Canon is one of the best camera brands out there, with a variety of cameras for every level of photographer no matter the occasion. In fact, the wealth of superior options when it comes to Canon cameras can be overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re just picking up a camera for the first time, an aspiring Instagrammer curating your feed or a professional working photographer, Canon has an option for you. We have sifted through Canon camera offerings in 2018 to pick out the best of the best so that you can purchase the camera that best suits your need.
Remember, a camera can be an expensive investment, and you want to make sure you have exactly the equipment that best suits your needs. Make sure you’re making the best Canon camera purchase for your photography goals by taking a look at our in-depth guide below.
How We Choose Our Canon Camera Ratings
Ratings are nothing without research, accuracy, and honesty, so we strive to incorporate these points in each and every Canon camera rating we produce. We choose our Canon camera ratings by carefully reviewing customer feedback and testimonials, as well as the product specifications for each camera. We also consider how each product meets with our expectations of Canon as a brand and factor all of these considerations into our ratings.
The cameras are judged based on features, design, photo quality, and performance. We judge how the camera feels in your hands, how easy it is to get started, how advanced its systems are and how well its special features function. We also make sure to let you know who the target consumer for each Canon camera we rate is.
Of course, in the end, you (and your wallet) are the final judge. That’s why it’s important that we give you as much detailed information as possible on each Canon camera we rate, and that’s why we have assembled this guide.
Top 3 Best Canon Cameras
The Canon EOS-1D X is a professional-level DSLR that’s capable of taking fantastic shots in a variety of modes, from shoot stills to video or studio models to landscapes.
The EOS-1D X combines the best features of the 1D Mark III line and the extraordinary speed of the 1D Mark IV, making it two astonishing cameras in one. It offers a new full-frame image sensor, fantastic autofocus control and performance, and the ability to shoot continuously over 12 frames per second. The 1D X also integrates the same professional-level video capability of the Canon 5DK Mark III, making the Canon EOS-1D X a powerful in a single body.
Speaking of the body, the Canon 1D X has an ergonomic build, with buttons in strategic places. If you shoot with the integrated portrait grip, a second multi-selector joystick makes menu and option navigation a breeze, with two more buttons along the lens mount allowing depth of field preview in portrait orientation. Additional video controls are easy to use and integrated well into the body design.
The Canon 1D X features a new 61-point autofocus system that is even better than the 1D Mark III’s, an AF system which is both sophisticated and accurate. This is an AF system meant to be trusted in any condition. The body also features a new wired LAN port that will be convenient for news, sports and studio photographers.
Videographers should find the Canon 1D X an especially compelling buy. There may not be a headphone jack, but features like a 3.5mm mic jack and dual CF card slots more than make up for it. Users can also choose between two forms of compression at the full 1080/39p resolution. The Canon 1D X is a multidimensional powerhouse.
- 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting
- Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed
- High performance L-series ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.
Part of Canon’s EOS 5D series, the Mark IV is well-placed to appeal to enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Its appearance is similar to its predecessors, but inside, a lot has been upgraded. The Mark IV has a higher-resolution sensor, 4K video capture, a touchscreen, better weather-sealing, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, GPS and more. The camera is built around an all-new 30.4-megapixel sensor and uses the Digic 6+ processor, which means you’ll be able to produce professional-quality images rich with detail and color. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is borrowed from Canon’s flagship sports camera, the 1D X Mark II, and means your 4K video and Live View Shooting will look smooth and flawless.
The 5D Mark IV is Canon’s all-around pinch hitter, somewhere between Canon’s action-oriented models and their high-resolution options. A versatile camera, the 5D Mark IV is a great upgrade from the 5D Mark III. According to Canon, this camera is well-suited for “wedding and portrait photographers, nature and landscape shooters, as well as creative videographers.”
