Best Canon DSLR Cameras Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
No one will ever have a firm stance to argue against matching a user with the gear that they need, and in the world of still images and cinematography, you’ve got a lot of choice, but the variety can be greatly minimized if you are more intentional with your vetted options. There is no beating around the bush, you should buy the gear that suits your needs, and you’ll be fairly disappointed if you don’t.
This is what our focus was when it came to the potential application of these Canon DSLR options. Though, we have no idea what it is you (the reader) is looking for specifically, we wanted to ensure that the products we included are very good at the one thing their good at, and anything else they’re alright at, doesn’t take anything away from their core ability.
If you’re a cinematographer, you’re going to want to ensure that you find a DSLR that has a very strong frame-rate speed, with the ability to record video at 1080P or higher. It would also behoove you to make sure that any options you vet also have an on-board microphone input, because that will come in great handiness, if you’re not recording audio on seperate devices.
For those looking to capture stills, the megapixel count is a great place to start comparisons, and you should also find a DSLR (or other) with a full-frame sensor if you can, just to save the need for doing a whole bunch of math in your head when it comes to cropped focal ranges. But, there is no huge downfall to cropped sensors, as many great photographers still use them.
Being cognizant of the type of work you’re looking to do with your new camera, will greatly assist the daunting task of shopping for a new camera, or upgrade.
What does it mean for a camera to be compatible? They all take photographs, and record video, right? What could possibly be incompatible? Well, the truth is, that brand loyalty in the imaging hardware market is almost always born out of necessity, rather than favoritism. What does this mean? Well, we mean that you should always seek to purchase a camera that doesn’t invalidate any of the gear that you’ve already got.
As this list is all about Canon camera DSLRs, and that all of these have the same (minus our cheeky addition of the EOS R Mirrorless) lens mount, there will be almost no way that these cameras will be incompatible with your current line-up of Canon gear. But, if you’re heading into purchasing a Canon product for the first time, you might want to know that gear and accessories aren’t versatile, and lenses only work with the specific brand they were made for.
Canon has three different mainline lens mounts. They have the EF Mount, which is used mostly for Canon’s full-frame and APS-C format cameras. Then there’s the EF-S Mount, which is only ever found on Canon’s APS-C sensor camera bodies. And finally, their newly minted EF-M mount, which is exclusively used on their recently launched mirrorless full-frame cameras. Being mindful of what mounts the camera body comes with, and what mounts you need to use the gear you already have, will dissolve those intense headaches that come with getting the wrong, expensive, product.
The value of technology isn’t one that is very subjective. We’ve talked about it a thousand times here on TheGearHunt, the more you spend on tech, the better off you will be, and the higher quality of stuff you will more likely be buying. Camera equipment is no different in that sense. Top tier cameras are expensive. There’s no way to make that sound pretty. But you’re going to get a whole lot of amazing imaging hardware with that price, and the higher it goes, the better off you’ll be.
That being said, there’s no shame or deterrent for going lower on the ladder when it comes to camera equipment. Often, newer cameras will only have one or two slight improvements on past iterations, and in the rare cases where the technology makes a giant leap, you will be able to notice it easily.
If the goal is to get the best out of a tiny budget, then heading backwards in the timeline of releases can often help you pick up a great camera, with everything you might ever need, at hundreds of dollars less than the newer version.
Really, the value of a digital SLR camera comes down to the fact that what you’re paying for is up to snuff technically, and you get all the things you need, in totality. If you’ve already got some Canon gear, you’re going to have plenty of options. If you’re starting fresh with Canon, there are good bundles and kits for you there too.
10 Best Canon DSLR Cameras
1. EOS-1DX Mark II (Body Only)
With an ability to add and detract from each camera means there’s a responsibility on the owner to ensure that they’re getting what they need. This DSLR option is one that can suit a variety of needs, from casual to professional. It is solely the body that we’re looking at here, which offers a nice amount of customization for those that want a camera with a touch of themselves on it. It’s Canon’s premium camera line, making it their best in many aspects.
