Saturday, June 4, 2011

Top 10 Professional DSLR 2011

10. Canon EOS 50D

Canon EOS 50D box shot 
The Canon EOS 50D professional DSLR camera is the follow-up to the Canon EOS 40D. While it's similar in esthetics and features, there are some significant upgrades. The most significant change Canon added is the jump from the 40D’s 10MP (megapixels) to now 15MP. While this camera is an upgrade from the 40D, the things they upgraded on this device does not make it that much more superior than the 40D.

The Canon EOS 50D is built with a 3-inch LCD monitor. The monitor contains Live View technology, which allows you to use the LCD screen to compose an image with a similar view as you would find looking through your viewfinder. The LCD screen features a smudge resistant coating. The LCD screen is simple to navigate around; we easily found the settings and shooting options we needed to create professional photos. 

Image Quality:
The new creative auto setting debuting in the Canon EOS 50D professional DSLR camera is a setting that most notably allows you to brighten and darken the exposure, and there's another option to blur or sharpen the background. While useful, it didn’t come at any expense and Canon removed one of the custom settings slots to fit it on the mode dial.
The 15.1 megapixels is a pretty significant upgrade over the 10.1 megapixels of the previous model, the 40D. For some this will definitely be a major selling point for the upgrade, and for others, not so much.
The new Digic 4 Chip in this professional DSLR camera allows for some new features in the camera, including face detection in the live view mode, Auto Lighting Optimizer, high-ISO noise reduction, and variable raw sizes of 7 and 3.8 megapixels.
The Canon EOS 50D features a lens peripheral illumination setting, which looks at any lighting issues that may have occurred in the corners of the image and corrects it. We thought this technology was neat but almost unnecessary as many lighting issues are already corrected with a number of Canon lenses available for this device.
Several shooting modes are provided on this professional DSLR camera to perfect the captured images. Manual focus and autofocus are included along with metering modes with an image sensor. We were pleased to see a grid display and a silent shooting option so capturing images during a play or performance will not be distracting.

Battery Life/Memory:
The greatest drawback to the Canon EOS 50D professional camera is the battery life provided. Only 620 images can be captured on a single battery charge. This short battery life makes it a necessity to carry two batteries around with you if you are attending a long event or taking portraits.

While the camera does perform well with the Digic 4 technology, the Canon EOS 50D professional DSLR camera is a solid choice for anyone looking for quality pictures. Also, the new Creative Auto setting is useful – we are just not sure it is worth the expense of losing a custom setting slot. We were greatly disappointed with the 620-shot battery life and hoped for something a little more from Canon. 

9. Sony Alpha A900 

Sony Alpha A900 box shot 
The Sony A900 professional DSLR camera is a device stuffed with features such as image stabilization, wide-angle performance and a 3-inch LCD display. The Sony A900 does not include a lens but only provides the camera body. The lack of lens on this professional DSLR camera gives you more flexibility and more options in determining which lens will fit you and the photos you most frequently take.

The Sony A900 is built with a magnesium alloy body and features a 3-inch LCD display. The display screen has a resolution of 270ppi (pixels per inch) which allows for clear playback directly on the display screen. One drawback to this device is its large size. This device is not lightweight and compact and could become more of a burden to carry or hold for extended periods of time.
One thing we did enjoy on this device is the pentaprism viewfinder. Using the viewfinder allows the user to get a real look at the image they are trying to capture. It gives the user more of a feel of what the photo will look like, instead of using the LCD screen. The viewfinder makes it much easier to focus, and the A900 offers a viewfinder magnification of 0.74x.
An HDMI output is designed on this device, and by connecting to any HDTV, you can easily view your photos and share them with crispness and vivid colors. Also designed onto this professional DSLR camera is anti-dust technology. This technology is designed to eliminate the extra dust that creeps into the camera’s body when lenses are changed. On the Sony A900’s image filter, Sony designed a static-free and anti-dust coating to help keep your camera well maintained.

Image Quality:
Image stabilization technology, called SteadyShot INSIDE, is provided on this device. This technology moves the image sensor inside the camera to eliminate camera shake. We were impressed with this technology and were happy that we didn’t have to worry about shaky hand movements when capturing images and we could focus our attention on the other settings and options available.
Along with image stabilization technology, the Sony A900 features a dynamic range optimizer. This technology is designed to regain details that are lost in dark or bright areas of photos. This technology contains different modes such as a standard, auto or advanced bracketing.

