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Canon is a well-known manufacturer of cameras. They started as “Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory” in Japan in the 1930s and opened a branch in the USA in 1955 for manufacturing handheld cameras. They started their PowerShot series of point-and-shoot cameras in the year 2000 and added their line of DSLR cameras in 2010. With almost a century of being on the cutting edge of manufacturing cameras, you can rest assured that you can find a model that will suit your photography and videography needs.
We’ll take a brief look at Canon’s point-and-shoot compact cameras, their DSLR cameras, and their mirrorless cameras. They also make camcorders and cinema cameras, which are in a much higher price range for professionals. Their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras take particular interchangeable lenses, and you have to know what to choose so that the lens that you buy will be compatible. You’ll also have the choice of buying a camera kit, which includes the camera body, lenses, a battery pack, a microphone for recording video, and more.
Here are the categories of Canon cameras, and an example of each product line:
Canon PowerShot Compact Cameras: The Canon PowerShot line of cameras are compact point-and-shoot cameras suitable for casual photography and travel. They are lightweight, easy to use, and often offer a variety of shooting modes. One of the most affordable models is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS Digital Camera.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS Digital Camera Kit
Canon EOS DSLR Cameras: Canon's EOS lineup includes a range of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. These cameras are known for their versatility, image quality, and compatibility with a vast selection of lenses. An example is the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 Digital SLR Camera. It’s considered a compact, beginner-level DSLR camera, with a 24.1 MP APS-C sensor.
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 Digital SLR Camera
Canon Mirrorless Cameras: Canon has two main lines of mirrorless cameras: the EOS R series, and the EOS M series. The EOS R series is their line of full-frame mirrorless cameras. These cameras feature a compact design, electronic viewfinders, and compatibility with the RF lens mount system. A notable model is the Canon EOS R7 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera. It has 32.5 MP resolution and can take 4K 60p video. Because of the superior video quality, it’s especially suited for vlogging.
Canon EOS R7 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera
The EOS M series is Canon's line of APS-C mirrorless cameras. They offer a balance between size, image quality, and affordability. These cameras use the EF-M lens mount system. An example is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. It can record 4K UHD 24p video, and HD 120p slow motion video.
Canon EOS M50 Mark II
Canon Cinema EOS Cameras: Canon also manufactures professional cinema cameras designed for filmmaking and high-end video production. These cameras offer advanced video features, high dynamic range, and compatibility with cinema lenses. One of the most affordable is the Canon EOS C200. It has a large sensor measuring 24.4 x 13.5 mm and can record 4K video.
Canon EOS C200
Canon Professional Camcorders: There are also professional-level camcorders produced by Canon, such as the Canon XA60 Pro Camcorder. It’s capable of recording 4K UHD video and can stream HD video content directly to a computer. It can also achieve an amazing 800x zoom resolution!
Canon XA60 Pro Camcorder
We went over some customers’ impressions of the Canon camera that they bought:
Read the manual: When dealing with complicated DSLR or mirrorless cameras that allow you to adjust many of the settings, you might be overwhelmed by the complexity. One customer said it took around 2 weeks to master all of the camera’s controls before he was able to start taking pictures!
In-body image stabilization (IBIS): Canon cameras feature in-body image stabilization, where the camera has electronics to offset the shaking of your hands when you’re using a slower shutter speed. Unlike lens-based stabilization systems, which rely on stabilization mechanisms within the lens itself, IBIS operates by moving the camera's image sensor to counteract unwanted movements. IBIS will counteract the shaking of the camera if you’re not using a tripod. But it won’t be able to prevent the image from being blurry if you’re filming a moving object.
Continuous shooting mode: Many Canon cameras, such as the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, have a feature called “continuous shooting mode”, also known as “burst mode” or “continuous drive mode”. It lets you capture multiple frames in quick succession with a single press and hold of the shutter button. In this mode, the camera takes a rapid series of photographs, usually at a high frame rate, until you release the shutter button or a specified number of shots have been taken. It’s great for capturing fast-action scenes so that you have a better chance of capturing the perfect moment.
Batteries and SD cards: It's worth noting that cameras used for taking video or continuous shots will consume more power and fills up your memory card faster due to the increased number of files and file size. Therefore, it's essential to have a sufficient number of batteries on hand, and even extra memory cards when using continuous shooting mode. Purchase an SD memory card with a recording speed of at least 170mbps. A card that holds 256 GB and records at 170mbps can record 4 hours of 4k video!
Here are some tips about features to look for when choosing a Canon camera:
Lens types: The DSLR and mirrorless Canon cameras use interchangeable lenses. But, there are two types of lenses: the EF series, and the RF series. Make sure to purchase the right type of lens for your camera. For example, the Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera will take Canon RF lenses, but will only take EF lenses if you use the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R!
Sensor types: The resolution of a camera is determined by the quality of the sensor. Canon uses the following types of sensors in its cameras:
Full-Frame Sensors: Canon's full-frame sensors, also known as 35mm sensors, are equivalent in size to a 35mm film frame. They offer a larger surface area, measuring 36 mm x 24 mm, resulting in better low-light performance, dynamic range, and overall image quality.
APS-C and APS-H Sensors: “APS” stands for “Active Pixel Sensor”. Canon has two lines of APS sensors: the APS-C, and the APS-H. Canon's APS-C sensors are smaller than full-frame sensors but larger than those found in most compact cameras. They are commonly used in Canon's consumer and enthusiast-level DSLRs. The APS-H sensor is the larger of the two, but still smaller than a full-frame sensor.
Dual Pixel CMOS Auto-Focus Sensors: Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensors are a specialized type of sensor designed to provide fast and accurate autofocus during both still photography and video recording. Each pixel on the sensor is divided into two photodiodes, enabling advanced phase-detection autofocus.
BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) Sensors: These are designed to improve low-light performance by placing the circuitry behind the pixel layer. Canon has started incorporating BSI sensors in some of its camera models to enhance sensitivity and reduce noise.
We went through some of the Canon camera product lines as of June 2023. You can of course still get refurbished models of older cameras on Amazon, which will be a fraction of the cost of a state-of-the-art model. Whether you need a camera just for taking pictures of family events, or serious models for professional-level photography, you can find a Canon model that will do everything you need and more!