Bigger is still better. Though smartphones, point-and-shoots, and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras have crowded the photo market, digital single lens reflex (DSLRs) have taken major leaps too. The best of them shoot faster and record bigger, breathtaking images in more varied conditions than ever. Here are the current champs of photography's reigning class.
BEST FOR: REALLY BIG PRINTS
By now, you may have heard that megapixels don't guarantee image clarity. What good is a million extra pixels if each one is blurry and dim? But the Nikon D800 puts its 36.3 megapixels – more than any other DSLR – to good use, with a 51-point autofocus system and a massive sensor rivaling the ones found in hulking medium-format cameras. It's capable of razor-sharp prints that could cover an entire wall. The D800's intuitive controls include buttons on the left-hand side for ISO sensitivity, white balance, bracketing, and quality. A dedicated video-record button on the right makes quick shooting possible (we wish the button were bigger, though). Unlike the D800's very similar competitor, the Canon 5D Mark III, the D800 has a pop-up flash mounted on the body for impromptu night shots. [$3,000 body only, lenses start at $135; shop.nikonusa.com]