When shopping it can quickly become daunting when comparing model numbers alone without understanding where they fall in the product line. In this guide I will try to quickly break down all of Canon’s current DSLR and mirrorless camera lines.
A rule of thumb for Canon cameras is that the fewer numbers in the model name the more expensive and “professional” the camera is (with the exception of the Rebel series which are all entry level).
Rebel ‘SL’ series – Entry Level/consumer – “world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR camera” – Current models (SL3)
Rebel ‘T’ series – Entry Level/consumer – Current models (T8i, T7)
EOS (3 and 4 digit) – Advanced amateur/Midrange (Replaced by Rebel models in the USA market.)
EOS (2 digit) – Prosumer/high-end – Current models (90D)
EOS (1 digit) – Professional/flagship (5D Mark IV, 6D Mark II, EOS-1D X Mark III)
M (3 digit) – Entry Level/consumer – Current models (M200)
M (2 digit) – Advanced amateur/Midrange (M10, M50 Mark II)
M (1 digit) – Advanced amateur/Midrange (M3, M5, M6 Mark II)
R – RP, R, R5, R6
The Canon ‘R’ series is still relatively new and is seen as the modern replacement for the DSLR. These have mirrorless designs and full frame camera sensors.
The ‘R’ is the original flagship of this line. The RP is the entry level to the ‘R’ series. The R5 and R6 are the newest entries to this series.
There are some exceptions and workarounds, but here is a list of the current Canon lens series and which bodies they are intended to be used on.
– EF: Full Frame Cameras
– EF-S: Cropped sensor cameras (or Full Frame cameras with crop)
– M: for M series mirrorless cameras
– RF: for Canon R series mirrorless bodies