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Best Canon camera 2020: 10 quality options from Canon's camera stable

Deciding on the best Canon camera for you can be tricky – with a huge range of options, ranging from DSLRs to compacts, Canon has models in most camera sub-genres. Luckily, we've rounded up the finest options from its extensive catalogue, including both new models and great value legacy ones. 

Whether you're just starting out or looking for your next professional workhorse, there's a very good chance that an option with a Canon EOS or PowerShot camera will fit both your needs and budget.

The company is best known for its EOS DSLRs, but it maintains a collection of powerful compact cameras and has also now notched up many mirrorless offerings that rival, and sometimes beat, their DSLR cousins for performance. 

The most anticipated camera in this department is the Canon EOS R5, a full-frame powerhouse that will come with a premium price tag. If the rumors are correct, it will be joined by a more affordable partner called the Canon EOS R6

But those models are for full-frame fans and, right now, these are the best Canon cameras you can currently buy.

By providing so many options across all levels, it's easy to see both a logical first camera or an upgrade if you're an existing Canon user

Best Canon cameras 2020 at a glance:

  1. Canon EOS RP
  2. Canon EOS 250D
  3. Canon G7X Mark III
  4. Canon EOS R
  5. Canon EOS M6 Mark II
  6. Canon EOS M50
  7. Canon 90D
  8. Canon 1DX Mark III
  9. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  10. Canon G5X Mark II

Best Canon cameras in 2020:

(Image credit: Future)

1. Canon EOS RP

Full-frame mirrorless at a budget price

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

Small, versatile and affordable
Excellent buffer depth
Superb AF performance
Rolling shutter and 1.6x crop for video
Underwhelming battery life

It arrived a little later than its more expensive full-frame mirrorless sibling but the EOS RP takes top spot for being the Canon's best mirrorless camera by virtue of its affordability and its topnotch performance. It's compact and easy to use, so even beginners will be able to quickly find their way around the EOS RP. However, its small size does occasionally make the camera feel overbalanced when using larger lenses.

And while it does have 4K video recording, it comes with a 1.6x crop factor and you won't be able to use Canon's trusted Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system unless you shoot in 1080p Full HD resolution. Besides that, though, the EOS RP 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.

Canon 250D

(Image credit: Future)

2. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D

A sound all-rounder that ticks all the boxes for beginners

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.1MP | Autofocus: 9-point AF system, Dual Pixel CMOS AF | Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Movies: 4K UHD | User level: Beginner

Small, light and good to hold
Excellent battery life
Dated 9-point AF system
4K video is cropped

Canon’s EOS 200D was an entry-level DSLR with enthusiast aspirations. Its successor builds on that approach, adding a few straightforward updates to create an even more competent beginners’ camera which nails the basics. Battery life is excellent, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system performs consistently well and image quality is good. In the hand, the body is small, light and good to hold, while a responsive touchscreen makes the 250D a pleasure to use. Sure, its dated 9-point AF system isn’t revolutionary and the upgrades are probably too slight to justify a switch from the 200D, but with a mount on top that plays nice with a vast number of lenses and accessories, the 250D is a capable all-rounder that has plenty to offer first-time buyers.

(Image credit: Future)

3. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

This pocket-rocket is the best all-round vlogging camera

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

Tilting touchscreen
Effective stabilization
Mic input
No viewfinder

Long popular with vloggers, Canon’s G7X range has kicked it up a notch with its latest implementation. There’s still a very capable 20.1MP one-inch sensor, but now it’s also equipped with uncropped 4K video recording, and, something which had been requested many times, a microphone socket. 

That means you can elevate the sound above and beyond the internal mic’s offering, if you want to. Furthermore, the G7X 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, particularly prudent if you’ve been shooting a lot of 4K video. 

4. Canon EOS R

Canon's full-frame mirrorless debut

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS | Megapixels: 30.3MP | Autofocus: 5,655 phase-detect AF points | Screen type: 3.15-inch touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert

Excellent viewfinder
Response AF in live view and video
No AF lever
Bulky

As we found in our review, Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera is something of a hit-and-miss affair, but for some Canon users looking to step up to something more capable, it may just be ideal. 

While the model retains much of what makes the EOS DSLR line special, Canon has thrown in a superb electronic viewfinder with a 3.69-million dot resolution. We’re also very encouraged by the new lenses that have been released so far, although Canon has continued support for its exhaustive EF lens system through three separate adapters. 

It would have been nice to see an AF lever, sensor-based image stabilisation and an additional card slot to make the model truly competitive, but the camera is at least blessed with excellent autofocus, good handling and very sound image quality. If you’re a user of older EOS 5D or double-digit models and you’re looking to step up the the very latest in Canon’s full-frame tech, you should find adopting the EOS R to be a pain-free affair.

(Image credit: Canon/Fergus Kennedy)

5. Canon EOS M6 Mark II

A travel-friendly CSC that's great for videos

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

Small and light weight
Great tilt-up touchscreen
No built-in viewfinder
Relatively few native lenses 

The Canon EOS M50 has, for a while now, been one of our favourite Canon mirrorless cameras for many reasons, but with the arrival of the EOS M6 Mark II, there's a new king in town. It's compact and a great choice for a travelling companion and, if the idea of no viewfinder puts you off, you can easily attach one.

That tiny body houses a 32.5MP APS-C sensor (the same one that's in the Canon EOS 90D listed below) and, working with a Digic 8 image processor, offers up to 14fps continuous shooting – great for sports, wildlife, street photography and so much more.

Unlike the EOS RP mentioned above, 4K video is uncropped, utilizing the entire width of the sensor, and there's also a microphone input socket and a screen that faces all the way forward – this one's for the vloggers.

