Well, April 15th has come and gone, and that means a couple of things. For many of us, it means we survived Tax Day and we're either deeper in debt or thankful to have a little extra spending money. For all of us, it means that the first quarter of 2016 is just about behind us.
What does that have to do with DSLR cameras? For starters, it means that photographers have had 3 months to check out this year's new gear and the results are coming in. It also means that if you're looking to spend that tax refund on a new camera, we can use those results to help you find just the right one for your needs and budget. Here are 5 of the latest DSLRs that are getting great reviews, to help you sort through the sea of them out there.
Canon EOS Rebel T5
For those of you wondering why we're not listing the T6 here, the simple answer is that it's too early. The T6s and T6i haven't yet had time to establish themselves and early reviews are mixed. We'll look at them again at the end of the next quarter.
Now, back to the T5. For the budding photographer, hobbyist or someone who just wants more versatility in taking family and travel photos, the T5 is keeping the Rebel tradition alive by fitting that niche perfectly. It's no toy, with an 18 megapixel, APS-C sensor that delivers outstanding image quality for this class of camera. It gives you a 9-point AF system, along with continuous/tracking AF, a big, bright 3" LCD and up to 3fps continuous shutter. It's lightweight, easy to operate and lets you determine how much creative control you need, from full manual to several situational auto-exposure modes.
If you're up for spending another $200 or so, the T5i adds articulation and touch screen capability to the LCD. Pair this one with some of Canon's proven kit lenses and you've got a great, inexpensive starter DSLR. Take a look at all the features and options here.
Know how to get the best image resolution possible in a DX-format DSLR camera? Nikon does: give it 24.2 megapixel resolution and forget about the anti-aliasing filter altogether. This jewel of a crop-sensor camera delivers incredible definition clear up to ISO 25,600. It gives you 51 AF points and shoots at up to 6fps. This one will shoot in just about any light, do it incredibly fast, and deliver amazingly true and clear photos.
You can share like never before, too, with built in Wi-fi and Near Field Communication (NFC). (That's the cool technology that lets you simply touch it to your tablet or smart phone to browse and share.) Like time-lapse sequences? Create them entirely in-camera. It handles movies, too, of course.
If you're budget isn't too limited, this is definitely Nikon's new flagship in the crop-sensor line and one of the best available. Best of all, you can save money buy buying it here.
It's no surprise that this camera made the list. Put simply, it's a serious full-frame DSLR with everything a professional needs and some extras that any enthusiast will love. Former crop-sensor users are raving about this one as the go-to for a first-time full frame DSLR.
It's got Nikon's incredible 24.3 megapixel, FX sensor, 51-point AF with 15 cross-type points, and 3D Color Matrix Metering III with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor. It shoots 6.5fps at full resolution. It does in-camera HDR, time-lapse, and lets you connect wirelessly to a PC or tablet as an external monitor for live view. You can also create cinema-quality movies and it won't wear you out in the process because it's lighter than most full-frame DSLRs.
There's much more to this camera than we can tell you here, so go read all about it and get your best price on it here.
Canon EOS 5D MkIII
No surprise here, either. Canon listened to the feature requests from cinematographers and videographers using the MkII and incorporated those features into its replacement. Not a bad way to keep the customer satisfied. The 5D MkIII is as capable as they come for video, but that's not its only merit, by far.
It utilizes Canon's all-new, 22.3 megapixel full-frame sensor and a new DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor that's 17 times faster than its predecessor. There's a whole list of new features, including 6fps continuous shutter, multiple exposure and DR modes, in-camera RAW processing with 3 resolution modes, 2 kinds of movie compression and UDMA 7 compact flash card support.
Let's talk about AF, shall we? 61-point, High Density Reticular AF, to be precise – the same system as its big brother, the EOS 1D X. It doesn't get any more sophisticated.
We could go on and on about this one, but we'll simply say that Canon fans definitely thought this one was worth the wait, and if you want to know why, go take a look at it here.
Canon EOS 5DS R
Canon made the list one more time with this one for just one reason: resolution. Not just high resolution, mind you, they hit it out of the park with a 50.6 megapixel full-frame sensor. Then, to let you get the most out of all that resolution, they canceled the low-pass filter effect on this "R" model.
That low-pass, "anti-aliasing" filter eliminates annoying little things like moire when your subject has lots of parallel lines. What you may not know is that this filter, which is present on most DSLRs, also tends to eliminate a little bit of detail in every shot. So, Canon decided to offer a model that can really give you all the detail that awesome sensor can deliver.
If you're shooting things like wall murals, big commercial ads or landscapes that need to show every blade of grass clearly, this DSLR handles those jobs as well as a medium-format camera. Don't think that it's just a specialty camera, though; this one's packed with plenty of other features you're going to love, like a 61-point High Density Reticular AF system, mirror vibration control, built-in intervalometer and an amazingly intelligent viewfinder.
You're going to have to take a look at this one to believe all that it can do. Trust me, you want to click here and check it out.
That's a wrap for this quarter, campers! Hopefully one of these will help you decide where that tax refund should go. We look forward to updating you on the top picks in other photo gear soon!