With a budget around $2,000, you'll find outstanding DSLR cameras -- as well as an occasional mirror-less DIL camera -- that approach some of the features you'd find in a professional-level DSLR camera. The best sub-$2,000 DSLR cameras I've listed here include the cost of the camera body only. Accessories for DSLR cameras will cost extra, such as lenses and external flashes. Here are the best DSLR cameras for under $2,000, listed alphabetically.
And, if you want some help in finding the best DSLR camera, click the link and read our DSLR camera buying guide.
High-end Canon DSLR cameras are always enticing, and one of the latest models, the Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera, is no exception.
The Canon EOS 6D is going to carry a high price tag, but its feature list compares well against other models in this price range.
The full frame 6D has a 20.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor, can shoot at ISO settings up to 25600, at 1080p HD video, and at 4.5 frames per second. It has a 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD, a built-in GPS, and built-in WiFi, too.
That's a pretty strong feature list, even for a DSLR model.
Those looking for an advanced DSLR camera heading into the holiday season will want to consider an interesting candidate from Canon: The EOS 7D. This Canon model has an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor sporting the latest technologies, including a 19-point autofocus system, high-end ISO settings (100 to 6,400) for low-light photography, full HD video capture at up to 30 frames per second, and a built-in dual-axis electronic level.
Several accessories are available for the award-winning EOS 7D, too, including a wireless file transmitter (the WFT-E5A), which allows for remote photography, controlled over a laptop or smart phone. The EOS 7D's big brother, the EOS 7DSV, is a more expensive studio version.
Canon has recently released a new DSLR camera that's designed specifically for astrophotography, replacing a model that's several years old.
The EOS 60Da is designed specifically for to shoot photos of the night sky, and it works well for long exposures. Canon included increased sensitivity for hydrogen-alpha wavelengths, which are important in astrophotography. The 60Da replaces the Canon EOS 20Da from several years ago.
The 60Da has 18MP of resolution, a 3.0-inch widescreen LCD, can shoot at 5.3 frames per second, and records full HD video.
The Fujifilm X-E1 interchangeable lens camera is a sharp looking model that offers a smaller size with powerful features.
The large CMOS image sensor can shoot 16.3MP of resolution. Few consumer-level cameras can match the quality of the X-E1's image sensor.
The X-E1 includes an electronic viewfinder, as well as a 2.8-inch high-resolution LCD screen. It can shoot at full HD video, offers a popup flash unit, and can accept a variety of interchangeable lenses that will work with a Fujifilm X lens mount.
The X-E1 carries a price tag in excess of $1,000 with a starter lens, so this model won't appeal to everyone. However, it's a sharp-looking, powerful camera that's available a camera body that measures only 1.5 inches in thickness (without the lens) and can be found in all black or silver with black trim.
Few cameras can match the top-of-the-line DSLR offerings from Nikon and Canon. When one of those two companies releases a new advanced camera, it's almost always taking a really close look.
It also can shoot 1080p HD video, includes a 39-point autofocus system, can shoot at 5.5 frames per second, and works with a large variety of Nikon interchangeable lenses. The D600 is a very strong full frame camera.
The Nikon D7000 features a 16.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor. When coupled with Nikon's EXPEED 2 image processing system, which allows for fast autofocus, low noise in photos, and six frames per second in burst mode, the D7000 creates high-quality images with impressive speed.
Look for 1080p HD video capability, a 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD, and a built-in flash unit with the D7000, which won a TIPA award in 2011.
- A 12.3 megapixel live MOS image sensor, which allows high-speed autofocus.
- A 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD that can swivel away from the E-5.
- Various art filter options in all shooting modes.
- 720p HD video capabilities.
The E-5 was named a TIPA 2011 award winner.
If you're a fan of Pentax DSLR cameras, you're going to want to pay special attention to the recently announced Pentax K-5 II DSLR.
As you can guess from the name, the K-5 II is an upgrade to the older Pentax K-5 DSLR.
The K-5 II will include a 16.3 megapixel image sensor, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD, an optical viewfinder, a popup flash, and full HD video capabilities. The K-5 II can accept a variety of interchangeable lenses, too.
The Sigma SD15 DSLR camera makes use of a 14 megapixel Foveon X3 image sensor, which captures pixels in the primary RGB colors, providing high-quality images. In addition, the SD15's buffer is large enough to allow 21 RAW images to be shot continuously.
Earlier this year, Sigma also announced two additional DSLR-like cameras, including the DP2s and DP1x. Sigma initially announced plans for the SD15 in 2008, so photo enthusiasts have been waiting for this model for a long time.
10. Sony a77 DSLR
One of the most powerful cameras aimed at advanced consumer-level photographers this holiday season will carry 24.3 megapixels of resolution.
The Sony alpha a77 DSLR camera offers a powerful set of features beyond its high resolution level. It offers a 3.0-inch LCD that can tilt and swivel and full 1080p HD video. With a series of alpha interchangeable lenses available from Sony, you can find the telephoto or wide-angle capabilities you need with the a77.
11. Sony NEX-7 DIL
Sony's latest DIL camera, the Sony alpha NEX-7, will offer 24.3MP of resolution. In addition, the NEX-7 features 1080p HD video, an electronic viewfinder, 25-point autofocus, and a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD.
All of these features are in a camera body that measures only about 1.7 inches in thickness, before you attach the interchangeable lens. The thin camera body is the key design feature of DIL cameras. The NEX-7 is available in black only.