Battery Life/Memory:
The Sony A900 professional DSLR camera allows you to capture up to 880 shots on a single battery charge. This amount of photos allows you to capture a significant amount of images, just not as many as some of our higher-ranked products.
This professional DSLR camera contains memory card slots for removable memory. The device is only compatible with SD cards, which we felt was a drawback for the camera. We did find the SD card to be PC friendly, and we had no trouble when transferring files from our device to a computer. This device makes viewing images easy with the HDMI connectivity and SD card.

Even though the Sony A900 lacks a lens, the body is built durable with several features such as the image stabilizer and the dynamic range optimizer. We were disappointed with the battery life and the heavier weight of the camera’s body and hope Sony begins designing their cameras with more than SD compatibility.

8. Canon EOS 7D 

Canon EOS 7D box shot 
The Canon EOS 7D professional DSLR camera is an extraordinary DSLR camera that puts Canon back among the most elite of the APS-C category of cameras. These are the very high end cameras that are sometimes referred to as semi-professional. In reality, they’re perfectly fine for all but the most specialized professional photogs and are exceptional for the very serious amateur. The APS-C designation simply means that the image sensor, the mechanism that is the residence for all of those famous megapixels, is cropped down in size from a full-frame sensor which is the same size as a frame of 35mm photographic film. A smaller sensor necessarily means smaller pixels which can lead to noise, or distortion, of the picture. But don’t worry about the Canon EOS 7D professional DSLR camera or its close competitors …they’ve done a fabulous job of making it all come together to result in pictures that are nothing short of spectacular…with a little practice.

We’ve talked at length about the downside of the megapixel explosion noting that while more and more may sound great from a marketing standpoint, the photographic reality is that too many pixels equates to too small pixels which ultimately result in noise in the resulting photograph. While that’s true for lesser cameras, the Canon EOS 7D professional DSLR camera, weighing in with a massive 18.0-megapixels, does a terrific job of avoiding this problem. The Canon developed CMOS sensor, they say, provides this exceptional signal to noise ratio with a new photodiode and microlens design. We don’t have any to test that but the results speak for themselves so we’re inclined to believe them.
The Canon EOS 7D professional DSLR camera is also equipped with dual DIGIC 4 Image Processors. The dual high-speed processors are the brains that make sense of all of that optical data collected by the sensor. The make sure that the images are captured, processed and saved remarkably fast and, more importantly, accurately. Without these speedy processors, other impressive capabilities of the camera would be impossible.
In addition to still photography, the Canon EOS 7D is capable of recording video in 1920 x 1080 Full HD at 30p, 24p or 25p frames per second. There’s an HDMI output for direct viewing on an HDTV or monitor. The camera will also record video in 1280 x 720 HD or 640 x 480 VGA. It allows for manual focus, exposure and Live View features as well as some in-camera editing.
We love the new 19-point, all cross-type auto focus system on this professional DSLR camera. It provides the fastest and most accurate AF ever from Canon and certainly ranks among the best available on any camera today. The all cross-type feature means that all nineteen of the AF points are used for both horizontal and vertical focus calculations, effectively making the system comparable to those that have even more single dimension points. Though this is a strong point under any circumstance, it comes in particularly handy when taking advantage of the 7D’s maximum eight frames per second continuous shooting ability. That’s the fastest among APS-C devices. This is another feature that is made possible by the fast processors. Complementing the AF system is a 63 zone dual-layer metering sensor which takes into account color and luminosity surrounding the focus points. This results in a reduction in exposure errors created by multiple light sources.
The Canon EOS 7D professional DSLR camera has a 3.0-inch LCD monitor that is brilliant thanks to its 920,000 dot resolution. Additionally, it has great new through the lens viewfinder that boasts a virtually 100 percent coverage range. It has an optional grid overlay that provides AF details plus numerous exposure information details including shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed and many others. It also gives flash, image and composition information.
The EOS 7D has a standard ISO range of 100 – 6,400 which is expandable up to 12,800. This allows for flash-free shooting in a broad range of lighting conditions. Making it even more versatile, a pop-up flash is also included.

