The best Canon camera for 2024: Canon's finest DSLR, mirrorless and compact models

Choosing the best Canon camera isn’t easy: with so much variety in its line-up, there’s a Canon camera for every skill level and budget. That’s why we’ve tested a huge range of the Japanese manufacturer’s kit, from premium compacts to flagship mirrorless models. In our round-up below, you’ll find a ranked list of our favorite Canon options for every type of photographer.

After extensive hands-on testing, we think the best Canon camera for most people is the EOS R5. It’s a full-frame hybrid that captures epic stills, thanks to a high-resolution sensor, excellent autofocus and dependable in-body image stabilization. We rate it as one of the best professional cameras. If you’d like to spend less, we recommend the EOS R10 as the best budget Canon camera. Its usefully versatile and represents fantastic value for learners and improvers alike. In fact, we think it’s the best beginner camera you can buy.

For a full view of the depth in Canon’s camera catalog, we suggest reading our whole guide below. Each entry has been tested extensively by our expert reviewers in the real world. We assess everything from handling and design to autofocus performance, video skills and overall image quality. We share the best bits and drawbacks of every model, to make it simple for you to find the right one.

Written by
Tim Coleman
Written by
Timothy Coleman

Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor. With more than 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related. Tim notes, "Canon continues to produce class-leading mirrorless cameras for both stills and video. One important factor to bear in mind is the availability of lenses. There are still relatively few native lenses available for Canon's RF mount."

The quick list

You can use the summary round-up below for an instant overview of the best Canon cameras. When you find a model that ticks the right boxes, click the link beneath each entry to read more of our review feedback.

The best Canon camera options for 2024

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Below you'll find in-depth summaries for all of the best Canon cameras in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best Canon camera overall

The Canon EOS R5, the best Canon camera you can buy, sitting on a stone wall

(Image credit: Future)
The best Canon camera for most people

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 45
Autofocus: 5,940-zone AF
Screen type: 3.15-inch tilting touchscreen, 2.1m-dots
Continuous shooting speed: 20fps
Movies: 8K
User level: Enthusiast / expert

Reasons to buy

+
Superb autofocus
+
Solid IBIS system
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Some limitations for video
Buy it if:

✅ You want the best stills camera: Good for photography of any genre, the EOS R5 is the most powerful and versatile stills camera Canon has ever made.

✅ You’re upgrading from a DSLR: Pairing good physical handling with a superior EVF, autofocus and burst speeds, the R5 offers a next-gen shooting experience.

Don't buy it if:

You’re on a budget: The EOS R5’s body-only cost will be prohibitive for many enthusiasts, especially when you factor in the cost of RF-mount lenses.

❌ You shoot mainly video: The EOS R5 can capture sharp 8K footage, but recording time limits mean its video abilities don’t match its stills skills.

There's a lot to like about the Canon EOS R5. In fact, we think there's never been a better Canon camera for those who shoot a wide range of stills. We've spent a lot of time with the EOS R5 since it launched, and our tests have consistently found it to have fantastic image quality, seriously impressive autofocus, and decent battery life. We're also big fans of the body design, which combines a responsive touchscreen with a superb electronic viewfinder. 

It might have the headline-grabbing spec of 8K video, but the picture is a little less clear for videographers. The EOS R5's overheating restrictions are likely to put off those who shoot lengthy clips (interviews, for example). We've tested the EOS R5's latest firmware, though, and didn't get any overheating warnings when shooting a short film in 32-degree temperatures, so it's certainly a very capable video camera for most people. Canon clearly went all-out on the EOS R5, and it's close to being the perfect Canon camera for hybrid shooters. That comes at a high price – but if you're keen on the brand, it may be worth paying.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R5 review

The best budget Canon camera

The Canon EOS R10 camera on a wooden shelf

(Image credit: Future)
The best budget Canon camera

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Resolution: 24.2MP
Autofocus: 651-area Dual Pixel AF
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36 million dots
Monitor: 2.95-inch articulating touchscreen, 1.04 million dots
Continuous shooting speed: 15fps
Movies: 4K
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight
+
Modern autofocus abilities

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body image stabilization
-
Crop on 4K/60p footage
Buy it if:

✅ You’re a beginner: We rate the Canon EOS R10 as the best beginner camera you can buy right now, thanks to its usability, affordability and powerful autofocus.

