Best Canon Camera in 2021

canon-camera-guide

This guide will help you choose the best Canon camera for your photography in 2021.

From compact point-and-shoots to reliable DSLRs and the latest EOS R mirrorless cameras, we’ve chosen the best bang-for-your-buck models currently available.

We’ve got recommendations for beginners through to professional photographers, no matter your budget.

Canon EOS R6
Canon EOS R6

Stunning image quality, exceptional low-light performance and super-fast continuous shooting make the R6 the best bang for your buck Canon this year.

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(We’ll also discuss the differences between full-frame vs. APS-C sensor Canon cameras and why it’s important.)

Investing in a Canon camera opens the doors to the wonderful world of Canon EF lenses – the envy of every other brand!

So let’s have a closer look at which Canon camera is right for you.

Best Canon Cameras in 2021

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imageCanon EOS R6OUR #1 CHOICE
  • Fast, Precise Autofocus
  • Capture High-speed Action
  • Advanced Image Processor
  • Full-frame CMOS Sensor
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS R5HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  • Wireless Capabilities
  • Robust & Reliable
  • 45 Megapixel CMOS Sensor
  • Fast, Precise Autofocus
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS RPBEST VALUE MIRRORLESS
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Compact & Leightweight
  • Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • Easy-to-use Features
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS M50 Mark IIBEST MIRRORLESS FOR BEGINNERS
  • Clean HDMI Output
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Clear Autofocus
  • Vari-angle Touchscreen
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shk2-table__imageCanon 5D Mark IVBEST DSLR FOR PROS
  • Phenomenal Performance
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Continuous Shooting
  • Stellar Image Quality
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shk2-table__imageCanon 6D Mark IIBEST VALUE FULL FRAME DSLR
  • Dust & Water-resistant
  • 4K Time-lapse Video
  • Continuous Shooting
  • Outstanding Image Quality
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS 90DBEST VALUE APS-C DSLR
  • High-speed Continuous Shooting
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Multi-controller Customization
  • 45-point All Cross-type AF System
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS Rebel SL3BEST DSLR FOR BEGINNERS
  • 9-Point AF System
  • Ultra-light
  • Excellent for Beginners
  • Compact
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shk2-table__imageCanon PowerShot G7 X Mark IIIBEST COMPACT
  • Versatile
  • Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Live streaming to YouTube
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shk2-table__imageCanon IXUS 185 HSBEST BUDGET COMPACT
  • Easy-to-use
  • 8x Optical Zoom Lens
  • Great Price
  • Light & Compact
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Best Canon Mirrorless Cameras

While they were a little late to the game, Canon has clarified its intentions to develop state-of-the-art mirrorless tech.

So what are the best Canon cameras in the mirrorless market?

The Canon EOS R mirrorless camera range continues to grow, with each model boasting the latest in digital and optical technology.

What’s more, the range of Canon RF lenses has grown rapidly to provide lens options for every known genre.

Mirrorless cameras are the future of camera technology and bring into question the longevity of DSLRs. Regardless of your photographic experience, there’s a Canon mirrorless camera to suit every budget and profession.

Now that Canon has ironed out the kinks in the R series, it’s the right time to invest in Canon mirrorless cameras and lenses.

1. Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6

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Pros
  • 20MP full-frame CMOS image sensor
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 at 4K 60p video recording
  • Exceptional low light performance
  • 5-axis image stabilisation
  • 12 fps with mechanical and 20fps with electronic shutter
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Dual card slots (both SD)
Cons
  • Heavy for a mirrorless camera at 680g
  • 4K video mode is cropped at 1.07x

Competing with other manufacturers, the Canon EOS R mirrorless camera lineup is quickly expanding.

Of the existing lineup, the Canon EOS R6 is our number one pick and the best bang for your buck full-frame mirrorless camera.

(While the EOS R5 is arguably the best Canon camera spec-wise, it comes at a much higher price, making it unsuitable for most photographers.)

The Canon EOS R6 features a 20-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor for exceptional image and video quality – 20MP is a sweet spot that delivers big enough files but without the need for a powerful computer to process the images.

It features a large, bright vari-angle touchscreen and a superb electronic viewfinder delivering true-to-life optics.

Low light performance is also excellent, with an ISO sensitivity range of 100-102,400. Performance is similar to its two main rivals: the Z6II, our choice of the best Nikon camera, and the a7III, the best Sony camera.

Thanks to the lightning-fast and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus system, plus the insane continuous shooting speed of 20fps, the Canon EOS R6 is the best Canon camera for fast-moving action.

Also, the effective and easy to use face-tracking feature makes the R6 popular with portrait and wedding photographers too.

2. Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

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Pros
  • 45MP full-frame CMOS image sensor
  • Bright 5760k dot electronic viewfinder with 0.76x magnification
  • 12 fps mechanical and 20 fps electronic shutter
  • Raw 12-Bit DCI 8K at 30p
  • Weather-sealed body
  • 5-axis image stabilisation
Cons
  • Body is large and heavy at 738g
  • Poor battery life (~320 shots)
  • Overheating during 8K video recording
  • Mixed memory card slots (CF + SD)

Many consider the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III as the best Canon camera since it’s the flagship professional DSLR. While it’s an exceptional piece of kit with unparalleled performance, it’s expensive, bulky, and designed for a niche market.

That being the case, what’s the best Canon camera for professional photography in 2021?

Until the rumoured Canon R3, the number one full-frame sensor Canon EOS R mirrorless camera is the Canon EOS R5.

The Canon R5 features a staggering 45-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor capturing high-resolution still images.

When using the CFexpress card, the R5 can capture an incredible 146 full-resolution RAWs at 20 fps. If you’re recording to both card slots at once, you can expect around 104 shots before the buffer struggles to keep up.

Speaking of the cards, the need to use one SD and one CF card won’t please everyone, despite the speed gains of the CFexpress format.

For movie-makers, its ability to capture up to Raw 12-Bit DCI 8K at 30p video recording and 4K video with no crop captured the headlines. Despite recent firmware upgrades, there are still some over-heating issues when recording at 8K.

The big, bulky weather-proof body packs a huge range of useful features, unrivalled performance, and exceptional image quality – if you can afford the R5, you won’t be disappointed.

3. Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP

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Pros
  • 26MP full-frame CMOS image sensor
  • Exceptional value for money
  • USB charging and webcam functionality for desktop applications
  • Lightweight and highly portable at 485g
  • Large vari-angle touchscreen
  • Good wireless connectivity
Cons
  • No image stabilization
  • No weather sealing
  • Sub-standard 5fps continuous shooting
  • Poor battery life (~250 shots)

Hobbyists and enthusiast photographers needing an affordable full-frame mirrorless camera need to look no further than the Canon EOS RP.

While it’s the cheapest Canon full-frame EOS R mirrorless camera, it doesn’t cut corners on features, performance, or image quality.

The lightweight Canon RP features a 26-megapixel full-frame sensor capturing high-resolution image quality and 4K video.

The small dimensions of the RP make it popular as a travel camera, but any size benefit may be offset in the current selection of large RF or adapted EF lenses. – we’d recommend smaller primes.

A significant element to the cost of any camera is in-body image stabilization. To keep the overall cost down, the RP mirrorless camera doesn’t feature a stabilization system.

While it does capture 4K high res video, it comes at a 1.6x crop factor to contain the resolution at high levels. However, the buffer in both stills and video mode is excellent.

Another great feature of the Canon RP is charging via USB and connecting as a webcam. Vloggers, streamers, and those working from home can enjoy a high-quality video feed and reliable performance.

4. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

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Pros
  • 24MP cropped APS-C CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel AF
  • Excellent value for money camera
  • Well suited to beginners
  • Wide low-cost lens range
  • Compact and lightweight at 387g making it ideal for travel
Cons
  • No image stabilization
  • Poor low light performance
  • 1.6x crop factor in 4k video

If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a Canon R full-frame mirrorless camera, then the Canon EOS M50 Mark II could be the best Canon camera for you.

The M50 Mark II delivers a full shooting experience through the electronic viewfinder and vari-angle touchscreen – this makes it better than the EOS M6 Mark II, which features a fixed screen and no EVF.

With its 24MP cropped APS-C sensor, Canon has kept the costs of the M50 Mark II down to suit beginner photographers or those on a tight budget.

While the Canon RP is the cheapest full-frame sensor camera on this list, it’s still out of many people’s reach – as are many of the Canon RF lenses.

Thankfully, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II provides an entry-level price point with a range of quality lenses to match.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Autofocus System) delivers fast and accurate focus performance, offering eye tracking AF for both stills and videos.

However, the 4k/24p video is heavily cropped and Dual pixel AF can’t be used during video recording.

Overall though, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is the best Canon camera for beginners (who only require an APS-C sensor) and allows access to the exciting world of EF lenses.

Best Canon DSLR Cameras

While mirrorless cameras are the latest in digital technology, there’s still a place for Canon DSLRs.

In fact, Canon DSLR cameras are considered the most reliable in the market, making them the most popular choice for photojournalists and sports/news photographers.

Although the market is turning to mirrorless, Canon DSLRs still offer superior ergonomics, longer battery life, and big, bright optical viewfinders, making them just as relevant  in 2021.

The professional range of Canon EOS DSLR cameras is the preferred choice of many of the best photographers in the world.

