Many DSLRs are being traded in as people upgrade to the latest mirrorless models, so now is a great time to buy a used DSLR. Jon Stapley reveals the best used DSLRs that deliver photographic quality without being cheap and nasty

The second-hand DSLR market is a fast-moving, exciting and competitive place. Many expert photographers will tell you that a second-hand DSLR from a few years ago is going to give you much better value for money than a brand-new mid-range for the same price – but it can be tough to navigate when there’s so much choice out there.

So, we’ve decided to do the hard work for you, and have filled up the next few pages with the DSLRs that provide the best value on the second-hand market right now.  For each camera, we’ve given a rough guide to the price you can expect to pay to get it in ‘Good’ condition or better. As a rule, this is a good level to stick to – you can certainly get cameras cheaper if they’re listed as ‘Well-used’ or ‘Heavily Used’, but this can be quite risky, and you may find that faults develop quickly.

A good rule of thumb with DSLRs is to check the shutter actuations (i.e. how many times the shutter has been fired) – most DSLRs are rated to somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000 actuations. While the vast majority can and will keep shooting long after they’ve passed their actuations rating, it’s still worth thinking twice before buying a camera with a high actuation count.

And one more thing to be aware of – while our listings are accurate at the time of writing, the second-hand market is a fast-moving place, so things do change! Being decisive is recommended; mull over a deal too long, and you may find someone else has swiped it out from under you!

We’ve roughly ordered our guide from cheaper cameras to the most expensive, to make it easier to find something that suits your budget. It’s also worth noting that all our listed prices are body-only – so you’ll need to factor in lens prices if you’re starting fresh.

Cheapest Nikon DSLR: Nikon D5100, from $150-200, £110-160

Best used DSLRs Nikon 5100 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount (APS-C)
  • 4fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-6400 (exp. 25,600

Upon its release in 2011, the Nikon D5100 was positioned as an upper entry-level DSLR for those looking for something a little more advanced than the more basic D3100. While the D5100 undoubtedly shows its age now in terms of its core hardware, it remains a practical and easy-to-use camera that’s capable of great image quality.

The D5100 is built around a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and Nikon’s EXPEED 2 image processor – the same components found inside the much more advanced (and considerably more expensive) D7000 that was also released in 2011. So, while the D5100’s 16MP resolution might seem a little lacking compared to the 24MP APS-C sensors that are common to many contemporary DSLRs (including the D5100’s direct descendant – the D5600), the overall image quality is still very good.

Better still, while the D5100 and 18-55mm kit lens package would have cost around £750 at the time of its launch, we’ve found that second-hand camera bodies in ‘good’ condition can be picked up for around £164 from That’s quite a saving, and gives you scope to shop for used lenses and stay within a £250-300 budget.

Read our original review of the Nikon D5100

Cheapest Canon DSLR: EOS 600D/EOS Rebel T3i, from $120-$170, £110-180

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 600D DSLR

At a glance:

  • 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF-S lens mount
  • 3.7fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-6400 (exp. 12,800)

The Canon EOS 600D was originally released in 2011, and second-hand examples now provide excellent value for money. Benefiting from a vari-angle rear LCD display, the EOS 600D makes light work of shooting from awkward angles, while the 9-point AF system is fast and accurate, if a little basic compared to modern cameras.

Video capabilities extend to a respectable 1080p Full HD at 30fps, while the pop-up flash doubles up as a wireless commander unit should you want to get creative with off-camera flash. For those who aren’t that advanced, there is the beginner-friendly Basic+ mode that takes control of key settings.

If you’re looking for a rough equivalent to the Nikon D5100 but would prefer to invest in the Canon lens system, the EOS 600D is a great starting point. Even though some of its features have aged, the image quality generated by the sensor is excellent.

The EOS 600D commands roughly the same second-hand price as the D5100, though reaches a slightly higher maximum price for the best-condition models.

Using the Canon EF-mount, there is a massive choice of Canon EF mount lenses.

Read our original review of the Canon EOS 600D

Best budget Canon All-Rounder: Canon EOS 1200D / Rebel T5, from $136-200, £130-160

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 1200D DSLR

At a glance:

  • 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF-S lens mount
  • 3fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-6400 (exp. 12,800)

Beginner photographers can pick up a hell of a bargain if willing to shop second-hand – case in point, the excellent EOS 1200D. Going for about a third of its original asking price, the EOS 1200D has retained a reputation as a solid, do-everything DSLR for beginners.

