Best Canon Rebel Camera: buying strategy
Which Canon Rebel should you buy?


UPDATED: March 3, 2024

Best Canon Rebel is now the Canon EOS Rebel T5i

The best Canon Rebel cameras are usually the most recently introduced because they usually give you the most recent technology. However, you shouldn't blindly buy the newest Rebel without considering a few things first. This Canon Rebel guide will help you decide if one of these cameras is a good fit for YOU.

Now updated for 2024, this post was originally published in 2015. What a difference 10 years makes. I've changed the recommendations for the older Canon Rebels and added the recommendations for the newer Rebels.

Canon Rebel line of cameras has been discontinued, but that doesn't mean that they're not a good choice. Click here to jump to the updates in this post for the best Canon Rebels.

Most, but not all of Canon's Rebel Cameras have been very popular for photographers just like you. They give you a nice compromise in terms of price, features and quality. With the increasingly higher demand for Canon mirrorless cameras, Rebel cameras have come down in price. That's great news for you.

Rebels fit in between the professional Canon cameras and the basic point and shoot line of Canon cameras. Additionally, you have dozens of great Rebel Accessories to add to your fun.

Canon Rebel t6i

The Canon Rebel t6i demanded your attention as a good candidate to buy. Unlike the marginal improvement from the Rebel t4i to the Rebel t5i, you got significant upgraded capabilities going from the Rebel t5i to the t6i. With this update, I don't recommend this Rebel anymore.

The Canon Rebel t6i was definitely your best Canon Rebel yet when it was released in April of 2015. The pixel count had been increased by 33% from 18 to 24 MP. The focus speed and accuracy were big upgrades using the new Hybrid CMOS AF II.

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Check Current Canon Rebel Prices Now

Like most camera manufactures Canon improves features and functions of each new addition it comes out within each line of digital cameras.  One would assume then that the best choice should always be the most recent addition.

While I am just as guilty as the next camera geek to watch for the newest releases and read the digital camera reviews and blogs, it is important to take a step back and get a more distant view of what you really need and want in a camera.

The Canon Rebel S shown in the photo below was sold in 1991 and since then Canon has introduced dozens of Canon Rebel variations.

How To Pick The Best Rebel Camera

Best Canon Rebel at the time was the Rebel S in 1991

My suggestion, my camera-seeking friend, is to set aside some quiet time, completely away from your computer.  

Get away from this web site and the internet, and email. Leave your cell phone attached to its charger and find a quiet place to reflect without a television or any other distractions.

Our current society and the often invasive marketplace bombard us with messages and offers from manufacturers and advertisers without our best interests in mind.  

As great as we think our minds can multi-task and consider many things at once, we actually can think more accurately by eliminating distractions and clearing the mind of mental clutter

I can't tell you how valuable this little exercise can be. The only thing you'll need is pen and paper. Unless you have never used a camera, you already have some personal preferences based on at least some experience with digital photography.

Canon Rebel on Pinterest

By now, you may be thinking what the heck this has to do with choosing the best Canon Rebel Camera, but stay with me just for a minute longer. This technique of separating yourself from distractions and interruptions will help you focus and concentrate on what actually matters in your search for the best Rebel camera.

Take a minute to be very factual and accurate about the type of photography you have done in the past and want to do in the future.

Write down on a blank sheet of paper what shortcomings your cameras have had in the past and currently. Then list the features and functions that are important for you to have in your next camera. My specific needs and wants will be a little different than yours.  I earn a good part of my living from photography, so I primarily use cameras in Canon's 5D line.

Best Canon Rebel Camera - "OLD" Model Recommendations

The t3i, t4i, and t5i Rebels have all been discontinued, so it's a great time to get them at super cheap prices if you don't need the latest technology. Then they are a good match for beginning DLSR shooters who want the look and feel of a real camera, but don't need advanced features.

The Canon 12 megapixel Canon t3 including the 18-55mm lens is absurdly affordable as a complete system ready to go for video and stills, but has a dreadfully slow burst rate of less than 4 frames-per-second, much slower focusing with fewer focusing points, and less-than-impressive image quality because of the low pixel count.

I recommend the 18 megapixel Canon T3i instead of the t3 at the higher price tag, because it has a 50% higher pixel count, better LCD screen and superior video. In today's times 12 megapixels is simply not enough for most photographers.

If you have the money to invest and you want a touch-screen LCD, faster frames-per-second shooting for sports photography and an improved focusing system, then the Canon T4i is a good buy.

For me personally the Canon Rebel T5i is not significantly superior enough over the T4i to justify it's price. It is a good thing for Canon Rebel buyers because its newer release causes the older Rebels to drop in price.

