The Best Canon DSLRs under $1k
Here is our ranking of the best Canon DSLRs in 2018 (under $1,000):
1. Canon EOS 77D
The EOS 77D (also known as the 9000D in Japan) came about in the first half of 2017. It is an APS-C DSLR with a sensor size of 22.3mm x 14.9mm. It produces a resolution of 24 megapixels. The camera has a crop factor of 1.6x. The same as the other APS-C Canon cameras.
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor.
- Built-in Wi-Fi*, NFC** and Bluetooth***.
- Hdr movie & time-lapse movie.
- Flash memory type: SDXC
The EOS 77D fits in the scheme of things for Canon somewhere between the EOS 80D and the EOS Rebel T7i (we will learn about the EOS Rebel T7i shortly in this review), which was also launched along with the EOS 77D.
There are some similarities between some of the higher end models in the Canon line-up and the EOS 77D. One of these similarities is the sensor. The EOS 77D shares the same sensor as the EOS 80D. Plus, the camera comes with Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor.
And to be fair, the EOS 77D has a better image processing engine than the EOS 80D. ISO sensitivity of the camera is 100 – 12800.
An important feature of the camera is its 45-point all cross-type phase detection auto-focusing system. All-cross-type AF means the system is capable of locking focus both horizontally and vertically allowing a greater degree of control when composing your shots. Plus, the camera comes with what is known as dual-pixel CMOS auto-focusing. This technology is designed for live-view shooting, mainly video shooting.
The EOS 77D shoots stills at a frame rate of 6 fps for a maximum of 190 / 21 JPEG / RAW frames. In that sense, it shoots fewer frames per second compared to the 80D which shoots 7 per second. It shoots full HD at 60, 24 and 30 fps. There is still no 4K / UHD option on the EOS 77D. This is something you would have wanted given the growing popularity of 4K /UHD videos. The maximum length that you can shoot is 29 mins and 59 seconds.
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Among the things that I don’t like is the 95% frame coverage of the viewfinder and the LCD screen. The 95% frame coverage is annoying. But given the fact that the EOS 77D is an entry-level camera you can’t complain either.
In your case, you have to be extra watchful of the elements that are in the immediate vicinity of the frame. But at the same time, the precise composition becomes that much more difficult.
There is a stereo mic with the option to plug in an external stereo mic for better quality sound-bites. What it does not have, however, is a mic output jack which would have allowed the sound levels to be monitored while being recorded. The EOS 80D has that and is thus a better camera for shooting videos.
Design-wise the EOS 77D with its dual command wheels and a top LCD screen mimics a professional top end model the likes of the 5D Mark IV. So would the EOS 77D make solid buying sense? If you are an entry-level photographer looking for an all-round camera under $1000 the EOS 77D is a fine choice. You will not go wrong with it.
2. Canon EOS 800D (T7i)
The Rebel T7i is the highest rated Rebel. A term that usually goes to the latest of the Rebel series cameras.
When the Rebel T7i was launched in 2017, it relegated the T6i to a position of lesser importance. The EOS 800D competes with the likes of the Nikon upper entry-level systems like the D5600. The Rebel T7i features a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and is paired with a DIGIC 7 image processor.
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor. Multimedia cards (MMC) cannot be used
- Built-in Wi-Fi*, NFC** and Bluetooth***.
- High-Speed continuous shooting at up to 6.0 fps.
- Color Filter System:RGB primary color filters.Color Filter System:RGB primary color filters
The camera comes with a 45-point all cross-type phase detection auto-focusing system. This is the first Rebel series to have that. Plus, the system also has Canon’s dual pixel CMOS auto-focusing for live-view shooting (explained above in EOS 77D). The higher number of cross-type AF points helps in off-center compositions and for subject tracking.
The Rebel T7i shoots stills at a frame rate of 6 fps with the same number of frames as the EOS 77D detailed above. The Rebel T7i also shoots full HD videos at a frame rate of 60, 24 and 30 fps.
The maximum clip length that you can shoot in one go is 29 mins and 59 seconds. The higher frame rate is useful for converting your footages to slow motion videos.
