5 Best Canon Cameras Of All Time

For Canon, this year has already been quite significant. Its 35-year-old Canon EOS system, which debuted in 1987 with the Canon EOS 650, was commemorated in March. Additionally, two powerful and reasonably priced mirrorless cameras, the Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10 were introduced last month.


However, despite the dominance of its EOS brand on a global scale, Canon’s history goes considerably further and further back than its “Electro-Optical System.” Therefore, we have made the decision to look back in history and select what we believe to be the top 84 Canon cameras. After all, an old camera is a thing that raises our heart rate more than a new one.

In addition, Canon is the firm whose product history best captures the evolution of modern photography from the very beginning of the medium’s appeal to the very, very recent past. From the 1934 Canon Hansa to the EOS R7, Canon cameras have captured images of hundreds of world leaders, two World Wars, 20 Olympic Games, and countless family moments.

Following Canon’s history is to follow the development of photography, as well as consumer and professional preferences, from cameras that didn’t require batteries to modern supercomputers with lenses. Ten of the company’s most notable cameras, both from the film period and the early days of digital photography are arranged here. Which ones would you add to our list based on how many you have owned?

1. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

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Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

  • 1.0 Inch, 20.1 Megapixel High sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • Digic 7 image processor
  • Ultra slim, lightweight and pocket size camera

A legitimate replacement for the original G9 X, the G9 X Mark II is very much the PowerShot line’s crown jewel. Canon’s renowned Digic 7 image processing is used to enhance the 20.1-megapixel photographs taken and recorded by the camera’s 1.0-inch, high-sensitivity CMOS sensor. With a pocket weight of 7.3 ounces, the camera is already a little container, and the f/2.0 lens lays quite unassumingly right on it.

Additional wireless communication is provided by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and there is even integrated NFC support for simple media transfers to other NFC devices. On the back, there is a 3-inch touchscreen for reviewing and controlling the camera, and the lens offers a complete 3x optical zoom. The zoom range, according to our reviewer, isn’t really amazing.

The shutter speed is 8.2 fps for subjects moving quickly, and it can shoot in a number of video formats, including mp4 and raw, full HD video. Last but not least, there are a number of built-in controls, such as file converters and styling filters, that will ensure that whenever you do take those beautiful pictures off the device, they are prepared for anything you need to do.

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2. Canon PowerShot G1 (2000)

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Canon PowerShot G1 (2000)

  • 3.34-megapixel CCD
  • Swivel-mounted color LCD monitor
  • Compatible with Canon EX-series Speedlite flashes

Let us pause for a moment to remember our dearly departed compact camera brothers and sisters. Compact digital cameras, which emerged from the remains of the point-and-shoot film market, are now all but extinct, having been replaced by smartphones on the ground level and ever-more capable mirrorless cameras on the horizon. Examples of these cameras include the PowerShot G1 and the Canon Ixus line.

The PowerShot G1 had a major role in the mainstream popularity of digital cameras in the year 2000, both literally and figuratively speaking. It wasn’t inexpensive, but in comparison to digital SLRs, it marked a more-or-less cost-effective entry point into professional-grade digital photography.

It possessed a 3.24 megapixel, 1/1.8-inch CCD sensor and could capture images at apertures of 50 to 400. The addition of a manual mode was appealing to aspiring photographers, and the 3x optical zoom (34-102mm converted to 35mm focal lengths, fact aficionados) provided enough freedom given that the lens could not be detached. The top hotshoe was the finishing touch that made it possible for photographers to start traveling with “real” flashguns. Both JPEGs and raw photos might be captured by it.

Even some of the design cues, like the vari-angle screen, had a rather futuristic feel to them. However, several of these features sadly disappeared as the small digital camera evolved. Here, we’re specifically referring to the top-mounted LCD screen that provided shooting-related information and allowed customers to set up their cameras without using the battery-sucking, 1.8-inch rear-mounted screen. Users could instead compose their images using the optical viewfinder.