✅ You want a small, affordable hybrid: It’s built more for stills than video, but the EOS R10 can still record uncropped 4K/30p footage oversampled from 6K.

Don't buy it if:

You want a lot of lens choice: Lens availability is a limiting factor for the EOS R10, with few native APS-C glass options available at present.

❌ You shoot a lot of action: Burst speeds are decent, but the limited buffer depth is restrictive when shooting RAW images of action or wildlife.

If you can look past the old-school sensor, we think Canon’s EOS R10 is one of the best entry-level mirrorless cameras for beginners. Fitted with Canon’s powerful Digic X chip, it also benefits from truly modern autofocus abilities. In testing, the processor and AF tracking together proved remarkably powerful. Continuous shooting speeds of 15fps with the mechanical shutter also mean the EOS R10 is a winner if you want to experiment with action photography. Low-light abilities are limited by the lack of in-body image stabilization, but image quality proved decent during our tests, with plenty of detail hiding in the shadows. Video skills are solid too, with 4K footage oversampled at 30fps. 

With dual control dials and a dedicated AF joystick, we found that the EOS R10 also made it straightforward for learners to get hands-on with creative shooting. Its lightweight body will also feels comfortably familiar for anyone coming from a DSLR, with the articulating touchscreen making it an easy switch for smartphone photographers. Provided Canon comes out with more native APS-C lenses to grow with, the R10 hits the top spot for beginners.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R10 review

The best premium Canon camera

The front of the Canon EOS R3, one of the best Canon cameras,

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium Canon camera

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.1MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 4,300K dots
Autofocus: 1,053-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (electronic)
Movies: 6K at 60p
User level: Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Seriously speedy sensor
+
Powerful AF features
+
Impressive video specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Big for a mirrorless model
-
Relatively low resolution
Buy it if:

✅ You’re a pro sports photographer: The EOS R3 is built for speed, shooting full-res RAW files at 30fps, with a big buffer depth and rapid autofocus system.

✅ You want a mirrorless hybrid: The EOS R5 shoots sharper 8K video, but the R3 captures oversampled 4K/60p footage with fewer overheating issues.

Don't buy it if:

You need high-res stills: It’s a speed demon, but rivals like the Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 offer fast burst speeds at higher resolutions than the R3’s 24MP.

❌ You want a discreet camera: Unapologetically made for pros, the size of the EOS R3 means it isn’t a camera that goes under the radar.

Styled more like a sports DSLR than the handier EOS R5, the Canon EOS R3 is every bit a professional mirrorless camera. It has fewer megapixels than the EOS R5, because it’s built for speed instead of outright resolution – and if the former is your priority, it’s the best Canon camera you can get. During our extensive time testing the EOS R3, we found it one of the best sports and wildlife cameras we’ve ever tested.

At its core is a 24.1MP stacked CMOS sensor, which we described in our review as a “purring photographic engine”. It can shoot full-quality raw images at a remarkable 30fps, as well as 6K/60p raw video internally without any noticeable rolling shutter. We were also mightily impressed by its autofocus system, and reassured by the tough magnesium alloy build. In short, the EOS R3 is the pinnacle of mirrorless speed. It’s undeniably big and expensive, but if you need an uncompromising Canon camera and can afford to pay the premium, you won’t be disappointed.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R3 review

The best Canon camera for hobbyists

The Canon EOS R7 camera sitting on a stone step

(Image credit: Future)
The best Canon camera hobbyists can buy

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Resolution: 32.5MP
Autofocus: 651-area Dual Pixel AF
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36 million dots
Monitor: 2.95-inch articulating touchscreen, 1.62 million dots
Continuous shooting speed: 15fps
Movies: 4K
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Rapid and reliable performance
+
Impressive value

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited native lens range
-
Average electronic viewfinder
Buy it if:

✅ You want a small all-rounder: Its APS-C sensor gives the EOS R7 travel-friendly dimensions, while its kit lens covers a useful 18-150mm focal range.

✅ You want a budget sports camera: The EOS R7 makes excellent subject-tracking autofocus available to those without top-end full-frame budgets.

Don't buy it if:

You want a lot of lens choice: There are few native RF-S lenses available at present, which makes a camera like the Sony A6700 more appealing.

❌ You shoot a lot in low light: The APS-C sensor takes lovely stills, but full-frame Canon cameras perform better in dim conditions.

