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Best camera under $1300 for professional photography


Hey guys, I’m kinda new to the photography world. I’ve been decent at taking pictures, and I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a 90D from a T6. That Rebel is still good to me, but after seeing a Mark III in action at wedding, I know I need to upgrade. I’m looking for a camera that can handle most situations for around $1300. 



Is this $1399 for a body only or a kit. The EF Mount is being discontinued and further developed has stopped. So no more new updated bodies or lenses coming. It would be best to look into a mirrorless camera at this point in time. They offer much more features that a DSLR camera can't offer. To use existing EF or EF-S lenses you will need an EF-RF Mount adapter. What lenses do you currently have so far EF or EF-S. EF-S lenses won't mount a Full Frame camera at all. Avoid the EOS-M series mirrorless cameras they have been discontinued. Look into the EOS R series cameras.

Lens Compatability NO EOS M PT. 1.pngLens Compatability NO EOS M PT. 2.png

  • EOS: Electro Optical System (What EOS stands for)
  • EF: Electronic Focus: lens mount ALL EOS DSLRs & Film SLRs use (original EOS Mount) (Red Circle Mounting Index, 12 o’clock position)
  • EF-S: A separate lens Mount designed for APS-C DSLRs NOT compatible and won’t mount to any Full Frame Digital, 35mm Film SLRs or APS-H DSLRs. Note this is a DSLR Crop Sensor ONLY Mount. (White Square Mounting Index, 1 o’clock position)
  • EF-M: Lens Mount for EOS-M series Mirrorless cameras. Incompatible with DSLRs or EOS Film SLRs. (White Circle Mounting Index, 11 o’clock position) (2012-2023, discontinued). 
  • RF: Lens Mount for EOS R series Mirrorless cameras. Incompatible with EOS DSLRs or EOS Film SLRs. (Red Oval Mounting Index, 12 o’clock position)
  • RF-S: Lens is optimized for EOS R series APS-C cameras. Can be used on EOS R series Full Frame cameras but the image is cropped to the APS-C image circle. Note this is NOT a separate lens mount.
  • L: Canon's professional grade lenses only available in Full Frame lenses NO APS-C lenses.
  • DO: Diffractive Optics uses Fresnel lenses
  • I, II, III, IV, V: Some lenses have multiple revisions such as the EF 28-80 F/3.5-5.6 V USM (ONLY lens to have a Version V)
  • Ring Type USM: AF motor type. Provides fast focusing stands for Ultrasonic Motor. Ring Type USM is the original USM AF motor. Shaped like a ring inside the lens. Allows Full Time Manual Focus either Focus by Wire or mechanical.
  • Micro Motor USM: Cheaper and slower AF Motor doesn't allow Full Time Manual Focus. Lens uses gears to adjust focus. EXCEPT for the EF 50mm F/1.4 USM lens (refer to Ring Type USM Mechanical Focus override). (1993-2016, replaced by Nano USM)
  • Nano USM: Combines STM and USM technology for fast AF. Allows Full Time Manual Focus is Focus by wire. (2016- Present)
  • STM: Stepper Motor for quiet AF. Allows Full Time Manual Focus which is Focus by Wire. (2012- Present)
  • AFD: Arc-Form Drive original EOS AF motor. No longer in use was replaced by Micro Motor in 1993 for new lens designs. No Full Time Manual Focus (Retired 1987-1992)
  • Micro Motor: Older least advanced AF motor slower AF used in cheaper lenses. No Full Time Manual Focus. (Retired, 1993-2012) Replaced by STM in 2012.
  • IS: Image Stabilization available in the lens.
  • IBIS: In Body Image Stabilization available in select EOS R Series cameras.
  • Macro: A macro lens with 1:1 magnification
  • Compact Macro: Lens is able to focus closer than a normal macro lens.
  • MP-E: Manual Focus only electronic aperture control no focus to infinity.
  • TS-E: Tilt Shift lens with electronic aperture control no Autofocus. 
  • Soft Focus: Lens is designed to provide a creamy bokeh effect.
  • PZ: Power Zoom lens. Only 1 lens released with this feature. Only the EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 PZ lens used this. 
  • TTL: Through The Lens Flash metering. Flash system relies on light reflected off the film. NOT compatible with EOS Digital cameras.
  • A-TTL: Advanced Through The Lens Flash metering system in EOS film bodies released in 1986. Replaced by E-TTL in 1995. System uses a pre-flash measured by a sensor on the speedlite itself. NOT compatible with EOS Digital cameras. Uses EZ series speedlites
  • E-TTL Version 1: Evaluative Through The lens Flash metering system. System uses a pre-flash measured by the camera body to calculate flash exposure. System also relies on AF point selection too. Compatible with EX or EL series speedlites. Replaced by E-TTL II in 2004.
  • E-TTL II: Refer to E-TTL Version 1. System was released in 2004 and works similarly to the original E-TTL. But uses focus distance information from the lens. Via a distance encoder in the lens. E-TTL II doesn't rely on AF point selection. Note E-TTL II is IMPLEMENTED in the camera body NOT the speedlite.
  • EOS M Series: A discontinued APS-C mirrorless lineup of cameras (2012-2023). Replaced by EOS R Series APS-C cameras in 2023. EF-M lenses CAN NOT BE ADAPTED to EOS R cameras.
  • EOS R Series: Originally released in 2018 with Full Frame cameras only. Later in 2023 with APS-C cameras. New APS-C lenses were released. 
  • Z: Lens has an optional attachment to allow power zoom. Only the RF 24-105mm F/2.8L IS USM Z lens has this feature.
  • Automatic Brightness Adjustment of LED AF Assist Beam: Feature IS NOT SUPPORTED on the R3, R7 & R10 camera bodies.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

