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The canon dslr camera buying guide

Updated on August 15, 2012

The Canon dslr camera range is vast and there is a model for all requirements and budgets. It doesn't matter whether you are looking to upgrade from a point and shoot camera and buy your first digital slr camera, or whether you are a seasoned professional photographer there is a something within the Canon dslr camera range that will be perfect for you.

For a quick rundown, user review and buyer guide of the top cannon dslr camera range models take a look at the contents of this lens.

Canon eos 1d X

Canon eos 1D X
Canon eos 1D X

The Canon eos - 1d X is Canon's flagship dslr camera and it is jam packed full of technology and features, which is to be expected.

The eos 1d X has dual, yes two, digic 5 processors that are fast and powerful, which means it is possible to capture 12 frames per second (RAW and Jpeg) or 14 frames per second in high speed mode. Considering the eos 1d X has an 18.1 mega pixel full frame sensor this is a lot of digital data and to dump that much on to a memory card so quickly is simply outstanding.

In addition to the dual digic 5 processors the eos 1d X has 61 auto focus points and an ISO range of 100 - 51200 (expendable to a mind blowing 204800) which makes it the perfect digital slr camera for sports/action and wildlife photography. With such an high ISO range it is possible to take hand held images in the lowest light conditions and still get tack sharp images, and the images will be free from noise and other digital artefacts. The 1d X really is a top quality piece of kit that is exceptionally good.

Canon eos 1d X video reviews

For a small sample of some Canon eos 1d X video reviews check out the footage below, courtesy of Youtube. These clips clearly demonstrate what a camera the eos 1d X camera can do, and how good it really is. The Canon eos 1d X clearly deserves the accolade of being Canon's flag ship model.

Canon eos 5d mark ii

Canon eos 5d mark ii
Canon eos 5d mark ii

The Canon EOS 5d mark II is one of Canon's top selling digital slr cameras and once you have had the opportunity to use one and see what the awesome 5d is capable of and the type of images it produces it is easy to see why. The EOS 5d is jam packed full of features.

The 21.1 mega pixel full frame sensor captures a lot of information, which makes for some stunning photographs. The single digic 4 processor is powerful but the burst rate is a meagre 3.9 frames per second, which is fine for portraits and landscapes but not enough for wildlife and sports photography. It is not surprising most Canon eos 5d owners use the camera for weddings, social events and landscapes.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (OLD MODEL)
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (OLD MODEL)

The 5d has an ISO of 100 – 6400, although it is expendable to 25600, which makes it great for hand held shots in low light conditions. The eos 5d copes with digital noise exceptionally well, which means nice and clean grain free images time and time again. The 9 point auto focus isn’t amazing, but it is perfectly adequate for capturing some great images.

The5d is small and compact, which makes it a joy to use and the dimensions of the 5d is something else that gives it mass appeal, especially for shooting weddings, parties, concerts and social gatherings where large and heavy cameras are simply not practical.

The Canon 5d isn’t cheap, but then it isn’t super expensive and it is sensibly priced to be in the range of photography enthusiasts and professionals alike. The 5d mark II offers great value for money and it is the tool of many professional photographers, even though it is still low priced compared to the “professional” dslr cameras. Since the 5d mark III has been released the price of the 5d mark II has come down somewhat, which makes it even better value for money.

Overall the Canon eos 5d is an awesome camera that is well worth looking at. It is tough, durable and capable of capturing some awesome images. The only disappointment is the 3.9 frames per second burst rate but if you don’t need the 8 plus burst rate of other Canon dslr cameras this shouldn’t pose too many problems.

 

Canon 5d mark 2 video reviews

If you need to see some evidence of how good the Canon eos 5d mark ii is check out the following video footage, as taken from Youtube. These clips clearly demonstarte how good the eos 5d mark ii is, and why it is worth looking in to.

Canon eos 5d mark iii

Canon eos 5d mark iii
Canon eos 5d mark iii

The Canon eos 5d mark III is the successor to the awesome 5d mark II dslr camera. The 5d mark III is basically a revamped 5d mark II with a few more bells and whistles, and a higher price tag of course.

