Best Canon Camera: The Models to Look For

person holding the best canon camera

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

man holding a canon cameras with its strap around his neck

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.

Canon EOS-1D X 18.1MP Full Frame 1DX Digital SLR Camera Body

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.

Pros

  • 14fps burst capability
  • 61-point AF system
  • Great images at high ISO settings
  • Dual CF card slots
  • 1080p video capture
  • Full frame image sensor
  • Tough build

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • No headphone jack
  • No built-in flash
  • Switching between still and video live view mode is annoying
  • Heavy weight
  • No video record button on the body
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-70mm...
  • 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.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

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.”

Pros

  • Improved face detection and tracking through viewfinder AF
  • Fast Dual Pixel Autofocus
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • High ISO capability
  • Great videos are easy to shoot
  • Tough and rugged frame
  • Back review LCD is a touchscreen

Cons

  • No tilt screen
  • Outdated and slow memory card
  • No EVF
  • Not able to shoot wide in 4k video recording
  • Motion JPEG format for video shooting takes too much storage
  • Downloading pictures via Wi-Fi drains battery
Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera (Silver) and Canon Battery Bundle
  • 40x optical zoom with zoom framing assist
  • 20.3 Megapixel
  • CMOS sensor

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.

Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera w/40x Optical Zoom & 3 Inch Tilt...

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.

Pros

  • 40x optical zoom
  • Advanced stabilization technology
  • Zoom framing assist helps you keep the photo’s subject in focus
  • Slim and lightweight frame
  • Built-in wireless and Bluetooth tech
  • 3” tilting screen

Cons

  • Video auto-focus is not always reliable
  • No 4K
  • No external mic
  • Not great for low light
  • Slow lenses at long-range

Buyer’s Guide to Best Canon Cameras

man using a canon camera to take photos

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.

Photo Subjects

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.

Photo Quality

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.

Camera Model

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.

Interchangeable-lens

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.

Fixed-lens

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.

DSLR

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

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.

Comparison Table

Product

Details

Rating

Price

Canon EOS-1D X 18.1MP Full Frame 1DX Digital SLR Camera Body

18.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor


Dual DIGIC 5+ Image Processor


14 fps in Super High Speed Mode


ISO range of 100 - 51200


61-Point High-Density Reticular AF


1080p FHD video capture resolution

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-70mm...

30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor


Up to 7.0fps continuous shooting speed


61-point AF system


ISO range 100-32000


4K video recording at 30p or 24p


Touch-screen LCD monitor

Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera (Silver) and Canon Battery Bundle

20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor


Digi 6 image processor


40x optical zoom


3-inch 180° tilt-type screen


Built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC


1080p Full HD Video at 60p

Conclusion

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.

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