When Nikon introduced the D90 back in August 2008 it was a revelation; the first digital camera to also record video. Today, however, movie capabilities are expected by ever-more-demanding consumers. From digital SLRs to compact system cameras, for some users HD video capture is almost as important as the number of megapixels, type of lens and image quality.
Here we put five top-end digital cameras to the test, judging both their stills and video prowess. The pressure's on to deliver the best of both worlds, but which one should you call "Action!" on?
Here’s the list of 5 Best Digital SLR Cameras.
Pro-quality manual controls plus quality stills and video
Pros: Superb still image quality. Pro-quality manual controls. Video Snapshot recording mode
Cons: Audible, jerky autofocus on video
Verdict: With accessible manual controls and excellent results across stills and video, the 600D snaps the top spot
SLR-like controls from a compact system cam and 720p video
Pros: Mini-DSLR style handling and manual i-Function controls
Cons: Video only 720p. Non-articulated LCD with poor powers of magnification
Verdict: Looks and feels like a DSLR but the stills and 720p video don't live up to first impressions
Excellent compact cam upgrade, with top stills, video and simple controls
Pros: Rugged, durable build. Excellent image quality and full-HD video with effective autofocus
Cons: Lack of buttons - controls have to be accessed via the LCD screen. No raw shots in effects modes
Verdict: With good results across stills and video this is a great choice for beginners with ambition
Fast-shooting camera packing novel tech and a compact size
Pros: Speedy 10fps shooting. HDR mode. Good quality stills and video
Cons: Noisy, twitchy autofocus and a dated design and build
Verdict: Fast shooting and feature-packed with speedy autofocus, but we'e prefer precision over speed
Micro Four Thirds cam with particularly impressive video
Pros: Very compact. Effective autofocus tracking. Brilliant auto mode
Cons: No external mic port. Low and high ISO shots are poor. Short battery
Verdict: A good upgrade from a compact camera, with excellent video quality
And The Best DSLR Camera is…
Initially there was no obvious winner in this test; each cam has its own merits and juggles shooting video and maintaining A-grade stills in its own way.
The Sony Alpha 55 is too quick for its own good, with less-than-perfect autofocus, while the NX11 is the only cam on test without 1080p video
Panasonic's G3 can't match the image quality produced by the Nikon D5100 or the Canon EOS 600D, but it does manage great videos and its near-silent AF system is a real plus.
The Nikon D5100 is an excellent all-rounder and a brilliant option for those looking for an easy upgrade from a compact camera, but it's the Canon EOS 600D that offers the best package overall. Its advanced features and direct control buttons and dials, not to mention its superb still quality and video performance - although slightly marred by poor autofocus, a recurring theme in all but the Panasonic G3- earn it five stars.