The Best Budget Canon Cameras You Can Buy in 2021: For Beginners, Amateurs, and Professionals

Canon produces some of the most popular cameras in the world. There's a Canon camera available for pretty much every kind of photography genre. In this article, we will be looking at the best budget options available from Canon for photographers at any level. 

Best Canon Cameras for Beginners

Canon EOS T7


Key Specifications

Price: $399
Sensor Type: APS-C  
Resolution: 24MP
Lens mount: Canon EF-S  
Screen: 3 inch fixed LCD, 920,000 dots
Max burst speed: 3fps
Max video resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 24.00p/25p/29.97p

Kit Lens

Focal Length: 18 to 55mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 28.8 to 88mm)
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5 to f/5.6
Weight: 201g

Your first camera should be one that is easy to use, cost-effective, and produces great looking images. The Canon EOS T7 ticks all three of these boxes. As entry-level cameras go, one could argue that the Canon EOS T7 is one of the best on the market. The 24MP APS-C sensor alongside the EF-S mount provides a world of potential. Canon has an impressive line of high-end and budget lenses available for this mount and almost all of them are compatible with this camera. 

Having said that, the kit lens that comes with the camera is not to be sniffed at. The wide focal range offers a great deal of flexibility for most normal shooting environments. Whether you're a budding professional, or simply want to take great images of your loved ones, the Canon EOS T7 could be the perfect place to start. 

For: 

  • Inexpensive but offers a great deal of potential
  • One of the most widely compatible lens mounts. 
  • Can accommodate both full-frame and APS-C lenses from Canon. 
  • Compatible with a wide range of accessories. 

Against:

  • Relatively heavy for an APS-C camera.
  • Can be difficult to autofocus in low light scenarios 
  • High ISO performance could be better. 

Canon M200

Key Specifications

Price: $499
Sensor Type: APS-C  
Resolution: 24MP
Autofocus: Dual Pixel Autofocus 
Lens mount: Canon EF-S  
Screen: 3 inch 180° Tilting Touchscreen LCD
Max burst speed: 6.1 fps
Max video resolution: UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p

Kit Lens

Focal Length: 15 to 45mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 to 72mm)
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5 to f/6.3
Weight: 130g

If you can stretch your budget by an extra $100, the Canon M200 is a significant upgrade from the Canon EOS T7. As good as the EOS T7 is, the M200 offers a number of useful features. The first is dual pixel autofocus. This autofocus system is quite possibly one of the best on the market. Even in darker environments, dual pixel autofocus can find and track subjects far more effectively. This can be especially useful if you produce any video content. 

Speaking of video, the M200 can shoot 4K UHD video, offering much higher resolution. There's also the tiltable touchscreen that could come in handy if vlogging is something you plan on doing. All of this comes in a much smaller and lighter camera body making for a more portable system overall. 

For: 

  • Small, but highly capable
  • EOS-M mount is compatible with both DSLR and mirrorless lenses. 
  • Far better autofocus features. 
  • Tilting screen. 
  • Much improved video features

Against:

  • Ergonomics not quite as good as many DSLR cameras. 
  • More expensive than the EOS T7, although the extra features could mean it's worth it. 
  • The kit lens has a smaller maximum aperture and smaller focal range. 

Best Canon Cameras for Amateurs

Canon EOS Rebel SL3

Key Specifications

Price: $599.00 ($1278.00 including suggested lens)
Sensor Type: APS-C  
Resolution: 24MP
Autofocus: Dual Pixel Autofocus 
Lens mount: Canon EF-S  
Screen: 3 inch 1,040,000 Dot Fully Articulating Touchscreen LCD
Max burst speed: 5 fps
Max video resolution: DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.976p/29.97p (externally)

Suggested Lens: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

Focal Length: 18 to 35mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 28.8 to 56mm)
Maximum Aperture: A constant f/1.8
Weight: 810g

The Canon SL3 is one of the smallest and lightest DSLR cameras that Canon has ever produced. Its small stature does not however limit the performance. The video features in this camera are a significant upgrade from the models above, its ability to record 4K video at 4:2:2 and 10-bit via an external recorder makes it a more serious option for video shooters. This coupled with the fully articulating touch screen makes it more user-friendly for both photographers and video shooters. 

The Canon EOS SL3 continues with a 24MP APS-C sensor and the EF-S mount. The potential of this camera is really only unlocked when shooting with a lens such as the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art. The video and photo features in this camera along with a high-end APS-C lens put it in a higher tier.

The total price for both camera and lens is $1278. 

For: 

  • A notable upgrade in video features
  • Along with the Sigma lens, this camera system can produce brilliant results. 
  • The wide aperture zoom lens can help blur backgrounds and shoot in lower light environments. 
  • Full articulating touchscreen.
  • High-end video features when recording externally. 

Against:

  • The lens is quite heavy but the camera body isn't making for a front-heavy camera system. 
  • Price point starting to lean into Full-frame territory when taking the lens into account. 
  • No headphone jack in the camera body. 