(Image credit: Future)

6. Canon EOS M50

Still a very capable mirrorless camera with excellent usability

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.1MP | Autofocus: 143-point AF | Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner

Excellent EVF
Polished touchscreen
Poor battery life
Limited lens range

It may have been superseded in Canon's line-up by the EOS M6 Mark II, but the EOS M50 remains a great value mirrorless choice. A great option for beginners looking to take their first steps into manual shooting or vlogging, the M50 combines an excellent electronic viewfinder with a slick, vari-angle touchscreen that makes it make it very approachable for novices. Similarly, the Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus is brisk and the option to touch and drag on the display makes AF area selection a cinch. Slight downsides are the limited battery life, plasticky finish and somewhat meagre native lens line-up, although it's possible to mount EF lenses with an adaptor. The EOS M50 was also Canon’s first camera to benefit from the Digic 8 processor, which helps to deliver consistently great images. Throw 4K video into the mix – albeit with an outdated 1.6x crop – and you’ve got a small, stellar smartphone upgrade that’s flawed, yes, but also flexible, fun and easy to use.

Canon EOS 90D

(Image credit: Future)

7. Canon EOS 90D

The latest DSLR addition to Canon's stable

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 32.5MP | Autofocus: 45-point AF | Screen type: 3.0-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040K dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Movies: 4K/30p | User level: Enthusiast

High resolution sensor
Uncropped 4K video
Default noise reduction level insufficient

Just when most people assumed that DSLRs were going to die a slow death, Canon decided to prove otherwise. The EOS 90D is the first camera of its kind to boast a 32.5MP sensor and, alongside a Digic 8 processor, gives the snapper the ability to capture 4K video at up to 30fps which, thankfully is uncropped. While it's the same sensor and image engine pairing as the EOS M6 Mark II mentioned above, the EOS 90D doesn't quite have the speed of its mirrorless cousin, instead topping out 11fps when shooting continuously in live view mode.

There's a new metering sensor under the hood as well and its performance is excellent, exposing areas of light and shadow to near-perfection. However, we did find that due to the high pixel density on the crop sensor, noise performance isn't the best but for the most part that can be taken care of during post production.

The battery has a CIPA rating of 1,300 shots but our tests showed the camera is capable of well over that, which is way more than what you'd get from the average mirrorless camera. All in all, a wonderfully versatile snapper for anyone who prefers the DSLR experience.

Canon EOS 800D

(Image credit: Future)

8. Canon 1DX Mark III

A feature-packed flagship with unrivaled performance

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

Super-fast and reliable
Deep-learning autofocus
Innovative Smart Controllers
No image stabilization
Expensive
Fixed LCD display

Think of a superlative and it probably describes the Canon 1DX Mark III. A flagship sports DSLR in every sense, Canon has packed its latest full-framer so full of features – and with so much performance – that it automatically deserves a spot on this list. The only reason it's so far down is because its power and price tag simply make it too much camera for most people.

Physically, the 1DX Mark III is the same size as its predecessor, but 90g lighter and as ergonomic as ever. 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.

At its heart is a new Digic X processing chip, three times quicker than the one in the 1DX Mark II, which works alongside a completely redesigned sensor to deliver 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’s supremely fast and infallibly accurate, rivaling the very best mirrorless models – whether you use the optical viewfinder or Live View. In summary, it’s supremely capable and can comfortably outgun almost all the competition, mirrorless or DSLR.

9. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Much loved by pros for its versatility

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS | Megapixels: 30.4MP | Autofocus: 61-point AF, 41 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert

Great image qualty
Rugged build
Various 4K video limitations
LCD fixed in place

The 4K-shooting EOS 5D Mark IV has traditionally been used by photographers and filmmakers alike, and goes up against the likes of the Nikon D850 and a handful of flagship mirrorless competitors. Being over three years old means that it might appear a little behind in a number of areas on the spec sheet, but the EOS line has always prioritized wide appeal and reliability over class-beating specs. To that end, we get a 30.4MP full-frame sensor with a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system for smooth focusing during live view and video, together with 7fps burst shooting, great high-ISO performance and a sturdy body that’s the result of many tweaks and refinements from previous EOS 5D generation cameras. 4K video is subject to a crop factor, however, and the use of the Motion JPEG makes for fairly hefty video files, but this is not a deal-breaker – particularly as the Full HD options are more than enough for most people.

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

10. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

DSLR quality in a pocket-sized package

Type: Compact | Sensor size: 1.0-type | Resolution: 20.1MP | Effective focal length: 24-120mm | Viewfinder: 0.39-inch, 2.36 million dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen | Max movie resolution: 4K | Size, weight: 110.9 x 60.9 x 46mm, 340g

Great handling for a small camera
Excellent image quality
Relatively pricey
4K video quality not the best

Canon has managed to pack a lot into this little pocket rocket, combining a stacked CMOS sensor with a Digic 8 imaging engine. This gives the PowerShot G5 X Mark II the ability to capture stills at a blitzing pace of 30fps when shooting RAW, or 20fps when shooting conventionally.

ISO performance has been improved over the previous iteration of this camera and 4K video capture added. For those who prefer a viewfinder to using the rear LCD screen, the pop-up EVF has a darn good resolution of 2.36 million dots. Despite packing in an EVF, Canon has even managed to add a flash to the camera. There's even an ND filter available on board if you happen to be shooting in brilliant sunlight.

Noise performance is pretty good for a camera with a 1-inch sensor, although the 4K video quality isn't something to write home about, particularly when compared to the likes of Sony's latest Cyber-shot RX100 range. Despite that, the G5 X Mark II is an excellent choice for a compact, provided you've got the spare change for it.