The 5d mark III has a 22.3 mega pixel full frame sensor which is powered with a single digic 5 processor, which is currently the best Canon has to offer. The number of auto focus points has been increased to 61, which is a massive jump. In addition to this, the 5d mark III has a burst rate of 6 frames per second, and whilst this is not as fast as other Canon cameras it is plenty good enough to start taking images of sports and wildlife.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body)
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body)

The 5d mark III has an ISO range of 100 – 25600, which is expendable to 102400 which is simply mind blowing. With these high ISOs it is possible to take hand held shots in very low light conditions and still get noise free images, which is simply awesome. Combine the high, noise free ISOs and the new intelligent metering system and it is clear the 5d mark III is a remarkable piece of kit.

The 5d mark III is more expensive than the 5d mark II but it is still competitively priced compared to the professional cameras. The eos 5d mark III offers great value for money and it is something that enthusiasts and professionals alike can use.

Overall, the Canon eos 5d mark III is an awesome camera that is capable of capturing some stunning images, just like its predecessor the 5d mark II, and the additional features are most welcome.

 

Canon 5d mark iii video reviews

If you want to see some vdeo hands on reviews on the Canon eos 5d mark iii check out the following videos, courtesy of Youtube. The CAnon eos 5d mark iii is clearly an excellent camera and very powerful, as deomnstrated in these videos.

Accessories for the Canon 5d

It doesn't matter whether you shoot a Canon 5d mark ii or a Canon 5d mark iii, in order to get the most out of your Canon 5d and capture stunning and creative images time and time again, you are going to need to get some accessories.

Canon 5d mark ii user guide

If you want to learn how to use your Canon 5d mark ii quickly and efficiently I suggest buying a good book.

David Busch's Canon EOS 5D Mark II Guide to Digital SLR Photography
David Busch's Canon EOS 5D Mark II Guide to Digital SLR Photography

For a complete guide that is easy to follow and will have you up and running with your Canon 5d mark ii in no time take a look at this excellent book.

 

Canon 5d mark iii user guide

Canon 5D Mark III Experience - The Still Photography Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark III Experience - The Still Photography Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The Canon 5d mark iii hasn't been out that long and there are few detailed user guides available (although there are plenty due out over the next few months). Of all the Canon 5d mark iii user guides currently available this is the best and what's more is it is available on the Kindle, which means you can take it around with you at all times.

 

The canon eos 5d mark II or Canon eos 5d mark III?

If you are looking for your first Canon eos 5d the big question has to be do you buy the mark II or the mark III? There’s no doubt about it, the 5d mark III is superior to the 5d mark II but is it that much better that is justifies a few hundred bucks more? The price of the 5d mark II is also falling, which is to be expected since it is effectively “old technology”.

If you currently own a Canon eos 5d mark II and are wondering whether it is worth upgrading to the 5d the answer is probably no. Whilst the 61 point auto focus points and the increased burst rate are welcome but these really only help for sports and wildlife. Did you buy your 5d mark II to take sports and wildlife images? Probably not.

To buy a 5d mark II or a 5d mark III is a tough decision and one that many people will agonise over. I don’t think the additional features of the 5d mark III are enough to justify the additional expense. I also like value for money and to get the most bang for my buck so if I were faced with this decision I would opt for the 5d mark II, although others would do different.

If you are in a quandary over whether to buy the 5d mark II or the 5d mark III all I can suggest is make a list of the pros and cons of each, read some professional reviews (i.e. those by magazines and publications), read some personal user reviews and get down your local camera shop and have a play with each one. Once it comes to buying the 5d I would always use the internet since there are loads of deals to be had.

Canon eos 7d

Canon eos 7d
Canon eos 7d

The eos-1d X is the best tool for action photography but not all of us have the disposable income available to buy one. If you want an affordable Canon dslr camera that is perfect for capturing images of wildlife and sports/action the eos 7d is the model for you. The eos 7d has a magnesium alloy body which is fully weatherproof, tough, durable and built to last, making it perfect for the field in all weathers.

The eos 7d has two digic 4 processors that are capable of capturing 8 frames per second, meaning you will never miss another shot. The digic 4 processor may have been replaced by the all singing all dancing digic 5 processors, but they are still very fast. In addition to the two digic 4 processors the 7d has 19 auto focus points, which make tracking wildlife and fast moving subjects that much easier. The eos 7d has a CMOS sensor, which has a 1.6x crop factor, allowing you to get even closer to the action. The sensor is 18 megapixels, which is more than enough to capture some great images. In fact, the images possible with this camera are simply stunning with bright and punchy colours, good contrast and centre to edge sharpness across the frame.

One of the best features about the eos 7d is the 100%viewfinder which means what you see in the eye piece will appear in the final photograph. Another great feature is the tilt and display which ensures your horizons are straight in every image. With this tilt and display feature landscape and seascape images are a doodle.

