Canon makes cameras to suit every budget, every style of photography and every kind of user. It's perhaps best known for its DSLR cameras, which include entry-level cameras for beginners right up to high-spec, high-resolution cameras for professional photographers, but there's a lot more to the Canon range than this. (Plus you'll see the best camera deals below, too.)
Canon is also embracing the mirrorless camera revolution. It started out with its compact EOS M mirrorless cameras, which run alongside its DSLR range, but in 2018 it brought out its first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R. When a camera maker as big as Canon gets into mirrorless camera systems, it's time to take them seriously!
Also read: The best Canon camera lenses
Canon's DSLR and mirrorless cameras take interchangeable lenses, and that gives you a lot of photo-takiing flexibility, but it's not what everyone needs. Sometimes a fixed-lens, or 'compact' camera will be a better choice either because it's smaller, cheaper or designed to do a specific job.
Canon has two compact camera ranges: its PowerShot cameras are designed for photographers interested in features, controls and a wide range of subjects, while its Ixus models are designed for style, simplicity and compactness.
So to help you figure out which Canon is best for you, we've included all of them in our list of top 10 Canon cameras. Let's go!
1. Canon Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D
Best all-round: Canon’s smallest DSLR blends versatility and value
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3.0in touch, pivot 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentamirror | Max burst speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate
Canon makes a confusing number of entry-level DSLRs! The newest models are the EOS 4000D and 2000D, but these are very clearly built down to a price, and we'd recommend going for the older but better EOS Rebel SL2/200D. It's smaller than the other two, but beats them on specifications, with Canon's newest 24.2-megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor and a high-resolution vari-angle touchscreen display. This is all the more amazing given that this is also Canon's smallest DSLR, so it's not just powerful but very portable too. The Rebel SL2/200D is very user-friendly, and while its simple 9-point autofocus system and 5fps continuous shooting speed are easily beaten by Canon models further up the range, it's more than powerful enough to get you started on your photographic career.
Read more: Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D review
2. Canon EOS R
Runner-up: Canon's first full-frame mirrorless camera means business
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 30.3MP | Monitor: EVF, 3.69m dots, 100% coverage | Continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Viewfinder: EVF | Max video resolution: 4K UHD | User level: Enthusiast/professional
The EOS R has met with a mixed reception, perhaps because it's going to take time for users to figure out where it fits in, but we reckon with its combination of resolution, features, pro build quality and keen pricing, it's going to make its own gap in the market! On paper, it looks a bit like a mirrorless version of the Canon EOS 5D IV digital SLR (below), but there are some important differences. One is that it has a much more advanced autofocus system with an amazing 5,655 focus points, another is that it has a brand new lens mount bringing the promise of new and exotic lens designs. What we really like, though, is that Canon has also made lens adaptors that let you fit your existing Canon EF and EF-S lenses, so it's easy to add the EOS R to an existing Canon system.
Read more: Canon EOS R review
3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Best pro camera: it's a jack of all trades and master of most of them
Type: DSLR | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 30.4MP | Screen: 3.0in fixed touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 7fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Professional
Lots of people are saying that mirrorless cameras (like the EOS R above) are the future and that DSLRs are dead, but don't listen! The DSLR design still has lots of advantages, including a bright, clear, optical viewing system with no lag, better handling with bigger lenses, and much better battery life. Professionals in particular are very cautious about change, and it's likely the EOS 5D IV DSLR will be the top choice for pros for some time to come. It's not a specialist camera designed to do a single type of work, but a robust and powerful all-rounder that can turn its hand to almost any professional assignment. The 61-point autofocus system is fast and powerful, and Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology makes live view autofocus pretty fast and snappy too. The 30.4-megapixel resolution isn't the highest, but it gives a great balance of resolution and low-light, low-noise performance.
4. Canon EOS M50
Best Canon for travel: The EOS M50 is small and light but powerful
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C size | Megapixels: 24.1MP | Screen type: 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen LCD, 1.04million dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,36million dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner
Canon's mirrorless EOS M range has been a bit of a mixed bag in the past, as users try to figure out how it fits in with Canon's DSLR range and which type to go for. With the EOS M50, though, we think Canon has hit the sweet spot, with a camera that's easy to use for beginners but has an electronic viewfinder (so that you're not just reliant on the rear screen for composing pictures) and is being offered at an affordable price. The EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens has a retracting mechanism to make the camera smaller to carry around when it's not in use, and there is a small but handy selection of other EOS M lenses you can use with this camera. Hobbyists might want a wider lens choice, but if travel is your thing and a couple of lenses is all you need, the EOS M50 is great.
Read more: Canon EOS M50 review
5. Canon EOS 80D
Best for students: a powerful but affordable camera that can grow with you
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3.0in touch, pivot 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentaprism | Max burst speed: 7fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast
If you're choosing a camera as a student of photography or any other graphic art, you're going to need one that's powerful enough and versatile enough to stay with you as you tackle a variety of assignments and perhaps go in directions you hadn't expected. This is where the Canon EOS 80D is just perfect. It's not Canon's cheapest DSLR, unfortunately, as prices have stayed strong, but it does offer an excellent set of all-round features. These include Canon's 24-megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor, a full-articulating touchscreen display on the rear, 7fps continuous shooting capability for sports and action, a secondary info panel on the top plate and lots of customisation options. If sports and action are your speciality, see the Canon EOS 7D II below, or if you're an enthusiast and can splash a bit more cash, the EOS 6D II (below) will give you a full-frame sensor. But if you want a powerful camera on a tighter budget, the EOS 80D is our recommended choice.
