Canon EOS 77D Review

The Canon EOS Rebel 77D has been announced and a full review is planned upon its arrival, but for now, here are my expectations for this camera.

Breaking tradition was the Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D. Canon had prior-introduced a long line of flagship Rebel models (T** or ***D models in some locales), but ... never had they introduced two of these at the same time. That was ... until the day (February 5, 2015) that the Rebel T6i / 750D and Rebel T6s / 760D were simultaneously introduced with the T6s including a superset of the features found in the standard Rebel T6i model. Now being introduced at the same time as the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D is the Canon EOS 77D and once again this model version is more-featured than its sibling.

Interesting is the choice of the "Rebel"-lacking 77D name (though I admit to often not understanding Canon's product name choices). Canon states "The EOS 77D represents a new category of advanced amateur EOS cameras, a step above the Rebel series." OK, but there have been **D models since very early in the DSLR days, though all having an even tens number, perhaps most notably a 70D and a (current) 80D. While 77D numerically sorts between 70D and 80D and while I can understand the marketing strategy of breaking this camera out of the Rebel lineup to differentiate it, the 77D is not physically like the rest of the *0D models. Even though the 77D does not bear a "Rebel" moniker, it is very a Rebel-like camera and basically is to the Rebel T7i what the Rebel T6s was to the Rebel T6i, once again containing a superset of the features found in the Rebel T7i.

Here is a list of features differentiating the 77D from the Rebel T7i / 800D

  • Top LCD Data Panel vs. none
  • Top mode dial and power switch on left vs. right
  • Rear Control Dial vs. only Cross Keys
  • Multi-function Lock Switch vs. none
  • Auto Display-Off Sensor by the viewfinder vs. none
  • AF On button vs. none

A big additional advantage from my perspective is that all localities get to call the 77D by the same name whereas the Rebel T7i may also be confusingly referred to as the 800D or Kiss X9i depending on where you live.

If the additional features were free, there would of course be no need for the T7i and the 77D to coexist; as you likely expected, the 77D has a higher price tag.

If you read the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D review page, many sections in this review can be skipped. The differences mentioned above can be best-seen in the product image comparisons included below (page down a few times).

Basically, the Canon EOS Rebel 77D is a relatively compact DSLR camera with a high end feature set and a modest price tag. Let's look at some of the key and/or new features found in this camera:

Summary of Canon EOS 77D Features

  • 24.2 megapixel Canon APS-C CMOS imaging sensor
  • New 45-point all cross-type AF system capable of autofocusing with f/8 max aperture lens combinations
  • Top LCD Data Panel, Rear Control Dial, Multi-function Lock Switch and Auto Display-Off Sensor by viewfinder
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communication) and Bluetooth capabilities
  • Extensive ISO range of 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)
  • 6 fps high-speed continuous shooting
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF for smooth, fast and accurate autofocus with video and stills
  • Servo AF in Live View for continuous tracking of moving subjects for stills, including continuous shooting at 4.5 fps
  • 1080/60p Full HD video to capture brilliant results in MP4 format (for easy movie sharing on select social networking sites)
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch, 1 million dot, Clear View LCD II monitor enables flexible positioning and clear viewing even outdoors
  • Latest version of Canon EOS scene analysis system and new color tone detection
  • Light flicker detection and Anti-flicker shutter timing
  • Movie Electronic Image Stabilization
  • Intelligent viewfinder with liquid crystal overlay
  • Creative filters mode on the dial and available for both still images and video
  • Group Photo Special Scene Mode

Canon EOS 77D with No Lens

Sensor and Image Quality

Following is a chart that shows several sensor specifications for the bulk of Canon's recent DSLR offerings.

ModelFOVCFSensorPixel SizePixels/MegapixelsViewfinderDLA*
Canon EOS M51.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 .59x100%f/6.0
Canon EOS M61.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 opt100%f/6.0
Canon EOS M101.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 opt100%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .87x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 .82xx95%f/5.9
Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 7501.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 .82x95%f/5.9
Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .80x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS 77D1.6x22.5 x 15.0mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 .82x95%f/5.9
Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 .82x95%f/5.9
Canon EOS 80D1.6x22.5 x 15.0mm3.7µm6000 x 400024.2 .95x100%f/5.9
Canon EOS 70D1.6x22.5 x 15.0mm4.1µm5472 x 364820.2 .95x98%f/6.6
Canon EOS 60D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .95x96%f/6.9
Canon EOS 7D Mark II1.6x22.4 x 15.0mm4.1µm5472 x 364820.2 1.0x100%f/6.6
Canon EOS 6D1.0x35.8 x 23.9mm6.54µm5472 x 364820.2 .71x97%f/10.5
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm5.36µm6720 x 448030.4 .71x100%f/8.6
Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm4.14µm8688 x 579250.6 .71x100%f/6.7
View the full Canon EOS 77D specifications to compare additional cameras.

All of Canon's **D DSLR models, including the 77D, feature an ASP-C (1.6x) sized sensor. This means that all of Canon's EF-S, EF, TS-E and MP-E series lenses are compatible, though the outer portion of the image circle projected by full frame compatible lenses (EF, TS-E and MP-E) is not utilized. This also means that a selected lens focal length will frame a scene similar to that of a 1.6x longer focal length mounted on a full frame sensor camera (including when using APS-C-only lenses such as the EF-S series).

Sensor Size Comparison

The APS-C sensor format, though much smaller than the full frame sensor format, is huge compared to the imaging sensors in mobile phones and point-and-shoot cameras. Image quality, especially in low light, is a huge advantage that a larger sensor brings.

You will notice that many of the current model APS-C DSLRs share identical sensor specs, perhaps most notably the 24.2 megapixel resolution figure. Twenty-four megapixels has become Canon's APS-C standard issue at this time. While this resolution is very high (higher than in most of Canon's full frame models to date), Canon has proven that they can deliver excellent 24.2 mp image quality. There is, however, more than one variation of 24.2 mp imaging sensors found in these cameras. The biggest difference is that one variant features Dual Pixel AF.

By name, this camera does not have a predecessor, but it slots between the Canon EOS 70D and the Canon EOS 80D in the lineup. It does not slot between these two models from an imaging sensor perspective, inheriting the excellent sensor found in the EOS 80D (and also shared by the T7i, M5 and M6). As I pointed out earlier, you could easily make the case that the 77D is actually – in spirit – the successor to the Rebel T6s / 760D.

Having the same imaging sensor, my expectation is that the 77D and 80D resolution results will look the same and, as seen in the 80D vs. 70D comparison, the change in resolution from 20.2 to 24.2 is not dramatic, but noticeable. Build your own comparison using the just-provided link, for now using the 80D's results to represent 77D expectations. Results are available for many other EOS DSLRs in the image quality comparison tool using the reference Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens and some older camera models are represented by the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.

With ASP-C 24.2 mp imaging sensors having a 3.7µm pixel pitch, diffraction begins impacting sharpness with apertures narrower than f/5.9. Results at f/8 (80D results) begin to show very modest softening and at f/11, you are going to see the difference in your images. This is not to say that you should not use f/11, but you should be aware of the penalty being paid for using apertures narrower and be discerning with your exposure choices. Use the tool to learn how diffraction affects sharpness and you will be prepared to make a knowledgeable decision in the field.

