This guide is for those looking for a high-quality full-frame or APS-C Canon camera. We consider resolution, speed, build quality, lens options and value for money of nine of the best Canon mirrorless cameras. 

Canon’s mirrorless camera range is where its most exciting developments happen. Since the debut of the EOS R series in 2018, the range has been filled out to include options from beginner to professional and everyone in between. It is clearly the company’s modern focus. Wherever you are on your image-making journey, whether you shoot photos, videos (or both), there’s a Canon mirrorless camera for you.

While the range of best Canon DSLRs still includes some fantastic cameras, we haven’t seen a new Canon DSLR hit the market since 2020. This seems unlikely to change. Canon’s tendency to focus its efforts on developing its mirrorless range and the system’s obvious advantages are convincing more and more DSLR users to switch to mirrorless.

It’s worth noting that Canon does field two mirrorless ranges – the EOS R series of full-frame and APS-C models, and the older EOS M series of lightweight APS-C models. While we’ve included both in this list, EOS R is the better bet for the future. Canon watchers sense that the EOS M’s days are numbered.

With all that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best Canon mirrorless cameras for different users, including budget options, as well as the high-end stuff. If you’re new to photography and worry about getting lost in technical terminology, scroll to the bottom of this page for our explainer on how to choose the best Canon mirrorless camera.

For more great Canon gear, check out our handy guide to Canon RF-mount lenses, and if you want more choices from other brands we also have a run-down of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras.


Best Canon Mirrorless cameras: our quick list

Here’s a quick list of our picks for the best Canon mirrorless cameras, as well as links to the best current prices:

  • Best all-round Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R6 Mark II buy now
  • Best professional Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R3 buy now
  • Best high-res Canon camera: Canon EOS R5 buy now
  • Best Canon mirrorless for beginners: Canon EOS R50 buy now
  • Best budget full-frame Canon mirrorless: Canon EOS R8 buy now
  • Best high-speed APS-C Canon mirrorless: Canon EOS R7 buy now
  • Best Canon mirrorless camera under £1000: Canon EOS R10 buy now
  • Best Canon EOS M: Canon EOS M50 Mark II buy now
  • Best budget all-round Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R6 buy now

For more detail on each camera and what it offers, keep reading…


Best all-round Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R6 Mark II

Canon EOS R6 Mark II review photo by Andy Westlake
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is the newest member of the range. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

A seriously impressive all-rounder, with a large, deep handgrip, extensive external controls and excellent image quality.
Pros
  • Fast burst mode and deep buffer
  • Highly capable autofocus
  • Excellent in low light
Cons
  • Inevitable price bump over original R6
  • No 8K or 6K video

At a glance:

  • 24.2 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • Up to 40fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • 8-stop image stabiliser
  • $2,299 / £2,179

Canon’s original EOS R6 was a big hit with a lot of users and reviewers, including us. It was a quieter launch than the EOS R5, but arguably a more successful one, fielding a lower-resolution sensor for a more reasonable price-tag. It was the quintessential full-frame all-rounder – and now the EOS R6 Mark II very sensibly builds on that formula.

The biggest addition is the new 24.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which ups the resolution from a slightly stingy 20MP on the original. It’s not a stacked type as with the EOS R3, so you don’t get those ultra-fast readout speeds. However, it is optimised to deliver exceptional low-light performance, with a standard ISO ceiling of 102,400, extendable to 204,800; supporting autofocus in light levels as low as -6.5EV.

The EOS R6 Mark II does inherit one thing from the EOS R3 however – that freakishly powerful subject-detect autofocus that can lock onto specific targets: everything from humans and animals to cars and trains. This provides real versatility to a photographer. Having now finished up our Canon EOS R6 Mark II review, we can safely say it’s one of the best all-rounder cameras you can buy.

