Initially released spring 2017, the 77D sits roughly between Canon’s 80D and the T7 digital SLR cameras. Technically, it’s the unofficial successor to the T6S. But, one Canon aims as an extra option in their lower mid-range lineup for users looking at their 80D but feel its price is too high.
This camera offers much of the capabilities of the 80D, but now at a more affordable Rebel series price-point, making it a more appealing option for beginners. Canon used to rule the small form factor cameras. However, today’s market is more crowded than ever, with so many manufacturers competing to make the best hybrid cameras. It’s nothing like it was nearly a decade ago. And now it’s challenging to find the right option that’s both affordable yet capable.
Canon directs this camera as a competitor to Nikon’s D5600 and D7500, and Sony’s a6300. But, with the release of the new 90D, and coming T8i, is this camera still relevant today? And with so many competitors pushing the envelope and our expectations, can Canon even compete? Let’s find out.
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- What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Canon 77D?
- Image Quality
- Video Quality
- Low Light Performance
- Focusing Performance
- Battery Performance
- Display & Viewfinder
- User Interface
- Physical Layout & Ergonomics
- Niche Features/Extras
- Video Capabilities
- Lacking Features
- Is this a good beginner camera?
- Is the Canon 77D a good camera for you?
What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Canon 77D?
It features a similar 24.2MP CMOS sensor as the Canon 80D and M5, but now also includes the newer DIGIC 7 image processor. This processor allows the camera to sport several critical improvements over the predecessor — one of which a slight increase in dynamic range, now making it more on par with the competition at this price. Outside of this, the 14-bit RAW images its sensor creates are well-exposed, vibrant, and sharp.
It offers a continuous burst rate of 6 fps with autofocus, a minor but notable improvement over the predecessor. This type of speed now makes it sufficient for most day to day shooting and lends the camera to capture some action or sports. It also supplies quite a good buffer depth as well, delivering 27 RAW images before experiencing any slowing.
It records 1080p full HD video up to 60 fps. The footage this camera delivers is incredible and doesn’t require a real need for post-processing. The raw footage is well suited as is for delivery, which makes it an excellent choice for those looking for quality without additional workload. The footage is sharp with a pleasing color rendition, especially in skin tones. While it is technically not as accurate in color as the competition, colors remain vibrant and are quite pleasant nonetheless.
Low Light Performance
It features a native ISO from 100-25,600, further expandable to 51,200. Overall, the updated processor allows this camera to provide comparable low-light performance to the 80D, in most circumstances. Users can expect usable images up to ISO 6,400 and videos up to ISO 3,200.
It features a 45-point all cross-type system, where the centermost point is now sensitive down to -3 EV, along with Canon’s renowned Dual Pixel CMOS AF (DPAF). The addition of DPAF marks a first for a Rebel series camera and a feature Canon typically reserved for their much higher-end cameras. This technology simplifies the complexity of subject tracking. And when combined with touch focusing, cinematic rack focusing or sophisticated subject tracking becomes as simple as touching the screen. Overall, this addition delivers a confident system that’s dependable and is still among the best available to date.
It features the LP-E17 battery, the same battery found on the T6, instead of the more typical LE-E6 battery used on Canon’s mid-range SLRs. Canon rates the battery to deliver 600 shots per charge, which is about average for this class of camera.
Display & Viewfinder
It features a 3.0-inch vari-angle articulating touchscreen, similar to the 80D, which rotates 270 degrees for front-facing selfies or vlogging. It provides a resolution of 1.04M dots and has an anti-reflective coating along with enough brightness for easy viewing outdoors in bright sunlight. Overall, the rear screen is excellent and the staple of these cameras. Not only does it offer fantastic viewing angles, but it also delivers enormous flexibility. With this type of articulation, it’s feasible to compose at awkward angles that would otherwise be impossible with a fixed screen alone. While this screen is a longstanding staple for Canon DSLRs, we appreciate its return as most manufacturers do not include these.
It has an optical viewfinder with 95% coverage of the image area and a reasonable 0.82x magnification, which are standard for this class of camera.
It features a top-facing LCD, another feature typically reserved for higher-end cameras. Nevertheless, it displays critical shooting parameters such as battery life, shots remaining, and exposure without the need for looking at the rear screen or viewfinder.
It features well-designed menus that are intuitive and provide virtually no learning curves for beginners. Its interface is quite reminiscent of that found on a point and shoot camera. Rare, considering its a fully featured SLR. Nevertheless, users will feel immediately comfortable with operating and controlling this camera. The menus themselves are also fully touch-enabled, allowing users to navigate and change virtually every available setting by touch alone. The camera also supports pinch-to-zoom when reviewing images in the playback mode.
