We've tested over 15 Canon cameras. While Canon manufactures a wide range of imaging products, from printers to MRI machines, it's perhaps best known for its popular selection of cameras and lenses. Canon's long history of producing high-quality lenses and cameras makes it a trusted favorite among professional photographers and enthusiasts. It also offers a range of more accessible and affordable cameras for beginners. In general, Canon cameras offer great ergonomics, easy-to-use menu systems, and very good image quality, along with a wide selection of lenses that cater to all kinds of photography.
The best mirrorless camera we've tested from Canon is the Canon EOS R6. It's one of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras we've tested, thanks to a robust set of features and a well-constructed ergonomic design. The camera feels incredibly comfortable to shoot with and has plenty of physical controls and customizable buttons. It's also weather-sealed to protect against moisture and dust. The fully articulated screen is great for recording videos or shooting from unconventional angles. It has a large, high-resolution OLED EVF for those who prefer to shoot through a viewfinder. Image quality is fantastic, and the camera's 20.1-megapixel sensor performs very well in low light, producing images with minimal noise even at higher ISO settings. It also features in-body image stabilization for handheld shooting, and its autofocus system is excellent at tracking and keeping moving subjects in focus.
On top of being one of the best Canon cameras for photography, it's also a very capable video camera. It records 1080p and oversampled 4k video at up to 60 fps and delivers high-quality video, which looks good even in low light. Its autofocus performs consistently in either resolution. It can also record 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally, and it supports C-Log recording for those who want to do more in-depth color grading when editing their videos. That said, shooting in 4k incurs a slight 1.07x crop. Its battery life also isn't the greatest, and it can sometimes suffer from overheating issues when recording continuously for longer periods at its highest quality settings. Still, if you're looking for a well-rounded camera for stills and video work with effective autofocus and a highly intuitive design, this is a great choice and one of the best cameras we've tested.
The best Canon DSLR that we've tested is the Canon EOS 90D. This enthusiast-oriented crop-sensor DSLR 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 while being cheaper and slightly more portable than full-frame alternatives like the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. It feels very comfortable to use and has a weather-sealed construction, allowing you to shoot in adverse weather conditions without having to worry too much about damaging the camera. Its 32.5 MP sensor helps deliver very good JPEG image quality out-of-the-box, with an impressively wide dynamic range and great noise handling capability at higher ISO levels. Its autofocus system also does a good job tracking moving subjects in still photography and performs exceptionally well when shooting FHD and 4k video. It's also a solid option for video work, as it can capture sharp, uncropped 4k video at up to 30 fps or FHD video at a maximum frame rate of 60 fps. There's a full complement of inputs for different video accessories, like microphone and headphone jacks, a micro-USB port, and a Mini HDMI port, not to mention Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to pair the camera with your smartphone. Its LP-E6N battery pack should also provide ample battery life for a long day of shooting.
Unfortunately, unlike some contemporary mirrorless alternatives, it doesn't support USB charging while in use. It's also worth noting that image sharpness can degrade at higher ISO levels, so you might still be better served by a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV if you plan to do a lot of nighttime shoots. It also doesn't have an in-body stabilization feature, making it harder to snap clearer stills when shooting handheld, especially when you aren't using optically-stabilized lenses. In addition, while it's easier to carry around compared to most full-frame DSLRs, you might still want to consider a mirrorless model if you consider portability to be a significant concern. Still, this camera's wide array of features, comfortable ergonomics, and fast, accurate autofocus system make it a great option for those looking for a DSLR that can handle many different uses.
The best Canon camera for beginners we've tested is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. This compact camera's mirrorless design makes it a good choice if you're used to taking pictures with a smartphone, as its electronic viewfinder allows you to preview the impact of your exposure settings before you start shooting. Its menu system is highly intuitive and has a built-in guide mode to help explain the function of some core features. Its fully-articulated touchscreen lets you easily compose shots from unconventional angles or monitor yourself when shooting selfies or vlogging. Despite its small size, it's comfortable to shoot with, though you might find its controls to be a little too closely spaced if you have large fingers. Its 24.1 MP APS-C sensor yields impressive JPEG quality out-of-the-box, with a fairly low amount of noise when shooting at higher ISO levels, which is useful when shooting in dimmer environments, though it's worth noting that image sharpness does degrade at higher ISO levels. Its autofocus system is effective in tracking moving subjects in still photography and performs remarkably well when shooting FHD video.