Hitting the APS-C sweet spot, we think the EOS R7 is one of the top options in Canon’s line-up for enthusiast shooters – offering a generous feature set while undercutting its full-frame cousins. One of the highlights is Canon’s latest Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus, which proved both rapid and reliable in testing. Electronic burst speeds of up to 30fps also make the R7 a dream for sports and wildlife photography, with in-body image stabilization offering eight stops of compensation when shooting handled.

Overall, our real-world usage proved that the EOS R7 can produce lovely images in a wide range of conditions. Low-light results aren’t quite on par with Canon’s full-frame models, but it’s hard to argue when you’re getting such impressive versatility and value. That includes two UHS-II card slots, an articulating touchscreen, and the ability to shoot uncropped 4K/60p video. It's also a nice camera to use, with a comfortable grip and accessible control layout. All that’s really holding the Canon EOS R7 back right now is a lack of native lenses, which Canon will surely address if the RF-S system becomes as popular as it should be.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R7 review

The best Canon EOS R5 alternative

Canon EOS R6 II outside on a tripod with 24-105mm lens attached

(Image credit: Future)
The best full-frame alternative to the EOS R5

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 20.1MP
Autofocus: 6,072 AF points
Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Continuous shooting speed: 12fps
Movies: 4K/60p
User level: Intermediate/expert
Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Autofocus: 4,897 AF points
Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Continuous shooting speed: 12fps (mechanical), 40fps (electronic)
Movies: 4K/60p
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Best-in-class autofocus
+
Excellent full-frame IBIS

Reasons to avoid

-
4K video limitations
-
Expensive for an enthusiast camera
Buy it if:

✅ You want a pro workhorse: Made for professionals, the EOS R6 II impresses with its terrific autofocus, burst shooting and low-light performance.

✅ You want a second Canon: If you’re already invested in the RF system, EOS R6 II would make a great second camera to use alongside an EOS R5 or R3.

Don't buy it if:

You’re conscious of cost: The EOS R6 II is a very capable all-rounder, but it’s also an expensive one, with a price that’s only justified if you really like it.

❌ You shoot more stills than video: The EOS R6 II produces excellent stills and video, but you can find better value elsewhere if your focus is on still images.

Canon’s EOS R6 was a more affordable version of the R5, favouring speed over outright resolution. The R6 II makes several useful improvements to that formula, cementing its position as one of the best mirrorless all-rounders for Canon fans. By doubling the already rapid electronic burst shooting speeds to 40fps, the EOS R6 II sets the pace among mirrorless cameras, making it a top choice for shooting action. Our tests did find that in-body image stabilization fell short of the promised eight stops, but color rendering was very attractive and image quality impressive overall.

Even boosted from 20.1MP to 24.2MP, its sensor still has a lower pixel count than the EOS 6D Mark II. And at 4K/60p, its video resolution can’t challenge the 8K offered by the R5. Yet we found in testing that the EOS R6 II is a fantastic shooting tool: its AI-powered autofocus proved highly effective and low-light performance terrific. You’ll find better value if you prioritise stills or video, and the incremental improvements don’t justify upgrading from an EOS R6. But if you’re already invested in Canon’s RF system and willing to part with a chunk of cash, the R6 II is a seriously capable hybrid.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R6 review

The best affordable full-frame Canon camera

The Canon EOS RP, one of the best Canon cameras, sitting on a stone wall

(Image credit: Future)
The best affordable full-frame Canon camera

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 26.2MP
Autofocus: 4,779 selectable points
Screen type: 3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040K dots
Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
Movies: 4K/25p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Small, versatile and affordable
+
Excellent buffer depth
+
Superb AF performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Rolling shutter and 1.6x crop for video
-
Underwhelming battery life
Buy it if:

✅ You want full-frame on a budget: The EOS RP offers a capable full-frame sensor and solid feature set at a reasonable asking price.

✅ You want a compact body: Even with a full-frame sensor inside, the Canon EOS RP is nicely packaged, with a compact, lightweight body.

Don't buy it if:

You shoot a lot of video: With a crop on 4K video and rolling shutter experienced in testing, the EOS RP’s recording skills are compromised.

❌ You want a lot of lens choice: The EOS RP uses an RF mount, but there are currently few lenses that complement the camera’s proportions and price.

