With the best EVF we've seen yet, a high-end build and weather-proof finish, customisable controls and a swivel screen, the Sony Alpha 77 is an impressive piece of kit. Although its 24-Megapixel sensor isn't the most sensitive, it boasts the highest resolution in the consumer market right now. In fact, the Alpha 77 dominates the competition in almost every field. It has an excellent continuous shooting mode of up to 12 frames per second and the video mode has an effective autofocus—something you won't find in standard DSLRs. The 16-50 mm kit lens is pretty good too.
Best of the rest
Experts and Pros
The sensor in this full frame SLR (24 x 36 mm) is twice as big as the APS-C sensors used in consumer SLRs. It brings a real and noticeable boost to image quality (sensitivity, depth of field). With the D600, Nikon has brought the full-frame SLR down to a slightly more accessible price point. It's a must-have for anyone looking to go full frame.
Canon EOS 650D
The EOS 650D is the latest in a long line of bestsellers, offering everything you'd expect from an entry-level SLR. It's affordable, easy to use and takes great-quality pictures. The swivel screen is handy for lining up shots and for video, but the 650D is a little less responsive than its predecessor.
The D3100 entry-level SLR boasts picture and video quality worthy of a high-end model. The camera body is, however, quite basic, and the optical viewfinder is a bit tight. Note that some second-hand lenses won't work with the autofocus.
With its all-weather finish, 100% viewfinder and pair of settings wheels, the K-30 has loads of features you'd expect to see in a higher-end and more expensive model.
The D7000 was used as a base for building the D600. The cameras have similar designs and control layouts but the APS-C sensor in the D7000 will be interesting for anyone working at long focal lengths.