A woman holding a canon eos camera.

Best Canon Camera for Beginners in 2023

With the many advanced Canon DSLR, compact and mirrorless cameras available, choosing one suitable for beginners can be tricky. This guide will help.

This is a guide to the best Canon camera for beginners and all newcomers to photography.

I test everything from entry-level DSLR cameras to the latest mirrorless cameras and everything in between.

I’ve come to realise that a beginner Canon camera needs to have certain features to make it easy and fun to use.

Canon EOS R50
Canon EOS R50

Near perfect beginner's camera at a great price. Great image quality, autofocus and shooting speeds, plus 4k video and streaming.

I’ll explain everything in simple terms and we’ll discuss why a mirrorless camera could be better for you than a DSLR.

(Even though DSLRs are older, there are still some distinct advantages over newer mirrorless cameras.)

There are plenty of novice digital cameras that are affordable, but you need to get the right one to suit your needs.

While the best Canon cameras are usually expensive, there are also some bargains to be found if you know where to look.

Let’s take a closer look at the top models.

What is the Best Canon Camera for Beginners in 2023?

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imageCanon EOS R50 BEST VALUE
  • Vertical Movie Mode
  • 15 fps Electronic Shutter
  • Movie for Close-Up Demos Mode
  • DIGIC X Image Processor
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  • Creative Assist Mode
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with SD Card Slot
  • Silent Mode for Quiet Operation
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS Rebel SL3SMALLEST CANON DSLR
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • 9-Point AF System
  • 4K Time-Lapse Movie
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shk2-table__imageCanon EOS Rebel T8i / 850DBEST CANON DSLR
  • Vertical Video Support
  • 220,000-Pixel AE Sensor
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
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  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Eye Detect AF
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Webcam Capability
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
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  • UHD 4K and Full HD 1080 Video
  • 2.36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
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shk2-table__imageCanon PowerShot G7 X Mark IIIBEST CANON COMPACT CAMERA
  • Vertical Video Support
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • Built-In Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • 20.2MP 1" Stacked CMOS Sensor
Check AMAZON Price → Check B&H Price →


Canon EOS R50 | Best Value Canon Camera for Beginners

A Canon EOS R50 on a green back ground.

  • Smart Features
  • Touch-enabled flip-screen
  • Can connect to your mobile phone
  • Digital stabilization
  • Max 7fps in RAW before buffering
  • 120fps video has no audio

The Canon EOS R50 is one of the best-selling Canon cameras for beginners in the world, and for good reason, as it’s also one of the best budget cameras out there.

Canon designed the R50 specifically to make it as easy as possible for people who are new to photography to get great results.

It’s based around a small, compact body, with a button and menu layout that are very intuitive and easy to navigate.

The kit lens it comes with, an 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3, is not the best, but it’s still good for beginners. I’d recommend you invest in one of the best Canon lenses as it’ll make a big improverment in overal image quality.

The focal length gives you a wide enough perspective for landscapes while allowing you to zoom in for portraits and detail shots.

The body houses a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and a DIGIC X processor and can shoot high-resolution stills in 10-bit colour at up to 15fps, which is pretty fast.

The image files the Canon R50 produces have those beautiful Canon colours, which are true to life and warm, with realistic skin tones, and no need for editing out of camera.

In video mode, you can shoot 4K at up to 30fps (down-sampled from 6K), and Full-HD up to 120fps.

As with all the best Canon cameras, the R50 also has digital stabilization, so you can shoot handheld with no issues.

Autofocus works extremely well in both photo and video modes, and you can operate this by just tapping what you want in focus on the touchscreen. It also has automatic subject tracking, for animals and people.


The feature (or features) most beginners will find the most useful is the R50’s smart features.

There are three automatic modes to help you get great shots right out of camera.

With Creative Assist, you pick a colour profile, and set parameters like brightness, contrast, and saturation, to tell the camera how you want your photos to look. It’s a little like doing the post-processing at the beginning rather than the end.

Then there’s Creative Bracketing. Take one photo, and the camera produces three automatic edits of that image with, for example, different colour filters or brightness levels.

And Automatic + means that instead of taking one photo, the camera takes several at once, then blends them together to give you a final image with improved dynamic range, or clarity.

This is an excellent Canon camera for beginners to get high-quality shots in-camera, with zero technical hassle.

Canon EOS R100 | Best Canon Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

A Canon EOS R100 on a green back ground.

  • Excellent autofocus
  • Smallest, lightest Canon camera
  • User-friendly
  • Viewfinder
  • No flip-screen or touchscreen
  • 4K is cropped

This lightweight and ergonomic offering is our mirrorless pick among the best Canon cameras for beginners because it really is built for beginners.

