Dec 22, 2020 | Reviews

The Canon Camera Range: A Quick Review and Explanation for 2021

Ralph

Ralph

I get commissions for purchases made through Amazon links in this post.

With so many cameras on the market, sorting through all of them can be a daunting task.  Today we will sort through the current Canon line of cameras, do a quick review on each, and rank them in order.  This should help make buying a new camera body just a little bit easier.

Some might ask why there are still DSLR cameras on this list when mirrorless cameras have begun to take over the market? The answer is simple, there are still tons of native glass for DSLR that are available new, used, and in the collections of photographers right now.  Those wanting to leverage the lenses they already have, without using a lens adapter, would stay with the DSLR design.  In addition, some photographers just like looking through optical viewfinders for smooth, lag-free framing of images.

Other photographers have embraced the mirrorless design with their electronic shutters.  Opting instead for viewfinders that show them what the exposure settings will look like right in the viewfinder in real-time.

Still, other users are more interested in the video capabilities of the cameras on this list.  Whatever the purpose or preference, I hope this list is useful.

Pro Level Cameras

These are the cameras used by professional photographers. While they may certainly be used by anyone to take photos, due to their expense they will typically be used by photographers for hire.

Canon EOS 1DX Mark III

This is the camera that the pros use to shoot sporting events.  It is a DSLR camera, meaning it has a mirror that flips up and down every time the camera takes a picture.  Even with mirrorless cameras being all the rage these days, the 1DX is still the king of the hill, even with its old school flippy mirror.  Typically the 1DX will be seen at sporting events mounted to some huge glass lenses for getting close to the action.  Sony and Nikon have their flagships as well, but this article is all about Canon.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Lens Mount: EF
  • Monitor: 3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD
  • Viewfinder: Optical prism, 100% coverage
  • Continuous shooting speed: 16 fps up to 170 images (RAW) mechanical, 20 fps live view (digital)
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/60

Canon EOS R5

The EOS R5 is one of Canon’s newest cameras and the most advanced camera Canon has ever produced.  Using Canon’s new RF mount, which has some of the best lenses in the industry, the Canon R5 is the new direction for Canon in mirrorless cameras.  The R5 received the autofocus system from the flagship 1DX and sports a video system that shoots in up to 8K, which is 4x the resolution of the 1DX and one of the only cameras on the market to record video at that resolution.  This camera will be on the top of the hill for quite a while to come.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 45
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Monitor: 3.15-inch vari-angle touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: OLED EVF 100% coverage
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12 fps mechanical shutter, 20 fps electronic shutter
  • Maximum video resolution: 8K/30

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The Canon 5D Mark IV is an old-school DSLR that still delivers the goods.  The camera likely marks the end of the DSLR era as Canon moves all of its future cameras to mirrorless design.  Let that in no way dissuade you from understanding that the 5D Mark IV is truly an impressive workhorse of a camera.  While the 1DX Mark III gets the glory for being the flagship model in the DSLR line, the 5D Mark IV quietly shoots more weddings, events, and portraits than the 1DX by at least an order of magnitude.  It it used by pros everywhere and, with its larger megapixel rating, better suited to photography where the frame will likely be cropped in a bit more in post-production.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 30.4
  • Lens mount: EF
  • Monitor: 3.2-inch touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: prism, 100% coverage
  • Maximumimum continuous shooting speed: 7 fps
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/30

Canon EOS R6

The Canon EOS R6 is another camera that surprises with its specification.  Most notable is the full-frame sensor at 20.1 megapixels, just under half that of the R5.  While the R6 won’t let you crop into an image quite as far, it should be a much better shooter in low-light conditions thanks to the lower megapixel count.  If you are planning to shoot where a majority of the images might be in low light, the R6 is a solid recommendation.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 0.5 inch OLED, 100% coverage
  • Maximumimum continuous shooting speed: 12 FPS mechanical shutter up to 1000/240 frames (JEPG/RAW), 20 FPS electronic shutter up to 1000/240 frames (JPEG/RAW)
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/60

