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The Top 10 Selling DSLRs

Published: 25/10/2012
By: larry

It's getting to be that time of the year. I've talked to several people that expect the man with the long white beard to bring them a new DSLR so I thought is would be interesting to take a look at what the top selling DSLRs are.

This data is based on Amazon sales so yea, it doesn't include B&H sales and other retailers but since Amazon is the biggest online retailer on the planet it's a pretty good bet that this ranking is pretty good characterization of overall sales. Here are the top 10 selling DSLRs:

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T3i
  2. Nikon D5100
  3. Nikon D3100
  4. Canon EOS Rebel T4i
  5. Nikon D7000
  6. Nikon D600
  7. Canon EOS T4i
  8. Canon EOS 5DMkIII
  9. Canon EOS 5DMkII
  10. Nikon D800

When I started out putting this post together I didn't expect to find four full frame bodies on the top ten selling DSLR list. I guess it makes sense since we are now to a point in history where there are both first and second generation full frame bodies available and you can even get a full frame body for under $2,000 (5DMkII for $1,699). Also note that you can now pick up a used 5DMKii bodies several hundred dollars less than new ones on Amazon.

I think all of these are a good choice for real estate photography and the full frame bodies (#6, 8, 9 & 10) are the best choice if it's in your, budget. It's worth noting that according to the poll on the PFRE Camera Page the 5DMKII is used by more PFRE readers than any other camera body. That is, it's the most popular real estate camera.

A reminder: if you are going to upgrade from a DX (cropped sensor) body to a full frame body you may need to upgrade your wide-angle glass too. Lenses like the Canon 10-22mm and Sigma 10-20mm are not designed to work on full frame bodies. The PFRE lenses page lists the lenses that work on full frame bodies (see the bottom two sections).

11 comments on “The Top 10 Selling DSLRs”

  1. Anyone thinking about upgrading to the mark iii should do some research to see if the new 6D, which is also full frame (and $1000 cheaper) can do the same low light video.

    The Mark iii is a low light monster and by far the best in low light of the bunch, substantially better than the mark ii. With the mark ii you would see noise at 2000 iso, but on the mark iii you can easily use 6400 iso with little noise.

    I have no idea if the new 6D can match the mark iii, but if it can its a no brainer. The mark iii is also weather sealed, another step up from the mark ii, not sure about the 6D.

  2. Meaningless statistics. yeah amazon is the biggest retailers but they are not even the ones who sell more dslr's.
    And of course full frame bodys are sold in much MUCH fewer quantities then crop format ones. Just check the production numbers. For example the D3100 was produced in quantities that exceed the double of the D800, D800E and D600 combined.
    Also it doesn't show any sony camera which has about 12% of the market share.
    I wouldn't consider the 5D mark II. It's an outdated camera and there's newer models cheaper or at the same price that perform much better. For example the D600 has better noise, better image quality, more dinamic range, many more focus points, etc then 5D mark II and costs the same.
    But anyway glass is always more important then bodys.

  3. I currently use a Canon 600d (T3i) with a Canon 10-22mm lens total cost around $1250. To upgrade to full frame / L series would be Canon Mk111 with Canon 16-35mm circa $4700. My question is, how much better would the upgrade be in terms of image quality (stills only) and would it justify more than 3 times the investment ?

  4. I don't want to sound biased but it's a known fact that EF-S lenses don't work on full frames. But nikon DX lenses work with full frames. Though in cropped mode it gives a great upgrade path and you don't have to thrown away every lens you have.

  5. @Ian - Great question and the question everyone ultimately needs to ask themselves because there are a lot of factors that go into getting your personal answer. It brings to mind the famous quote by Julius Shuleman maybe the greatest Architectural Photographer.... "The camera is the least important element in photography".

  6. @ Pedro - Yeah, because that's what you would do. Just throw away the old lenses if you step up to full frame. You do that. I'd sell mine. Why not consider the 5D MarkII if you're a Canon shooter? It's an awesome camera; been shooting one for two years. If you want full frame now, and can't afford the Mark III, or the 6D, then go with Mark II. You can pick it up today for less than the other two and have no regrets. It's the best Canon full frame option out there if you're on a budget. Two anti-Canon posts. You're just one of those narrow minded, "Nikon is better than Canon" guys. I get it. I think both camera lines are great. You can't go wrong with either one.

  7. @Mark- Thanks for pointing that out... my oversight (I fixed that in the post). I was just trying to list the full frame bodies on the list and just neglected to get the D800. In fact from what I've seen the D800 turns out gorgeous images. If I didn't have so much Canon glass, I'd get a D800!

  8. It looks like the Canon T4i is listed twice (maybe one is the T4?)

    @Mark Miranda - Why the animosity? I didnt see anything anti-Canon about those posts, it was merely informative. As a Canon shooter I appreciated the unknown info about lens compatibility with Nikons, its a shame Canon doesn't afford us the same luxury.

    @Ian - I recently upgraded from the T2i (enhanced w/ magic lantern) to the 5DmkII, I would have a hard time justifying the price vs product to someone, I cant say its made a noticable difference in the end result especially for RE purposes. Not to mention my backup gear is no longer compatible with my daily shooter.

    As far as the stats being flawed or misleading, they are clearly labelled, if Larry was psychic perhaps he would know across the board sales...

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