Canon continues the pattern of releasing two cameras at the same time by unveiling an entry level camera and a DSLR that is more aimed toward the professional photographer. The EOS Rebel T7i/ EOS 800D was released at about the same time as the EOS 77D and they share a lot of the features although the aim is to have some design principles that differentiate them more clearly than it was the case with the Rebel T6s /760D and EOS Rebel T6i/ EOS 750D.
The sensor of the EOS 77D is an APS-C CMOS of 24.2MP which uses the latest Canon technology and it is the same one used for the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D. The sensor comes with on-chip conversion technology that transfers analog to digital as it was the case with the EOS 5D Mark IV and this allows images that have a lot less noise than the older sensors.
The new DIGIC 7 image processor has a native range of 100 to 25,600 and it can be brought to up to an ISO equivalent of 51,200. Aside from this, the AF performance should also be improved from the previous models. There is a 45-point all-cross-type phase detect autofocus system and the camera has a 6fps continuous shooting capability.
Video capture comes at a 1080/60p resolution with microphone input and the EOS 77D comes with a 5-axis image stabilization system which is made to shoot hand-held footage. There is no 4K capture for this camera and this can be seen as a problem for those who focus more on the video part, so keep this in mind when thinking about what to buy.
The battery life is really good as it can last for 600 shots but if you use the rear display a lot then this will drop significantly to only 270 shots so keep that in mind. The interface is very easy to use and you get a user guide in the camera to help you understand the key controls.
The LCD screen has three inches and a resolution of 1,040,000 dots with touchscreen capabilities and vari-angle features. The optical viewfinder has a 95% coverage and this camera has both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity with an option to set up a Bluetooth connection which needs less energy and permits you to wake the camera remotely, operate it and browse the photos from a smartphone or tablet.
Design and Handling
Made from an aluminum alloy with polycarbonate, the camera is quite light and the grip is quite comfortable. Due to the smooth finish on some parts you have the feeling of just touching a piece of plastic but you have a steady grip of the camera so that is what matters most. There is no weather sealing and as a size this model is between the T7i and the EOS 80D.
There are dedicated controls for AF and ISO in the front and on the back you get an AF-On button for back-button focusing. Instead of a four way control pad, this model comes with a multi-directional pad that also has a scroll wheel and this allows you to toggle settings fast. There is no traditional in-camera Raw file processing and the auto ISO is really simple without any option to select the minimum shutter speed.
Overall handling is really great for this model and it is one of the strong points of the EOS 77D. The viewfinder may be small and dim but the controls are easy to access and the Live View is similar to using a mirrorless camera. One thing that might not appeal some is the low number of customizable buttons.
The autofocus uses a 45-point system with all cross-type sensors that are sensitive in the horizontal and vertical planes so the focusing is really efficient. The sensitivity goes down to -3EV and 27 of the points are sensitive down to f/8.
The Live View and video recording use the Dual Pixel AF technology which ensures a coverage of 80% of the frame and this is quite impressive. It will track with a single area as well as the traditional phase detection system and even better but the burst rate might be low for some. The new processor really shows an improvement in the subject tracking of the Live View and face detection is as good as we got used to with the last generations of cameras from Canon so the EOS 7D is a very good choice for a portrait or event camera.
The sensor is the same as the one found in the EOS 80D so the image quality between these two cameras differs very little, meaning that it is really good. The colors are typical for Canon and the JPEG engine isn’t optimal since you still get only some simple sharpening. In the high ISO levels the low contrast detail is lost and you get a lot of noise while with the Raw files the noise performance is a bit worse than similarly priced cameras. There isn’t as much moire as it can be expected and this may be due to an anti-aliasing filter.
With video you only get a top resolution of 1080/60p and you have similar results to the EOS 80D here as well when it comes to details. Handling of the camera while filming is really good as it is very easy to use the EOS 77D and due to the stabilization system you get very stable video capture. The drawback is that it will reduce some of the details but at least you will be able to watch the video a lot easier than if the image would move a lot.
The video recording can be done with an exterior microphone or with the one inside the camera and before you begin the recording you have access to a histogram although without any manual focus peaking or zebra highlight warnings. As the autofocus is very trustworthy while you shoot videos and the face detection also works as intended, this is a very good choice for someone who doesn’t require 4K resolution.