It's a few years old, but we think the Canon EOS RP still offers excellent value for those who want to go full-frame, but can't stretch to the pricier Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6. We found it to be charmingly compact and easy to use during our review, which means even beginners will be able to quickly find their way around the camera. The EOS RP's small size does occasionally make the camera feel front-heavy when using larger lenses, but it pairs perfectly with some of the best Canon RF lenses, including affordable primes like the RF 50mm f/1.8. 

The EOS RP's 4K video game is a little more restricted, as it comes with a 1.6x crop factor and you can't use Canon's trusted Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system at resolutions higher than 1080p. That aside, we continue to be impressed by the value the EOS RP offers. It has excellent AF performance, produces vibrant and sharp images, boasts a wonderfully responsive rear LCD touchscreen, and can be used with existing EF lenses with a lens adaptor.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS RP review

The best compact Canon camera for vlogging

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, one of the best Canon cameras, sitting on a leather sofa

(Image credit: Future)
The best compact Canon camera for vlogging

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor size: 1.0-type
Resolution: 20.1MP
Effective focal length: 24-100mm
Viewfinder: None
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen
Max movie resolution: 4K
Size, weight: 105.5 x 60.9 x 41.4mm, 304g

Reasons to buy

+
Tilting touchscreen
+
Effective stabilization
+
Mic input

Reasons to avoid

-
No viewfinder
Buy it if:

✅ You want a compact vlogging tool: With a mic input, YouTube livestreaming support and a 1-inch sensor that shoots 4K, the Mark III is made for video.

✅ You value physical controls: Although it’s small, the well-built G7 X Mark III benefits from good handling and four physical control dials.

Don't buy it if:

You like using a viewfinder: Its video focus means the G7 X Mark III skips the viewfinder in favor of a responsive flip-up touchscreen.

❌ You want reliable metering: Image and video quality is generally very good, but the G7 X Mark III’s metering system frequently overexposes.

Long popular with vloggers, Canon’s G7X range has kicked it up a notch with its latest implementation. In our tests, we found the Mark III's 20.1MP one-inch sensor to be very capable. It's also equipped with uncropped 4K video recording and a microphone socket, features requested on its compact cameras for a very long time.

This means you can elevate the sound above and beyond the internal mic’s offering, a feature we found particularly useful during our vlogging tests. Impressively, the G7 X III can stream directly to YouTube, so you can live vlog whatever’s happening around you, without having to downgrade to using your smartphone. USB charging is another great feature which means you can give it power bursts on the go, which is particularly helpful if you’ve been shooting a lot of 4K video.

Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III review

The best Canon premium compact for travel

The Canon EOS M6 Mark II, one of the best Canon cameras, with its optional viewfinder sitting on a wall in a street

(Image credit: Canon/Fergus Kennedy)
The best travel-friendly Canon camera for videos

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 32.5MP
Effective focal length: N/A
Viewfinder: Not inbuilt
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth
Max movie resolution: 4K 30p
Size, weight: 119.6 x 70 x 49.2mm, 408g

Reasons to buy

+
Small and light weight
+
Great tilt-up touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
No built-in viewfinder
-
Relatively few native lenses 
Buy it if:

✅ You want a portable powerhouse: Low in size and weight without compromising on specs and features, the M6 Mark II is ideal for travel.

✅ You want sharp results: With a high-resolution 32.5MP APS-C sensor, the EOS M6 Mark II captures detailed stills and uncropped 4K video.

Don't buy it if:

You want a built-in viewfinder: The M6 Mark II doesn’t have a viewfinder as standard; you can add one to the accessory shoe, but it’s sold separately.

❌ You want a vari-angle display: While the titling touchscreen can usefully flip up to face forwards, it’s not as versatile as fully articulating display.

The EOS M6 Mark II was previously Canon's flagship APS-C camera, but that title now belongs the Canon EOS R7. Even so, the Mark II remains a great choice for traveling. You also get the option of having no viewfinder, which further boosts its portability. Its compact body houses a 32.5MP APS-C sensor (the same one that's in the Canon EOS 90D). Working with a Digic 8 image processor, it offers up to 14fps continuous shooting. In our experience with the camera, this was great for sports, wildlife, street photography, and virtually any moving subject we pointed it at.

