While Canon produces a wide range of imaging products, from printers to MRI machines, it's probably best known for its popular selection of cameras and lenses. Canon's long history of producing high-quality lenses and cameras has made it a favorite among professional photographers and enthusiasts. It also offers a range of more accessible and affordable cameras for users of all experience levels. In general, Canon cameras have great ergonomics, intuitive controls and menus, and class-leading autofocus systems, along with a wide selection of lenses that cater to photographers of all kinds.
We've bought and tested over 15 Canon cameras, and below you'll find our top picks for users of different skill levels and budgets from among the brand's many offerings.
The Canon EOS R6 isn't just the best Canon camera we've tested—it's also one of the best enthusiast cameras you can get. Now superseded by the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, this full-frame mirrorless model sits just below the pro-grade Canon EOS R5 and makes for a highly versatile hybrid camera. It has plenty of high-end features, including a weather-sealed body, in-body image stabilization, and advanced video specs like internal 10-bit recording and 4k at 60 fps.
If that wasn't enough, top-notch autofocusing and a blazing-fast 20 fps burst rate (or 12 fps with the mechanical shutter) make this one of the best Canon cameras for photography if you like to shoot faster subjects like sports and wildlife. It does have a few drawbacks for videographers that competitors like the Sony α7 IV have done away with, including a 30-minute recording time limit and a tendency to overheat during longer sessions. Despite these quibbles, it's still one of the best hybrid cameras you can get from Canon's lineup.
If the Canon EOS R6 is out of your price range, a mid-range APS-C option like the Canon EOS 90D is a great choice. This crop-sensor enthusiast model sits in the middle of Canon's DSLR lineup, with a more robust construction, more physical controls, and a wider array of features than entry-level models like the Canon EOS Rebel T8i. It's also cheaper and slightly more portable than full-frame alternatives like the Canon EOS 6D Mark II.
Because it's a DSLR, it's a bit heavier and bulkier than the mirrorless R6 and uses an optical viewfinder instead of an electronic one. The big upside of going with a DSLR is battery life, so you'll get much longer use out of this camera on a full charge than you would with a mirrorless model. Its smaller APS-C sensor does mean a trade-off in low light capability, but it can still capture very high-quality images. Plus, there's an excellent lens selection for Canon's EF/EF-S mount, meaning you can always upgrade to better lenses to get better results. Ultimately, there's a lot to love about this camera, and it's one of the best Canon cameras for photography as far as mid-range options go.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is one of the best budget models in Canon's entire lineup. This international bestseller is especially popular among those just getting started with photography or content creation. Like the Canon EOS 90D, it uses an APS-C sensor, which offers a good balance of image quality and portability. It's remarkably small and lightweight, making it easy to take on the go, and because it's a mirrorless camera, you can see exposure adjustments in real-time through the EVF, making it one of the best Canon cameras for beginners.
This isn't the best Canon camera for video, as it can only record 4k with a severe crop, affecting everything from autofocus performance to video quality. So, if you are interested in video or vlogging, you're better off sticking to 1080p with this camera. Lens options are also more limited for Canon's EF-M mount. Despite its shortcomings, this is still a great choice if you're after simplicity and portability at a price that won't break the bank.
While mirrorless cameras are all the rage, Canon still has some fantastic DSLRs, including the full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. The 5D series has long been a favorite among professional photographers, and for good reason. Built like a tank, this camera can withstand heavy use day in and day out, and it's got a battery life to match for long days of shooting. Canon's ergonomics are also on display here, with a roomy grip and plenty of physical controls that you can customize to your preference.
Like the Canon EOS 90D, there are a ton of excellent lenses available for the 5D Mark IV, and the camera's sensor shines. At 30.4 megapixels, you have plenty of leeway to crop and edit your photos, and it's got excellent dynamic range and noise handling for low-light situations. While you should look elsewhere if you want something lightweight and portable, this is an incredibly capable DSLR that'll take stunning photos for years to come. And if the price tag is a little steep, you can step down to the Canon EOS 6D Mark II or else find a deal on older models in the 5D series, which still provide sturdy builds and pro-level image quality.
Point-and-shoots can be a great tool for photographers looking for a more portable camera for everyday street or travel photography, especially if your smartphone camera isn't up to par. Thankfully, Canon has plenty of point-and-shoot options, and the best we've tested is the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II. It has a slightly larger grip than most compact cameras, making it comfortable to hold despite its pocketable size, and it even includes a pop-up EVF, which is a great addition for sunny days when it's harder to see the screen.
The built-in lens is quite good, with a 24–120mm equivalent focal length that gives you a bit of zoom range for more flexible framing. There is a trade-off in battery life, so you won't get the same mileage as you would with any of the interchangeable-lens options above, but that's typical for a compact camera. Vloggers looking for a portable walk-around camera can also consider the G5 X's more vlog-friendly sibling, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, which has a built-in livestreaming feature but lacks a viewfinder. Overall, the G5 X II is a great choice for those who want a premium compact camera for travel or street photography.
Canon and Nikon have long been rivals, going back to the days of film. But Canon's head start in mirrorless gives the brand an edge when it comes to selection—you're more likely to find a Canon camera that suits your needs because they simply have more cameras on offer in a wider range of budgets. High-end Canons have also brought autofocus technology to a point of near-perfection. On the other hand, Nikon's S-Line of premium lenses for its mirrorless cameras is some of the best glass around.
Sony is right behind Canon in terms of global market share, and both brands offer plenty of excellent cameras at a range of prices. Both have also pushed the boundaries of what camera autofocus is capable of. Canon cameras generally have superior ergonomics, though handling is highly subjective, while Sony's E-mount has a wider lens selection, with more compatible third-party lens options.
Canon makes cameras that cater to photographers of almost every experience level but share some common features across the board. They're often comfortable to shoot with and easy to use, with intuitive menu systems and ergonomic handgrips and control layouts, and many feature fully articulated touchscreens. Impressive image quality is almost a guarantee with any modern camera, but Canon's warm color science is often prized, and its Dual Pixel autofocus system has become one of the best on the market. That said, the brand still has some catching up to do when it comes to advanced video features, particularly battery life and heat management, as well as capped recording time limits.
Canon has a varied selection of model lineups to suit different users and their needs.
Feb 02, 2023: Added specific brand comparisons to article.
Jan 06, 2023: Verified that picks are still relevant and represent the best choice for users.
Dec 08, 2022: Added the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV as the 'Best Canon DSLR Camera'.
Nov 11, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy and rewrote conclusion for readability.
Oct 13, 2022: Renamed picks to better reflect market conditions and rewrote text for simplicity and clarity.
Canon cameras are often well-built, with good handling and impressive image quality. Canon's newer mirrorless offerings also have some of the best autofocus on the market. That said, Canon sometimes makes curious choices for video features, with caps on recording time and the occasional issue with heat management. Overall, though, Canon is a staple in the camera market that has proven capable of adapting to ever-evolving consumer demands, with plenty of cameras to suit every budget and experience level.