Best Canon Camera 2021: Mirrorless, DSLR and Compact

February 11, 2021 | Mark Goldstein | Best Cameras | Comment |

Canon are still the leading camera brand in 2021, despite some fierce competition from the likes of Sony and Nikon.

The Japanese giant continues to offer a range of cameras to suit every budget, from a sub-£$100 compact to an 8K full-frame mirrorless and an Olympics-shooting DSLR.

New Canon cameras in 2021 that we possibly expect to see include a flagship full-frame mirrorless model tentatively called the EOS R1 and an APS-C mirrorless camera named the EOS R7.

Canon have recently been concentrating most of their efforts on full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, quickly developing a superb range of of bodies and lenses to rival the best that their rivals have to offer.

Despite this switch in attentions, they are still the number one in the DSLR market, and it's easy to see why, as they sell everything from APS-C cameras for beginners, through higher-end APS-C and full-frame models for enthusiasts, to their range-topping professional products.

The compact camera market isn't what it was, consumed by the rise of the smartphone, but Canon still offer a large number of point-and-shoot, bridge and premium compacts.

All of this choice can be very confusing, though, so we've compiled our definitive list of the very best Canon cameras that money can buy.

We've independently and expertly reviewed virtually every camera that Canon has released in the past 15 years, so rest assured that you can trust our recommendations.

What is the Best Canon Camera in 2021?

Here's our list of the best Canon cameras that you can buy in 2021:

  • Canon EOS R5
  • Canon EOS R6
  • Canon EOS R
  • Canon EOS RP
  • Canon EOS M50
  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Canon EOS 90D
  • Canon EOS 250D
  • Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
  • Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
  • Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

Best Canon Mirrorless Camera 2021

Canon were a little late to the mirrorless party, only releasing their first full-frame model in 2018, but they've certainly been making up for lost time in recent years with the release of a slew of new cameras and lenses.

Chief among these is the EOS R5, a 45 megapixel camera that can shoot at 20 frames per second and can also record 8K video.

If the R5 is too expensive, there are three other excellent options available, the EOS R6, EOS R and EOS RP (in descending price order).

Canon also have a range of APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras, the EOS M series, which has received a little less love in terms of development but is still worth considering if you can't stretch the budget to a full-frame model.

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS R5

Simply the best Canon mirrorless camera that (a lot of) money can buy



Key Specs

  • 45 megapixels
  • 8K video
  • 5-axis IBIS
  • 20fps burst shooting
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II


  • Cutting-edge auto-focusing
  • Impeccable handling


  • Overheating issues
  • Pricey

This mirrorless marvel is the pinnacle of Canon's current camera technology, both for stills and video.

The EOS R5's 45 megapixel sensor provides more than enough resolution for every situation, yet it can also shoot at a pacey 20 frames per second.

The debut of 8K video recording caused a serious stir when the Canon R5 was released last year, although some serious overheating issues did dampen the initial enthusiasm. Thankfully a subsequent firmware update has helped to solve most of them.

The R5 has an immensely capable autofocusing system, impeccable handling thanks to an intuitive control layout, and provides up to 8 stops of stabilisation via its brand new 5-axis IBIS unit.

All of these cutting-edge features do come at a literal price though - other than the Olympics-level EOS 1-D X Mark III, the Canon R5 is the most expensive model in this list.

Our verdict: "The new EOS R5 is the most full-featured Canon camera to date, with its combination of a 45 megapixel sensor and 8K video recording along with cutting-edge mirrorless technology resulting in one of the most powerful cameras on the market."

Read our expert Canon EOS R5 Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS R6

The best-balanced full-frame mirrorless Canon camera to date



Key Specs

  • 20 megapixels
  • 4K video
  • 5-axis IBIS
  • 20fps burst shooting
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II


  • Speedy continuous shooting
  • Very customisable


  • Maybe not enough resolution
  • Overheating in 4K/60p

The EOS R5 may have taken all the plaudits, but the Canon R6 model that was launched at the same time is really the full-frame mirrorless camera that most people should choose.

