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Which Canon Camera to Buy for Beginner?


Hi! This is my first Reddit post and also my first camera purchase. I really need some help with deciding what to pick. My top 3 choices that I just can't decide on is the Canon Rebel T6i, Rebel T7, or the Canon SL3. I would rather purchase just the body wether it be from Canon's site, walmart, etc.. (Bonus points if anyone knows of any trustworthy refurbished sites.) I am planning on building my lens collection, I recently bought a 50mm off of a friend and I am looking into the 75-250mm (I read in a few posts that this lens was better than the 75-300mm) So my main things that I am planning on doing with a camera is to take nature shots, every day life, photos of friends, family, pets maybe even some landscape shots. I truly don't think I would ever take videos, my main focus is photos. I am so torn between the three cameras I mentioned above, they are all in my price range and they all have great things about them but I wanted to know which camera might be best for me since I am only a beginner. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!



If the SL3 is in your price range than for a few dollars more you could get the Rebel T8i. IMHO, I would very much prefer the T8i in that case. The two models are nearly the same but the T8i is slightly better. The big difference to me is the size of the two. The SL3 is a small camera and for me that isn't good. Perhaps that is a big point to you and if it is, get the SL3.

I would also advise to stop buying lenses. Wait until you know what you need and want. A basic "normal" zoom is the best place to start. Example is the standard so called kit lens, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II.


"I recently bought a 50mm off of a friend and I am looking into the 75-250mm ..."


A 50mm prime is a difficult lens to use and it has become a more specialized lens for certain purposes. It is a bit too long for general use on a cropper like you are considering. I am not aware of a 75-250mm zoom lens perhaps you mean the very good 55-250mm zoom? This is a common mistake new guys make, buying before they know what they need.

A very good "starter" kit would be the aforementioned EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II and the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II.


However, my friend the best advice is to not buy any of this and look at Canon mirrorless cameras. The "R" series stuff. DSLR is dead or at least not going anywhere.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


Forget the T7... it's an extremely basic camera that lacks A LOT of features found on the SL3, T6i and MOST other Canon interchangeable lens cameras. Plus the T7 is ONLY sold in kit with one or two lenses. Either kit includes the EF-S 18-55mm IS "II" lens, while the two-lens kit adds the EF 75-300mm "III" lens. These are Canon's two cheapest and least capable lenses. ESPECIALLY avoid the EF 75-300mm "III".

The Canon SL3 is a definite step up, though still a relatively easy camera to learn on. For one, it's got an articulated Touchscreen rear LCD (the T7's is fixed and not a Touchscreen). Oh, and the SL3's LCD screen is a little higher resolution too. The SL3 has also got built in automatic sensor cleaning (which the completely T7 lacks). The SL3 is one of the smallest and lightest DSLRs anyone has ever made, but manages to take twice as many shots per battery charge than the T7. The SL3 also can shoot at 5 frames per second, while the T7 is limited to 3 fps. And the SL3 offers ISO 100-25600, compared to 100-6400 in the T7 (both are extendable by one stop). The T7 can do Full HD video, but the SL3 can do 4K. Both cameras use a 24MP sensor, but the SL3 uses a four generation newer Digic 8 processor (T7 uses Digic 4+, which was first intro'd in 2008 or 09).

In one respect the T7 and SL3 are pretty much identical: they share a very similar 9-point autofocus system with a single dual axis AF point at the center. In this respect, the T6i is superior, with a 19-point AF system, all of which are higher performance dual axis type (but see below for even more capable AF).

Both the SL3 and the T7 lack one other feature that all other current Canon interchangeable lens cameras include: Flicker Free. This greatly improves exposures done under fluorescent and similar types of lighting. (It's been a real game changer for me, using 7D Mark II with this feature). Again, neither SL3 or T7 have Flicker Free.

The SL3 comes with a better kit lens than the T7. Both come with an EF-S 18-55mm... however note that the SL3's has "STM" focus drive, which is faster, quieter and more accurate than the micro motor focus used in the lens sold with the T7 (SL3 can be bought "body only"... the T7 cannot).