3. Canon EOS R5 (2020)

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Canon EOS R5 (2020)

  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 12 fps with Mechanical Shutter
  • Dual Memory Card Slots
  • Compatible with RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens

Should the original EOS R have occupied this space? Were we split on that one? The EOS R is still Canon’s first RF-mount camera, even if the EOS R5 is superior in every manner imaginable, including being faster, greater resolution, and capable of shooting video. The EOS R may end up being the more important camera if the RF mount performs similarly to the EF system that is being retired.

However, more importantly, it isn’t the superior camera, and given the sheer number of photographers – both professional and amateur – who have embraced the EOS R5, it’s simple to argue that the R5 is a camera of historic significance. The prefix “5” in the name makes it sound like a successor to the EOS 5D series, whether on purpose or accidentally.

Another reason is that it employs about every technological trick you could ask for in a camera in 2022. A truly otherworldly system for detecting and tracking animals, people, and vehicles is included along with the 45 megapixels, 20 fps from its electronic shutter (12 with the mechanical shutter), and more than 5,000 autofocus points. And that’s before you consider video, which supports up to 8K raw for SanDisk shareholders or 10-bit 4K at 100 frames per second.

The EOS R5 was the camera that really drove home the point to both Canon devotees and the company’s competitors: mirrorless is here to stay, and Canon is all in. It’s all done with Canon’s legendary full-frame aplomb and color science, and while you can certainly argue that the EOS R6, R, RP, and EOS R3 are all superlative cameras in their own right.

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4. Canon AE-1 (1976)

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Canon AE-1 (1976)

  • 35mm SLR (Single-Lens-Reflex) camera 
  • Canon Breech-Lock mount
  • Standard lenses for the Canon AE are Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 S.C

The AE-1 may look familiar due to the generational influence that its angular profile, eye-catching silver finish, and leather-textured plastics have had on the design of photographic products.

These were initially introduced in 1976 and are now surprisingly popular; Canon shipped approximately six million of them before ceasing production in 1984. No walk through a hipster seaside town is complete without at least a few sightings of this storied 35mm, auto-exposure camera, thanks to the sheer volume of cameras produced and Canon’s renowned, long-lasting build quality.

I believe we said auto-exposure. We did; in fact, the AE-1 is the first SLR to feature a microprocessor, which provided ease of use and helped to keep the camera’s price relatively low. These factors helped to cement the AE-1’s place in photography history. The AE-1 was compatible with Canon’s FD-mount, a manual-focus-only system that can accommodate a wide range of lenses, from the affordable 50mm f/1.8 (if you have an AE-1, you already have one) to the joyfully insane, 5kg, FD800mm f/5.6L.

It has a gorgeously mechanical feel while in use. If you really wanted one, you could get an electrical Power Winder that would allow you to shoot at a terrifying 2 frames per second (fps), but for a modern analog photographer, it would take away from the pleasant tactile experience of pulling the manual winding handle after each shot. Rewinding is done similarly by manually spinning the film back into its canister after unfolding the rewinder on the camera’s left shoulder.

5. Canon EOS 5D Mark II And EOS 5D

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II And EOS 5D

  • The screen and body show no signs of cosmetic damage visible from 12 inches away
  • Accessories may not be original
  • eligible for a replacement or refund within 90 days of receipt if it does not work as expected

Since both the EOS 5D and EOS 5D Mark II are considered classics in and of themselves, we’ve cheated a little bit here and combined them into one entry. The Canon EOS 5D was unique because it was the company’s first half-height DSLR or one without an integrated battery handle.

And if “cheap” might be a little harsh, it opened up full-frame photography to a much wider audience. We ate it up because full-frame photography meant a sharper depth of field, exceptional performance at higher ISOs, and higher-quality pictures all around.

The fact that the EOS 5D range’s design hasn’t changed considerably between the 2005 original to the 2016 EOS 5D Mark IV says loudly about Canon’s engineers getting it right on the first try. It was also constructed like a tank.

The original 5D was a monster; its 12.8MP sensor and maximum ISO of 3,200 instantly made it a favorite of studio photographers all over the world, and there is a worldwide legion of wedding photographers who would rather trip the bride up on her way down the aisle than shoot a wedding without some variant of the 5D on their shoulder.