It's much more affordable than the the Canon R5, has a more manageable 20 megapixel sensor, and offers even better handling than its big brother.

Even though it's a lot cheaper, you still get the same auto-focusing, image stabilisation and burst shooting systems as on the EOS R5.

Some people may find 20 megapixels too restrictive for things like cropping, however, and there are some overheating issues when shooting 4K/60p video,again largely addressed by a recent firmware update.

If you don't need 8K video or loads of megapixels, the Canon R6 is a much more sensible alternative to the R5.

Our verdict: "The new EOS R6 is the best full-frame mirrorless Canon camera to date, and unless you really need 8K video, the camera that mid-range DSLR owners should buy if they're looking to switch to mirrorless."

Read our expert Canon EOS R6 Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS R

Canon's first ever full-frame mirrorless camera is still worth considering



Key Specs

  • 30.3 megapixels
  • 4K UHD video recording
  • 3.69 million dot EVF
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF System
  • 5fps burst shooting


  • Same sensor as the EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Excellent AF system for stills and video


  • Serious 1.7x crop in 4K video
  • No IBIS system

Even though it's now 3 years old, a veritable lifetime in the camera industry, the original Canon full-frame mirrorless camera is still worth a look.

Using the same 30 megapixel sensor as the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR, the EOS R hits the middle ground between the 45 megapixel R5 and the 20 megapixel R6.

It does have a few questionable features, though, most notably an aggressive crop when shooting 4K video, the lack of an AF joystick, only a single card slot, and the divisive M-Fn bar.

Still, considering it's a first generation product, the EOS R has aged surprisingly well and doesn't look out-of-place in the current Canon range.

Our verdict: "If you've got a vested interest in Canon's DSLR range, with a lot of expensive EF glass in your lens cupboard, then the EOS R is a logical enough step into mirrorless that's certainly capable of delivering the same high image quality as the company's DSLRs."

Read our expert Canon EOS R Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS RP

The most affordable Canon full-frame mirrorless camera is surprisingly capable



Key Specs

  • 26.2 megapixels
  • 4K UHD 25/24p video recording
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF System
  • 2.36 million dot EVF
  • 4fps burst shooting


  • Most affordable Canon full-frame camera
  • Better handling than the EOS R


  • Same sensor as the old EOS 6D Mark II DSLR
  • Even worse 4K video than the EOS R

If you want a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera but don't have a lot of cash to splash, the EOS RP is the most affordable for you to realise your dreams.

Despite its modest asking price, which is more akin to APS-C cameras, the Canon RP is surprisingly capable, making it an excellent entry-point into full frame photography.

The EOS RP is surprisingly well-built, with the same level as weather-proofing as the popular EOS 90D DSLR.

The 26.2 megapixel sensor is starting to show its age, though, 4K video is even more hamstrung than on the EOS R, 4fps burst shooting is nothing to write home about, and battery life is mediocre at best.

The Canon RP isn't the most technologically advanced camera ever released, but it is the most affordable way to join the full-frame party.

Our verdict: "The new Canon EOS RP certainly isn't the best full-frame mirrorless camera in terms of features, performance or image quality, but it is crucially the cheapest, and it offers more than enough to justify its modest asking price."

Read our expert Canon EOS RP Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS M50

The first ever Canon mirrorless camera to offer 4K recording



Key Specs

  • 4K video recording
  • 24.1 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • DIGIC 8 processor
  • Vari-angle LCD monitor
  • 10fps burst shooting


  • APS-C sensor makes it affordable
  • Vari-angle LCD screen for vlogging


  • Small range of Canon APS-C lenses
  • Heavy 1.7x crop in 4K video

Billed as the ideal camera for vlogging, the Canon EOS M50 largely delivers on that promise if you shoot in 1080p.

4K video is another matter entirely though, as the heavy 1.7x crop makes it hard to hold the camera far enough away at arm's length and get the correct framing.