The legendary Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the grandest workhorse on the market right now. It’s among the most popular full-frame cameras for all sorts of professional photographers, but namely sports and live-action photographers. Thanks to an insanely long and fast burst capture speed, you’ll never miss a moment. Shoot up to 170 RAW images in a row without buffer, at up to 16 frames-per-second. It’s the muscle car of DSLRs
Canon, much like many professional photographers, doesn’t put a whole ton of weight in the megapixel count of their camera sensors. Which is why this amazing camera, with it’s brilliantly sharp full-frame CMOS sensor, only puts out slightly above 20 megapixels. But the abilities of this camera are stunning.
Cost and Value
There’s no avoiding the giant cost of the Canon 1DX line-up of cameras, and this, the second generation of them, will cost you more than a beat-up car. For that large price point you will receive one of the best working photographer full-frame DSLRs on the market. It is tough, weatherproof, and the shocking burst rate ensures that nothing can be missed.
2. EOS 80D with EF-S 18-55mm
The Canon line-up does a great job of very obviously putting some solid hard lines in between their three value ranges. The previously mentioned EOS 1D range is absolute premium, the rebel line-up is the clear proverbs for entry level, while the xD series lands in between those. But it’s the beauty in their xxD line that lands in between the entry-level and the professional, that truly shines. The 80D is their current top of class, while many others in its family are amazing, and viable options.
Taking The Next Step
While it’s common for photographers to being their journey somewhere relatively cheaper, there always comes a moment in which we need to take the next step. Although Canon has a great set of levels to their line-up, having many (four) levels of consumer products allows people to take shorter leaps forward. Ultimately, this eases a bit of the trouble and maximum investment pain when it comes to improving your gear.
The brilliant 45-point autofocus metering system in the 80D is one of Canon’s best in their bottom half of the scale line-ups. It’s fast, and works wonders in many conditions. The best part of it all is that they’ve leaned the center focus point to play heavy, making for an amazing low-light focus system.
Cost and Value
Though this is Canon’s peak option in their xxD line-up, the 80D is considered “enthusiast” level, making it a relatively cheap option compared to the gold and silver spots on the podium. Consider more, that this is a bundle, and everything you need to start getting those great shots right now, is in this package.
3. EOS 70D (Body Only)
If the tantalizing pitch of the 80D caught you eye but the range in which that camera will run you seems to barely graze the end of your finger-tips, then perhaps it’s little sibling is the perfect system for you to obtain. It’s almost the exact same camera, with a few steps back internally.
Save a Buck
We’ve talked about it many times before in any of our previous camera and lens guides, but stepping back in time when it comes to the timeline of imaging hardware, is never really a bad idea. There are some harsh jumps in tech, but those only come once every ten years. Take the 70D over the 80D and you’ll be missing out on only a few new aspects of a rather similar camera.
The Touch Screen
One of the best parts about the 70D, that makes it a very viable option for those looking to start vlogging, is the swivel-screen that it comes with. On top of that, the Canon 70D is one of the first Canon camera bodies that included their new and extremely well-made touch screens. It became a must for almost all photographers and cinematographers once it teased the world with its installation.
Cost and Value
Though the bundle we propped up here isn’t that of an actual bundle -- but simply just a body -- it has extreme value. In comparison to the slightly improved system that is the Canon 80D, the Canon 70D is half the cost, for nearly the same thing. Like we said, it’s perfectly great to vet older (not ancient) camera models because there can be huge savings, for short drop-offs in quality.
4. EOS REBEL T7i with EF-S 18-55mm
Jumping in the utterly rebellious collection of entry-level cameras that brought Canon so much success in the early 2000’s, the Canon Rebels are fantastic, spunky, light, and affordable options for anyone that’s looking to get into the cropped-sensor DSLR game. There are a lot of reasons why the Canon Rebel cameras are cheaper than the more professional options, but these cameras should not be overlooked.
