Upgrading your digital photography experience requires you to use mid-range cameras. Yes, some major camera manufacturers have already ended their DSLR production. But before being tempted with mirrorless cameras, there are still a lot of reliable digital cameras to choose from. In fact, most of them are now very affordable due to their age.
Choosing the right mid-range DSLR can be daunting, as older versions have some outdated features. But with thorough research, you’ll be surprised that many professional photographers still use them as backup cameras. The list below is a mixture of Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax, along with their best mid-range DSLRs in 2022.
10 Best Mid-Range DSLR 2022
1. Nikon D7500
- Class leading image quality, ISO range, image processing and metering equivalent to the award winning D500
- Large 3.2” 922K dot, tilting LCD screen with touch functionality
- 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors and group area AF paired with up to 8 fps continuous shooting capability
Announced in April 2017, the Nikon D7500 looks very similar to its predecessor, the D7200. As expected, this Nikon mid-range DSLR camera has more advanced features than the D7200. Some features have also been omitted, while some were retained. But then, the D7500 is not perfect and has its drawbacks that you should also know.
As compared to the D7200, the D7500 features the same APS-C DX-format sensor but with a lower resolution, from 24MP to 20.9MP. Both of them sport a 3.2-inch diagonal TFT-LCD, but the D7500 has a lower resolution of 922,000 dots. But the good news is that the D7500 uses a tilting LCD touchscreen instead of the conventional panel.
Both the D7500 and D7200 use a 51-point AF system, 15 of which are cross-type. However, the former has a faster continuous shooting speed at 8 frames per second. The D7500 also offers a more sensitivity range at SO 100-51,200, which can be expanded up to 1,640,000. More importantly, this amazing DSLR camera can shoot 4K video at 30 fps.
The D7500 has built-in Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity but no NFC. It is also 35-gram lighter at 640 grams but with the same body dimensions. This ergonomically-improved DSLR has a deeper and better grip. The battery life is good for around 950 shots, which is very good. Overall, the D7500 is very suitable for advanced users of DSLR cameras.
- The EOS 80D camera’s Intelligent Viewfinder helps bring the thrill of SLR photography with each use
- The Intelligent Viewfinder displays AF points and AF mode, has a grid display, a horizontal electronic level, plus numerous other points of information
- For next level AF operation, the EOS 80D camera has a wide area, 45 point, all cross type AF system with low luminance performance to EV 3 and 4 types of AF area selection modes
Released in March 2016, the Canon EOS 80D replaced the EOS 70D, which is three years younger. Both of them are mid-range DSLR cameras, but the EOS 80D has more advanced features that semi-pro and enthusiast photographers will truly enjoy. It is also the second Canon camera to feature Dual Pixel AF (DPAF) technology, next to the 70D.
Again, the EOS 80D also sports an APS-C CMOS sensor but offers a higher resolution at 24 megapixels instead of 20. This impressive DSLR also has a 45-point hybrid AF system (all points are cross-type), as compared to the EOS 70D, which only offers 19 points. As expected, it is also equipped with a well-designed 3.0” fully articulated touchscreen.
The 80D’s viewfinder autofocus works great in still subjects and lives view, especially in low light conditions. This weather-sealed DSLR body uses an optical pentaprism viewfinder, which is more durable than the pentamirror but quite heavier. And although the AF is also considerably fine with fast-moving subjects, don’t expect it to be the best.
Weighing 730 grams, the EOS 80D may be a bit challenging to hold firm if you have small hands. There is also no 4k video capability and Bluetooth connectivity. The battery life is very impressive at 960 shots, though. No wonder this well-built DSLR camera is still an excellent choice in still photography if you want to upgrade your skills.
- Digic 7 image processor, Iso 100-25600.
- Hdr movie & time-lapse movie.
- Built-in Wi-Fi*, NFC** and Bluetooth***.
