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The 10 best bridge cameras in 2017

A bridge camera is usually shaped a bit like a DSLR, so bigger than a compact but has a fixed lens. These are often super zooms, so from wide angle to extreme telephoto, and this is their appeal. The often suffer from the compromise of having smaller sensors to allow for the extended zoom.

Tech Radar has a review of the best bridge cameras from 2017 here

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Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

Bridge cameras are a versatile and affordable alternative to DSLRs, offering the same kind of manual controls plus a huge zoom lens that covers everything from wide-angle to super-telephoto photography.

There are two important differences to be aware of, though. The first is that bridge cameras have much smaller sensors than DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, so most can’t match those models for picture quality

The second is that the lens is non-removable, so although it can handle a wide range of subjects you can’t swap to a macro lens for close-ups, for example, or a super-wide-angle lens, or a fast prime lens for low-light photography.

If you’re not quite sure what kind of camera you need, read our essential guide: What camera should I buy?

Bridge cameras do, however, give you a lot of camera for your money, and they’re a great stepping stone for photographers who want to move on from simple point-and-shoot cameras. There are also now a few models that have larger sensors and deliver better picture quality, and which come a lot closer to the performance of a DSLR.

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The 10 best compact cameras in 2017

A compact camera is by definition small, and by design has the lens built into the body. There are a number of different types of compact cameras some specialised to specific photographic tasks such as travel compact cameras. Most compact cameras offer good quality and the better ones a wide range of functions that would seem to be similar to those on DSLR or CSC type cameras but in their first instances they should work well as simple to use cameras.

I recently bought a Lumix TZ100 to take on my motorbike and I am really impressed with the quality, I still don’t like using a compact as much as I do my DSLR but when it was a choice between wet weather gear and my DSLR camera the wet weather gear won so a compromise on the camera front was needed.

Tech Radar has a review of some of the compact cameras that have excelled in 2017

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Compact cameras and the compact camera market have changed a lot over the last few years. Smartphones have decimated the entry-level range of point-and-shoot models that used to be popular and as a result manufacturers have concentrated on putting more advanced features into cameras to make them more attractive.

In addition to a move towards having physically larger sensors to boost image quality that can rival DSLRs in some cases, some compact cameras sport lenses long zoom ranges or wide maximum apertures. Wi-Fi connectivity is also now de rigueur on most compacts, so you can transfer shots quickly to a phone for sharing on Facebook etc

Many enthusiast photographers used to be very sniffy about compact digital cameras, but there are now many that make a great alternative to a DSLR or mirrorless system camera. And those who are new to photography and thinking about stepping up from a smartphone have some pretty sophisticated choices as well. 

There are small cameras that can slip in a pocket yet have huge zoom ranges, and large bridge cameras that look like DSLRs, but have a fixed lens and lots of automated easy-to-use options.

These cameras prove that you don’t have to buy a camera that takes interchangeable lenses to get great shots.

If you need a bit more help figuring out what kind of camera you need, then read this article: What camera should I buy?

What camera should I buy? Techradar’s step-by-step guide

From simple point-and-shoot compacts to full-frame DSLRs, we explain the differences

Once upon a time you would go to a camera shop for this advice but where are the camera shops now? The last remaining one in all of Oxfordshire is in Witney, T4 Cameras, a proper camera shop with people who know about cameras. Buy new or from their extensive second hand range. However if you want to do some research before heading to Witney this will help. It is important to understand the differences between the types of cameras now available

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You only have to go into a high-street retail store or look online to get an idea of the sheer number of digital cameras on the market. There are so many brands, types and technologies now available, with each one claiming to be the best (of course!), that it can be really difficult to make sense of it all.

But it’s possible to break all these competing cameras down into a few basic types, and once you do that it becomes much easier to figure out the kind of camera that’s right for you. 

That’s what we’ve done with our expert guide, and you can follow the links at the bottom of the pages to find which is the best camera currently available in each category.

So we’ll start with the basics and work up through the more advanced cameras to the types the professionals use. But you don’t have to stay with us all the way. Treat this guide like sightseeing tour – when you’ve got to where you want to go, just step off the bus!

You can read more of this at Techradar

 

The 10 best DSLRs you can buy right now

TechRadar are one of my favourite sites for getting  no nonsense reviews of cameras, this and DP Review are the best sites out there if you want to know all about a camera, lens or flash. So here they are again telling you what is the best on the market now.