In the category of professional DSLR cameras, several devices seem to win over with the Canon EOS 7D.  In any case, the experienced photo enthusiast and most professionals can’t go wrong with this selection.

7. Nikon D300S

Nikon D300S box shot 
The Nikon D300S professional DSLR camera offers among the best overall performance in the category that is sometimes referred to as semi-professional DSLR. More precisely, this camera is of the APS-C DSLR category, essentially meaning that if you want to get any better you have to make the rather major jump to a camera with a full-frame CMOS sensor. But don’t be misled by the terminology. This camera would be very appropriate for most pros and certainly will exceed the requirements of the most demanding advanced amateurs. Its high quality construction is evident at first touch and the Nikon dedication to superb ergonomics is evident throughout. Most importantly, the Nikon D300S provides exceptional photo quality.
Much of the press regarding this professional DSLR camera revolves around the fact that the camera’s improvements over its predecessor, the Nikon D300 are relatively few and somewhat insignificant. If that’s the case, it’s only because this Nikon professional DSLR camera sets the standard for the class that remains in effect today. Rather than concentrating on the reality that the D300S didn’t reinvent the wheel, we prefer to emphasize the device’s comprehensive excellence and those advances that it does offer over its category defining predecessor.

Occasionally, the pleasure of handling a product that is simply exceptional in its build quality presents itself. It’s not a quantifiable notion, but you know it when it happens. Winding a Rolex watch is one such experience and the precision ergonomics of the Nikon D300S are another. The top quality construction and rugged magnesium alloy frame are to be expected in this high class of camera, but the overall feel and seemingly perfect placement of controls are a testament to the legend that is Nikon.
Combine that with some of the best of modern technology and you’ve got quite a camera. The Nikon D300S professional DSLR camera features a 12.3-megapixel, DX-format CMOS image sensor. That number of pixels may seem a bit low in this level of camera but considering that specification alone substantially underrates the image quality produced by the camera. The sensor is coupled with the Nikon EXPEED processor which is the next step in producing highly accurate images with low noise.
One major addition since the D300 is video recording. The D330S will record 720p HD video at 24 frames per second. While some still photo purists don’t find video recording on a DSLR to be important, we think that most users will find it a very valuable tool. Coupled with the video recording capability is new contrast detection autofocus system. The camera has an integrated microphone but, as is common with other DSLRs, its placement seems to make it unusually adept at picking up autofocus sound from the lens. Fortunately, there is an input for external microphones that will overcome this issue.
Whether used for video or still photography, we found the 3-inch, 921,000 dot VGA LCD monitor to be vibrant and easy to use. It’s covered with protective tempered glass and has seven brightness levels. Additionally, the through the lens, optical view finder is among the best available.
The autofocus system of the D300S is one of the most effective available. It uses fifty-one AF points which is several times the number used by most comparable devices. Not only does it use a lot of points, but it’s particularly agile and accurate helping to produce exceptionally sharp photos. There’s also a 1,005-pixel 3D color matrix metering system that evaluates color information when determining exposure requirements. Standard ISO sensitivity ranges from 200 to 3,200 with expanded sensitivity of 100 to 6,400 available.
Among the handiest new features on the Nikon D300S professional DSLR camera are the dual memory card slots which accommodate both a CF (Compact Flash) and SD (Secure Digital) card. There are a number of options for using these cards such as one for recording the overflow from the other, recording RAW to one and JPEG to the other, still to one and video to the other and several other possibilities.
For fast action photography, the D300S can shoot as fast as seven frames per second. To ensure clean pictures, there’s an integrated dust reduction system which uses ultrasonic vibrations to keep the sensor clean. With the standard battery, you can expect to get about 950 shots from a single charge.

The Nikon D300S professional DSLR camera is a highly refined DSLR camera that possesses a rich heritage. Despite the fact that a competitor may have a superior spec or two, there are very few cameras in this class that can reach its overall level of performance. We’ve mentioned that most of the improvements built into this camera are minor compared to its predecessor, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from considering it given the landmark standards that were set by that predecessor.

