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How to Choose The Best Canon Digital Camera

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A view of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II with lens

Canon is already a staple in the digital camera industry, and one of the main reasons for it is that the Japanese manufacturer has catered its product to most of the needs and categories of people who are interested in digital cameras. Canon has a very diverse offering that you can choose from, with a lot of models varying in technical specs and purpose. This article is written with the purpose of offering you a direction when shopping for that Canon you promised for your son’s birthday, or if you’re just curious to see what the Japanese company has in store.

Compact/travel/bridge Canon models

These types of cameras are most suited for people who don’t want to deal with the complexity of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) nor their usually hefty price tag, but only need decent cameras for their holidays and travels. So, if you’re a more casual camera user, the following Canon models are the ones that will probably interest you.

Canon Ixus compact cameras are probably the most accessible in this regard. They are the simplest of point and shoot cameras, easily portable due to their convenient size and have decent specs that will ensure a fairly good image quality. The Ixus models are also a bit streamlined, meaning that you might find some features from other compact cameras missing – but this mostly for the purpose of making them easier to use for a broader category of people.

There are a few different Ixus models, which mostly only change the numbers in the specs box. The Ixus 145 – which has prices centered around $100 – boasts a decent 16 megapixel sensor and a lens that allows 8x optical zoom. The 150 and 265 models are basically upgraded ones, with the latter featuring a 12x optical zoom. Canon announced at the beginning of the year three new Ixus models – the 160, 165 and 170 – which will mostly offer a wider variation in specs to the gamma while also keeping accessible price tags.

If, though, you feel like you’re going to take your camera through more extreme or abnormal conditions, the PowerShot D30 is designed to be waterproof in depths up to 25 meters, will also being meant to resist falls from about 2 meters. Its cousin is the PowerShot N, which is smaller and more fragile, but at the same time is easy to fit in a pocket, and contains a trademark rear camera. With the newest N2 version, the rear camera can rotate up to 180 degrees, which basically allows it to be used in a “power selfie” mode.

Other iterations of the PowerShot series start to depart from the compact, easily portable camera aspect and delve more into the versatility and the numerous options that DSLRs offer. These are generally called “bridge cameras” – as they are designed to close the gap between user-friendly compact and the more professional ones. These types of cameras are mostly known for their large zooms; some of them allow the lens to retract when not used, so they can be easily carried in a pocket or backpack: if practicability is what you’re looking for, then this model may be the best Canon digital camera for you.

Canon offers a wide range of options in this regard; the ones with the retractable lens include the SX600 HS and SX700 HS, with stunning zoom ranges of 18x and 30x respectively. This only goes upwards into the real bridge models, with SX400 donning 30x optical zoom, and the SX520 having 42x (all of these are running at 16 megapixels resolution).

The flagship of this series is the Canon Powershot SX60 HS, which features a lens with a whooping x65 optical zoom. However, the bridge design is paying a toll on it; it isn’t as easy to carry as its counterparts and it also comes with $549 price tag. However, if you really want to take extreme range photographs, then the investment might be worth it.

Canon DSLRs and their different levels

A view of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II with lens

The DSLRs are already past the level of casual photography and are more directed towards those that pursue it as a hobby, art or even work. These are highly powerful cameras with removable and changeable lenses, which offer a level of versatility and picture options unseen in most other camera types. However, their price is also steep and they require more care to be maintained than most normal cameras.

Canon offer a huge set of DSLRs which are generally split between reviewers into levels, depending on how complex they are to use and the quality of the images they take. Let’s start off with beginner models, which would be suitable for those barely starting their career into photography.

The EOS series basically represents all of Canon’s DSLR offerings, and if you’re looking for a beginner pro camera at a lower price, then the EOS 1200D might prove perfect for you, costing around $500. Sporting an 18 megapixel sensor, it is actually quite archaic compared to newer DSLRs in that it doesn’t provide Wi-Fi support or a touchscreen display – but everything else you’ll need is in there, and the image quality is sharp.

The EOS 100D, instead, is the most lightweight Canon DSLR ever made, being probably as portable as some of its bridge cameras. The 18 megapixel CMOS sensor provides for some great image quality, while it can also record video in 1080p. The 100D has some great beginner features, like the Scene Intelligent Auto shooting mode, which automatically calibrates the camera’s settings to obtain clearer photos.

Stepping over a notch, the EOS 7D Mark II (pictured above in the featured photo) is considered to be “enthusiast-level” – as it offers slightly more intricate image options than beginner ones. The follow-up to the classic 7D, the Mark II allows you to take 20.2 megapixel photos and record video in 1080p/60 fps even in the harshest conditions; it is probably the most weatherproof Canon DSLR, and it’s available if you can spare about $1800.

Last but not least, those that want the best image quality and extensive control over most aspects involved in taking a photograph should look for “professional-level” cameras as the best Canon digital camera for their advanced needs.

Here, Cannon offers its EOS 5D Mark III; it sports a 22.3 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, a 61-point autofocus system and is capable to record video in 1080p. It’s also powered by a somewhat revolutionary DIGIC 5+ image processor, with greatly improves processing time for photos and videos, and also features real-time adjustment for color fringing.

The EOS-1D X even combines two such DIGIC 5+ image to boast a spectacular 12 FPS continuous shooting, which could transform into even 14 with autofocus turned off. This makes it one of the best cameras currently on the market for capturing action shots. It also has one of the widest ranges when it comes to lighting sensitivity, meaning it can take high quality shots in all kinds of differently lit areas.

The 18.1 megapixel sensor doesn’t seem that impressive in comparison with other DSLRs, but the image quality is still stunning regardless of lighting or weather circumstances. The magnesium alloy shell with weather seals it is coated in also makes it suitable to take in the most extreme weather conditions. However, all of these awesome features come at a hefty price – as the 1D X costs nearly $6.000. It is probably a great purchase for those that make their living out of photography, but it may prove to be quite an expensive hobby for casuals.



Don Phillips

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