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 key ingredients: manual controls, excellent picture quality and interchangeable lenses.

Mirrorless cameras are another option of course. They’re smaller, mechanically simpler and, like DSLRs, they take interchangeable lenses. If you want to know more about how they compare, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences. Or, if you want to know more about different camera types in general, check out our step-by-step guide: What camera should I buy?

A DSLR is still the cheapest way to get a camera with interchangeable lenses and a viewfinder (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.

In between are a whole range of digital SLRs aimed at different users, different levels of experience and different budgets. Here’s our pick of the standout DSLR cameras you can buy right now:

I have to admit I have a bias in this list. I bought a Canon 6D as my backup to my 5D and I love it. I love that it is lighter, it is as they say ‘old school’ and the quality it produces is just brilliant, but it only makes number 6 in their list

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6. Canon EOS 6D

Full-frame on a budget – the 6D’s straightforward design has old-school appeal

Sensor: full frame, 20.2Mp | Lenses: Canon EF (not EF-S) | Monitor: 3-inch, 1,040K dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Continuous shooting: 4.5fps | Movies:1080p | User level: Expert

Great value for a full frame camera
No fuss features
Basic autofocus system
Only 4.5fps continuous shooting

But don’t assume you need the latest tech to get a good camera. It’s tempting to chase the biggest numbers and newest gadgets when choosing a camera, but sometimes the simple things count for more. The EOS 6D is Canon’s cheapest full-frame DSLR, and compared to some of the other cameras around it, it’s a simple-minded old-school relic. But that full-frame sensor delivers a subtle quality and a sense of depth that you only get from a big sensor, and the no-fuss specs will appeal to quality-conscious photographers who like to keep things simple.

Read about all of their recommendations here

 

Best bridge camera 2015

Bridge cameras look like dslr cameras, have built in lenses, usually super zooms and are often a choice for those who want more than a compact but not the weight of a dslr

Techradar says

Many predicted that bridge cameras would be wiped out by the rise of affordable DSLRs and compact system cameras, but the combination of immense optical zoom versatility and advanced features at an affordable price explains their enduring appeal.

The best bridge cameras now offer DSLR-like levels of control and fast, wide-aperture lenses, along with raw shooting and other useful extras such as Wi-Fi and articulated screens. Image quality didn’t used to be a bridge camera forte, due to their widespread use of small 1/2.3-inch sensors. These days, however, there are models with much larger 1-inch designs that rival the image quality of some compact system cameras.

Here is a cheapie

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6. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72

The FZ72 may be showing its age, but falling prices keep it in the game

Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch CMOS | Megapixels: 16.1 | Zoom range: 60x, 20-1200mm-equivalent | Screen type: 3-inch fixed, 460,000 dots | Viewfinder: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 9fps | Maximum video resolution:1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

£198.00 
60x zoom
Raw format shooting
No Wi-Fi or touch sensitivity
Small, low resolution EVF

The FZ72 is one of the cheapest bridge cameras in our selection, yet it still sports a great zoom range with an impressive 20mm-equivalent wide angle focal length. Its lens aperture also opens up as wide as f/2.8, though it does narrow to f/5.9 at full zoom. Raw format recording and full manual control give the FZ72 enthusiast appeal, as does the attractive image quality. We would rank the FZ72 higher, but there?s no Wi-Fi and the relatively low screen and electronic viewfinder resolutions are a let-down. You?ll also have to do without an eye sensor to automatically switch between the two displays.

and here is one that is not cheap

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3. Sony RX10 II

Sony’s premium bridge camera has a heavy video slant and a price to match

Sensor: 1-inch, 20.2Mp | Lens: 24-200mm f/2.8 | Monitor: 3-inch 1,229K dots |Viewfinder: EVF |Continuous shooting: 14fps | Movies: 4K | User level:Enthusiast/expert

£1199.00 
4K video and 14fps continuous shooting
1-inch sensor and f/2.8 lens
Short zoom range for a bridge camera
High-tech 4K makes it expensive

The RX10 II has the same 24-200m F/2.8 lens and 1-inch sensor combination as the original RX10, making it a premium quality bridge camera for those prepared to sacrifice ultimate zoom range in exchange for a better camera. The RX10 II, however, adds Sony’s new ‘stacked sensor’ design for much faster data readout, 4K video and a 40x slow-motion mode. It’s evolved into an impressively high-tech stills video camera, but while videographers will be interested, it’s made it expensive compared to other bridge cameras for stills photographers – it’s a great camera, but the high price limits its appeal.

