The photography enthusiast has never had such a wide choice of great cameras to choose from - with the advent of mirrorless cameras swelling the ranks of highly capable cameras available for around $1,200. Although there's not always a difference in image quality, when compared to mid-level mirrorless cameras or mid-level DSLRs, the enthusiast models tend to gain more direct external controls, better viewfinders and more substantial build quality.

We'll look at seven of the most capable models here:

Exactly which model makes sense for you will depend on a number of factors - do you already have lenses that work with one of these cameras? Do you need fast focus tracking and continuous shooting rates? Are you looking to dust-off and make use of some old manual focus lenses?

All of these models are based around APS-C or Four Thirds sensors. If you're willing to spend more money, and carry some additional weight, Nikon, Canon and Sony have all introduced full-frame models that offer a similar degree of control and build to the models featured here. However, even without taking that step, these enthusiast models offer until-recently undreamt of image quality in a more compact package.