In many other ways the Canon M50 outperforms the more expensive M5 model, which is why we've included it instead on this list.

Chief amongst these are the excellent AF system, intuitive touchscreen interface, seamless wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, fast 10fps burst shooting, and the very latest Raw formats.

Although it's not quite a vlogger's dream ticket, the EOS M50 is still surprisingly capable for what is after all only a "mid-range" camera.

Our verdict: "You'll then reap the benefits of an excellent AF system, intuitive touchscreen interface, vari-angle screen, seamless wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, expanded ISO range, faster burst shooting, and the very latest Raw formats, all areas where the M50 out-performs the range-topping M5."

Read our expert Canon EOS M50 Review

Best Canon DSLR Camera 2021

Digital SLRs have been Canon's best-selling cameras for many years now, and even with the recent advent of mirrorless, they still make up a large part of the company's overall sales. Indeed, Canon are still the number one player in the DSLR market.

Consequently they offer a vast range of different models, from the Olympics-level EOS-1D X Mark III right down to the beginner-focused EOS 2000D camera.

If you want an interchangeable lens camera and prefer an optical viewfinder to an electronic one, Canon literally have a DSLR for every budget.

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Flagship features and performance at a flagship price



Key Specs

  • 20.1 megapixels
  • 20fps burst shooting
  • DCI 4K/60p video
  • ISO 50-819200
  • DIGIC X image processor


  • 20fps burst shooting
  • Built to last forever


  • The most expensive Canon camera ever
  • Might be too big for some users

Designed expressly for the Olympic Games, the Canon 1D X Mark III DSLR is all about speed offering 20fps burst shooting in live view and 16fps with the optical viewfinder.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that's employed when shooting video or in Live View is one of the most sophisticated on the market, featuring features 3869 autofocus points with 525 automatic positions.

The native ISO range runs from 100-102400, which can be expanded to ISO 50-819200, making the EOS-1D X Mark III a low-light shooter's dream ticket.

DCI 4K video at 60 fps with 10-bit 4:2:2 color and Raw 5.5K video are also available.

This pro-level camera inevitably has a pro-level price tag, so us mere mortals probably won't apply, but we can at least dream.

Our verdict: "There will be those who are put off by the bulk as well as the price; and for them maybe a mirrorless camera is a better option than a traditionally built DSLR. But for those for whom the Canon EOS-1DX Mark III fits like a glove, it is, as expected, a supremely capable tool that should last you years of usage."

Read our expert Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

One of the most popular DSLRs ever still has curb appeal



Key Specs

  • 30.4 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • 4K movie recording at 30/25/24 fps
  • ISO 50-102400
  • 61 focusing points with 41 cross-type AF points


  • A veritable pleasure to shoot with
  • Major upgrades from the Mark III version


  • Out-specced and out-performed by the best mirrorless
  • Sensor starting to show its age

The EOS 5D has long been one of Canon's most popular DSLRs, and the Mark IV version is certainly no different.

Offering a raft of substantial upgrades when compared to its predecessor, the 5D Mark IV is still one of the best DSLRs that Canon offer.

Competition from mirrorless is fierce, however, even from Canon themselves, and the future of DSLR cameras as a whole remains unclear.

If you love shooting with an SLR camera, though, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is well worth considering even though it first made its debut way back in 2016.

Our verdict: "The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV builds on the proven design of its popular 4-year-old predecessor, the 5D Mark III, upgrading just about every aspect of its performance, which all adds up to a much better, yet still familiar, all-round camera for stills and video shooters alike."

Read our expert Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS 90D

Could this be one of the last all-round DSLRs that Canon ever makes?



Key Specs

  • 32.5 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • 45 cross-type AF points.
  • Up to 11fps burst shooting
  • 4K video
  • Digic 8 processor


  • A great all-rounder for hybrid shooters
  • 4K recording is thankfully uncropped


  • Some users may prefer a smaller, mirrorless model
  • Maybe a touch pricey now

The EOS 90D is one of the most versatile DSLRs around, and also one of the best-balanced cameras on our list.