Unlike the EOS RP above, its 4K video is uncropped and uses the entire width of the sensor, which we found to be a boon for the video quality. There's also a microphone input socket and a screen that faces all the way forward, which makes this a fine vlogging camera – particularly if it now sees a price drop with the arrival of the EOS R7 and EOS R10.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS M6 Mark II review

The best Canon DSLR overall

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, one of the best Canon cameras, sitting on a stone floor in front of a blue wall

(Image credit: Future)
The best feature-packed Canon DSLR overall

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 30.4MP
Autofocus: 61-point phase-detect AF points
Screen type: 3.2-inch fixed touchscreen, 1620k-dots
Continuous shooting speed: 7fps
Movies: 4K/30p
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Superb image quality 
+
Advanced AF system 
+
Good connectivity options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited 4K video options
-
Relatively low native ISO
Buy it if:

✅ You want a well-rounded DSLR: Improved in every way, the Mark IV is one of the most well-rounded and complete DSLR cameras we’ve tested.

✅ You want excellent autofocus: Dual Pixel AF is a huge upgrade from the 5D Mark III, with instantaneous focusing and excellent tracking.

Don't buy it if:

You have a tight budget: Performance upgrades come at a price, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV represents a significant investment compared to rivals.

❌ You record a lot of video: 4K video is a welcome presence, but the 1.64x is prohibitive and there’s no support for 4K output via HDMI.

Canon’s 5D range continues to be popular among traditionalists. And for good reason: these high-specced DSLRs offer a huge number of features in a body that handles superbly. Here we have an excellent 30.4MP sensor which, although lower in resolution than the likes of the Nikon D850, still gives you plenty of scope to create fantastic shots in a range of conditions.

Our tests also found that the 61-point AF system performed well in low-light and was also impressively quick, if not quite up to the standard of the latest mirrorless models. 4K video recording is available, but this being a slightly older model, it's limited to 30p. While autofocusing is whip-smart, the 5D Mark IV can only manage 7fps burst shooting, which puts it behind many newer models. But if you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, still life – in short, anything which doesn’t move too quickly – you'll find it an excellent photographic companion.

Read our in-depth Canon 5D Mark IV review

The best flagship Canon DSLR

A top-down view of the Canon 1D X Mark III, one of the best Canon cameras, on a black background

(Image credit: Future)
The best flagship Canon DSLR

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 20.1MP
Autofocus: 191-point phase-detect AF points
Screen type: 3.2-inch fixed touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots
Continuous shooting speed: 20fps
Movies: 4K/60p
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Super-fast and reliable
+
Deep-learning autofocus
+
Innovative Smart Controllers

Reasons to avoid

-
No image stabilization
-
Expensive
-
Fixed LCD display
Buy it if:

✅ You want Canon’s ultimate DSLR: Packed with features and stacked with performance, the EOS 1D X Mark III is superlative in every way.

✅ You believe in the DSLR format: The Mark III goes toe to toe with the best mirrorless cameras, with 20fps burst speeds and infallible autofocus.

Don't buy it if:

You want a small camera: The Mark III wears its traditional DSLR styling with pride, but that does mean it’s bigger than its mirrorless rivals.

❌ Your budget is limited: The EOS 1D X Mark III’s flagship feature set carries a hefty price tag, which puts it well beyond reach of most hobbyists.

A flagship sports DSLR in every sense, Canon packed the 1DX Mark III so full of performance that it automatically earns a spot on this list. There are two reasons why it's so far down: its mirrorless equivalent – the Canon EOS R3 – and the fact that its power and price tag make it too much camera for most people. Physically, it's the same size as its predecessor, but 90g lighter and just as ergonomic. Two new Smart Controllers also make it a cinch to operate, courtesy of optical sensors that let you navigate focus points with the lightest swipe of your thumb.

Its Digic X processing chip is three times quicker than the one in the 1DX Mark II. In our tests, we found that this worked very nicely alongside the redesigned full-frame sensor to deliver impressive 4K video at 50fps, blistering continuous frame rates and an almost unlimited buffer. Then there’s the autofocus. Driven by deep learning for subject recognition and detection, it proved supremely fast and infallibly accurate in our review, rivaling the very best mirrorless models. It’s supremely capable and can comfortably outgun almost all the competition, mirrorless or DSLR.

