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Best Canon mirrorless cameras in 2022

June 13, 2022

When it comes to choosing the best mirrorless camera you’ve got a lot of choice these days. While Canon may be relatively new to the mirrorless game – they’ve got a long heritage and continue to be the overall market leader. As such, it will be the name that many turn to when considering their options.

In this piece, we’ll be looking at Canon’s best mirrorless cameras. Canon divides its line-up into two ranges – the R range, and the M range – which both feature different lens mounts. Up until recently, the R range only included cameras with full-frame sensors, while the M series uses smaller, APS-C sized sensors. That has changed with the introduction of the Canon EOS R7 and the Canon EOS R10, which both use the R mount, but have APS-C sized sensors. Arguably this casts some doubt other whether the older M series will continue, but for now at least, both ranges remain in the line-up.

There are several specifications or features that you may want to consider when purchasing a Canon camera – or indeed any camera. Here are some specs to be mindful of:

  • Sensor & Resolution
  • Screen and Viewfinder
  • Image Stabilisation
  • Frame Rate
  • Video
  • Build Quality
  • Lens Choices

Sensor & Resolution

As already discussed, Canon’s mirrorless cameras offer either a full-frame sensor or an APS-C one. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so it’s important to think about what you really need. In simplistic terms, full-frame tends to give better image quality in a range of situations, including low light, while APS-C makes for an overall smaller system and can be beneficial for certain subjects such as wildlife. Resolution is also worth thinking about – it’s not necessarily true that more pixels is better. Whether you need a very high resolution likely comes down to the type of subjects that you photograph – we’ll discuss more on this as we go along.

Screen and Viewfinder

Naturally, all of the cameras in our list include a screen, while most (but not all) include an electronic viewfinder too. Think about whether you would like an articulating or tilting screen (which can be handy for composing from awkward angles, as well as for video). For the viewfinder, pay attention to the resolution and size.

Image Stabilisation

When it comes to in-body image stabilisation, relatively few Canon cameras offer it. Indeed, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation was introduced for the first time for Canon in 2020 with the EOS R5 and the EOS R6. Since then, the EOS R3 also includes it, as well as the newer R7 (an APS-C model). Although image stabilisation is not essential – since those cameras without it take advantage of stabilisation in lenses – it is beneficial for those who like to shoot certain types of images handheld, such as in low light or even to creatively blur certain elements (such as water).

Frame Rate

For those with a penchant for photographing fast moving subjects (such as sports and wildlife), you’ll be keen to buy a camera with a fast frame rate. Mirrorless cameras offer much better capability for this than their DSLR counterparts, with cameras in the R or M ranges giving you up to 30fps (frames per second). This will be less important to you if you mainly shoot static or near-static subjects, such as landscapes or portraits. You’ll also want to look out for models which offer high-quality continuous autofocusing capabilities.

Video

Almost all modern cameras are equipped with 4K video recording. Other video-related specifications to consider include whether a crop is applied to 4K, frame rates and special video modes. For some, video specifications will be extremely important, while for others still they’ll be completely irrelevant if they only shoot stills.

Build Quality

How a camera handles is extremely important, and it’s always worthwhile actually holding a camera in your hands before you commit to buy. It’s also worth thinking about other specifications, such as weather-sealing, particularly if you intend to be using the camera in all weather conditions or in potentially risky conditions (such as for coastal landscapes for example).

Lens Choices

Canon’s two mirrorless lines (R and M) use different lens mounts, and as such, the lenses between them are not interchangeable. Despite being much older, the lens range for the M series never really took off, and as such there are just 8 available optics. By contrast, there’s 28 R-mount lenses, along with two extenders. You can use existing DSLR lenses with either the M or the R mount cameras, via an adapter (two different adapters).

So now you know what things you should be looking at when choosing a Canon mirrorless cameras, have a look at our recommendations for the best Canon mirrorless cameras: 

1. Best professional Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3

At a glance:

  • Professional-level flagship full-frame mirrorless
  • 30fps shooting
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Eye-control AF and Subject Tracking
  • 4K/6K video
  • £5,789 (body only)

If speed is your main concern, then you can’t go far wrong with the Canon EOS R3 – so long as you’ve got the budget to buy it. It includes super-fast specifications including up to 30fps shooting (using the electronic shutter), as well as a world-record top shutter speed of 1/64,000 sec.

