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. Though missing "Rebel" in its name, the 77D has Rebel DNA and once again this model version is more-featured than its sibling.
I admit to often not understanding Canon's product name choices and interesting is the choice of the "Rebel"-lacking 77D name. 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 have an even tens number, with perhaps the most currently relevant being the 70D and the (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 for better differentiation, the 77D is not physically like the rest of the *0D models. So, even though the 77D does not bear a "Rebel" moniker, it is a very 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
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 the country where you live.
If the additional features were free, there would of course be no need for the T7i and the 77D to coexist and your expectations are probably right – the more-fully-featured 77D has a higher price tag.
If you read the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D review page, most 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 compact, lightweight DSLR camera with a high end feature set, professional-grade image quality and a modest price tag. Let's look at some of the key and/or new features found in this camera:
Following is a chart that shows several sensor specifications for the bulk of Canon's recent DSLR offerings.
|Canon EOS M5||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||100%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS M6||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||opt||100%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS M10||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||n/a||n/a||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.87x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||.82x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||.82x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.80x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS 77D||1.6x||22.5 x 15.0mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||.82x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||.82x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS 80D||1.6x||22.5 x 15.0mm||3.7µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||.95x||100%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS 70D||1.6x||22.5 x 15.0mm||4.1µm||5472 x 3648||20.2||.95x||98%||f/6.6|
|Canon EOS 60D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.95x||96%||f/6.9|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||1.6x||22.4 x 15.0mm||4.1µm||5472 x 3648||20.2||1.0x||100%||f/6.6|
|Canon EOS 6D||1.0x||35.8 x 23.9mm||6.54µm||5472 x 3648||20.2||.71x||97%||f/10.5|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||5.36µm||6720 x 4480||30.4||.71x||100%||f/8.6|
|Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||4.14µm||8688 x 5792||50.6||.71x||100%||f/6.7|
All of Canon's **D DSLR models, including the 77D, feature an APS-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).
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 was that the 77D and 80D resolution results would look the same and that is essentially the case (77D vs. 80D comparison). Using the just-provided link, build your own comparison to the Canon DSLR you currently own or are comparing to the 77D. 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 APS-C 24.2 mp imaging sensors having a 3.7µm pixel pitch, diffraction begins impacting sharpness with apertures narrower than f/6.0. Results at f/8 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. Note that diffraction is directly related to the sensor density and is irrespective of camera brand.
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. The 80D results were not only as good as its lower resolution 70D predecessor, but very slightly improved. I expected no worse in this regard from the 77D, and with the 77D's top ISO setting bumped up one stop, I thought it may even show some modest improvements in this regard.
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. Keep in mind that many real-world subjects are more detailed and better hide noise; these samples represent a worst-case scenario.
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 and becoming the APS-C EOS class leader. I expected results to be at least as good from the 77D, and expectations were met.
Here are a couple of additional comparisons worth viewing, all initialized at ISO 3200 as differences are more readily seen at high ISO settings:
While the 77D has the advantage, 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. That the 80D-grade sensor, including the one in the 77D, has increased dynamic range is a much-appreciated advantage.
As the ISO setting increases, noise becomes more apparent. This is and always has been the rule. How apparent the difference is between camera models is the big question. If you can't see the difference in the tests demonstrated above, you will not likely discern it in your images either.
The 77D'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 was not anticipating good results from an APS-C sensor at ISO 51200 and ... the 77D did not surprise me. This setting seems more like a marketing feature than a useful one to me.
The RAW-captured standard results utilize Canon's DPP (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.
In addition to the standard 77D test results, you will find a set of images showing the DPP auto-applied noise reduction settings. Noise reduction processing, available in various strengths in-camera or during post processing, makes a big difference in noticeable noise levels. The downside is that noise reduction is destructive to image details, so the optimal balance must be found and I suggest that you start with the off setting if shooting at ISO 100 or 200 and the low setting for the higher ISO settings. Or, better yet, shoot in RAW format and adjust to taste later.