Another consideration for the use of cameras with pixel-dense sensors is the shutter speed required to stop camera or subject motion. Because the pixel density in camera sensors has been increasing over the years, blur and a loss of pixel-level sharpness are increasingly likely due to camera and subject motion causing subject details to cross over pixels at a faster rate on the more-dense sensors. That is unless a faster minimum shutter speed is used for handholding (image stabilization also plays an important role) and for photographing fast-moving subjects.

The old 1/(focal length * 1.6) rule to determine one's shortest shutter speed for handholding an APS-C camera (without the aid of image stabilization) may not be adequate for everyone. While this formula uses the easy-to-use 1.6 factor that matches the APS-C sensor angle of view difference, the pixel density of the imaging sensor is the real reason the faster speed has been needed. You may prefer to use the 1/(focal length * 2) as a better base estimate for handholding the 77D.

Another consideration for getting the most from a high resolution camera is the quality of the lens placed in front of it, as increased resolution will magnify any lens aberrations present. As always, the better the lens, the better the image quality.

Increase resolution without any other technological improvements and noise increase is to be expected. Fortunately, gains continue to be made in this regard and the 80D results were not only as good as its lower resolution 70D predecessor, but very slightly improved. I expect no worse in this regard from the 77D, and with the 77D's top ISO setting bumped up one stop, it may even show some modest improvements in this regard.

Canon EOS 80D ISO Noise Comparison

The Kodak Color Control Patches shown in the standard ISO noise test results are generated from RAW images with (this is a key) no noise reduction (unless specifically indicated by the result set). These evenly-colored patches are brutal on sensor noise, making it readily apparent when it exists. Keep in mind that many real world subjects are more detailed and better hide noise; these samples represent a worst-case scenario.

Ctrl-click on the previous link to open the 80D vs. 70D comparison in a new tab. We saw the Rebel T6i taking on a nice increase in resolution in its upgrade from the Rebel T5i while paying no noise penalty for doing so. The 80D at least matched the T6i's pixel-level noise and even appears to slightly exceed it, showing very slightly less noise over the entire ISO setting range. I expect results to be at least as good from the 77D.

Here are some additional comparisons worth viewing, all initialized at ISO 3200 as differences are more readily seen at high ISO settings:

The next model line down: EOS 80D vs. Rebel T6i
The next model down within the line: EOS 80D vs. 70D
The highest-end APS-C model: EOS 80D vs. 7D Mark II

To my eyes, the 80D became the APS-C EOS class leader, or very close to it, in regards to noise levels and the 77D should be a match for the 80D. However, the differences seen in these comparisons are, by themselves, not likely to generate an urgent need to upgrade from any of the above-compared models from a low noise perspective. The difference from some older models will make upgrading very attractive. Comparisons against full frame models will show the advantage of an even larger sensor.

As the ISO setting increases, noise becomes more apparent. This is and always has been the rule. How apparent is the difference between camera models is the big question. If you can't see the difference, you will not likely discern it in your images either.

The 80D's ISO 100 results are very clean – this is the norm for EOS DSLRs. Noise levels steadily increase as higher ISO settings are used until I reach my personal tolerance for noise at around ISO 3200. Results at ISO 6400 are noisy, but can be usable. More of a last resort is ISO 12800 and a significant percentage of the details get lost in the low signal-to-noise ratio at ISO 25600. I'm not holding my breath to see what ISO 51200 performance from an APS-C sensor looks like.

Again, basing expectations on the 77D results being similar to 80D results, the balance of the 80D results are relevant to look at.

In addition to the standard 80D test results, you will find 7 additional sets of results provided in the noise tool. The RAW-captured standard results utilize Canon's Digital Photo Professional Standard Picture Style with a sharpness setting of 1 (very low) and no noise reduction – a very real-world example for me. I use the Neutral Picture Style in-camera with RAW capture because it applies a lower contrast tone curve to images, providing a better picture of the camera's available dynamic range on the histogram shown on the LCD. Neutral Picture Style results appear somewhat dull. There is a time to use the Neutral Picture Style in production, but I usually change my RAW images to the Standard PS immediately after importing them and then adjust sharpness to a lower-than-default level.

The next two noise result sets utilize the default Standard Picture Style settings selected in-camera with standard noise reduction also selected, showing RAW vs JPG capture. These two sets utilize Canon's default USM sharpness settings that are too strong for my taste (though the increased default sharpness will make softer lenses appear sharp). Look for the bright borders to the black lines when comparing the noise-reduced images to the "Standard" results – the color blocks should not have halos around them. On the positive side, this sharpening appears more advantageous at higher ISO settings, with image details remaining sharp while noise is significantly removed.

The MSNR results show the capability of Multi Shot Noise Reduction, also with the default Standard Picture Style and settings selected (JPG capture required). MSNR merges information from multiple exposures taken in an automatic max-frame-rate burst into a reduced noise image. While MSNR shows great improvement (roughly 2 stops), it has limited usefulness in real world shooting.

The downsides to Multi-Shot Noise Reduction include: MSNR is currently available only with JPG output (I would like to see this feature added to Canon's Digital Photo Pro software for RAW capture processing – perhaps as another HDR preset). Multi-Shot Noise Reduction is not so useful with moving subjects (or with a moving camera). Long exposure NR, Dust Delete Data, Multiple Exposure and HDR Mode must be set to off to enable MSNR. The camera reverts back to Standard NR in Auto/Basic zone modes, during video recording and in Bulb mode. Flash is not supported in MSNR mode.

After the multi-shot burst is captured, the camera remains "busy" for a period of time while processing the merged image. So, while this feature is a nice idea, its limitations make it less useful in real-world applications. I am far more likely to use a low ISO setting with a longer exposure when shooting a stationary subject from a tripod.

The next two result sets are labeled "Pushed". These images were created from the same baseline "Standard" results (no noise reduction, very light sharpening), but the brightness was pushed by 1 and 2 stops during post processing, simulating correction of a severe underexposure situation. Similar results were added to the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and Canon EOS 70D tests for comparison purposes.

The last pair of results were acquired by underexposing and overexposing the original capture by 2 stops and then adjusting the results in Canon DPP by the same amount. The result is more noise and less noise respectively. The bright colors become muted in the overexposed capture due to blown color channels being darkened; but otherwise, these results show a benefit of ETTR (Exposing to the Right). I would like to see a native ETTR exposure mode added.

Adding one stop of ISO beyond what the Rebel T6i and T6s made available, 77D ISO settings are available in 1 stop increments from 100 through 25600 with extended H (51200) available. Having only full stop ISO settings available is a notable disadvantage of the 77D and Rebel series compared to the higher end models including the 80D.

While the lower ISO settings should be favored, the higher settings are there when needed and sometimes ... I need them. The following image was captured with the 80D at ISO 10000, the setting required to get a 1/640 sec. shutter speed (marginally adequate for stopping motion) at f/2 with the longest f/2 lens currently available, the EF 200mm f/2L IS Lens.

Canon EOS 80D ISO 10000 Indoor Sports Sample Picture

With a moderate amount of noise reduction (DPP 4, 11 luminance, 10 chrominance), this image looks rough when viewed at 100%, but downsized/down-sampled to what you see on your monitor (perhaps 4 x 6" or 102 x 152mm), it looks very clean. At small reproduction sizes, high ISO settings can create nice images.

While it is not targeted for professional use, the images the 77D will be able to produce should far surpass the minimum quality needed for professional use. Rebel T6s images easily qualified and I expect no reduction in image quality from the next generation of this model.

