High-quality photography requires a lot of skill. It also requires high-quality camera gear, and Canon has earned its reputation over decades as one of the best camera manufacturers in the world.
Canon DSLR cameras deliver excellent quality for photographers of all skill levels. Pros rely on Canon gear for their livelihoods; amateur photographers rely on Canon to perfectly capture those once-in-a-lifetime family moments.
You'll be able to find a Canon camera to match most budgets. Canon DSLRs are trustworthy pieces of equipment that deliver in any shooting conditions. For the best mix of performance, image quality, and usability, we like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera.
Considerations when choosing Canon DSLR cameras
The interchangeable lens sets a Canon DSLR camera apart from basic cameras such as a smartphone camera. This lens securely screws onto the Canon camera body. You then can swap out the lens on the Canon DSLR camera as needed. A new lens may better meet the needs of the scene you're trying to shoot.
All Canon DSLR cameras have a large right-hand grip which makes it easier to hold the camera steady. All can record videos and photos in full manual control mode, full automatic mode, and a few modes in between.
Ultimately, the image sensor is the most important part of a Canon DSLR camera. This piece of silicon sits inside the camera body directly behind the lens mount -- when the lens is detached, you often can see this chip.
Image sensors have a physical size measurement as well as a measurement in megapixels. More megapixels (or MPs) are desirable, but the physical size of the image sensor is vitally important in a Canon DSLR. Large sensors perform nicely in low light and do a great job of accurately measuring all the light in the scene.
Here are the two common sizes for Canon DSLR image sensors.
APS-C: An APS-C image sensor is considered an intermediate-level sized sensor. It's smaller than the full frame sensor professionals prefer, but it's quite a bit larger than sensors in smartphone or advanced point-and-shoot cameras, easily outperforming them.
Full frame: A full frame image sensor is the biggest available in a Canon DSLR camera. Its size is designed to approximate that of a frame of 35mm film. You'll pay extra for a Canon DSLR that has a full frame image sensor, but the image quality it produces is outstanding.
Canon DSLR cameras have widely varying price points. You can find beginner-level DSLRs that cost $400 to $750. Mid-range Canon cameras have a price range between $750 and $1,500. Pro-level Canon DSLRs cost anywhere from $1,500 to several thousand dollars.
With Canon DSLRs, you have some added expenses beyond the camera body. You need at least one lens, which can run from $100 to $1,000. Over time, photographers collect multiple lenses. Additional gear you may want to purchase includes external flash units, memory cards, and tripods.
Q. How do I find lenses for my new Canon DSLR camera?
A. Some new Canon DSLRs ship with a kit lens, so you can begin shooting immediately. Otherwise, you must purchase lenses separately. Before buying, verify that the lens is made to connect to a Canon DSLR rather than a camera from another manufacturer.
Q. What advantages does a DSLR have over my smartphone camera?
A. DSLR cameras use a larger image sensor, which yields far more impressive photo quality versus a smartphone. DSLR lenses are larger and more versatile than the smartphone camera lens, too.
Canon DSLR cameras we recommend
Best of the best: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR
Our take: It's a bit pricey, but the image quality you receive with this model blows nearly any other DSLR out of the water.
What we like: The full frame size image sensor results in amazing images. This camera works nicely for those ready to move their photography skills from beginner to intermediate/advanced levels.
What we dislike: This is an expensive camera, and some kits don't ship with a lens.
Best bang for your buck: Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR
Our take: If you want the benefits of DSLR photography on a tight budget, the Canon Rebel is a smart choice.
What we like: Its image quality and performance is more than good enough for a beginner. The Rebel camera line from Canon has been popular for decades. The price point is very low versus other DSLRs.
What we dislike: It's not the most powerful Canon camera by a long shot.
Choice 3: Canon EOS 70D DSLR
Our take: With the 70D, you receive a high-performing, intermediate-level Canon DSLR camera at a reasonable price.
What we like: This Canon DSLR certainly won't break the bank. It's a solid all-around camera that's going to work nicely for beginner- and intermediate-level photographers.
What we dislike: It only has an APS-C sized image sensor, so its image quality trails full frame DSLRs.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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