Like many other recent EOS models, the 77D features MSNR (Multi Shot Noise Reduction). MSNR merges information from multiple exposures captured in an automatic max-frame-rate burst into a single reduced noise JPG (only) image. While MSNR shows great improvement (roughly 2 stops) (80D example), 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.
Adding one stop of ISO beyond what the Rebel T6i and T6s made available, 77D ISO settings are available in full 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 models compared to the higher end models including the 80D. A shutter speed and/or aperture setting change is required for less-than-full-stop exposure adjustments.
While the 77D is not targeted for professional use, the image quality the 77D produces far surpasses the minimum quality needed for professional use. The 80D images easily qualified for such use and with no reduction in image quality, the 77D now delivers the same – at a lower price point.
The following table shows comparative RAW file sizes for a photo of a standard in-studio setup with a moderately-high amount of detail taken with the referenced Canon EOS DSLR body.
|Model / File Size in MB @ ISO:||(MP)||100||200||400||800||1600||3200||6400||12800||25600||51200||102400||204800||409600|
|Canon EOS M5||(24.2)||33.8||34.7||35.7||37.1||39.0||41.3||44.7||46.5||52.8|
|Canon EOS M3||(24.2)||32.8||33.5||34.7||36.2||37.9||40.2||42.9||46.7||50.0|
|Canon EOS M6||(24.2)||34.1||34.8||35.9||37.6||39.6||42.0||45.1||46.9||53.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1||(18.0)||23.7||24.2||24.8||25.8||27.1||28.7||30.8||33.4||37.2|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D||(24.0)||30.6||31.2||32.1||33.3||34.9||37.0||39.6||42.4||47.0||51.1|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6i / T6s||(24.0)||30.3||31.0||31.9||33.2||35.0||37.1||39.8||42.8||46.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6||(18.0)||24.7||25.1||25.8||26.7||27.9||29.3||31.4||33.9|
|Canon EOS 77D||(24.0)||30.6||31.2||32.1||33.3||34.9||37.0||39.6||42.4||47.0||51.1|
|Canon EOS 80D||(24.2)||31.2||31.9||32.7||34.0||35.9||37.9||40.6||43.7||47.5|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||(20.2)||25.5||25.9||26.7||27.7||28.9||30.6||32.7||35.1||37.9||41.0|
|Canon EOS 6D||(20.2)||25.3||25.6||26.0||26.7||27.9||29.2||30.9||33.1||35.3||38.6||42.5|
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 file 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-site storage).
Hopefully your computer storage has enough hard drive space available, but if not, it is simple to add external storage.
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 T7i and 77D (I know, it is not technically a "Rebel", but ...) take us to 6.0 fps.
|Model||FPS||Max JPG||Max RAW||Shutter Lag||VF Blackout|
|Canon EOS M5||7/9||26||n/a|
|Canon EOS M6||7/9||n/a|
|Canon EOS M10||4.6||1000||7|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||4.0||28/1140||7/8||75ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D||3.0||1110||6||120ms||170ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D||6.0||190/Full||21/27||70ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D||5.0||180/Full||7/8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D||5.0||22/30||6/6||75ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||5.0||30||6||75ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||3.7||34||6||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||3.7||34||6||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||3.4||170||9||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS 77D||6.0||190/Full||21/27||70ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D||5.0||180/Full||7/8|
|Canon EOS 80D||7.0||77/110||20/25||60ms||n/a|
|Canon EOS 70D||7.0||40/65||15/16||65ms||97ms|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||10.0||130||31||55ms||100ms|
|Canon EOS 6D||4.5||73/1250||14/17||<60ms|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||7.0||Full||17||58ms||86ms|
|Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R||5.0||31/Full||12/14||59ms||125ms|
While the camera I choose to photograph sports and fast action with has a considerably faster frame rate than the 77D, the EOS 5Ds R model I use for most other tasks has a frame rate 1 fps slower than the 77D and 5 fps is adequate for most of my needs. As I said, faster is better and it is very nice to see the Rebel and 77D lines now reaching 6 fps.
