Canon is a renowned brand that has been producing some of the best Canon rangefinder cameras for decades. Rangefinder cameras are known for their simplicity, accuracy, and discreetness, which make them a favorite among street photographers and documentary photographers.
Some of the best Canon rangefinder cameras include the classic Canon P, which was first introduced in 1959 and is still highly sought after by collectors today. The Canon 7, which was released in 1961, is also a popular choice among rangefinder enthusiasts for its reliable performance and exceptional image quality. More modern options include the Canon EOS R5, which features a 45-megapixel full-frame sensor, 8K video recording, and advanced autofocus capabilities.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast looking for a high-quality camera, Canon rangefinder cameras offer a range of options to suit your needs. With their compact size, precise focusing, and exceptional image quality, these cameras are a great choice for capturing stunning photos in a wide range of settings.
In this article, we have compiled the list of best Canon rangefinder cameras that you can buy in 2023.
|Canon Canonet QL17 GIII||112 x 73 x 56 mm||620 grams|
|Canon P||142 x 85 x 50 mm||690 grams|
|Canon 7||145 x 92 x 47 mm||780 grams|
|Canonet 28||145 x 92 x 47 mm||840 grams|
|Canon IV SB2||142 x 93 x 44 mm||910 grams|
1. Canon Canonet QL17 GIII
- Lens: 40mm f/1.7 lens with a 6-element design
- Shutter Speed: 1/500 to 1/4 second, plus bulb mode
- ISO Range: 25 to 800
- Exposure System: Automatic exposure system with manual override capability
- Viewfinder: Parallax-correcting viewfinder with bright frame lines and a rangefinder focusing system
- Flash: Built-in flash unit with a guide number of 39
- Film Advance: Quick-loading film advance system with a maximum shooting rate of 2 frames per second
- Self-Timer: 10-second self-timer function
- Battery: One 1.35V mercury battery (PX625)
- Dimensions: 120mm x 76mm x 68mm (4.7 x 3.0 x 2.7 in)
- Weight: 620 grams (1.4 lb) with battery and lens attached
Canon QL17 GIII is a rangefinder camera that was first introduced in 1972. Despite its age, this camera remains popular among film photographers for its reliable performance, advanced features, and classic design.
One of the key features of the Canon QL17 GIII is its fast and sharp 40mm f/1.7 lens, which is capable of capturing high-quality images even in low-light situations. The lens is also equipped with a built-in parallax-correcting viewfinder, which helps to ensure accurate framing and focus.
Additionally, the camera’s automatic exposure system and quick-loading film advance make it easy to use and ideal for capturing spontaneous moments on the go.
Fast and Sharp Lens:
The camera comes equipped with a 40mm f/1.7 lens, which is both fast and sharp, making it ideal for low-light situations and producing images with shallow depth of field.
Built-in Parallax-Correcting Viewfinder:
The viewfinder is designed to correct for parallax error, which is a common issue with rangefinder cameras. This feature ensures that what you see through the viewfinder is an accurate representation of what will be captured in the final image.
Automatic Exposure System:
The camera features an automatic exposure system that adjusts the shutter speed and aperture based on the available light, making it easy to use for photographers of all levels.
Manual Exposure Override:
The Canon QL17 GIII also offers a manual exposure override function, allowing the photographer to take full control over the camera’s settings for more creative control.
Quick-Loading Film Advance:
The camera features a quick-loading film advance system, which makes it easy to load and unload film, and allows for rapid shooting of multiple frames.
2.Canon P Rangefinder Camera
- Film format: 35mm
- Lens mount: Canon bayonet mount
- Shutter speeds: 1/1000th – 1 second, bulb
- Light meter: Selenium cell meter
- Viewfinder: 0.58x magnification with split-image focusing aid
- Flash sync: X-sync at 1/60th of a second
- Dimensions: 138 x 78 x 33 mm (5.4 x 3.1 x 1.3 in)
- Weight: 570 g (20.1 oz) with standard 50mm lens
Canon P Rangefinder was first introduced in 1958 and was produced until 1961. It was designed as an upgrade to the Canon VI-L rangefinder and featured a number of improvements, including a more compact and lightweight body, interchangeable lenses, and a faster top shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second.
It was also the first Canon rangefinder to feature a selenium light meter, which provided automatic exposure readings. The Canon P’s viewfinder was bright and clear, with a split-image focusing aid that made it easier to achieve accurate focus. It was a popular choice among amateur and professional photographers at the time and remains a sought-after collector’s item today.
The Canon P was designed with a lens mount that allowed photographers to switch between a variety of Canon lenses. This feature provided greater flexibility and allowed photographers to adapt to different shooting situations.
Selenium light meter:
The Canon P was the first Canon rangefinder camera to feature a built-in selenium light meter. This feature provided automatic exposure readings and helped photographers to achieve accurate exposures in various lighting conditions.
Fast shutter speed:
The Canon P had a top shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, which was faster than most other rangefinder cameras at the time. This feature allowed photographers to capture fast-moving subjects with ease.
Bright and clear viewfinder:
The Canon P’s viewfinder was bright and clear, with a split-image focusing aid that made it easier to achieve accurate focus.
