Take the excellent, higher-end Canon EOS 80D and pack many of its core features into a smaller EOS Rebel-sized body and ... you essentially have an EOS Rebel T7i / 800D. These inherited features include the excellent 24.2 mp imaging sensor, the impressive Dual Pixel AF system, the 80D-introduced 45-point all cross-type conventional AF system and many more.
Like the EOS Rebel T-something-i models before it, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i (named 800D and Kiss X9i in some localities) delivers professional grade image quality (equivalent to the 80D) in a compact, lightweight, feature-filled, easy-to-use body that carries a very affordable price tag. These are the qualities that have anchored the flagship Canon Rebel model in the top-selling DSLRs category for many years and this design approach is continued and advanced with the Rebel T7i. While it is an extremely capable camera, the simplicity built into the Rebel series makes these cameras an ideal choice for beginners and advanced photographer alike.
When the T7i's predecessor, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750, was announced, a more-featured Rebel model, the Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D was simultaneously announced. There is no Rebel T7s, but ... the also-introduced 77D is essentially that model. While nearly identical to the T7i in most regards, the 77D has a superset of the T7i's features and ... a modestly higher price tag. Learn more about the model differences in the 77D Review.
Because the similarity between the T7i and 77D is so high, it didn't make sense to do a complete evaluation of both models. To ensure that I evaluated the full feature set of both cameras, I opted to go hands-on with the 77D and this review is based on experience with that model. If you read the complete Canon EOS 77D review, this review can be skipped.
Here is a 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 T6 / 1300D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.80x||95%||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 T5i / 700D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.85x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.85x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.85x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.87x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.7µm||4752 x 3168||15.1||.87x||95%||f/7.5|
|Canon EOS 77D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||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||22.3 x 14.9mm||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 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|
The Rebel T7i, like all of the digital Rebel models before it, features 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).
Worth mentioning is that the APS-C sensor format, though much smaller than the full frame sensor format, is huge relative to the imaging sensors found in mobile phones and point-and-shoot-type cameras. Similarly, the image quality coming from a DSLR camera completely blows away that from a smartphone, especially in low light.
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.
While this camera's predecessor, the EOS Rebel T6i, and the T6s share this megapixel count, none of the older Rebels have the Dual Pixel AF feature found in the T7i and some of the other models listed above, so that is one obvious difference. To be specific, the T7i inherits the excellent imaging sensor found in the EOS 80D, one that is also shared by the EOS 77D, EOS M5 and EOS M6.
Having the same imaging sensor, my strong expectation was that the Rebel T7i (77D) and 80D resolution results would look very similar and, as seen in the Rebel T7i vs. Rebel T6i comparison, change in resolution is not a good reason to upgrade to the T7i from the T6i. Fortunately there are many other good reasons to upgrade and those using older Rebel models may indeed find resolution to be a nice upgrade factor. Build your own comparisons using the just-provided link. Results for many other EOS DSLRs are available in the image quality comparison tool using the referenced 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 than this and be discerning with your exposure choices. Use the tool to learn how diffraction affects sharpness and you will be prepared to make knowledgeable decisions 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. 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 T7i.
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 expected no worse in this regard from the T7i, and with the T7i'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 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 T7i vs. T6i 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 T7i at least matches the T6i's pixel-level noise and even appears to slightly exceed it at very high ISO settings.
Here are some additional comparisons worth viewing, all initialized at ISO 3200 as differences are more readily seen at high ISO settings:
To my eyes, the 80D became the APS-C EOS class leader, or very close to it, in regards to noise levels and the Rebel T7i/77D are repeat performances of the 80D. The differences seen in these comparisons linked to above are, by themselves, not likely to generate an urgent need to upgrade from any of the compared models from a low noise perspective. However, the difference from some older models will make the upgrade a very attractive proposition. Comparisons against full frame models will show the advantage of a larger sensor.
As the ISO setting increases, noise becomes more apparent. This is and always has been the rule. The big question is, how apparent is the difference between camera models? If you can't see the difference, you will not likely discern it in your images either.