View solution in original post



"We show you respect, kindly do the same for us."


Fluff is stuff to some but not to all. The query was mainly, "...  I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a 90D from a T6." It did not require a dissertation as a reply.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

In all honesty it did. I need to make an informed decision, and all that fluff is very relevant to me. Thanks for all the help and info guys, keep it coming………….. I was trying to get a body for around $1300. New or used doesn’t matter. 

Mcharles609 that is fine. You need to accept the answers that you deem apply to your query. My succinct reply is still true and deals directly with your original post.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

I have multiple questions, and many factors to consider. Everyone’s input is based on experience and knowledge, so they all apply to my question. I see I need to go mirrorless, and it’s skill not equipment that makes a picture great. Thanks for your input and help as well.

You are welcome!  Given your long-term intentions, I think going to a MILC like one of the R-series - maybe, if you want FF, then an R8 might be a good camera - they are great value for money.  If you want to stick to the smaller sensor of an APS-C body, then you are looking at the R7, R10, R50 and R100: as the number goes up the price and performance decrease. 
While you can use the FF RF lenses on both types of bodies, and RF-S lenses will physically fit a FF body, that will reduce your actual MP capacity by a factor of 2.56 because their Angle of View will cover only the smaller APS-C area of the FF sensor.  If you want to know more about that, you might want to check out this article:
Focal Length, Field of View, Shutter Speed, Sensor Size & Equivalence 

Lenses outlast bodies by quite a bit, so investing in good glass is arguably the better investment balance, but you may have to save up for a while yet! 💰
Initially, you may choose to go with a more general-purpose lens to find your feet (so to speak) and give you a wide range of subject.  That could be one of the RF 24-105 options (the best balance of cost and performance being perhaps the RF 24-105L f/4 unit), but another unit to consider would be the RF 24-240 IS USM.  While not an L (pro-level) lens, it is an excellent optic. I have both of those lenses, but find I use the RF 24-240 far more.  I got it as a stop-gap while the 24-105 was on back-order for 5 months! 🙄

Both these lenses may cost a bit more, but they will last you.  FWIW.

I did some shooting with the RF 24-240 on both my R5 and R6 units, and it's a great lens with a very wide focal range.  See the following posts:
Trying out the RF 24-240 on Wildlife with the R5 - Page 2 - Canon Community
Diwali in Auckland, NZ - Canon Community
When you want to take just one lens... - Canon Community (for camera settings)
Moody Morning the the R6 & RF 24-240 - Canon Community

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Fluff is a derogatory and demeaning term and is meant to be insulting, which does no justice to you or those are sincerely trying to look outside the obvious and help this person spend their money wisely.  A professional does not do that, they express collegial opinions based on experience, research and facts to underpin their own point of view, but they do not engage in the kind of behaviour you exhibited.  Your opinion and experience are worthy of note, but they are not the only ones, and you undermine your own position by unnecessary negativity - it says more about you than us, and that is unfortunate.   Please stop.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Trevor you seem to have an opinion but are unable to accept a different opinion if it doesn't fall in line with the one you like. Pretty common in society  these days. Just because you write a verbose opinion and cite a lot of Youtube videos doesn't make your opinion king. And my friend you have no idea of the professional photographers life. However you must have a lot of time to devote to Youtube. I don't so I rely on what In know and have experience with. You may not like differing replies from yours but there is an end to it. The OP can accept or reject whichever but they are there.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Ernie, if you read what I wrote, you will observe that I welcome differing opinion, but I don't welcome the rude dismissal of others' opinions by such loaded words as fluff - and this is not the first time this has happened.  This forum depends on having an environment where people can express differing opinions with mutual respect on all sides, something you apparently no longer hold for others.
You also know very well that I worked in the business over 40 years.  I rely on my own experience, but will happily reach out to locations where I can find respected sources that I have checked, I don't claim to have unique knowledge while others do not.  I do research and I present my sources - that is reasonable academic rigor.
I respect your experience and knowledge, but you have no respect for the opinions of others: what a shame...
However, I will escalate this to moderators in the future if you continue your current rude and aggressive tone.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Go for it, my friend.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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