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What I would have loved to see on the T7i is the ability to shoot 4K / UHD. With some of the Rebel series competitors now able to shoot 4K / UHD this should have been taken into consideration by Canon.
These days time-lapse and HDR movies are two features that are in great demand. The T7i comes with both these features. The HDR movie mode is helpful for recreating those highly contrasting scenes perfectly in digital format.
Just like the EOS 77D above, the T7i has a viewfinder and an LCD touchscreen that only covers 95% of the frame. So, caveat emptor rules apply here.
Native ISO range of the camera is 100 – 12800. Speaking of ISO capabilities, you cannot ignore speaking about the lowlight capability of the camera. Dynamic range hasn’t made a quantum leap with the T7i, but it is better than what we saw with the T6i. Scenes with a lot of contrast are somewhat problematic regarding noise performance.
The Rebel T7i has a built-in stereo mic. Additionally, there is the option to plug in an external stereo mic as well for better quality sound recording. Truly, this is a great option to have on an entry-level DSLR and something that you should consider before finalizing your buy.
In as much as connectivity is concerned the Rebel T7i comes with built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi ensures that you can transfer your images and videos seamlessly to a compatible device using an available network. With NFC pairing with a smartphone or tablet is easier. With Bluetooth, you have the option to control your camera via a smartphone.
The back of the camera is dominated by a large 3″ vari-angle LCD screen which swivels and tilts in all directions allowing you to shoot from acute angles which are impossible to master with a fixed LCD screen. The screen has a resolution of 1.04 million dots.
Overall a good bankable camera for someone just beginning as a photographer and is looking for something more than decent to get started. You simply cannot go wrong with this camera. Of course, we are talking about a budget of $1000.
3. Canon EOS 750D (T6i)
The Rebel T6i is the predecessor to the Rebel T7i that we just read above. It replaced the older T5i which had an 18-megapixel sensor just like the T7i after it did to it. The T6i is still going strong even with all the new cameras that seemingly threaten its existence.
The Rebel T6i (or the 750D as it is also known as outside the US), is an upper entry-level camera powered by a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. It is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 6 image processing engine and a 19-point all cross-type auto-focusing mechanism. This is a quantum leap (number of AF points that is) considering the older T5i had only 9 points.
- Effortlessly take your pictures to the next level with the latest DSLR technology and Scene Intelligent Auto mode
- Achieve stunning shots in any situation thanks to the 24.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor and DIGIC 6 processor
- Easily shoot cinematic Full HD movies with Hybrid CMOS AF III to track movement and focus smoothly between subjects
- Share your results online or transfer images to your smart device or Canon Connect Station instantly using NFC and Wi-Fi
- Explore your creativity in photos and movies using a full suite of shooting modes and creative effects.
The camera also features the dated hybrid CMOS AF III. This is where you would probably feel the pinch as the later T7i features the updated dual pixel CMOS auto-focusing technology. Both these technologies are, however, designed for live-view shooting, mainly video shooting. Speaking of which the Rebel T6i shoots full HD videos at a frame rate of 30.
You have options to shoot in a web-ready mp4 format which is easy to share. The maximum clip length is 29 mins and 59 seconds. There is a built-in mic. But you also have the option to plug in an external microphone jack that gives you the ability to record better quality audio.
In regards to stills, the Rebel T6i is capable of shooting at a maximum frame rate of 5 fps. Not what would excite sports, action or wildlife shooters, but for everyone else who does not shoot on a motor drive, this is just fine.
The viewfinder on the T6i offers a 95% frame coverage only. But interestingly the LCD touchscreen offers 100% frame coverage. So, when shooting through the viewfinder, you have to be extra careful so as not to catch anything unwanted in the fringes of the frame.
The native ISO range of the Rebel T6i is 100 – 12800, which means you can shoot in a fairly wide range of lighting scenarios. Speaking of lighting scenarios I need to mention a point about the camera’s dynamic range. This is one area where the newer T6i winds over, the older T5i. Dynamic range has improved. But still, Canon’s budget DSLRs are no match for Nikon when it comes to dynamic range.
The other feature of the Rebel T6i is the built-in Wi-Fi along with NFC. You can easily pair this camera with a compatible smartphone/tablet and thereon transfer images and videos using an available network. This comes in handy when shooting selfies or when shooting on a tripod etc.