This APS-C sensor camera is a great all-rounder that has lots of strengths and very few weaknesses.

If you want to shoot high-resolution stills and 4K video but prefer a DSLR to mirrorless, the EOS 90D has your back covered.

If you’re somebody who likes to shoot subjects like wildlife and sport, the large body of the Canon 90D works well with the longer lenses you’ll likely be using.

Our verdict: "Being a good all-rounder it’s good for those who shoot lots of different kinds of subject. It does well at sports and action, as well as being suited to landscape, portraits and pretty much any kind of subject you care to shoot. It’s also reasonably priced for what you get, so it comes highly recommended."

Read our expert Canon EOS 90D Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon EOS 250D / EOS Rebel SL3

The ideal entry-level interchangeable lens camera for beginners



Key Specs

  • 24.1 megapixels
  • Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focusing
  • Vari-angle LCD touchscreen
  • 5fps continuous shooting
  • 4K 25/24p video recording


  • Great live view mode
  • Really long battery life


  • Heavy 1.7x crop in 4K video
  • Basic optical viewfinder

The EOS 250D, also known as the EOS Rebel SL3, is our favourite entry-level Canon SLR camera.

It's worth paying a little extra over the EOS 4000D/2000D models to get the extra features and performance offered by the Canon 250D / Rebel SL3.

The Canon 250D one of the best beginner DSLRs around in terms of its live view mode, thanks to its excellent the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system and vari-angle LCD touchscreen, complete with face/eye detection.

The massive crop factor and inability to use the excellent Dual Pixel CMOS AF system during recording does raher cripple the headline grabbing 4K video mode.

Our verdict: "It still remains our first choice of entry-level Canon DSLR camera, sitting above the EOS 4000D/2000D models in terms of price and capability..."

Read our expert Canon EOS 250D Review

Best Canon Compact Camera 2021

Canon continues to sell a great range of compact cameras at various price points in 2021, even though this style of camera has fallen out of favour in recent years as smartphones have largely replaced them.

The days of seemingly hundreds of different models in various colours are long gone, but there's still everything from the range-topping G1 X Mark III with its large APS-C sized sensor, down to the stylish IXUS 185 HS that retails for less then £$100.

For many users, from beginners to keen amateurs, an all-in-one camera with a fixed lens will more than meet their needs, so we've recommended the best Canon compacts available at various price-points.

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

Canon's most expensive compact is a belter



Key Specs

  • 24 megapixels
  • APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 24-72mm f/2.8-5.6 lens
  • Image Stabilisation
  • Built-in viewfinder


  • DSLR image sensor in a compact
  • Vari-angle LCD screen


  • Pricey for a compact camera
  • No 4K video recording

This is Canon's most expensive compact camera, and you certainly get a lot of bang for yor buck.

It has a large APS-C sensor that's more commonly found in larger DSLR and mirrorless cameras, yet its still small enough to carry around in your coat pocket.

The G1 X really is a great all-in-one camera, with a built-in viewfinder, vari-angle screen, stabilisation system and weather-proof body.

Its only real drawbacks are the lack of 4K video shooting and a rather slow, 3x zoom lens, but other than that, there's a lot to like.

Our verdict: "...the new Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III can be summed up in one word - premium. It's a premium compact camera that offers premium image quality and handling, albeit with a premium price tag to match."

Read our expert Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

One of Canon's best compact cameras for stills photographers and keen vloggers



Key Specs

  • 20.1 megapixels
  • 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor
  • 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 lens
  • 4K movie recording
  • 20fps continuous shooting


  • 4K video with no crop
  • 20fps burst mode thanks to the stacked image sensor


  • Missing eye-detection AF mode
  • No viewfinder support

This is one of Canon's most capable compact cameras for vlogging - indeed, it's one of their most vlogger-friendly cameras of any kind.