Unfortunately, while this camera can shoot 4k video, it isn't a great fit for shooting in that resolution, as it's limited to recording at 24 fps with a severe 1.5x crop. Its autofocus tracking performance also degrades when shooting 4k video, and its slow sensor readout speed results in a significant degree of rolling shutter effect, distorting subjects when panning from side to side. There isn't any in-body stabilization system, making it a little harder to snap clear images at slower shutter speeds when shooting without a tripod. The LP-E12 battery pack also doesn't provide a very long runtime and can't be charged while the camera is in use via its USB port, so it might be a good idea to carry around an extra battery for long days on the go. If you're looking for a similarly-performing camera that's even smaller and cheaper, consider the Canon EOS M200, though it doesn't have a built-in viewfinder and lacks a handgrip, so it isn't as comfortable to use.
The best Canon camera that we've tested with a compact fixed-lens design is the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II. It's a good choice for photographers looking for a more portable camera for everyday street or travel photography. It has a slightly larger handgrip than most compact point-and-shoot cameras, making it very comfortable to hold despite its pocketable size, and unlike some other compacts, it has a pop-up EVF. While the EVF is small, it's a helpful addition for those who prefer to shoot through a viewfinder. The camera has an intuitive and easy-to-navigate menu system, and its screen can tilt and flip up for selfies or vlogs. It delivers very good image quality, with outstanding dynamic range to bring out a wider array of detail. However, it's not as well-suited to shooting in dimly-lit conditions due to its smaller sensor and middling noise handling capability, although its built-in lens does have an f/1.8-2.8 max aperture that lets in a good amount of light. Its autofocus is a bit sluggish at tracking moving objects, but it's passable overall.
Unfortunately, this camera has a poor battery life that's only advertised to last for approximately 230 photos, although this is typical of most point-and-shoot cameras. Battery performance can also vary with settings and usage habits. It can also struggle with overheating issues, particularly when recording high-quality video continuously. This camera supports USB charging, but only with a power delivery charger, which is a bit inconvenient. It also doesn't have as many video features as the more vlogger-oriented Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III. If you can live without a microphone jack or built-in livestreaming feature, the G5 X II is a great all-around compact with a fast lens and comfortable design.
Canon manufactures cameras that cater to photographers of almost every experience level. However, regardless of their intended user, most Canon cameras share a set of commonalities. They're often comfortable and easy to use, with intuitive menu systems and ergonomic control layouts, and many feature fully articulated touchscreens. Most of Canon's cameras offer impressive image quality, and their autofocus systems tend to be quick and accurate when tracking moving subjects in both photography and video. That said, while pricier Canon models offer excellent overall video autofocus performance, cheaper models can struggle to maintain focus on moving subjects, especially when shooting in 4k. Also, the battery performance of most of its mirrorless offerings can be unimpressive.
Canon has a varied selection of model lineups to suit different users and their needs.
Feb 23, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Jan 19, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy and clarity with no change to recommendations.
Dec 23, 2021: Ensured that picks were still accurate and represent the best choice for their given categories.
Dec 03, 2021: Checked picks for accuracy and availability; no change to recommendations.
Nov 05, 2021: Replaced the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III with the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II and renamed it 'Best Canon Point-And-Shoot Camera'.
Canon cameras are often comfortable and simple to use, offer impressive overall image quality, and have effective autofocus systems, especially for photography. That said, the battery performance of most of its mirrorless offerings can be unimpressive. In addition, while its pricier models offer excellent overall video autofocus performance, its cheaper models can struggle to maintain focus on moving subjects when shooting in 4k.