Last updated: September 2, 2021

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The emergence of photography wasn't the work of a single brilliant mind. On the contrary, it came about as a result of various technical developments achieved over time. From the first camera obscura to modern digital devices, centuries have passed.

That being said, French artist Louis Daguerre is often credited as one of the pioneers in the field. The inventor of the daguerreotype would certainly be speechless if he were to get his hands on a modern camera, fascinated by the fidelity of the images and the ability to take photos and film with a single device. So, what would Daguerre think of Canon cameras?




Key Facts

  • You have to know how you plan on using your Canon camera before you can purchase it. The type of model best suited to you will depend on your abilities and goals. Will you be photographing professionally, or are you taking your first steps in this world?
  • It is also essential that you pay attention to the lens. While you have the possibility of buying the camera body on its own, you will generally find packs that include a lens. In that regard, check the aperture of the diaphragm, the focal length, the stabilizer, or the autofocus, among others.
  • In addition, you should know that size and weight are fundamental shopping criteria when it comes to cameras. The most compact and lightweight models are easy to carry around on all your adventures, while some of the larger cameras offer the best quality out there.

Our Selection: The Best Canon Cameras

Japanese company Canon has an extensive range of cameras in its catalog. The brand has developed to suit all tastes and needs, from beginner models to the most advanced for professional photographers. In the end, the choice you make will be a very personal decision. We do want to help in this challenging task, however, which is why we have selected the best Canon cameras currently available on the market:

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Canon Cameras

If you are a true photography enthusiast, you have certainly heard of the Canon brand. You may even use its cameras on a daily basis if you are a professional photographer. The Japanese multinational is a leader in the industry, with decades of experience behind it. In the following section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding Canon cameras to help solve any doubts you may have.

woman smiling with canon camera outdoors

Centuries have passed since the first camera obscura.
(Source: Asife: 47210957/ 123rf.com)

What are the origins of Canon cameras?

The company was founded in the 1930s under the name Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd. In 1934, it launched its very first camera, named Kwanon after Guanyin, a Buddhist figure associated with compassion.
This 35-mm camera was very similar to the German Leica.

Later, the company opted to change its name to what we all know today: Canon Camera Co. Inc., better known as Canon. At the end of the 1950s, the brand had begun to commercialize its DSLR cameras, among which the Canon F-1 particularly stood out. In 1976, it launched the Canon AE-1, the very first camera to integrate microprocessors.

This model paved the way for the development of the first cameras of the EOS series (Electro-Optical System) in the 1980s. This line of products has evolved into the modern DSLRs we know today. Canon cameras have never stopped developing over time, integrating video recording, Wi-Fi connectivity, and much more.

What types of Canon cameras are there?

The Japanese brand doesn't merely stand out for the quality of its products, but also for the wide range of cameras it markets. Models like the EOS 4000D are tailored to beginners and amateurs, while cameras like the EOS 5D Mark IV or the 1D X Mark II are designed for professionals.

In addition, Canon classifies its devices depending on whether or not their lens is interchangeable. In that regard, you can opt for compact cameras with a fixed lens, or models with interchangeable lenses. Besides, the manufacturer has also developed instant cameras. Let's look at these different types in more depth:

  • Cameras with interchangeable lenses: As their name suggests, these models allow you to use different lenses – as long as they are compatible with the camera body. These include the following types:
    • Full-frame mirrorless EOS R cameras: Two models are available, the EOS R and the smaller EOS RP.
    • EOS reflex cameras: You can find the EOS4000D for beginners or the 5D Mark IV for photography professionals.
    • EOS M mirrorless cameras: Different products are available, like the EOS M5 or the EOS M6 Mark II.
  • Fixed lens or compact cameras: Unlike the previous type, these models don't allow you to change the lens. They are smaller and lighter, making them ideal for transport and traveling. You will find:
    • Professional cameras: These include PowerShot models, such as the G1 X Mark III or the G3 X.
    • Bridge cameras: The PowerShot SX430 IS, for example.
    • Superzoom cameras: With zooms ranging from 25 to 50x, this line of products features the PowerShot SX740 HS or the SX60 HS.
    • Point-and-shoot (P&S) cameras: Models like the IXUS 285 HS or the IXUS 185 are the simplest and easiest to use.
  • Instant cameras: These devices are designed to print the photo on paper immediately after you take it. Canon currently offers two models, the Zoemini S and the Zoemini C.
  • canon camera on wooden table

    The Japanese company is a reference in the world of photography and digital video.
    (Source: Cristi Kerekes: 32332804/ 123rf.com)

    What are the advantages of Canon cameras?

    This brand has a long history in the field of photography and video, and this experience makes it a safe bet. However, it is very challenging to list its advantages as they really depend on the specific model you're looking at. Each camera has its own set of perks and drawbacks.
    In fact, the tastes and needs of the user also influence this.