Media

The Canon EOS Rebel 77D writes image files to an SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card. For an ISO 100 image, you can estimate roughly 1.3MB in RAW file size per megapixel of resolution for a file size of about 31 MB. Increase the resolution and ... the files get larger and your memory cards hold less. Memory cards have become so inexpensive that large files sizes are a minor problem. Buy plenty of capacity and multiple cards. Rotate cards to maintain a backup set until, minimally, you are able to get the images safely into your formal backup strategy (that includes off-sight storage).

Hopefully your computer storage has enough hard drive space available, but if not, it is simple to add external storage.

Frame Rate, Buffer Depth, Shutter Sound

Faster is better in regards to frame rate. Synonymous with the Rebel line used to be a slow frame rate with the Rebel T1i mustering up only 3.4 fps. That rate has been increasing over the years with the Rebel T4i taking us up to a very reasonable 5.0 fps from the T3i's still slow 3.7 fps. And now, the T6i (and 77D) takes us to 6.0 fps.

ModelFPSMax JPGMax RAWShutter LagVF Blackout
Canon EOS M57/926n/a  
Canon EOS M67/9 n/a  
Canon EOS M104.610007  
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D4.028/11407/875ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D3.011106120ms170ms
Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D6.0190/Full21/2770ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D5.0180/Full7/8  
Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D5.022/306/675ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D5.030675ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D3.734690ms130ms
Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D3.734690ms130ms
Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D3.4170990ms130ms
Canon EOS 77D6.0190/Full21/2770ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D5.0180/Full7/8  
Canon EOS 80D7.077/11020/2560msn/a
Canon EOS 70D7.040/6515/1665ms97ms
Canon EOS 7D Mark II10.01303155ms100ms
Canon EOS 6D4.573/125014/17<60ms 
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV7.0Full1758ms86ms
Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R5.031/Full12/1459ms125ms
View the full Canon EOS Rebel T7i specifications to compare additional cameras.

While the camera I choose to photograph sports and fast action with has a considerably faster frame rate, the EOS 5Ds R model I use for most other tasks has a frame rate 1 fps slower than the T6i and 5 fps is adequate for most needs. As I said, faster is better and it is very nice to see the Rebel and 77D lines now reaching 6 fps.

I'll be testing this camera's frame rate, but ... Canon's numbers have always proven exactly right or very close to it.

While the Rebel cameras have enjoyed a reasonable buffer depth (the number of consecutive images that can be captured at the fastest frame rate) when using the smaller, compressed JPG file format, the RAW file buffer depth has been quite lacking. The 77D's 21/27 (w/o UHS-I, w/ UHS-I) rating is a considerable improvement and this improvement will be especially valuable when photographing action. Few are going to complain about the 190/Full, sustained 6 fps until the card is full, JPG spec the 77D has.

Shutter lag is another spec that was lacking but has been showing continuous improvement in the Rebel line. Well, lacking relative to the other EOS DSLRs – Rebel shutter lag has been lightning-fast relative to many other camera types. The 77D's 70ms shutter lag spec is a good number. A short shutter lag insures that the image is captured at the precise point in time you choose, such as when a baby's eyes light up and look at the camera with big smile. The viewfinder blackout times have not been made available for Rebel models for several model iterations, so that cell in the chart may remain empty.

The 77D's fastest shutter speed is 1/4000 second. While this is an extremely short duration and even very fast action can be frozen at this speed, it should be understood that the higher end cameras offer a twice-as-fast speed. A 1/8000 second exposure may be needed under certain circumstances including using very wide aperture lenses in bright sunlight. Still, I seldom need 1/8000 second and most needs are satisfied by 1/4000.

The Rebel 77D's max flash synch (X-synch) shutter speed is 1/200.

Rebel-series cameras are typically among the quietest-operating DSLRs available and this trend is likely to continue with the 77D, even though it has been separated from the Rebel series.

Autofocus

I've said it many times, but it is a very important concept: If the photo is not properly focused, the quality of the camera and lens used to take it are of no matter. The image quality a camera is capable of is irrelevant if the subject is out of focus. Of critical importance for most photographers, and especially for sports/action and wildlife photographers, is the camera's autofocus performance, especially accuracy.

To that end, Canon introduced a completely new AF system with the 80D and that system has now migrated to the 77D. Featuring 45 AF points, this AF system covers an increased area of the frame (62% horizontally and 48% vertically in the center), including coverage for the commonly-used rule of thirds locations. Here is Canon's diagram of the 80D's AF points:

Canon EOS 80D AF Point Layout

All 45 AF points are horizontal and vertical cross-type focusing (sensitive to lines of contrast in both directions) with lenses having an f/5.6 or wider max aperture. The center AF point acts as a dual cross-type sensitive point when a lens with an f/2.8 or wider aperture is used, becoming sensitive to horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines of contrast for higher focusing precision.

While this description provides the AF support for most lenses, reality is a bit more complicated with some lenses receiving reduced support. Canon grouped all lenses into categories. Most current lenses fall under category A (full capabilities) or B (center AF point not dual cross-type), but the EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens, for example, falls into category "D", supporting horizontal line detection (not cross-type) in the side AF point banks. The owner's manual (link will be provided at beginning of this review) will have the full details. Categories through H are included, with decreasing AF capabilities being supported.

While groups G and H have the least AF system support, things are better than they seem. Most of the lenses included in these groups are actually lens plus extender combinations with maximum apertures of f/8. That the 77D features AF with f/8 maximum aperture lens combinations is really big news.

Especially valuable to wildlife photographers, an extender can be mounted behind a lens, creating an f/8 max aperture, and AF is retained. Depending on the combination, the vertically centered 27 AF points (category G) or the center AF point-only (category H) is activated. Again, see the owner's manual to see the support for specific combinations.

When shooting a still subject, it is easy to focus using only a small number of focus points. Even just one focus point is adequate in many situations when DOF (Depth of Field) is deep enough to compensate for slight discrepancies. Simply focus on the subject by half-pressing the shutter release, recompose and fully press the shutter release.

However, the story is different when the subject is in motion and AI Servo subject tracking requires a focus point continuously placed on the subject. In this case, there is a great compositional advantage to having more focus points available (both for automatic tracking and for manual selection) and the higher percentage of the frame covered by AF points is an additional advantage in this situation.

APS-C sensor format cameras such as this one often have the frame coverage advantage over their full frame counterparts. The AF point quantity advantage has typically been held by the highest model line cameras. While this AF system does not reach the 7D Mark II's AF point count, the 77D has a significant AF point count increase over the T6i, going from 19 to 45, and again, the wide AF point array permits ideal focus point placement on most subjects.

Note that AF Case Scenarios (incorporating AF tracking sensitivity, acceleration/deceleration tracking, and AF point auto switching) found in higher end EOS models are not present in this camera. Canon likely concluded that Case Scenarios were a bit too advanced for the entry level photographers this model design is targeting.

The Canon EOS 77D's AF Area options are Single-point AF (select one AF point), Zone AF (select one of 9 AF area focusing zones comprised of 9 AF points – one of three on left, 3 in center or 3 on right side), Large Zone AF (select one of 3 large AF area focusing zones – 15 AF points on left, center or right) and Auto AF point selection (all 45 AF points active – closest subject receives priority). These options are illustrated on an 80D below.