Even in its day, the 9-point autofocus system was mediocre, and the less said about the top turn speed just 3 frames per second the better. That’s where the 2008 EOS 5D Mark II entered the picture. The addition of resolution (21.1MP), speed (4fps), ISO (25,600 at the highest setting), and, most crucially, video, made this version nearly flawlessly superior to the original.

Canon’s first DSLR to capture high-definition 1080p video at either 30 or 24 frames per second was the EOS 5D Mark II. It was warmly welcomed; The Avengers and a 2010 episode of House were both shots using a fleet of 5D Mark II cameras.

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Which Canon camera is ideal for beginners?

A variety of entry-level cameras are produced by Canon. Which one is best for you will depend on your individual needs, abilities, and financial situation. Canon has a camera for everyone, whether you’re replacing a point-and-shoot or switching from a smartphone.

Which Canon camera is the best for beginners? The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D, in our opinion, is the greatest all-around Canon camera for the majority of beginners. It’s a fantastic DSLR for beginning photographers to use because it’s lightweight, has outstanding battery life, and is comfortable to carry. Its outdated 9-point autofocus mechanism still works reliably, and the image quality is decent. When you’re ready to get creative, Canon’s catalog has a ton of compatible lenses.

However, the Canon EOS M50 is also a fantastic option for novices if you’d want to start out with a mirrorless camera. It is still a very capable APS-C camera that is affordable and simple to operate, despite being replaced by the modest update Canon EOS M50 Mk II. It is particularly user-friendly for beginners thanks to its mix of a superb electronic viewfinder and a sleek, vari-angle touchscreen. Additionally quick and dependable is dual pixel autofocus. It’s a wonderful value option for a beginner provided you can get beyond the short battery life and plasticky exterior.

Are you ready to invest in a camera that will grow with you? Full-frame mirrorless camera with excellent performance is the Canon EOS RP, which is also reasonably priced. Beginners should quickly become accustomed to its interface because it is small and easy to use, and it has a responsive back touchscreen. However, the EOS RP also creates sharp, colorful photographs and has great autofocus capability. It’s a good package if you don’t mind the 1.6x crop on 4K footage.

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How do we evaluate Canon cameras?

The finest Canon camera has been determined after comprehensive testing of each model because purchasing a camera these days is a significant investment. We place a lot of emphasis on real-world tests these days because they provide the most insightful understanding of a camera’s performance and personality, combined with standardized tests for things like ISO performance.

To determine who the camera is intended for and who would enjoy using it the most, we first examine the camera’s design, handling, and controls. We’ll test its startup speed when we use it both handed and on a tripod during a shoot to determine where its strengths lie.

We utilize a prepared card for performance and shoot in both raw and JPEG (if available). We set the camera to our standard test parameters for burst photography (1/250 sec, ISO 200, continuous AF), and then we take a number of frames while keeping a stopwatch in front of it to see if the camera achieves the speeds it promises. Additionally, we’ll examine how quickly the buffers clear and run the test once again for both raw and JPEG files.

We also test the camera’s various autofocus settings in a single point, area, and continuous modes under various lighting circumstances (including Face and Eye AF). In order to obtain a feel for metering and the sensor’s capacity to manage noise and resolve fine detail, we also take a variety of images in raw and JPEG in several photographic genres (portrait, landscape, low light, macro/close-up).

We’ll also run some test shots through Adobe Camera Raw to see how we can improve things like shadow recovery if the camera’s raw files are supported by it. Additionally, we’ll test the camera’s performance at every ISO setting to determine the highest settings we’d be willing to push it. We use the camera throughout the day with the screen’s default settings to test the battery life in a realistic environment.

When the battery is completely depleted, we’ll count the number of pictures taken and compare it to the camera’s CIPA rating. Finally, we use the camera’s companion app and some test footage to evaluate the camera’s video capabilities at various frame rates and resolutions. Before coming to a final conclusion, we consider everything we’ve learned about the camera and its price to gain a sense of the value it provides.

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