The T7i's ISO 100 results are very clean – this is the norm for Canon EOS cameras. Noise levels steadily increase as higher ISO settings are used until I get uncomfortable with noise levels at around ISO 6400. ISO 6400-captured images are noisy, but they can be usable. I consider ISO 12800 a last resort and a significant percentage of the details get lost in the low signal-to-noise ratio at ISO 25600. The ISO 51200 option is there, but its greatest value is from a marketing or bragging rights perspective because results at this setting look terrible.
The RAW-captured standard results discussed above 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 and while there is a time to use the Neutral Picture Style in production, I usually change my RAW images to the Standard Picture Style immediately after importing them and then adjust sharpness to a lower-than-default level.
In addition to the standard T7i 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 T7i 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, T7i 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 Rebel series and 77D models compared to higher end models including the 80D with 1/3 stop ISO increments available. A shutter speed and/or aperture setting change is required for less-than-full-stop exposure adjustments.
Like the 77D, the flagship Rebel T7i is not targeted for professional use, though the image quality the camera offers far surpasses the minimum quality needed for professional use.
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 T7i writes image files to a SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I memory card. For an ISO 100 image, you can estimate roughly 1.3MB in Canon RAW file size per megapixel of resolution for a file size of about 31 MB. Increased resolution means larger files and larger files mean your memory cards hold fewer images. Memory cards have become very inexpensive and large files sizes are a minor problem in this regard. 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).
If your computer hard drive is lacking in capacity, simply add external storage.
Seldom is faster not better than slower in terms of a camera's high speed frame rate. Synonymous with the Rebel line used to be a painfully-slow frame rate with the Rebel T1i mustering up a mere 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, up from the T3i's still slow 3.7 fps. And now, the T7i takes us up to a respectable 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 T6 / 1300D||3.0||1110||6||120ms||170ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||4.0||28/1140||7/8||75ms|
|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, the EOS 5Ds R model I use for most other tasks has a frame rate 1 fps slower than the T7i and that 5 fps is adequate for most needs. As I said, faster is better and it is very nice to see the Rebel line now reaching 6 fps, becoming a more-capable camera.
Canon's frame rate numbers have always proven exactly right or very close to it and this one (using the 77D) tested 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 T7i's 21/27 (w/o UHS-I, w/ UHS-I) rating is a considerable improvement and this improvement is 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 T7i has.
To test the Canon EOS T7i/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.
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 T7i'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 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 was short enough to be a non-issue for me.
The T7i's fastest shutter speed is 1/4000 second (fast, but generally the slowest max speed available) and the max flash synch (X-synch) shutter speed is 1/200.
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 with a 77D 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 T7i/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, with great emphasis on accuracy.
To that end, Canon introduced a completely new AF system with the 80D and that system has now migrated to the Rebel T7i (and 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 this system'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 provided at beginning of this review) has 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 Rebel T7i features AF with f/8 maximum aperture lens combinations is really big news; it is the first camera in this category to do so.
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 for the specific combinations supported.
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 T7i 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 Rebel T7i'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 below.
A major advantage the T7i 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 (again, the specific model tested) 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 Rebel T7i 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 Rebel 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. It's reasonable to assume that the Rebel T7i's AF performance mirrors 77D's.
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 T7i'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 T7i'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 T7i 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 T7i, whereas the format is a selectable option for traditional video recording on the 80D.
The Rebel T7i 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 / 24 fps (23.98 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 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 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 Rebel T7i'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 T7i'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 Rebel T7i's video-specific features make it an attractive option for those with a primary interest in film production. While DSLR filmmakers will likely account for a decent number of Rebel T7i orders, it is more likely that a great number of photographers who purchase the Rebel T7i will subsequently become interested in DSLR filmmaking as a result of testing the camera's great video features.
Utilizing the T7i'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 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.
The bottom set of results show off the Canon EOS 80D's (and Rebel T7i'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 EOS Rebel models 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 T7i 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 T7i viewfinder (owner's manual representation shown above), only the relevant information is shown at any one time.
