10 Best Canon Cameras For Portraits: Experts Tips

By Tati Taylor 11 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

Recently released camera bodies that are perfect for portraits.

top 3 canon cameras for portraits

If you're interested in taking professional portrait photos of your friends, relatives, or clients, then you're going to need a quality camera. Thankfully, the market is full of various models in all budget ranges, meaning everyone can find the optimal option for themselves regardless of whether they're a beginner or a professional.

If that’s something you’re interested in as well, check out my list of the best Canon cameras for portraits, which will be especially to the liking of wedding and lifestyle photographers. You’ll also learn how to pick a quality camera body and what lenses are the optimal choice for portrait photos.

Why Do Canon Portrait Cameras Have So Many Fans Today

The 1st reason is their perfect color rendering. Of course, if you use professional editing software like Lightroom or Capture One to do color correction on your portraits, you will get excellent colors by shooting with any camera. I think that only Fujifilm can compete with Canon in this aspect.

The 2nd reason is its popularity. Today, Canon full-frame portrait cameras are the best-selling equipment for modern photographers. This means that if you want to choose a new lens or flash, many of your friends, who are interested in portrait photography will already have suitable accessories or the Canon portrait camera that you want. You can learn their opinion or even test the device.

The 3rd reason is a wide variety of models. Sony and Fujifilm barely have any DSLRs, Olympus and Panasonic only have micro 4/3 matrices, while Canon produces all types of cameras for portraits. They are ready to meet the demands of any photographer by selling devices in all popular formats: point and shoot, mirrorless, DSLR, with each category offering different designs, matrices, and prices.

The 4th reason is a wide range of optics. Every experienced photographer knows that a nice lens is much more important than a good camera. Canon has succeeded in this. The legendary L series of lenses is hugely popular despite the high price because it provides an amazing picture. At the same time, you can successfully use even budget lenses for no more than $150 with a professional Canon full-frame portrait camera.

Top 10 Canon Cameras for Portraits

  1. Canon EOS 6D Mark II - Extremely beginner-friendly for a professional camera
  2. Canon EOS R5 - Provides the best results among mirrorless models
  3. Canon EOS 90D - Reasonably-priced professional model
  4. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - Optimal full-frame camera for portrait photography
  5. Canon EOS M50 Mark II - Amateur-friendly portrait camera
  6. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 - Easy to handle DSLR
  7. Canon 4000D - Highest price-to-quality ratio
  8. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III - Great for taking professional portrait photos
  9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III - Optimal space-saving choice
  10. Canon PowerShot SX420 - Compatible with a 42x zoom lens

The list below features the best Canon cameras for portraits for beginners and professionals that will allow you to take professional portrait photos. Models were selected based on how they matched the following criteria: megapixel count, RAW format quality, viewfinder size, manual settings selection, autofocus performance, and a variety of compatible lenses.

1. Canon EOS 6D Mark II — Our Choice

Extremely beginner-friendly for a professional camera
canon eos 6d mark ii

Camera: DSLR with CMOS sensor | Resolution: 26.2MP | Screen: 3.2in touch, pivot 1,040,000 dots | ISO: Up to 102400 | Max frame rate: 6.5fps | Autofocus: 45-point

  • ✚ Most affordable price among full-frame Canon portrait cameras
  • ✚ Wide dynamic range
  • ✚ Swivel display
  • ✚ 45 AF cross points in the viewfinder
  • Not found
Rating

I can say that this device is the best professional Canon portrait camera for enthusiasts because it isn’t presented as a piece of equipment for experienced photographers who can waste about $5,000 on a camera body. Moreover, many professionals use it in their work as well.

This model’s biggest advantages include a swivel touchscreen and a 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with a fantastic resolution. Other notable characteristics of the EOS 6D Mark II are the DIGIC7 image processor and Full-HD video recording capability.

