Cameras:

Best entry-level digital SLR cameras of 2014

Updated

Avid photographers who want full creative control over their images should consider a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera. These models offer the advanced features that experienced shooters need, and all of them are compatible with a wide range of interchangeable lenses and accessories. Of course, they're generally more expensive than point-and-shoot cameras, with prices starting at about $600 for the body only. The good news is that if you've already invested in a set of 35mm SLR lenses and accessories, there's a good chance that you'll be able to find a digital SLR body that's compatible with them.

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Nikon D5300

The Nikon D5300 is a great choice as a general-purpose dSLR.

4 stars Excellent A great everyday dSLR

Best entry-level dSLR

Nikon D5200

The Nikon D5200 improves performance over its predecessor, making it a great general-purpose dSLR.

Price: £419.00 - £429.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

While the Canon EOS Rebel T5i is -- almost literally -- the same solid camera as its predecessor, it's starting to lag frustratingly behind the competition in some ways.

3.5 stars Very good

Canon EOS Rebel Rebel T3i

The Canon EOS 600D might not be the swankiest camera in the world but it's a well-balanced, competitively priced digital SLR with a knack for making expert photography highly accessible.

4.5 stars Outstanding

Nikon D5100

Though it doesn't rank first based on any individual aspect of the camera, the Nikon D5100 delivers a solid combination of image quality, performance, features, and design that puts it out in front if you're looking for a well-rounded option under $1,000.

3.5 stars Very good

Nikon D3300

Very good photo quality for its class plus decent performance make the Nikon D3300 A solid choice for a first dSLR.

3.5 stars Very good

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

While the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is a perfectly reasonable entry-level dSLR, you can get the same photo and video quality in a smaller body for the same money (or less) by opting for a mirrorless interchangeable-lens model.

3.5 stars Very good

Pentax K-50

A reasonable option for an entry-level dSLR, the Pentax K-50 should satisfy if you need the weather-sealed design. But while acceptable, it and its cheaper sibling the K-500 lag behind the competition in image quality and performance.

3.5 stars Very good

Nikon D3200

A first-class performance from a very keenly priced dSLR, the Nikon D3200 offers comprehensive menus and help for first-time users, with top-quality output that expertly balances tricky lighting to bring out the best in every shot.

5 stars Spectacular Nikon D3200
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