Canon EOS 80D AF Point Options

A major advantage the 77D has over its predecessor is its AF working range, extending down to EV -3 (really dark) vs. -.5 for the Rebel T6s. This spec matches Canon's best available, including that of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. With a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens mounted, the similarly-capable 80D could reasonably quickly focus the center AF point on a white warning label (it had good contrast with the equipment it was adhered to) with the AE system calling for a 25 sec. shutter speed at ISO 100. I could barely see the label. The Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS USM Lens performed similarly when set to f/3.5, though AF lock time increased significantly in low light. This low light AF performance improvement will definitely catch the attention of photographers wanting to shoot in dark venues.

Autofocus MicroAdjustment (AFMA) is a DSLR feature that has been omitted from this camera. Canon indicates the reasoning for this exclusion being that this camera is targeted toward entry level users, users who typically wouldn't utilize the AFMA feature and/or would not be interested in the complications it can bring.

One of the hardest features of a camera to test is autofocus performance. With an infinite number of possible focus circumstances and numerous camera AF parameters available, it is not reasonable to expect to perform an exhaustive set of tests.

However, One Shot AF is the easiest, both on the camera and on the tester. The subject is still and the photographer can carefully control where the focus point is placed. The 80D has performed extremely well in this mode, including under a wide variety of situations. I expect the 77D to perform similarly.

On the other hand, predicting the point of perfect focus on a fast-moving subject at the precise moment the shutter opens in AI Servo AF mode is a big challenge for AF technology and AI Servo AF accuracy testing is the most-difficult of camera tests to perform. Shooting a challenging scenario that is familiar to me is the best method I've found to at least get a baseline comparison and having one of the kids gallop their horses straight at me is one of my favorites (theirs too).

A DSLR focusing system requires not only a camera that performs well, but the lens must also reliably do its part. The time-tested Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens was my choice for much of my fast action AI Servo AF testing, including the fast-moving horse images.

While I'm not ready to say that the 80D's system is as good as the current top-of-the-line 1-Series systems, it performed decently. The 80D also performed reasonably well under low light for the indoor soccer action using the 200 f/2L IS Lens. It performed remarkably well for a pair of track meets and an outdoor soccer game I photographed using, again, the 300 f/2.8L IS II.

With the Rebel 77D receiving the same AF system as the 80D, I expect the Rebel 77D to perform similarly well.

That discussion was about the extremely fast conventional AF system. In addition, this camera features Canon's very impressive Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Groundbreaking with the introduction of the EOS 70D was Canon's innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, allowing sensor-based phase detection AF. Each pixel on an imaging sensor in a DPAF implementation is dual purposed with phase detection AF being the secondary purpose. Since the imaging sensor pixels are able to perform both imaging and fast phase-detection focus measurement simultaneously, continuous AI Servo-like AF is available in Movie mode, referred to as "Movie Servo AF".

Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology is rapidly making its way throughout the EOS lineup and this particular iteration of Dual Pixel CMOS AF is the same as, you guessed it, the 80D, and features improved tracking sensitivity and allowing for better AF results in challenging, low-light conditions than the original implementation. Those capturing video in dimly lit venues will likely most appreciate the improved tracking experienced in Movie Servo AF.

Live View and Movie focusing modes making use of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF include what has become the Canon standard: Face Detection with Tracking, FlexiZone Multi, and FlexiZone Single. All work very well on the 80D, with the face detection technology being especially impressive. The ability to adjust AF speed and tracking sensitivity is provided when using FlexiZone – Single with compatible STM and Nano USM lenses. This camera also supports AI Servo tracking AF and high speed burst mode during Live View in Multi and Single AF selection.

Live View metering modes are Evaluative (315-zone), Partial (6% of viewfinder area at center), Spot (2.6% of viewfinder area at center) and Center-weighted The Live View meter range is EV 0-20.

As with the 80D, the Rebel 77D's capacitive touchscreen allows for Touch Focus during both Live View still photography and before/during video recording. Just tap your finger on the LCD where you want the camera to focus and it happens – smoothly. Touch Focus is very simple and effective.

Sensor-based AF includes benefits over conventional phase-detection AF. The AF coverage area encompasses a full 80% of the frame (measured horizontally and vertically) with no limit on a "number" of focus points to select from or include in auto AF. No AF Microadjustment calibration is needed because the actual imaging sensor is being used for AF (vs. the focusing screen). And, AF can function with camera and lens combinations having an f/11 or wider aperture (vs. f/8 with the EOS 77D's conventional AF) - again, using 80% of the frame.

Canon EOS 77D LCD Open Back

Video

DSLR video has matured a lot and, especially with Dual Pixel CMOS AF in use, very high grade video quality is what you can expect. The 77D gets the same video capabilities as the EOS 80D.

The 77D records video in .MP4 or .MOV format using the MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 codec, with audio being recorded in AAC (.MP4) via dual front microphones (producing stereo sound) or the 3.5mm stereo input jack. Sound recording levels can be set to Auto, Manual (64 levels) or Disabled entirely. Wind Filter and Attenuator options can be set in the sound recording menu. Note that .MOV recording is only utilized for Time-lapse recording.

Available frame rates and compression include:

MOV:
1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30 fps (29.97 fps) / 25 fps
ALL-I compression only

MP4:
1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 60 fps (59.94 fps) / 50 fps / 30 fps (29.97 fps) / 25 fps / 24 fps (23.98 fps)
1280 x 720 (HD): 60 fps (59.94 fps) / 50 fps / 30 fps (29.97 fps) / 25 fps
User selectable IPB (Standard) or IPB (Light) compression

Several features have been added to Canon's latest flagship rebel model for the benefit of filmmakers, including HDR, Creative Filter & Time-lapse Movies.

In HDR Movie Mode, the camera will attempt to reduce highlight clipping with the result of increasing dynamic range when filming in high-contrast environments. To enable HDR Movie Mode, the camera must be set to a Basic Zone Mode (other than Creative Filter) with .MP4 recording at 1080p, 30 or 25fps.

Creative Filters Movie Mode is enabled via the camera's mode dial. While in Creative Filters mode, movies can be captured with one of five filter types applied – Memory, Dream, Old Movies, Dramatic B&W and Miniature Effect. Note that, when using the Miniature Effect filter, sound will not be recorded and Movie Servo AF will not be available.

Time-lapse Movie Mode was first introduced in the EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R and has made its way into the 77D's bag of tricks. Time-lapse movies can be created in nearly any mode (all except the Creative Filter Mode), and is enabled via the camera's menu system as are the time-lapse variables, shooting interval and number of shots. The shooting interval time can be set anywhere from 1-second to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds while number of shots can be set from 2 to 3600. Time-lapse movies are recorded in .MOV format at 1080p, 30 or 25fps. During Time-lapse Movie capture, the camera's battery-saving Auto Off feature is disabled as is any lens Image Stabilization (if applicable).

The Video Snapshot feature, where short 2, 4 or 8 second videos [called video snapshots] can be organized into an album and played back with optional music, has been carried over from the 70d.

Video recording can be started and stopped using the highly recommended Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote or Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote accessories with the 77D's Remote Control Shooting menu option enabled. Unfortunately, as of review time, the EOS Applications (iOS & Android) do not support remote video capture.

Overall, the 77D's video-specific features make it an attractive option for those primarily interested in film production. While DSLR filmmakers will likely account for a great number of 77D orders, it is more likely that a great number of photographers who purchase the 77D will subsequently become interested in DSLR filmmaking as a result of testing the camera's great video features.