The majority of bridge cameras are well under £400 so look here if this is the type of camera for you

10 best compact cameras of 2015

Techradar looks at a range of compact cameras for you

Compact cameras come in so many different types and sizes that it’s hard to choose the right one, or even know where to start.

A ‘compact’ camera, to most people, is one you can slip into a pocket, though technically it’s any digital camera with a non-removable lens – so that includes DSLR-style superzoom ‘bridge’ cameras and high-powered expert cameras for enthusiasts.

There are so many choices it quickly gets confusing – so we’ve picked out what we think are the top 10 best compact cameras on the market, in all price brackets, and why.

Here is the cheapest in the list

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10. Sony W800

It’s cheap, it’s simple and it still gives you a 5x zoom

Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 20.1MP | Lens: 26-130mm, f/3.2-6.4 | Monitor: 2.7-inch, 230K dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 0.5fps | Movies: 720 | User level: Basic

£64.99 
Compact and lightweight
Low price
Poor quality in low light
Soft-looking panoramas

If price is the biggest factor, then you can hardly do better than the Sony W800. At this end of the market you have to tread a careful line between ‘cheap’ and ‘rubbish’, and the W800 keeps you firmly on the side of ‘cheap’. Its 20MP 1/2.3-inch sensor and 5x zoom lens deliver perfectly satisfactory quality for a budget point-and-shoot camera, and both the build quality and the styling are a cut above what you might expect at this price. It’s small, light, easy to use and gives you just enough manual control to cope with the occasional tricky situation.

and here is the most expensive

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3. Fuji X100T

Fuji made its reputation with this fabulous retro-themed high-end compact

Sensor: APS-C X-Trans, 16.3MP | Lens: 35mm, f/2 | Monitor: 3-inch, 1040K dots | Viewfinder: Hybrid optical/EVF | Continuous shooting: 6fps | Movies: 1080 |User level: Expert

£836.99 
Beautiful design
Hybrid viewfinder
Fixed screen
Fixed focal length lens

The X100T is a beauty both to look and and to use, but it’s not for everyone! It’s a relatively large, retro-styled camera with a fixed focal length 35mm equivalent f/2.0 lens, and designed for photographers who hanker after the weighty feel and manual external controls of traditional 35mm rangefinder cameras. It’s a relatively specialised camera you’ll use for a certain type of subject (street photography, for example) and most owners are likely to have other cameras too. The original X100 revived Fuji’s fortunes and gave its rivals the jolt they needed to develop their own classically-designed cameras.

there are 8 more compact cameras rated as best here

10 best mirrorless cameras of 2015

Mirrorless or CSC (compact system cameras) are the new thing, have to say I am not convinced, many of them don’t have a viewfinder or make do with a electronic viewfinder (ev). Proper cameras need a viewfinder. Just a little bias on my part, you make up your own mind but go and try one, handle it, take pictures before you splash the cash. The only remaining camera shop in Oxfordshire is T4 cameras in Witney

Tech Radar says In the old days, if you were serious about photography you bought a digital SLR. But now CSCs (compact system cameras) offer the advantages of a DSLR, including a big sensor, interchangeable lenses and advanced controls, but in a smaller, lighter body without the mirror mechanism – hency why they’re also called mirrorless cameras.

But mirrorless cameras (compact system cameras) come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some look like DSLRs, some look like supersized compact cameras. Some have viewfinders and some don’t. The fact is that we’re all looking for slightly different things, so we’ve ranked the 10 best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.

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1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

The brilliant E-M10 II ticks boxes you probably didn’t even know about

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1Mp | Viewfinder: EVF |Monitor: 3-inch tilting display, 1,037,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.5fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p

£549.00 
Compact size, lenses too
Excellent viewfinder
Smaller sensor than some
Pricier than original E-M10

We loved the original E-M10 for its size, versatility and value for money, but the E-M10 II adds features that take it to another level. The old camera’s 3-axis image stabilization system has been uprated to the 5-axis system in Olympus’s more advanced OM-D cameras, the viewfinder resolution has been practically doubled and the continuous shooting speed, already impressive at 8fps, creeps up to 8.5fps. Some will criticise the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor format (roughly half the area of APS-C) but the effect on image quality is minor and it means that the lenses are as compact and lightweight as the camera itself. It’s small, but it’s no toy – the E-M10 II is a properly powerful camera.