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The Canon 6D Mark II was designed to make a full-frame camera body more available for slightly lower budgets.  With a 26.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, the 6D Mark II comes in below the 5D Mark IV for raw megapixel count but gains better low-light performance as a result.  The 6D Mark II serves well as a camera to use for photography in less than ideal lighting conditions.  The 6D Mark II appears to be designed as a still photo camera, as it records video at a maximum resolution of 1080p at 60 frames per second.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 26.2
  • Lens mount: EF
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, articulating
  • Viewfinder: Optical prism, 100% coverage 
  • Maximumimum continuous shooting speed: 6.5 fps
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/60

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a DSLR that seems to be aimed at nature and wildlife photographers since the camera includes a 20.6-megapixel APS-C sized image sensor.  This sensor gives a little extra sensitivity to low-light conditions while at the same time giving some extra punch to long focal-length lenses due to the smaller sensor.  As an aid to getting those great wildlife moments is the maximum shutter speed of 10 frames per second.  The 7D Mark II does have video capabilities as well, maxing out at 1080p at 60 frames per second.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 20.2
  • Lens mount: EF
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, fixed
  • Viewfinder: Optical prism, 100% coverage
  • Maximumimum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps
  • Maximum video resolution: 1080/60

Canon EOS R

The Canon EOS R is a great camera whose price has come down this year with the introduction of the R5 and R6 models.  The EOS R is the first full-frame camera that Canon has brought to market.  It is still a great camera and for those on a slightly smaller budget brings a lot of great features for a great price.  If you are looking for a well-rounded camera that can handle multiple photography disciplines, the EOS R would make a solid choice for the price.  The EOS R also makes a great video camera as well for either YouTube video or self-produced video with the best autofocus system in the business.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 30.3
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Monitor: 3.15-inch touchscreen 
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED electronic, 100% coverage
  • Maximumimum continuous shooting speed: 8 fps
  • Maximumimum video resolution: 4K/30

Enthusiast and Pro-Amateur Cameras

These are cameras for demanding amateur photographer that doesn’t need the expense of the professional bodies but want most of the power and features.

Canon EOS RP

The Canon EOS RP is a great enthusiast-level camera that sports a full-frame sensor – a rarity at this price level.  Think of it as the little brother to the slightly larger Canon EOS R.  As a still photo camera, the RP will handle work such as weddings and portrait work well and you won’t have many complaints if any.  When it comes to photographing action sports, however, the RP lags behind the other cameras on this list with the slow 5 frames per second shooting speed.  I draw the limit on shooting speed for sports at about 7 frames per second as a minimum.  Action sports aside, the RP is a solid camera at a solid price.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Megapixels: 26.2
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Monitor: 3-inch articulating LCD touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch OLED electronic, 100% coverage
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5 fps
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/25

Canon EOS 90D

The Canon EOS 90D is probably the last generation of DSLRs that will be built by the company.  So why would you want to work with a camera that is based on old technology?  Well, because there are a lot of lenses for the EF mount still out in the world with a lot of photographers currently owning numerous lenses in their collection.  The EOS 90D also happens to have some great specs for those that still like shooting with a DSLR and this camera body is barely a year old.  The 90D is a great all-around camera with solid still photography performance up to nearly any task thanks to the newly upgraded image sensor boasting 32.5 megapixels.  It also has great video performance with industry-leading autofocus performance with 4K video.  The 90D provides great performance for the price.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 32.5
  • Lens mount: EF-S
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, articulating
  • Viewfinder: Optical prism, 100% coverage
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps mechanical shutter, 11 fps live view
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/30

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

The Canon EOS M6 Mark II is the second generation of the popular compact camera line.  Different from other compact cameras, the M6 Mark II uses the Canon EF-M mount giving it the ability to change lenses.  The M6 Mark II also packs a 32.5-megapixel image sensor that it shares with the full-size EOS 90D.  The main drawback to this style of a compact camera is the lack of a viewfinder, either optical or digital.  Instead, an optional digital OLED viewfinder is available to be mounted on top of the camera in the hot shoe giving a more traditional camera experience.  With the viewfinder mounted a hot shoe mounted flash cannot be used, thus there is a tradeoff to be made for the small size.  If you prefer composing images using the LCD screen on the back of the camera, the size savings over a full-sized camera can be realized.  While the M6 Mark II might be a compact-sized camera, it delivers performance that is well on par with its larger brethren.  Since the LCD screen on the back of the camera only tilts up and down, rather than out to the side, the camera is less suited to a vlog or YouTube niche than other offerings.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 32.5
  • Lens mount: EF-M
  • Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: None included, 0.39-inch OLED (optional)
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 14 fps
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/30

