What is the Ultimate Canon 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, DSLR lenses in the kit are adaptable, and it is time to move to the mirrorless line-up for all new camera purchases.
What is Canon's best camera? While I directly answered the question in the list above, again, sorted by performance, features, and price, there is no single "best" or "ultimate" camera for everyone, and many photographers need more than one model. Different needs can best be accommodated by different cameras, even if the budget is unlimited.
Canon makes a wide range of camera models and each model has a niche – each is the best for certain photographers and scenarios.
For example, the best camera for sports will have a very fast frame rate, allowing a precise moment in time to be captured, and outstanding autofocus performance. However, fast frame rates and incredible autofocus performance are typically of little concern for landscape photographers. While sports photographers might appreciate the extremely high resolution images highly sought by landscape photographers, few are willing to give up the fast frame rate and AF performance to get that feature.
Price is frequently a factor for consideration, with size and weight being other common camera buying factors.
The entire list of camera specifications is huge, and we provide a tool to help you compare cameras using this objective information. This info is useful and valuable differentiators exist there, but there is much more to the story. Just because one camera's specs are better than another does not mean that it is the better camera, and especially not necessarily the better camera for you. There is more to the decision process than is revealed in the specs.
Experience is extremely helpful in determining model differentiation, and this site's in-depth reviews tell the full story. However, reading all of them requires a lot of time. Thus, the relevant Canon camera recommendations featured here are intended to accelerate your decision-making process.
The recommendations below are designed to point you to the short list of cameras that are best suited for your needs and budget. Further below, I'll give the reasons for the above list of answers to the broad which camera is best question.
1. Canon EOS R3
The Ultimate Professional Canon Camera, Incredibly High-Performing
When getting the shot is imperative, the extreme EOS R3 is the camera to pick up.
While the R3's 24 MP resolution is not high for a full-frame camera, the quality of those pixels is so high that it outperforms higher resolution models. Also, the R3 otherwise outperforms all other models.
The 30 fps continuous shooting rate is sure to catch the perfect moment and the large, blackout-free, high-speed refresh viewfinder ensures that action is perfectly framed. An out of focus image is of no value, and to that regard, the R3's incredible Eye-Tracking and subject detection AF ensures that your perfectly timed and framed shot is also perfectly focused.
This professional-grade camera is sure to put a smile on your face every time you pick it up and again when you review the results. If there is action involved, this is a camera I want in my hands.
2. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
I highly recommend that DSLR users migrate to Canon's mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Especially the AF performance of these cameras far exceeds that of even the best DSLR camera, and there is no performance loss when adapting DSLR lenses. If you still prefer a DSLR model, here are the ultimate Canon DSLR cameras:
The Ultimate Professional Canon DSLRCamera
When you need the fastest, most rugged, most dependable and most feature-filled DSLR camera Canon makes, this is the one you want. The 1D X III is frequently the first choice for those capturing the action at the Olympics, the Super Bowl and (put any other major event here). This camera is not small, light or inexpensive, but when getting the image matters greatly, this is most often the chosen DSLR model.
High Resolution, Great Technology, Superb Overall Camera Choice
As I write this, only the Canon EOS R5, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R have a resolution advantage over the 5D IV within the Canon DSLR lineup. Canon's original 5-series cameras, initially bringing us an affordable full frame body and later disrupting the video-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 (including Video Servo AF) and 4k video. Don't worry, 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.
Here are some reasons to choose Canon for your next digital camera:
I have been using Canon brand cameras as my primary models since the very early days of digital photography. I own and have owned high-end Sony and Nikon camera kits. While they are also great, each having advantages, none has made me want to switch from my primary Canon kit.