While you only get a burst mode of 3fps, the autofocus system is fast and accurate in a way that punches above its weight, and the low-light performance impresses.  Canon rates the battery of the EOS 1200D to last around 500 shots, which should be fine for general day-to-day shooting. You can pick up a spare LP-E10 if you’re worried, though be aware this will cost around £47.

The EOS 1200D launched itself into a crowded market, but the passage of time has been kind to it, and the kind of prices you’ll find it listed at make it an excellent choice of first camera – a great one to buy for someone who’s starting a photography course, perhaps. A 1200D in excellent condition can be easily found for around £150, and you won’t have trouble finding a good Canon prime for less than £80.

Read our original review of the Canon EOS 1200D.

Cheapest Pentax DSLR: Pentax K-50, from $140-$200, £144-180

Best used DSLRs Pentax K-50

At a glance:

  • 16.28MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Pentax K lens mount
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-51,200

Pentax’s reduced market share and brand recognition in the DSLR world means its cameras can often be picked up for a good deal less than their Canon and Nikon equivalents. Case in point – the Pentax K-50, a highly capable enthusiast’s DSLR that’s often listed in ‘good’ condition or better for as little as £144. With Pentax’s impressive weatherproofing that features 81 weather seals, this is a great DSLR for splashing about in the mud and the wet.

Pentax has lots of weather-sealed lenses too – though it’s worth double-checking. Look for ‘AW’ or ‘WR’ in the lens name to be sure. Another thing that Pentax proved an early adopter of was image stabilisation, and even though the K-50 came out in 2013, it still sports an effective sensor-shift image stabilisation system.

This system also powers other cool functions, like the horizon-correction feature that keeps your horizontals straight, and the AstroTracer for astrophotography – though be aware this requires a Pentax GPS UNIT O-GPS1 or O-GPS2. The former can be picked up second-hand for about £60.

Read our original review of the Pentax K-50

Cheapest Full-Frame DSLR: Canon EOS 5D, from $130-230, £170-199

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 5D

At a glance:

  • 12.8MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF lens mount
  • 3fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-1600 (exp. 50-3200)

Released in 2005, Canon’s original EOS 5D is credited with being the first affordable full-frame DSLR to hit the market. While a brand new 5D body cost around £2,500 at the time of its launch, these days it’s possible to source a second-hand example in good condition for around £210.

Given its age it should come as no great surprise to find that many of the 5D’s core specs – such as its 9-point AF module and 2.5in/233k-dot LCD display – look fairly out-of-date by modern DSLR standards.

That said, the 5D’s 12.8MP sensor is still capable of great image quality. It’s probably not one for beginners, or for people shooting challenging moving subjects, but if you have some shooting experience and want full-frame on a budget, this is a compelling choice.

Bear in mind though that the 5D does not shoot video – this feature would arrive on EOS SLRs with the revolutionary 5D Mark II. A good-condition Canon EOS 5D should be priced for £199 or less. They aren’t super-common, but do appear.

Using the Canon EF-mount, there is a massive choice of Canon EF mount lenses.

Cheapest Full-Frame Nikon DSLR: Nikon D700, $160-300, £230-300

Best used DSLRs Nikon D700 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 12.1MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount
  • 5fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 200-6400 (exp. 100-25,600)

Released in 2008, the D700 was essentially Nikon’s answer to the phenomenally popular Canon EOS 5D. Built around the same 12.1MP full-frame CMOS sensor used in the then-flagship Nikon D3 DSLR, the D700 further benefits from a 51-point AF system, a pop-up flash that can be used as a commander off-camera Creative Lighting System, and weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction.

Two things to note are that the D700 doesn’t provide any video recording functionality, and only comes with a single CF-type card slot, which means it cannot take regular SDXC cards. Other than that, the D700 remains an exceptionally capable camera.Image quality is generally very good, especially at low ISOs. It produces decent results even up to ISO 12,800.

A rarity for cameras of its time! If you want to stick above ‘good’ condition, the minimum you’ll currently be paying is around £230, and the prices top out at about £300.

