As the camera world is seemingly pushed ever closer to complete mirrorless format dominance, the humble DSLR can seem like yesterday’s technology. However, as shown by the Canon EOS 77D, a DSLR can still produce the goods, just in a slightly chunkier package. This means a just-as-capable image sensor, ISO range, and AF points from a similar priced mirrorless camera.
Let’s have a closer look at what this medium-priced Canon DSLR has to offer. Plus, how it weighs up against the competition for features.
From the outset, the Canon EOS 77D has a lot in common under the hood with the Rebel T7i model. This results in a highly capable 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, with the same chip technology as used in the EOS 5D Mark IV for more defined images and cleaner high ISO levels. The DIGIC 7 image processor can handle an ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable to 51,200, with of course, faster overall performance.
Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t provide 4K video, but at least HD output goes up to 60p, with the internal five-axis image stabilization system working for video only. There’s also built-in WiFi and NFC connectivity, for easy control of the camera and sharing of footage.
Build-wise, the Canon EOS 77D is quite robust but plasticky feeling, with its polycarbonate and aluminium alloy design, wrapped with Canon’s usual faux leather covering. It’s essentially what you would expect from a mid-priced Canon offering. The grip is also reasonably substantial, with just enough finger hold to swing this thing round at a moments notice.
The top plate of the camera has the ever-useful LCD display, providing the most obvious exposure settings, with three dedicated buttons in front to control autofocus and ISO, and a button to light up the LCD screen in low light.
The left side of the top plate features the mode dial, with not just the usual semi-auto and fully auto modes, but also a bunch of preset scenes to choose from. It also has the very handy central locking mechanism, which is a lifesaver if, like me, you continually knock the thing when going from portrait to landscape view and accidentally change modes.
The rear of the camera has the largely Canon-like layout, starting with the AF-On button which can also be used for back button focusing, image zoom/AF point selection button, four-way controller with lock lever, Q button, and three-inch 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle touchscreen. The touchscreen is bright and clear and can be adjusted for different light levels, plus there’s an intuitive menu system for the uninitiated. The multi-directional viewing angles are also fantastic when shooting very high- or low-angled shots, which is a facility I wish the EOS 5D Mark IV had included.
Internally, the camera features 45 cross-type AF points, which is a big step up from the 19 AF points found on slightly cheaper models. Each of the AF points is sensitive to -3EV, with 27 of these being sensitive down to f/8. In video mode, Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system has been incorporated, which does a fine job of tracking moving objects and locking focus in a snap.
The Canon EOS 77D In Use
The 24.2MP sensor captures plenty of detail, with rich amounts of color and contrast, generally to the same levels as its older sibling, the EOS Rebel T6s. ISO sensitivity is the area which beats out the Rebel T6s with the same pixel count, with images looking relatively noise-free up to ISO 6400.
Color saturation after this point does drop a little, but overall, the images are better than expected at this ISO level. Above this zone, images quickly start introducing lots of noise, which means the higher ISO levels are there only if you really need to get a snap. At this range, be prepared to heap on loads of noise reduction in post-processing.
Metering on the EOS 77D comes from Canon’s tried and tested 7560-pixel RGB+IR system, which features 63-zones for its Evaluative, Partial, Center-weighted and Spot options. When selecting AF points, it’s an idea to be as accurate as possible with selections due to the active AF point being the metering center which can throw off exposures, especially with different areas of light.
The white balance system is reasonably accurate, although in full Auto white balance mode, images can lean to the warm side. Not so much a problem if you are shooting predominately in RAW format, where the white balance can be tweaked in post-processing. There’s a reasonable 6fps of continuous shooting speed, working equally well in both standard or live view, plus a reasonable 600 shots per charge when using the optical viewfinder or 270 shots if you’re constantly using live view.
As for overall image quality, the resolution and detail are very good with a compatible high-quality lens. As with the video footage, images are rendered with very good color rendition, proving very capable for its price point.
How Does the Canon EOS 77D Compare?
For the Canon brigade there are a few alternatives, depending on if you want to spend the same amount of money or stretch that little bit more. The similar priced Canon EOS Rebel SL3 also features a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor with a three-inch rear touchscreen, DIGIC 8 processor, and has 4K video.
There’s also the Canon EOS Rebel T6i which sports a 24.2 sensor, ISO sensitivity of 100 to 12,800, and HD video capabilities. The 800D/T7i is a touch more expensive, with more or less the same internal workings as the EOS 77D, but doesn’t have the top plate LCD screen, which is a must for regular shooting.
|Canon EOS 77D||Canon EOS Rebel SL3|
Although the Canon EOS 77D doesn’t bring anything spectacularly new to the party, it’s a very capable and well-rounded camera which produces very good image quality. Live view performance works equally well for both stills and video, with the 45-point AF system being more accurate than ever.
The lack of 4K video is a slight letdown, as with only a 95 percent coverage in the optical viewfinder. But, these are the only points which dropped marks from what is otherwise a good all-round camera solution. The only other problem is that there are lots of options to choose from in the mid-price range of cameras out there. So, while the Canon EOS 77D has a lot to offer, it also has to present its wares in an ever-crowded market.