The provided 45 autofocus cross-points are another aspect that helps elevate this model above the rest. This DSLR camera allows you to take high-quality portraits that look professional, even when being printed.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

The traditional 50mm lens is suitable for a broad range of situations and can provide terrific results during a portrait photoshoot. Its max aperture of f/1.4 lets you take clear pictures even in subpar lighting conditions and shallow depth of field. Additionally, this prime Canon lens offers unparalleled peripheral brightness even at the highest aperture setting.

sigma 85mm portrait sample

2. Canon EOS R5

Provides the best results among mirrorless models
canon eos r5 camera for portraits

Camera: Mirrorless with CMOS sensor | Resolution: 45MP | Screen: 3.15-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 2,100k dots | ISO: Up to 102400 | Max frame rate: 12fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic shutter | Autofocus: 1053-point

  • ✚ Amazing photo quality
  • ✚ Superfast burst shooting mode
  • ✚ WiFi support
  • ✚ Top-tier 8K video quality
  • Expensive
Rating

This Canon portrait camera is equipped with a 45MP sensor that allows you to capture portraits in full detail by relying on a low-pass filter and a state-of-the-art AF system. The Dual Pixel AF is comprised of over 1000 points and employs Deep Learning to recognize and follow dynamic subjects in the shot. The camera also offers an impressive burst shooting mode with a max speed of 20fps.

R5’s body is reliably made, has weather sealing, and a swiveling LCD screen. Other useful features of this camera include the two SD card slots and WiFi support. I would also like to note the quality of the produced uncropped 8K RAW footage that can reach up to 30fps in 4:2:2 12bit Canon Log. R5’s UHD and DCI performance are also on par with what the best cinema-oriented cameras can offer.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM

This small, lightweight fixed 50mm lens has an impressive aperture of F/1.8, which provides terrific results in poor lighting conditions. You can take quality portrait photos regardless of the lighting while achieving a beautiful background blur effect without using any editing software.

canon eos r5 camera for portraits example

3. Canon EOS 90D

Reasonably-priced professional model
canon eos 90d camera for portraits

Camera: DSLR with APS-C CMOS sensor | Resolution: 32.5MP | Screen: 3.0in touch, pivot 1,040,000 dots | ISO: 100-25600 | Max frame rate: 10fps | Autofocus: 45-point

  • ✚ Great bang for your buck
  • ✚ Impressive clarity and dynamic range
  • ✚ Fully-rotatable touchscreen
  • ✚ Canon Camera Connect app
  • Subpar buffer size
Rating

This premium crop sensor camera has a 32.5MP resolution and can offer a continuous shooting mode speed of up to 10fps. Its AF system provides terrific results for its price, guaranteeing both highly precise and quick results that are achieved thanks to its 45 cross-type points. The EOS 90D also has an Eye-Detection feature, which is incredibly useful if you’re usually taking portrait photos in autofocus mode.

Handling this camera is very convenient thanks to its ergonomic design while the optical viewfinder can be a pleasant surprise to photographers who prefer to work the old-fashioned way when using a mirrorless body. The EOS 90D also offers Bluetooth and WiFi support, which greatly increases its compatibility with other devices.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EOS 90D comes equipped with this kit zoom lens. It’s a rather straightforward model that offers quality image stabilization, which lets you avoid using a tripod, while also being supplied with an STM silent AF motor that ensures the camera stays quiet when you’re recording video footage.

canon eos 90d camera for portraits example

4. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Optimal full-frame camera for portrait photography
canon eos 5d mark iv

Camera: DSLR with full-frame sensor | Resolution: 30.4MP | Screen: 3.0in fixed touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots | ISO: Up to 102400 | Max frame rate: 7fps | Autofocus: 61-point

  • ✚ Fast and accurate focusing in all modes
  • ✚ Excellent for high ISO
  • ✚ Wide dynamic range
  • ✚ Built-in Wi-Fi/NFC modules
  • Expensive
  • Mediocre continuous shooting mode speed of 7fps
Rating

The Mark IV has a resolution of 30.4MP and an amazing ISO range that covers everything from 100 to 32,000. It also offers a significantly broader dynamic range compared to its predecessor, making it possibly the best Canon camera for portraits taken at night. This camera also has a lower noise level and its structure is less annoying. Skin stays natural without much noise, which reduces the time you have to spend on portrait retouching. Some photographs look satisfactory even at ISO 12,800.