Best for: all-rounder photographers who want to capture lots of different subjects


Best professional Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3
The EOS R3 is a high-speed, high-performance camera designed for hard professional use. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

This is a ludicrously fast camera that handles brilliantly and delivers excellent image quality, not only in raw, but also JPEG files direct from the camera.
Pros
  • Truly exceptional AF, with eye-control focus
  • Super-fast shooting and deep buffer
  • Superb across-the-board handling
Cons
  • 24MP may be low for some
  • On the larger side

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
  • $4,999 / £5,659

If speed is your main concern, then you won’t go far wrong with a Canon EOS R3 – if you can afford it. To date, the best Canon mirrorless camera for professional photography includes super-fast specifications such as up to 30fps shooting (using the electronic shutter), and a world-record top shutter speed of 1/64,000 sec. However, Canon recently announced that it’s releasing a new camera, the Canon EOS R1 later this year and it’s designed to overtake the flagship status of the R3.

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 by design: to give the best possible balance between image quality, file size and speed. In practice it delivers 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 to choose a focus point. Subject tracking is also superb for moving subjects.

As we said in our full review, the price of the EOS R3 means it is only going to be worth it for those who truly need every one of its outstanding features. If you need (not just want, need) a camera that will nail the shot, again and again, in all conditions, the EOS R3 is it.

Best for: action, wildlife and sport photography


Best high-res Canon: Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5
The 45-megapixel Canon EOS R5 captures an uncompromising level of detail. Photo credit: Michael Topham

Amateur Photographer verdict

As a stills camera, the EOS R5 is phenomenally impressive and one of the finest mirrorless cameras to roll off Canon’s production line, but with a hefty price tag
Pros
  • Stunning EVF
  • Ultra-high resolution
  • Impressive video spec
Cons
  • Overheating compromises video usefulness
  • Expensive

At a glance:

  • 45 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • Up to 20fps shooting
  • 8K and 4K video
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Subject tracking
  • $3,399 / £3,549 (body only)

The Canon EOS R5 is a camera that has become famous: for good reasons and bad.

The good
For stills photographers, this is one of the most impressive cameras ever made by Canon; or by anyone else, for that matter. With a pioneering 45-million-pixel full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS sensor, it can shoot full-res stills at up to 20fps, silently, with full AE and AF tracking.

It packs in in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) with up to 8 stops of effectiveness when paired with compatible Canon lenses. The autofocus works down to -6EV in low light, meaning it can still focus accurately even when you’re stopped down to f/22, and it incorporates Canon’s deep-learning subject-recognition AI technology.

Ergonomically, the EOS R5 is a treat, with high-quality construction, dual card slots and thoughtfully laid-out controls. The 5.76m-dot electronic viewfinder is bright and super-smooth, delivering first-rate performance, and the 3.2in, 2.1m-dot fully articulated touchscreen is slim, sensitive and smooth. All top stuff. So what’s not to like?

The bad
Well, the Canon EOS R5 is also a video beast, able to shoot DCI 8K Raw video internally using the full width of the sensor, with the option of broadcast quality 4:2:2 10-bit output and the Canon Log profile. However, this recording has severe time limits due to heat build-up. It’s specified to manage up to 20 minutes in 8K before needing to cool off; in our testing, we managed 17 minutes and 21 seconds.

Knocking it to 4K 120p recording, we managed just four minutes before the overheating icon appeared. There’s also the fact that the camera requires lengthy cool-off periods between these recordings, which just isn’t practical on a busy video set. Canon, clearly aware of this, quite hurriedly brought out the EOS R5C to address these issues. For pure video shooters, this latter is the smarter buy.

The EOS R5 is an expensive camera, undeniably – even more so when you consider the cost of the L-series RF-mount lenses required to get the best out of it. However, if you have the budget and prioritise stills over video, this is a hell of a camera.

