. Compared to the older model, you get a bump in resolution to 26.2 megapixels, a more advanced autofocus system, faster shooting, and touchscreen functionality on the rear LCD. All are solid improvements and the 6D Mark II is a really nice value, particularly for still photography (the 5D series is much better for video).

4. Nikon D750

Category: Full frame
Sensor size: 861 sq. mm
Megapixels: 24.3
What we like: A Nikon full-frame camera for less than $1,800.
What we don’t: With a 2014 release date, the D750 is getting a little long in the tooth. Lenses: Best Lenses for Nikon D750

Nikon didn’t exactly get off to a strong start with the sensor issues of the old D610 and D600, but they got it right with the D750. In many ways, the D750 mirrors the image quality and functionality of the D810 only with fewer megapixels. You get the same EXPEED 4 image processor, image sensor dimensions, and 1080p video speeds. The D750 has an optical low pass filter (the D810 does not), but it also boasts a faster frame rate at 6 fps. Of course, the resolution is lower at 24.3 megapixels, but this is more than enough for many photographers and uses.

5. Pentax K-1

Category: Full frame
Sensor size: 864 sq. mm
Megapixels: 36.4
What we like: Impressive resolution and weather sealing for the price.
What we don’t: Limited lens options and subpar video.

For landscape and still photographers looking for a cheaper alternative to full-frame DSLRs from Canon and Nikon, the K-1 comes with few compromises. Ricoh-owned Pentax has long been known for its crop-frame cameras, which are strong on paper and competitively priced, and the trend continues with the full-frame K-1. Released last year, this DSLR has 36.4 megapixels of resolution (just a hair shy of the Nikon D810), built-in image stabilization, and a sturdy aluminum alloy body that is sealed as well as any model on this list.

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