Professional photographers commonly regard the Mark IV as a reliable workhorse camera that is suitable for most shooting situations. Its 61-point AF system offers terrific speed and performance while the Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus feature ensures Live View autofocusing works equally quickly and accurately.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

This lens has a ring-like ultrasonic monitor (USM) that instantly focuses on the subject. The offered view angle and perspective are also a natural fit for portrait photos. Lastly, this lens is designed to create an appealing backdrop blur.

canon 135mm portrait sample

5. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Amateur-friendly portrait camera
canon eos m50 mark 2 camera for portraits

Camera: Mirrorless with CMOS sensor | Resolution: 24.1MP | Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots | ISO: 100-25600 (h: 51200) | Max frame rate: 10fps | Autofocus: Dual Pixel with Eye Detection AF

  • ✚ Integrated digital viewfinder
  • ✚ EVF and useful Touch-and-Drag/Face Tracking function
  • ✚ Automatic lighting enhancement
  • ✚ Convenient swivel display
  • Straightforward external controls
Rating

This camera comes with a fantastic 24.1-megapixel sensor, 10fps burst shooting mode, and a well-designed viewfinder that is often missing in mirrorless cameras from the same price range. The Mark II has multiple powerful additions aimed at portrait photoshoots like an enhanced AF system (with an eye detection feature both in photo and video mode), 5-axis image stabilization, and the Dual Pixel autofocus technology.

This camera for amateur photographer is supplied with the Digic 8 image processor that automatically enhances the lighting in the shot, allowing you to work in any conditions. This entry-level option is also compatible with an array of quality lenses, which means it’s extremely versatile. If you’re looking for the best Canon for portraits on a budget and are ready to use a mirrorless camera, this model should be right up your alley.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon EF-M 15-45mm IS STM

This compact, stylish zoom lens has terrific optical image stabilization, which will guarantee your portrait photoshoots always run smoothly. It helps deal with camera shake and offers a high sharpness level that equals 3-stop faster shutter speeds, meaning you can receive good results even when using the camera in handheld mode.

canon eos m50 mark 2 camera for portraits example

6. Canon EOS Rebel SL3

Easy to handle DSLR
canon eos rebel sl3 camera for portraits

Camera: DSLR with CMOS sensor | Resolution: 24.1MP | Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | ISO: 100-25600 | Max frame rate: 5fps | Autofocus: 9-point

  • ✚ Lightweight body with intuitive controls
  • ✚ Fantastic Live View results
  • ✚ Impressive battery duration (approx. 1070 photos)
  • ✚ Integrated WiFi and Bluetooth support
  • Comparatively small number of AF points
Rating

This camera is supplied with the brand's cutting-edge APS-C sensor and offers a 24.1-megapixel resolution that allows you to take stunning portraits. The Rebel SL3 also excels at Live View shooting, using the intuitive touchscreen display that offers such fantastic AF performance that it can be compared to the level of quality offered by top-tier mirrorless cameras.

Even though this camera provides mediocre results in subpar lighting conditions, you can negate that drawback by improving the lighting or using flash. Thanks to its compact, lightweight build and long-lasting battery, the Rebel SL3 is a fantastic travel and everyday option that offers good ergonomics and a solid grip.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Small, light, and multifunctional, the EF 50mm F/1.8 STM lens is commonly used by professional photographers because of its classic focal range, broad aperture, and reasonable price. It’s a terrific prime option for portrait, action, and night photography.

canon eos rebel sl3 camera for portraits example

7. Canon 4000D

Highest quality-to-price ratio
canon 4000d camera for portraits

Camera: DSLR with CMOS sensor | Resolution: 18MP | Screen: 2.7" TFT LCD, 230 K dots | ISO: 12800 | Max frame rate: 3fps | Autofocus: 9-point

  • ✚ Great in low-light conditions
  • ✚ Comes with artistic filters
  • ✚ WiFi and Canon Connect app support
  • ✚ Scene Intelligent Auto
  • More suitable for beginners
Rating

This portrait camera has an 18MP crop sensor that excels at taking properly-lit photos regardless of the lighting situation. You can take highly-detailed shots late into the night while enjoying a surface area that is up to 19 times larger than what you can get with most smartphones. Meanwhile, 4000D’s smart modes make it perfectly suitable for beginner photographers.

