Powerful Cameras, Lower Prices

Pros and Cons

The Canon EOS 20D (left) and the Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro are bulky but offer features tailored to professional photographers.
The Canon EOS 20D (left) and the Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro are bulky but offer features tailored to professional photographers.
Despite the overall superiority of SLRs, not every picture-taking situation calls for one; you're unlikely to use an SLR's extensive capabilities for everyday snapshots. SLRs also tend to be larger and weightier than advanced point-and-shoot cameras. And if the ability to record video with your camera appeals to you, an SLR won't make you happy--none of the digital SLR models we tested record video.

The price of digital SLRs is no longer prohibitive, although the models on our chart start at a still-significant $800 without a lens. The latest contender to come out swinging is the $900 Nikon D50, but it arrived too late for us to include in this roundup; click here for a detailed review.

If you want to go digital and you already own a bunch of lenses for a 35mm SLR, consider buying a body from the same maker--unless it's Olympus, whose digital SLRs require specific lenses. Another option if you own Nikon lenses is the Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro, which comes equipped with a Nikon lens mount.

Product Reviews

For in-depth reviews of the cameras discussed in this article, click on the following links:

Eric Butterfield

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