An extremely valuable T7i 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 T7i's eyecup is removable and the dioptric adjustment knob allows the image in the viewfinder to be focused to the user's eye.
To owners of the Rebel T6i, T5i, T4i and even previous Rebel models, the T7i is going to feel very familiar in your hand with a very short learning curve. The flagship Canon Rebel model has remained largely unchanged through many iterations from a layout standpoint and that is a good aspect of the T7i. This camera's user interface is very refined and beginners will not find it hard to learn. Let's take a look at the Rebel T7i starting on the back side.
Canon's Rebel camera back design has long been dialed in and few changes to this mature design have been in recent models. With two exceptions, the back of the Rebel T7i is identical to the T6i (which is nearly identical to the T5i, T4i and T3i). The primary exception is the addition of a Wi-Fi button, located just above the Cross Keys. The other 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.
To compare the Rebel T7i with many additional 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 this 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 a seldom occurrence.
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 exposure lock and the rightmost button initiates 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 still do and this is still 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 adjustable. This LCD is found in many of Canon's current EOS models (including in the 80D, 77D, Rebel T6i and Rebel T5i) and ... it is a strong asset to this camera. Having the LCD able to articulate into a wide range of angles is also a big 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 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 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 an AF point during Live View and more. As I use the touch-enabled LCDs with greater frequency, I find myself using this feature with greater frequency over the buttons and dials.
Aside from image and video playback, display Options include camera settings and the Quick Control Screen, accessed via the "Q" button found below the Aperture/Exposure Compensation button to the right of the LCD. As mentioned, this Rebel model gets a Wi-Fi button, located just to the right of the aperture/exposure compensation and "Q" buttons. Easy to find at the bottom right of the LCD are the playback and erase buttons, logically placed next to each other. 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 the next-up EOS 77D model, have rear control dials, making them easier and faster to use. Still, the cross keys work fine and are arguably easier for some functions.
The memory card door and the write activity light round out the T7i back view.
Moving to another side of the camera showing lots of functionality, we find the top of the Rebel T7i appearing nearly exactly the same as the Rebel T6i. The Wi-Fi indicator has changed positions slightly, the shape of the flash cutout around the hot shoe is slightly rounder and a new creative mode has been added to the mode dial.
The camera product images comparison tool allows comparison of many additional Canon EOS models.
The primary feature on the left side of the camera top is the Wi-Fi indicator light. The right side is far more feature laden, including a trio of function buttons located below the shutter release and top dial, within easy reach of the index finger. 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. Prior to the T6i, Rebel models had only the ISO button on the top.
The three-position power switch remains with video recording being the third option. While video recording does not seem power-related, the location of this function is convenient. On the 77D, until I acclimated, I frequently pushed the power switch too far, enabling video mode when stills mode was desired.
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, but ... this update finds the T7i dial appearing very similar to the T6i. The addition of the Filters Creative mode and the omission of a decorative ring around the dial are the difference I see.
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 Rebels have many automatic modes that those higher-priced 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, T7i 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. It seems that 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) Group Photo.
Missing on the mode dial are the more-advanced C ("Custom") modes that allow a specific set of camera settings to be saved and quickly recalled.
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 beginning users 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 T6i 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 reverse this trend, though only slightly.
Here is a size and weight comparison chart showing the T7i, T6i 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 T6 / 1300D||5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1"||(129.0 x 101.3 x 77.6mm)||17.1 oz (485g)|
|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 Rebel T5i / 700D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm)||20.5 oz (580g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm)||20.3 oz (575g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(133.1 x 99.5 x 79.7mm)||20.1 oz (570g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"||(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)||18.7 oz (530g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"||(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)||18.6 oz (527g)|
|Canon EOS 77D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"||(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)||19.0 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 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 T7i is large enough to be very usable. In fact, the first observation I made upon opening the 77D box was that the grip on this camera was very significantly deeper than that of its predecessors. I excitedly called Canon to find out if the T7i grip was the same and the rep took both of the just arrived models out of his cabinet and provided the "Yes!" answer.