The camera also comes with creative filters that can be added to the photos as soon as they're taken. Lastly, the provided WiFi and Canon Connect app support let you use the 4000D remotely while also conveniently posting your work on socials or saving it in the cloud.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM

This professional-level 70-200mm lens offers fantastic picture quality, a quick and precise autofocus system, and reliable image stabilization packed in a rugged, weather-protected unit. This option also offers good performance with extenders, making it irreplaceable whenever you want extra focal length.

canon 4000d camera for portraits example

8. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Great for taking professional portrait photos
canon eos-1d x mark 3 camera for portraits

Camera: DSLR with full-frame CMOS sensor | Resolution: 20.1MP | Screen: 3.2in fixed, 2,100,000 dots | ISO: 50-819200 | Max frame rate: 20fps | Autofocus: 191-point

  • ✚ Superfast, reliable performance
  • ✚ Head and face tracking feature
  • ✚ Quick AF system
  • ✚ Uncropped 4K video recording
  • High price
Rating

If you're interested in a camera that excels at fast shooting with an advanced autofocus system, then you're going to love the EOS-1D X Mark III. For a rather high price, you'll receive an impressively designed model with a long-lasting battery, continuous shooting speed of 20FPS, 20MP full-frame sensor, and a max video recording resolution of over 5K, among several other notable features.

This high-end Canon portrait camera is designed for producing high-quality results in all lighting conditions. It is usually used by portrait photographers for street and event photoshoots.

Recommended Canon portrait camera lens:

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

This 85mm lens provides fantastic picture quality with amazing sharpness, top-tier object isolation, and a beautiful bokeh effect for an attractive price. Other than being suitable for portrait pictures, the Sigma 85mm represents a great option for wedding photoshoots and subpar lighting conditions.

canon eos-1d x mark 3 camera for portraits example

9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Optimal space-saving choice
canon powershot g7 x mark 3 camera for portraits

Camera: Compact with 1.0” CMOS sensor | Resolution: 20.1MP | Screen: 3in tilting touchscreen, 1,040k dots | ISO: 125–12800 | Max frame rate: 30fps | Autofocus: Dual Pixel

  • ✚ Small size and weight
  • ✚ Excellent high-aperture performance
  • ✚ Built-in optical image stabilizer
  • ✚ Impressive shutter speed
  • Lacks a viewfinder
Rating

The PowerShot G7 X Mark III has a universal high-aperture zoom lens and a great image processor. Additionally, this model is supplied with an optical image stabilizer that is very useful for shooting with bad lighting. This camera is also great at handling higher sensitivity settings, with values like ISO 12800 having almost no negative impact on the image quality. All these impressive functions and features are packed in a small and lightweight case.

When designing the G7 X Mark III, the manufacturer added uncropped 4K video recording support and a 3.5mm mic jack. These newly added features made the already amazing package that was Mark II (with its swivel display and compact size) even more appealing. That said, the absence of an eye-level viewfinder might still be a deal-breaker for some photographers.

canon powershot g7 x mark 3 camera for portraits example

This model has a max aperture of F1.8 in wide-angle and F2.8 in telephoto mode as well as a 9-blade aperture that allows creating beautiful bokeh. Its optical zoom lens extends from within the unit until it reaches its highest wide-angle position. It begins at the equivalent of 24mm, which means it’s a good option for group portraits and shooting in confined locations.

