What is the Ultimate Canon General-Purpose DSLR Camera?
As a generalization, the above list is sorted in camera performance, features, and price descending sequence.
You may have noticed that all DSLR camera models have dropped off the top cameras list. Canon is focusing on mirrorless models, they are outstanding performers, and it is time to move to the mirrorless line-up for all new camera purchases.
A camera destined for general-purpose use needs to do everything well, and often, those looking for a general-purpose camera will be relying on just a single camera. This camera must be capable of photographing any subject in any scenario.
A large percentage of those looking for a camera in the general use category will by families interested in capturing life's memories. I assure you that life moves fast — you need to capture it in high quality.
With the maturity present in Canon's current cameras, most models stand ready for general-purpose duty. That makes the decision process harder, but it also makes a bad decision unlikely. I'll explain my choices for the above list of recommendations.
1. Canon EOS R5
Phenomenal Camera, Outstanding AF System, Up-To-20 FPS, Ultra-High Resolution, IBIS
With the R5, Canon brought their much-loved 5-series to the EOS R-series mirrorless interchangeable lens camera lineup. The success of these models was reflected in inventory levels, with these cameras continuously backordered for about half a year.
The EOS R5 features the best image quality available in a Canon camera combined with impressive overall performance, including outstanding AF performance (including Eye AF) and a continuous shooting rate reaching 20 fps. The R5 is a game-changer. A pair of R5 bodies are my primary cameras, and I like nothing better.
Most of EOS R5 Features with Lower Resolution (Imaging Sensor and EVF) and Price, Oustanding AF System, Up-To-40 FPS
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a high-performing, mid-priced camera body that delivers outstanding full-frame image quality at medium-high resolution. This camera targets content creators, those currently using a DSLR, and those looking for a general-purpose camera that does everything well, including preserving family memories.
The R6 II is a solid upgrade from the only 2-year-older R6, and I'd take the Canon EOS R6 II over every DSLR made.
3. Canon EOS R8
Compact, Lightweight, Great Value, Same Full-Frame Imaging Sensor as EOS R6 II, Oustanding AF System
In the R8, Canon gives us high-end camera features and functionality in a compact, lightweight, low-priced camera.
The R8's imaging sensor, powerful DIGIC X processor, and impressive AF functionality and algorithms were inherited from the not-much-older, much-higher-priced EOS R6 Mark II. While the 24.2 MP resolution is not as high as the older EOS RP's 26.2 MP spec or the R's 30.3 MP spec, the imaging sensor technology improvements enable the R8 to, impressively, out resolve both of these models.
While the R8 does not provide as many controls and features, including in-body image stabilization and dual memory card slots, as its higher-priced alternatives, it has other advantages. The R8's small size and light weight are highly appealing, making this camera attractive even for those with higher budgets, including professionals requiring an easy-to-take-along backup or even as a first-choice model in some cases.
Even beginners will create outstanding images when using the R8 as a point-and-shoot model. The Canon EOS R8 is a great choice for travel, hiking or other carry-all-day needs – and the adequately-sized, comfortable grip supports this use.
4. Canon EOS R7
Extreme Performance at an Affordable Price
The R7 was the first APS-C model in the Canon EOS R-series lineup. While the smaller imaging sensor has large cost benefits, the 32 MP resolution is still very high.
Remarkable autofocus capabilities and ultra-fast frame rates make this camera ideally suited for capturing sports action and wildlife. The reach created by the R7's extreme imaging sensor pixel density of makes it a superb choice for birds and other distant or tiny creatures.
Compact, Lightweight, Affordable, High-Performing AF System, Fast Frame Rate, Great Image Quality
The R10 was the other first APS-C model in the Canon EOS R-series lineup. While it is a highly capable camera, the R10 is compact, lightweight, and affordable.
Despite those characteristics, the R10 features an outstanding AF system, a very fast frame rate, and high resolution, three features typically omitted from lower-priced cameras.
Low Price, Compact, Lightweight, Oustanding AF System, Impressive APS-C Image Quality
While serious amateur and professional photographers will find this camera's reduced control set limiting, the tiny, lightweight Canon EOS R50 features outstanding AF performance and excellent image quality at an affordable price. There is a lot to like about this camera.
Ultra-Low Price, Compact, Lightweight, Good AF System, Excellent APS-C Image Quality
The R100 arrived soon after the R50, bringing us a new low in terms of price. While features were sacrificed to get that price, the R100 is still a competent camera with a solid feature set. As with the R50, serious amateur and professional photographers will find this camera's reduced control set limiting, but the tiny, lightweight Canon EOS R100 features a good AF system and excellent image quality at an affordable price. There is a lot to like about this camera.
Often, the lens is the limiting factor in a camera's image quality, and the easiest way to improve your camera's image quality is to put a better lens in front of it. The General-purpose Lens Recommendations will help you select the right lens for your camera.
Return to the Camera Recommendations.
If you insist on acquiring a DSLR model, here are the ultimate Canon DSLR cameras:
High Resolution, Great Technology, Superb Overall Camera Choice
The #1 Canon general-purpose camera choice is not a low-budget model, but it is a fully featured and technology-loaded camera with a high resolution full frame imaging sensor that delivers very impressive image quality in even challenging scenarios. Canon's original 5-series cameras, initially bringing us an affordable full frame body and later disrupting the video marketplace with an extraordinary quality:price ratio, were huge hits. The 5D Mark IV builds on those initial qualities and brings many incredible new ones including Dual Pixel CMOS AF (with Movie Servo AF) and 4k video. Still photographers have plenty to drool over with this camera including excellent dynamic range, a solid frame rate, very high resolution and of course, the awesome Canon color you love.
Affordable Full-Frame Camera with the Latest Technology
The Canon EOS 5D-series made full-frame imaging sensor-format cameras affordable, and the Canon EOS 6D-series models took that affordability to an even more attainable level. For a moderate price, the 6D-series cameras deliver full-frame image quality greatness, and in addition to having the most-needed features, the Mark II version brings a technology roll-up with it.
A Really Good Camera at a Modest Price
When you want a really good camera but do not want to pay the price for a full-frame model, the 90D is probably the right option for you. The size of this camera makes it easy to handle, and the large, bright viewfinder is a pleasure to look through. The 90D's overall great performance and huge feature set make it the ideal choice for a high percentage of people.
Small, Light, Affordable, Great Value, Excellent DSLR Image Quality
There are numerous reasons why Canon Rebel Digital SLR cameras are so popular (many of your friends probably own them). That these cameras are easy to take with you, are feature-filled, and provide great image quality are solid reasons. That image quality is not sacrificed for any of those reasons is another driving factor for this popularity. Those features for a wallet-friendly price may be the most influential of the reasons.
If the Rebel T8i price is still above your budget, check out our Cheap, Budget, Bargain, Best Deal Camera Recommendations.
As mentioned, the lens is the limiting factor in a camera's image quality and the easiest way to improve your camera's image quality is to put a better lens in front of it. The General-purpose DSLR Lens Recommendations will help you select the right lens for your DSLR camera.
Return to the Camera Recommendations.