Canon is one of the most popular camera producers in the world. They are beloved by hobbyists and professionals alike. If you are looking for a high quality Canon camera at a price that won’t break the bank you are in the right place.
Check the quick list for links to customer reviews and prices for the top rated picks or read on for the full review
- Canon PowerShot SX620
- Canon PowerShot G7 X II
- Canon EOS 2000D
- CANON EOS REBEL SL3
- Canon EOS M100
- Canon EOS M6
- Canon EOS 7D
- Canon EOS 5D
[The Main Museum is supported by readers like you. Some product links on TheMainMuseum.org are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money at no additional cost to you.]
Best Compact Camera
If you have been using a smartphone for all of your photography you probably have found it limiting what you can achieve. Stepping up to a mid to top level compact camera will give you a ton of amazing tools to take your photography to the next level. You will have a better optical zoom, more control, and better shots in low light conditions.
The SX620 is just about the same size as a smartphone making it easy to pack and take on the go. It is an excellent everyday shooter with plenty of features to help you improve your picture quality. You will get an impressive 25x zoom making it easy to capture those far off shots. The telephoto performance is equal to that of a 625mm lens which is plenty for almost all photographers. At 21 megapixels and a 1/2.3″ sensor this camera produces great image quality. Keep in mind that the more you zoom the less sharpness you get. This camera is not the best for low light shooting but it is better than a smartphone. It comes Wi-Fi enabled so you can easily upload images directly to the web. If you want to shoot video this camera can capture vids in 1080p. The autofocus on this model is accurate and quick which is great for beginners. It produces great color and contrast making this a great entry level compact camera.
If you are looking to step up in features and function the G7 will not disappoint. There are more recent versions of this camera out but when it comes to the bang for your buck, this is my favorite in the line. You will get the benefit of shooting manual and RAW which are very important if you are looking to improve as a photographer (check the beginner guide to photography for more info). The build quality is great and it is quite lightweight making it easy to travel with. This compact camera offers an exceptional lens. It has an aperture range from f/1.8 to f/2.8. You also get a 4.2x zoom which is a range of 24mm to 100mm. If you want to take video this model has you covered with 1080p video capture at 60fps. If you want to go with autofocus mode you will be happy to find it quick and accurate. On top of all that, with an SD card you can shoot in RAW mode and capture 8 files every second. This is a very solid compact camera and is a huge increase in performance over a smartphone.
Best Beginner DSLR
While compact cameras are a great way to get into photography in with a relatively cheap price of entry, if you are willing to pay just a bit more you can get a great performing DSLR. These types of cameras have improved image quality thanks to the APS-C sized sensor. You also have the ability to change out lenses and fit your lens for your shooting environment. A DSLR is a great style to get for hobbyists and even for those who think they may want to keep developing their photography skills in the future.
The EOS T7 is not Canon’s cheapest DSLR but for a minimal jump in price you get a significant boost in features and performance. For that reason I do not recommend the 4000D since most will outgrow it rather quickly. The T7 on the other hand, is an excellent entry point into the world of shooting with a DSLR. With a 24 megapixel sensor you will get great image quality. The processor in this camera is not the most modern but it is serviceable especially at this price. The autofocus is not the fastest but it is good enough to not hold you back. The camera is also well built and feels pretty good when shooting in hand. The controls are fairly straight forward and the buttons are well positioned for controlling while shooting. You also can shoot video in 1080p. Overall this is a great starter DSLR that comes in at a fairly cheap price.
This is Canon’s smallest DSLR and it is great for people with smaller hands or those who want to take their camera with them on adventures. It is constructed of high grade plastic making it lightweight yet still durable. This camera feels great when shooting in hand and you can shoot for extended periods of time without getting fatigued. With 24mp and a modern DIGIC 8 processor you can achieve exceptional image quality. Even though it is lightweight I find it handles lenses well. Even with a larger lens this camera feels well balanced. Like the model before, the autofocus is not very fast but it still gets the job done. It performs much faster when shooting with the live view mode or for video as this model is equipped with Canon’s Dual Pixel system. Add in contrast detection and phase detection and this camera is great at tracking your subjects. The controls are easy to learn and well designed and I really like the flip out touchscreen. This model also has WiFi built in and is a great overall camera.
Best Inexpensive Mirrorless Camera
Mirrorless cameras have been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years thanks to their streamlined design and great performance. While not as cheap as the styles above, there are some inexpensive models that are well worth getting if they are in your price range. These cameras do not require a mirror to reflect light to the sensor and instead the light goes straight to the sensor. They can produce exceptional image quality while be significantly smaller and lighter weight than DSLR models.
Canon’s M100 is their entry level mirrorless camera that allows you to change out lenses. It is a great performing model that is chock full of great features. It most comparable to the EOS 250D in performance while being much lighter and more streamlined. Think of it as a DSLR in function with the size of a compact camera. You can buy this model with just the camera body or in a kit that comes with some common lens models. Whichever way you go this is an excellent value camera. It provides you with a great autofocus with the Canon Dual Pixel system. It is fast and accurate. You can shoot video in 1080p with up to 60fps. This camera is well suited for street photography or as an all around shooter. For the performance and style there are not many better deals on the market.
Canon first entered the mirrorless camera market with the M6 and even though it has been around for a few years it is still an exceptional option and value. This camera best compares to the Canon EOS 80D in performance but it comes in a much more compact size thanks to the mirrorless design. It comes with the excellent Dual Pixel autofocus system and it is capable of capturing 1080p video at 60fps. One of my favorite features is the three inch articulating touchscreen. It also has a great grip design making it a great camera for shooting in hand. The controls are well designed and easy to manipulate while shooting. With a fast SD card this model can handle shooting in burst mode with a full RAW resolution. This is a great mirrorless option if you want to take a step up in performance from the above M100.
Best Entry to Professional Cameras
If you aspire to be a professional photographer, or even just to produce the best images possible, on a tighter budget there are a couple options available to you that out perform the cheaper models above. While these cameras do come with a higher price tag, they do offer a significant jump in performance and may be a good choice if within your budget.
The Canon 7D is a very popular semi professional camera beloved for it’s performance and versatility. It was first released in 2009 and it remains popular today thanks to it’s low noise, high resolution image sensor and excellent autofocus power and shooting burst rate. The 7D is built to last with a high grade plastic and magnesium body that is fully weather protected. It makes a great camera for taking out in the field or shooting portraits indoors. The controls are simple and well designed making it easy to adjust your settings while shooting. It has a great grip and it feels good shooing this camera in hand or on a tripod. The settings are displayed on the top of the camera via an easy to read LCD screen and the view screen on the back offers a great view of your shots. One of the best improvements over the above picks is the 19 point autofocus that is very fast and accurate making it much easier to frame your photographs. The autofocus works well even when shooting in burst mode which you will not find in the models above. This camera is versatile enough for most any shooting conditions but particularly excels as a budget sports camera or nature model.
The EOS 5D has been around since 2005 and it has garnered a loyal following ever since. It is a great entry level full frame camera that comes in at a great price for the performance you will enjoy. This model is truly charming and a joy to shoot with. It is reminiscent of shooting with a 35mm film camera. The build quality is excellent and it boasts a very durable all metal body with an excellent grip making it excellent or shooting in hand. The autofocus isn’t as fast as the above model but it is very accurate. This particular full frame model is largely popular with portrait photographers and the sensor system works well even in outdoor lighting. This model offers a lower resolution than other models which allows you to use CF cards. While it does not have all the bells and whistles as the above model, the 5D is a legitimate bargain at today’s prices.