The full-frame sensor offers 24 megapixels, which certainly sounds low compared to some other models – particularly from other manufacturers – but Canon suggests that this is a deliberate choice to give the best possible balance between image quality, file size and speed – and in practice it seems to deliver on that.

Autofocusing is top-notch, with Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology on board to provide 4779 focus points. The even more exciting news is eye-control AF which allows you to literally look at the subject through the viewfinder in order to choose a focus point. Subject tracking is also superb for moving subjects – so if you’re keen on wildlife and action, this is almost certainly the one for you.

Best for: action, wildlife and sport photography


2. Best high-res Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 (1200px, wbg)

At a glance:

  • 45 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • Up to 20fps shooting
  • 4K/8K video
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Subject tracking
  • £4, 299 (body only)

If you’re looking for a real workhorse of a camera, one which can tackle lots of different subjects with aplomb, then the Canon EOS R5 is a sensible choice.

Combining its 45 million pixel sensor with up to 20fps shooting, you get a good blend of speed and resolution. Whether you photograph landscapes, portraits, or sports / action, then the R5 should perform well.

Focusing – while not quite on a par with the R3 – is still reliably excellent, with fast focus acquisition and the ability to track a variety of different subjects. Eye-detection is also useful for portraits – of both people and animals.

Videographers may also like the R5, being as it offers a good range of video specifications – including up to 8K recording. In short, there’s not much to dislike about the R5 – but you will need a fairly hefty budget.

Best for: photographers who shoot lots of different subjects


3. Best all-round Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6

At a glance:

  • 20 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • Up to 20fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Subject tracking
  • £2,399 (body only)

Announced at the same time as the R5, the Canon EOS R6 is a much more affordable route into Canon’s latest mirrorless technology, and is still an excellent all-rounder for enthusiasts.

You get a 20 megapixel sensor – which offers a good balance between image quality and speed, and a host of other appealing specifications including 4K video, image stabilisation and a well-performing autofocus system.

As well as the lower resolution sensor, other trade offs are made for the R6 when compared to the higher-value R5. You get a lower resolution viewfinder as well as a smaller, lower resolution screen, but both are still very capable and pleasant to use. You also don’t get a CFExpress Card Slot – but that’s unlikely to be too much of an issue for most ordinary users. You also “only” get 4K video, as opposed to 8K, but unless you’re a high-end videographer, this is also likely to be more or less a non-issue.

If you’re somebody that likes to photograph a range of different subjects – but you don’t have the super high-end budget for the R5 or the R3, then the R6 makes a huge amount of sense.

Best for: All-rounder photographers without a huge budget


4. Best budget full-frame Canon mirrorless: Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP (1000px, 70pc)

At a glance:

  • 26.2 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 5fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • £1,049 (body only)

If you are keen to get into the full-frame mirrorless Canon stable, but don’t have much budget to play with, the Canon EOS RP is a way to get into it – but with some notable caveats.

Although it has a well-performing 26.2 megapixel sensor, if you’re keen on photographing action / sport, with only 5fps shooting available, this probably isn’t the camera for you. However, if you mainly shoot subjects such as landscapes, still life and portraits it’s a better priced way into full-frame than some of Canon’s options.

Perhaps you’re somebody who wants full-frame but wants a relatively small and lightweight camera, the RP also ticks some boxes there, too, so it could be a good option for travel. Other notable features include 4K video, dual-pixel CMOS AF and a single SD-HC (UHS-II) card slot.

Best for: those new to full-frame mirrorless, best Canon mirrorless under £1200


5. Best high-speed APS-C Canon mirrorless: Canon EOS R7

Canon EOS R7

At a glance:

  • 32.5 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Up to 30fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • Dual card slots
  • £1,350 (body only)

The Canon EOS R7 and R10 mark a departure for Canon in that they use an APS-C sensor, but with the R mount usually found on its full-frame mirrorless models.

