Expert Recommendation

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Best Digital SLR Camera Overall Under $700
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
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February 1, 2012 Updated: February 16, 2012
Overview

With the latest technology allowing photographers to create and edit unique images right in the camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i is leading the way with features and capabilities that make creating stunning visual images a revolutionary act.

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Canon EOS Rebel T3i (with 18-55mm IS Lens)

For photographers who want the larger sensor and solid feel of an SLR combined with an on-board guide to help you succeed when stepping out to get the shots of your life, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i is an excellent choice as your main camera.

Whether you already have a collection of Canon lenses or are looking to build a system around a capable and dependable camera body, the T3i offers a variety of features to ensure you get the right shot no matter what your skill level is.

Starting with a large, 18mp APS-C CMOS sensor combined with a 14-bit DIGIC 4 processor to capture low low’s and high high’s at 3.9 fps, a 3.0” tiltable LCD screen and HD video with sound level control and digital zoom, the T3i is loaded with the technology to capture prize winning photos and shots that you will be proud to display on your walls and share with friends.

With the fully-automatic Scene Intelligent Auto mode just point the camera and the T3i will choose the correct settings for whatever situation you find yourself in and deliver the best quality available in photography today. Or, choose Basic+ and create a mood unlike anything you’ve seen before from an SLR. For even more personal control, fire up the feature guide and get a short description of each function and apply your own creative touches to your images. Either way, the answers and tools you need are all contained within the T3i for quick and easy reference.

If video is what you’re after, the T3i shoots full HD (1080p) with a dedicated movie shooting mode that allows you to switch between stills and HD video instantly. Another great feature of the video mode is the ability to shoot video snapshots in two, four, or eight second segments. Add a soundtrack and exhibit your finished production on the bright LCD screen or on an HDTV via the built-in mini HDMI connection.

Taking you to the next level of your creativity is what Canon is all about and with all of the features built into the T3i, expect to be impressed with your own talents while this solid camera makes you look good doing it.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i (with 18-55mm IS Lens) is the Best Digital SLR Camera Overall Under $700
Where to buy
Canon EOS Rebel T3i (with 18-55mm IS Lens)
  • Best Price: $749
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Resolution: 18.0MP
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2
Nikon D5100 (with 18-55mm VR Lens)

Having the ability to reach a new level of creating beautiful, unique and original images from your camera is becoming a reality for DSLR users and Nikon is leading the way with the D5100.

In addition to a large, 16.2mp CMOS sensor and the EXPEED2 image processing engine, the D5100 has a variety of special effects modes, a 3.0” LCD screen that swivels out to make framing your shots a snap, allowing you to see over your head, shoot down low or even get yourself in the picture, and an amazing array of manual and automatic settings that let you take control of your images.

In special effects mode choose from selective color, color sketch or miniature effect to create unique images that showcase your talents and expand the fun you can have with this powerful camera. There are many other great features for enhancing your images, like HDR, a mode that takes two shots in rapid succession to accentuate the lows and highs of a particular scene, creating a dramatic effect to the finished artwork. For low light situations take advantage of the night vision mode that raises the ISO up to a super-high 102,400 so you never miss a shot.

And for video, the D5100 shoots 1080p full HD movies by simply pressing the dedicated video button next to the exposure button. Enjoy professional results with full-time autofocus and manual exposure and capture stereo sound by adding an optional ME-1 microphone. The ME-1 fits right on the cameras hot shoe. Shoot at 720p for web-friendly videos you can download directly from the camera via HDMI compatibility.

Whether it’s just for fun, adding to the family archives or for your own professional aspirations, combine all these creative features with any of the great line of Nikon lenses and take your photography to the next level.

Nikon D5100 (with 18-55mm VR Lens) is one of the Best Digital SLR Cameras Overall Under $700
Where to buy
Nikon D5100 (with 18-55mm VR Lens)
  • Best Price: $699
    Amazon See It »
Recommended with
  • Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone for Digital SLR Cameras
    @ Amazon.com
Specifications
  • Resolution: 16.2MP
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3
Sony Alpha SLT-A35 (with 18-55mm Lens)

For fans of the Sony line of digital cameras, or anyone who is interested in the innovative features that are becoming available in the latest digital SLR’s, the SLT-A35 is a powerful and fun camera that combines a variety of great features for exciting creative expression.

Starting with a 16.2mp, Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and the powerful BIONZ processor, the A35 gives you fast focusing and fast shooting so you won’t miss a single shot. Add to that 8 scene selection modes and 6 creative style settings and you’re almost guaranteed a perfect exposure every time.

Able to shoot video at 1080i60, expect to get a professional quality recording and check out the results in real time on the bright, 3.0” LCD screen.

With in-camera steady shot, an on-screen help guide and a plethora of image manipulation features, the A35 is an innovative camera that will deliver excellent results for amateurs and professionals alike.

Sony Alpha SLT-A35 (with 18-55mm Lens) is one of the Best Digital SLR Cameras Overall Under $700
Where to buy
Sony Alpha SLT-A35 (with 18-55mm Lens)
  • Best Price: $648
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Resolution: 16.2MP
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