1st Place: Nikon D300
Another well-deserved Editor's Choice award, this time for the brilliant Nikon D300 digital SLR.
Widely regarded as an instant classic and one of the best digital SLRs on the market, the D300 is aimed at serious hobbyist and enthusiast photographers, but with its robust environmentally sealed magnesium alloy body, 12.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 14-bit image processing, advanced 51-point Multi-CAM3500DX autofocus system and ultra-fast 8fps continuous shooting speed it has also found a ready market among professional photographers.
Currently available for under £1,000 body-only, the Nikon D300 is a fantastically impressive camera and one which will take some beating over the next twelve months.
2nd Place: Pentax K20D
Pentax has always concentrated on the advanced amateur rather than the professional end of the market, and has produced some classic cameras over the years. It continues that tradition with the superb K20D, its top-of-the-range DSLR, which was co-developed with Samsung.
Featuring a powerful 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, a fully weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, body-integral sensor-shift image stabilisation, a big 2.7in monitor and live monitor view it has a range of features that beats some cameras costing nearly twice as much, and has performance and image quality to match. Currently selling for under £600 body only the K20D is amazing value for money.
3rd Place: Sony Alpha A350
Sony's mission to carve out a bigger share of the lucrative digital SLR market has produced some outstanding cameras at exceptionally competitive prices, none more so than the Alpha A350.
Selling for around £370 body-only, the A350 has an outstanding specification including a big 14.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, built-in sensor-shift image stabilisation, live view, an articulated 2.7in LCD monitor and a unique optical system that enables the full nine-point phase-detection autofocus system to be used in live view mode, something which is not possible on other live-view equipped DSLRs. The A350 offers outstanding value for money, excellent performance and great image quality.