Canon's frame rate numbers have always proven exactly right or very close to it and this one tested precisely at 6.01 fps.
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 I'm finding this improvement especially valuable for photographing action, permitting very noticeably longer durations of action to be captured.
To test the Canon EOS 77D's RAW file buffer specs, the camera was configured to use ISO 100, a 1/4000 shutter speed (no waiting for the shutter operation), a wide open aperture (no time lost due to aperture blades closing) and manual focus (no focus lock delay). The lens cap remained on (insuring a black file and the smallest file size) and a freshly-formatted fast Lexar 128GB Professional 1000x UHS-II SDXC U3 Memory Card was inserted. The EOS 77D repeatedly captured 33 frames at the rated drive speed, exceeding the buffer specification. Using this card, an additional RAW frame was captured every .33 seconds after the buffer filled.
Few are going to complain about the 190/Full, shoot until the card is full, JPG spec the 77D has.
Shutter lag is another formerly-lacking spec that has been showing continuous improvement in the Rebel line. Well, lacking relative to the other EOS DSLRs – Rebel shutter lag has long been lightning-fast relative to many other camera types. The 77D's 70ms shutter lag spec is a good number with the shutter feeling quite responsive. 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 a 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 blackout time is a non-issue to me in use.
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 the 1/8000 second setting and most needs are satisfied by 1/4000.
The Rebel 77D's max flash synch (X-synch) shutter speed is 1/200. While this is the longest such EOS spec, it is a very common one.
Always beneficial for understanding the speed of a specific frame rate is a visual example. Drag your mouse over the labels under the following image for a visual look at the 6 fps rate.
The above examples were captured using a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens (200mm, f/2.8, 1/2500, ISO 100).
A positive aspect of the Rebel camera models has been, and continues to be, the relatively quiet sound they make.
Following are links to MP3 files capturing the sounds of the Canon EOS 77D.
Camera sounds are recorded using a Tascam DR-07mkII Portable Digital Audio Recorder with record levels set to 50% at -12db gain and positioned 1" behind the rear LCD.
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:
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 ocurring after recomposing after focusing. Simply focus on the subject by half-pressing the shutter release, recompose and fully press the shutter release.
However, the story is different when depth of field is shallow and/or the subject is in motion. 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) and other similar AF adjustment parameters (such as AI Servo 1st/2nd Image Priority) 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.
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. The 77D focuses in light levels so low that I had difficult seeing. AF lock times can increase significantly in low light, but 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.
Also note that the 77D has fewer Custom Control options compared to higher end models, with only 4 buttons available for customization.
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 options 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 77D performed extremely well in this mode, including under a wide variety of situations, very quickly and reliably focusing on the intended subject.
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, being track and field season, the 77D accompanied me to several such events, in weather ranging from light rain to bright sunlight. Using the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens at 200mm f/2.8, the 77D results were not so impressive with a higher-than-expected number of miss-focused images. The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens at 250mm f/5.6, with greater depth of field (and not as sharp image quality), produced results that were mostly acceptable.
While the 77D should perform similarly to the 80D and I have not had direct apples-to-apples comparisons available, I found the 80D to perform better for some reason.
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. It features improved tracking sensitivity, allowing for better AF results in challenging, low-light conditions than the original implementation. Those capturing video in dimly lit venues will especially appreciate the improved tracking experienced in Movie Servo AF. The 77D's DPAF performs very similar to the conventional AF system in terms of speed – very fast.
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, Smooth zone, and Live 1-point AF. All work very well and the face detection technology is especially impressive. The ability to adjust AF speed and tracking sensitivity is not provided in this implementation. 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.
