If you are looking for a camera that will do it all for you, this one is excellent. Nine auto focus zones and five automatic settings take a lot of the guesswork out of taking great photos, making this one of the best cameras for amateur photographers. You can switch to manual modes if you wish to have more control.

The Canon T3i retails for around $600. This camera offers pro-level HD video and a rotating LCD display, all at an entry-level price. You can capture stunning images with the 18 MP CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4 image processor unique to the Canon line. The camera’s 100-6400 ISO capabilities means it can capture low-light shots, but some pros feel the low-light shots are not as good as other comparable models. Another potential drawback is the small buffer for action shots.

If you are a Canon loyalist and are looking for an affordable, semi-pro camera, this is the one you want.

Nikon D5100

Similar in price to the T3i, the Nikon D5100 offers similar specs for those who love Nikon. Superior low-light performance, an in-camera HD video recorder and a variable-angle tilting LCD monitor make it a favorite for those dabbling in photography but not ready to invest in the pro gear.

This particular camera allows you to play the artist. Effects, such as selective color that allow you to isolate the color within the scene you are capturing, let you create your own work of art without post-processing. The high dynamic range setting gives you excellent detail in highlights and shadows. The main drawbacks of this camera are its limited video capabilities and its smaller-than-average sensor. But, if you are a Nikon person and want to be able to use the industry-leading Nikkor lenses, this is the camera to consider.

Sony Alpha

The Sony Alpha SLT-A57 offers a 15-point auto focus, so you are certain to get the right shot every time. It also offers the flexibility to use a variety of memory card types, including memory stick pro. For this flexibility you will pay a bit more, as this one retails at $700. Like the others, it takes good low-light pictures and has an HD video camera. It also can zoom-in on your image without image degradation. You will sacrifice lens selection and video recording for the flexibility of this particular camera.

Panasonic Lumix

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 rounds out the list of digital SLRs for today’s photographer. With an average price of around $700, this one has many of the same features of the others, including HD video, a free-angle LCD and 15 MP sensor. It has an incredible ISO range and touch-screen control when taking stills or video. It has the fastest auto focus in the industry. This camera uses the micro-four-third lenses, one of the newest and hottest trends in the photography industry. The main drawback is the high-compression AVCHD code used for videos.

With each of these cameras, you will find both benefits and drawbacks. To make the right decision, determine what you will use the camera for, and then determine which one fits your needs.

Joseph is a tech junkie with a passion for writing. In his spare time, you can find him blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands he enjoys.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DSLR_camera.svg

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