Using the Nikon F mount there is a massive choice of Nikon F lenses

Read our ‘Second Hand Classic’ review of the Nikon D700

Cheapest fast APS-C DSLR: Canon EOS 70D, $250-550, £250-380

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 70 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 20.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF-S lens mount
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-12,800 (exp. 25,600)

From the EOS 50D to the more recent 90D, the double-digit line of Canon DSLRs for enthusiasts has retained a reputation for providing great value for money. The EOS 70D is not only great for stills, but also punches above its weight for video – this and the EOS 80D and 90D that succeeded it all proved a hit with YouTubers.

It was the first DSLR to showcase Canon’s revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. The small jump in resolution from the 60D went virtually unnoticed as all attention was drawn to the way it could perform on-sensor phase-detection focusing when using live view and shooting video to improve focus acquisition and response.

The 70D’s sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor combine to offer a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800 (extendable to ISO 25,600), meanwhile it can shoot continuously at up to 7fps.

The AF system is borrowed from Canon’s original EOS 7D and consists of 19 points, all of which are the sensitive cross-type. It doesn’t provide a joystick to easily nudge the AF point around the frame like the newer EOS 90D, but users do get a dedicated button on the camera’s top plate to toggle through the AF modes.

The 70D’s 3in, 1.04m-dot articulated touchscreen is particularly useful when it comes to creative framing and above it is a pentaprism-style optical viewfinder that can display a small level indicator to avoid skewed shots. As is usually the case with more-advanced DSLRs, the 70D sports a small LCD display on the top of the camera providing a quick reference point to key camera settings.

With regard to exposure modes, the 70D is served by the usual quartet of PASM modes, along with a fully automatic Auto mode and a range of specific Scene modes for less-experienced users. The EOS 70D can be picked up very reasonably indeed at a variety of outlets.

Read our original review of the Canon EOS 70D

Cheapest fast, high-resolution DSLR: Sony A77 II, from $400-600, £280-344

Best used DSLRs Sony A77 II

At a glance:

  • 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Sony A lens mount
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-25,600 (exp. 50)

The Sony A77 II was introduced as the ‘king of APS-C’ back in 2014, a time when Sony was pretending it was still committed to the future of A-mount cameras and lenses. With that said, the fact that most DSLR lines are now winding down makes the A-mount feel like less of an ignominiously dead end than it did a few years ago, and realistically you won’t have trouble finding a decent set of A-mount lenses second-hand – probably for more reasonable prices than Canon EF or Nikon F.

The Sony A77 II is not technically a DSLR. It’s an SLT (single lens translucent) camera with a translucent mirror and an electronic viewfinder. But it looks and feels like a DSLR in the same way a duck quacks like a duck, so we’re counting it.

And frankly, it’s a pretty impressive camera at the average used price of up to £344 or so – 12fps continuous shooting is one of the fastest burst rates in this entire guide, and that generous resolution of 24.3MP is great for printing images. A-mount may be dead, but there’s life yet in the A77 II.

Read our original review of the Sony A77 II

Cheapest higher-end Pentax: Pentax K-3, $250-350, £359-375

Best used DSLRs Pentax K-3

At a glance:

  • 23.35MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Pentax K lens mount
  • 8.3fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-51,200

The Pentax K-3 isn’t as flashy as many recent DSLRs, but it’s a rugged and highly capable camera that does a good job in most conditions. Its high-quality 23.25MP APS-C sensor uses no anti-aliasing filter and can resolve an impressive level of detail.

You get a solid 100-51,200 ISO range for low-light work, and a continuous shooting rate of 8.3fps, which really is punching for a camera at this price point. Pentax was an early adopter of weather-sealing, and this DSLR will stand up to the worst a British winter has to offer and come out smiling. This does make it a little heavier than you might expect for a crop-sensor camera, but Pentax does offer a fair few lightweight prime lenses to help keep your set-up slim.

Other features include sensor-shift stabilisation, as well as dual SD card slots. Subsequent Mark II and Mark III versions have helped drive down the second-hand price of this model, and you can find ‘like new’ models for less than £400 at reputable used dealers.