4K recording with no crop, a fast lens, 3.5mm mic input, live streaming to YouTube over Wifi, support for vertical movies for IG TV, and the 120fps slow-motion mode all make the G7 X Mark III very appealing to the YouTube crowd.

The new stacked image sensor and latest Digic 8 processor combine to make the G7 X III one of the fastest shooting compact cameras on the market.

Overall, this is a serious rival to the market-leading Sony Cyber-shot RX100 series.

Our verdict: "The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III might look familiar on the outside, but rest assured that this is no minor refresh, with a wealth of internal improvements that make it one of Canon's best compact cameras for both stills photographers and keen vloggers alike."

Read our expert Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

The best Canon compact for stills photography



Key Specs

  • 20 megapixels
  • 4K video
  • 5x, 24-120mm f/1.8-f/2.8 lens
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Tilting touch-sensitive LCD


  • Versatile 5x zoom lens
  • Pop up and pull out viewfinder


  • Expensive for a compact
  • Disappointing autofocus for moving subjects

While the G7 X Mark III is aimed more at vloggers, the Canon G5 X Mark II is the better option out of the two if stills photography is your main passion.

Cheaper than the equivalent Sony Cyber-shot RX100, the G5 X II's small pocket-friendly size, plus the viewfinder and screen combination, make it a very pleasant holiday or travel camera.

Battery life is a little limited, though, especially for a travel camera, and the auto-focus system is fine for still subjects but a bit hit-and-miss for action.

Buy the G5 X Mark II instead of the G7 X Mark III if stills photography is your thing, and reverse that decision if you're more into video.

Our verdict: "Overall, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II might not set the world alight with class-leading technology, but it is solid, dependable and very good as a pocketable travel-friendly camera."

Read our expert Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II Review

Best Canon Camera 2021

Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

The cheapest, yet still cheerful, Canon camera in our roundup



Key Specs

  • 20.3 megapixels
  • 40x optical zoom lens
  • UHD 4K video recording
  • 7.4fps burst shooting
  • Digic 8 processor


  • Massive zoom range
  • Cheap way to get 4K video


  • Not really that different to the SX730
  • Not quite as good as the Panasonic TZ-series

Yes, a camera with a tiny 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor really has made it onto our Best Canon Camera list!

It's still the only way to get a pocketable camera with a massive 40x optical zoom lens that's equivalent to 24-960mm.

Super-zooms are still quite popular with more casual family users, and the Canon SX740 is a good example of one of those.

It's not quite as good as the Panasonic TZ-series, still the market-leader, but the addition of 4K video recording a faster burst shooting rate ensure that it remains competitive.

Our verdict: "...the combination of 40x zoom, 4K video, decent still image quality in good light and truly pocketable format is still a compelling one for the family market that it's predominantly aimed at."

Read our expert Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are Canon cameras made?

After years of moving production overseas to China and Thailand, most Canon cameras and lenses are now both designed and made in Japan. Some of its cheaper cameras and lenses are manufactured in Malysia to save costs.

Is Canon good for photography?

Canon has been the market leader for photography for many years, something that hasn't changed despite the best efforts of Nikon and in recent years Sony. Canon is an excellent brand, trusted by many photographers of all abilities, from professionals to family users.

Which Canon camera is best for video?

The EOS R5 is the best Canon camera for video, as it offers both 4K and 8K recording with excellent auto-focusing.

If you can't afford this top-of-the-range model, then the PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a very affordable option that delivers 4K video with no crop.

Which Canon camera is the best?

Canon have been focusing most of their recent efforts on mirrorless cameras, with the EOS R5 and R6 the pick of the bunch.

But you shouldn't discount their still extensive range of DSLR cameras too - Canon have long been the leader in the DSLR market and it's easy to see why. We'd recommend the EOS 90D as one of the most versatile DSLRs around.

Can I use my Canon camera as a webcam?

Yes, many of the latest Canon cameras can now be used as webcams via the Canon EOS Webcam Utility Software program thanks to a number of recent camera firmware updates. There are over 50 different Canon cameras that can be used as webcams using this software.

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