6. Canon EOS 5D Mark II 

Canon EOS 5D Mark II box shot 
The long awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark II is the successor to the nearly legendary Canon EOS 5D which has been around, and setting standards, for over three years … a virtual eternity in terms of consumer electronics generally and digital photography in particular. The 5D is credited with being the first full frame digital camera that was affordable and lightweight, though those are admittedly very subjective terms. Weighing in at around two pounds, depending on the lens used, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is pretty heavy compared to the ubiquitous compact digital cameras and other point-and-shoot models used by most people. And while no one is likely to refer to this as an inexpensive camera, its spectacular attributes actually make it a notable bargain in the realm of professional DSLR cameras.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II professional DSLR camera is genuinely a camera that just about any professional photographer or photojournalist could use with confidence and it certainly has its share of features that are specifically aimed at the pros. Still, its comprehensive set of electronic wizardry and full acceptance of digital advances make it a fantastic professional DSLR camera that could nicely be used by very serious amateur photographers.

Much is written these days about the explosion in the number of pixels that make up a digital camera’s sensor. Indeed, for many lesser cameras, the actual number of pixels has expanded to the point that it exceeds the other capabilities of the device to the detriment of performance because as the number of pixels increases, the size of each one has to be diminished. Happily, that’s not the case with regard to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II professional DSLR camera which takes best advantage of every one of its massive 21.1 megapixels. That’s in great measure a result of the also large single-plate, full-frame CMOS sensor. It measures 36mm x 24mm making it the same size as a frame of 35mm film so light strikes the light sensors, or pixels, at precisely the same angle that they would hit the film. That’s the magic of fully utilizing the full value of the 21.1MP.
Processing this much light information requires an equally impressive image processor, the digital brain of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. That task is accomplished by the Canon DIGIC 4 processor which has the requisite speed to process all of that optical information from the sensor in a manner that improves color reproduction and photographic detail. The processor’s speed also improves functions such as Face Detection Live mode and HD video recording.
The EOS 5D Mark II is Canon’s first professional DSLR camera to incorporate full HD video recording capability. The combination of the large, sensor, fast processor and 30 frames per second shooting can result in truly stunning footage. The user is able to take individual or continuous still photographs without interrupting the video filming. Audio is recorded by an integrated mono microphone or by stereo external microphones, not included, that can be connected.
Being a DSLR, true through the lens viewing is available for framing the best shots but there’s also a 3.0-inch, high resolution LCD screen that Canon calls Clear View. It boasts 920,000/VGA resolution for a superior viewing experience. The screen brightness automatically adjusts to ambient lighting conditions which both enhances the photographer’s view and saves battery power. There’s also a Live View function which switches views to display a real-time image on the screen. Live View also allows for 5x or 10x zooming to aid in composing the photo. Focusing modes include Quick, Live and Face Detection Live.
To provide dust free images, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II includes an advanced cleaning system specifically designed for the full-frame CMOS sensor. The low-pass filter at the front of the sensor automatically shakes off dust with ultrasonic vibrations. Any micro-dust particles that might still remain can be erased with a feature of the Digital Photo Professional software. This programming can even be calibrated creating Dust Delete Data which will subsequently and automatically erase the dust spot from future photos.
ISO speed is manually adjustable from 100 – 6400 or automatically 100 – 3200. Increased sensitivity up to 25,600 is available making shooting in near darkness possible. Exposure controls include Program AE, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, creative auto, full auto and manual. Image processing types include auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, custom, color temperature settings and automatic white balance.

Frequently, updated products represent little more than minor modifications of the original, especially in the case of a phenomenally successful predecessor. This is not the case with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II professional DSLR camera. As capable and ground-breaking as the initial 5D was, Canon has made notable improvements with this model. Deservedly, the bulk of attention will be given to the enormous sensor and super-fast processor but many other improvements including HD video recording and the outstanding LCD screen warrant praise. This is, without question, a very high end professional DSLR camera that will fill the needs of all but the most specialized professionals but still is a great choice for accomplished amateurs who can stand the price.

5. Pentax K-5 

Pentax K-5 box shot 
The Pentax K-5 professional DSLR camera gives you high-quality results with little hassle. This device features a 16.3MP (megapixel) CMOS sensor and the ability to record full 1080p HD videos at 25 frames per second. We were pleased with the long battery life and feel the sleek design of the device gives this camera an overall handsome appearance.