The Canon EOS 77D was launched on Valentine’s Day in 2017, along with the entry-level EOS Rebel T7i. Known outside the US as EOS 9000D and EOS 770D, this mid-range DSLR camera replaced the Rebel T6s. Specifically designed for advanced amateur photographers, the EOS 77D has some similar features to the Rebel T7i.
Both the EOS 77D and Rebel T7i have the same Digic 7 image processor, 24.2-MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 45-point dual-pixel AF system, and a shutter speed of 30-1/4000 sec, and can shoot video at 1080/60p. But unfortunately, you cannot shoot a 4k video. The EOS 77D also has a 6fps burst shooting, which is a bit slower than the Rebel T7i.
But unlike the Rebel T7i, this EOS 77D has a top-plate LCD, an Autofocus On button, and dual control dials. This well-rounded DSLR is also the first to use an optical pentamirror viewfinder, which is fairly small. The 3.0-inch vari-angle fully-articulated touchscreen can rotate up to 270 degrees, making it ideal for vlogging and taking selfies.
However, the battery life is only for about 600 shots, which can be a bit frustrating. Despite not being fully weather-sealed, this 540-gram higher-end DSLR camera has well-designed menus, easy to use, and produces high-quality images. It also has built-in NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Hence, this EOS 77D is a superb contender.
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, ISO 100–12800 (expandable to H: 25600)
- EOS Full HD Movie mode helps capture brilliant results in MP4 format
- High-speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps allows you to capture fast action.
Despite being similar to the entry-level Canon Rebel T6i, the Canon Rebel T6s is considered a mid-range DSLR. Although both of them were simultaneously announced in February 2015, the Rebel T6s have more advanced features. Also known as EOS 760D and 8000D outside the US, the Rebel T6s also has a better layout than the Rebel T6i.
Both the Rebel T6s and T6i have the same Digic 6 image processor, 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 3.0-inch fully articulating touchscreen LCD with 1,040,000 dots, and optical viewfinder. They also feature the same 19-point phase detection AF system, 5 fps continuous shooting, and battery life for about 440 shots, which is quite short.
But being a more advanced DSLR, the Rebel T6s has an info LCD on the top of the body, a Quick Control dial at the rear of the body, a locking mode dial, and a Servo AF both in Live View and video mode. Once selected, the camera allows continuous autofocus during shooting bursts. All of these features are first in the Rebel series.
The best feature of the Rebel T6s is that you can now record high dynamic range (HDR) movies in real time. This feature is also not available to the Rebel T6i. With the same body size as the Rebel T6i, the Rebel T6s is only 10 grams heavier. So, if you feel like upgrading your DSLR experience, you might want to consider Canon Rebel T6s.
5. Sony A77II
The Sony A77II was launched in June 2014 to replace the Alpha 77, which is Sony’s flagship in terms of mid-range cameras. Despite its age, the A77II hits right on target when it comes to features and performance. Interestingly, Sony preferred calling this mid-range camera an SLT (Single Lens Translucent) camera instead of a DSLR camera.
With SLT technology, Sony uses a fixed semi-transparent (pellicle mirror) lens instead of a moving mirror mechanism from a DSLR. SLT cameras shoot faster and reduce the shaking. But since the ISO and shutter speed are automatic in DSLR cameras, they are better in low-light photography. Sony also uses an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical one.
Both the Alpha a77 and Sony A77II have the 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, but the latter uses the newer version. They also use the same 2.4m dot OLED TruFinder, a triple-hinged articulating LCD screen but no touchscreen. The maximum shooting rate is 12 fps, which is not so good for fast action. The image quality is excellent, though.
There is no 4k video unless you connect it to a compatible TV. The highest resolution is 1920 x 1080 at 60p. Connecting to Wi-Fi is easy, but no GPS. Weighing 647 grams, this Sony A77II may require some learning curve if you are used to Nikon or Canon DSLRs. Otherwise, this Sony interchangeable-lens camera is good for amateur photographers.