Read our in-depth Canon 1DX Mark III review

The best Canon DSLR for beginners

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D

(Image credit: Future)
The best entry-level Canon DLSR for beginners

Specifications

Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Resolution: 24.1MP
Autofocus: 9-point AF system, Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Viewfinder: Analogue
Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
Movies: 4K
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Small and lightweight
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated 9-point AF system
-
4K video is cropped
Buy it if:

✅ You want an entry-level all-rounder: It’s not cutting edge, but the EOS 250D pairs solid battery life with reliable autofocus in a tidy, well-built package.

✅ You value a variety of lens options: Because Canon’s EF mount is well-established, the EOS 250D benefits from compatibility with a wide range of lenses.

Don't buy it if:

You need the very latest autofocus: While Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system is decent enough, its 9-point array looks dated next to other entries in this list.

❌ You’re a budding videographer: Although the EOS 250D can capture 4K video, issues with rolling shutter, as well as a crop on 4K footage, mean its potential is limited.

If you’re a fan of the DSLR format, we think the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (known as the EOS 250D or 200D Mark II outside the US) is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras you can buy. In our review, we praised its combination of build quality and features, which add up to excellent value for beginners. We also found it relatively light and compact for a DSLR. It’s an easy camera to use and wield in the hand, aided by an articulating touchscreen which proved very responsive in testing.

We were also impressed by its Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. A more recent mirrorless camera will outclass its 9-point array and 5fps burst shooting rate, but we found that the system can still focus quickly in good light. Images are generally well-exposed, too. Rolling shutter and a crop factor unfortunately reduce the usefulness of 4K recording, but if you want an affordable camera that’s compatible with a wide range of lenses, we think the EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D is a good choice for beginners.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D review

How to choose the best Canon camera

It can be tricky to pick the right Canon camera for you. The brand offers a wide array of choices, ranging from pocket-friendly compacts to bulkier DSLRs to cutting-edge mirrorless systems. Canon caters to pretty much every type of photographer and filmmaker out there, and which model is right for you will depend hugely on what and how you like to shoot. In particular, you’ll need to consider which body style and sensor format best suits your needs.

If you’re into sports and wildlife photography, for example, should you should be looking for a camera with fast frame rates and reliable in-body image stabilization to steadily capture rapid action. The Canon EOS R3 delivers all this and more (but at a price). 

Equally, if you’re more focused on moving images than moving subjects, Canon’s range is home to several video-focused cameras, which support external microphones, feature flip-out screens for easy framing, and can capture uncropped 4K footage. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a pocketable solution for travelers, as is the Canon EOS M6 Mark II for those who’d like an APS-C sensor in a travel-friendly form factor (though it might be an idea to hold off a little to see how the R7 and R10 perform).

Canon EOS 250D with screen articulated outwards being held by two hands

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon also makes several fantastic all-rounders. These versatile cames work well in multiple scenarios, and will often be the best choice for hobbyists who’d like to try their hand at multiple photography and video genres. The Canon EOS R6 is the best Canon all-rounder you can currently buy, while the EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D is a more affordable all-rounder.

Canon has traditionally been a big player in the DSLR market, which has now come to an end, thanks to the popularity, weight saving, and technological breakthroughs with mirrorless tech. While it still remains one of the most established names in relation to the format, it’s now also become a mirrorless force to be reckoned with. If you’re searching for the ultimate in resolution, performance, and technology, you should be looking at its latest mirrorless cameras, like the Canon EOS R3, R5, and EOS R6. That said, you’ll need a pretty serious budget to take one home.

Those with a more limited budget needn’t worry. Canon offers a fantastic range of compact, DSLR, and mirrorless options that won’t break the bank. The Canon EOS M50 is a great example: recently succeeded by a minor upgrade, it’s available at particularly affordable prices, yet still represents excellent value as an everyday or travel camera.

The Canon EOS R7 camera sitting on a stone step

(Image credit: Future)

What’s the best Canon camera for beginners?

Canon makes a range of cameras for beginners. Which one is right for you will depend on your specific needs, skills, and budget. Whether you’re upgrading from a point-and-shoot or switching from a smartphone, Canon has a camera for you.

Which is the best Canon camera for beginners? We think the best all-round Canon camera for most novices is the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D. A lightweight, entry-level DSLR with excellent battery life and ergonomics that make it great to hold, it’s a brilliant camera for new photographers to handle. Although its 9-point autofocus system is dated, it performs consistently and image quality is good. Plus there are plenty of compatible lenses in Canon’s catalog when you’re ready to get creative.

