How to Find the Best Canon Digital Cameras for Your Needs

There are so many Canon cameras to choose from. But how do you find the best Canon digital cameras for you? It can be difficult to get a clear sense of what's on offer from a big company like Canon when you're not familiar with all the jargon.

It's important to be able to separate the sales lingo from the facts, and make a choice that's right for you, not someone else's bank balance! So I want to give you a quick starting guide to who Canon actually are, what they offer and what some of their best cameras are.

So, what sort of company is Canon?

Basically, they're an enormous Japanese corporation who make lots of imaging and optical products. They are the market leaders in producing digital cameras, along with Nikon (each having about 40% of the market).

You can buy compact cameras or DSLR's from Canon. The best Canon digital cameras should last you for many years and provide a fantastic tool that will not become obsolete any time soon.

Canon DSLR's are named with the suffix 'EOS', for example the Canon EOS 550D. This abbreviation simply refers to a technology that makes it possible to have no mechanical links between a camera's body and the lens.

The first EOS digital camera that Canon turned out was the D30 back in 2000. Quite a few more have followed! There are also lots of great compact cameras made by Canon.

Find the best Canon digital cameras by choosing which category to look in.

So, to keep things simple, there are essentially 4 main categories of Canon camera to choose from.

1. Compact cameras 
2. Beginner DSLR cameras 
3. Prosumer DSLR cameras 
4. Professional DSLR cameras

Your choice depends on the type of photography you'd like to do. Work out how the requirements you have translate into specifications.

For example, do you want to make large poster prints? You'll need a large sensor with plenty of MP's. Perhaps you find yourself taking lots of shots when the light is failing but get annoyed when pictures come out blurry. Look for a good ISO range and good performance at the higher settings. Do you enjoy wildlife photography? Look for a fast shutter speeds. Perhaps you like taking little movies? More and more cameras enable this.

1. Compacts. If you want everything to be as simple as possible and are not interested in stretching the creative potential of photography, a compact camera is perhaps the best option. The best Canon digital cameras in this category are increasingly excellent quality. I personally really like the Canon Powershot SD 4000 IS. It has a 10MP sensor, large range of focal length and strong build quality.

2. Beginner DSLR. Perhaps you would like something a step up from a basic compact. Maybe you need to produce images with better detail for larger prints. Perhaps it's important that you can alter the lenses for greater variety in focal length. Or perhaps you're just starting to really like this whole photography thing! A beginner DSLR would be perfect. Canon offer several excellent models.

Personally I think the Canon EOS 550D is a great all-rounder. It has a very large 18.7 MP sensor which can turn out highly detailed prints suitable for large format printing. The light metering is accurate making it easy to take good pics and the large ISO range opens up low light photography for you very nicely.

3. Prosumer DSLR. Getting a bit more serious? Started to notice one or two details on your existing DSLR that could serve you a bit better? The best Canon Digital s for you to look at might be those in their prosumer range. A good example would be the Canon 40D. It's very popular and offers photography enthusiasts an excellent quality camera. For me, its best asset is probably the extremely good performance it delivers at higher ISO settings, sacrificing very little in image quality at these faster speeds.

4. Professional DSLR. Are you prepared to splash out a healthy sum of money on a really top-notch professional piece of equipment? The very best Canon digital cameras belong in the professional category and provide amazing quality and specifications.

The Canon EOS 1D Mark IV is widely praised, though I can't say I've had the pleasure of trying it myself yet! It has a superb full frame sensor, can shoot 10 frames/second (!), has amazing autofocus and an unbelievable ISO range. Only purchase a camera like this if you will definitely use and enjoy it. If you can afford to get one, go for it, but I'm jealous.

To help your search further, a thorough guide to the best Canon digital cameras and Canon camera reviews can be found here: