D-SLRS: Pro Vs. Enthusiast
We compare each brand’s entry-level models with its pro offerings to see what we’re getting dollar for dollar
We all know that top-of-the-line pro digital SLRs cost a lot more than entry-level models. There often are huge differences in quality and performance between the two, but not always. Entry-level models are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of image quality that's even better than pro cameras produced just a few years ago. Some entry-level cameras even share some of the same components and features as the latest pro models within the same brand.
Sweet Spot D-SLRs
Between the pro and entry-level models lies a paradise of high-performance features, ease of use and excellent value
"Sweet-spot" D-SLRs are those between the entry-level models and the often much pricier, larger and heavier pro models. They're in the sweet spot because, though they're much closer to the entry-level models in price, they share a lot of features with pro models. That makes them great choices for many photographers, including pros on a budget and enthusiasts alike.
Get a grip on the complete offerings from the major camera makers when selecting your new D-SLR
Buying a D-SLR is a little different than buying most other high-tech devices. You're also selecting a complete photo system, from lenses and flash to accessories and software. The "right" camera for your needs, present and future, depends a lot on what you expect from your system.
First Look: Sony Alpha DSLR-A700
The next generation of alpha switches to a newly designed, higher-res CMOS sensor, and that's just for starters
Before Sony and Konica Minolta announced a partnership to develop Sony's first D-SLR in July 2005, Sony's previous contribution to the digital camera market had been limited to compacts and super-zoom advanced compacts. Then in March 2006, Konica Minolta announced it was leaving the photography business and transferring its camera technologies to Sony.
First Look: Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10
This new 10.1-megapixel D-SLR features a 2.5-inch rotating live-view monitor, face detection and much more
Panasonic's first D-SLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, was a 7.5-megapixel model similar in form and function to the Olympus EVOLT E-330, the first D-SLR to offer a live-view LCD monitor. Now Panasonic has introduced its second D-SLR, the 10.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-L10, with a more conventional appearance and a live-view monitor that tilts and rotates. The new camera is geared toward the compact digital camera user who wants such SLR advantages as interchangeable lenses and better image quality and autofocusing performance.
First Look: Olympus E-3
This fast, high-performance D-SLR is loaded with a powerful autofocus system, 5 fps continuous shooting, Live View and more.
Olympus has released the successor to its E-1 flagship D-SLR model, the 10.1-megapixel E-3. Designed to be the fastest autofocus D-SLR in the world, the E-3 has an articulated Live View LCD, internal image stabilization, TruePic III image processing, ISO sensitivity up to 3200 and a wide selection of other advanced features.
Buyer's Guide 2008: Advanced Compact Cameras
Travel light with high-megapixel, long-range zoom cameras
One lens, big zoom—that's the number-one benefit of advanced compact cameras compared to D-SLRs. You don't have to own multiple lenses to go from macro to wide-angle, then zoom out to well over 300mm—which also means you don't have to carry multiple lenses around when you travel.
Buyer's Guide 2008: Digital SLRs
Regardless of your budget or skill level, there’s a D-SLR that’s right for you
While there are advantages to truly compact digital cameras, the compacts are no match for digital SLRs in terms of image quality and performance. D-SLRs have larger image sensors, better autofocusing and metering systems and will accept a wide range of interchangeable lenses and accessories.
Short Reports: Pentax K10D
Lots of great features in a weather-resistant, 10-megapixel D-SLR
You expect the costly pro D-SLRs to be weather- and dust-resistant, but it's rare to find that in a lower-priced model. Yet the rugged, 10.2-megapixel K10D from Pentax features a dust- and weather-resistant body (including 72 seals) and a price under $1,000. You can't actually submerge it, but our test camera got drizzled on for several hours (unforecasted phenomenon) during a hike with no ill effects.
First Look: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
World’s highest-resolution 35mm-based D-SLR hits 21.1 megapixels, can shoot 5 fps, Live View, sensor-dust remover and more…
The long-awaited successor to Canon's top-of-the-line EOS-1Ds Mark II has arrived - and how! Featuring a 21.1-megapixel full-frame image sensor, 5-fps shooting, a 3-inch LCD monitor with Live View mode, sensor-dust remover, rugged weather-sealed body and lots more, the new EOS-1Ds Mark III is ideal in the commercial studio as well as in the field.
First Look: Nikon D3
Nikons new flagship model offers full-frame sensor, high-speed capture, and advanced metering and auto focus systems.
Designed with sports photographers and photojournalists in mind, the Nikon D3 introduces an astounding list of brand new features and technologies that make it the most sophisticated and advanced Nikon digital SLR to date. In addition to the new FX-format CMOS sensor, the D3 incorporates Nikon's new EXPEED Image Processing System that is central to the blazing speed and processing power needed for many of the D3's new features.