The best Canon camera in 2019: our top ten choices, from PowerShot to EOS

Best Canon camera

Choosing the best Canon camera can seem like a daunting task when there are so many different types, and at so many different prices! So we're here to help you out, picking what we think are the best Canon cameras you can buy right now and why. (You might also want to check out our guide to the best camera deals right now, too.)

Canon is probably best known for its DSLR cameras, which cover the full range from entry-level models for beginners right up to full-on professional cameras for sports, fashion and press photographers. But it's also embraced the mirrorless revolution, starting with its enthusiast-orientated EOS M models, but launching into the big time in 2018 with its brand new EOS R full frame mirrorless camera, now joined by the much cheaper EOS RP.

Read more: The best Canon camera lenses

Both of these are in the first section of our list devoted to the best Canon DSLR and mirrorless cameras. We cover all the price points, from beginner, through enthusiast, up to pro.

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 than even the best DSLR or best mirrorless camera, either because it's smaller, cheaper or designed to do a specific job.

So we've picked out our top three best compact cameras from Canon too, including the top model for experts, our favourite Canon bridge camera and the best cheap Canon point and shoot camera for families.

Ready to find out which is the best Canon camera for you? Let's go!

Best Canon DSLR and mirrorless cameras

There are three great things about DSLR and mirrorless cameras for anyone keen on photography. First, they have larger sensors than compact and point and shoot cameras to deliver much better image quality. Second, they take interchangeable lenses, so you can tackle a much wider range of subjects. Third, they have many more controls to allow more advanced and experimental photography techniques.

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1. Canon EOS 80D

It's the perfect all-rounder, 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

Great features and handling
Fully articulated touchscreen
Full HD video not 4K
Prices staying high

If you're choosing a camera to that can take your photography to the next level, 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, as one of the best DSLRs for enthusiasts. 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 you're an enthusiast and can splash a bit more cash, the EOS 6D II (below) will give you a full-frame sensor, but the EOS 80D gives you an all-round balance performance, value and features that puts it out on its own.

Read more: Canon EOS 80D review

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2. Canon Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D

Canon’s smallest DSLR is great for beginners but has hidden depths too

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

Fully articulated touchscreen
24.2MP Dual Pixel AF sensor
New EOS 250D is better for video
Basic 9-point viewfinder AF

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. If you want 4K video, though, watch out for the new Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D.

Read more: Canon Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D review

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3. Canon EOS M50

The mirrorless EOS M50 is smaller and lighter than any EOS DSLR

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

Vari-angle touchscreen
Built-in electronic viewfinder
Limited lens range
4K video limitations

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. It's just a shame the 4K video mode can't be used with Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system (regular full HD doesn't have this restriction).

Read more: Canon EOS M50 review

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4. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

DSLR fans 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

Fully articulated touchscreen
Novice-friendly but powerful too
Full HD video not 4K
Bulkier than the EOS RP

The EOS 6D II is Canon's cheapest full frame DSLR, but it's far from basic. 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

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5. Canon EOS RP

Canon's cheapest full frame camera is small, versatile and rather good

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 26.2MP | Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36 million dots | Max video resolution: 4K UHD | User level: Enthusiast

Size, weight and low cost
Fully articulating screen
1.6x crop and no Dual Pixel AF in 4K
Weak battery life

The EOS RP is Canon's second full frame mirrorless camera, and it's smaller, lighter and a lot cheaper than the first, the EOS R. It's designed to be a compact, affordable and easy to use entry point into Canon's full frame mirrorless system, and it succeeds brilliantly. Its small dimensions mean it can sometimes feel overbalanced by larger lenses, though, and the 4K video mode comes with some caveats – the image frame is cropped by a factor of 1.6 and you can't use Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system unless you drop the resolution to full HD. On the upside, the pictures are clear and sharp, the vari-angle touchscreen display is a real advantage in both stills and video, and the inclusion of an EF lens adaptor means you can use existing Canon DSLR lenses alongside the new but growing RF lens system. What a great camera!

Read more: Canon EOS RP review

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6. Canon EOS R

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

Great in low light
Dual Pixel AF
No in-body image stabilisation
Single card slot

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

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7. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon's best all-round DSLR for pros, with features, performance and price

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

Great 61-point AF system
30.4MP sensor
Burst speed an average 7fps
Big crop factor for 4K video

Lots of people are joining in the DSLR vs mirrorless debate saying that mirrorless cameras (like the EOS R above) 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 one of the best cameras for professionals 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.

Read more: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 6D Mark II: Specs compared

Canon compact cameras

DSLR and mirrorless cameras are great, but sometimes you need something smaller, cheaper or just a bit simpler to use. These are our top three Canon compact cameras right now, aimed at three very different kinds of photographer.

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8. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

Canon's top PowerShot model offers DSLR quality in a pocket-sized camera

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

APS-C sensor and image quality
Pocket-sized, weather-sealed body
200-shot battery life
Modest zoom range

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

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9. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

A 65x zoom range covers everything from wideangle to supertelephoto

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

Huge zoom range
Vari-angle screen
Only 5.7fps with servo AF
Small 1/2.3-inch sensor

The best 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.

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10. Canon Ixus 185 HS

A cheap point and shoot family camera with a 20MP sensor and 8x 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

Very easy to use
Slender body
Small, low-resolution rear screen
Average image quality

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 (and cheap!) little camera you can slip in a pocket and which the whole family can use. 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

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