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.
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.
Canon's upgrade to the EOS 60D DSLR camera is now available for sale, and this new advanced model is going to provide some impressive features for an intermediate-level DSLR model.
The EOS 70D DSLR camera includes a 20.2 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, which is one of the best Canon image sensors available. The 70D also includes the same 19-point autofocus system that was included in the "five-star" EOS 7D camera.
The EOS 70D also includes a 3.0-inch touch screen LCD, built-in Wi-Fi, and 7 frames per second burst mode at full 20.2MP resolution.
One way for camera manufacturers to set their fixed lens cameras apart from the low-end point-and-shoot portion of the market -- and from cells phone cameras, for that matter -- is to include large image sensors in the advanced fixed lens models.
Nikon has done exactly that with its Coolpix A camera. The Coolpix A includes a APS-C DX-format image sensor, which is much larger than what most fixed lens cameras use, providing great image quality. The Coolpix A has a high-quality 28mm equivalent prime Nikkor lens, meaning it offers no zoom capabilities.
You can shoot in full manual mode with this advanced camera. Certainly at this price point, the Coolpix A isn't going to appeal to everyone. However, if you don't want the bulk of a DSLR camera, the Coolpix A would work well for shooting great portrait photos.
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.
Nikon has borrowed both the design and feature set of its now available Df DSLR camera from other Nikon models, creating a powerful blended model that should have a lot of appeal for enthusiast photographers.
The Df borrows its look from classic Nikon film cameras, and it's available in either all black or black with silver trim. There are plenty of buttons and dials that contribute to the retro look.
But don't let the classic look fool you. This powerful full frame 16.2 megapixel DSLR camera has quite a few top-end shooting and oeprational features. It borrows the Nikon D4's 3.2-inch LCD, a 39-point autofocus system from the D610, and weather-resistant seals from the D800. Additionally you can use the viewfinder to frame photos, or you can shoot at full HD video, shoot in JPEG, RAW, or TIFF, and shoot at up to 5.5 frames per second with the Df.
Although the Nikon Df had an MSRP above $2,000 at its release, you may be able to find it for below that price by shopping around.
- 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.
High-end digital interchangeable lens cameras (also called DIL or ILC) haven't appeared in the marketplace all that often in the past few years, but Olympus is looking to make a splash in that area with its now available Olympus OM-D E-M1.
The E-M1 is considered as a successor to the Olympus E-5 DSLR camera because of its strong image quality, even though the E-M1 is a mirrorless DIL option.
The Olympus E-M1 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second, offers an electronic viewfinder, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen, a 16.3MP 4/3 Live MOS image sensor, and built-in Wi-Fi. You can use any type of Micro Four Thirds lenses.
In my review of the Samsung Galaxy Camera, I appreciated the camera's LCD screen and menu structure. But I was disappointed in the Galaxy Camera's image quality.
Samsung appears to have fixed this problem with its Samsung Galaxy NX camera, which is a mirrorless DIL model that was recently announced.
The Galaxy NX will have a 20.3MP APS-C sized image sensor, which is going to help you provide high-end photographs. You'll also find a 4.8-inch touch screen LCD running the Android OS 4.2, Wi-Fi connectivity, 4G connectivity, 8.6 frames per second recording, and 16MB of internal memory.
It's available now in the United Kingdom, and it should be available soon in the United States. The price is expected to be around $2,000.
10. Sony Alpha a7R
If mirrorless digital interchangeable lens cameras (also called DILs or ILCs) are the wave of the future in advanced photography, Sony is getting a jump on the competition when it comes to the upper end of the market with its now available Sony a7R.
This DIL model carries quite a few options that you might expect to see in a DSLR camera ... and some even better options. The a7R, which is one of the smallest full-frame image sensor interchangeable lens cameras ever created, offers 36.4 megapixels of resolution in its CMOS image sensor. The Sony a7R also offers a 3.0-inch articulated LCD, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, a viewfinder, and full 1080p HD video recording.
Look for the a7R in black.
11. Sony RX1R
High-end fixed lens cameras seem to be the direction that the digital camera market is going, and Sony has recently introduced one of the most expensive models in this category, the DSC-RX1R.
You'll find a full frame (35mm) CMOS image sensor in the RX1R, carrying 24.3 megapixels of resolution. This is an impressive image sensor for a fixed lens camera.
The RX1R has a 35mm f/2.0 fixed lens (meaning there's no optical zoom), 1080p HD video capabilities, 14-bit RAW data output, ISO settings up to 25,600, and a 3.0-inch LCD with 1.23 million pixels.
These are great features, but the RX1R even carries a higher price tag than its sister model, the RX1 from last year.