Canon: Beyond Point-and-Shoot
In part one of this guide, we looked at Canon's outstanding under-$300 point-and-shoot offerings. Even in that budget price range, Canon has several quality models good for low light photography, the outdoors, or simply outstanding photos. As we get into higher-priced offerings, optics quality and features really start to shine. Check out these Canon camera reviews — I hope this article makes a great buying guide for anyone in the market for a Canon high-end compact or DSLR camera.
Canon PowerShot S95
Let's get things rolling with the basics: the best well-rounded point-and-shoot on the market, the Canon PowerShot S95. Packed with automatic and manual features and controls, the 10.0 megapixel S95 is an easy-to-use camera for the serious hobbyist. It comes with a 3.8x optical zoom, 28mm wide angle lens that opens to f/2.0, and includes anti-shake compensation software for steady shots.
The PowerShot S95 shoots 720p HD video as well, standing in for your video camera in a pinch. And with a maximum ISO of 12,800, you can capture highly-detailed images even in low light.
When you're just about ready to make the leap to DSLR technology — just about, but not quite, ready — take a long, hard look at the Canon G12. Canon's promotional copy crows that the G12 is for "advanced amateurs," and that's precisely what this camera is.
The G12 is a top-of-the-line point-and-shoot with extensive manual controls, advanced image processing algorithms that produce quality high-ISO photos with low noise, shake reduction technology, and neat perks like HDR and 720p HD video.
Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
Let's just paste the long version of this camera's name and take a gander, shall we? "Canon PowerShot SX1 IS 10 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8-inch LCD." You read that right — 20x wide angle optical zoom. That's what they call a "superzoom" and it'll knock your socks off when you first try it and it's great for shooting wildlife photos.
The PowerShot SX1 IS, besides that jaw-dropping 28mm wide angle 20x zoom, has the usual Canon hardware and software: DIGIC 4 image processor and 10.0 megapixel CMOS image sensor. It also shoots 1080p HD video should you feel the need.
Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Now we get into the real powerhouses, the digital SLRs, or DSLRs. Canon's EOS Rebel T2i is the legendary entry-level DSLR, and for good reason — it's just a good all-around camera, with an 18 megapixel CMOS image sensor, wide-range ISO support, and the ability to shoot 3.7 frames/second. Being a DSLR, you can add and swap out lenses to your heart's content in order to get the perfect shot. Read A Canon Rebel DSLR Buyer's Guide to learn more.
Canon EOS 7D
A "midrange" semipro/pro DSLR, the Canon EOS 7D has an 18 megapixel CMOS image sensor and can be optionally purchased with a nice basic zoom, Canon's 28–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS USM lens. The 7D offers an ISO range from 100–6400, expandable to 12,800 — and since the EOS 7D was developed to have less noise at high ISO settings, you'll see less graininess that you might expect. You can shoot continuously at 8 frames per second (fps) for over 100 images, more than enough to capture every bit of track star Usain Bolt running the 100-meter dash, flip-book style. Speaking of flip books, yes, the EOS 7D can shoot 1920 x 1080 HD video.
When you're getting into this price range, Canon's getting into tough camera body construction for long-lasting value. The EOS 7D has a magnesium body, built to resist the elements, and is designed to last more than 150,000 shutter cycles.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a full-frame DSLR, meaning it has an image sensor (21.1 MP) just as big as a 35mm film frame — incredibly useful in allowing lenses to work to their full potential. The EOS 5D Mark II is equipped with a high speed DIGIC 4 image processor whose algorithms help with the 5D Mark II's great noise reduction at high ISO settings. It also shoots in 1920 x 1080 HD video, has a large, bright 3.0 inch LCD that reviewers love, and a comfortable grip. While the 5D Mark II is demanding of lenses — it takes an excellent lens to really let the camera strut its stuff — that demand is well worth it, paying off in gorgeous pictures users rave about.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is $2,499 for body only or $3,299 with a 24–105mm lens.
This post is part of the series: Canon Camera Reviews & Buying Guide
- Canon Digital Camera Reviews & Buying Guide: 5 Outstanding Cameras Under $300
- Canon Camera Reviews: Top 6 High-End Amateur, Prosumer, and DSLR Models