Best for: photographers who shoot lots of different subjects


Best Canon mirrorless for beginners: Canon EOS R50

Canon EOS R50 with flash up
Canon EOS R50 with 18-45mm kit zoom and flash raised. Credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

It’s small and light yet comfortable in your hand, It also delivers consistently attractive JPEGs. Its strongest selling point is the brilliant subject recognition autofocus.
Pros
  • Best-in-class autofocus
  • Snappy burst shooting
  • Nice and lightweight
Cons
  • Very limited RF-S lens range
  • Small viewfinder

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP APS-C sensor
  • Up to 15fps shooting
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • $749 / £699 (body-only); $799 / £899 (with RF-S 18-45mm lens)

Initially, we thought the EOS R50 would be the Canon EOS R mirrorless camera for beginners, but the subsequent arrival of the cheaper and more basic EOS R100 complicated that picture. However, having spent time with both cameras, we’d say that if you can afford the extra outlay for the EOS R50, it’s a much more fully-featured camera for beginners to learn the basics on.

It’s a nice and light camera, with a standard 24.2MP APS-C sensor and a fairly generous (for this level) ISO range that goes up to 32,000 natively, or can be expanded to 51,200. Granted, you probably wouldn’t want to push it beyond 25,600, but this is still a decent showing for a camera of this type.

What’s more exciting though, and really sets the EOS R50 apart not only from the EOS R100 but also from many other cameras at this price point, is its fantastic subject recognition autofocus. Inherited from the more expensive professional camera, this intelligent system can recognise and track focus on specific subject types (people, animals and vehicles). This pairs beautifully with the surprisingly clippy burst rate – 12fps, or 15fps with the electronic shutter.

All in all, this is one of the most capable and versatile cameras in this price bracket. It’s still somewhat hobbled by the meagre selection of RF-S lenses, a problem that Canon doesn’t seem to be in a rush to correct. You can get by with EF-S lenses and an EF-EOS R adapter, though the latter will add an extra £100/$100-ish onto your costs.

Best for: Beginners


Best budget full-frame Canon mirrorless: Canon EOS R8

Canon EOS R8
An image from our Canon EOS R8 review. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

While the EOS R8 isn’t aimed at advanced users, you just can’t argue with the results.
Pros
  • Absolutely superb autofocus at this price point
  • Delivers sublime images straight out of camera
  • Lightweight build
Cons
  • Over-simplified body design with few physical controls
  • No in-body stabilisation

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP full-frame sensor
  • Up to 40fps shooting
  • 4K 60p video
  • $1,299 / £1,599 (body only)

Canon has provided an upgrade for the aging EOS RP in the form of the EOS R8. At first glance it looks much the same, with a similar body size, and a full-frame sensor of about the same resolution. So what’s the difference?

Well, Canon packed in the fantastic subject-detect autofocus system from the high-end Canon EOS R6 Mark II, giving it one of the most reliable autofocus systems of any camera at a comparable price. It uses Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor to lock on quickly and accurately anywhere in the frame. And thanks to that AI-powered subject-detection, it can recognise subjects like humans, animals and vehicles and keep hold of them even as they move. Focusing basically becomes something you no longer have to think about.

The Canon EOS R8 really is just a camera that nails the shot, again and again. Thanks to Canon’s well-judged in-camera processing, it produces JPEGs good enough to share straight out of camera, punchy and sharp with fantastic colours.

Most of the compromises you have to live with are to do with build and handling. The EOS R8 skates by with very few physical controls, necessitating a fair amount of menu fiddling if you want to get to grips with its settings. There’s only one card slot, and the LP-E17 battery is unusually small for a camera in this class, rated to just 220 shots (in practice you’ll probably get a few more, but you’ll still definitely want a spare). Also, be aware that there’s no in-body stabilisation, so you’ll be relying on the systems built into the lenses.