The design is built with several standout features on this professional DSLR camera. The Pentax K-5 is built with a magnesium alloy and a stainless steel frame. This device is built with a covering to protect the device from wind, rain and cold weather. It is designed to be useable in the rain, fog, snow and dusty wind. We were pleased to see this device was designed to be versatile enough to endure indoor and outdoor conditions, and we feel the body design makes this a more user-friendly camera.
The ability to capture HD video is available on this device. The Pentax K-5 professional DSLR camera has the ability to capture full 1080p images at an astounding 25 frames per second. Not only is there the quick shooting speed but the DSLR camera is designed with a built-in microphone or a 3.5mm stereo microphone jack. The addition of high-quality audio is one way this device gives you professional quality.

Image Quality:
One of the features that improves this camera’s quality is the wide ISO range. The Pentax K-5 contains an 80-51200 range that is significantly larger than similar image capturing devices. However, the higher ISO you use, the more noise can appear on your images. This image capturing device does provide a specific ISO noise reducer, but not all the noise was completely eliminated when we used the larger ISO settings.
This professional DSLR camera comes with a shake reduction system. This technology can be used with any Pentax lens and is designed to eliminate blurry or unfocused subjects that result from unwanted camera shake. Not only is the shake reduction system available on this device but also a built-in electronic level which displays a tilt scale on the LCD screen. This was a nice feature if you wanted to ensure your subject was lined up with the frame of the image, but unfortunately the electronic level could only be used in the Live View mode.

Battery Life/Memory:
Our favorite part of this professional DSLR camera was the long battery life. Up to 1,100 shots can be taken on a single charge using this Pentax camera, and with that many shots available, you rarely have to worry about running out of battery.
With so many shots available on a single battery charge, the need for a large amount of memory is a must. This image capturing device is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. We were pleased this device was compatible with all three formats and it gives you more options and more flexibility when using this device.

The Pentax K-5 is a professional DSLR camera that offers several advanced features to provide professional results. The high ISO range, the huge battery life and full HD video recording each enhance this camera. Unfortunately, the Pentax K-5 is more difficult to understand and a user new to DSLR technology would have a difficult time picking up the camera and taking photos and videos with high image quality.

4. Olympus E-5 

Olympus E-5 box shot 
The Olympus E-5 is a powerful professional DSLR camera. It provides users with a 12.3MP (megapixel) MOS sensor, a Zuiko lens and 720p HD video recording. An image stabilizer is offered on this device, which is a rare find for DSLR cameras. This device provides several advanced features that make it one of the top in the DSLR market; it’s just not at the very top.

The 3-inch LCD display is one of our favorite features available on the Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera. Along with the crisp playback and bright screen, the monitor features a 270-degree swivel, which makes it possible for you to capture your image from above or below. However, aside from the swivel monitor, an optical viewfinder is provided to ensure you capture the most accurate image possible.
The body of the camera is built from a “thixomold” magnesium alloy. This body protection gives the device its needed protection from any conditions that may cause damage to the device. As added protective measures, water and dust protection have been added to the controls as well as buttons to prevent excess grime from creeping into the camera. A dust reduction system is integrated into the device to eliminate any dirt that may enter. The self-cleaning technology uses vibrations at 30,000 times per second to ensure your images are clean.
High-definition video can be captured using this device. At 720p, you can shoot movies with manual control over settings such as aperture and shutter speed. We were disappointed we weren’t able to record in full 1080p HD, but movies that were recorded at 720p appeared fairly crisp.
Image Quality:
The image stabilizer was one of the standout features available on the Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera. The stabilizer eliminates blur created by camera shake. The addition of this technology makes images appear more professional and the photographer’s focus can be on other settings when composing the photo, not the camera shake. Not many DSLR devices provide the image stabilization technology that we were pleased to find in the Olympus E-5.
This Olympus device features 10 built-in art filters. These filters allow you to add effects to your photos or video. A few of these filters include pop art, soft focus pale & color, light tone, pin hole and dramatic tone. Each of these filters can be used in all shooting settings of the camera such as aperture, shutter and manual modes.
The Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera features a digital leveler. This function also helps eliminate any crooked pictures. We found this feature particularly useful for taking portraits and landscape shots. It was helpful to know how level the shot was and if the subject is correctly lined up with the photo’s frame.

