12 Best Mid Range DSLR cameras

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I am almost got fed-up to hear “What’s the best DSLR”I receive several emails from our readers asking which one they should opt. Now the true fact is, almost all DSLR cameras is good enough to take clean pictures .They all provide you with good specs, sharp images but it’s you who will decide whether an expensive you like to buy or the one you find good as starter.
Here I am laying down some best cameras of High, Low and Mid-range, have a swap through all and you will get your answer.


EOS 1100D

With its 63 area iFCL metering Canon has put this 12.2 MP junior to most popular low range DSLR available in the market. Sensor is good; it takes up clean and nice pictures. It carries all the features of its predecessor EOS 1000D, along with lots new features and improved image quality. Having sensitivity level 100 to 6400, it allows lot more flexibility while shooting at lower light condition. Its 12 MP CMOS sensor give us to print out more large pictures than its prior model.
With Canon Digic 4 Processing chip , it really computes the image lot faster than 1000D, moreover it also allows you to shoot 720p HD recording with its large 2.7inch screen that has 230,000 resolutions and has been marked as significant upgrade from Canon.


EOS 550D

This camera has marked it’s improvement on the grounds of LCD Dots, Pixel Count to its predecessor 500D.It packs in many sophisticated features in Video recording which includes manually controlling the exposure. This model sits just below the 60D and more enthusiast 7D. It’s always true that you can’t have 7D at this cheap, but surely you are getting a lot more that you should. Though it lacks rock-hardy body like 7D, it compensates you through larger screen area-3inch, shooting almost around 3.7 frames per second in continuous shooting and higher megapixel count too.
From the outlook, it beats the Nikon’s most popular D90, and is far ahead from Nikon’s D3000.It supports all lenses of Canon, both EF and EFS but just the crop factor will get count into it as it’s not a full-frame body.


Nikon D5100

Now this is something Nikon has launched to grasp the market of Canon. What you truly get in here is reduced Noise compared to many former Nikon’s DSLRs: even the D800 too. During the cycles of development performance has increased to great extent. It boasts EXPEED 2 Processing chip as of you can see on D7000 which provides faster image processing, greater detail to images and 14-bit Raw files along with fine Jpeg.
But perhaps the most important and significant upgrade is its LCD, from 2.7inch of 230,000 dots to 3inch 920,000 dots.


Nikon D90

This guy replaced the D80 , which has been a little embarrassed release from Nikon with many drawbacks.
With its stunning performance at maxed out ISO, it provides the user much tempting option to look for and grab it. Having 12.3 MP CMOS sensor it inherits a quality that has seen on D300s. It provides you with around 4.5fps on high speed memory cards and 11 AF points system is very gorgeously arranged than of current D5100 and Prior D60s. CMOS censor indicates a live view mode of course, and on D90 you find 920,000 dots of 3inch Screen that elude your eyes. The body is rock solid and you may feel a bit heavy to grip than the D60s .
D90 is being featured as Worlds 1st DSLR with Movie mode that can shoot 720P hd Video at 24 frames per sec and makes camcorders stand below in its way. So, overall D90 is a Quality Camera and with introduction to new VR 18-105 kit lens it just sold like hot cakes coming out from oven.



EOS 60D came out to replace 50D. 50D is quite evident to get out market due to its many drawbacks and company almost immediately discontinued it with their launch of 60D.
Surely 60D has some cool new features to stand out. Regarding its Sensitivity range compared to 50D is much higher to 6400(12800 on expanded mode ). It also boasts features like 1080p Video recording with custom frame selection and with Canons new iFCL Metering, 3:2 aspect ratio on LCD screen(1,040K dotes) .Unlike 7D, it just have 9 AF points like as it is on 50D, have Digic 4 Processor which makes it a poor competitor to 7D . Also,7D is kind of speed-crazy type , it gives 9 fps whereas 50D used to give 6.5fps but unfortunately 60D has been keel down to 5.3fps .
Talking about design, 50D had magnesium allow body just like old wines with strong hold while 60D has just plastic body and this has been a crucial point to take note of.