Read more: Canon EOS 80D review
6. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Best for enthusiasts: you get full frame quality but small camera convenience
Type: DSLR | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 26.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF | Screen: 3.2in touch, pivot 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentaprism | Max burst speed: 6.5fps | Max video resolution: Full HD (1080p) | User level: Enthusiast
The EOS 6D II is the replacement for the original EOS 6D, Canon's cheapest back-to-basics full frame DSLR. It is a fair bit more expensive, unfortunately, but the 6D II is technically far more advanced. The advantage of a full frame sensor is that it gives superior image quality, partly because you tend to get more megapixels, and partly because the pixels (photosites) are bigger and can capture more light. The 26-megapixel sensor in the 6D II offers a useful advantage over 24-megapixel cameras, it has a powerful 45-point AF system for viewfinder shooting and Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF for live view photography, and it has a decent 6.5fps continuous shooting speed. What we really love is the streamlined handling and control layout and the fully articulating rear screen. If you can afford the extra over the APS-C format EOS 80D (above), the EOS 6D II would be our top recommendation as the best all-round Canon camera for enthusiasts.
Read more: Canon EOS 6D Mark II review
7. Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Best for sports: the EOS 7D II is tough, fast and responsive
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 20.2MP | Screen: 3in 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentaprism | Max burst speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast/professional
If you're into sports and action photography, you need a camera that can keep up with fast-moving subjects, and this means a fast and powerful autofocus system and high continuous shooting frame rates – and the EOS 7D II has both. For viewfinder shooting, it offers an excellent 65-point wide-area autofocus system with 'intelligent' tracking, and for live view shooting there's Canon's tried and trusted Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. The resolution is 'only' 20.2 megapixels, but that's a pretty small difference compared to the 24 megapixels offered by most rivals, especially since iit enables the excellent 10fps continuous shooting speed. The buffer capacity for raw files is a tiny bit low at around 31 images, but you can capture unlimited JPEGs in a burst. There are rumors of a new EOS 7D III in the pipeline, but nothing concrete yet.
8. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III
Best pocket camera: huge quality in a super-compact body
Type: Premium compact | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens: 24-72mm (equiv.) f/2.8-5.6 | LCD: 3in articulating, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 9/7fps | Movies: 1080 | User level: Intermediate/professional
If you're looking for a cheap family camera, keep going – we highly recommend the Ixus 185 below. The PowerShot G1 X III is a very different beast aimed at enthusiast and expert photographers who want the image quality and controls of a DSLR in a camera that can fit in a coat pocket. Many makers have tried, but none have come closer than this, as Canon has found a way to cram its 24.2-megapixel APS-C Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor into a body scarcely larger than Canon's regular PowerShot cameras. Making the sensor fit was only half the battle, as Canon's designers also had to figure out how to make a DSLR-size zoom lens fit a pocket camera. The result is a retracting 24-72mm f/2.8-5.6 lens which combines remarkable miniaturisation with equally remarkable edge-to-edge image quality. All this advanced design and technology is expensive (of course) and the 3x zoom range could prove a limitation, but this is still a superb premium compact camera.
Read more: Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III review
9. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
Best ultra-zoom camera: one compact camera to rule them all
Type: Superzoom compact | Sensor: 1/2.3in | Megapixels: 20.3MP | Lens: 21-1365mm (equiv.) f/3.4-6.5 | LCD: 3in articulating, 922k dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10/5.7fps | Movies: 4K UHD | User level: Beginner
Ultra-zoom, or 'bridge' cameras, continue to capture the imagination of camera buyers. They promise a stupendous zoom range and DSLR-style controls at a relatively affordable price. When you can get a camera with this kind of zoom range, why would you ever need an interchangeable-lens camera? Well, even the SX70 HS has its limits. It does offer a huge 1365mm equivalent focal length at its maximum zoom setting, and a pretty good extra-wideangle 21mm setting at the other end, but you'll still need a DSLR or mirrorless camera if you want to use ultra-wide, macro or fast prime lenses. The other limitation of this camera type is that it relies on small 1/2.3-inch sensors, so while the quality is fine for casual use, it's not up to pro camera standards. That aside, the SX70 HS offers a great zoom range, it handles well, and it's a great way to tackle a wide range of subjects without the bulk or cost of a DSLR.
Read more: Best bridge camera
10. Canon Ixus 185
Best cheap family camera: and you even get an 8x optical zoom
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3in | Megapixels: 20MP | Lens: 28-224mm f/3.2-6.9 | LCD: 2.7in, 230k dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 3fps | Max video resolution: 1280x720 (HD) | User level: Beginner
Not everyone needs professional features, full frame image quality, 4K video and interchangeable lenses. Sometimes you're just looking for a decent, simple and effective little camera you can slip in a pocket and which the whole family can use. Oh, and let's not forget cheap. The little Ixus 185 certainly passes that last test, and yet delivers some rather impressive specifications at the same time. One of the key advantages of a compact point and shoot camera over a smartphone is that you get a zoom lens, and the one on this camera has a massive 8x range, from 28-224mm. It uses a small 20-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor, so the picture quality is going to be adequate rather than great, but it's fine for family snaps and it can go up to ISO 1600 for shooting indoors or in low light. It even looks pretty smart, so the Ixus 185 is a really appealing (and did we mention cheap?) little snapshot camera.
Read more: Best point and shoot camera
More buying guides
- The 10 best point-and-shoot cameras
- The 10 best cameras under £500/$600
- The 10 best cameras for beginners
- The 10 best cameras for enthusiasts
- The 10 best cameras for professionals
- The 10 best compact cameras
- The 10 best mirrorless cameras
- The 10 cheapest full-frame cameras
- The 8 best full-frame DSLRs
- The 10 best travel cameras
- The 10 best bridge cameras
- The 10 best selfie cameras
- The 10 best action cameras