10. Canon PowerShot SX420

Compatible with a 42x zoom lens
canon powershot sx420 camera for portraits

Camera: Compact with CMOS sensor | Resolution: 20.5MP | Screen: 3.0-inch LCD screen, 230k dots | ISO: Up to 1600 | Max frame rate: 0.5fps | Autofocus: 9-point

  • ✚ Great for beginning photographers
  • ✚ Works well in automatic mode
  • ✚ WiFi and NFC for quickly uploading pictures to a computer
  • ✚ Compact and convenient case
  • Flash is required for taking photos in poor lighting conditions
  • Low speed
Rating

Canon PowerShot SX420 can be also called the best Canon portrait camera for beginners because of how useful it is for those who want to enjoy beautiful portraits without learning any nuances of photography with more advanced equipment. This is a user-friendly camera with good automatic features, an intuitive interface, and a comfortable grip. It has everything you need: a high-quality CCD-matrix with a resolution of 20 megapixels, a large optical zoom lens, and Wi-Fi and NFC modules.

Other notable characteristics of this camera include Full-HD video recording in MP4 format, a DIGIC4+ image processor, a 3" LCD touchscreen, and a smart optical image stabilizer that is used for both photography and videography. The SX420 also comes with a flash that has 4 settings: Automatic, On, Off, and Slow Synchro, as well as a separate red-eye effect removal parameter. Regardless of whether you enable said parameter or not, the camera will have no trouble producing portrait photos without any red-eyes.

photo by fujifilm xt3

This model is supplied with a 42x optical zoom lens that has a focal range equivalent to 24-1008mm in 35mm. It’s equipped with quality mechanical image stabilization that allows you to take sharp and clear close-up portrait photos with zero issues.

IMAGE NAME FEATURES
canon eos 6d mark ii
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
OUR CHOICE
  • 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor
  • Wide dynamic range
CHECK PRICE
canon eos r5 image
Canon EOS R5
MIRRORLESS
  • Amazing photo quality
  • Superfast burst shooting mode
CHECK PRICE
canon eos 90d image
Canon EOS 90D
FOR PROS
  • Great bang for your buck
  • Fully-rotatable touchscreen
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Camera for Sports?

The choice of the perfect mirrorless or DSLR camera for portraits by Canon depends on what kind of pictures you plan to take. For example, you might want to capture the maximum number of details to print such photos in a large format for the beauty industry.

You should remember that beauty portraits are typically used for promotional purposes. This means that the best Canon camera for professional portrait beauty photography should have the maximum number of megapixels. However, if we’re talking about shooting an emotional portrait, the quality of the picture isn’t as important.

In this case, your main task is to quickly catch the perfect moment since emotions last only for a few seconds. Below, I will enumerate the characteristics that you need to pay attention to when choosing the best Canon camera for portraits.

Consider the Number of Megapixels

the number of megapixels for canon camera for portraits

If you need the best Canon camera for professional portrait shooting (fashion or magazine), pay attention to the number of megapixels. The camera should have at least 30MP so that the pictures can be used for large format printing. A high resolution is also important for high-end image retouching since it allows retouchers to work more comfortably.

Choose a Camera with RAW Format Capabilities

The best Canon camera for portraits and landscapes must be able to shoot in RAW format. RAW files store a lot more image data, meaning they contain more detail and a higher dynamic range while providing unparalleled editing freedom, as you’ll be able to tweak various parameters more drastically without hurting the photo quality.

Find a Camera with a Large Viewfinder

Adding a coated finish

The electronic or optical viewfinder of the camera has to be of a large enough size for convenient shooting. You should be able to see everything that gets into your shot before you release the shutter.

Choose a Camera with Manual Configuration Options

Adding a coated finish

The best Canon camera for taking portrait photos should be manually adjustable. Such images usually have a blurred background with the primary focus being on the model’s eyes. The automatic mode often cannot do this reliably, as it doesn’t account for the artistic component of portrait pictures when composing the shot.

Look for the Possibility to Focus on the Eyes

Adding a coated finish

You probably know that the eyes are the main part of a portrait. The best Canon cameras for portrait photography can automatically find the eyes and focus on them, as well as follow them when it comes to motion photography.

Number and Quality of Available Lenses

Adding a coated finish

With the appearance of the RF lens mount, you need to know that your favorite lens might not be compatible with the camera you want to purchase. For instance, the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM, is not compatible with Canon EOS R5, due to the lack of mounting. That said, specifically for this case, the manufacturer has released an adapter that allows you to install EF series lenses on this camera.

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