Looking to bag yourself a new digital SLR - or DSLR as they're more commonly referred to - but confused by the options? Let us guide you through the market with our selection of the best DSLRs of 2014
From budget entry-level DSLRs to mid-priced enthusiast models and advanced semi-pro cameras, our definitive list of the best DSLRs of 2014 will help you to narrow down your search.
Street price: £300 body only
The Canon EOS 1100D (also known as the Rebel T3 in some territories) is equipped with a 12.4MP CMOS sensor and a nine-point AF system as well as being compatible with Canon's huge range of EF-mount lenses.
Better still, the body-only price has fallen from around £500 at launch to around £300, making it excellent value for money and rightfully one of the best entry-level DSLRs on the market.
Best DSLR for: Those on a budget
Street price: £530 with 18-55mm kit lens
Nikon has long been renowned for delviering quality entry-level DSLRs, and the recently-launched Nikon D3300 continues that trend.
The D3300 is features a bump in resolution up to 24.3MP, taking it nearly up to professional levels, while the 5fps continuous shooting speed is class leading
Although it's not the cheapest entry-level DSLR available, it offers an impressive level of performance and the chance to expand in to Nikon's DSLR system.
Best DSLR for: Entry-level photographers wanting a bit more
Street price: £900 body only
While the price of the Pentax K-3 might place it in line with some strong competition in the enthusiast DSLR market, it features enough to help it stand out from the crowd.
The model features a 23MP Sony sensor, blistering top-end continuous shooting speed of 8.5fs and a high ISO of 51,200.
Furthermore, the K-3 benefits from full weatherproofing with a host of weatherproofed lenses, grips and flashguns available, meaning if you want a DSLR that'll really stand up to the elements the K-3 could well be the one for you
Best DSLR for: A rugged build
Street price: £340 with kit lens
The Sony A58 represents great value for money - currently generally available with a kit lens for under £400 - and features a specification well suited to those looking for a dependable shooter.
Highlights of the specification include an all-new 20.1MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor which, when paired with Sony's BIONZ image processor, offers a reliable standard of image quality.
The benefits of the SLT technology include an eye-catching burst rate of 8fps, as well as good AF performance and an ample EVF, should that be to your liking.
Best DSLR for: Advanced AF performance at an affordable price
Street price: £600 with 18-55mm kit lens
Canon's latest triple-digit DSLR is always going to prove a popular model with boy fanboys and DSLR owners alike, and the new Canon EOS 700D is no different.
Although the improvements on it predecessor are only incremental, that doesn't mean that its not worth the investment.
The model features an 18MP APS-C sensor, 3in, 1040k-dot vari-angle LCD screen as well as HD video capture at a range of different frame rates.
Of course, the Canon 700D also benefits from being part of the Canon DSLR product tree, and as such will give you access to a host of second hand optics at affordable prices.
Best DSLR for: All-round performance and value
Street price: £830 body only
The Nikon D7100 picks up where its D7000 predecessor left off, with the winning combination of an impressive specification and a feature-set that leave other DSLRs in its class wanting.
The model features a 24.1MP DX sensor that, although similar to the Nikon D5200, is in fact redeveloped.
There's also the completely redesigned AF system that now includes 51 points and 15 cross-type points. The model's LCD screen now measures in at 3.2in and, thanks to the removal of a previously-included air gap, offers clearer image depiction than ever before.
Best DSLR for: As full a feature-set as any DSLR
Street price: £1400 body only
The Nikon D610 replaces the popular Nikon D600 and does so with great success.
While the Nikon D600 impressed in a host of areas, although unfortunately there were widely reported issues with dust spots on the sensor after a certain amount of shutter actuations.
Not only does the D610 do away with these issues, but it also features an improvement in continuous shooting speed as well as improved AF performance.
Best of all, the D610 still features the impressive image quality for which its predecessor was renowned.
Best DSLR for: Image quality
Street price: £2500
While it doesn't come particularly cheap the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is one of the very best DSLRs on the market, with a generous range of advanced shooting options backed up by some of the best image quality of any DSLR.
At its heart the 5D Mark III uses a 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor and Canon's latest DIGIC 5+ image processor. Other highlights include a 61-point AF module, an extensive ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity range (expandable to ISO 102,400) and Full HD movie recording. If you've got the money, then the 5D Mark III is an absolute beast of a camera.
Best DSLR for: Video