7D is the first in starting line of Professional camera. Though it has APS-C sensor , it is the best APS-C you get , below this sits the line of 550D , 600D, 650D 60D . Above it you get all full frame glories and work of art like 5D mark 2, 5D mark 3 etc.
It offers you 18MP whereas 5D M2 has 21.1MP full frame. The image quality is almost same and strong enough to give a competition and you are getting almost indistinguishable quality between two of these. Its Bullet Proof Body made of magnesium alloy allows a good grip all over, and coated with tactile rubber on each ends it really needs a steady hand to grip it on , with those heavy EF lenses. Flash sound is quite reliable and gets turned one with a soft sound and Eye catching 19 Af point zone, subdivided each into 5 really solves the problem of tracking rapidly moving images .
All Over it’s a gift pack in a nutshell, you are getting almost Full Frame quality just around on 20% less price tag.


5D Mark II

This Full Frame beast has a lot to provide. Marking its name as starting level Full Frame it has gathered up good amount of sand to bring down the Fire on Enthusiasts hand. This is a Direct replacement of 5D itself where the pixel count has gone up from 12.8 to 21.
Having Digic V processor it ensures us again with at least 3.9fps. So when put to test it came up with 13 consecutive RAW files but it somehow slows down when the buffer is full but that’s nothing. It features a high resolution Live view Mode with 1 and a half inch larger than 5D , and has full 1080p Video Mode to shoot on .
Other Improvements like light optimizer that ensures you done get dark cornered images due to your lens, and ISO increment to 6400 in normal and 2500 in expanded mode, 99% clear viewfinder that allows you to see what you will get.
Talking about Body, the shape and structure is familiar to those who have used Pro level EOS cameras but much of its centered on its technology rather than its outer structure. User interface has been made easy better than before. Two control dials are available; one at the top near where it lies by default and another is on flat back just by the side of live view mode, though, a bit bigger.
Interactive quick control mode has always been proved to be an integral part and that’s what you also get on Canon’s Mark 2 , you change whatever you like to whether on live mode or viewfinder mode.
One more thing has come out very impressive of Mark 2, though it has 21 MP its High ISO performance is strikingly overwhelming. You hardly can find Noise at 6400.
What disappointed me of this 21Mp giant: you come across some chromatic aberrations at shorter focal lengths which are due to its Mega Pixel Size. Could have been the MP size a bit lower, it might blow out all it’s rivals out of way.
But Don’t Worry, it has got a solution for that. EOS Digital Photo Professional Raw Converter/Editor can dial out distortion, corner shadings, chromatic disturbances etc. using the ingrained EXIF data found. But we Always throw away this software which you shouldn’t, it can reveal up many fine textures, details that you can see normally on its jpeg images.


5D Mark III

It’s not so much astonishing release form Canon’s library. But you can call it kick paddle to start on Pro Level Video shoot on DSLRs. Unlike D800 it doesn’t have those 36 Million pixels; still it’s an eye catcher for sure.
It beats the Top Canon DSLR 1Dx in Pixel count, making a count of 22Mp having 4.2 MP more than the same. It also stretches 1.2Mp far from Mark 2 who just has 21.
1Dx features Dual Digic 5 Processors , Mark 2 has 1 and this has got the same .Having Combined with 8 channels readout it ensures us around 6fp.This point is somehow disappointing to those expecting around 8-9fps , though, it still make mark 2 fall behind with its 3.9fps and something ahead of it .
Mark has 61-Wide Area AF Point Selection likes as 1Dx, this improvement is really fascinating unlike mark 2 which just have 15 Selectable points. Taking into consideration the accuracy factor, canon has introduced 41 cross type and 5 dual cross type points. It also has manually customizable AF Presets like 1Dx which canon intimidate as great help when shooting challenging subjects.
With their Overwhelming and Out gorgeous success in Video shooting on Mark 2 , they haven’t let that down on Mark 3 with much changes, all have been kept same and clean. Just some new additions like quick live movie mode has been laid down on rear to start the shoot fast. And also, there has been a headphone socket to record the stereo audio.
Canon hasn’t had introduced any HDR facility on its DSLRs, but it all started from Mark 3 . You can simultaneously shoot 3 images and process it to High Dynamic Range image. Alongside, you are getting two card slots, one for SD and other for compact flash.