DSLR video has matured a lot and, especially with Dual Pixel CMOS AF in use, very high grade video quality is now the baseline of what you can expect from an EOS DSLR. The 77D gets the same video capabilities as the EOS 80D with the sole difference being that the .MOV format is only available in time-lapse recording on the 77D, whereas the format is a selectable option for traditional video recording on the 80D.
The 77D records video in .MP4 format (IPB/IPB light) using the MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 codec. As noted, time-lapse movies are recorded in .MOV format (ALL-I). Audio is recorded in AAC (.MP4) via dual front microphones (producing stereo sound) or the 3.5mm stereo input jack; no audio is recorded during Time-lapse Movie capture. 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.
Available frame rates and compression include:
MOV (only used for time-lapse movies):
1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30 fps (29.97 fps) / 25 fps
ALL-I compression only
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 pseudo-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 SCN Mode with recording set to 1080p, 30 or 25fps.
Creative Filters Movie Mode can be enabled. Creative Filters mode options include one of five filter types: 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 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 decent 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 easy-to-use video features.
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 enhanced 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 performs 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 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 image 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.
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.
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 unseen 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 the smaller size and the 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. Canon's 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.
While it may appear that there is a lot going on in the of the 77D viewfinder (owner's manual representation shown above), only the relevant information is shown at any one time.
An extremely valuable 77D feature shown in the viewfinder is an electronic level indication. While I find this indication to be very helpful, I do not find this particular indicator to be the best available.
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.
As discussed, 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.
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. One more 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 that the former slide lock is now a lever lock.
Here is a comparative look at many current and previous EOS DSLR cameras:
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 button, 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 remains my preferred way to handle that function.
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 manually 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. Extended and forward-facing, this LCD makes self-recording easy.
Canon does not currently include the vari-angle feature on higher end models, but I often wish these cameras 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 permit an index finger and thumb to grasp the LCD vs. digging it out with just the thumb and then repositioning the grasp to make adjustments. This is 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 within the Rear Control Dial 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. Canon has a number of versions of this dial and I was hoping for a repeat of the sharply-defined dial from the EOS M5/M3/M6, but the edge of the 77D's dial is more rounded, making it slightly less easily located.
The memory card door and the write activity light round out the 77D back view. The door is not spring-loaded, but works easily enough.
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.
The camera product images 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 function is the LCD illumination. The left-most button allows AF Area selection and 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. However, I seem to push the switch past the middle setting more frequently than I should. 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") and the 77D (and T7i) follow that trend. However, this update's change, 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 from a technological standpoint 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.
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 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? This is the Special Scene Mode. Basically, Canon ran out of space on the dial for all of the modes they wanted to provide several 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 beginning photographers and, while the traditional menu system remains optionally available, new mode and feature guides are available to help beginners interface with the camera and its settings, educating the photographer and improving the quality of images they capture at the same time.
Moving to the left side of the camera finds a design very similar to the T6s and other recent T*i Rebel models.
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.
The right side of the camera (the grip side) basically has only the non-spring-loaded memory card door and a port for an AC adapter.
A distinction of the Rebel cameras has been their small size and light weight. These are cameras that can be taken everywhere with you without becoming a burden. 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.