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 T7i'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 T7i is the flagship Canon EOS Rebel model, it is a relatively inexpensive DSLR. Still, the T7i's build quality is not reflected by its price. Though its light weight can be deceptive, this is a very nicely built camera with a high quality feel to it – similar to that of the T6i. The EOS Rebel T7i 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 T7i 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 Rebel T7i 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 dust and 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 was not included in 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 stayed relatively clean and the T7i/77D seems to be performing at least as good.
As with all other Rebel models before it, the T7i 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 T6i and most of Canon's other recent DSLR cameras featuring a built-in flash, the T7i 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 Rebel T7i 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 T7i 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 T7i (or 77D).
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 Rebel T7i is available as a body-only kit (no lens included), in a kit with the introduced-at-the-same-time 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 f/4-5.6 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 Rebel T7i 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 T7i 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 the 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, and especially this one, makes for a proposition that is hard to pass up for many.
Keeping a review of the incredibly-feature-laden Rebel T7i concise but complete is a difficult balance to find and this review is not a complete description of every Rebel T7i feature available. Canon has published an intimidatingly-huge, but well designed owner's manual (a link to the manual is provided at the beginning of 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 included. 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 (I am a challenge to them sometimes). Canon repair service, though I seldom need it, is fast and reliable.
As mentioned, an EOS 77D, nearly identical to the Rebel T7i, was used to create the Rebel T7i review. This camera was acquired online/retail.
Is the EOS Rebel T7i the right camera for you? The answer to this question is of course going to be yes for a considerable volume of people, but looking at the alternatives is always a good idea. For someone considering the EOS Rebel T7i purchase, the other current EOS models that should be considered include the EOS 77D, EOS 80D and EOS Rebel T6.
For the first comparison, I'll pick the announced-at-the-same-time and nearly-identically-spec'd sibling, the Canon EOS 77D. Though you will not likely find the comparison very enlightening, the detailed Canon EOS Rebel T7i vs. 77D 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 reason for the T7i to exist.
The next EOS DSLR higher in capabilities is the Canon EOS 80D. Check out the Canon EOS Rebel T7i vs. 80D specification comparison to fully compare these cameras, but here are some of the Rebel T7i vs. 80D differentiators:
While the 80D is designed for a mid-level photographer, the T7i 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.
Another camera model that prospective Rebel T7i owners will be considering is the lower-end, lower-priced Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D. Here is the full Canon EOS Rebel T7i vs. Rebel T6 specification comparison. The differentiators are much stronger in this comparison than in the last:
The list of Rebel T7i advantages over the Rebel T6 are compelling and, as long as the price difference is surmountable, this is an upgrade I recommend considering very strongly.
What about the T7i's predecessor, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D? How does this camera compare? First, here is the full Canon EOS Rebel T7i vs. T6i specification comparison. Though the following list is not nearly as long as the last one, some of the Rebel T7i vs. T6i differentiators are quite compelling:
If none of those line items are important to you, stay with the T6i. But, there are several T7i advantages listed here that add a lot of capability to the camera.
When Canon introduces a new flagship Rebel camera model, it is always the best ever. That has never been a question. But, the amount of "better" definitely varies with each new model. It was a challenge to recommend the T5i over the T4i when there was a substantial difference in price. Fortunately, the T6i had a lot of "better" in it and it became a great choice from among the Rebel line and among DSLR cameras in general.
While improvements in image quality are not going to make T6i owners upgrade to the T7i, the pair of new AF systems (45 pt traditional phase detection system and Dual Pixel AF system) alone make the T7i a great upgrade from the predecessor model. 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 the T7i is going to be suitable even for some professional uses, including as a backup to a higher end model, this Rebel 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.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7i delivers great professional grade image quality in a compact, lightweight, feature-filled, very-easy-to-use body that carries a very affordable price tag. Watch for it to hit the best sellers list.
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