It’s exceptionally simple to use and get to know, and that’s reflected in the layout, which has just one dial on top of the camera body for the settings.

Those are a variety of automatic settings, such as Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and full Auto mode, although there is Manual mode there if you want to take complete control.

The autofocus works particularly well and has excellent human eye tracking. That’s great for beginners as they can just focus on their composition, with no need to worry about fine-tuning the focal point as they shoot.

The EOS R100 has a 24-megapixel sensor, with a DIGIC 8 processor, and can shoot cropped 4K and Full-HD.

These capabilities mean that it’s both a body you could be comfortable learning on, but also continuing to use as you upgrade the elements that will make the most difference to your image quality: the lens.


And, with an RF Mount, you have an interchangeable lens system which means that the camera can grow with your skills. You have access to all the Canon RF lenses, plus the even bigger selection of DSLR camera EF lenses, if you get an adaptor.

Although the R100 has no flip-screen, it does have a good viewfinder. You can shoot videos through it and review your photos too.

This is another way in which the R100 helps beginners. As it’s mirrorless, the view on the rear screen and through the viewfinder is the same. And, what you see is what you get.

With a DSLR, when you look through the viewfinder, you get, for example, exposure information, but it doesn’t show you in real-time how your image will actually look in terms of exposure.

With the R100, you can learn about your camera settings and how they affect your images as you change them.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 | Smallest Canon DSLR for Beginners

A Canon EOS Rebel SL3 on a green back ground

  • Accessible and easy to use
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Very compact
  • EF mount gives you flexibility
  • Great colours
  • 5fps is not particularly fast at this price point
  • 4K video heavily cropped
  • Not weather-sealed

This is the smallest DSLR on the market. It’s extremely compact but, despite its small size, still has a really good feel to it, that DSLR feel, with a deep grip and non-slippery surfaces.

Canon has made it really simple to get started quickly with this camera. Everything is laid out in a way to make it easy to use and easy to navigate.

There’s a simplified mode dial with just six options, and a single switch to slip between photo and video modes.

Another way in which it’s easy to use is through the side-articulating touchscreen. From here you can easily change your settings and navigate the menu. And, there’s also touch-enabled autofocus.

It’s not a slouch in terms of specifications either.

You have the 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and a DIGIC 8 processor. It can shoot 5fps in Canon RAW, which is slow, but, Canon RAW gives you amazing colours.


For video lovers, there’s Full-HD at 30fps and 60fps, and 4K too at 24fps, although with a 1.6x crop.

That’s huge, although still very useful for someone getting into live streaming or YouTube videos with talking heads. The video also has Clean HDMI out, to keep the footage text and number free.

The camera’s autofocus capabilities are also impressive, especially in Live View with its 3000 points of AF (only 9 points through the viewfinder).

When shooting video, there’s seamless face, eye and object auto-tracking. Plus, the Rebel SL3 also has digital image stabilization; handy for handheld videography.

Its EF mount gives beginners access to a huge range of Canon and third-party lenses.

And, finally, when shooting you have the option to enable Creative Beginner mode.

Set, for example, brightness, contrast, or saturation levels to be applied to your images in-camera, and the Rebel SL3 will give you suggestions and guide you through setting up your perfect image style step by step.

Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D | Best Canon DSLR for Beginners

A Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D on a green back ground.

  • Robust and weather-sealed
  • Affordable
  • Dual-Pixel autofocus
  • Very user-friendly
  • Bright, punchy, well-saturated image files
  • 4K video heavily cropped, and with no autofocus
  • Kit lens is poor quality
  • No in-body image stabilization

The Canon EOS Rebel T8i (850D) is a budget starter DSLR camera with a few premium touches.

Its 24-megapixel APS-C sensor is the same one you’ll find on many of the higher-end cameras.

And, its Dual-Pixel autofocus system is among the best, if not the best, in the business.

The EOS Rebel T8i has intelligent subject and object autofocus tracking, which keeps everything in focus no matter how much you’re moving the camera around, and you can control this from the side-articulating touchscreen.


It doesn’t give you top-end image and video quality, but it will be plenty to be getting along with for beginners.

You can shoot at 7fps in full RAW and full-HD video at up to 60fps. There is 4K, but it crops by 1.7x.

As is generally the case with Canon cameras, you get great ergonomics and excellent button placement, that are a breeze for newbies to learn. Plus you can also navigate the major camera settings using the touchscreen.

One feature, microphone input, which is not usually standard at this level, is also good for beginners who want to get into content creation or run-and-gun videos.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II | Best Everyday Walkaround Canon Camera for Beginners

A Canon EOS M50 Mark II on a green back ground.

