Canon Model-Numbering Heuristic

Here's a guide explaining how to decode Canon's numbering scheme. First, pick any two Canon DSLR cameras. Use the official model numbers, not the regional names (Rebel, Kiss, etc.). With model numbers in hand, follow each step until the two cameras differ. The better/worse designation at that step will distinguish the two cameras.

1. First, is it a "1"? If so, it's better. Skip to step 5.
2. Does it start with a letter? If so, it's really old and it's worse. Skip to step 4.
3. More digits in main number = worse.
4. Higher numeric value = better.
5. More letters/numbers after the main number = better.

There ya go. Can anyone think of a model that doesn't match this heuristic?


  • Ariel
  • August 19, 2009
  • 1:11 pm
haha cool. i'm curious if the supposedly upcoming 7D fits in alignment with this. this would make it better than a 5D. wonder how the mark's change things... ie. is 5D2 better than 7D?
  • Matt Malone
  • August 20, 2009
  • 12:36 pm
Except my camera the SD 750 is better than some "higher number" cameras in the powershot class.
  • Ethan
  • August 20, 2009
  • 1:24 pm
My heuristic only works for Canon's DSLRs. I don't even want to think about what it would take to describe their point-and-shoot cameras!
  • Moshe
  • August 21, 2009
  • 3:29 pm
Hilarious :) I like it.
Please wait ...

There was an error fetching the requested dialog.