Have a look at the best Pentax K-Mount lenses

Read our original review of the Pentax K-3

Cheapest sportier Canon DSLR: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, from $400-500, £300-520

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 7D Mark II

At a glance:

  • 20.2 APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF lens mount
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-16,000 (exp. 51,200)

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II was introduced in 2014. It’s a nippy camera, inheriting features from Canon’s sports range. Canon’s renowned Dual Pixel sensor delivers good Live View AF, and there are 65 cross-type AF points for viewfinder AF with Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) to give improved subject tracking. Its drive can rattle along at 10fps, and when shooting raw you’ll get around 30 shots before buffering.

Weather-sealing is also quite robust, and having dual SD slots is no bad thing. They are also CompactFlash slots, on the off-chance you still have one of those knocking about. As is common with second-hand buying, the age of this camera does mean it’s missing a few features that these days are considered standard.

There’s no built-in Wi-Fi and the rear LCD is both fixed in place and lacking touch-sensitivity.  The 7D Mark II was £1,599 on launch, and now you can nab one for up to £520. Lots are available in top-tier condition from reputable suppliers.

Read our original review of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Cheapest pro-spec full-frame DSLR: Nikon D3, from $400-500, £300-380

Best used DSLRs Nikon D3 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 12MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount
  • 9fps continuous shooting (11fps cropped)
  • ISO 200-6400 (exp. 100-25,600)

The Nikon D3 was a milestone – the first full-frame Nikon DSLR. Nikon called its new sensor ‘FX-format’, a name that would live on into its mirrorless Z cameras. Pitched at professionals, the D3 used the new EXPEED processor to deliver 9fps continuous shooting. Another first for the D3 was live view mode, allowing photographers to see what the camera was seeing in real time via the rear LCD screen.

It was pitched as a workhorse camera, with a focus on speed – even at the time, the 12MP resolution was considered a little on the low side, but it helped the processor keep up with the action. The D3’s magnesium-alloy body is rated for an impressive 300,000 shutter actuations, so you can be more forgiving when assessing whether a used body is offering good value for money.

Examples with considerably fewer actuations can be found for around £359. Frankly, long in the tooth as it may be, the Nikon D3 is a hell of a camera to pick up for less than four hundred quid.

Fast, budget APS-C workhorse: Nikon D7200, from $300-500, £349-459

Best used DSLR Nikon D7200

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP APS-C sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount (APS-C)
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-25,600 (exp. 102,400)

When the Nikon D7200 was launched in 2015, it was the natural successor to the D7100. It slotted in between Nikon’s upper entry-level DSLR, the D5500 and the company’s full-frame DSLR, the D750. Though it wasn’t a radical upgrade on its predecessor, it became popular with enthusiasts who wanted a reliable workhorse that could compete against other impressive APS-C DSLRs, such as the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

The D7200 is built around a 24.2MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor. This combination provides a sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600. It can be expanded to ISO 51,200 and ISO 102,000, however these settings record in black & white only. Whereas the D7100 had a measly buffer performance, the D7200’s is much improved, capable of recording 18 14-bit lossless compressed raw files and over 100 JPEGs at its maximum 6fps burst rate.

The D7200 is a common sight on the second-hand market so you shouldn’t struggle too hard to find a decent example.

Read our original review of the Nikon D7200

Cheapest Nikon full-frame DSLR with advanced video: Nikon D600, from $300-500, £310-380

Best used DSLRs Nikon D600 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 24.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount
  • 5.5fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-6400 (50-25,600)

At the end of 2012, the D600 was the cheapest full-frame DSLR in Nikon’s range, slotting in just below the semi-professional D800. The 24.3MP full-frame sensor is capable of excellent image quality, while the 39-point phase-detection AF system is reliable.

For getting creative with off-camera flash, the D600’s built-in flash can be used as a command unit via Nikon’s Creative Lighting System. In terms of size and build quality the D600 remains one of the smaller full-frame DSLRs available and also benefits from magnesium alloy top and back panels alongside dust- and water-sealing.

The D600 is also decent for video, shooting Full HD video at 30p, uncompressed via HDMI. It’s got mic and headphone ports for monitoring and recording audio – a lot of these features were borrowed from the more expensive D800.