Nikon D300

The Key term of this conversation will be 36MP count that Nikon has introduced on this new Beast. Nikon always have it reputation sealed at one level regarding performance in Low Light and High ISO. DO you think it can still retain that with so huge MP count? Let see…
Talking about Performance , it has same EXPEED Processing cheap like D4, same Multi Cam-3500 FX Auto Focus system that consists of 51 AF points, and the same 91k Pixel Metering mechanism. It uses many new features of D4 itself, proving you with a good solution at cheaper rate. It boasts the ability to shoot an -2EV, which consequently get coupled to shoot at 25,600 at Hi2 mode. All this has made this camera a good deal to opt.
Its quite simple to assume that D800 has low continuous shooting range than D700, but at 4fps with normal battery and 5fps with a battery grip, it is acceptable without glitch. But you always can boost this by reducing image format to DX , according to your need. Also, the central 11 Af points are capable of functioning at f8. So Wildlife Photographers have some good news for their body and shoulders that get tired carrying long range of optics and for those who really don’t want to make extra expenses. For instance, if they carry a 200-400mm f4 lens , they can easily fit in a 2x tele-converter which will effectively make it a 400-800mm f8 where itt will still function unlike 5d mark 3 .
There had been no video mode on D700 but quietness got cracked from here with introduction of Video Mode in D800. It has both FX and DX crop where you can shoot 720p Video at customisable 50 or 60 fps. It still lacks the advantage of shooting at 1080p as of D4. But that is quite sensible if you just do a price check.
We see the shutter count tested to be 200,000 cycles, but a considerable reduction in battery life to 850 shots is quite disappointing compared to D700 that can click around 1000 shots. But the measured life of the battery includes flash , so when you are out shooting on normal light you can expect yourself to get some more . Also, some pro photographers may find themselves frustrating carrying 2 types of cards as D800 have two different card slots namely Compact Flash type and SD/SDHC/SDXC type.
Unlike 5D Mark 3 , it has a built in flash of GN12m @ 100 ISO which useful for some cases where a bit fill in is needed, you can also trigger it wirelessly if you want to.
The Body comes in two editions, one is Standard and Another D800E having a filter over the sensor that reduces ati-aliasing effect qualities while you need to pay 300 extra bucks to get that . Antialiasing helps you to get extra quality and detail , then why should I go for 300 extra bucks that fetch me chances of some false colours and patterns which require much involved Post Production .


Nikon D3s

When D3s was launched on 2010 , it was really to see whether it’s an altercation or something to cheer us up. There has been a rumor of its shooting capability in dark room and guess what! Ya, it really surprised us .
We are quite acquainted with Nikon’s FX format cameras and we all know very well how good they perform at high ISO: D700 is fantabulous at 3200, you can hard find noise that can’t be cleared or bother you. But now I must say D3s is at least some points ahead of D700 in this case. You can find yourself seeing noise until you touch ISO level 25600, which is something, hats off.
Though you won’t find any speed up in continuous shooting mode , still Nikon affirms that its buffer level is twice than that of D3’s, in correct measure – in 12-bit RAW D3s shot 36 frames @ 9fps before came to hold. It consist of two types of continuous shooting mode where you can opt a slow one selecting between 1-9 fps and another is sports mode where you change it up to 11fps but as you move up from 9fps you need to crop the active area of sensor down to equal with D300s’s. Only this part is overridden by Canon 1d Mark IV – which on paper has around 10% speed advantage but on other dials its D3s is far ahead to compare.


Nikon D3X

Do you want some more than 20million pixels and like to have bite from new generation mega pixel war? Then you can Opt Canon 5D Mark 3 , or Sony Alpha 900 at much lesser cost . But Ya , its true they aren’t of Professional quality like this one. D3x is a Professional stuff that includes Magnesium allows Shell, waterproof mechanism, and many other tit-bits professionals depend on. It’s always a kind of something that has something little extra which makes it stand out. You see the best viewfinder that shows your eye 100% what is going to be captured , you get the best AF system around , with much sophisticated White Balance and Metering system.
Much like Sony Alpha 900, it also delivers ultra high resolution pictures with between-100-400 ISO. As you lift off from 400 noise starts showing up. D3x is not like go anywhere, does anything type of DSLR like D3, it has its drawbacks but if you use it for purpose it meant for: Taking very high resolution pictures at low noise level, you get the best. Having said all of this , DX format allows you to frame 7 pictures per sec, if you lower down your resolution to 10MP;this is too much helpful for Sports ,Action photography .