Battery Life/Memory:
The Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera provides up to 870 shots on a single battery charge using the optical viewfinder. We were a little disappointed with this amount of battery life and hoped to see more. The battery provided is a lithium-ion battery.
This Olympus professional DSLR camera is SD, SDHC and SDXC compatible. We were pleased to see this much removable memory was compatible and it made the gathering of the images and video much easier and more efficient. We found the Olympus E-5 to be a PC-friendly device and we had no hassle transferring files from the camera onto a computer.

The Olympus E-5 is a professional camera with features to make it user-friendly such as an image stabilizer and digital leveler. However, the poor battery life and the ability to record in only 720p were drawbacks on this device.

3. Canon EOS-1D Mark III 

Canon manufactures some of the best imaging devices you can buy, and they have done it again with their lineup of professional DSLR cameras. The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a fast DSLR device with a 10.1MP (megapixel) CMOS sensor and Live View technology. The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner because it can shoot up to 10 frames per second, has a 45-point AF system and has SD and SDHC compatibility.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III features a 10.1MP CMOS sensor. The 10.1MP sensor gets the job done but not as well as several competing devices with a greater amount of megapixels. A larger number of megapixels gives you the ability to print larger photos with little manipulation or zoom in on the photo for a tighter shot.
These Canon professional DSLR cameras are designed with a self-cleaning unit. When you change lenses, dust and stray dirt can enter the camera. This self-cleaning technology cleans the camera with ultrasonic vibrations and the dust is removed. We liked having this feature on the device; it made us feel much more comfortable taking this device outdoors on a windy day and eliminated any worry when changing lenses.
Canon also designed external cover seams that encompass the controls and buttons and prohibit any water or dust from ruining the controls. The body of this Canon professional DSLR camera is built out of a magnesium alloy which we liked for its durable feel and stability. A 3-inch LCD display screen is located on the back of the device. This monitor features a Live View option. This makes it possible for the user to compose photos directly on their LCD screen by zooming in 5x or 10x the subject's normal size. This mode also includes a grid to make it easier for the photographer to capture exactly it is they are hoping to.

Image Quality:
One of the key features we found on the Canon EOS-1D Mark III is the ability for continuous shooting at a speed of 10 frames per second. This quick speed makes this device fast and allows the photographer to capture every movement. This quick shooting speed is especially ideal for sporting events or for taking photos of fast-moving subjects.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III professional DSLR camera provides a 45-point high-density auto-focus system. The AF system on a device is what gives you that focus needed to create the perfect shot. The 45-point area available on this device gives you control over the focal point selection. The AF setting also provides a manual mode which we like.
One of the strong features on this Canon professional DSLR camera that helps improve image quality is its compatibility with all Canon lenses in the EF lineup. This means all lenses from standard, wide-angle, telephoto and super telephoto can all be used on this device. Having the correct lens on the camera is one way to ensure high image quality, and it increases the chances of receiving a professional-quality image. The Canon EOS-D1 Mark III features an E-TTL flash metering system. Using any flash, this metering system provides output where needed in bright sunlight or when taking photos in the dark.
This device comes with a dual DIGIC III image processor. This processor is what makes it possible for the camera to work so quickly and to get the quick speed and high image quality all at once. The processor also works to eliminate noise found in pictures with high ISO speeds. The DIGIC III did not entirely eliminate noise in several photographs, but overall we weren’t completely disappointed.

Battery Life/Memory:
The battery life on the Canon EOS-1D Mark III is the most impressive of all the DSLR cameras we reviewed. Up to 2,200 shots can be captured on a single charge using this professional DSLR camera. This is more than double the number of pictures that some competing devices can take on a single charge. This camera would be ideal if you were planning on being gone for a long trip or planned to take several portraits for a big event such as a wedding or high school graduation.
These Canon professional DSLR cameras are compatible with SD and SDHC cards. Using the removable memory makes it possible for more images to be stored on the device and makes the transfer of data to a PC simple. We also liked how easy the removable media made editing and viewing the captured images, and we found this Canon camera to be PC friendly.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III features advanced technology, such as 10 frames per second continuous shooting and Live View technology, which makes this a tough professional DSLR camera to beat. The 2,200-shot battery life is a standout feature on this device and sets it apart from several similar products. 