That said, if you’d prefer to start out with a mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS M50 is also an excellent choice for beginners. Since succeeded by the Canon EOS M50 Mk II (a minor upgrade), it remains a very capable APS-C camera that’s accessible and easy to use. Its combination of an excellent electronic viewfinder with a slick, vari-angle touchscreen makes it very approachable for first-timers. Dual Pixel autofocus is also fast and reliable. If you can look past the limited battery life and plasticky finish, it’s a great value choice if you’re just starting out.

Prepared to take the plunge and buy a camera that you can grow into? The Canon EOS RP is a full-frame mirrorless camera that’s relatively affordable and offers top-notch performance. It’s compact and easy to use thanks to a responsive rear touchscreen, so beginners should quickly get to grips with its interface – yet the EOS RP also produces sharp, vibrant images and boasts excellent autofocus performance. If you can deal with the 1.6x crop on 4K footage, it’s an appealing package.

A hand holding the Canon EOS 90D camera

(Image credit: Future)

Is Canon or Nikon better?

The Canon versus Nikon debate has been rumbling on for decades. For as long as both Japanese brands have existed, there’s been a question as to which is superior. Yet a simple answer is impossible: while there are many die-hard fans of each camera maker, the winner in each case will depend on what kind of camera you want and how you plan to use it.

As you’ll see from the list above, Canon has a huge catalog of cameras, catering to all kinds of photographers and videographers. Nikon is no different: check out our round-up of the best Nikon cameras and you’ll find a similarly comprehensive stable of models, ranging from travel compacts to full-frame mirrorless powerhouses.

While both Canon and Nikon offer something for everyone, they do take different approaches to certain features. Compare the Canon EOS R6 II with the Nikon Z6 II, for example, and you’ll immediately find differences in the way that they handle and how their interfaces operate. Which suits you better will usually come down to personal preference.

The question is best approached on a case-by-case basis, either comparing specific models or assessing each brand’s offerings in a particular category. We’ve done exactly that in our in-depth Canon vs Nikon feature. Unless you’re already invested in one manufacturer’s lens mount system – or deeply familiar with a specific control setup – we don’t recommend choosing by name alone. It’s always better to decide on the basis of expert testing, in light of your specific expectations.


Canon EOS R50 in the hand focused on 18-45mm lens

(Image credit: Future)

How we test Canon cameras

Buying a camera these days is a big investment, so every camera in this guide has been tested extensively by us so we can authoritatively decide on the best Canon camera. These days, real-world tests are the most revealing way to understand a camera's performance and character, so we focus heavily on those, along with standardized tests for factors like ISO performance.

To start with, we look at the camera's design, handling, and controls to get a sense of what kind of photographer it's aimed at and who would most enjoy shooting with it. When we take it out on a shoot, we'll use it both handheld and on a tripod to get a sense of where its strengths lie, and test its startup speed.

The vari-angle screen of the Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to performance, we use a formatted card and shoot in both raw and JPEG (if available). For burst shooting tests, we dial in our regular test settings (1/250 sec, ISO 200, continuous AF) and shoot a series of frames in front of a stopwatch to see if it lives up to its claimed speeds. We'll also look at how quickly the buffers clears and repeat the test for both raw and JPEG files.

In various lighting conditions, we also test the camera's different autofocus modes (including Face and Eye AF) in a single point, area, and continuous modes. We also shoot a range of photos of different styles (portrait, landscape, low light, macro/close-up) in raw and JPEG to get a sense of metering and its sensor's ability to handle noise and resolve fine detail.

Two hands holding the Canon EOS M6 Mark II

(Image credit: Future)

If the camera's raw files are supported by Adobe Camera Raw, we'll also process some test images to see how we can push areas like shadow recovery. And we'll also test its ISO performance across the whole range to get a sense of the levels we'd be happy to push the camera to.

Battery life is tested in a real-world fashion, as we use the camera over the course of the day with the screen set to the default settings. Once the battery has reached zero, we'll then count the number of shots to see how it compares to the camera's CIPA rating. Finally, we test the camera's video skills by shooting some test footage at different frame rates and resolutions, along with its companion app.

We then take everything we've learned about the camera and factor in its price to get a sense of the value for money it offers, before reaching our final verdict.