Best for: upgrading into full-frame


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

Canon EOS R7 in hand (Lifestyle, 1000px)
The Canon EOS R7 in hand. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

Amateur Photographer verdict

Whether you’re looking for a camera for stills or video, the high-speed and high-quality output of the R7 certainly makes for an appealing camera.
Pros
  • High-speed, high-resolution
  • Compact, weather-sealed body
  • In-body image stabilisation
Cons
  • Limited RF-S lenses
  • And the kit lens isn’t weather sealed

At a glance:

  • 32.5 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Up to 30fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • Dual card slots
  • $1,399 / £1,379 (body only)

The Canon EOS R7 was one of the first EOS R cameras to sport an APS-C sensor – proof if proof were needed that the EOS M system’s days were numbered. While there have been several other APS-C RF models since then, the EOS R7 still has a place as speedy crop-sensor camera that’s particularly good for wildlife at a budget.

It’s lightweight, its AF tracking is highly impressive, and unlike Nikon’s APS-C mirrorless offerings, the EOS R7 boasts in-body image stabilisation (IBIS). This system can deliver up to 8 stops of compensation, and also has automatic horizon correction, a feature that was previously exclusive to Pentax.

Elsewhere, Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II is highly impressive as always, with 651/5915 selectable focus points that cover the entire image area and work in extreme low-light conditions. As is fast becoming standard on new cameras, the EOS R7 also benefits from AI-powered subject-detection autofocus.

The body is lightweight and well-balanced, but Canon has still found room for weather-sealing, meaning you can capture wildlife images in the great outdoors without worrying about the rain – or at least, you could if the kit lens the camera comes with were weather-sealed too. You’ll probably want to upgrade from this lens anyway so it’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something to be aware of.

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


Best Canon mirrorless camera under £1000: Canon EOS R10

Canon EOS R10 in hand
Canon EOS R10. Photo: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

A likeable little camera that ticks most of the boxes we’d expect for a $1200 / £999 body
Pros
  • Excellent controls and handling
  • Very good value
  • Subject-detect autofocus works well
Cons
  • Again, lack of RF-S lenses
  • No IBIS

At a glance:

  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Up to 23fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • Single card slot
  • $1200 / £999 (body only)

Being smaller, lighter and less expensive than the R7, the Canon EOS R10 is designed for enthusiasts of lesser budget.

Naturally, the specs aren’t quite as good as the R7, but they’re not bad, with up to 23fps available for wildlife and sports photographers. Again, the smaller APS-C 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. In our full review, we found the EOS R10 to be a likeable, well-handling camera, and an especially good bet for the price. The main forfeits compared to the EOS R7 are the small viewfinder and lack of in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), which for many users will be acceptable trade-offs.

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


Best Canon EOS M: Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon EOS M50 Mark II in hand with the LCD screen tilted down
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is lightweight, handling well. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

Then there are all the extensive and reliable features for the contemporary creator who may be streaming live on YouTube one day, then taking photos for Instagram the next.
Pros
  • Good all-around specs
  • Solid value
  • Tidy, portable form factor
Cons
  • Relatively few good lenses…
  • … and we may not get any more

At a glance:

  • 24.1 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • 4K video
  • YouTube live streaming
  • 10fps
  • / £649 with 15-45mm kit lens

A neat little camera which has proven popular with a variety of users, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a good option on our list for those on 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. As we found in our full review, the image quality achieved by the EOS M50 Mark II is generally very good, and the fact that you get Dual Pixel AF is icing on the cake (though it’s a shame this AF is absent when shooting 4K video).

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.

It’s also worth noting that the EOS M series is at the end of the line and will be supplanted by Canon’s newer EOS R models, like the EOS R7 and EOS R10 above. Still, that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that the EOS M50 Mark II is a solid camera in its own right, and for now at least, there are still more EOS M lenses than there are EOS RF-S lenses for the new cameras.

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


Best budget all-round Canon mirrorless camera: Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6 in hand
The EOS R6 now offers the ability to set mode dial functions remotely via the SDK

Amateur Photographer verdict

The EOS R6 is a superb camera in its own right that should appeal to many more photographers than its EOS R5 sibling
Pros
  • Does very well at high ISOs
  • Effective stabilisation
  • Great all-around image quality
Cons
  • Some video overheating issues
  • 20MP might not be enough for some

At a glance:

  • 20 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • Up to 20fps shooting
  • 4K video
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Subject tracking
  • $1,999 / £1,399 (body only)

Though recently usurped by the Mark II version, the Canon EOS R6 is still a pleasingly affordable route into Canon’s latest mirrorless technology, and an excellent all-rounder for enthusiasts.

