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The best Canon DSLR in 2018

Which Canon DSLR will best suit your needs? Find out here

What’s the best Canon camera you can buy? The answer depends on your budget, skill level and what you want to use it for – but to help you decide, we’ve put together this list of the best Canon DSLRs right now.

Right now, we think the best Canon camera is the professional-grade EOS 5D Mark IV, which remains the company’s best all-rounder. It boasts a full-frame 30.4MP sensor, a suite of pro features, and is well suited for capturing everything from landscapes to sports. It’s also the best Canon DSLR for video. However, you’ll need to be an expert to get the most out of this camera – and it comes with a price tag to match.

Also read: The best Canon camera lenses

If you’re at beginner or enthusiast level, it can be tough to know which Canon camera to go with – but you’ll find a range of brilliant DSLRs for your consideration in the list below, which offer beginner features alongside more exotic shooting parameters and custom functions that will enable the camera to grow with you as learn new skills.  

Bear in mind that different DSLRs within Canon’s lineup are better suited to different types of photography. High maximum shutter speeds and extra-fast continuous drive modes are better for action, sports and wildlife photography, for example, while small and lightweight cameras are good choices for travel photography.

Look out for a higher megapixel count if you need to retain fine detail and texture in landscape and architectural shooting. A lower megapixel count, alternatively, will typically help you capture relatively noise-free images at high-ISO (sensitivity) settings. This is ideal for shooting indoors or at twilight, without resorting to flash.

We'll highlight what each camera is best at below to help you make the right decision. So which is the best Canon DSLR for you? Read on to find out.

1. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The newest and best full-frame Canon DSLR for enthusiasts

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

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Full-frame image sensor
Fully articulated touchscreen
Relatively expensive to buy
You can’t use EF-S lenses

The EOS 6D Mark II is currently Canon’s only full-frame DSLR for enthusiasts. Unlike pro-grade bodies including the EOS-1D and 5D series of cameras, this one retains a wealth of scene modes, and Canon’s beginner-friendly Creative Auto mode. Why would you want a full-frame camera? A key advantage is that you can get a tighter depth of field, which is often preferable for portraiture and still life photography. Image quality also tends to be more noise-free at high ISO settings, so they’re great for shooting in really low-lighting conditions. Compared with the original 6D, the Mk II has more megapixels, vastly improved autofocus systems for regular stills shooting as well as for Live View and movie capture, a faster continuous drive rate, and a vari-angle touchscreen, although it's a shame that movie recording is capped at Full HD, rather than 4K. Handling and performance are simply superb. One downside, however, is that you can’t use APS-C format lenses on a full-frame Canon body, so bear that in mind if you’re thinking of upgrading from one of Canon’s crop-sensor DSLRs. Otherwise, this is one of the best Canon DSLRs you can get.

2. Canon EOS 7D Mark II

A sporty camera with go-faster performance

Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 20.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3in 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentaprism | Max burst speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast

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Built for speed and action
Robust image quality 
Image sensor has a relatively low 20.2MP
No touchscreen or Wi-Fi

Despite being classified by Canon as am ‘enthusiast’ level camera, the Canon EOS 7D Mk II lacks scene modes or a Creative Auto shooting mode that helps you in the transition from full auto and Program modes to the delights of aperture-priority and shutter-priority shooting. The tough magnesium alloy build, styling and handling are much more similar to Canon’s 5D series of DSLRs, although this camera has an APS-C format rather than full-frame image sensor. As such, it boosts the effective reach of telephoto lenses by a factor of 1.6x, getting you closer to the action. And speaking of action, this camera has an incredible 65-point wide-area autofocus system with ‘intelligent’ tracking, a 1/8000th maximum shutter speed and a superfast 10fps continuous drive rate. For shooting action, sports and wildlife, it’s the perfect Canon DSLR. 

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3. Canon EOS 80D

A consummate all-rounder with sophisticated handling

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

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Upmarket features and handling
Fully articulated touchscreen 
Not as robust as the 7D Mk II
No Bluetooth but it has Wi-Fi and NFC

At the high end of Canon’s DLSR range for enthusiast photographers, the ESO 80D is wonderfully versatile. It’s much more of an all-rounder than its speed merchant sibling, the 7D Mk II, with a greater megapixel count of 24.2MP and a less rapid 7fps maximum drive rate. Both cameras have Canon’s Dual Pixel AF, which is brilliant for autofocusing in Live View and movie capture modes. However, the 80D adds an articulated touchscreen which makes selecting AF areas much quicker and more intuitive. In fact, the entire menu system benefits from the touchscreen interface. For regular stills shooting, the 45-point autofocus system works even better than in the full-frame 6D Mk II, as the AF points cover more of the frame. Handling highlights include a secondary info LCD on the top panel, which is lacking in Canon’s beginner-level cameras. There’s also plenty of customisation on offer for shooting parameters and controls. For an APS-C format camera that can take pretty much any shooting scenario in its stride, this is the best of Canon’s enthusiast-level DSLRs.