2. Nikon D7000 

Nikon D7000 box shot 
The Nikon D7000 is a professional DSLR camera equipped with full 1080p HD recording capabilities, high resolution and a lightweight design. The Nikon D7000 is our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winner for its connectivity, user control and durable body. The Nikon D7000 comes with a vast selection of features and provides high-quality, professional photos, but it's simple enough that anyone new to DSLR technology can pick up the device and capture images from the get-go.

The Nikon D7000 professional DSLR camera features an attractive design that is lightweight, weighing only 5.2 pounds. The lightweight and compact design make this device portable and not a burden to carry around on vacations or during long events. The body is built with magnesium alloy top and rear covers which make the body feel durable and sturdy. The device didn’t feel like a fragile piece of equipment but rather like something that could be handled in tough conditions. The body is also designed with weather and dust seals on the controls and buttons. A stunning 3-inch LCD display screen is also provided to make image playback appear crisp, clear and bright.
This professional DSLR camera features an optical viewfinder that provides 100 percent frame coverage and approximately 0.94x magnification. The viewfinder is built with a pentaprism, which means that as the user looks through the viewfinder, they are looking through a prism containing a mirror. When capturing images, the shutter is released, the prism flips up, light enters the sensor and the viewfinder is then blacked out.
The Nikon D7000 is designed with 16.2MP (megapixel) resolution. The high resolution makes it possible for creating crisp large photos without manipulating the image. The high resolution also makes it possible to crop in tight shots. To make the color in your photos look better, Nikon provides the EXPEED 2 image process and 14-bit A/D conversion. This technology makes colors appear rich, gives colors smooth tones and adds a little speed to the camera.
One of the things we loved about the Nikon D7000 is the simplicity of the device. For such an advanced product, the menus were easy to navigate and were responsive. While in the auto and scene modes on the device, very little user input has to be done for high-quality images. The user simply has to point and shoot and pictures appear beautiful and stunning.

Image Quality:
To provide high-quality images, the Nikon D7000 professional DSLR camera features continuous shooting up to 100 shots at six frames per second. The device also features an ISO range from 100 to 6400. This DSLR camera does have the capabilities to expand the ISO up to 25,600, which is fast and will allow you to shoot in dark light. The high ISO does result in a little noise on the images, but we only saw the noise on the higher ISO settings.
Several shooting modes are available on this professional DSLR camera to help perfect your images in whatever situation you may shoot in. A few of these modes include portrait, child, close-up, sports and night portrait. Nikon designed two settings – U and, U2 – on the mode selector dial. This dial allows you to store custom settings for two users without having to make changes to the menu.
This device provided versatility with the lighting options that we enjoyed. The Nikon D7000 comes with a built-in speedlight flash with i-TTL and wireless commander support. This gives you the freedom to do as you like with the lighting on this professional DSLR camera. Active D-lighting is also provided, which gives you the detail that is often lost in the shadows on your images.
Another additional feature we were impressed with is the virtual horizon graphic indicator. This technology displays how level the camera is and is designed to help avoid unwanted camera shake. It also allows you to place a grid on the screen you are about to capture and helps you compose your shot more clearly. This was a feature we found beneficial and it makes the photos appear more professional.

Battery Life/Memory:
One of the biggest drawbacks to this Nikon professional DSLR camera is the battery life. This device provides up to 850 shots on a single battery charge. For a device with so many advanced features we were hoping to be able to capture more photos. However, if you have more than one battery, this isn’t a problem.
Aside from the poor battery life, the Nikon D7000 professional DSLR camera features superb memory options. Two SD card slots are provided on the device with SD, SDHC and SDXC compatibility. This amount of memory allows you to store a significant amount of data on the device and to also separate your images from your videos. Using the removable memory makes it easy for the transfer of files to a PC and makes the data more PC friendly. The data also becomes easy to view and edit once it is on a PC. This Nikon device is built with an HDMI connection. This allows you to view your photos or videos directly from your camera onto an HDTV. This allows you to easily share your photos or videos with anyone.

The Nikon D7000 is a simple professional DSLR camera and is designed to be user-friendly. With a durable body, full HD recording and HDMI connectivity, this device offers some of the most recent technology to ensure that you receive the highest quality and the most professional-looking photos and videos. 