The full-frame sensor 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. In our review, we appreciated in particular the high-ISO performance of the EOS R6, which makes it a great choice for low-light shooting. This is aided by the fact that the sensor has a resolution of 20MP – on the low side for a camera of this type.

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 users. There is “only” 4K video, as opposed to 8K, but this should only matter to high-end videographers.

If you’re somebody that likes to photograph a range of different subjects – but don’t have the funds for the R5 or the R3, then the R6 makes a huge amount of sense. The price may also come down in the future too, as the upgraded version hits the market – though be careful of waiting too long, because this camera is already becoming more difficult to find new in the UK.

Best for: all-rounder photographers without a huge budget


Canon lens mounts explained

  • RF mount: this is used by all the latest Canon mirrorless cameras including both full frame and APS-C EOS R models. You can use the full frame lenses on the smaller camera bodies too.
  • RF-S mount: this is the mount used by Canon’s new APS-C mirrorless cameras. Physically, it’s the same as the RF mount, but the smaller sensor size benefits from specially designed lenses which carry the ‘RF-S’ designation
  • EF-M mount: this is a mount used by Canon’s first-generation APS-C mirrorless cameras, the EOS M series. There are both cameras and lenses for this mount still available, but it looks certain to be phased out,
  • EF mount: this is Canon’s DSLR mount. These lenses can also be used on its mirrorless cameras via an adapter.
  • EF-S mount: this is a special adaptation of the EF DSLR mount for Canon’s smaller APS-C D-SLRs. You can use EF lenses on a camera with an EF-S mount, but not the other way round. You can also use EF-S lenses on a Canon mirrorless camera via an adapter.

How to choose the best Canon mirrorless camera

Picking a mirrorless camera can be a daunting task, particularly if it’s your first. So let’s run through the key specs to consider when choosing the best Canon mirrorless camera.

Sensor and resolution: Canon’s mirrorless cameras offer either a full-frame or an APS-C sensor. Essentially, full-frame tends to give better image quality in a range of situations, especially low light, while APS-C makes for an overall smaller system and can be beneficial for certain subjects such as wildlife. See our guide to full-frame versus APS-C for more on the key differences between the two. Resolution is also worth thinking about – it’s not necessarily true that more pixels are better. Whether you need a very high resolution likely comes down to the type of subjects that you photograph.

Screen and viewfinder: All of the cameras in our list include a rear 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: Canon’s first mirrorless cameras with in-body stabilisation arrived in 2020 – the EOS R5 and the EOS R6. Since then, the sports flagship EOS R3 has also included it, though you don’t get IBIS with Canon’s APS-C format cameras. Image stabilisation is not essential, since many Canon lenses have IS (Image stabilization) built in too. But it is definitely beneficial for those who prefer to shoot handheld rather than on a tripod.

Frame rate: For photographing fast moving subjects like sports and wildlife, you need a camera with a fast frame rate. Some cameras in the EOS R and EOS M ranges give 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.

Video: All the cameras on this list can record 4K video. Other video-related specifications to consider include whether a crop is applied to 4K, frame rates and special video modes.

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 EF-M lens range for the M series never really took off, there are just 8 available optics. By contrast, there are currently 30 native lenses for RF-mount, though only three are designed specifically for the smaller APS-C models.

You can use the best EF-mount zoom lenses made originally for Canon DSLRs, with either the M or the R mount cameras, via adapters. Take a look at our guide to DSLR vs mirrorless: which is best for more on the differences between the two types of camera.


Text by Amy Davies, with contributions from Jon Stapley.


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