Back in January of 2014, I wrote up an article that showcased the most expensive DSLR cameras currently on the market. Since the article went live, it attracted a tremendous amount of traffic, and 1.4K readers even took the time to vote which of the six models they wanted most. The result of this poll was the Canon 5D Mark III with a popularity of 29.8%.
Now that almost two years have passed since the original article, I realized it was about time to update it with a new list of the most expensive DSLR models although I decided also to add mirrorless models into the mix. The reason for this is the rapid transition from DSLRs to mirrorless for many (including myself) and the influx of high-end mirrorless models that are flooding the professional photography scene.
The following list includes models from several different brands in the industry, each with many years of experience producing top-notch photography equipment and a broad consumer base. If you’ve got deep pockets, then you may be in the market for one of these cameras, but if you are like the average consumer, these could be a nice pipe-dream.
I’ve listed the MSRP of each model’s ‘body only’ price but feel free to click through on each model to view the current market price which will include any potential rebates, discounts, and bundled items.
Leica is a German company and a world-renowned brand in the photography world. With their prominent status, the price of their modern cameras is astronomically high especially when you compare their specs to more consumer-friendly competitors. The Leica M is one of the most desirable models with a list price of $7,250 and boasts a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor, 6400 max ISO and a burst mode up to 3 fps.
Nikon’s low-light king is the D4s. With an impressive native ISO of 24,600 and a maximum ISO of 409,600, the D4s can practically see in the dark. Beyond this, you get 11fps burst shooting (with AE/AF for up to a 200 shot buffer), 51-point AF system and full 1080P HD up to 60 fps. While the 16.2MP sensor is rather limiting in regards to print sizes and cropping potential in post, the sensor quality is top-notch thus making it a common choice for professional Nikon shooters.
Canon’s equivalent to the D4S is their 1DX and we featured this model in our last article as there has yet to be a successor in the 1D line. The 1DX boasts an 18.1MP sensor, 12fps burst shooting excellent low-light, and a 61-point AF system. The 1DX remains one of the most common choices for pro Canon shooters along with the new 5Ds R.
The 5Ds R is one of the newest high-end DSLRs to hit the market and not designed to replace the 5D Mark III, but instead remain its older sibling. Packing a whopping 50.6MP, it is the highest megapixel DSLR on the market at this time and also one of the most expensive Canon models. While it lacks some core functionality in the video department and suffers from poor ISO performance, the 5Ds R is a common choice for studio shooters who need the extra megapixels.
The Nikon D810 is the successor for their popular D800 model with improved specs and performance. Inside you’ll find a 36.3MP full-frame sensor without an optical low-pass filter. The AF system is highly regarded with AF 51-points as well as excellent high-ISO performance. Unlike the D4S, you only get 5fps burst shooting yet the higher MP count is often more appealing to many potential buyers.
Shortly after Canon announced their 5DS/5DSR models, Sony bounced back with their high MP model dubbed the a7RII. With 42 MP packed into their backside illuminated full-frame sensor, the a7RII packs both high resolution and high ISO performance, unlike the 5DSR that suffers heavily in low-light. Add in the ability to shoot 4K internally in a flat profile like Slog 2 and Sony has converted many customers from the likes of Panasonic, Nikon, and Canon. This is the camera that I currently use to shoot all my product photography (previously was the 5D Mark III) as well as shooting real estate listings as a freelancer. Easily the best bang for your buck mirror-less camera on the market as it is highly versatile for both photo and video use.
The a7SII is the next generation model based off Sony’s wildly successful a7S camera that came out just over a year ago. With a 12MP sensor, the a7S isn’t ideal for most professional photographers except those looking to shoot in extreme low-light conditions (this sensor’s strong point). However, its stellar video capabilities with an all-new 4K internal feature are likely going to make the a7SII an even bigger success than its predecessor. The a7SII is yet to be released at the time that this article has gone live, but will begin shipping in just a matter of days.