Exposure/Metering System

Utilizing the 77D's DIGIC 7 processor is its 80D-inherited 7,560-pixel RGB+IR, 63-zone (9x7) metering sensor, enabling skin tone and color detection that works in conjunction with AF for enhance tracking sensitivity.

Available metering modes are Evaluative (linked to all AF points), Partial (6% of viewfinder area at center), Spot (3.5% of viewfinder area at center) and Center-weighted (entire scene is analyzed within 63 zones, center of viewfinder given more weight).

Exposure (and auto white balance) systems have come a long way and each EOS model seems to be further improved. This one should perform as the 80D does – very well, making it easy to capture ideal brightness and color balance right out of the camera.

If you have ever photographed under flickering lights, such as the sodium vapor lamps especially common at sporting venues, you know what a problem that type of lighting can cause. One image is bright and the next is significantly underexposed with a completely different color cast. The bigger problem occurs when using fast/short action-stopping shutter speeds under these lights.

I'll share an example of this technology from the 80D review. In the top half of the following example are 8 consecutive frames captured in a 7 fps burst with a 1/1000 second shutter speed. The subject is a white wall and the lights are fluorescent tubes (I had to go all the way to my basement to find these two sets of four 4' fluorescent tube lights). All images were identically custom white balanced from the center of an optimally-timed image. What you see is the frame capture frequency synching with the light flicker's frequency to cause a different result in every frame.

The killer problem for post processing is that the entire frame is not evenly affected. Correcting this issue in even a handful of images is a post processing nightmare. The cause of this problem is that, at fast/short shutter speeds, the flicker happens while the shutter curtain is not fully open.

Because the shutter opens and closes only in the up and down directions (with camera horizontally oriented), the area affected runs through the frame in the long direction regardless of the camera's orientation during capture. When the flicker-affected area is fully contained within the frame, the amount of area affected is narrower at faster shutter speeds and wider with longer shutter speeds.

At significantly longer shutter speeds, the effect from the flickering lights is better averaged in the exposures. In a previous test, a 1/25 second image appears very even in brightness and color. As the shutter speed increases, the band of flicker becomes narrower and more pronounced.

In this light flicker test, I shot at 1/500 and 1/1000 (as shown). The 1/500 second test showed approximately 2/3 of the frame severely affected at most, with a handful of images with about 50% of the images appearing evenly lit. The 1/1000 second test showed an even narrower band of the flicker's effect running through the image (a smaller slit of fast-moving shutter opening being used). Not many venues permit shutter speeds faster than 1/1000 sec., but the flicker stripe will become even thinner at faster speeds. The 1/500 and 1/1000 settings are more real world settings.

Anti-Flicker Mode Example

The bottom set of results show off the Canon EOS 80D's awesome Anti-flicker mode. The only difference in the capture of the second set of images was that Anti-flicker mode was enabled. These were a random selection of 8 consecutive frames, but the results from all Anti-flicker mode enabled frames were similar. I'm not going to say that these results are perfectly-evenly lit, but ... they are dramatically better than the normal captures and you will not see the less-than-perfectly-even lighting in most real world photos without a solid, light-colored background running through the frame.

When enabled (the default is disabled), Anti-flicker mode adjusts the shutter release timing very slightly so that the dim cycle of the lighting is avoided. In single shot mode, the shutter release lag time is matched to the light flicker cycle's maximum output. In continuous shooting mode, the shutter lag and the frame rate are both altered for peak light output capture.

When light flicker is detected outside of the Basic modes and Anti-flicker mode is not enabled, a flashing flicker warning optionally shows in the viewfinder (enabled by default). The flicker warning shows solid when a flicker is detected and the camera’s setting is enabled.

Since the viewfinder's metering system is required for flicker detection, this feature is not available in Live View mode (due to the mirror being locked up). Similarly, the mirror lockup feature is disabled when Anti-flicker mode is enabled.

While the Anti-flicker mode should not be expected to work perfectly in all environments, I have found it to work exceptionally well. I primarily tested this feature in my basement and also shot an indoor soccer game. I've seen the flashing "Flicker!" warning and enabling the Anti-Flicker mode has resulted in optimal image capture. The post processing work required for the soccer game images was exponentially lighter than any of my pre-Anti-flicker mode shoots at this venue.

As I've said before, Canon's Anti-flicker mode is a game changer – it is going to save the day for some events. This feature alone is going to be worth the price of the camera for some photographers.

Viewfinder

While I see many people using the LCD for composing their images, an optical DSLR viewfinder is a great feature and I encourage using it, especially when not using a tripod. The Rebel models and, now, the 77D get a smaller pentamirror (vs. pentaprism) viewfinder than some of the more advanced APS-C EOS models and an approximately 95% view is shown at .82x magnification. The 95% spec means that some additional subject outside of the viewfinder may end up in pics. Though small, the 77D viewfinder should work well and there are benefits to the smallness including smaller size and smaller price tag.

The Rebel T6i and T6s were the first Rebel models to receive an Intelligent Viewfinder that uses a liquid crystal overlay to provide various displays of focusing points and zones, spot metering circle, on-demand grid lines, and more. These intelligent viewfinders are really nice. I've now used many of them and have them in all of my daily use DSLRs. Rebel model focusing screens were not user replaceable and that meant, until now, that a grid screen was not even available.

I'll share a view of the viewfinder once it becomes available, but you will see a lot of information being shown. While it will appear that there is a LOT going on in the viewfinder LCD, only the relevant information is shown at any one time.

The 77D's eyecup is removable and the dioptric adjustment knob allows the image in the viewfinder to be focused to the user's eye.

Tour of the Canon EOS 77D

Though it is no longer a member of the "Rebel" model line and now lacks that name, the 77D remains very Rebel-like in its design. Owners of the Rebel T6s especially will find this camera feeling very familiar in their hand and, with the flagship Canon Rebel model remaining largely unchanged through many iterations from a design standpoint, previous Rebel owners will also feel at home with the 77D in their hands. Even though it is referred to as a new model, the 77D has benefited from the maturity of a design that has been refined over many years, one that even new photographers will find easy to understand and use. Let's take a look at the 77D starting on the back side.

Back of the Camera

The back of the 77D is practically identical to the back of the Rebel T6s, but not completely so. One significant exception is the addition of a Wi-Fi button located just above the Rear Control Dial. Another is the addition of an AF-On button, located to the left of the magnification buttons on the top-right. Another change is that the recessed area used for grasping the side of the LCD panel has been moved to the top right of the LCD, a location that is easier to use with the move providing room for the extra button. And, the last change is the former slide lock is now a lever lock.

Camera Back View Comparison

77D | T7i | T6s | T6i | T5i | T4i | T3i | T2i | T1i | SL1 | T6 | 80D | M5 | 7D II | 6D | 5D IV

To compare the 77D with many more Canon EOS camera models, use the site's camera body comparison tool.

The menu and info buttons are once again located in the Canon standard location for the Rebel T*i model line and above – the top left. This position means that these two buttons are easy to find with the left thumb and hitting an incorrect button when looking for these is ... unusual.

Moving to the right is the already-discussed viewfinder. Next to the right is the Live View mode and video recording start/stop button. Continuing on to the right is the new AF-On buttons, and farther right are the exposure lock and the button used to initiate AF point selection. While some of Canon's higher end DSLRs no longer use the two top right buttons for zooming into and back out of an image preview, the Rebels (and 77D) still do and this is still my preferred way to handle that function.

