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Used Canon Digital SLR

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Canon EOS 550D DSLR HD VideoCanon are the best-selling Digital SLR manufacturer right now, an honour they’ve achieved by offering consistently great value Digital SLR cameras for beginners, enthusiasts and professionals.

If you are new to Digital SLR photography then a Canon camera is a great buy – there’s plenty of information out there to help get you started, and lenses, flash guns, and other accessories are the most widely available of any brand.

Recently, Canons’ perceived superiority over other manufacturers in Digital SLR video has made several models, particularly the high-end EOS 5D MkII and EOS 7D, popular among those looking for a serious video tool.

Before you buy a used Canon Digital SLR, we suggest you read our guide below and take your time to decide which Canon model is right for you.

Which Canon range should I look at?

There are three distinct ranges in the Canon Digital SLR line-up, and when buying a used model you should consider which best suits your needs:

  • Consumer ‘Digital Rebel’ Range – This is the best choice for most consumers as they tend to offer the best value for money. If this is your first Digital SLR then unless you have a specific need for features listed in the below categories this is the range to go for.

    Includes: 300D/Digital Rebel, 350D/Rebel XT, 400D/Rebel XTi, 450D/Rebel XSi, 500D/Rebel T1i, 550D/Rebel T2i, 1000D/Rebel XS
  • Prosumer EOS xxD Range – The prosumer line of Canon Digital SLRs can make great used buys if you require some of their premium features. Notably this range features a more rugged build quality with some improved weather-proofing over the consumer models, as well as autofocus improvements and faster continuous shooting.

    Includes: 10D, 20D, 20Da, 30D, 40D, 50D, 60D
  • Professional EOS xD Range – Buying is a great way into the professional Canon Digital SLR range, as new prices can be prohibitively high for most people.  These cameras offer the best that Canon offer in terms of build quality and performance – they’re tough enough to survive a heavy handed professional photographer on a daily basis, and offer the fastest continuous shooting modes.  The EOS 5D, 5D Mk II and 1Ds models also offer a full-frame image sensor for improved quality.

    Includes: 1D MkI – IV, 1Ds MkI – III, 5D & 5D MkII, 7D

Canon Consumer Digital SLR (Digital Rebel) Range

This is our recommended range for the aspiring photographer looking to grab a used Canon Digital SLR for a bargain price.  The oldest EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) model may be starting to show its age with a small LCD screen and no Live View, but it will still take impressive photos that outclass any compact camera.

If you’re after a bit more power, a larger screen, or HD Movies, then consider a used recent model such as the EOS 500D (T1i) or EOS 550D (T2i).

Here’s our handy feature comparison guide, along with eBay price estimates (price estimates for these models are based on including an 18-55mm kit lens):

Image Sensor Memory Card Live View LCD FPS Released Guide Price
EOS 300D/
Digital Rebel
6Mp / CMOS
CompactFlash No 1.8″ 2.5 2003 ~£150
EOS 350D/
Rebel XT
8Mp / CMOS
CompactFlash No 1.8″ 3 2005 ~£200
EOS 400D/
Rebel XTi
10.1Mp / CMOS
CompactFlash No 2.5″ 3 2007 ~£240
EOS 450D/
Rebel XSi
12.2Mp / CMOS
SD Card Yes 3.0″ 3.5 2008 ~£330
EOS 500D/
Rebel T1i
15.1Mp / CMOS
SD Card Yes 3.0″ 3.4 2009 ~£400
EOS 550D/
Rebel T2i
18Mp / CMOS
SD Card Yes 3.0″ 3.5 2010 ~£530
EOS 1000D/
Rebel XS
10.1Mp / CMOS
SD Card Yes 2.5″ 3 (JPG) 2008 ~£300
Digital Camera Beginner recommends…

The with large LCD display, Live View, fast continuous shooting, DIGIC III processor and use of widely available SD Cards.  Try and find one that’s been looked after by a keen amateur rather than being thrown in a kit bag as a ‘spare body’ by a professional.

If you want to shoot video then choose the Canon EOS 500D (Rebel T1i) for casual use, or the Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) for full control that closely matches the performance of the much pricier EOS 7D.


Canon EOS 1000D

If you’d prefer a new model, the can be picked up for about the same money as a used 450D/Rebel XSi.

Want the best of both worlds? Why not choose a refurbished Canon Digital SLR?

Or if you need features that the consumer range can’t provide, check out our guides to the Canon Prosumer and Professional Digital SLR lines.