Many think that DSLR cameras are dead. They couldn’t be more wrong. DSLRs aren’t as shiny and new as some of today’s mirrorless options. Still, they still pack a mighty punch and they’ll serve today’s photographers well.

In this roundup, we’ll take a quick look at four incredible DSLRs. Believe it or not, they can run rings around many of the mirrorless cameras on the market. Don’t think for one second that you’re going to get an inferior camera by choosing not to go mirrorless. In fact, in some ways, DSLRs are superior to their mirrorless counterparts.

So, if image quality, ergonomics, battery life, optical viewfinders, and ruggedness are at the top of the list for you, you’ll love the cameras that we’ve highlighted below.

Nikon D850

One of the greatest DSLRs ever made. The Nikon D850 is still one mighty fine camera that gives many mirrorless cameras a run for their money. Powered by a whopping 45.7-megapixel sensor and an EXPEED 5 image processor, the D850 delivers images that can make jaws drop.

The Nikon D850 can shoot 7 fps for up to 51 consecutive 14-bit lossless RAW files. There are 153 autofocus points with 99 of them being cross-type, and it can focus down to -4 EV, which means low light is no problem. The D850 also makes use of Nikon’s excellent 3D tracking.

Don’t forget about the tilting 3.2-inch display, dual card slots and 4K video. All of this is in a body that’s built like a tank with weather-sealing galore. No wonder this DSLR is legendary.

Pentax K-1 Mark II


I used the Pentax K-1 II for a few years. For me, the Pentax K-1 II is one of the best stills cameras on the market. I miss it dearly to this day. The image quality from the 36.4-megapixel sensor is fantastic. The K-1 II is one of the most rugged DSLRs I’ve owned and used. The Pentax K-1 II is packed with amazing technology, and also has one of the best optical viewfinders you’ll ever use.

Inside this DSLR you’ll find 5-axis IBIS, a self-leveling sensor, dual card slots and a unique swivel LCD. Astrotracer, which uses the built-in GPS to rotate the sensor and track the stars, is also incredible. There are handheld and tripod-based hi-res imaging modes, dials and custom buttons galore, and so much more. The autofocus system, while not the fastest, is still more than capable of capturing everything from portraits to wildlife. It’s an absolute bargain.

Nikon D500


Even though the Nikon D500 is a DSLR, this camera is still one of the best APS-C cameras in 2021. The Nikon D500 reached legendary status with sports and wildlife photographers for many reasons.

The Nikon D500 boasts fast burst rates (10 fps). Then there’s weather sealing, stunning high ISO performance, dual card slots and 4k video options. Throw in 3D tracking, 153 autofocus points, Wi-Fi connectivity and a large 3.2-inch LCD, and you have a winner.

Step out to do some wildlife photography, or look along the sidelines at any sporting event, and you’ll see plenty of Nikon D500 DSLRs still in use in 2021.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The Canon EOS 5D IV is a DSLR that just keeps on going and going. This workhorse camera has served thousands of photographers well, and it will continue to do so as we go through this decade and possibly beyond. With class-leading ergonomics and a well-constructed body, there’s no reason why not.

The optical viewfinder is large, bright, and clear. The same can be said about the rear LCD as well. The 30.4-megapixel sensor is capable of delivering detail-rich images. Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus system is still the one to beat in DSLRs. 4K video modes, dual card slots, Wi-Fi, built-in GPS, a built-in intervalometer and 7 fps burst modes make the Canon 5D IV a camera that won’t let you down.