Solid build quality:
The Canon P was known for its solid build quality and durable construction. Many examples of the camera are still in use today, which is a testament to its longevity.
Compact and lightweight:
The Canon P was designed to be more compact and lightweight than previous Canon rangefinder cameras. This feature made it more portable and easier to carry around for extended periods of time.
What We Find Good
- Interchangeable lens system offers great flexibility for photographers
- Fast shutter speed and accurate light meter provide reliable exposure control
- Solid build quality and durable construction make it a long-lasting investment
- Compact and lightweight body makes it easy to carry around
- Bright and clear viewfinder with split-image focusing aid allows for precise focus
3. Canon 7
- Film Format: 35mm
- Lens Mount: Canon bayonet mount
- Shutter Speed Range: 1/1000 – 1 second
- Viewfinder Type: Rangefinder with parallax correction
- Light Meter: Built-in CdS exposure meter
- Flash Sync: X and FP synchronization
The Canon 7 is a classic rangefinder camera that was produced from 1961 to 1965. It was designed to be a professional-grade camera that offered advanced features and capabilities for serious photographers.
One of the most notable features of the Canon 7 is its interchangeable lens system, which allowed photographers to use a wide range of Canon lenses to suit their shooting needs. The camera also featured a bright and clear viewfinder with a split-image focusing aid, making it easy to achieve precise focus even in low light conditions.
The Canon 7 also featured a reliable and accurate light meter, which provided automatic exposure readings for greater control over exposure settings. Its top shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second was also impressive for the time, making it suitable for capturing fast-moving subjects with ease.
Interchangeable Lens System:
The Canon 7 has an interchangeable lens system that allows photographers to use a wide range of Canon lenses to suit their shooting needs. This system provides flexibility and versatility for photographers who need to adapt to different shooting situations.
Bright and Clear Viewfinder:
The camera features a bright and clear viewfinder with a split-image focusing aid that makes it easy to achieve precise focus, even in low light conditions. The viewfinder also provides a clear and accurate view of the scene being photographed.
Accurate Light Meter:
The Canon 7 has a reliable and accurate light meter that provides automatic exposure readings for greater control over exposure settings. This feature allows photographers to make informed decisions about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to achieve the desired exposure.
Fast Shutter Speed:
The top shutter speed of the Canon 7 is 1/1000th of a second, making it suitable for capturing fast-moving subjects with ease. This feature allows photographers to freeze the action and capture sharp images even in challenging shooting conditions.
Solid Build Quality:
The Canon 7 is built to last, with a durable and robust construction that can withstand the rigors of daily use. The camera’s solid build quality also ensures that it will continue to perform reliably over time.
What We Find Good
- Interchangeable lens system offers flexibility and versatility
- Accurate light meter provides automatic exposure readings for greater control over exposure settings
- Bright and clear viewfinder with split-image focusing aid makes it easy to achieve precise focus
- Fast shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second allows for capturing fast-moving subjects with ease
- Solid build quality ensures long-lasting performance
4. Canonet 28
- Lens: 40mm f/2.8
- Shutter Speeds: 1/30th – 1/620th of a second
- ISO Range: 25 – 400
- Flash Sync: 1/30th of a second
- Battery: PX625 mercury cell
The Canonet 28 is a compact and lightweight rangefinder camera that was introduced by Canon in 1971. It was designed to be an affordable option for amateur photographers who wanted a simple and easy-to-use camera that could produce high-quality images.
The Canonet 28 features a fixed 40mm f/2.8 lens, which is ideal for general-purpose photography, and a simple and intuitive design that makes it easy to operate. It also has a built-in light meter that provides accurate exposure readings, and a shutter speed range of 1/30 to 1/620th of a second, which allows for a wide range of creative possibilities.
Fixed 40mm f/2.8 lens:
The lens is the heart of any camera, and the Canonet 28’s lens is a high-quality fixed 40mm f/2.8 lens that produces sharp and vibrant images. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.9m, which makes it great for both close-up shots and general photography.
Built-in light meter:
The Canonet 28 has a built-in light meter that measures the amount of light in the scene and provides accurate exposure readings. This allows photographers to make informed decisions about their shutter speed and aperture settings to achieve the desired exposure.
The Canonet 28 gives photographers complete control over their exposure settings, with manual controls for shutter speed and aperture. This allows for greater creative control over the final image.
Compact and lightweight design:
Weighing in at just 480g, the Canonet 28 is a compact and lightweight camera that’s easy to carry around. This makes it a great option for travel photography or for those who prefer to have a camera that’s easy to handle and maneuver.
The Canonet 28 has a flash sync speed of 1/30th of a second, which allows for the use of external flashes to enhance lighting in low-light situations.
