Photography is an art for some, a hobby for some, and a way to freeze the running moments of life for some. Whatever may be the reason for photography, but a photographer always wants to capture the best pictures because these are treasures for the lifetime. And you wish to capture these moments from the best of the cameras. But given the plethora of cameras and DSLRs available in the market, don’t you get confused as to which one to buy? Well, don’t worry. In this article, we try to enlist 5 best DSLRs of 2013 to choose from without weighing much on your pocket as well.
1. CANON EOS 1100D
If we talk about budget cameras, then one of the first names that come to mind is Canon EOS 1100D, also known as Rebel T3 in few territories. It is probably the cheapest DSLR available in the market at present, costing around $400 inclusive of 18-55mm kit lens. It seems like Canon has come up with this new camera some two and a half years after its 1000D (Rebel XS), in order to beat the competition against Nikon D3100 and Sony’s prominent range of Alpha DSLRs. The new camera has upgraded itself from its predecessor’s 10.1MP CMOS sensor to 12.2MP capacity. It has also updated itself two points in the autofocus (AF) department, with 9-point system as compared to the 7-point system of Rebel XS.
In addition, the single f/5.6 sensitivity cross-type sensor featured at the center augments the sensitivity when shooting in both landscape and portrait mode. The camera has the basic 2.7-inch, 230k-dot LCD screen with real-time screen preview and 720p HD movie recording. This camera is ideal for novices offering a simplified graphic user interface especially designed keeping them in mind. And along with all that, it has a decent ISO span of ISO 100-6400.
2. PENTAX K-30
The new Pentax K-30 draws quite a few features from its K-01, including 3-inch LCD screen with an excellent 921K-dot resolution, and the much applauded 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor which enables the camera to capture the minutest of details. It also retains the ISO range of K-01 with ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25,600). However, the Pentax K-30 uses an optimized Prime M image processing engine for full 1080p HD video recording at 30, 25 and 24 fps, uninterrupted live view, low chromatic noise as well as minimum energy consumption. It has an impressive 6fps burst rate, making it faster than Nikon D3200 (4fps) and Canon 650D (5fps).
A few of the advanced features of Pentax K-30 include, SAFOX 11-point phase-detection autofocus system, the optical components like diffraction lens which improves autofocus sensitivity even in low-light situations, as well as the pentaprism viewfinder for perfect optical view for flawless framing. And its weather sealing facility makes it a preferable choice for users wanting to practice photography undisturbed of the weather conditions. And this formidable camera with all these great features comes at around $630.
3. CANON EOS 650D
The Canon EOS 650D is the world’s first touchscreen DSLR, with 18MP CMOS sensor. However, its main upgrading lies in the fact that the sensor uses its extreme central pixels for phase detection autofocus in addition to the standard contrast detection autofocus. This Hybrid CMOD AF contributes to an improved focusing in both live and video modes. However, only contrast detection AF is used when the subject is positioned beyond the central area. The 9-point autofocus system of the cross-type variety is sensitive to f/5.6 except for the central point for which the sensitivity extends to f/2.8. The Canon EOS 650D is powered by DIGIC 5 processor and has an ISO span of 100-12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600). The camera boasts of full 1080p HD video recording at 29.97, 25 and 23.976 fps; as well as 720p footage at 59.94 and 50 fps. While the two microphones on the top-plate enable stereo sound, the wind-cut filter as well as the attenuator is designed to avoid unwanted sound disturbances.
The good news for the action photographers is that the new Canon EOS 650D has an enhanced burst rate of 5fps, compared to the unimpressive 3.7fps of the 600D model. The novel features include the Multi Shot Noise Reduction option combing four images into one for noise reduction and the Handheld Night Scene mode for blur reduction. In short, this DSLR is an all-rounder and a complete value-for-money product. And this product is priced at around $685.
4. NIKON D3200
The new Nikon D3200 comes with impressive specifications, and can be easily deemed as a perfect entry-level DSLR. It upgrades itself dramatically from 14.2MP D3100 to 24.2MP CMOS sensor, thereby offering one of the highest pixel counts on an APS-C DSLR. This 3-inch screened DSLR is also ahead of its predecessor featuring 921k-dots compared to D3100’s 230k-dots. The camera is powered by EXPEED-3 image processing engine, and has an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800 if necessary). It has a good burst rate of 4fps, along with a 11-point multi-CAM 1000 autofocus unit. Regarding the autofocus, it’s important to note that Nikon D3200 features the auto-area AF and 3D tracking along with single-point AF and dynamic-area AF.
The 3D tracking enables intelligent tracking of the subject from one AF point to another while moving, making use of the color as well as information from the camera’s 420-pixel RGB sensor. The Guide mode, along with a host of in-camera Effects like Monochrome, Sketch, Miniature, etc. as well as the Retouch menu are not just excellent for better output, but also help novices explore their photographic talents. Despite the fact that it costs a bit higher at $700, the impressive resolution, and the easy-to-shoot features might definitely draw new photographers towards this product.
5. SONY ALPHA SLT A58
Talking about DSLRs and not including Sony in the list is impossible, right? Well, here comes Sony’s Alpha SLT A58 as one of the best entry-level DSLRs in our list. This new DSLR sees the unification of the previous two models, viz. Sony A37 and A57. However, the biggest upgrade of this camera has been its sensors. Instead of the 16.1MP Exmor APS HD CMOS of the earlier A57 model, this new DSLR boasts a remarkable 20.1 megapixel APS HD CMOS. This, combined with an ISO range of 100-16000, along with the BIONZ image processing engine which separately adjusts noise-reduction levels and sharpness in different image areas, makes this camera a good bet.
One of the most unique features of Sony DSLRs have been the use of Single Lens Translucent (SLT) technology instead of the usual pentaprism found in almost all DSLRs. This technology enables the autofocus to remain in action even when the shot is clicked. And this adds to a better burst rate as well, shooting at a healthy rate of 8fps. Sony’s Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with a 1.44m dot resolution uses OLED Tru-Finder technology instead of LCD, thereby bringing down the overall power consumption. Now talking about the autofocus technology, Sony Alpha SLT A58 features the 15-point AF system, with three points being of the more sensitive cross-type variant. It also uses the Lock-on autofocus technology for speedier, more accurate tracking of the subject. Some of the interesting features of A58 include Auto Object framing Technology that judges the scene composition prior to tracking, framing or cropping the shot, the Tele Zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, and as many as 15 artistic in-camera effects that can be easily applied for shot enhancements.
Given the tough competition from the DSLRs mentioned above, Sony’s Alpha SLT A58 may find itself falling a little short; nevertheless, this DSLR is capable of producing some amazing photographs and shoot some great videos with its full 1080p HD movie maker, for which photography-lovers may be willing to shell out around $590 which is inclusive of 18-55 mm lens.