The Beautiful Canon Sensor
Plenty of people shake their head at the Canon Rebel line of digital cameras because they are simply entry-level pieces of gear, but something like the EOS Rebel T7i just blows those expectations out of the water. Canon has managed to get their constructive and excellent 24.2 megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor, in a budget DSLR? That’s bonkers.
Light and Fast
While we could sit here and talk about the extensively awesome 60 FPS shooting mode, what really makes the Canon Rebel line-up great (and also is part of the reason why they are so inexpensive) is the weight. Due to the corners cut in the make of the actual camera body, we’ve got a nearly full plastic frame with the Rebel line-up, and that translates into an insanely light camera body.
Cost and Value
Where the Canon Rebel line-up sings its loudest song is in the price department. There’s no shame in the starter set-ups from Canon. Or anyone for that matter. This camera has a whole lot of quality baked into those internal parts, there are just a few downsides to the exterior (and some bonuses) but a whole lot of pluses. Especially the Canon Rebel T7i.
5. EOS 5D Mark IV (BOdy Only)
Just a single step down from the epically professional Canon EOS 1D-X line-up, is the xD camera line that Canon offers, and none make for better and bigger in quality than that of the recent iteration in the Canon 5D Mark IV. The xD line is the silver medalist of Canons consumer-facing imaging hardware.
4K Video Recording
Many folks that are both into still imaging and video capture try their hardest -- usually with no luck -- to find some amazing gear that can do as much in either of the formats, without leaning too heavily in one direction of another. Magnificent bodies like the Canon 5D Mark IV can capture 4K video at 30 frames-per-second.
There are many great things that camera and imaging companies do to improve their line-up as the time passes, and thanks to Canon introducing their “Mark” system, we can now see amazing returns to the same product, building upon its predecessors. The Mark IV is the fourth generation Canon 5D and comes with the pedigree of its name, plus many years of improvements.
Cost and Value
There’s no shaking it off that high-profile and magnificent imaging hardware and gear can run some pretty high prices, and that is (mostly) for good reason. This powerhouse of a DSLR comes in high-praise, with ultra capabilities, and still doesn’t sit atop the tower of gear that is offered by Canon.
6. EOS 6D (Body Only) - Wi-Fi Enabled
On the subject of the continuation of certain models by Canon in terms of “Marks” there are some pretty great starting places in the Canon history of cameras, and the very first of the 6D systems is one of those great ones.
Part of the flurry of interest that came when the company announced and released their EOS 6D for the first time was that it came fully equipped with Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connections internally. This makes it super easy to transfer files to either mobile or computer if you just so happen to forget your card reader at home. It’s an ease-of-use thing that can quickly become a life-saver if you make a packing blunder.
There are, inarguably, a whole ton of stellar cameras in Canon’s line-up that come on the shoulders of their extraordinary cropped image sensors, but if you’re looking for a full-frame experience, a sensor use that adds zero multiplication to the image displayed, and captured with standard lenses.
Cost and Value
Being a few years behind the current set of Canon DSLRs, you’re not going to find an exorbitant amount of money on those price tags, but you will notice that they’re not that cheap either, and that’s because there is so much value in these 6D bodies. They are brilliant.
7. EOS 5D Mark III (Body)
We’ve mentioned it a million times, and we will continue to drive it home, there is no shame and hardly any drawback, in heading backwards in time to find the perfect camera for you. There isn’t a whole lot of movement from one era to another, and that doesn’t show more than in the imaging technology market. The 5D MarkIII is one of the best cameras at that professional level that Canon has ever made, and it’s work checking out, even if there is a newer one.
Much of Canon’s xD range of cameras have an astounding auto-focus system, and the 5D Mark III is no different. With 61 points for auto-focus, and some of the fastest computerised focus capture we’ve ever seen, there aren’t many companies across the entire market that offer such a strong auto-focus system.
Wide ISO Range
Normally we’re not ones to get into the nitty gritty of technology and how they work, because there just isn’t enough time and space to explain everything in these buying guides. But thanks to a full-frame 22MP sensor, cameras like this Canon 5D Mark III have such a wide ISO range that capturing the right moment in nearly any light is possible.