Canon EOS 77D LCD Open Front

The LCD is a Touch screen vari-angle 7.7cm (3.0") 3:2 Clear View II TFT with approximately 1,040,000 dots and features anti-smudge coating and a solid state structure design for clarity, durability and an approximately 170° viewing angle. The LCD shows 100% of the image just captured or about to be captured. LCD brightness is adjustable. This LCD is found in many of Canon's current EOS models (including in the 80D and Rebel T7i, T6i and T5i) and ... it is a strong asset to this camera. Having the LCD able to articulate into a wide range of angles is also an asset, making the camera easily usable in a variety of positions, including on the ground and high overhead.

Canon does not currently include the vari-angle feature on higher end models, but I often wish they had it. One reason for the more pro-ready DSLRs having a fixed LCD is for ruggedness. Somewhat ironic is that, when closed in reverse position, the LCD itself is especially well protected by this design.

I mentioned that the recessed area provided to grasp the LCD has moved. The new position will permit an index finger and thumb to grasp the LCD vs. pulling it out with just the thumb and then repositioning the grasp to make adjustments. This should be a nice change.

Canon's menu system is always clearly presented and easy to use, but the LCD's touch capability gives it another easy-to-use navigation option. Use touch to pinch zoom and flip between images during playback, to select AF points during Live View and more.

Aside from image and video playback, display Options include camera settings and the Quick Control Screen, accessed via the "Q" button found to the right of the LCD just above the Playback button. As mentioned, the 77D gets a Wi-Fi button, located just to the right of the Playback and "Q" buttons. Easy to find at the bottom right of the LCD is the erase button. Most of the balance of button-accessible camera functions are found in the cross keys and the set button centered between them.

Higher end EOS cameras, including this model, have rear control dials, making them easier and faster to use compared to the traditional Rebel-series cross keys.

The memory card door and the write activity light round out the 77D back view.

Top of the Camera

On top of the camera, we see the 77D varies quite significantly from the T7i. The biggest change worth mentioning is the top LCD panel (with the buttons just above it repositioned slightly), a feature found in Canon's higher-end cameras.

Camera Top View Comparison

77D | T6s | T7i | 80D | 70D | T6 | SL1 | M5 | 7D II | 6D | 5D IV | 5Ds/5Ds R

The camera body top view comparison tool allows comparison of many additional Canon EOS models.

Another big difference between the 77D and the Rebel T7i is the mode dial being located on the left, making room for the already discussed LCD panel on the right.

The right side of the camera features a trio of function buttons located below the shutter release and top dial, within easy reach of the index finger. With the Auto Display-Off Sensor provided just above the viewfinder, the T7i's rightmost top button, the Display button, is no longer needed and a function that would be irrelevant on the T7i takes its place. That is the LCD illumination button. The left-most button allows AF Area selection and the right-most turns the rear LCD display off or on. The ISO setting button is of course in the middle.

The three-position power switch, positioned by the mode dial on the left, remains with video recording being the third option. While video recording does not seem power-related, the location of this function is convenient. With the LCD available to show Wi-Fi status, the Wi-Fi light found on top left of the T7i is not provided on the 77D.

Aside from the standard flash hot shoe, the mode dial is the other prominent top-of-the-camera feature. Changing the mode dial design seems to be a prerequisite for any new Rebel model (I know, the 77D is not technically a "Rebel", but ... it still seems like one) and the 77D (and T7i) follow that trend. However, this update, the removal of the circular outline graphics, appears to be mostly a cosmetic one. One additional creative mode, filters, has landed on the 77D's (and T7i's) mode dial.

The Rebel series cameras are often considered to be entry level (I have many family members and friends using them), but ... these cameras have most/all of the modes featured on professional cameras including fully manual mode and the 77D has many automatic modes that those cameras lack.

Complete beginners can open the box, charge and install the battery, insert a memory card and turn the dial to the green square+ fully automatic Scene Intelligent Auto mode to have a camera ready to go, taking care of everything for point and shoot simplicity. This mode is simple from the user perspective, but it is far from simple as it uses powerful artificial intelligence algorithms to deliver excellent results in a wide range of situations. "... Scene Intelligent Auto mode analyzes the image, accounting for faces, colors, brightness, moving objects, contrast, even whether the camera is handheld or on a tripod, and then chooses the exposure and enhancements that bring out the best in any scene or situation." [Canon] This mode also takes advantage of the light flicker avoidance capability when such is detected.

The following Canon graphic provides a glimpse into the Scene Intelligent Auto mode as implemented on the 7D Mark II.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Scene Intelligent Auto mode Icons

This camera is really smart, but ... it doesn't know everything. Even beginners can improve their images by selecting one of the other fully automatic modes, designed to influence the camera's settings for the icon-represented purpose including sports and portraits. As their skills improve, 77D owners can progress into modes designed to give them more control. If your lighting is not changing, give manual mode a try. It is not as hard to use as you might think.

Notice the SCN mode? The is the Special Scene Mode. Basically, Canon ran out of space on the dial for all of the modes they wanted to provide and 7 more shooting modes are available within SCN: Kids, Food, Candlelight, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene HDR Backlight Control and new is Group Photo.

Missing on the mode dial are the more-advanced C ("Custom") modes.

Canon has been making the Rebel series cameras increasingly attractive to begining photographers and, while the traditional menu system remains optionally available, new mode and feature guides are available to help beginning users interface with the camera and its settings, educating the photographer and improving the quality of images they capture at the same time.

Side of the Camera

Moving to the left side of the camera finds a design very similar to the T6s and other recent T*i Rebel models.

Camera Side View Comparison

M5 | T6 | SL1 | T7i | T6i | 77D | 70D | 60D | 6D | 7D II | 5Ds/5Ds R

Ports included on the left side of the camera are, from top left, counterclockwise: remote release (E3 style, not N3), microphone, HDMI and A/V digital out (still the slower USB 2.0 standard). The port covers are now textured to match the camera's grip surface. Buttons seen toward the front of the camera are, from top down, the flash button, the lens release and the DOF preview button.

Canon EOS 77D Right Side

The right side of the camera (the grip side) basically has only the spring-loaded memory card door and a port for an AC adapter.

Size of the Camera

While the Rebel cameras' size and weight specs have been trending slightly upward over the years, the 77D and T7i reverses this trend, though only slightly. Here is a size and weight comparison chart showing the 77D, T6s and many Rebel T*i models along with some additional current and recent models.

ModelBody DimensionsCIPA Weight
Canon EOS M54.6 x 3.5 x 2.4"(115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm)15.1 oz (427g)
Canon EOS M64.4 x 2.7 x 1.8"(112.0 x 68.0 x 44.5mm)13.8 oz (390g)
Canon EOS M104.3 x 2.6 x 1.4"(108.0 x 66.6 x 35mm)10.6 oz (301g)
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7"(116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm)14.4 oz (407g)
Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)18.8 oz (532g)
Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1"(131.9 x 100.9 x 77.8mm)19.8 oz (560g)
Canon EOS 77D5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)19.1 oz (540g)
Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1"(131.9 x 100.9 x 77.8mm)19.8 oz (560g)
Canon EOS 80D5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1"(139.0 x 105.2 x 78.5mm)25.8 oz (730g)
Canon EOS 70D5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1"(139.0 x 104.3 x 78.5mm)26.7 oz (755g)
Canon EOS 60D5.7 x 4.2 x 3.1"(144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm)26.6 oz (755g)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1"(148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2mm)32.1 oz (910g)
Canon EOS 6D5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8"(144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm)26.6 oz (755g)
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0"(150.7 x 116.4 X 75.9mm)31.4 oz (890g)
Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0"(152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm)32.8 oz (930g)
View the full Canon EOS 77D specifications to compare additional cameras.

