In the 1930s, a young man named Goro Yoshida disassembled a popular Leica camera model. Raised in Tokyo, he’d been fascinated by cameras even in his youth—this wasn’t his first time taking a camera apart and rebuilding it.
But as he examined the Leica, Yoshida had an epiphany: he had access to all the same materials as the best manufacturers in the world—aluminum, rubber, and brass. By 1934, he’d created his own camera prototype. He called it Kwanon, but a year later, the camera was renamed: Canon.
We’ve come a long way from that 35mm prototype. These days, Canon cameras are known for both their impressive dynamic range and frame rates alike. Over time, they’ve gotten faster, sharper, and better at rendering color.
For Canon loyalists, there’s never a shortage of options—whether you’re shooting a vlog in the studio or covering the Olympics. Here’s a quick look at just eight of our top Canon camera picks for every level and genre, each illustrated by mind-blowing photos from the 500px community.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (best all-rounder)
Much-loved for its spectacular color rendering and low light performance, this camera is an ultimate all-rounder for professionals. Although the price tag might seem steep, it’s proved its worth by serving as the go-to for everyone from portrait to landscape photographers.
With image-quality and versatility, this is a camera that evolves with you, whether you’re starting out as a beginner or already well-established in your field.
Need more convincing?
This model comes with a 61-point AF system, and you can shoot continuously at seven frames per second for incredible speed and accuracy. The only drawback might be the crop factor on 4K video, but if you’re not shooting pro video regularly, it’s unlikely to make that much of a difference.
Canon EOS 5DS R (best studio camera)
Known as the “original megapixel monster,” this camera comes equipped with a 50.6-megapixel full-frame sensor for stunning resolution. For landscape and studio photographers (portrait, still life, etc.), this hefty piece of kit has proven itself over the years by offering impeccable sharpness.
While beginning and intermediate photographers might not need this level of detail, it’s something to take into account when entering the professional market. It’s also something that will come in handy if you want to blow your photos up for exhibitions.
The only potential pitfall of this model is the low ISO, but if you’re not shooting in low light, that won’t be an issue.
There can be a bit of a learning curve with this camera, so consider investing in a tripod or keeping your shutter speed relatively fast—resolution this high means more visible movement.
Canon EOS 800D (best entry-level DSLR)
Also known as the Rebel T7i, this camera has a single command wheel, making it more approachable and easier to navigate than the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. It also delivers great quality and a 45-point AF system, complete with a guided mode to help get new photographers acquainted with the Settings.
An added bonus is the camera’s low light performance, with an ISO range reaching 25600. The cropped sensor comes in at 24.2 megapixels, and though it lacks some of the additional features and controls you’ll find on the Canon EOS 77D, it’s a perfect and affordable choice for beginning and intermediate photographers.
Canon EOS M5 (best entry-level mirrorless camera)
This portable camera is small but powerful—with an electronic viewfinder and WIFI/Bluetooth connectivity, not to mention continuous shooting speeds of nine frames per second. Its tilting LCD touchscreen allows for intuitive “touch and drag” focusing, while a total of four dials give you plenty of control.
This model is a great choice for beginner photographers as well as experienced DSLR photographers looking to get in on the mirrorless revolution. Unlike the popular Canon R series mirrorless cameras, this one has a cropped sensor, so that’s something to consider.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II (best outdoor camera)
With a durable magnesium alloy body, this camera holds up in bad weather, making it an obvious choice for outdoor and adventure photographers. It also boasts a continuous shooting speed of ten frames per second, along with a 65-point all cross-type autofocus system for capturing action.
Plus, the built-in GPS module ensures that you’ll always have access to accurate location information, even if you wander off the beaten path. If you’re used to the touchscreen on other Canon cameras, bear in mind that this one doesn’t have one, so there might be an adjustment period.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II (best pro camera)
When it comes to fast-moving subjects like sports or wildlife, it’s hard to beat this DSLR. In live view, it shoots up to sixteen frames per second, with rates up to fourteen frames per second with AF/AE. Over the years, it’s proven itself as a go-to for videographers and still photographers alike.
While it’s on the pricey side, pros with a focus on speed might find it’s worth the investment.
Also, note that this is a heavy camera, and although the ergonomics are great, those who prefer less bulk might opt for a mirrorless camera instead
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II (best compact camera)
Don’t let the pocket-sized body fool you—this camera delivers surprising quality in a small package. This point-and-shoot model has a one-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor for sharp photos, while the 4.2x optical zoom lens and tilting LCD give users more freedom and versatility than you might expect from a compact.
Though it doesn’t shoot 4K video, this camera is accessible enough for beginners, and it offers enough manual control to appeal to the advanced buyer as well. Like any compact, the battery life is on the shorter side, so if you’re out shooting all day, make sure you have access to a USB cord.
Canon EOS 80D(best mid-level camera)
This lesser-known model strikes a perfect balance for semi-pro, intermediate, and enthusiast photographers. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some other Canon models, but it does offer an array of handy features, including the articulated touchscreen and a top-plate LCD.
Because it’s easy to use and customizable, the EOS 80D hits the sweet spot between those entry-level cameras and the higher-end pro offerings. As a bonus, its “Intelligent Viewfinder” covers nearly 100% of the frame, so you won’t have to deal with dead spots.
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A quick look at eight of our top Canon camera picks for every level and genre, each illustrated by mind-blowing photos from the 500px community.
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