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Panasonic GX8

Panasonic’s flagship CSC has a brand new sensor, but it’s pricey

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 20.3MP | Viewfinder: Tilting EVF |Monitor: 3-inch tilting screen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Maximum video resolution: 4K

£849.00 
New 20Mp sensor
Mag-alloy build, dust and splash-proof
Larger than the old GX7
Expensive at launch

Panasonic’s compact system camera range is pretty confusing. You might expect its DSLR-style G-series cameras to get the best and latest tech, but actually it’s the the box-shaped GX8 that’s the first to benefit from Panasonic’s new 20Mp Micro Four Thirds sensor – this has performed really well in our lab tests, putting it on the same level as a good DSLR. The GX8 also comes with 4K video and the ability to grab 8Mp stills from it (it’s like continuous shooting at 30fsp). The rear screen is tilting and so, unusually, is the electronic viewfinder eyepiece. It’s a very good camera, but the price is a sticking point, and the Sony A6000 (above) gives you more for your money.

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4. Fuji X-T1

Classic handling, beautiful images – the X-T1 doesn’t put a foot wrong

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 16.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3-inch tilting display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps |Maximum video resolution: 1080p

£849.00 
Classic controls
Rugged build
Advanced filters JPEG only
Expensive compared to X-T10

Not so long back the X-T1 was our favourite compact system camera, but things change quickly in the world of cameras, and it’s been pushed out of the top spot. Price has proved the X-T1’s main enemy – it’s a great camera, but the newer Fuji X-T10 is almost as great and much cheaper. The Olympus E-M10 II has come along with its brilliant blend of size, features and value, and competitive pricing means the Sony A7 II is now very good value for those who value performance above all else. The X-T1’s external manual controls for shutter speed, lens aperture and ISO setting are still a joy to use and we love the results from its X-Trans sensor, but its rivals are just getting stronger.

Read the full article here

10 best full frame DSLRs 2015:

Full frame is where you go when you want the best quality out of a dslr camera, it isn’t a cheap option but as well as quality you get the best shallow depth of field and always a professional build quality. Can I just say I love my Canon 6D

Tech Radar does the honours again

Most professional photographers swear by full-frame DSLRs. They’re larger and heavier than APS-C-format models, but are built to survive daily abuse.

What’s more, with the same megapixel count, a full-frame sensor will have much larger photosites (pixels) than an APS-C chip because it has roughly twice the sensor area. Result? Better image quality at higher ISO sensitivities.

Full-frame DSLRs aren’t just for pros though, as lower-cost versions are out there if you want great image quality on a tighter budget. But it’s worth remembering that you’ll still need full-frame-compatible lenses, and these rarely come cheap.

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Canon EOS 5DS

Proof that more can mean better: the 5DS sets a new standard for DSLR photography

Sensor: 36 x 24mm CMOS | Megapixels: 50.6 | Autofocus: 61-point AF, 41 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level: Expert

£2889.99
Stunningly detailed images
Great AF, metering and white balance
Huge file sizes
No Wi-Fi

With 50.6 million effective pixels, the 5DS is by far the highest resolution full-frame DSLR on the market. The same goes for the 5DS R, which is identical to the 5DS, but features an anti-aliasing cancelation filter over the sensor to help resolve a little more detail. Pixel-packed sensors can be compromised, but not here. Image quality is superb, with fantastic detail, well controlled noise and good dynamic range. The 5DS is now the benchmark for full-frame image quality, but it’s not quite perfect. There’s no Wi-Fi or Ultra HD video recording, and huge image file sizes necessitate decent memory cards and a fast computer.

