End of 2022 DSLR Status

It's both tough and easy to recommend new DSLR cameras for the Holiday 2022 season. Tough because models are being discontinued and camera makers would rather you buy a mirrorless camera. Easy because its easy to point out the few DSLRs that still are at the top of the game and useful.

I've updated the camera section of this site to more properly identify the true "current" cameras versus older cameras for Nikon.

Canon

Canon's remaining DSLR lineup in the US these days appears to be:

  • EF-S (APS-C sensor)— Rebel T100, Rebel T7, SL3, Rebel T8i, 80D, 90D, 7D
  • EF (full frame sensor) — 6D Mark II, 5D Mark IV, 5DS R, 1DX Mark II

Some of these are only still available in kits, some appear to just be lingering inventory (7D, 5DS R). 

It's getting more difficult for me to recommend any of the Canon DSLRs, as many are starting to age poorly, to the point where I'd tend to say "just buy mirrorless" if you thought you wanted one of them. But here are my late 2022 recommendations:

  • EF-S user (other than 7D) looking to upgrade in EF-S: buy a 90D. It's the most up-to-date EF-S model, and it's very competent at a reasonable price. 
  • 7D user looking to upgrade: Sorry, but it's time to move to mirrorless, and the R7 is your answer.
  • EF user looking to upgrade (e.g. earlier 5D, 6D users): The only camera still worth looking at in my opinion is the 5D Mark IV. I suppose if you were on one of the oldest 5D's and Canon's discounting this holiday were aggressive, the 6D Mark II might come into play, but I'd strongly suggest that if you are an EF user looking to stay an EF user, you should get the best EF all-around camera that was made, and that's the 5D Mark IV.

Pros shouldn't be afraid of the 1DX Mark II. If you're using any of the earlier 1D's and can tolerate 20mp, this camera is an excellent upgrade choice, especially since Canon has been off-and-on discounting stock.

Nikon

Nikon's remaining DSLR lineup these days is:

  • DX — D3500*, D5600*, D7500
  • FX — D780, D850, D6

That's not what the NikonUSA Web site says, and even my short list is deceptive. The D500 is still obtainable via gray market, for example, and the remaining D3500 and D5600 units tend to be in and out of stock (thus my asterisks). My guess is that the D7500 will be the last DX standing, and once it is gone, we'll be down to just the three FX DSLRs.

Thus, if you're a Nikon DSLR user, want to remain one, and are in the market for upgrading this holiday season, I'm only going to have three recommendations for most of you:

  • DX user (other than D500) looking to upgrade in DX: buy a D7500, stat. It's an undervalued camera capable of excellent results, and a bit of a bargain. 
  • D500 user looking to upgrade in DSLR: consider a D850. You'll still have a 19mp DX coverage, but you get the benefits of one of the best full frame cameras made. 
  • FX user (D600, D610, D700, D750, Df) looking to upgrade: buy a D850. It's still the best all-around DSLR you can buy. 

If you're willing to gamble a bit, a gray market D500 is still a remarkably good camera for the lower-body DX owners to move up to. It'll just be more difficult to get repaired if you drop it. 

Pros shouldn't be afraid of the D6. If you're still using a D3 or D4, the D6 is definitely an upgrade. The focus system alone just works far better. But workflow is also better, SnapBridge and GPS are built-in, and the video capabilities are better, too. The D6 is still built like a brick, and still has all the bells and whistles you expect. And if you haven't tried a 120-300mm f/2.8E VR lens on the D6, you're in for some wonderful surprises. 

Lenses

Here's the thing: DSLR lenses are slowly going out of production, across the board. EF-S and DX lens production have been cut by everyone in order to use parts and manufacturing facilities for mirrorless lenses. Overall, Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina are all cutting back on DSLR lenses, both crop sensor and full frame, but particularly crop sensor. This holiday may be your last best chance at picking up new copies of many lenses you desire.

The DSLR-to-mirrorless transition is putting a lot of EF and F mount lenses on the used market, despite the fact that both Canon and Nikon encourage their continued use on mirrorless through lens adapters. In Nikon's case, their Z System lenses have generally been clearly and obviously better than their F-mount equivalents, which is sparking a lot of Z-mount lens buying and F-mount lens dumping. 

This holiday season is probably a good time to pick up used lens bargains. Why? Because once the largest portion of the herd has moved to the mirrorless pasture, the DSLR lens dumping will lessen, and people are going to discover that a lot of those lenses are actually more valuable than the lowest prices they fetched when they hit the used market during the stampede. 

Looking for gear-specific information? Check out our other Web sites:
mirrorless: sansmirror.com | general: bythom.com| Z System: zsystemuser.com | film SLR: filmbodies.com


dslrbodies: all text and original images © 2022 Thom Hogan
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