- 24 effective mega-pixels in an APS-C sized CMOS sensor with ISO range of 100-51200.Resolution:24.35 Megapixels
- Built-in GPS with Astro Tracer Function for Astro photography with built in compass function
- Pixel Shift Resolution by in body shake reduction function for razor sharp images with excellent detail and color reproduction
The Pentax K-3 II is a mid-range DSLR camera that also falls in the semi-professional category. Released in April 2015, this Pentax K-3 II has a lot of common features with its predecessor, the flagship Pentax K-3, which is only 1.5 years younger. But then, it has some new noteworthy features that can compete with Nikon and Canon cameras.
To start with, the Pentax K-3 II is the first Pentax camera to use Pixel Shift Resolution. This feature allows the camera to capture four separate shots of the same subject and combine them into one high-definition image. But for proper stabilization of the camera, you will need a tripod. In doing so, the final image will have more improved quality.
Unlike its predecessor, the Pentax K-3 II has a built-in GPS module, although both of them have no Wi-Fi connectivity. Nevertheless, these siblings have the same 24.1 MP – APS-C CMOS sensor, optical pentaprism viewfinder, and 3.20-inch fixed-type LCD but no touchscreen. They also don’t have an anti-alias filter and 4k video capability.
Both the Pentax K-3 and the Pentax K-3 II also have a Shake Reduction mechanism, but the latter has 4.5 shutter stops instead of 3.5. They also have the same 800-gram body weight and measurements, but the K-3 II has a longer battery life at 720 shots instead of 650. Most of all, the Pentax K-3 II is cheaper than most mid-range DSLR cameras.
7. Sony ZV-1
- 20.1MP stacked back illuminated 1” Exmor RS CMOS sensor w/ DRAM. Large aperture 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens
- Fast Hybrid Autofocus and Real Time Eye Autofocus and Real-time Autofocus tracking.
- Side flip-out 3.0” LCD screen that also tilts up and down for easier to compose selfie shots
The Sony ZV-1 is a digital camera specifically designed for vloggers and video content creators who want to take it to the next level. Released in May 2020, this compact camera is point-and-shoot, which means it has a fixed lens. Therefore, you can save money and energy by not changing your lens but still enjoy the image quality you need.
Point-and-shoot (P&S) cameras don’t use mirrors, making them pocket-sized and lightweight. But unlike many older P&S cameras, the Sony ZV-1 has a 1-inch image sensor, which is almost the size of sensors in today’s smartphones. Aside from that, this pocket vlog camera has other similar features to most of the Sony RX100 series.
The Sony ZV-1 is equipped with a 20MP BSI CMOS sensor, 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 zoom lens, and a 3.0-inch, 921k-dot fully articulating LCD touchscreen display. The shutter speed is 30-1/2000 sec., while the maximum continuous shooting is 24fps. You can also shoot 4k video at up to 30 fps or record HD movies at 960 fps at high-frame-rate mode.
The Sony ZV-1 has a unique, 3-capsule directional microphone that allows you to record very clear audio in the middle of a huge crowd. However, there is no viewfinder, and the battery life is only good for around 45 minutes of video recording time, or 260 shots per charge. But still, this compact camera is great for semi-professional vloggers.
- 26.2 Megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
- Optical viewfinder with a 45 point all cross type AF system. Compatible Lenses: Canon EF lenses (excluding EF S and EF M lenses)
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with phase detection and Full HD 60p
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II replaced the EOS 6D in June 2017. As expected, this mid-range DSLR camera has a wealth of improvements compared to its predecessor. Some features were retained, and it has a few cons. But clearly, this highly-anticipated full-frame digital camera is designed for enthusiasts and semi-pro photographers.
The most notable upgrade is that the 6D Mark II uses the advanced 26.2MP CMOS image sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF. It also sports the 3-inch, fully-articulated LCD touchscreen instead of a fixed screen. With a high jump from DIGIC 5+ to DIGIC 7 image processor, the 6D Mark II has a high-speed continuous shooting of up to 6.5 fps.