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Nikon D810

It may have recently been ousted from the top spot, but this is still a terrific choice

Sensor: 35.9 x 24.0mm CMOS | Megapixels: 36.3 | Autofocus: 51-point AF, 15 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch, 1,228,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level: Expert

£2349.00 
AA-filterless, high-res sensor
5fps continuous shooting
No built-in Wi-Fi
Large file sizes

Ok, so the 5DS has stolen some of the D810’s thunder, but not much. Images from Nikon’s megapixel monster are bursting with detail, whilst its 1200-shot battery life puts the 5DS in the shade. We’re also fans of the D810’s clarity micro-contrast adjustment with its video-friendly Flat mode for maximum dynamic range. The 51-point AF system copes well with tricky focussing situations, mainly because both the AF and metering systems are taken from the range-topping Nikon D4S. Relatively compact dimensions and the unusual (at this level) inclusion of a pop-up flash further ensure that the D810 doesn’t disappoint.

8. Canon EOS 6D

Canon’s most affordable full-frame DSLR punches above its weight

Sensor: 36 x 24mm CMOS | Megapixels: 20.2 | Autofocus: 11-point AF, 1 cross-type | Screen type: 3-inch, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 4.5fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level:Enthusiast/expert

Comprehensive controls
High image quality
No flash
97% viewfinder coverage

The 6D is Canon’s answer to the D610 and is the least expensive model in the company’s full-frame DSLR range. Its 20.2-megapixel sensor may sound outclassed, but there are hidden depths. Image quality is superb and photos impress with a three-dimensional feel that’s the result of the larger sensor’s ability to create shallow depth of field effects. However, the 6D’s real trump card is price. It’s one of the cheapest routes to a new full-frame DSLR, and though its autofocus system and continuous shooting speed are nothing special, you do get integrated Wi-Fi and GPS. If you can do without a built-in flash, the 6D is decent value.

Nikon D4S

Nikon’s professional workhorse keeps shooting where lesser cameras struggle

Sensor: 35.9 x 24.0mm CMOS | Megapixels: 16.2 | Autofocus: 51-point AF, 15 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch, 921,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level: Expert

£3999.99
11fps continuous shooting
Massive ISO range
Big and heavy
No built-in Wi-Fi or GPS

Where the Canon 5DS and Nikon D810 push detail boundaries, the D4S is built for speed. 16.2 megapixels doesn’t sound great, but it enables rapid 11fps continuous shooting and exceptional low light performance. This is one of the few aspects where the D4S improves on the preceding D4, as its ISO range now stretches to 409,600 in expanded sensitivity, making this a real ‘see in the dark’ camera. Also helping to justify the intimidating price tag is the outstanding 51-point autofocus system that excels when shooting fast moving and dimly lit subjects, whilst top-notch engineering and weatherproofing help compensate for the sheer bulk.

6. Canon EOS 1D X

Uncompromising build, ergonomics and shooting speed make this top pro pick

Sensor: 36 x 24mm CMOS | Megapixels: 18.1 | Autofocus: 61-point AF, 41 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level: Expert

£3780.00
Superb AF
Excellent noise control
Heavy
No in-camera HDR

Choosing between the 1D X and Nikon D4S will most likely depend on which manufacturer you’re already tied to with your lens system, but the two cameras are otherwise closely matched. The 1D X is an amalgamation of the older 1D and 1Ds models, blending their two specialities of speed and resolution. But speed is the real selling point here, thanks to a 12fps burst mode which can be expanded to 14fps in the Super High Speed Shooting Mode. The 18.1MP full-frame sensor sounds a step backwards from the 21.1MP chip inside the old 1Ds Mark III, but Canon has opted to sacrifice resolution to improve high ISO image quality.

Read the full article here

 

8 best mid-range DSLRs of 2015

OK here is Tech Radars best 8 mid range DSLR cameras, of course you will disagree with their list but that is the point of lists in blogs

Mid-range DSLRs offer more power, robustness and control than typical entry-level models. They’re great for shooting tricky subjects like sports or wildlife, thanks to having faster continuous shooting rates and superior autofocus systems. Many also add weatherproofing for extra robustness and peace of mind.

Although mid-range DSLRs don’t tend to offer more megapixels, you’ll often get an increased ISO sensitivity range to help with low light shooting. But just because these cameras are intended for enthusiasts that doesn’t make them intimidating.

Additional controls can actually improve their ease of use as you learn more about photography, yet they still include an automatic mode that’ll take care of everything for you.