Canon EOS RP

Key Specifications

Price: $1299
Sensor Type: Full Frame 
Resolution: 26.2MP
Autofocus: Dual Pixel Autofocus 
Lens mount: Canon RF
Screen: 3 inch, 1,040,000 Dot, Articulating Touchscreen LCD
Max burst speed: 5 fps
Max video resolution: UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p

Kit Lens

Focal Length: 24mm to 105mm
Maximum Aperture: f/4 to 7.1
Weight: 395g

The Canon SL3 along with the Sigma lens is a brilliant system. However, if you spend a little more, you can upgrade to a full frame camera system with the Canon EOS RP. The key benefits are improved high ISO performance and better overall image quality. The RF kit lens also covers a much wider focal range providing greater flexibility. This type of lens could be great for shooting events or even weddings. 

The EOS RP also boasts an impressive 4779 focus points directly on the sensor. This can help ensure a more reliable autofocus system even in tougher scenarios. The only downside in comparison to the SL3 package is that the lens has a much smaller maximum aperture. Having said that, the full frame sensor could make up for it especially because the new RF mount is compatible with a greater number of lenses.  

For: 

  • Great value for money.
  • A full-frame sensor. 
  • Huge focal range on the kit lens. 
  • A great balance of good video and stills features
  • Much better when shooting at higher ISO. 
  • Huge selection of lenses available. 

Against:

  • Significantly smaller maximum aperture on the kit lens. 
  • Battery life could be better. 

Best Canon Cameras for Professionals

Canon EOS R

Key Specifications

Price: $2099
Sensor Type: Full Frame 
Resolution: 30.3MP
Autofocus: Dual Pixel Autofocus 
Lens mount: Canon RF
Screen: 3.15 inch, 2,100,000 Dot, Articulating Touchscreen LCD
Max burst speed: 8 fps
Max video resolution: UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/24.00p/25p/29.97p

Kit Lens

Focal Length: 24mm to 105mm
Maximum Aperture: f/4 to 7.1
Weight: 395g

The Canon EOS R is the highest resolution full-frame camera on this list. The 30.3MP sensor produces fantastic results due in part to its wider dynamic range and high ISO performance. The video features in this camera are also an upgrade from the Canon EOS RP. The built-in log profiles help increase dynamic range when shooting in high contrast scenarios. You can also shoot up to 4:2:2 10-bit when filming with an external recorder. All in all, if you need a camera that's going to produce both brilliant images and footage, the Canon EOS R might be the best choice. 

For: 

  • Better overall build and higher resolution screen.
  • Significantly better battery life.
  • Offers both high-resolution video and stills features.
  • Increased dynamic range to help with recovering bright and dark sections of an image in post.  
  • Huge selection of lenses available. 

Against:

  • Only has a single storage card slot. 
  • Kit lens could prove a little limiting with this camera. 

Canon EOS R6

Key Specifications

Price: $2499 (body only) $3599 (with kit lens)
Sensor Type: Full Frame 
Resolution: 20.1MP
Autofocus: Dual Pixel Autofocus (improved)
Lens mount: Canon RF
Screen: 3 inch, 1,620,000 Dot, Articulating Touchscreen LCD
Max burst speed: 12 fps (with mechanical shutter) 20 fps (with electronic shutter)
Max video resolution: UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/29.97p/59.94p

Kit Lens

Focal Length: 24mm to 105mm
Maximum Aperture: f/4 constant aperture
Weight: 700g

What the Canon EOS R6 lacks in resolution it makes up for with speed, and one of the best autofocus systems on the market. The dual pixel autofocus system in the EOS R6 is unlike any other cameras in this list. With highly capable eye-detect autofocus features and tracking algorithms, the EOS R6 can comfortably find and stay locked onto the subject. 

The EOS R6 also offers a significantly higher burst rate of up to 20 fps. If you're photographing fast-moving subjects, the EOS R6 will likely be the most reliable choice.  

The Canon EOS R6 can shoot 4K video using the full width of the full-frame sensor and up to 60 frames per second. This allows you to either produce smoother-looking footage, or you can slow down clips in post for dramatic shots. The camera also does not require an external recorder to unlock higher quality 4:2:2 10-bit video, because it can record all of this internally. 

Finally, if you decide to select this camera with the kit lens, you have the potential to produce far better quality images. The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4.0L sits in a higher tier among standard Canon lenses. With its wider constant aperture, you can not only shoot more effectively in lower light scenarios, you also have the potential to blur out backgrounds for a more pleasing look. 

For: 

  • Professional build and design.
  • Dual storage card slots for extra redundancies. 
  • Significantly better autofocus features. 
  • Improved high ISO performance.   
  • High frame rate shooting for both video and stills. 
  • The kit lens is a big upgrade from other options in this list. 

Against:

  • Has the potential to overheat when shooting high-resolution video for prolonged periods.  
  • Relatively expensive when coupled with the kit lens. 
  • Lower resolution sensor.
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6 Comments

Michael L's picture

I guess $2499 is within someone's budget

Sam Sims's picture

Not sure why this article concentrates on Canon cameras. Plenty of very decent beginner cameras from other camera companies.

Usman Dawood's picture

Working on articles for other brands too :).

John Vlahakis's picture

Is this an advertorial??

Daniel Ostler's picture

Single brand focus makes this highly suspect.

Usman Dawood's picture

The article is about Canon cameras so it can only focus on Canon cameras. Working on other articles for other brands as we speak.