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4. Canon EOS 77D

The 77D bridges the gap between beginner- and enthusiast-level cameras

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: 6fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast

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Enthusiast-level handling and controls
Relatively compact and lightweight
'Slower' than the 80D
Limited battery life

The most basic of Canon’s ‘enthusiast’ level DSLRs, the EOS 77D feels like a bit of a stepping stone between the 800D and 80D. As such, it has the top-panel info LCD, dual control dials (front and back) and AF-On button featured in the 800D, but packed into a more compact shell that slashes nearly 200g off the weight. It’s more similar in size to the 800D and has the same battery life of 600 shots, compared with the 960 shots of the 80D. It’s ‘slower’ than the 80D as well, with a maximum shutter speed and drive rate of 1/4000th and 6fps respectively. Up-market features like a Dual Pixel AF image sensor, vari-angle touchscreen, 45-point autofocus system and 5-axis sensor-shift stabilizer for movies are all present and well-implemented. It’s well connected too, with built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. Overall, the 77D is a good enthusiast-grade travel camera, and is great for day-to-day shooting, maximizing creative sophistication but minimizing size and weight.

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5. Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D

Simple to use but it puts clever tricks on the menu

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: 6fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate

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45-point autofocus module
Fully articulated touchscreen
Relatively complex for a ‘beginners’ DLSR 
A bit pricey for a first camera

The Canon EOS 800D is the most up-market Canon DSLR in the beginners’ sector. It’s physically larger and heavier than the 200D, and feels better balanced with bigger lenses, like the optional 18-135mm IS STM kit zoom. A wide variety of shooting modes and image processing options are on hand, including Food, Kids, Candlelight and HDR (High Dynamic Range). A high-spec 45-point autofocus system offers excellent accuracy for regular stills shooting, and the 6fps continuous drive rate is twice that of the 4000D and 2000D cameras, making the 800D a better beginner’s camera for action, sports and wildlife photography. The Dual Pixel AF image sensor maintains relatively fast and effective autofocus in Live View and movie capture, the latter also benefitting from sensor-shift image stabilization. Although it’s the most advanced of Canon’s entry-level cameras, with a raft of custom functions for tailoring shooting parameters to your requirements, it’s still well suited to complete beginners, featuring Canon’s latest interactive ‘guided’ menu system option.

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6. Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D

A go-everywhere camera, it’s Canon’s smallest DSLR and it's great for travel

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

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Very small and lightweight for a DSLR
Fully articulated touchscreen 
Only 9 AF points
Optional 18-135mm kit is comparatively large

The Canon EOS 200D is the perfect beginner’s DSLR if you’re after a travel camera, or just want a simple, stylish camera that you can slip into your bag for everyday shooting. The 200D is the most compact and lightweight DSLR in Canon’s line-up. Even so, it shoehorns some smart specs and features into its diminutive casing, with a 24.2MP Dual Pixel AF image sensor and high-resolution vari-angle touchscreen. There’s a simplified shooting mode dial that nevertheless gives access to plentiful scene modes, along with Creative Auto and more advanced shooting modes, helping the camera to grow with you as you learn new skills and techniques. As with all current Canon DSLRs, the Quick menu enables intuitive shooting adjustments. The maximum drive rate of 5fps is a little slower than in the 800D and the autofocus system is relatively basic, with only nine AF points. Overall, the camera isn’t so well suited to sports and wildlife photography, but it’s a great travelling companion.

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7. Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D

Simple but effective with a budget price tag

Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.1MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3.0in fixed, 920,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentamirror | Max burst speed: 3fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner

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Bigger better screen than the 4000D
24.1MP image sensor
Old-style kit lens
3fps maximum drive rate

The Canon EOS 2000D is a beginner’s camera through and through, but it’s nevertheless a step up from the more basic 4000D, below. Improvements include a 24.1MP rather than 18MP image sensor, and a bigger 3-inch LCD screen that’s much more detailed, with four times as many dots. There’s also a dioptre adjustment for the viewfinder and an optical stabilizer in the kit lens. Even so, it’s a fairly old version of Canon’s 18-55mm zoom with a noisy electric motor rather than the virtually silent STM (Stepping Motor) system of other recent editions. Similarities between the two cameras include a 9-point autofocus module, 3fps continuous drive rate, and the same range of shooting modes and scene modes. Both cameras have Wi-Fi built-in, but the 2000D also adds NFC. Overall, it’s a better basic camera for beginners than the 4000D, and well worth the extra outlay.

8. Canon EOS Rebel T100 / EOS 4000D

Canon’s most affordable DSLR drives down the cost of photography

Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 18MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 2.7in fixed, 230,000 dots | Viewfinder: Pentamirror | Max burst speed: 3fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner

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Helpful ‘Guided’ menu system
Simple to use, inexpensive to buy
Kit lens lacks image stabilization
Viewfinder has no dioptre adjustment

Built for affordability, the EOS 4000D is Canon’s most inexpensive DSLR but it still covers all the basics for beginners. There’s an ‘intelligent’ fully automatic shooting mode and a menu system with a helpful interactive feature guide. Canon’s excellent ‘Quick’ menu is also available for making easy shooting adjustments via the rear screen. Scene modes include the usual Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Food and Night Portrait, and there’s also a ‘Creative Auto’ mode, to help bridge the gap between scene modes and more advanced shooting options like shutter-priority and aperture-priority modes. The overall build is basic, however, with a relatively small, low-res LCD screen and no dioptre adjustment for the viewfinder. The kit lens is lacklustre as well, with a noisy autofocus motor and no image stabilization. Ultimately, it’s a capable and cost-effective camera for beginners, but the EOS 2000D is a better buy if you can stretch your budget.

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