    That being said, it is undeniable that the brand's wide variety of options is what has made it so popular over the years. Every user profile and budget will find a model suited to their needs. Compact cameras, for example, are ideal for frequent travelers. If you need a more technical device, you can turn to the higher-end models available.

    Delving into the disadvantages of the brand, we can highlight a phenomenon similar to many other manufacturers: its professional models can be quite expensive. If the ideal camera exists, it is because you have found the model that perfectly matches your needs. In the table below, you can view the pros and cons of Canon cameras:

    Advantages
    • You can choose from a wide variety of options
    • Some models are very affordable
    • Many Canon cameras integrate 4K recording
    • You can find very light and compact models
    • They offer amazing image quality
    • They are excellent for both photography and filming
    Disadvantages
    • The higher-end models can be very expensive
    • Certain lenses are also costly

    What is the DIGIC exactly?

    The Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit (DIGIC) is the name given to the processors in most Canon digital cameras. It was first incorporated in the PowerShot G3 in 2002. DIGIC 8 is the last version of this processor, introduced in February 2018 in the Canon mirrorless EOS M50 camera. This led to dramatic improvements in performance in areas such as the ISO, which can reach 25600. The last models to integrate DIGIC 8 are the Canon EOS 90 and the M6 Mark II.

    Buyer's Guide

    We just discussed the fact that the wide variety of cameras offered by Canon was one of the brand's greatest assets. But precisely because of this, choosing a specific model can become a real challenge. We want to help you get it right, which is why we have detailed the main shopping criteria in the following section. If you pay attention to them as you browse the market, we promise you will be a step closer to meeting your needs.

    Use

    Think long and hard about how you want to use your Canon camera before you make your purchase. Nowadays, virtually every model includes video recording. However, certain devices come with features more specifically tailored to photography, while others have fantastic filming functionalities.

    If you're looking for something in between, it won't be a problem either. Your personal use of the camera also includes the type of photography you want to dedicate yourself to: studio shooting, video blogging, or travel photography, for example. In the following table, you can get a better idea of the kind of camera you need depending on your user profile:

    If I want... I should buy...
    Professional quality: A high-end camera, like the EOS Mark IV or the EOS-1D X Mark II.
    Something to get me started in the world of digital photography: A more affordable and basic model, like the EOS 4000D or the EOS 2000D.
    A camera to have on me at all times: A compact camera, like the PowerShot G1 X Mark III or the PowerShot G3 X.
    A camera that can print my shots immediately: An instant camera, like the Zoemini S.

    Level of Expertise

    Besides the use you plan on making of the camera, you should also take into account your current level and where you want to go. If you're a professional photographer or intend to become one, you should focus on a high-end model with an interchangeable lens. If photography is simply a hobby of yours, on the other hand, you might be interested in more affordable options. You can also find just about every model in between!

    Megapixels

    As you may know, the number of megapixels influences the image resolution. This, in turn, will determine how much you can enlarge your pictures without losing sharpness. Canon offers models that range from 18 megapixels – like the 4000D – to 50.6 megapixels, like the EOS 5DS. While this is undeniably a key factor, the type of lens or sensor will also have an impact on the final result.

    Canon camera on tripod against light

    Think long and hard about how you want to use your Canon camera before you make your purchase.
    (Source: Langstrup: 80648204/ 123rf.com)

    Size

    Size is just an aesthetic aspect; it's important that you consider it when browsing the market for your own Canon camera. If you want a device with which you can travel comfortably, you should opt for a smaller, more compact model. The PowerShot G7 Mark III is around 105 millimeters wide by 41 millimeters deep. Weighing in at just 10 ounces, it's one of the lightest options available on the market.

    Lens

    As we mentioned earlier, you can purchase the camera body only if you want. However, it is very common that they come in a pack with a lens. You should pay attention to the type of lens, as well as its focal length, its maximum and minimum aperture, and whether it is fixed or zoom. This is vital for fixed-lens cameras, as you won't have the opportunity to change it in the future.

    Summary

    The field of digital photography and video is as broad as it is complex. You now have access to a virtually infinite number of models, each offering its own characteristics. Nevertheless, Canon cameras are a guarantee of quality and reliability. While opting for a specific brand helps limit your options, it doesn't make it any less challenging to buy the right product.

    The Japanese company has an incredible range of models on the market, from the most affordable tailored to beginners, to the highest level for photography professionals. You can find Canon cameras with interchangeable lenses, mirrorless or compact models, those that integrate 4K recording or Wi-Fi connectivity. What we know is that the perfect device for you is out there.

    We hope that our shopping guide has helped you find the right Canon model for your needs. If that's the case, feel free to let us know how you feel about your new camera. We'd love to hear your opinion! You can also share this article on your social media so your friends and family can join you in the world of photography.

    (Source of featured image: Rain Ungert: 128390078/ 123rf.com)

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