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

Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

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

Nikon D3100

Price: £330/US$450/AU$490 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Specs: 14.2MP, HD video: 1080p

Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

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

Canon 700D/Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Price: £490/US$700/AU$690 (body only)
Specs: 18MP, HD video: 1080p

Best dslr: top cameras by price and brand

A slight upgrade over the (cheaper) EOS 650D/T4i, the 700D/T5i is a very capable and versatile camera that produces high quality images. It has a comprehensive feature set and affords all the control expected by enthusiast photographers while providing automatic hand-holding options for less experienced users.

Read our Canon EOS 700D review

Nikon D3200

Price: £440/US$600/AU$820 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Specs: 24.2MP, HD video:1080p

Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

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

Nikon D90

Price: £440/US$780/AU$750 (body only)
Specs: 12.3MP, HD video: 720p

Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

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

Pentax K-30

Price: £460/US$630/AU$650 (body only)
Specs: APS-C format, 16.3MP, HD video: 1080p, ISO 80-51,200

Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

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 a58

Price: £500/US$500/AU$730 (body only)
Specs: 20.1MP, HD video: 1080p

Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand

The Alpha 58 replaces both the Alpha 57 and 37 in Sony's SLT line. The most notable improvement to the camera perhaps comes in the shape of the EVF, which is now an OLED device. It's significantly brighter than the previous version and is very easy to use.

We've been impressed by the detail, colour rendition and generally good exposures in the images the Sony a58 shoots. Sony has produced a very good camera, and we're sure that anybody who buys one will be very pleased with its performance.

Read our Sony Alpha a58 review