Best Starter DSLR: Canon EOS SL1

If you're getting serious about your shots but have avoided the jump to SLRs because they're too bulky, look at the latest entry-level DSLR from Canon – it's the lightest and smallest of its kind. The EOS SL1 is just 13 ounces (four ounces shy of the company's next-smallest DSLR) and snaps impressively rich pictures with its spacious, light-soaking, 18-megapixel APS-C sensor. The SL1 features an optical viewfinder and even works with Canon's standard EF lenses, so you can grow with the camera. [$800 with 18-55mm kit lens; usa.canon.com]