The question remains: “Which Canon DSLR should I buy?”. Let’s take a closer look.

5. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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Pros
  • 30MP full-frame CMOS image sensor
  • DIGIC 6+ processor
  • Wide 61-point AF system
  • Exceptional battery life (~900 shots)
  • 4k/30p video + HDR 1080p
  • Excellent high ISO performance
  • Robust, weather-proof body
Cons
  • Large and heavy body at 890g
  • No in-body image stabilization
  • Mixed memory cards (CF + SD)
  • No flip screen

Canon has a long history of releasing professional-grade DSLR cameras that outperform many in their class.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has a huge userbase, with popularity in commercial, portrait, and wedding photography.

Among other accolades, the 5D Mark IV is considered the best Canon camera for people photography thanks to its impressive dual pixel autofocus system, with wide 61-point coverage and solid 7fps continuous shooting speed.

Despite the Canon 5D Mark IV being an older model, it still sells incredibly well to professional photographers – yet another sign of the reliability and credibility of the camera.

On top of the stunning 30-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 6+ processor, it also delivers amazing battery performance. You can shoot all day on a single battery and expect to capture over 900 shots.

High ISO performance is also top-notch – many consider it the best low light camera, especially when paired with Canon’s exotic f/1.2 prime lenses.

The 5D Mark IV was also the first full-frame sensor Canon DSLRs to feature a responsive touchscreen with excellent user interface – being able to scroll through images, zoom in with your finger and choose focus points makes shooting a lot of fun.

It’s also the first camera to feature Dual Pixel Raw, allowing for some micro-adjustments when editing – useful for only a select few.

Overall, it’s a solid camera, both in build, features and reliability. Despite its age, it’s one of the best Canon DSLRs that’s ever likely to be produced.

6. Canon 6D Mark II

Canon 6D Mark II

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Pros
  • 26MP full-frame CMOS image sensor
  • DIGIC 6+ processor
  • Impressive 1,200 shot battery life
  • 45-Point Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
  • Great value for money
  • Wi-Fi with NFC and GPS
  • Rotating screen
Cons
  • Large and heavy camera body at 765g
  • No 5-axis stabilization (only Digital Video Stabilisation)
  • Only shoots 1080 HD video at 60p

Where the Canon 5D Mark IV is the best DSLR for pro photographers, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is the best value full-frame DSLR for enthusiasts.

Offering stunning 26MP image resolution, good high ISO performance, effective Dual Pixel AF, and 1,200 shot battery performance, the 6D Mark II still a great option in 2021.

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is marginally newer than the 5D Mark IV but at around half the price!

While it lacks in-body image stabilization, the extensive Canon lens range is overflowing with stabilized options to compensate in low light conditions.

What’s more, the 6D II has fast, accurate, and reliable autofocus performance thanks to the 45-Point All-Cross type focusing system that works surprisingly well in low light.

The fully articulated touchscreen is also a nice touch, allowing you to get creating with shooting angles or attempt some vlogging.

Overall, there are plenty of great features packed into the weather-sealed, ergonomic 6D Mark II’s body, all at an attractive price point.

7. Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 90D

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Pros
  • 33MP cropped APS-C CMOS image sensor
  • Dual Pixel AF with eye detection
  • Exceptional battery life (~1,300 shots)
  • 180 degree tilting touchscreen
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Cons
  • Bulky and heavy for an APS-C camera body
  • Lacks in-body image stabilization
  • No 24p option in 4K or 1080 video
  • Limited button customization

The Canon EOS 90D is the generational leap from the popular Canon 70D – the first Canon DSLR I shot with.

Canon’s 90D is a great value mid-range APS-C DSLR camera featuring a 33MP cropped sensor to capture stunning images.

Delivering up to 1,300 shots with a single battery the 90D can keep you shooting for longer, despite its impressivev 10 fps continuous shooting speeed.

While the Canon EOS 90D is smaller and lighter than the full-frame models, it’s still a heavy and chunky camera, especially for APS-C sensor standards.

However, that additional heft provides excellent balance when paired with the vast range of Canon EF lenses – just avoid the optically-unimpressive 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

A neat feature is the ability to charge the 90D via USB, and also the ability to use it as a web camera. If you’re a vlogger, streamer, or work from home, you can use it to capture and stream high-resolution video.

The 90D feels great to hold, with excellent ergonomics and a weather-sealed body. There’s an AF joystick to select AF points, mic and headphone ports, and a useful touchscreen that rotates 180 degrees.

8. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250 D

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250 D

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Pros
  • 24MP cropped APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Compact and light
  • Great ergonomics
  • Great battery life (~1,070 shots)
  • 4K video at 25p with 120mbs bit rate in H.264 format
Cons
  • Small optical viewfinder with 0.54x magnification
  • Poor low light performance
  • No Dual Pixel AF in video

If you’re wondering what Canon camera is best for beginners, it’s hard to go past the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 – otherwise known as the EOS 250D.

The Rebel SL3 offers a lot for its modest price tag, making it great for students. It features a 24-megapixel cropped APS-C sensor to capture great stills and 4K video.

Its smaller size, weight, and 1,070 shot battery life make it ideal for travel or as an everyday carry camera, without sacrificying any ergonomics – the grip is comfortable, despite its smaller size.

While the Canon Rebel SL3 struggles a bit with low light conditions, it more than compensates in optimal lighting or with the addition of flash.

There’s also a useful ‘guide mode’ for beginners. Just make sure the viewfinder is big enough for your needs – those who wear glasses may struggle.

Best Canon Compact Cameras

If the larger Canon cameras are too big and complex for your needs, take a look at the top compact cameras of the year.

Compact cameras, otherwise known as point-and-shoot cameras, are small, lightweight, and often pocketable. They feature a fixed lens with a digital and/or optical zoom to cover most basic photography situations.

Their size, portability, and range of features make them ideal for (non-professional) family photography or capturing memories while on holiday.

9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

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Pros
  • 20MP 1-inch BSI-CMOS image sensor
  • 30fps continuous burst with mechanical shutter
  • 4K UHD video at 30p fps
  • USB charging and webcam functionality
  • Fast 24-100mm equiv. f/1.8-2.8 lens
  • Flip up LCD touchscreen
Cons
  • Low 235 shot battery life
  • LCD screen shooting only (no EVF)
  • No 24p video support

Canon’s PowerShot line-up has introduced several popular models to suit a range of genres.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is a brilliant example; however, due to its high cost for a point-and-shoot, it didn’t make it to this list of best Canon cameras. (For that price, you’re better off looking at a DSLR and interchangeable lenses.)

The G7 X Mark III, however, delivers an excellent all-in-one camera and lens system at an affordable price, which is why we have classed it as our best Canon compact camera.

The 20-megapixel 1-inch BSI-CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 8 processor captures great images and 4K UHD video at 30p fps in H.264 format.

The compact camera features a fixed 24-100mm (35mm equivalent) power zoom ideal for capturing wide landscapes, portraits, and local sports events.

The f/1.8-2.8 variable aperture does a good job in blurring backgrounds and getting the most out of low light situations.

What’s most impressive about the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is the insanely fast 30fps continuous shooting speed, meaning you’ll never miss a moment of the action.

Just consider adding a second battery to your bag, as the battery life leaves a little to be desired.

10. Canon IXUS 185 HS

Canon IXUS 185 HS

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Pros
  • 20MP 1/2.3 inch CCD image sensor
  • 8x optical zoom
  • Fast 28-224mm equivalent lens
  • 720 HD video recording at 25p
  • Ultra-lightweight and pockeatble
  • Budget pruce
Cons
  • No viewfinder
  • Poor battery life
  • Struggles in low light

The Canon IXUS range has diminished considerably with the rise of smartphone camera technology. However, the Canon IXUS 185 HS compact camera is still one underrated pocket shooter.

And when we say pocket, you can carry one in your jeans and forget it’s there! It’s our best budget point-and-shoot camera on the list.

The IXUS 185 HS features a 20-megapixel 1/2.3 inch CCD image sensor for great image results at an affordable price. While it captures video, it’s only able to record 720 HD footage at 25p.

One of the standout features of the Canon IXUS 185 HS is the versatile power zoom lens. The fast 28-224mm (35mm equivalent) lens captures sharp wide landscapes or distant wildlife, although there’s no fast aperture for blurring the background.

Overall, the IXUS is a fun little camera that will serve you well on holidays or as an everyday carry.

Final Words

Since 1937, Canon has developed ground-breaking imaging products, including film cameras, digital models, and lenses. With that history and unmatched Japanese engineering comes consumer confidence and reliability.

My first DSLR was a Canon 70D, and it taught me so much about photography and my own shooting style.

It’s hard to pick the best Canon camera from their mirrorless, DSLR, and compact range, with a model to suit every level of skill, knowledge, and expertise.

Regardless of being new to digital photography or a seasoned professional looking to upgrade, there’s a Canon camera perfect for you.

What’s your choice of best Canon camera of the year? Let us know in the comments below.

Canon EOS R6
Canon EOS R6

Stunning image quality, exceptional low-light performance and super-fast continuous shooting make the R6 the best bang for your buck Canon this year.

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Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.

I am a Melbourne based street photographer and blogger. I love to travel and make a regular trip to Japan to photograph and document its dynamic culture.