The t4i brought in great improvements in the focusing. The T7i brought in great improvements in shooting video. The Canon Rebel SL1, SL2, and SL3 cameras gave you a great alternative to get a capable DSLR in a much smaller compact almost-mirrorless size.

The Rebel SL1 was very innovative in that it gave you a full-featured DSLR in a very small size, but the same-sized Rebel SL2 and SL3 cameras are much better choices. The SL2 is a fine camera, but the SL3 has better video, better battery life, and a larger memory buffer for RAW shots in burst mode, making it good for sports and rapidly moving wildlife photography.

Best Canon Rebel for The Money - Canon EOS Rebel T3i

All of these take a wide variety of canon rebel accessories including Canon Speedlite options and many Canon Camera lenses

I encourage you to take the plunge and get the best Canon Rebel camera you can afford  based on what functions and features you absolutely need and what additions you really want.

bruce's best canon rebel cameras for 2024

These are my top 4 recommended Rebels in 2024 for beginners wanting to dive into a good solid choice for a Canon DSLR. Note that these are Canon "Rebel" cameras and are recommended for beginning photographers. See the pros and cons

Recommended Rebel camera

1. Canon Rebel T100

This is the recommended Canon Rebel with the lowest price. It's the most basic entry-level Rebels on my list.

Canon Rebel T100 CameraCanon Rebel T100 Camera

WHAT I LIKE. Getting an APS-C 18 MP sensor in a modern DSLR camera at this price point is crazy. Unless you have a big need for speed, this is a great value for new shooters.

WHAT I DON'T LIKE. The camera has a plasticky feel to it-it's made of plastic and the viewfinder is small. It has a fixed Non-Touchscreen LCD.

Recommended Rebel camera

2. Canon Rebel SL3 or SL2

The SL3 is the 3rd generation upgrade from the SL1. At that time, it was the world's smallest DSLR, and very appealing to photographers who have small hands and want a capable camera with a complete line of available EF and EF-S lenses.

Photo Rebel SL3Rebel SL3

WHAT I LIKE. The compact size makes it a desirable camera for photographers who want a fully-functioning DSLR with an optical viewfinder that's easy to carry. It does have 4k video. The SL3 has superior battery life over the SL2.

WHAT I DON'T LIKE. Cropped 4K video. The SL3 is priced much higher than its predecessor, the SL2, and is not that much of an upgrade. If 4 k video is not important to you, than the SL2 is a better buy.

Recommended Rebel camera

3. Canon Rebel t7i

Released in 2017, The Rebel t7i is old enough to have become affordable and young enough to still have solid technology built in. At the time of its release it was clearly the best Rebel ever offered.

Canon Rebel t7i camera bodyRebel t7i

WHAT I LIKE. It's got a 24 MP sensor and 45 dual-pixel focusing to give you sharp images. Articulating touchscreens are a must have in today's cameras and the t7i LCD screen qualifies. The t7i is cheaper than the t8i.

WHAT I DON'T LIKE. The video is only 1080p.

Recommended Rebel camera

4. Canon Rebel t8i

The Canon Rebel t8i is the highest priced camera on my list of the best cameras in Canon's beginner's DSLR line.

Canon Rebel t8i camera bodyRebel t8i

WHAT I LIKE. The technology is the most recent and therefore the most capable, having come out a full 3 years after the t7i. Unlike the t7i, the t8i DOES have 4k video. It has a fast frame rate of 7.5 fps, making it good for shooting sports and other fast-paced action photography

WHAT I DON'T LIKE. The price is likely to be too steep for entry-level shooters. Like the t7i, it has no IBIS, in-camera body image stabilization.

The Rebels have come so far in terms of other technologies and they're absurdly affordable for what you get. Just click on any one of the ads below just to see the specs on these cameras and the Amazon prices.

As an Amazon affiliate Canon Camera Geek receives a small commission from qualifying purchases, at NO added cost to you.

Or, you can try my favorite place to buy used Canon cameras. I like getting only the used equipment that's still in top notch condition. My favorite "pre-owned" camera dealer is KEH. I liked them so much that I became an affiliate, meaning I earn a little extra when people purchase gear through one of the links on my website.

The good news is that it doesn't cost YOU anything extra. No matter where you get your bargain price on one, you can't go wrong with a Canon Rebel. 


Canon has a complete series of capable digital cameras in its Rebel line of cameras. You can save the most money by buying an older model and still be completely happy with its level of features. Alternatively, if you want the most recent technology, than you should get a Rebel T100, an SL2, a t7i, or a t8i

Have a blast. Shoot a Canon!

Author Bruce Lovelace
Bruce Lovelace Signature

Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram  and Flickr  Join the tribe of followers on YouTube. Bruce also runs photo workshops and provides 1 on 1 digital photography coaching.

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