Cost and Value
Even though there is now a Mark IV version, the Mark III is still a very recently released camera body, and that will reflect a bit in the price department, so there’s no huge discount yet with the Mark III. But, it’s such a great camera, that it should definitely be on your radar.
8. EOS R Mirrorless (Body Only)
The newly introduced Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera was unleashed amongst the human race in order to compete with Sony’s extremely strong grasp of the lightweight, full-frame, mirrorless cameras. You’ll notice that both Canon and Nikon have recently released cameras in this form in order to get a piece of the pie.
It used to be, one could only get a full frame (measured in comparison to the original 35mm film size) internal imaging sensor in big beefy cameras, until Sony released their A7 line-up, and now Canon and Nikon both have their own. This, the Canon EOS R Mirrorless is a full-frame CMOS sensor with a beautiful 30.3 megapixel range.
They may be extremely expensive, when compared to plenty of other decent options, but the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera is truly an extraordinary vlogging camera. Thanks to the mirrorless full-frame body, you’ve got something far lighter and smaller than normal DSLRs (because this camera isn’t technically a DSLR), and you’ve got the full flip screen for framing yourself and your shots.
Cost and Value
It’s brand new, and one of a kind in Canon’s line-up. All of these amazing features are going to add up to being not a cheap camera. But, thanks to the way the camera industry is moving, it might be the best camera on the market right now, especially from Canon. We couldn’t put it on the top of our list because it’s all a big lie. It’s a mirrorless camera, not a DSLR.
9. EOS Rebel SL2 WiFi Enabled
One might think that -- looking at the price, and the body of this camera -- the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is an older camera, but this was released last year. In a surprising move, Canon announced the EOS Rebel SL2 and released it shortly after, aiming to help out those with minimal budget girth, and offers far more than it should for it’s range.
The Rebel line-up from Canon has always been something of a entry level brawler, and while they are all fairly decent cameras, there’s not a whole lot of beef in them. However, the studly sensor in the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 has a fantastic 24.2 Megapixel sensor (more than some of their more premium cameras), and a really zippy processor.
The Rest of the Rig
Sure it’s a budget camera, but with a beautiful Canon kit lens, a sharp and easy to read full flip screen, built-in wi-fi, NFC, and bluetooth connectivity, and so much more, making it one of the craziest deals in imaging hardware we’ve ever seen.
Cost and Value
There’s no way to avoid it, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is probably the most bang for your buck in any camera. This is mostly due to its insanely low price. It’s a real dream option for those looking to break into the canon line-up, and might even make some pros lists, for something to throw into their gear kit for cheap thrills. It’s a real brilliant option.
10. EOS Rebel T6 with Accessories
Two steps back from the current leading Canon Rebel cameras, the Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera kit is still one of the best options out there, and should be vetted as an option. Especially if you or the person you’re purchasing it for is just getting into the still image game. Or the independant movie world as well.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 has all of the things we come to expect from daily-use cameras, even at this, the more affordable end of the marketplace. The body has built-in wi-fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity. There’s a very sharp 18 megapixel sensor. And a vivid 3.0 inch LCD display screen for easy viewing, and clear details.
There may not be a whole lot to freak out about when it comes to the very capable, but rather standard Rebel T6, hence it being fairly low on our list. But what does bring this item to the guide itself is the fantastic and comprehensive kit that comes with it. You’ve got multiple memory cards, card readers, multiple lens filters, multiple lenses, a tripod, carry bag, and so much more. It’s an astounding deal, and ensures you’re ready to get out and shoot once it arrives.
Cost and Value
For just a few hundred dollars less than some of our extremely budget options on this list, the Rebel T6 Bundle here from Canon is such an exemplary version of value, because at a cheap price is comes with absolutely everything. Easily get out and shoot, right away, thanks to the extensiveness of this bundle, and the versatility and quality of the Canon Rebel T6.