1. Canon EOS 1D Mark IV 

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV box shot 
Canon has been a leader with their image capturing devices and their professional DSLR cameras are no different. Canon has released the EOS-1D Mark IV that offers a vast selection of features that makes it a device that produces beautiful images. The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award because it offers 10 frames per second continuous shooting, full 1080p HD movie recording and an ISO range reaching up to 102400.

The overall design of this Canon professional DSLR camera is stunning. Weighing 2.6 pounds, this device is heavier than several of its competitors, but the features available make the extra weight bearable. The 3-inch LCD display screen is built with protective glass and an anti-reflective film. The coverings make it possible to see the screen outdoors, and the ability to choose settings and other menu options on the display screen is much easier and makes the device more enjoyable to use in the outdoors.
The body of the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV was built with a magnesium alloy. The body feels durable, strong and able to withstand any condition. The device is built with an integrated cleaning system which works to remove any dust on the inside of the device. The buttons and controls located on the exterior of this image capturing device are also dust and water resistant. This eliminates any worry you may have of taking the professional DSLR camera outdoors during wind or a little rain.
One of the standout features on this device is its ability to capture full HD video. The 1920 x 1080 resolution on the recorded video is stunning and beautiful. To make the video even more captivating, each of the lenses used to capture still images on this device – such as the standard, telephoto and wide angle lens – can be used to capture video. This allows you to capture perfectly clear HD video that you once only saw with still images.
Another HD recording feature found on the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is the ability to have full manual exposure control. This full control is made possible by using the manual mode. Although, if manual is not a necessity for you, this professional DSLR camera has the ability to automatically select the correct ISO, shutter and aperture.

Image Quality:
One of the greatest features available on this Canon product, to ensure high image quality, is the large ISO speed range. The device features your standard ISO range but extends from 50 all the way to 102400. The only drawback of featuring such a high ISO speed is images have a greater chance of containing grain and noise. One of the ways Canon decided to eliminate the noise was to provide the Dual DIGIC 4 image processor. The processor not only works to keep the noise and grain to a minimum but is also designed to ensure that photos are clear and vivid. The processor makes it possible for continuous shooting of up to 10 frames per second.
The new Al Servo II AF focus tracking is available on this professional DSLR camera. According to Canon, this technology is designed to improve stability, reliability and focus. We found the feature makes capturing fast-paced subjects or landscape portraits focused, crisp and clear, with no blur from shaky hand movements or sudden gusts of wind.
Another feature on the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV we were highly impressed with was its compatibility with all EF Canon lenses. This means all lenses, from wide-angle, standard, telephoto and super telephoto, can be used on this device. This vast selection of lenses makes it possible to capture the ideal photo and video whether your subject is near or far. If the lens is correctly chosen for the type of image taken, the Mark IV will provide you with a high-quality image with a sharp, focused subject and crisp, vivid colors.
This Canon professional DSLR camera also features the E-TTl II flash metering system. The image capturing device features a 63-zone evaluative metering sensor that provides a flash metering algorithm which reduces overexposure. The flash metering makes it possible for photos to be taken in direct sunlight or complete darkness.

Battery Life/Memory:
The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV uses one CR2025 lithium battery. The battery life on this device is impressive. Approximately 1,500 images can be captured on a single battery charge. By using this battery, you have the ability to take nearly as many pictures as you could ever want in a single day without needing to recharge. It also allows professionals to stay at work taking portraits or snapshots without interruptions.
An automatic battery check is featured on the image capturing device. When the device is turned on, the battery check is displayed on the LCD panel, in the viewfinder and the battery information screen. The battery is displayed in one of six levels. We found this a great blessing and it prevented any sudden loss of battery. Also included on Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is a power saving feature. The power automatically turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30 minutes of non-use.
This Canon professional DSLR camera features memory capabilities for CF, SD and SDHC formats. Having three separate ways to save memory makes it possible to save more images, video and data at once and keep the information in one spot. Having removable memory on the device also makes it possible for easy editing and the transfer of files onto a PC.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is one of the fastest professional DSLR cameras on the market. With a long battery life, strong HD recording capabilities and a Dual DIGIC 4 image processor, this device really can’t be beaten.
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