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If your search for the best digital camera has brought you to Canon, you’re focused on quality. Canon is one of the top three camera manufacturers in the world, with a strong DSLR and mirrorless camera portfolio. While most people know of Canon as a consumer imaging brand, they also produce commercial solutions.
Canon digital cameras are a popular choice for professional photographers but continue to be a fan favorite of casual picture takers, hobbyists, and prosumers. While often in competition with Nikon and Sony, Canon creates solid photography products known for taking quality pictures, with a shallow learning curve, a fairly user-friendly interface, and incredible durability that can last for years.
Keep reading our best Canon digital cameras guide to learn more. And if you’re thinking about getting a new camera, check out our best digital cameras guide.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Wi-Fi canon camera comes with an impressive selection of accessories, which include three lenses, a carry bag, and more. It has a 24.4MP sensor and uses an advanced autofocus system to deliver great photography.
The Canon Rebel T7 24.1MP digital camera uses an APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGI4 4+ image processor to deliver colorful photographs. It has a 920k-dot LCD for monitoring settings and framing. This DSLR camera can capture Full HD videos at a maximum resolution of 1080p at 30fps. A 9-point Af system with center cross-type focusing simplifies operating this camera. This model has ISO settings ranging from 100-6400, keeping gain to a minimum. However, the lenses have a slight blue color tinge.
Built-in Wi-Fi allows users to transfer media to computers and mobile devices fast. It comes with a versatile EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens, which is great for portraits and wide-angle shots. An additional Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III lens and 500mm f/8 telephoto preset lens capture from a wide variety of angles. This model comes with a 32GB SDHC memory card for storage and a shoulder case for transport.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Canon camera has an ultra-wide expandable ISO range of 100-32000, minimizing gain in low-light conditions. It has a 4K video sensor and touchscreen LCD panel for simple management.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30.4MP digital camera is a full-body DSLR model marketed to professional and enthusiast photographers. This model features a 30.4MP CMOS sensor that captures impressively vibrant photos even in low light conditions. With an ISO range of 100-32000 expandable to an equivalent of 50-102400, this device minimizes gain. It has dual-pixel CMOS AF, providing super-fast focusing. An LCD touchscreen interface simplifies operating and framing this device. However, this full-body model is heavy to carry.
This digital camera has a DCI cinema-type video sensor that captures 4K 4096 x 2160 pixel videos at 30p. It also records Full HD videos at frame rates of up to 60p. With the ability to capture camera stills from 4K videos, this device produces astounding 8.8-megapixel shots. Featuring a DIGIC 6 Plus image processor, this camera is responsive and manages up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting speed.
Award: BEST ACCESSORIES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This canon camera comes with a huge selection of accessories that include a flash, camera bag, and memory. It produces decent photographs that will appeal to semi-professionals and beginners.
The Canon EOS 4000D digital camera comes with an impressive selection of accessories that will appeal to enthusiast photographers. It features an EF-S 18-55m F/3.5-5.6 III Zoom lens that captures photos in various conditions. With a continuous speed of up to 3fps, the camera allows users to get the perfect shot. This camera has manual controls for precise customization. However, this model’s battery life is on the low side.
This digital camera has a rechargeable battery and charger. It comes with a neck strap to secure the camera during use. Lens caps protect the lenses during storage or transit. This device has a camera bag for hassle-free transportation. It also includes a 32GB Transcend memory card. An included flash allows users to capture vibrant photographs in low-light conditions. It weighs just 436g, so it’s easy to carry from place to place.
Award: BEST FOR BLOGGERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera features an advanced EVF and touchscreen LCD, helping users to frame effectively and manage settings easily. This model records UHD videos at 30fps.
The Canon EOS R 30.3MP digital camera is powered by a DIGIC 8 image processor, delivering impressive performance. It also has a high-quality image sensor that delivers great colors with fine details. Featuring dual-pixel CMOS AF with an astounding 5,655 manually selectable points, the device focuses fast. This model has a 10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI output, enabling super high-resolution broadcasting. Similar to the Canon EOS Rebel T6i, the Canon EOS R camera has a 55 mm lens with advanced image stabilization tech. However, the lens has mediocre zooming abilities.
This Canon camera has a built-in 3.69 million dot electronic view finder (EVF) that offers impressively detailed previews, allowing users to organize their subject well. A vari-angle dot-matrix LCD assists in framing and it has touchscreen functionality to enable changing settings easily. The camera also boasts impressive video recording qualities, capturing 4K UHD videos at 30 fps. Featuring an advanced mounting system, this camera is compatible with modern EF and EF-S lenses.