  • Good price
  • Direct YouTube streaming
  • User-friendly
  • Ergonomic design
  • Image stabilization
  • Cropping in 4K video

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is one of the best Canon cameras for beginners and one that’s particularly good for those who want to learn how to shoot video.

It’s specifically aimed at vloggers and videographers, so it contains great video features. You can shoot 4K at up to 24fps, and Full-HD at up to 60fps, which is 2x slo-mo.

The Canon M50 Mark II also has a side-articulating touchscreen which allows you to see yourself if the camera’s pointed your way and will also let you get down to those low angles without you having to lie in the dirt.

The autofocus is Canon’s Dual-Pixel system. It’s fast and reliable and has both face and eye tracking.

The M50 Mark II is also designed to take your footage straight from the camera and onto the web.

You can live-stream directly to YouTube without a computer, by just inputting the URL into the camera.

And, it has a Clean HDMI out port, which gives you a clean image (with no words or numbers on it) for your direct feed.

But how about its photo features?

It has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, the DGIC 8 processor and is capable of shooting Canon RAW files at 10fps. It also has a wide native ISO sensitivity range of 100-25600.

So, that means there’s pretty much nothing you can’t shoot.

The camera will be comfortable with fast action and shooting in bursts but also has the resolution and sensitivity to shoot in low-light situations or indoors.

The image quality and colours the camera produces are, typically of Canon, outstanding. Make sure to read our guide to the best lenses for the Canon M50 Mark II, so you can really make the most of that sensor.

Canon RAW is also a great format to shoot in and will give you the latitude and flexibility to learn about how to process photos in, for example, Photoshop or Lightroom, once you’ve taken them from the camera.

Despite the amount of pretty high-end specs the M50 Mark II contains, it still comes at an affordable price, and the design, especially for beginners, is second to none.

It has the great ergonomics and button placement that Canon are known for. Everything feels like it’s in the right place, both in terms of the functions, and how they are configured to your hand.

The touchscreen is sensitive and when shooting can also be used to control the autofocus and other settings

The menu system, too, is simple and easy to learn your way around.

Its ease of use, coupled with a host of powerful photo and video features, means the Canon M50 Mark II is a great everyday walkaround camera for beginners.

Canon EOS RP | Cheapest Full Frame Canon for Beginners

A man holding a Canon EOS RP camera.

Credit: Aunnop Suthumno

  • Great value for money
  • 14-bit RAW
  • Well-designed
  • High-resolution sensor
  • Poor 4K video quality
  • Single card slot

It’s extremely rare to find a full-frame mirrorless camera for less than a thousand dollars. But here it is, Canon’s EOS RP, a budget mirrorless that rivals some of the specs of higher-end, higher-priced cameras.

It has a 26.2-megapixel sensor, DIGIC 8 processor, and Canon’s amazing Dual-Pixel autofocus system.

It shoots 14-bit RAW files, high-quality super-sampled Full-HD at 24 and 30fps, and also 4K at 24fps.

Despite it nudging up against the higher-end cameras, it still has the user-friendliness and ease of use of the lower-range options.

And, because of its capabilities, the Canon RP is the kind of camera a beginner would take several years to grow out of, rather than maybe less than a year for a lower-end camera.

That’s good news for your skills and good news for your bank account.

As an RF mount camera, you also have the option, as you grow as a photographer, to invest in a vast range of lenses from both Canon’s RF and EF systems.

So, if you’re thinking of becoming a pro one day, and want something that will both have you immediately playing with the full-frame big boys and be a great foundation for upgrades, this is a great option.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III | Best Canon Compact Camera for Beginners

A Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III on a black table

Credit: Greg Cromie

  • User-friendly
  • Ergonomic
  • Robust feel
  • Well-designed
  • Good low-light performance
  • No Dual-Pixel autofocus
  • RAW file shooting can’t use autofocus

If you’re looking for something compact and lightweight to begin your photography journey with, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a good choice.

It’s a cutting-edge, super light, super small, point-and-shoot, that weighs only 420 grams.

It has a 20-megapixel sensor and can shoot RAW files without autofocus at an incredible 30fps, and a respectable 8fps with autofocus.

For video, you can shoot 4K at 30fps, and slow-motion Full-HD at 120fps. And the camera’s internal image stabilization makes that footage buttery-smooth.

Overall, the image quality of the Powershot is outstanding. Canon’s renowned colour science makes the colours lifelike and warm, and look great right out of the camera.

The Powershot G7 X Mark III has a rear Canon flip-screen that is touch-enabled and super-responsive. From there, you can change most of the camera’s settings without needing to fiddle around in menus.