Expect the EOS 77D to be a high-quality, solidly-built, modestly-sized DSLR camera that feels very comfortable in the hand. This camera will be large enough to provide adequate control over the larger professional-grade lenses - a super telephoto lens is not too large to comfortably mount on this camera.

Build Quality and Durability

While the 77D is positioned above the Rebel line in features and abilities, it is still a Rebel at heart and has a relatively low price tag. However, unless Canon breaks a longstanding history, the 77D's build quality will not be reflected by its price. This is going to be a very nicely built camera with a high quality feel – similar to that of the T6s I expect.

I expect the 77D to feel very comfortable in my hand and remain so even after many hours of use.

Canon has not published shutter durability ratings for the Rebel cameras for many iterations now. While we can safely assume that these cameras are not up to the 400,000 shutter actuations the EOS 1D X Mark II is rated for, it can also be assumed that the 77D is good a significant number of clicks. As I've said before, my daughter used a Rebel T3i for many years, taking it everywhere, capturing a huge number of frames and though the camera was looking very rough when I traded it, it was still functioning perfectly. I have heard very few reports of any EOS Rebels requiring shutter replacements and safe to say is that most are not ever worn out.

Canon does not claim a level of weather sealing for this model and precautions should be taken if dust and wet are possible.

Canon EOS 77D Top with Lens

Additional Features

The T6i and T6s were the first Rebel models to have wireless capabilities built-in and this provision has been improved upon in the 77D. This xxD has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communication) and, new with the T7i and 77D, Low-Energy Bluetooth wireless capabilities. The wireless features provide easy transfer of images and movies to compatible mobile devices using Canon's Camera Connect app (free). With lots of potential awaiting development, this app provides some remote control of the camera's settings and shutter when shooting still images. Wireless remote printing to a compatible printer is also supported via Wi-Fi.

The camera’s built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) allows quick and simple pairing to a compatible Android device, or devices that support NFC such as the Canon Connect Station CS100 photo and video storage and sharing device.

Normal is for Canon's latest EOS DSLRs to feature built-in RAW conversion to JPG, complete with many adjustments available for doing so. Since I only shoot in the not-socially-friendly RAW format, creating a JPG file for transfer to my phone means I can share an image immediately while retaining the RAW file for later refinement and processing.

Note that this camera does not feature a built-in GPS. However, this functionality is easy to add via a Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver.

Most EOS cameras have a self-cleaning sensor and this one has the same. A sensor dust spot in a photo is an image quality issue and technology for keeping dust from adhering to imaging sensors has seen some great improvements over the years. I spend much less time cleaning camera sensors (a task I seriously dislike) than I used to. The Rebel T6i sensor did a good job at staying clean and I doubt we will see a reversion in the 77D.

Canon EOS 77D with Flash Up

Flash

As with all other Rebel and xxD models before it, the Canon EOS 77D has a built-in pop-up flash. As with all of Canon's other recent DSLR cameras with a built-in flash, flash settings can be controlled from the menu which includes an extensive range of controls for built-in, hot-shoe-mounted and remote flashes. Simply double-press the camera's flash button (or single press the flash button with an external Speedlite mounted) for instant access to the Flash Function Setting Screen.

The 77D is fully compatible with Canon's incredible RF remote flash system including the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash, Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash and Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter.

Like the 80D and most of Canon's other recent DSLR cameras featuring a built-in flash, the 77D includes an Integrated Speedlite Transmitter for optical (not RF) wireless control of multiple off-camera EOS Speedlites. A 600EX-RT, 430EX III-RT, ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter or similar accessory master flash is not needed to optically control as many remote flashes as desired.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Wireless Flash Operation Diagram

Using off-camera flash can greatly improve the quality of images and having a built-in Speedlight Transmitter is a big deal. It not only saves a significant cost associated with the other Speedlight Transmitter options, but it reduces the size and weight of the camera when using remote flashes.

The integrated Speedlite transmitter feature alone, if needed, will save you the purchase of a device with a significant cost - and the convenience factor of having this feature built-in is huge. But, the best part is the image quality that off camera flash delivers.

Battery

The 77D utilizes a same Li-ion battery pack found in the Rebel T6i, the Battery LP-E17. Surprising is that this little battery's life rating is approx. 600 shots (at 73°F/23°C, AE 50%, FE 50%), a significant increase over the Rebel T6i's 440 shot spec. As always, battery life can vary greatly depending on how the camera is being used with flash, Live View, video recording, temperature and other factors coming into play. The battery level indicator provides 4 steps of range.

The LP-E17 is charged with the included Canon LC-E17. This is a great compact charger that plugs directly into the wall. Optional is powering the camera directly from the wall using the AC Adapter AC-E6N or from the car using the DC Coupler DR-E18.

Dedicated Accessories

Standard has been for Canon to provide a battery grip for all of their flagship Rebel models (and all models above these). According to Canon USA, the 77D is not compatible with the T6s/T6i's battery grip, the Canon BG-E18 Battery Grip. At the time of this preview publication, there is no battery grip available for the 77D (or T7i).

Battery grips are great accessories; I hope Canon releases a compatible model before the EOS 77D lands on retail shelves.

Canon EOS 77D with EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lenses Compared

Accessories

I say it in each Canon EOS DSLR review, but the statement remains timeless. When you buy a Canon DSLR, you are buying into an incredible family of lenses, flashes and other accessories. The camera body (or multiple bodies as is more frequently the case today) is the base your system is built on and a lens is the next essential piece of kit.

Know up front that, especially with a high resolution imaging sensor in the camera, image quality will be only as good as the lens in front of the camera permits. Quality lenses rule.

The Canon EOS 77D is available as a body-only kit (kit of accessories sans lens) in a kit with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens or otherwise in a kit with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. For the cost, the EF-S 18-55 promises to be a useful lens and a decent value while the EF-S 18-135 is an especially good choice from both a quality and focal length range perspective.

The lens used on any DSLR can make a big difference in image quality and the lens recommendations page has the most up-to-date list of the best lens options. A general purpose lens is usually the first needed in a kit. Then add, minimally, a telephoto zoom lens and a wide angle zoom lens to make your kit especially functional.

Utilizing this camera's new Bluetooth capability is the simultaneously-announced Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote. Want to be part of your own family picture? Or just don't want to deal with a remote release cord when using a tripod? This is an accessory you may want. In addition to being able to provide non-line-of-sight remote release functionality, this little device is also able to independently control AF and focal length zooming on compatible cameras and lenses (limited at this time).

The Canon EOS 77D is also compatible with the small, inexpensive Canon wireless remotes including the Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote. Unlike the Bluetooth option, the RC-6 requires line of site with the front of the camera. The 77D is not compatible with Canon's N3 wired remotes, but can use the basic Remote Switch RS-60E3.

Browse the reviews section of the site to find many more compatible accessories including flash systems, tripods & heads, cases and much more.