Award: BEST PORTABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This small camera fits in purses and small bags, so it’s easy to take for camping trips and picnics. It captures UHD videos and has a 180-degree tilting touchscreen that will appeal to vloggers
The Canon EOS M200 24.1MP digital camera boasts dual-pixel CMOS autofocus with eye detection, offering intuitive operation. This device has a 24.1-megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor, capturing crisp photographers. The camera also records UHD 4K videos, so it will appeal to vloggers and streamers. It boasts 4K time-lapse movie features that compress several days worth of footage into a few minutes or seconds. However, this model overheats occasionally with extended use.
A 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD lets photographers frame accurately and change settings easily. The LCD tilts 180-degrees, allowing users to take selfies easily. Featuring Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology, this model works with computers, smart TVs, and smartphones to share media without the need for connecting cables. It also works with the Canon Connect platform for remote shooting. This model supports vertical video recording, which will appeal to vloggers.
Award: BEST AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM
WHY WE LIKE IT: This canon camera has an impressive 45-point all cross-type autofocus system that supports precise focusing. It records ultra-high definition videos that will appeal to professionals.
This Canon EOS 90D 32.5MP digital camera has a CMOS APS-C that produces sharp images. This model supports high-speed continuous shooting with a maximum speed of 10 fps, allowing photographers to capture effective shots in rapidly evolving situations. The device has astounding video recording prowess, capturing 4K videos and 30fps and Full HD videos at an impressive 120p. Equipped with a 45-point All Cross-type AF system, this camera focuses very fast. However, this device is a bit heavy.
The camera works with the EOS Utility Webcam Beta software, turning into a webcam for video calls and streaming. It has a DIGIC 8 image processor that provides responsive performance. Featuring two rear multi-controller buttons, the camera allows users to customize select functions while looking from the image finder. With a BG-E14 battery grip, the camera holds two battery packs. This device has a 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD for managing settings easily.
Like its core competitors Nikon and Sony, Canon is a Japanese heritage imaging brand established in 1933 with headquarters in Tokyo. The brand was originally known as Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory before changing its name to Canon after the launch of Japan’s first 35-millimeter focal-plane-shutter camera — the Kwanon — a year later in 1934.
Since then, Canon has continued to develop award-winning cameras and imaging devices for both consumer and commercial use. Today, the brand has a camera portfolio that includes compact (point-and-shoot), DSLR, and mirrorless cameras. Because of this, they’re a fan favorite for serious photographers as well as beginners.
Within their camera segment, Canon is best known for its DSLR offerings which pair well with some of the best digital camera tripods. This niche represents the largest portion of their camera solutions and is known as the EOS DSLRs. Within the DSLR niche, you’ll find that many of them feature a dual pixel autofocus system which is ideal for still photography and shooting video. While Canon is a great brand of camera, you might get confused with the different digital camera modes symbols, our guide can help you learn them quickly.
(Pro 1) More Affordable Lenses: Compared to Sony and great Nikon digital cameras, Canon’s lenses for their DSLR and mirrorless cameras are more affordable. They’re also interchangeable, which is a huge bonus if you upgrade from one Canon camera to another.
(Con 1) More Expensive Camera Bodies: Unfortunately, while accessories may be cheaper and have more universal fit options, the actual camera bodies tend to be pricier than the finest Sony digital cameras and Nikon.
(Pro 2) More Beginner-friendly DSLR Cameras: In particular, Canon’s Rebel DSLR division is considered easy to learn and they’re a collection of excellent DSLR cameras for beginners or intermediates. This is because these DSLRs are considered more affordable. They still carry the EOS moniker, which means you’ll have access to the dual pixel autofocus.
(Con 2) ISO Performance isn’t as Strong as Competitors: To be fair, Sony, Nikon, and Canon tend to swap places in the top three slots for best camera brands. And, often, where one brand excels in a specific metric is practically negligible. But for sticklers, Nikon is known to have better ISO performance.
(Pro 3) Large Mirrorless Camera Selection: As of 2021, Canon USA currently offers 20 mirrorless cameras, making them a great brand if you have your heart set on a mirrorless model. The only brand that competes with a large mirrorless offering is Sony.
