- Best Compact Camera
- Best Beginner DSLR
- Best Inexpensive Mirrorless Camera
- Best Entry to Professional Cameras
Our Top 3 Picks
Canon has long been the biggest camera manufacturer and they offer a vast range of products.
In this review, we seek to find the best cheap Canon cameras for you in 2021.
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Best Compact Camera
Are you using your smartphone extensively for photography, and struggle to get the results that you want?
These mid-to-top-level compact cameras give you optical zoom, great low-light performance, and better controls than your smartphone. And these cheap canon cameras still fit in your back pocket.
Best for: general point-and-shoot use
Canon PowerShot SX620
This camera is hardly heavier than a smartphone at 182g. Canon designed it to fit your everyday needs and features a few great extras.
It gives you an incredible 25x optical zoom. The telephoto end is equivalent to a 625mm lens on a full-frame camera – that is enough to get a detailed photo of the Moon. You will need a tripod for that, though.
You get 21 megapixels on a 1/2.3″ sensor. This allows for 4x extra digital zoom, but if you use that, you lose resolution.
The sensor does not perform particularly well in low-light conditions, but ISO 3200 is the standard in this category.
The images you get from this camera are detailed and colourful. There is no problem with compression or processing.
Should you need to download the photos to your phone or laptop, this camera has a Wi-Fi connection. Setting it up is slightly unintuitive, but after that, it works great.
The SX620 is capable of shooting videos up to 1080p for 30 minutes.
We recommend this camera if you want a convenient, cheap option for general use.
Best for: advanced pointing-and-shooting, travel, street
Canon PowerShot G7 X II
The G7 series is one of Canon’s top compact camera lines. The G7 X II is not the newest one in it – the G7 X III came out this year. However, we consider the II version a better deal.
This camera boasts a lot of advanced features. It gives you full manual controls and RAW shooting – things that you need if you are taking photography seriously.
It’s sturdily built, but still very small and light, weighing just 319g.
One of its best selling points is the lens. While not having an extreme zoom of 25x, like the SX620, this lens is of outstanding quality. It lets a ton of light into the sensor, with a starting aperture of f/1.8, which slightly decreases to f/2.8 at the telephoto setting.
The zoom range is 24-100mm, which is 4.2x of zoom.
You can shoot videos up to 1080p in 60fps for 30 minutes on this camera as well.
Autofocus works great. You don’t have to worry about getting blurry shots.
The G7 X II is capable of shooting 8 RAW files in every second continuously. To utilise this feature, you need to get an SD card fast enough to handle the writing speed.
If you’re searching for a camera that is tiny in size but gives you professional quality, this is the right choice for you.
It’s pretty expensive in its category, but still at the same price range as recent entry-level DSLRs.
Best Beginner DSLR
If you’re willing to pay and learn a little more, you might find yourself looking for DSLRs.
These cameras both feature an APS-C sized sensor and Canon’s EF mount for interchangeable lenses. You can purchase them with or without kit lenses.
This system provides excellent backwards compatibility, and undoubtedly good future options as well.
Best for: learning to use a DSLR, travel
Canon EOS 2000D
The EOS 2000D is Canon’s second cheapest EOS camera. It’s about 50 USD more expensive than the all-plastic and featureless 4000D, which we don’t recommend to buy.
It offers you a great starting point for your way into the world of DSLRs.
You get plenty of resolution on the 24MP sensor. The processor is a little dated but still delivers beautiful photos with an acceptable noise floor.
Autofocus somewhat lacks with only 9 points and only contrast detection in live view, but its performance is decent.
Ergonomics-wise you get the solid feel of a DSLR, and there are enough buttons to control the device quickly.
This camera allows you to shoot 1080p video for 30 minutes.
In our opinion, this is a camera worth investing in if your budget is limited, but you want the flexibility of the EF-mount.
Note: depending on your location, you may find this camera under a different name. 1500D, Rebel T7 and Kiss X90 are the same product.
Best for: travel, video
Canon EOS 250D
The EOS 250D is the smallest DSLR on Canon’s palette, but that doesn’t mean it compromises on quality or functions.
It is built of high-grade plastic. Despite the size, the grip is comfortable and steady.
You can certainly use heavier lenses on it without losing balance. However, the optional kit lens provides excellent results as well.
This camera contains one of Canon’s newest sensors, which has a resolution of 24 megapixels. Together with the DIGIC 8 processor, it offers clean and colourful images with low noise level.
When using the optical viewfinder, you might find the autofocus system slightly outdated with only nine focus points. At least they are accurate and sensitive, so this is not a huge drawback.