Canon’s PowerShot SX730 is a long zoom, point-and-shoot camera that features not only a slim, appealing design, but also Image Stabilization technology that counteracts the natural shakiness of the human hand while shooting. This means both sports and nature photographers of any level can produce great, steady shots. The 40x optical zoom lens ensures that you get all the details no matter whether you’re shooting your child’s play or insects in a field.
The powerful lens is only part of the package. The PowerShot SX730 has a 20.3-megapixel CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 6 Image Processor, all of which works together to produce fantastic pictures as well as video. Both still images and high-quality 1080p FullHD video will impress, even in low-light situations.
This camera also features built-in Wi-Fi, making it easy to share your footage instantly. While some consumers prefer the SX720, which is 30 grams lighter and available at a cheaper price, the newest camera out of Canon’s PowerShot line features Bluetooth connectivity as well as an articulating screen.
Buyer’s Guide to Best Canon Cameras
While the cameras above represent the very best Canon cameras available in 2018, they are far from a complete list. If you’re looking to purchase a Canon camera that might not be in our list above, there are several important factors for you to consider. These considerations will help you understand what to look for as you make a decision about which Canon camera you should buy.
Decide what you will be shooting with your camera. What kind of environment will you be shooting in, a controlled studio environment or the unpredictable lighting of nature? Depending where you plan to shoot, you may need a camera with a sophisticated AF system, a powerful zoom lens, or one that is especially effective in low-light conditions. For sports, you’ll want a faster shutter speed; if you’re shooting in the great outdoors, you may need a rough-and-tumble camera that’s been sealed against dust and weather. Is battery life a concern for you? Is speed of transferring files something that concerns you? Are you more interested in video than stills? You want to answer all of these questions before you go shopping.
When it comes to photo quality, the key is sensor size, not megapixels. Megapixels determine an image’s resolution, and this is not something the average hobbyist needs to worry about. Instead, sensor size, a great autofocus system, and an excellent image-stabilizing system are the main factors that come together to create standout images.
The newest model in a line isn’t necessarily the best model for you. If you have heavily invested in accessories for your particular older model, you’re very accustomed to how it handles or you feel no real reason to upgrade. Older models are more affordable once new models come out, so if money is a concern, sticking to an older model of an excellent camera is one way to make the bite out of your wallet hurt a little less. For example, if you’re an advanced hobbyist looking to upgrade, an older model of a professional Canon camera will be a lot more affordable than jumping straight from your inexpensive point-and-shoot to the year’s newest elite DSLR.
Terms to Know
As you explore the world of the best Canon cameras, you’ll run across several terms whose meanings you may not know.
These include DSLR or mirrorless models. You can swap the lens out for a number of reasons, such as improving photo quality, low-light performance or the angle of view.
These types of cameras include bridge cameras, compacts, and point-and-shoots. Compacts (such as your phone) are much smaller, while bridge cameras cover a zoom range that’s hard to mimic with a lens alone. On a fixed-lens camera, you are free from the trouble of swapping the lens, which may be tough depending on where and what you’re shooting.
A DSLR stands for “digital single-lens reflex,” a digital camera that combines a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor rather than photographic film. A DSLR uses an optical viewfinder which is well-suited for shooting action, and the battery life of a DSLR is also much better when compared to a mirrorless camera.
Mirrorless cameras are smaller, with smaller lenses than a DSLR. Rather than an optical mirror or viewfinder like an SLR, they have an electronic viewfinder that displays what the camera image sensor sees. They are better for shooting video and allow you to see real-time previews for image editing features. Mid-to-high range mirrorless models also have better image stabilization as well.
18.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor
20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
Hopefully, our buyer’s guide has empowered you with the knowledge you need to understand how the different Canon camera models are unique to one another and which one will be the best camera for your purposes. Whether you choose one of our ranked Canon cameras, such as the top-ranked Canon EOS-1D X, or decide to do further research for a camera that suits you even better, go forward with great confidence.
Got a recommendation for best Canon camera we missed? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.