(Con 3) Mirrorless Sensors aren’t as Strong: Again, some of these cons can be negligible in the real world when you’re shooting pictures or processing images in photo editing software. However, on a technical scale, Sony edges out Canon’s mirrorless cameras with sensors that can capture more dynamic range.
(Pro 4) Canon Still Offers Compact Cameras: DSLR and mirrorless cameras may be more powerful than they need for casual camera users. So, if this is you, you’ll be happy to know that the leading Canon lens video still has a solid point-and-shoot camera selection.
(Con 4) Fewer Native Mirrorless Lenses: While Canon has a strong mirrorless camera portfolio, they don’t have a large selection of lenses specifically designed for those cameras. But because the brand focuses on interchangeable lenses, you can use their DSLR lenses on their M and R range mirrorless cameras without experiencing issues with photo quality.
It’s always important to note that choosing one camera brand over another is a personal decision. And, it doesn’t always come down to which manufacturer is more expensive. While each of the big three camera brands — Sony, Canon, and Nikon — has distinct benefits and drawbacks, the reality is that these brands are incredibly competitive within the DSLR and mirrorless camera niches.
Often, a failing comes down to a technical distinction as those drawbacks are nearly impossible to detect in the actual photo taken by a camera from any of the top three brands. More importantly, picking a camera also comes down to a photographer’s experience, how easily they can work through the camera’s interface, and how convenient the button placements are when the camera is in use. Similarly, while lenses within a brand are interchangeable, that doesn’t mean that you can take a Nikon lens and use it on a Canon camera. So, picking a camera also means you must be willing to be brand loyal if you plan on investing in the top digital camera accessories.
As mentioned, Canon is best known for its DSLR cameras. But more importantly, it’s not just that their DSLRs are quality products that produce amazing images time after time. Canon’s DSLR line is extensive, with individual models specifically created to address the needs of a wide range of photography consumers. Be sure to protect your Canon investment with the best digital camera bag.
The brand intentionally created a range of DSLRs with functionality and price points that would appeal to their core customer niches — beginners, hobbyists, and professional photographers. And within their top-of-the-line DSLRs, there are models designated as best for wildlife and sports photographers. As if that’s not enough, interchangeable lenses mean that if you decide to join the Canon ecosystem, you don’t have to buy new lenses every time you upgrade to a new Canon camera.
Once known for having a smaller mirrorless category that lagged behind Sony, the true giant of that niche, Canon has long since made up for lost time with an impressive selection of mirrorless cameras. Their mirrorless offerings are divided into two systems, EOS M and EOS R. However, the only drawback for these devices is that both systems feature different lens mounts.
Additionally, shooting HD video in 4K is also possible with Canon’s DSLR and mirrorless cameras, making them a great option for vloggers and budding or professional videographers. While the brand’s camera bodies are more expensive than competitors’ offerings, you’ll like that the more affordable and interchangeable lenses help to offset your initial investment costs.
As with other cameras, Canon’s digital cameras have bodies that can last for decades if you treat them right. The real question is, for their DSLR and mirrorless cameras, what is the shutter actuation? Shutter actuation is a term that refers to the lifespan of the camera’s shutter. It determines how many photos the camera can shoot before physical fatigue causes the shutter to malfunction, making the camera inoperable.
Also known as shutter count, this figure is more critical for DSLR cameras than mirrorless models because DSLRs have mechanical shutters and mirrorless cameras have digital ones. Shutter counts can vary widely across cameras, even within one brand. In general, the shutter count is usually between 50,000 to over 350,000. For Canon cameras, the shutter count ranges from 100,000 to 500,000.
Keep in mind that the shutter count is a suggested guide rather than a hard limit. Most people will upgrade to brand-new cameras before they reach the specified shutter count. But, if you’re purchasing a second-hand camera, knowing the shutter count can help guide your purchasing choice and let you know whether you’re getting a deal or a lemon. To check the shutter count of any DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can take a picture and upload it to a website like www.camerashuttercount.com.
Like many other digital camera brands, Canon U.S.A. — the North American division of Canon Global — offers a one-year limited warranty for cameras purchased either in the United States or Canada. With new cameras bought either directly from Canon or an authorized retailer, the brand provides a one-year warranty from the date of purchase. During this time, if the camera becomes defective for reasons other than consumer behavior, the brand promises to repair or replace the damaged camera at no cost to the customer. Note, though, that this warranty does not cover camera accessories.