The real wonder of autofocus comes when you switch on live view or video mode. This camera includes Canon’s fantastic Dual Pixel system.
It combines contrast-detection and phase-detection focus points, 3975 of them to be exact. They cover virtually the whole frame. You can focus on and track subjects seamlessly and quickly.
Controls are excellent. You get an extensive button coverage in addition to the flip-out touchscreen. The menus are intuitive and logical.
Of course, the 250D also offers Wi-Fi connection for remote control and data transfer.
This camera is not as cheap as the 4000D, but it also gives you notably more features. We recommend if you’re looking for a small but very competent DSLR.
Note: depending on your location, you may get this camera as EOS SL3.
Best Inexpensive Mirrorless Camera
As technology evolves, there is less and less need for a mirror. Better sensors, longer-lasting batteries, nicer screens, electronic viewfinders, and hybrid autofocus systems allow for advanced mirrorless cameras.
Canon offers some reasonably priced and desirable mirrorless cameras for you.
Both of these cameras take on EF-M lenses. You can use any EF or EF-S lens on them with Canon’s adapter.
Best for: street, everyday use
Canon EOS M100
The M100 represents the entry to Canon’s mirrorless interchangeable lens (MILC) cameras but comes packed with a lot of useful features.
It provides roughly the same options as the EOS 250D in an even smaller and lighter body. Without a lens, it has the size of a compact camera.
If you purchase it in a kit, the kit lenses offer good performance and tiny size.
The autofocus system is excellent, utilising the Dual Pixel system.
Video recording, although not 4K, is still viable in 1080p with 60 fps in 30 minutes.
Pair this camera with the EF-M 22mm f/2, and you’ve got a fantastic street photography camera with the size of a compact.
If you want advanced features in a tiny and cheap device, this is the way to go.
Best for: action, travel
Canon EOS M6
The first generation of the M6 was Canon’s first serious attempt for a highly usable MILC, and it’s still a great deal today.
Its features are similar to those of the EOS 80D, but at a lower price and in a mirrorless body.
You get the Dual Pixel system and the 1080p/60fps video of the M100. The key difference between these two are controls and burst shooting.
The M6 has an articulating 3″ touchscreen, a bigger grip, and dual control dials. Adjusting the exposure is much more comfortable with them.
Burst shooting is possible up to 9 fps in full resolution RAW, but it requires a fast SD card.
We recommend this camera if you want the compactness of a MILC, but the features of the M100 are not enough for you.
Best Entry to Professional Cameras
Having enthusiasm for photography and a limited budget can leave you thinking that your gear compromises you.
The next two cameras are both legendary EOS models – they are old, but not outdated. They may still be the perfect choice for you for specific purposes.
Best for: nature, sports
Canon EOS 7D
The 7D is Canon’s first semi-professional APS-C digital camera.
When it was released in 2009, it shook up the market with its low-noise, high-resolution sensor, its autofocus power, and burst rate.
Build quality is exceptional. The body is constructed of high-grade plastic and magnesium, and it’s fully weather-sealed. You don’t have to bother about hard handling, this camera will survive pretty much everything.
You control the settings with a well-thought-out, comfortable button layout. Meanwhile, holding the camera with a lens is as convenient as it gets with the full-sized grip and perfectly balanced weight.
Viewing the exposure and shooting settings is possible with a glance at the top LCD. The back screen is bright, colourful and provides enough detail.
The 19-point autofocus system works quickly and snappily. It even keeps working continuously during the 8 fps burst. That is something that’s still rare today.
Tracking and sensitivity settings are also available for the system.
Note that this camera uses CF cards, and you’ll require fast ones for the fast burst.
Best for: outdoor/street portraits
Canon EOS 5D
Back in 2005, Canon gate-crashed with their first consumer-level full-frame camera. It came out at half the price than the 1Ds, the only previous option.
Looking at the specs, it seems like nothing remarkable. But if you’re holding it in your hands, you will feel its magic. It’s almost like holding an old 35mm film camera.
Construction quality is similar to the 7D, with a heavy-duty metal body and a steady grip.
Autofocus is slow, but accurate with 9 points.
The one application where this camera still excels is outdoor portrait photography. There is something about that full-frame look, that grabs the eye of the viewers. The sensor itself has a noise pattern very similar to film.
Some photographers, including the author of this article, regularly choose this camera over newer, higher resolution cameras because of that.
Like the 7D, the 5D writes its files to CF cards, but high-speed cards are not required in this case due to the lower resolution and burst rate.
Because of its age, the EOS 5D sells for very low prices second-hand and is an absolute bargain if you’re willing to invest your time into learning photography seriously.