The Canon EOS 70D is a great update of Canon's enthusiast-level DSLR. With its sound design and build, sleek swivel touchscreen and first-rate handling, it's more than just a simple mix of the 60D and 7D. The innovative Dual Pixel AF system makes the autofocus fast and smooth when working in Live View mode or video mode, successfully improving on a long-standing problem seen in all DSLRs.
Best of the rest
Canon EOS 6D
The 6D is Canon's first more affordable take on the full-frame DSLR, with a 20-Megapixel 24 x 36 mm sensor! This is also the first SLR to sport a Wi-Fi chip for controlling the camera remotely or sharing pictures. The autofocus works very well in low light and the 6D shoots at 4 fps in burst mode. It's a shame that there's no swivel screen or touch-controls, and that Canon has left out the built-in flash. Still, the 6D performs well in both photo and video modes (although the AF can be frustrating in video mode).
By ditching the low-pass filter, borrowing a sensor from a higher-end model, adding a new image processor, building in a GPS and Wi-Fi, improving the design, and speeding up performances, Nikon has made a triumphant return to the enthusiast DSLR market with the D5300. This is much more than a bog-standard update of the D5200!
Canon EOS 100D
With the EOS 100D, Canon has effectively made a mini version of its 650D. This compact DSLR has the same main strengths as its full-sized counterpart, with a user-friendly design, a good sensor, quality electronics and an excellent screen. Plus, this mini version is speedier to use and is obviously more portable. However, the kit zoom lens lets the side down. It's too big for this compact camera body, it's plagued by optical aberrations and it has trouble maintaining sharpness. Potential 100D owners should seriously think about replacing the lens to get the best out of their camera.
The Pentax K-3 is a sturdy and hard-wearing but quite traditional SLR. It doesn't get any newfangled features like Wi-Fi, GPS, touch-controls, a swivel screen or extra video features. However, the basics are all covered very well, from the 100% optical viewfinder, the tough all-weather finish and the speedy 8 fps burst mode, to the mechanical stabilisation system and 24-Megapixel sensor.
Sony Alpha 58
Sony's A58 SLT is packed with functions, including an 8 fps burst mode with autofocus, sweep panorama, and a fast autofocus in video mode. Still, you'll have to make do with an electronic viewfinder rather than a proper optical viewfinder.