Beginner’s Cameras

Canon Rebel T8i

The Canon Rebel T8i is the latest in the Rebel line of cameras from Canon.  It represents a very sophisticated camera for the beginner who wants a camera that is relatively simple to use but also provides a good bit of growing room for the burgeoning photographer.  With its 24-megapixel sensor, the T8i is placed squarely in the most popular range for consumer camera resolution.  Also on board is the industry-leading Canon Dual Pixel autofocus, the same system that drives the autofocus in most of Canon’s line.  Rounding out this camera’s attributes is a video system capable of 4K/24 video along with a fully articulated LCD screen making this a very good choice for a vlog or YouTube setup with a wide-angle lens.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.1
  • Lens mount: EF-S
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, articulating
  • Viewfinder: Optical prism, 95% coverage
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7 fps mechanical shutter
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/24

Canon Rebel SL3

The Canon Rebel SL3 is another entry in the Rebel line and is the smallest Rebel offered.  Intended as a smaller brother to the T8i, the SL3 offers most of the same capabilities as its larger brother, just with a toned-down autofocus system and a bit slower high-speed drive system.  Still, the SL3 offers a new photographer a lot of camera for the money, especially if more demanding tasks, such as action sports photography, are not on the horizon.

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.1
  • Lens mount: EF-S
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, articulating
  • Viewfinder: Optical prism, 95% coverage
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5 fps mechanical shutter
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/24

Canon M50 Mark II

The Canon M50 Mark II is a small mirrorless offering from Canon that is not small on capability.  Sporting the newest Canon autofocus features such as Dual Pixel autofocus and eye detection, the M50 Mark II offers a lot of technology that has trickled down from the higher-end models.  Image stabilization (5-axis) helps reduce camera shake for both stills and during 4K video recording.  A fully articulated viewscreen and an OLED viewfinder also help make this camera an ideal choice for beginning vloggers and YouTubers.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.1
  • Lens mount: EF-M
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, articulating
  • Viewfinder: Digital OLED, 100% coverage
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps mechanical shutter
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/24

Canon EOS M200

The Canon EOS M200 is the newest ultra-compact model in the “M” series.  This new, pocket-friendly mirrorless camera uses the EF-M lens mount so you can pick and choose the lens you would like to work with in any situation.  Using a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, the M200 delivers much the same image quality as larger cameras.  4K/24 video is available as well for those who wish to use the camera to record video on their adventures or simply as a vlogging or YouTube camera, but a wider lens than included in the kit would be advised.  The viewscreen is not fully articulating and only tilts up so that the viewscreen is visible above the camera when viewed from in front.  Also missing is a viewfinder and a hot shoe, neither of which really seem necessary on a camera of this size.  While small, potential buyers should take note of the small battery, which is rated to last around 315 shots.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.1
  • Lens mount: EF-M
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, flip-up
  • Viewfinder: None
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 6 fps mechanical shutter
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K/24

Compact Cameras

Canon G7X Mark II

The Canon G7X Mark II is the only true compact Canon camera to make this list.  It is also the smallest camera on this list and the only camera that does not have an interchangeable lens.  What the G7X Mark II does have is a great one-inch CMOS sensor powering out 20-megapixel photos and up to 1080p video at 60 frames per second.  With the fixed lens providing 24-100mm equivalent focal range (4.2x zoom) the camera is still a capable little powerhouse.  While the G7X Mark II has no viewfinder or hot-shoe, the rear screen does tilt up 180 degrees to face forward for those interested in vlogging and YouTube videos.

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: 1” CMOS
  • Megapixels: 20.2
  • Lens mount: None
  • Monitor: 3-inch touchscreen, flip-up
  • Viewfinder: None
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8 fps mechanical shutter
  • Maximum video resolution: 1080p/60
Ralph

Ralph

Ralph is an avid photographer in his spare time. He spends a lot of his photography time shooting sports photos of his daughter, who plays softball and swims. He also has a keen interest in mobile photography.

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