5. Canon IV SB2
- Camera Type: Rangefinder camera
- Film Format: 35mm
- Lens Mount: Interchangeable
- Focusing System: Rangefinder with manual focus
- Shutter Speed Range: 1/1000 to 1 second, plus bulb mode
- Aperture Range: f/1.2 to f/16, depending on lens
- ISO Range: 25 to 1600, manually set
- Light Metering: Built-in light meter with center-weighted averaging
- Viewfinder: Bright-line viewfinder with 0.72x magnification and parallax correction
- Film Advance: Lever action, with manual film rewind crank
- Flash: Hot shoe for attaching external flash
- Battery: One 1.3V mercury cell
- Dimensions: 148 x 87 x 37 mm (5.8 x 3.4 x 1.5 in)
- Weight: 730 g (25.7 oz)
The Canon IV SB2 is a high-quality rangefinder camera that was first introduced in 1954. It features a sturdy metal body, manual controls, and a fast, accurate rangefinder system that allows for precise focusing. The camera also comes equipped with a built-in light meter that helps ensure accurate exposure in a variety of lighting conditions.
The Canon IV SB2 is compatible with a wide range of interchangeable lenses, giving photographers the flexibility to choose the perfect lens for their specific needs. Overall, the Canon IV SB2 is a powerful and reliable camera that’s perfect for serious photographers looking to capture stunning images.
One of the key features of the Canon IV SB2 is its fast and accurate rangefinder system. The camera’s rangefinder is incredibly precise, allowing for accurate focusing even in challenging lighting conditions. The rangefinder also features a bright and clear viewfinder, making it easy to see your subject and compose your shot.
Rangefinder focusing system:
The Canon IV SB2 features a fast and accurate rangefinder focusing system, which allows for precise focusing on the subject. The rangefinder is incredibly accurate and is perfect for capturing images in low-light conditions.
The Canon IV SB2 is compatible with a range of interchangeable lenses, which offers photographers a great deal of flexibility. With a wide range of lenses available, photographers can choose the perfect lens for their specific needs, whether they are shooting landscapes, portraits, or action shots.
The camera features a range of manual controls, which allows photographers to have greater control over exposure settings. This includes the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, among others.
Built-in light meter:
The Canon IV SB2 is equipped with a built-in light meter, which helps ensure accurate exposure in a variety of lighting conditions. The light meter measures the amount of light in the scene and adjusts the camera settings accordingly.
Sturdy metal body:
The camera has a sturdy metal body, which makes it durable and long-lasting. It can withstand rough handling and is perfect for use in challenging conditions.
The camera has a bright and clear viewfinder, which makes it easy to compose your shots and see your subject. The viewfinder is also large enough to make it easy to focus on your subject.
What We Find Good
- The Canon IV SB2 has a durable and reliable build quality, with a metal body that is built to last.
- The camera’s rangefinder focusing system is very accurate and easy to use, allowing for quick and precise manual focus.
- The built-in light meter is very helpful for getting accurate exposures, and the center-weighted averaging metering system is reliable in a range of lighting conditions.
- The camera is compatible with a range of interchangeable lenses, giving photographers a lot of flexibility in their shooting.
- The Canon IV SB2’s shutter speeds and aperture settings are very customizable, allowing for a lot of creative control over exposure.
What We May Not Find Good
- The camera is quite heavy and bulky compared to other rangefinder cameras, which may be a drawback for photographers who prioritize portability.
- The viewfinder can be a bit dim in low light conditions, which may make it difficult to see the subject clearly.
- The camera’s battery is no longer produced, so finding replacements can be difficult.
How to Select Best Canon Rangefinder Cameras – Buying Guide
Selecting the best Canon rangefinder camera can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the features and capabilities of each model. Here are some tips to help you choose the best Canon rangefinder camera for your needs:
Consider your photography needs: Think about what type of photography you’ll be doing with the rangefinder camera. If you’re a street photographer, you may want a compact and lightweight camera that’s easy to carry around. If you’re a landscape photographer, you may want a camera with a high-resolution sensor and a wide-angle lens.
Look at the lens selection: Canon rangefinder cameras come with interchangeable lenses, so it’s important to consider the available lens selection. Make sure there are lenses that fit your photography needs and budget.
Consider the image sensor: The image sensor is a crucial component of a camera that determines the image quality. Consider the size of the sensor and its resolution. A larger sensor with a higher resolution will produce better image quality.
Check the focusing system: Rangefinder cameras are known for their precise focusing capabilities, so it’s important to check the focusing system of the camera you’re interested in. Look for a camera with a fast and accurate autofocus system.
Think about the budget: Canon rangefinder cameras can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Consider your budget and look for a camera that offers the features you need within your price range.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is a rangefinder camera and how is it different from other cameras?
A.A rangefinder camera is a type of camera that uses a split-image focusing system to accurately focus on a subject. This is achieved by using two separate views of the same scene that are overlaid on top of each other.
Q. What are some of the advantages of using a rangefinder camera?
A. Rangefinder cameras offer a number of advantages over other types of cameras. One of the main advantages is their compact size and lightweight design, which makes them easy to carry around and use for extended periods of time.
Canon has produced some of the best canon rangefinder cameras over the years, and the cameras listed above are some of the best that you can buy in 2023. Whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, a Canon rangefinder camera is a great choice for capturing high-quality images in a discreet and efficient way. Consider one of these cameras for your next photography project and see the difference for yourself.
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