To prevent shaky hands from blurring your photos, all DSLRs in this report have optical image stabilizers built into the body or the lens. Either works well.
An eye-level viewfinder lets you hold the camera steady and close to your body while framing the shot.
You can frame your shot on the LCD screen instead -- especially handy if you're shooting video or on a tripod -- and view your images afterward. Some newer DSLRs have swiveling, touchscreen LCDs, making it possible to operate the camera and adjust settings in different ways.
Auto-focus functionality is a fairly common feature among various types of digital cameras, but top-rated DSLRs offer a multitude of focal points (11 to 51 points or more) for more versatility in focusing on off-center subjects.
RAW file support:
Most cameras spit out pre-processed JPEG photos. DSLRs can also give you RAW files straight from your camera's sensor to process later on your computer, giving you more control over the editing.
Even basic DSLRs let you control focus, aperture, ISO light sensitivity, white balance, exposure, shutter speed and more, or you could just set it on Auto to point and shoot.
Most DSLRs can record full 1080p HD video, with a choice of frame rates for a film-like look. Some higher end, and even some enthusiast-grade, DSLRs can now also record 4K (UHD) video as well.
All DSLRs let you set a time delay, for example, to give yourself several seconds to jump into the family portrait.
Mid-range DSLRs increasingly offer wireless capability, enabling users to connect their smartphone or tablet to their camera to easily share photos or operate the camera remotely using their mobile device. Some cameras are also NFC (near field communications) capable, allowing simple connection (with a tap) for image sharing that's easier still.
Long battery life:
Most DSLRs have a rechargeable battery, but the number of shots a camera can take on a single battery charge varies widely, from 180 shots to more than 1,200 shots in the cameras profiled in this report.