Price

Everyone loves the low price of the Canon EOS Rebel series. And, the very solid feature set provided by these cameras for that low price is what has driven this series to the top of the DSLR sales list for many years. The features value of these models makes for a proposition that is hard to pass up for many. How successful the EOS 77D is specifically will depend on the value that people place on this camera's additional features over the Rebel T7i. For the moderate price difference, I personally would choose the 77D over the T7i, but I'm guessing that the T7i will remain the better-selling model.

Wrap Up

Keeping a review of the incredibly-feature-laden Canon EOS 77D concise but complete will be a difficult balance to find and this review will not be a complete description of every 77D feature available. Canon will publish an intimidatingly-huge, but well designed owner's manual (a link to the manual will be provided with this review) that highlights all of the features found on this camera and explains their use. The manual will tell you all about a huge array of features including Highlight Tone Priority, Auto Lighting Optimizer (4 settings), Long exposure noise reduction, Peripheral illumination correction, lens correction (peripheral illumination, chromatic aberration and distortion), Shoot by lighting or scene type), Auto Exposure Bracketing, Picture Styles, Creative filters, flash setup and control, Long Exposure Noise Reduction ... and many, many other topics. Read the manual, go use the camera, repeat.

Owning a Canon product gives you access to Canon support and the support I have been provided by Canon's USA division is excellent (sorry, I have no experience with the other Canon divisions). When I call for support, I get an intelligent person who sincerely wants to help me with whatever my question or problem is (let's just say I challenge them sometimes). Canon repair service, though I seldom need it, is fast and reliable.

A 77D will be acquired online/retail for completion of this review.

Alternatives

Is the EOS EOS 77D the right camera for you? The answer to this question is going to be yes for many people, but looking at the alternatives is always a good idea. For someone considering the EOS EOS 77D purchase, the other current EOS models that should be considered include the EOS Rebel T7i and the EOS 80D.

For the first comparison, I'll pick the announced-at-the-same-time and very similarly-spec'd sibling, the EOS Rebel T7i. This comparison was shared at the beginning of this review, but having just talked about a price difference between them, I think it is worth looking these differences one more time. Though you will not likely find the comparison very enlightening, the detailed Canon EOS 77D vs. Rebel T7i specification comparison is available. Here is what you need to know – the EOS 77D advantages/differences:

  • Top LCD Data Panel vs. none
  • Top mode dial and power switch on left vs. right
  • Rear Control Dial vs. only Cross Keys
  • Multi-function Lock Switch vs. none
  • Auto Display-Off Sensor by the viewfinder vs. none
  • AF On button vs. none
  • All localities get to call it the same name vs. Rebel T7i, 800D and Kiss X9i

If the 77D's additional features were free, there would be no need for the T7i.

The next EOS DSLR higher in capabilities is the Canon EOS 80D. Check out the Canon EOS 77D vs. 80D specification comparison to fully compare these cameras, but here are some of the 77D vs. 80D differences:

  • DIGIC 7 vs. DIGIC 6
  • ISO 100-25600 (H1: 51200) vs. ISO 100-16000 (H1: 25600)
  • 80D has AF Microadjustment
  • 6fps vs. 7fps, 27 frames RAW vs. 25, unlimited frames JPEG Extra Fine L vs. 110
  • 1/4000 sec vs. 1/8000 sec shutter speed
  • Pentamirror (95%, 0.82x) vs. larger Pentaprism (100%, 0.95x) viewfinder
  • Spring-driven mirror vs. motor-driven mirror
  • Flash Built-in GN: 13.1 vs. 12
  • X-Sync: 1/200 sec. vs. 1/250 sec.
  • 77D has more creative modes on the mode dial while 80D has a pair of "C" (Custom) modes
  • 77D has Special Scene Group Photo
  • 80D has many more buttons on top
  • 77D has a Wi-Fi button
  • 80D has silent shooting drive modes
  • 80D has M-RAW and S-RAW
  • 77D has Bluetooth
  • 15 Custom Functions vs. 26 Custom Functions including AF parameter settings
  • 80D has headphone out port
  • Battery life is approx. 600 vs. 960 (AE 50%, FE 50%), though 80D battery is a bit larger
  • Battery indicator shows 4 levels vs. 6 levels plus a percentage capacity reported
  • 77D is slightly smaller: 5.16 x 3.93 x 3.00" vs. 5.19 x 3.96 x 3.06" (131.0 x 99.9 x 76.2mm vs. 131.9 x 100.7 x 77.8mm)
  • 77D is lighter: 19.1 oz vs. 25.8 oz (540g vs. 730g)
  • The 77D has a lower price

While the 80D is designed for a mid-level photographer, the 77D makes a strong case against it here. It is not unusual for even Canon's lowest end cameras, especially when released after a higher end model, to have some advantages over the higher end model's feature set.

What about the 77D's predecessor, the Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D? How does this camera compare? First, here is the full Canon EOS Rebel 77D vs. T6s specification comparison. Though this list is not nearly as long as the last one, some of the 77D vs. Rebel T6s differentiators are quite compelling:

  • 45 cross-type AF points vs. 19 cross-type AF points
  • 77D has Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • DIGIC 7 vs. DIGIC 6
  • Working range EV -3 to 18 vs. EV -0.5 to 18
  • ISO 100-25600 (H1: 51200) vs. ISO 100-12800 (H1: 25600)
  • 77D's LCD is going to be easier to grasp when retracted
  • 77D has Bluetooth
  • 77D has a Wi-Fi button
  • Built-in flash GN of 13.1 vs. 12
  • 6 fps vs. 5 fps, 27 frames RAW vs. 8, unlimited frames JPEG vs. 940 images
  • Battery life of approx. 600 vs. 440 (AE 50%, FE 50%)
  • 77D gains an AF-On button

If none of those line items are important to you, stay with the T6s. But, there are several 77D advantages listed here that add a lot of capability to the camera.

Canon EOS 77D Front

Summary

The 77D is positioned mid-level, as step up from the Rebel series cameras yet remaining decidedly below the 80D in Canon's lineup, targeting moderately serious but non-professional photographers. While I'm sure that Canon is trying to better differentiate this model from the Rebels, it is still primarily a Rebel in my mind. It has the same size and shape along with nearly identical features as the announced-at-the-same-time Rebel T7i. However, the few feature differentiators are valuable, making it a better choice for most photographers – as long as the higher price tag does not trip up this decision.

From an upgrade perspective, the pair of new AF systems (45 pt traditional phase detection system and Dual Pixel AF system) alone promise to make the 77D a great upgrade from the Rebel T6s. A faster frame rate and greatly increased RAW image buffer depth are also very-welcomed improvements.

The Rebel camera models are targeted at beginners and people with only a mild interest in pursuing their photographic passions, but nonetheless want great image quality. While I think the 77D is going to be suitable even for some professional uses, including as a backup to a higher end model, this camera model is expected to capture a tremendous number of memories. Memories with family and friends, memories of travel and vacations, memories of life events and a long list beyond these.

Like the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, I expect the 77D to deliver professional grade image quality from a compact, lightweight, feature-filled, very-easy-to-use body that carries a modest price tag.

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My Recommended Canon EOS 77D Retailers

Where you buy your gear matters. You expect to get what you ordered and you want to pay a low price for it. The retailers I recommend below are the ones I trust for my own purchases. Get your Canon EOS 77D now from:

B&H Photo
Adorama
Amazon.com
the Canon Store (new)
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