We haven’t yet been able to fully review either of Canon’s new models, but our first impressions reveal the duo to be impressive. One of the benefits of using a smaller sensor is that wildlife and action photographers can get closer to the subject – which when you pair it with super fast 30fps shooting makes it ideal for that kind of user.

Another benefit is the smaller overall size of the system, but we’ll have to wait and see how many dedicated APS-C lenses Canon makes for its new R-mount APS-C cameras. As it stands, there are two new RF-S (APS-C) lenses, which could be good options for travel. It’s worth noting that there’s no way to use an EF-M lens with R mount cameras.

Other useful specifications for the R7 include a 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch, 1.62m dot articulating touchscreen, 4K video, dual memory cards and Dual-Pixel CMOS AF II. It looks to be an exciting addition to Canon’s line-up: look out for a full review soon.

Best for: Wildlife photographers, best Canon mirrorless under £1500


6. Best Canon mirrorless camera under £1000: Canon EOS R10

Canon EOS R10 with 18-45mm IS STM lens

Canon EOS R10 with 18-45mm IS STM lens

At a glance:

  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Up to 23fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • Single card slot
  • £900 (body only)

Being smaller, lighter and less expensive than the R7, the Canon EOS R10 is designed to be appealing to enthusiasts without the bigger budget to spend.

Naturally, the specs aren’t quite as good as the R10, but they’re not too shabby, with up to 23fps available for wildlife and sports photographers. Again, the smaller APS-C sized sensor is ideal for shooting distant subjects without having to employ super long lenses.

You also get 4K video recording, a single UHS-II SD card slot, a 3-inch 1.04m-dot articulating touchscreen and Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Just like the R10, we haven’t yet had chance to fully review the R10, but it looks to be a good all-rounder for those on a restricted budget.

Best for: Entry-level photographers, travel, best Canon mirrorless under £1000


7. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon EOS M50 Mark II with 15-45mm lens

Canon EOS M50 Mark II with 15-45mm lens

At a glance:

  • 24.1 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • 4K video
  • YouTube live streaming
  • 10fps
  • £534 (body only)

A neat little camera which has proven popular with a variety of users, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is also the best option on our list for those with the tightest of budgets.

With its video friendly features – particularly for social media users – it’s a good option for vloggers, but its small size and weight also make it a nice choice for travel and everyday photography.

With a well-performing APS-C sensor and a decent range of mid-range specs, such as 10fps, it’s a decent all-rounder, particularly for the price. Like other M-series cameras, the M50 Mark II is marred by a lack of lens choice, but you can use EF lenses via an adapter if you need something niche.

Best for: vlogging, best Canon mirrorless under £600, beginners


8. Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Canon EOS M6 II

Canon EOS M6 II

At a glance:

  • 32.5 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Up to 14fps shooting / RAW burst 30fps
  • 4K Video
  • No inbuilt EVF
  • £799 (body only)

Released in tandem with the 90D DSLR, at the time of its release, the Canon EOS M6 Mark II was easily the company’s best mirrorless APS-C option – but there are now much better options.

It offers a high resolution sensor which combines with up to 30fps shooting (using RAW burst mode). Unlike every other camera on this list, the M6 Mark II uses an external viewfinder which slots in via the hot shoe – so you’ll need to budget for one of those separately if it’s a dealbreaker for you. An upside of this is that without a viewfinder, the M6 Mark II is Canon’s smallest and most pocketable mirrorless – so you might consider it for travel.

Overall, there’s little to recommend the M6 Mark II over the cheaper, more sensibly designed M50 Mark II – but if action shooting is your thing it’s arguably worth thinking about. That’s especially true if your budget is limited and/or you don’t want to wait for the R10/R7 to become available.

Best for: best Canon mirrorless under £800, best for wildlife on a budget


More reading

Have a look at the best Canon EOS cameras of all time, or have a look at the best Canon RF lenses. Or have a look at more buying guides here.


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