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1. Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon’s top APS-C-format DSLR may be pricey, but it doesn’t disappoint

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 20.2 | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3-inch, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast/expert

£374.00 
Fast continuous shooting
Excellent ergonomics
Relatively expensive
No touchscreen or Wi-Fi

Canon fans had to wait a long time for the 7D Mark II, and though the original 7D was ahead of its time, its replacement is a big step forward in every way. Its 65-point autofocus system (all cross type) is state-of-the-art and copes well with moving subjects, plus you get quality weatherproofing that’s almost a match for the pro-level EOS-1DX. A new 150,000-pixel RGB and infrared exposure metering sensor helps produce accurately-exposed images with well-controlled noise levels, attractive colours and impressive detail. Unfortunately, all this tech doesn’t come cheap, but the 7D Mark II is well worth the money.

2. Nikon D7200

More of an upgrade than a new camera, but a very good one

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2 | Lens mount: Nikon DX | Screen: 3.2-inch, 1,229,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 6fps | Max video resolution:1080p | User level: Enthusiast/expert

£809.00 
Built-in Wi-Fi
Very sturdy
Fixed screen, not touch-sensitive
Highest sensitivity setting JPEG-only

For every Canon DSLR, Nikon usually has a rival camera, and the D7200 is its response to the EOS 7D Mark II. It may not be a complete overhaul of the D7100 it replaces, but there are enough tweaks to give it a distinct edge. Images from the 24.2-megapixel AA-filterless sensor are detailed and vibrant, and though the pixel count remains almost identical, you can now shoot more images continuously thanks to Nikon’s more powerful Expeed 4 processor. Unlike the 7D Mark II, the D7200 also boasts Wi-Fi with NFC pairing, and its superb 1100-shot battery life thrashes the Canon’s 670-shot rating.D7200_18_105_front-650-80

Best Entry Level DSLR Cameras 2015

Autumn is a good time to do a recap of the best cameras in each range. Tech Radar is a very well respected site and here is their take on affordable dslr cameras

DSLRs deliver a big step up in image quality from a compact camera, far more manual control and the ability to change lenses to tackle a huge variety of projects. It’s easy to blow big bucks on a DSLR, but entry-level models can often be had for little more than a premium compact camera. Obviously, the more features you want, the more you’ll pay, but do you actually need them? Our top camera is one of the cheapest on the market, but still offers impressive performance and image quality, plus enough features to handle most shoots, especially if you’re still learning.

This article covers the cheapest Canon 1200D up to something most people would consider mid range Canon 750D or Nikon £550 Read the reviews of ten of the best here

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7. Canon EOS 1200D (Rebel T5)

Canon’s cheapest DSLR faces stiff competition

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 18 | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3-inch fixed, 460,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 3fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner

£231.99 
Low price
Good image quality
Slow live view focussing
No touchscreen or Wi-Fi

The 700D is currently a bargain, but the EOS 1200D is cheaper still. Nikon currently boasts some terrific budget DSLRs, and the 1200D is Canon’s response. It’s the cheapest way to buy into a new Canon DSLR system, but the 1200D is slightly more cheap than cheerful. Its 18MP sensor is getting on a bit and while still good, it can’t match the 24.2MP device in the Nikon D3300. The 1200D’s 3fps continuous shooting speed is also leisurely compared to the Nikon’s 5fps rate, and where that camera includes built-in help guides, you’ll have to resort to downloading Canon’s versions through a separate smartphone app. But for Canon fans, the 1200D is a still an effective camera at a reasonable price.

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4. Nikon D5500

Choosing between Canon and Nikon is tougher than ever

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2 | Lens mount: Nikon DX | Screen: 3.2-inch articulating touch-screen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed:5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

£499.00 
High-res, non-anti-aliased sensor
Touch-sensitive articulating screen
Slow live-view focussing
No GPS

The D5500 competes directly with Canon’s 750D at the upper end of the entry-level DSLR market. Where Nikon’s D3000-series cameras are designed as cost-conscious introductory DSLRs, the D5000-series is preferable if you want to get more creative. This latest addition to the series is bang up-to-date and is the first Nikon DSLR to get touch-screen control, plus there’s also built-in Wi-Fi – but it’s a pity GPS hasn?’t been carried over from the D5300, and live view autofocusing speed is no faster. There isn’t much wrong with the D5500’s 24.2-megapixel, non-anti-aliased sensor, though. It may be pinched from the older D5300, but it still delivers excellent image quality.

See the top ten here