The telephoto zoom you should buy for use on any of these cameras is the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS STM. It's a much, much better lens than the EF 75-300mm "III" that comes bundled in the two-lens kit with the T7.  That 55-250mm has faster/quieter STM autofocus drive and image stabilization, both lacking from the EF 75-300mm III. The 55-250mm also has better image quality... especially that the longer telephoto focal lengths.

You mention also having "a 50mm lens", which is probably either an f/1.8 or an f/1.4 and can be useful as a short telephoto on any of these cameras. It makes a nice portrait lens. But with only that and the telephoto zoom you will be lacking the "normal" and "wide angle" focal lengths. You really should at least get the EF-S 18-55mm IS STM, which covers the moderate wide to normal to short telephoto range and is a good "walk around", general purpose zoom.

I don't know where you're shopping because most places no longer have the T6i available. It's the oldest of the three models you mention, though in its day it was a more "upscale" model than the other two are today. The T6i (and a very similar T6s) was superseded by the T7i (and 77D), while that camera has in turn been superseded by the T8i that's currently available.

T7i, 77D and T8i all offer a more capable 45-point autofocus system... All high performance cross type points, able to keep focusing in lower light (as well as work with more lens/teleconverter combos), and all with the Flicker Free feature for accurate exposure under fluorescent lighting. 

Have you looked into the refurbished cameras here on the Canon USA website? Those can be a really good deal. For example, the T7 with two lenses is selling for $600. Among the refurbished available right now is the 77D with EF-S 18-135mm IS USM lens for $640 (the lens alone normally sells for $600 and is even better than the EF-S 18-55mm IS STM). SL3 with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM is also available there for $600 (regularly $749). The only problem with the refurbished is that stock comes and goes there quickly. I cannot provide a link here, but if you Google "Canon USA refurbished" you will find the website. There look for the section for interchangeable lens cameras, and within that choose the models mentioned. See EDIT below for link. Again, note that stock there comes and goes quickly as people snap up the good deals!

In my opinion, the best deals I see various places right now...

#1. 77D with EF-S 18-135mm IS USM $640 (refubished at Canon USA)

#2. SL3 with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM $600 (refurbished at Canon USA)

#3. SL3 with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM $749 (new at B&H Photo and elsewhere).

#4. SL3 body only $520 (refurbished at Canon USA website)

#5. SL3 body only $649 (new at B&H Photo and elsewhere)

#6. Used T7i (note the "i") w/either EF-S 18-55mm IS STM or EF-S 18-135mm IS USM (or STM).

#7. Used SL2 (very similar to SL3, but not as capable for video) w/EF-S 18-55mm IS STM

Note: Refurbished from Canon USA have the same warranty as new and items I've bought refurbished looked no different from new, but came in a plain brown box. I don't know of any source for #6 or #7 used items, but am sure you could find them if you search places like KEH, MPB, B&H, Adorama, Roberts Camera, etc.

Sorry, but I don't agree that you should look at the mirrorless Canon. Yes, mirrorless are "the future" and have some pluses (and minuses). But you can get a lot more camera and lens for your money buying a DSLR like the above. And for a beginner a DSLR can be an excellent choice giving you many years of use and lots of room to "grow".

Have fun shopping!

EDIT: I just figured out how to provide a link here: Select refurbished cameras at Canon USA 


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2) some other cameras, various lenses & accessories




A lot depends on where you intend to go with your photographic aspirations.  If you are not intending to take this up as a long-term serious hobby, I would certainly consider some of the DSLRs that have been suggested as the enthusiasts are selling off their (often high-quality) gear and going to mirrorless.

Ernie's suggestion is, to me, one of the most sound - any 'i' series Rebel is a better build and has some extra features compared to the non-i versions.

As to the lens.  Definitely stay away from the terrible EF75-300 lenses!  For a general walk-around lens, the EF-S 18-135 STM or USM lenses will give you a brilliant range and have quite good optics.  Depending upon your subjects, the EF-S 55-250 STM version is a great choice: economical and really good optics for its price point.  If you need more reach, say to shoot wildlife or field sports,  then any of the EF 70-300 lenses would be a good bet.  Better built and great optics - you may pick one up refurbished and that might be quite economical.  All of these recommended lenses have image stabilization: really helpful for hand-held photography. 

cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"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