In late 2015, many (if not most) consumers are likely to shop based on price and capability, rather than according to whether a certain model contains a mirror, or not. We think this is a good thing; with all the increased competition, cameras are improving more and at a faster rate than ever before. From the gear perspective, it's certainly an exciting time to be a photographer.
In this category, you'll find both mirrorless and DSLR cameras that are highly capable under a variety of shooting situations, offer built-in high-spec viewfinders - either optical and electronic - and an extensive array of external controls. The biggest differences in performance tend to come down to autofocus sophistication and video capability, but neither of those is dictated by the presence or lack of mirror.
The contenders are:
- Canon EOS Rebel T6s
- Canon EOS 70D
- Nikon 1 V3
- Nikon D5500
- Nikon D7200
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8
- Sony Alpha a77 II
- Pentax K-3 II
Most of the camera in this roundup are built around either Four Thirds or APS-C sensors. Sensor size plays a large part in determining the image quality a camera is ultimately capable of and, in general, the larger a camera's sensor, the better the image quality and the more control you have over depth-of-field. APS-C sensors are larger than Four Thirds chips, but the differences are rarely huge. The outlier here is a single camera with a 1"-type sensor, a format that is significantly smaller than the other two.
Of course the sensor sizes and image quality of these cameras are not the only thing that varies; the feature sets and performance of each camera are also quite different across the board. Within this category you'll find weather-sealed cameras, cameras that can capture 4K video, cameras that can shoot bursts at incredibly high speeds with autofocus, and cameras that are simply well-balanced all-rounders. Which one should you buy? Read on to find out...
|Body Only, Black, Base|
|Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II (Black) (Body Only) w/ Memory Card|
|Nikon D5500 SLR Digital Camera - Body Only||$796.95|
|Nikon D5500 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens D5500||$896.95|
|Nikon D5500 DX-format DSLR Camera w/ NIKKOR 18-55mm + 70-300mm Lens Black Bundle||$996.95|
|Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera||$999.00|
|Canon EOS 70D Black Digital SLR Camera Kit w/ 18-55 mm Lens||$1099.00|
|Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm STM Lens||$1549.00|