Other advanced features include the optical viewfinder with a higher magnification at 0.72x instead of 0.71x, a native sensitivity range of ISO 100–40000 that is expandable to 102,400 (same as EOS 6D), and battery life at a whooping 1200 shots per battery charge. There are also 45 cross-type AF points, which makes the camera very versatile.
Sad to say, the 6D Mark II does not support 4K video (but rather 1080p at 60/50fps), no headphone port, no built-in flash, and no USB 3.0 port. But don’t worry; it has NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity, and the body is weather-sealed. With that, this 6D Mark II may not be good for professionals, but a great step-up camera for amateurs.
9. Nikon D750
- Full frame 243 megapixel CMOS image sensor and expeed 4 image processor
- Full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video
- Built in Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with the WT 5a plus UT 1 communication unit
The Nikon D750 is an advanced DSLR camera in so many impressive ways. Launched in September 2014, this mid-range camera may also fall into the professional category considering its advanced features despite its age. The good news is that Nikon has already reduced its price to more than half of its initial MSRP of $2,300 (body only).
When it comes to features, the Nikon D750 is seated between the D610 and D810. This full-frame DSLR camera uses the same 24MP CMOS sensor as the D610. It also has the same 150,000 shutter count, a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 sec, and two SD slots. To improve image quality, the processor was upgraded from Expeed-3 to Expeed-4
As compared to the D810, the D750 sports the same 51 AF points with 15 all-cross-type but features the better Multi-CAM 3500 II. Both of them have a 91k-pixel RGB sensor, a maximum video resolution of 1080/60p, and aperture control in video and live view. For the record, the D750 is the first Nikon FX-format DSLR to use a tilting LCD screen.
Among the three, the battery life of the D750 is the best at 1230 shots. It is also the lightest at 755 grams. The maximum frame rate is also the fastest at 6.5 fps. The only major downsides are not being able to record 4k video, and it has no touchscreen. But overall, this robust D750 is very dependable, easy to use, and has a very relaxed grip.
10. Pentax K-S2
- 20 MP AA filter less APS C CMOS Sensor w/ISO Speeds up to 51200
- In camera Wi Fi with dedicated Wi Fi connect button/dedicated "selfie" mode
- Large High Resolution 3 inch variable angle swing out LCD Monitor (921K Dots)
Ricoh announced the Pentax K-S2 in February 2015 and earned a TIPA award as the Best Digital SLR Advanced that same year. Dubbed as the world’s smallest weather-sealed DSLR, this mid-range camera has external dimensions of 91 x 123 x 73 mm. As a year older than the Pentax K-S1 (not its predecessor), it has some similar key features.
Historically, the K-S2 is the first Pentax digital camera to feature a 3.0-inch vari-angle LCD screen and WiFi connectivity. Like the K-S1, it also uses a 20MP APS-C CMOS sensor, optical pentaprism viewfinder, and sensor-shift image stabilization. Equipped with the same PRIME M II processor, the K-S2 has an ISO range of ISO 100 – 51200.
Weighing 678 grams, the K-S2 is 120 grams heavier than the K-S1. Fortunately, it has a shutter button in front, so you can easily frame a selfie without dropping your precious camera. There are also two control dials at the back for the shutter speed and aperture. The camera body is splash and dust-proof, but unfortunately, there is no touchscreen.
You can record full HD video at 1080/30p but not 4k video. Continuous autofocus in movie mode is also not possible. The battery life is quite short at 410 shots per charge. In short, this ultra-thin Pentax K-S2 is not the best DSLR camera for videography. On the other hand, it can be a very solid option for other DSLRs in terms of image quality.
As you may have noticed, mid-range DSLR cameras are still alive and kicking. Although not flagship cameras, they are very competitive in terms of features. Their video and image quality is still much better than your smartphone camera. The best part is that they are now very budget-friendly compared to the prices during their initial release.