|Model||Body Dimensions||CIPA Weight|
|Canon EOS M5||4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4"||(115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm)||15.1 oz (427g)|
|Canon EOS M6||4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8"||(112.0 x 68.0 x 44.5mm)||13.8 oz (390g)|
|Canon EOS M10||4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4"||(108.0 x 66.6 x 35mm)||10.6 oz (301g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7"||(116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm)||14.4 oz (407g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"||(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)||18.8 oz (532g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D||5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1"||(131.9 x 100.9 x 77.8mm)||19.8 oz (560g)|
|Canon EOS 77D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"||(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)||19.1 oz (540g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D||5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1"||(131.9 x 100.9 x 77.8mm)||19.8 oz (560g)|
|Canon EOS 80D||5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1"||(139.0 x 105.2 x 78.5mm)||25.8 oz (730g)|
|Canon EOS 70D||5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1"||(139.0 x 104.3 x 78.5mm)||26.7 oz (755g)|
|Canon EOS 60D||5.7 x 4.2 x 3.1"||(144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm)||26.6 oz (755g)|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1"||(148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2mm)||32.1 oz (910g)|
|Canon EOS 6D||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8"||(144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm)||26.6 oz (755g)|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0"||(150.7 x 116.4 X 75.9mm)||31.4 oz (890g)|
|Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R||6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0"||(152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm)||32.8 oz (930g)|
Though small, the 77D is large enough to be very usable. In fact, the first observation I made upon opening the box was that the grip on this camera was very significantly deeper than that of its predecessors.
When making a camera smaller, it seems that the handgrip is the first real estate sacrificed to meet the goal. However, for anyone holding a camera even a modest amount of time, that usability sacrifice is a tough one. The 77D's grip is deep enough that I can grasp the camera (with a modest-sized lens) with only three fingers, allowing my right thumb to access buttons and dials without fearing lost grip on the camera. This camera design provides adequate control over the larger professional-grade lenses and a super telephoto lens is not too large to comfortably mount on this camera.
While the 77D is positioned above the Rebel line in features and abilities, it is still a near-entry-level Rebel including a relatively low price tag. However, the 77D's build quality is not reflected in its price. Though its light weight can be deceptive, the EOS 77D is a high-quality, solidly-built (relative to its place in the lineup), modestly-sized DSLR camera that feels very comfortable in the hand.
Canon provides great ergonomics essentially void of sharp corners and edges on all of its EOS models. Especially with its large grip, the 77D feels very comfortable in my hand and remains 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 for 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 dusty or wet conditions are possible.
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 and T7i. These cameras have built-in Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communication) and new is 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.
Canon's higher end EOS models 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. That RAW conversion feature did not yet make it to the 77D and Rebel T7i.
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 T6s sensor did a good job at staying clean and the 77D seems to be performing at least as good.
As with all other Rebel and **D 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.
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.
Using one of 4 available channels, take complete control of up to 2 groups of flashes (A,B) with ratios of up to 8:1 including ±3 stops FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation). Group C flashes can be triggered when the camera is set to the "All" Firing group, but every flash (regardless of the assigned group) will be triggered at the same exposure level (effectively working as a single group). 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.
The 77D utilizes the same Li-ion battery pack found in the Rebel T6i, the LP-E17 Battery. 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 T6s' 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.
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 review, there is no battery grip available for the 77D (or T7i).
Battery grips are great accessories; it would be nice if Canon released a compatible model at some point.
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 basic accessories sans lens), in a kit with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens or 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 versatile.
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.
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. The success of the EOS 77D 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, despite the new product segmentation.
Keeping a review of the incredibly-feature-laden Canon EOS 77D concise but complete is a difficult balance to find and this review is not a complete description of every 77D feature available. Canon has published an intimidatingly-huge, but well designed owner's manual (a link to the manual is 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, 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 ... and many, many other topics are covered. 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 (and I challenge them sometimes). Canon repair service, though I seldom need it, is fast and reliable.
The reviewed 77D was acquired online/retail.
Is the 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 wise idea. For someone considering the 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:
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:
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 the differences list is not nearly as long as the last one, some of the 77D vs. Rebel T6s differentiators are quite compelling:
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.
The 77D is positioned mid-level, a step up from the Rebel series cameras, yet remains decidedly below the 80D in Canon's lineup, targeting moderately serious 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 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 a mild-to-moderate interest in pursuing photographic passions, but nonetheless want great image quality. While I think the 77D is 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, the 77D delivers professional grade image quality from a compact, lightweight, feature-filled, very-easy-to-use body with a modest price tag.
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