Much Negative indignation has come from customers due to cost of D3x, but before doing that they shouldn’t forget the point ; it’s a professional body all in all. Canon’s 1ds Mark 3 has same resolution that of 5D but from economic point of view it has been standing much higher due the fact; it has high end metering system, tough and professional body with much sophisticated AF system . So comparison shouldn’t be made on so loose grounds.
Another Bad that really hurt me ; it doesn’t come with dust reduction system which in course of time may prove to be a serious issue. Though all of its components have been taken from its predecessor D3,a superb camera, it lacks good live view mode as you find one on enthusiastic D90.


Canon 1DX

Canon made a bit of shake when it announced the release of 1Dx in market. As it has very unusually 1dx has just 18.1 MP , less that 1D mark 3 which has 3Mp extra. It’s no doubt a full frame sensor unlike 1D Mark Mark iv , which has 1.3x crop factor APS-H sensor.
According to canon, manufactured had gone for 18MP CMOS sensor for the body to have Higher level of image quality at high sensitivity than any other camera with greater Photoreceptor (pixel) count could endow. As we see, it’s a Full frame body we can remain ensured that its pixel is much larger than normal photoreceptors present in APS-C bodies. This should provide greater flexibility controlling the noise level.
In first in the lineup of Pro level DSLRs, it boasts Dual Digic 5+ Processing to process the output from a 36x24mm CMOS Sensor along with capability to shoot around 12fps with full metering and autofocus functionality. This gesture seems quite interesting as it satisfies you by all means, even by the money you are spending. Also, if you are able to make confirm exposure and focus point before , then it can round you up with 14 fps at jpegs.
This beast has 21% larger photodiode that that of 1D Mark 3 and has gapless mirrorlens. This allows the photodiodes with an increased potential to capture more light for each of them and helps controlling noise level to greater extent consequently allowing sensitivity level to push much higher. Its ISO range starts from 100 and ends on 100-51,200 , with expansion level going upto 204,800 .
It has the same AF system found in 5D Mark 3 , with 61 AF point that you can select by group or individually . The AF system is not quite old and expensive as you can get in on EOS 650D but much sophistication is included here on 1Dx.Having Said that, you will get two types of live vie mode; phase detection and contrast detection. There will be a slight interruption when you try to opt phase detection as, the mirror has to flip upright so as to make the light come clean on AF system.

I Found one thing bad on 1Dx, which though isn’t much bad, it doesn’t have an in-camera HDR button or Rate button as you can find easily on 5D Mark 3. You have to go to Menu for making HDR images by selecting them, this is a bit low artistic and take little longer to happen.
The Auto White Balance does an extremely good job, producing naturally looking images with good colours as per the ambience and maintains all other factors. But there is a tendency to get shifted to warmer side of spectrum , the countenance is very healthy indeed.
The only situation where we felt the need of missing exposure compensation button, when the sun is shining bright producing highlights that was not in the focused area. Though the camera got the focused exposure well but you still need to lower your exposure a bit to add in a bit of detail on highlights.
You see, Camera’s AF system is fairly perplexing and allows customization on Continuous AF mode .To shoot good pictures you need have good understanding of the subject. Not only that, you also need to be very adaptive to the exposure control .I found the AF system quite well though, it tract down and focus very accurately within range, also if is able to focus on dark subjects too. This body outperforms APS-C 18MP cameras when put to low ISO test. But you can’t compare it with D800 for detail resolution. The Dynamic Range is fairly high enough at mid-range, it does a good job with TIFF files with huge scope to adjust the tonal variations. Nikon D4 and 1DX lead the way in this, 1DX being the top at it.
The Nosie level is well controlled at 6400 , and you hardly find anything on the imgae. But a little noise can come up if you lift up to 51,200 and I think that’s reasonable.

About the author / 

Mohamed Rias

I'm a programmer, photographer, and proud parent. With a passion for coding and a love of capturing life's moments through my camera lens, I'm always on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities to grow. As a dedicated parent, I understand the importance of balancing work and family, and I strive to be the best version of myself in all aspects of my life.

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