Although, as is normally the case with Canon, those menus, when you do fiddle, are very user-friendly and well laid out, as are the buttons on the camera’s body.

It has a fixed lens, but, with focal lengths from 24-100mm, it’s an impressive range for the camera’s price. Also, although the aperture is variable, it’s fast throughout, f/1.8 to f/2.8, so you’ll get excellent low-light performance.

And, a final bonus for beginners wanting to use this camera for vlogs or other content creation, you can also live stream direct from the camera.

What Features Should Canon Cameras for Beginners Offer?

simple canon camera with hat and glasses

Compact, durable, feature-packed and easy to operate – the EOS M50 is a thoroughly enjoyable camera | Belinda Crossman

When selecting the best Canon camera for beginners, there are several key features to look out for and factors to consider:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: As a beginner, you’ll want a camera that’s easy to use and navigate. Look for a camera with a clear and intuitive menu system, easy-to-use buttons and dials, and helpful features like a built-in guide mode that can teach you about the camera settings as you use them.
  2. Sensor Size: While both full-frame and crop sensor (APS-C) cameras have their own advantages, APS-C sensor cameras are typically more affordable and lighter, making them a good choice for beginners. They’re also great for different types of photography, including landscapes and portraiture.
  3. Lens Compatibility: A camera that’s compatible with a wide range of lenses will give you more flexibility as you learn and grow as a photographer. Canon cameras offer excellent compatibility with a wide range of EF and EF-S lenses.
  4. Image Quality: Look for a camera with good image quality. This can be determined by factors like resolution (megapixels), dynamic range, color accuracy, and low-light performance. A good starting point would be a camera with at least 16 to 24 megapixels.
  5. Video Capabilities: If you’re interested in shooting video as well as photos, you’ll want a camera with good video capabilities. Look for a camera that can shoot Full HD (1080p) or 4K video.
  6. Auto Modes: For beginners, having a range of automatic modes can be very helpful. Modes like Auto, Program, and Scene can take care of settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for you, allowing you to focus on framing and capturing the moment. See also: how to change Aperture on Canon cameras.
  7. Price: Last but not least, consider your budget. As a beginner, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot on your first camera. There are plenty of affordable options that offer great features for beginners.

Should You Get a Canon Mirrorless or DSLR Camera?

canon eos 90d dslr camera

Are Canon EOS DSLR cameras still worth buying?

The old mirrorless vs DSLR debate is a tough one, but the decision is really up to you, and what your needs and preferences are.

Some people just prefer the more sturdy feel of Canon DSLRs, plus the greater range of native Canon and third-party lenses available in the EF Mount system.

Another good thing (if you see it this way) about DSLRs, is that they force you into a slightly steeper learning curve when it comes to learning about camera settings and how they affect your images.

When you shoot with a DSLR, you don’t see the effect of any changes you make to, for example, the shutter speed, aperture, or ISO, until you see the image you’ve taken.

This means you have to do more mental work to figure out which settings will change your final image when you look at a scene. You need to have more of a memory of how these settings interact.

With mirrorless cameras and their electronic viewfinders, that’s not necessary. You see the outcome of any changes you make to your settings as you make them.

Whatever you see through the viewfinder, is exactly how your image will look.

There’s also the uncomfortable fact that with mirrorless cameras, there are fewer internal parts to break (so they are more reliable), and in terms of technology, mirrorless cameras are the future.

While you can still buy DSLRs and EF mount lenses, and use those lenses on the new R system with an adaptor, Canon is not going to be making any new DSLR cameras.

They have already discontinued thirty of the EF lenses and will stop manufacturing many more in future, in favour of developing new, RF lenses.

DSLR cameras will always exist, in much the same way that film cameras do now. They just will no longer be at the forefront of camera technology.

So, when you’re choosing between Canon cameras for beginners, you need to keep all these things in mind to make the best choice.

What About Buying a Second-Hand Beginner Canon Camera?

A good way to start your photography journey is by buying one of the Canon cameras for beginners second-hand.

You might not get the fresh feeling or security of buying new, but it’s a way to work out exactly what you need with minimal investment.

If it doesn’t take you long to learn the camera and get yourself ready to upgrade, depending on the age and condition of your second-hand camera, you can often sell them for a similar price to which you bought it.

Buying used cameras and lenses is much easier than it was previously, with plenty of marketplaces and online retailers offering second hand products.

Reputable second-hand camera outlets for Canon cameras for beginners include KEH Camera and MPB.

Canon EOS R50
Canon EOS R50

Near perfect beginner's camera at a great price. Great image quality, autofocus and shooting speeds, plus 4k video and streaming.

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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