If you started off down your photography journey with a compact camera but now need something more substantial, there are lots of options on the market to choose from.
When I was first tasked with finding the best Canon cameras for intermediate photographers, my cynical response was, it depends on how much cash you want to spend, end of story. However, I was given a virtual wrist slap, complete with face coverings, gloves, and other PPE, of course, and told to be far more informative.
Budget is one factor in the equation, but it’s also about buying into a camera solution that isn’t initially overwhelming, but still allows you to advance your skills.
This is where the DSLR camp still comes into play, as these cameras provide excellent image quality and can now be found at prices cheaper than ever before. This is mainly due to everyone jumping ship to the mirrorless format, with a whole host of high-quality DSLR cameras out there, new and refurbished, ready for the picking.
It’s also vitally important to invest in a good-quality lens no matter the camera body. If you need help in this area, we have a multitude of reviews on our website covering all the different lens types that can be strapped to a Canon camera.
1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV follows a strong heritage, for those who didn’t need the bulk, cost, or speed of something like the full-blown 1DX Mark IV. The 5D Mark IV offers a full-frame 30.4mp sensor, with a very capable sensitivity range of ISO 100-32,000, a reasonable burst rate of 7fps, and a fully weatherproofed outer shell.
The camera also features 61 phase-detect AF points, with the central point functioning down to -3EV for low-light conditions. While the 4K video side of things is cropped, the camera still provides professional features, with HDMI output and 4:2:2 sampling.
There is a whole bucket list of features packed into this camera, which means the Swiss army knife analogy is a good one to use here. This allows the user to configure and set the camera to exactly your own style of working.
A camera such as the 5D Mark IV may initially seem like overkill for the intermediate photographer. But all the facilities will allow you to grow into its features over time. Allowing you to not just capture the best possible quality, but also acting as a platform to not be intimidated by any future model.
Here’s the bottom line if you’re shopping for Canon cameras for intermediate photographers. Essentially, the 5D Mark IV covers all bases apart from when you need the most speed for the likes of very fast-moving action events. You can read our full review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV to learn more.
2. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
For those who can’t justify the cost of the 5D but still want full-frame sensor workings, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is the next likely candidate. The camera brings with it a 26.2MP CMOS sensor, with an ISO of 100-40,000, 45 cross-type AF points, and 60p HD video.
The rear touchscreen, a vari-angle LCD screen, is extremely versatile and can be easily viewed in bright conditions. While it offers many advanced features, it’s a shame it doesn’t come with 4K video capabilities. But at least you can shoot in full HD with Digital IS for extra stability. The body has also been weatherproofed, with extended features such as GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
Compared with the latest mirrorless models, the 6D may not seem very flashy. But as we explain in our Canon EOS 6D Mark II review, it still offers very rounded features for a variety of situations, with the benefit of being able to fit the whole range of EF lenses.
3. Canon EOS 90D
The Canon EOS 90D is an update to the highly-regarded 80D. The 90D shows that the DSLR platform still has plenty of life left. The advantages here are provided from an optical viewfinder and a battery life that goes far beyond the average mirrorless offerings.
Although this is a crop sensor camera, it still offers plenty of resolution via a 32.5MP CMOS sensor, with an ISO range of 100-25,600 and uncropped 4K video at 30p. A total of 45 cross-type phase-detection AF points have been included, with nine AF zones for all types of subject matter. Live View brings out the most features with an incredible 5,481 AF points, which can also be used in video mode, with advanced features such as Movie Servo AF and face tracking.
The only thing lacking in this camera is full-frame goodness. In every other respect, the 90D has a very extensive feature set, which is capable in a variety of situations. Our full Canon EOS 90D review outlines it in detail.
4. Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Depending on where you live in the world, the Rebel T7i is also known as the Canon EOS 800D. This camera may not pack in all the features you would find in the examples above, but it still has all the features needed for a rounded photography experience.
The Rebel T7i comes with a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and their relatively fast DIGIC 7 image processor, which can rattle off 6fps in quick succession. The camera also features advanced functionality such as Dual Pixel CMOS AF and the still-very-capable 45 cross-type phase-detection AF points. The ISO range also comes in at a very usable 100-25,600.
At this price level you may not get 4K video recording, but the camera does offer full HD 1080p recording at 60fps, with additional features such as time-lapse movies. There’s also an HDR Movie mode included, which performs a respectable job of pulling out the most detail from the darkest and lightest parts of a scene.
As a camera that can expand your skills and cover a multitude of tasks, the Rebel T7i has lots to offer in the crop sensor department. Our Canon EOS Rebel T7i review digs deeper.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T6 (Budget Winner)
If you have even an inkling of an idea of the Canon camera lineup, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 is generally seen as an entry-level camera. However, the more basic feature set pushes you to work on the essentials, without the camera doing all the heavy lifting for you.
The other main advantage is that these cameras can now be picked up for just a few hundred dollars, making them amazing value for money. Once you stick a decent quality lens on the front of the Rebel T6, the camera can still produce excellent results.
The camera itself is wrapped around an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and, although it only has a burst rate of 3fps or six RAW shots at a time, it’s still good for freezing action. The camera shoots in full HD 1080p at 30fps and has a reasonable ISO of 100-6,400. For the cleanest of images, you will have to stick to ISO 600 or below, but that will also mean you have to work on your artificial lighting skills.
The camera still has some relatively advanced features such as built-in Wi-Fi, and it only has nine phase-detection AF points. But if you consider the old film cameras only had a few AF points for all the rich history they produced, it’s not so much of a downside.
This means that the EOS Rebel T6 may be seen as a basic camera by today’s standards. But if you work with the limited parameters, there’s no reason why it can’t sharpen your skills and produced excellent results. We weigh the pros and cons in our Canon EOS Rebel T6 review.
You Can’t Go Wrong with Canon Cameras for Intermediate Photographers
Before you dive into the latest and greatest models, the DSLR world still has a lot to offer any type of photographer. Canon cameras for intermediate photographers are, on the whole, solid options. As proven by the examples above, there are solutions out there that can fit into all budget levels, which will all help you grow as a photographer.