The eos 7d has an ISO range of 100 - 6400, which is expendable to 12800. Images taken at the higher ISOs are noise free, but since the ISOs are not as high as other Canon dslrs the eos 7d is not as good in low light conditions. Given the price of the eos 7d this is hardly surprising but if you need the higher ISOs the 7d is not the tool for you.

Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)
Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)

The eos 7d captures full HD movies, so if you want to take some movie footage you can. In order to get the best audio quality you will need to buy an external microphone, but these can be bought for little money from a number of different places. Get yourself online and you will find a bargain somewhere.

The eos 7d is classed as a prosumer dslr camera meaning it sits in between the entry level and the professional level Canon dslr cameras, although it is closer to the professional level cameras. The eos 7d is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but then it is nowhere near as expensive as the eos-1d X. If your passion is wildlife and sports photography the only choices available are the eos 7d or the eos 1d X so the ultimate decision is going to be based on the amount of spare cash you have available and your budget.

Overall, the eos 7d is an excellent dslr camera and, if you are in to your sports/action and wildlife photography but don’t have the funds available to buy the eos 1D X is the only model to go for. I personally have this camera specifically for sports, wildlife and macro photography and have no hesitation in recommending it. The eos 7d can be used for all types and genres of photography but if you don’t want to take images of sports and wildlife there are better alternatives out there.

 

Canon 7d review

For a hands on and in depth review of the awesome Canon 7d check out the following videos courtesy of Youtube. The eos 7d is an awesome camera and with its dual digic 4 processors, excellent for sports and wildlife photography. In fact, the 7d is an affordable alternative to the eos 1d X.

Canon 7d accessories

If you really want to get the most out of your Canon 7d you are going to need to buy some optional extras and splash some cash on some accessories.

Learning to use the Canon 7d

If you want to learn how to use the Canon eos 7d there are effectively two things you can do. Firstly, you can play and experiment with the Canon 7d, however this is going to take time, and trial and error.

The alternative to the above is to buy a user guide dedicated to the Canon 7d. Buying a user guide will speed up the process no end, which means you can concentrate on taking great photogrpahs as opposed to learning how to use the features of your Canon 7d.

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EOS 7D

If you want a Canon 7d user guide that covers everything you need to know about the 7d, and one that is user friendly and easy to follow this is the book for you.

 

Even more Canon 7d books

If you wnat more books and user guides on the Canon 7d check out the products below. Alternatively, use the Amazon search facility and you find loads of other good ones.

Canon Rebel T3 / eos 1100d

Canon Rebel T3
Canon Rebel T3

The Canon T3 or eos 1100d as it is called in Europe, is another one of Canon's entry level digital slr cameras that are designed for those new to dslr cameras.

The T3 or eos 1100d is pretty much the same as the Rebel XSi and eos 450d in that it is user friendly and very easy to learn how to use. However, the T3 and eos 1100d is a newer model that the Rebel XSI and 450d, and as such it does have a few additional features, but not too many.

Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging (Body) - With 1-year USA Warranty
Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging (Body) - With 1-year USA Warranty

The T3 and eos 1100d has a 12.2 mega pixel CMOS sensor, just like the Rebel XSi and the 450d, however it is powered by the newer digic 4 processor. Despite the digic 4 processor the T3 and eos 1100d still has a 3 frames per second burst rate, which is exactly the same as that of the Rebel XSi and the 450d. The newer digic 4 processor, however has meant the T3 and eos 1100d has got movie capture mode.

Like the Rebel XSi and 450d before it, the T3 and eos 1100d are small, compact and very lightweight, making them an excellent walk about camera for everyday use.

 

Rebel T3 review

The Canon Rebel T3 is an excellent entry level digital slr camera ideal for those looking to upgrade their point and shoot camera. For some hands on and in depth video reviews of the T3 check out the following footage, courtesy of Youtube.

Accessories for the Canon Rebel T3 / Canon EOS 1100d

In order to get the most out of your Canon Rebel T3 / Canon EOS 1100d you are going to need to get some accessories.

Canon Rebel T3 / EOS 1100d user guide

David Busch's Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D Guide to Digital SLR Photography (David Busch's Digital Photography Guides)
David Busch's Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D Guide to Digital SLR Photography (David Busch's Digital Photography Guides)

David Busch has produced user guides for many different Canon EOS cameras, all of which are exceptionally good and well worth reading, and the Canon Rebel T3 guide is no different. So, if you want to focus your attention on taking photographs as opposed to learning how to use your Rebel T3 make sure you check out this guide.