The large 3″ vari-angle LCD touchscreen dominates the back of the camera. The LCD screen offers a resolution of 1.04 million dots.
4. Canon EOS 200D (SL2)
The EOS 200D is an entry-level DSLR from the Canon stable. This camera is known in the US as the SL2. The SL2 is powered by a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processing engine. The native ISO range of the EOS SL2 is 100 – 12800.
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
- Fast & Accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection
- Vary-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD
- Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth Technology
- Full HD 60p & External Microphone Input
The camera uses the older generation 9-point auto-focusing mechanism which includes one cross-type AF point. 9 points would be a little too less especially when you want to be creative and shoot more off-center compositions. But for a start, this is a great camera to begin.
The highlight of the camera would probably be the dual pixel CMOS auto-focusing technology. It is the first time that this technology has been used in the SL series DSLRs and is thus a big jump from the older SL1 that we reviewed earlier. This would make the SL2 a great camera to use when shooting videos.
The SL2 shoots full HD videos at 60 fps maximum (you can also shoot at 30 fps and 24 fps). You can easily play it back at 2x slower producing excellent slow-motion videos of everyday things. Speaking of video shooting, there is a microphone input option on the SL2. The maximum clip length is 29 minutes 59 seconds.
Continuous shooting speed on the SL2 is a decent five fps at full resolution. Not suitable for high-end sports or something where a lot of frames are necessary. But then, this is just an entry-level DSLR and someone buying this is not likely going to shoot a MotoGP or a Kumite competition. What about a high school soccer game? Why not? As long as you have mastered the art of panning and selected the right shutter speed to go with it, you would probably be able to get a few keepers after an afternoon’s work.
The back of the camera is where the large 3″ LCD screen is positioned. This is a vari-angle screen which is great to have at this price point. The screen offers a resolution of 1.04m dots.
Connectivity options include built-in Wi-Fi and NFC as well as Bluetooth. That means you can not only pair the camera with a compatible smartphone but also control the camera’s basic functions like focusing, making images and reviewing of those images on your device. Built-in Wi-Fi allows the seamless transfer of camera data over an available network.
A great camera for capturing everyday photography moments and light video work.
5. Canon EOS 1300D (T6)
The Canon EOS 1300D also known as the T6 is a current entry-level camera from the Canon stable. This camera is powered by an 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and is paired with a DIGIC 4+ image processor. The native ISO range of the camera is 100 – 12800. This ensures that the camera can shoot in most lighting situations.
- 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+
- 9-point AF with one center cross-type AF point
- Standard ISO: 100 to 6400, expandable to 12800
- Wi-Fi and NFC supported
The 9-point auto-focusing mechanism ensures that the camera can focus decently and reliably in most situations. However, this 9-point AF system is an obsolete technology and is far inferior to the 19-point all cross-type AF system that the slightly pricier Canon DSLRs come with. You will struggle with the lack of AF points when trying to compose off-center compositions. Additionally, there is but one cross-type AF point. That severely limits the options for your camera to shoot in all light situations as the traditional line sensor struggle in low contrast and low light situations.
The Rebel T6 is capable of shooting full HD videos at a frame rate of 30 fps. The maximum clip length is 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
The 95% frame coverage of the camera is something that I don’t like. But at this price point, there is no arguing. You have to be careful to check the vicinity of the frame or any elements that might be distracting in the final shot.
The Rebel T6 is aimed at photographers who would normally look for a point & shoot or anything that is a lightweight camera. The Rebel T6 is a compromise between the convenience of using a lightweight point & shoot camera and the wonderful world of manual shooting. It is appreciably lighter than any other Canon DSLR you might have held in hand. The ideal kind of DSLR to carry in your backpack and not notice you have a load.
Some of the other features of the camera include built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. I have detailed the advantages of these connectivity features above.
All in all a good DSLR for basic switching from smartphone cameras and point & shoot systems and getting into the world of interchangeable lens cameras. But it is certainly not a camera for photographers who are enthusiasts and or looking to seriously learn the art of image making. This is because you will quickly grow out of it and then start to feel that you have made a bad investment.