Whether you're a beginner or simply looking for a back-up to your main DSLR, there are a lot of great DSLR cameras on the market for less than £500/$700 that offer a wide range of features and pretty solid results.
In this section we'll help you choose which camera offers you the most, for less. Below are our top five best DSLR cameras under £500/$700.
Canon 1100D/Canon EOS Rebel T3
Price: £300/US$400/AU$400 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Specs: 12.2MP, HD video: 720p
This is perhaps the cheapest current DSLR on the market, but it's still an excellent choice for those new to DSLR photography on a budget. Headline features include a wide 9-point AF system, respectable ISO span of ISO 100-6400 and HD movie recording, together with a graphic user interface designed specifically for the novice user.
Read our Canon EOS 1100D review
Sony Alpha a37
Price: £300/US$500/AU$550 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Specs: 16.1MP, HD video:1080p
Sony has designed the Alpha 37's 16.1 million pixel sensor to work in harmony with the Bionz processor to produce better images than its predecessor, the Alpha 35. The 15-point AF system with three cross-type points also offers improved object tracking and Quick AF modes. Sony's Auto Portrait Framing system that automatically crops an image to improve composition post-capture sounds odd, but usually works well. The A37 delivers bright, punchy pictures with accurate colours, adding up to an enticing camera for novices and enthusiasts on a budget.
Read our Sony Alpha a37 review
Price: £330/US$450/AU$490 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Specs: 14.2MP, HD video: 1080p
Nikon's most junior DSLR rounds up Full HD movie recording, an 11-point AF system, 3-inch LCD and a respectable resolution of 14.2MP, and delivers it all for just over £400/$650, with an 18-55mm VR kit lens included.
Read our Nikon D3100 review
Price: £350/US$500/AU$510 (body only)
Specs: 16.2MP, HD video: 1080p
The D5100 has a number of advantages over the D3100 beneath it, such as the 16.2MP sensor and the 921,000dot LCD screen, the latter of which can be pulled away from its body, as well as a marginally faster burst rate and wide sensitivity range. Currently it can be had for around £575/$850 with its 18-55mm kit lens, which makes it more than £200/$250 cheaper than the D90 above it.
Read our Nikon D5100 review
Canon 600D/Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Price: £430/US$530/AU$500 (body only)
Specs: 18MP, HD video: 1080p
Although the EOS 600D still retails at just over the £600/$800 mark, a current cashback offer means that the body alone can still be had for an overall £500/$630 price. This makes it the best-specified camera in this group by some margin, although if you don't already have compatible lenses these will need to be bought separately.
Read our Canon EOS 600D review
Price: £440/US$600/AU$820 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Specs: 24.2MP, HD video:1080p
An entry-level camera with a pixel count of 24.2-million means that novices have plenty of scope for cropping images to improve composition post-capture. The Guide Mode is also superb for those wanting to learn more about photography and how to control their camera.
Read our Nikon D3200 review
Price: £440/US$780/AU$750 (body only)
Specs: 12.3MP, HD video: 720p
The first DSLR to have been equipped with HD video recording, Nikon's mid-range D90 proves itself to be an all-round capable performer with its high-resolution 3-inch LCD, 11-point AF system and 4.5fps burst rate. It's not the newest Nikon DSLR, but being bundled with an 18-105mm kit lens does give it a slight edge over the more typical 18-55mm kit packages.
Read our Nikon D90 review
Price: £460/US$630/AU$650 (body only)
Specs: APS-C format, 16.3MP, HD video: 1080p, ISO 80-51,200
One of the most attractive selling points of the Pentax K-30 is that it has a high build quality and is sealed so it can take more exposure to inclement weather than competing cameras.
The K-30's AF system is pretty good, provided that you don't use the standard 18-55mm kit lens. The smc DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens is a much better performer in this respect, but this adds around £250($300) to the kit price.
Read our Pentax K-30 review
Sony Alpha a57
Price: £500/US$500/AU$730 (body only)
Specs: 16.1MP, HD video: 1080p
The Alpha 57 borrows heavily from the design of the enthusiast Alpha 65 while maintaining a reasonable asking price. The camera sees a revised Object Tracking AF system and a new Auto Portrait Framing option, together with an ISO 100-16000 sensitivity span and even a 12fps burst option (at a reduced resolution).
Read our Sony Alpha a57 review