 

Canon Rebel Xsi / Canon eos 450d

Canon rebel xsi
Canon rebel xsi

The Canon Rebel XSi or 450d as it is referred to in Europe, is one of Canon's entry level dslr cameras aimed at people who want to upgrade from a point and shoot camera or a bridge camera to an all singing all dancing digital SLR camera.

At first glance digital slr cameras are daunting and look difficult to use when compared to point and shoot cameras however Canon have thought about this and given the Rebel XSi a user friendly interface that makes the transition from point and shoot to dslr very easy. Even if oyu have never used a digital slr camera before you will be up and running after a few hours with the Rebel XSi and eos 450d and the user guide.

The Rebel XSi has a 12.2 mega pixel CMOS sensor which gives it a 1.6x crop factor. The power in the XSi and 450d is a single digic 3 processor which is perfectly adequate when starting out in the world of digital SLR cameras. The burst rate is a modest 3 frames per second and whilst you won't be capturing hundreds of fast wildlife and action shots you should still be able to bag a few keepers, although you will have to be patient.

Compared to other digital slr cameras the Canon Rebel XSi and eos 450d is small and light weight making it great as a take anywhere camera that is discreet and won't pull any unwanted attention.

The Rebel XSi and 450d doesn't have a movie making feature unlike other entry level digital slr cameras. When I first bought my Rebel XSi I wasn't overly bothered about capturing movies, even today I have the same feelings as all I want is to capture stills, but I know there are other people that think differently. If you want to create movies with your digital slr camera the Rebel XSi and 450d is not the tool for you and you will have to look elsewhere.

Canon Rebel XSi DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (OLD MODEL)
Canon Rebel XSi DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (OLD MODEL)

Price wise, the Canon Rebel XSi and eos 450d is comparable to entry level digital slr cameras made by other manufacturers. The Rebel XSi and eos 450d is neither cheap nor expensive, but it is a top quality digital slr camera.

Overall, the Canon Rebel XSi and eos 450d is a great entry level digital slr camera that will teach new digital slr users the basics, and with its user friendly interface you will be up and running in no time. The lack of video capture may put some people off but if all you want to do is take stills this shouldn’t cause too many problems.

 

Canon XSi review

The Canon XSi is another entry level digital SLR camera that will help new digital SLR camera owners learn how to use a dslr to get some awesome images. For a hands on and in depth review of the Rebel XSi check out the following footage, courtesy of Youtube.

Canon XSi user guide

David Busch's Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Guide to Digital SLR Photography (David Busch's Digital Photography Guides)
David Busch's Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Guide to Digital SLR Photography (David Busch's Digital Photography Guides)

Another excellent camera guide from David Busch. If you own a Canon XSi and want to learn how to use it quickly and efficiently using this book is the way to do it.

 

Should you buy the Rebel T3 / eos 1100d or the Rebel XSi / eos 450d?

The Canon T3 and eos 1100d is the newer model and has newer technology and whilst the digic 4 processor allows for a video capture mode the 3 frames per second burst rate is exactly the same in all the models, which is a bit disappointing. Both models have the same CMOS 12.2 megapixel sensor and the image quality between the models is identical and both models are capable of capturing some awesome images that are bright and punch but still realistic, have good contrast and are sharp. Both models are user friendly and very easy to get to grips with.

Bearing the above factors in mind, the big question is "what is the best one to go for?" The answer to this depends solely on whether you want and need video capture or not. If you want to capture videos the T3 and eos1100d is the model to go for. If you are not bothered about capturing video footage the Rebel XSi and 450d is the model to go for, especially when you consider it is less than the T3 and eos 1100d, which makes it awesome value for money.

Do you need some Canon equipment?

Canon digital SLR cameras are awesome and you will be well on the way to capturing some great images out of the box. However, if you want to get the most out of your Canon digital SLR camera and take your skills to the next level you are going to need some accessories.

If you are looking for the best Canon photography equipment have a look at the Canon Photography Equipment Essentials Amazon store where you will find all the accessories and bits and pieces you will ever need, and all on a single site that is run by a reputable and reliable seller.

It doesn't matter whether you are looking for a flash gun, a new lens, some filters, batteries or any other type of accessory, you will find it in this Amazon store.

If you have any ideas, thoughts, comments, rants or raves please feel free to note them in my guestbook.

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