AP’s inside guide to shooting video is here

Read our original review of the Nikon D600

Cheaper EOS 5D Mark III alternative: Canon EOS 6D, from $300-400, £250-450

Best used DSLR Canon EOS 6D DSLR

At a glance:

  • 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF lens mount
  • 4.5fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-25,600 (exp. 50-102,800)

Announced at Photokina 2012 and released a couple of months later, the EOS 6D was marketed as a smaller and more affordable alternative to the hugely popular EOS 5D Mark III. Fulfilling this brief, the 6D borrows hardware from the 5D Mark III while also bringing some of its own to the table. For example, while the 5D Mark III was built around a 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the 6D instead employs a 20.2MP chip.

However, both cameras share the same DIGIC 5+ image processor, and both provide a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600 that can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 50-102,800.  It was released with a body-only price of £1,680 and it’s now possible to source a second-hand 6D in ‘excellent’ condition with a shutter count of less than 9,000 for just over £400.

That gives you £80 to spend on a lens (enough for a decent-condition EF 50mm f/1.8 II), and voila, a full-frame DSLR starter kit is yours for less than £500. That’s much better bang for your buck than buying a new mid-range camera off the shelf.

Read our ‘Second Hand Classics’ review of the Canon EOS 6D

Cheapest high-resolution full-frame DSLR: Nikon D800, from $500-700, £400-600

Best used DSLR Nikon D800 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 36.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount
  • 4fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-6400 (exp. 50-25,600)

The big draw of the D800 upon its release in 2012 was its 36.3MP full-frame sensor. At the time this was the highest resolution of any full-frame camera on the market. While that’s obviously no longer the case these days, the D800 remains a powerful camera with well above average resolution – more than enough for large-format printing.

For those seeking a high-resolution, full-frame DSLR without the associated high costs, a decent used D800 could well make for a solid and more affordable investment than the Nikon D810 or D850.

If you don’t need all those pixels, the D800 also offers a DX crop mode, shooting instead at a still-respectable 15.3MP. The autofocus system, borrowed from the sporty D4, has 51 points, 15 of which are cross-type, so it’ll do well with fast action. It launched with a body-only price of £2,599, but second-hand it can be found for as little as £420 in ‘good’ condition or better – or under £400 if you’re lucky.

Read our original review of the Nikon D800

Fast APS-C workhorse with powerful AF: Nikon D7500, from $500-800, £610-799

Best used DSLRs Nikon D7500 SLR

At a glance:

  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount (APS-C)
  • 8fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-51,200 (exp. 50-1,640,000)

The Nikon D7500 has an impressive array of specs that includes shooting speeds up to 8 frames per second and a 51-point autofocus system that’s perfect for locking on to moving subjects.  In terms of movies, the D7500 offers the options of 4K/UHD shooting at 30p or Full HD 1080p video at up to 60p.

The D7500 inherited its DX image quality from Nikon’s nominally more expensive D500 camera (see page 51), so it’s worth comparing prices of the two. One thing to note is that the D7500, for whatever reason, only arrived sporting one card slot, even though previous entries in the D7000 series had two.

This particular blind spot of Nikon’s would return to mar the otherwise successful launch of the full-frame Z mirrorless line, the first of which inexplicably sported a single XQD card slot apiece.

Read our original review of the Nikon D7500

High-resolution Pentax DSLR: Pentax K-1, from $800-1000, £830-899

Best used DSLRs Pentax K-1 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 36.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Pentax K lens mount
  • 4.4fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-204,800

The K-1 is a tremendously compelling purchase for less than £900. Its 36MP full-frame sensor delivers high levels of sharp detail, bolstered by the lack of an anti-aliasing filter. Where there is a risk of aliasing artefacts, the anti-aliasing filter simulator can be called upon – a feature that is present thanks to sensor stabilisation.

Elsewhere the K-1 also benefits from Pentax’s Pixel Shift technology that’s designed to improve the resolving power of the sensor, along with built-in Shake Reduction image-stabilisation technology. This system is rated to provide 5 effective stops of compensation, meaning it’s easier to get blur-free shots when shooting handheld.

The LCD screen, meanwhile, is built on an unusual ‘Cross-Tilt’ system, meaning it can be set to all sorts of unusual angles. With a big ISO range and a rugged, weatherproof body, this truly is a DSLR for all conditions, and there are few DSLRs as capable as the K-1 at this price point.

Read our original view of the Pentax K-1

Full-frame EOS Powerhouse: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, from $500-900, £400-770

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 5D III DSLR

At a glance:

  • 22MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF lens mount
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-25,600 (exp. 50-102,800)

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is an excellent full-frame camera that has thoroughly proven itself since its introduction in 2012. The 5D Mark III features a 22.3MP sensor and Digic 5+ processor, which together enable a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600. In addition, there’s a 61-point autofocus system with 41 cross-type points (5 of which are diagonally sensitive) and maximum continuous shooting rate of 6 frames per second.

That’s a nice combination for portrait photography because it means you can target your subject’s eyes precisely and capture some movement if you wish to, rather than having to opt for static poses.

This camera was the first Canon DSLR capable of High Dynamic Range shooting, where three bracketed exposures are made and merged in-camera. And its Full HD video is excellent, continuing the tradition of the EOS 5D Mark II, which kick-started the DSLR revolution in professional video.

In terms of construction and build quality, the 5D Mark III is housed within a weather-sealed magnesium alloy shell and feels very much like a professional-grade DSLR should – a little weighty but incredibly solid.

Despite this the 5D Mark III sits nicely in the hand thanks to its deep handgrip. Buttons are plentiful too, but also well-spaced and clearly labelled. Meanwhile, the in-camera menu offers plenty of advanced tools and customisation options that allow you to set the camera up exactly as you want it. The ergonomics on the EOS 5D Mark III are excellent across the board.

Second-hand prices do vary significantly. While £700 is at the upper end of what you might expect to pay for this camera, once you drop beneath this threshold, shutter actuations of used models tend to increase dramatically – you start seeing shutter counts of around 70,000 (the EOS 5D Mark III is rated to 150,000 actuations). If you plan to use the camera for a long time, it’s probably worth biting the bullet and paying for one with a lower count.

Read our original review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Cheapest Nikon pro-spec APS-C DSLR: Nikon D500, from $700-900, £660-940

Best used DSLRs Nikon D500 DSLR

At a glance:

  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount (APS-C)
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-25,600 (exp. 50-1,640,000)

While this pro-quality APS-C camera from 2016 is no longer cutting edge, it’s still remarkably well-featured. It can achieve an extended ISO range of 50-1,640,000, though noise performance is only tolerable up to around 51,200; it can shoot at 10fps and keep going for at least 30 frames in raw format, and 90 or more in JPEG mode with an SD card.

Put an XQD card in the second slot, and it’ll keep shooting full-speed for 200 raw frames.  One of the most exciting features of the D500 for sports and wildlife photographers is that it has the same 153-point Multi-CAM 20K autofocus module as the D5 – a camera aimed at photographers who shoot sports events professionally.

This means that amongst the D500’s 153 AF points there are 99 cross-type AF sensors with the central one being sensitive down to -4EV and the other points are sensitive down to -3EV. The D500 is quite a common sight on the second-hand market, so it’s worth shopping around for a good deal.

Read our original review of the Nikon D500

Highest resolution Canon DSLR: Canon EOS 5DS R, from $1,000-1500, £1,100-1,400

Best used DSLRs Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR

At a glance:

  • 50.6MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF lens mount
  • 5fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-6400 (exp. 50-12,800)

The Canon EOS 5DS R is the priciest pick in our round-up, but when you consider that it launched with an RRP of £3,200, that second-hand price starts to look quite tasty. Launched as a pair with the Canon EOS 5DS in 2015, the EOS 5DS R represented a new frontier of DSLR resolution, boasting a sensor with a whopping 50.6MP at its disposal.

That’s still at the upper-end of full-frame resolutions today, and makes the EOS 5DS R a seriously tempting prospect for landscape photographers. Constructed to meet the needs of professional photographers, the Canon EOS 5DS R is built like a tank.

It’s designed in every way to make the most of all that detail, with a spring-less mirror assembly that minimises vibrations (which really do matter at 50MP), a reinforced tripod mount, and a USB 3.0 connection for fast image transfer.

For high-resolution photography, this is one of the savviest second-hand buys you can make.

Read our original review of the Canon EOS 5DS R

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