It also features a newly designed guided interface mode, which Canon developed strictly to help first time users master basic camera settings. Helpful.
It features the quick menu, a customizable menu that allows for more immediate setting changes on a single unified page, removing much of the need for the main menu.
Physical Layout & Ergonomics
Compared to the older T6 cameras, not much has changed in feel and layout. The body is still quite light, weighing only 493g. Despite its weight, it maintains an aluminum alloy chassis with fiberglass resin finish. This construction provides a good sense of rigidity and robustness to the camera. And while it’s slightly larger than other Rebel series cameras, it works in its favor to make a more stable platform for larger lenses. And even though it’s not fully weather-sealed, like Canon’s higher-end 7D Mark II, it does offer a fair bit of weather resistance.
As a mid-range entry in Canon’s lineup, it offers plenty of physical controls for a more tactile shooting experience and quick adjustments. And it features the proper button configuration for precise manual control, making the camera a contender for both consumers and professionals alike.
It features 5-axis digital stabilization, which, while not as good as a physical 3-axis gimbal, does wonders to smooth shaky footage when recording handheld. The caveat here is that it crops into the frame once enabled, and it works only in movie recording.
It features built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth for wireless pairing to a smartphone or tablet. Once paired, users can transfer images and remotely control the camera.
It’s the first Rebel series camera to offer tethering support, which is helpful when shooting connected to an external monitor for more accurate image review.
It features a built-in time-lapse recording, replacing the need for an external intervalometer.
It features a microphone input.
Like other Canon cameras in this price range, it too lacks 4K video, which caused some disappointment. However, considering the demographic Canon aims this camera towards, 1080p footage alone should be sufficient, and this is mostly forgivable. The reality is that most consumers don’t have the necessary equipment to review 4K content, much less the editing rigs required for such footage.
What doesn’t make sense, however, is that it lacks the All-I compression. Instead, the camera only supplies the IPB compression, limiting the camera to a 60 MBps maximum. All-I compression is the less compressed MP4 format and offers a superior bit rate, allowing for better post-production adjustments. Essentially, less compression means better quality video. While most consumers may not want or understand this particular addition, its removal is just unnecessary. As a result, we’re stuck with the 30 MBps bit rate when working with 1080p 30 fps. And such a low bit rate provides little scope for color correction, grading, or adjustment in post-production before the footage degrades.
It lacks super-slow-motion recording in the form of the 120 fps frame rate. The only element of slow-motion available for use is 60 fps, which while helpful, doesn’t offer the same versatility found on the competition at this price.
While the optical viewfinder provided here meets the standard expected for this price, it does mean that the image it displays doesn’t precisely represent the captured photo. Thus, you can sometimes run into situations where you find unwanted elements creeping into the outskirts of the frame when reviewing images in playback. The difference between a 100% coverage viewfinder and 95% may not sound substantial, but during strict composition, it makes a difference.
It lacks a headphone input for monitoring captured audio.
The camera only supports ISO adjustments in full-stop increments, not 1/3 stop. So ISO 100-200 and not 100-160. Overall, this is somewhat of a nuisance when trying to achieve precise exposure.
As mentioned previously, it lacks full weather sealing, though it offers some resistance to inclement weather.
It lacks the option of attaching an external vertical battery grip.
Is this a good beginner camera?
Yes. While this camera lacks a few minor features we’ve come to expect for this class of SLRs, for the price, it makes an excellent choice. It sits roughly between the entry-level and the mid-range. However, in many respects, it feels like a modern version of Canon’s acclaimed 80D. It’s a lightweight, compact, and well-built camera with excellent performance that makes for a compelling choice for first time DSLR users. And one that’s not as intimidating as the professional 7D Mark II or 5D Mark IV cameras, while remains a step above cameras like the T6. For the performance it delivers at such a bargain price, it provides serious value for the money spent.
Is the Canon 77D a good camera for you?
With its 1080p recording combined with a fully articulating touchscreen, 5-axis stabilization, and confident focusing, it makes for a fantastic video camera. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, vlogger, or Youtube content creator looking for a straightforward run & gun setup, this is an excellent choice. Surprisingly, it’s a better alternative to Canon’s 80D for these purposes, considering their price difference. However, bear in mind, you will have to forgo 4K recording. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then this may not be the best choice. It’s a shame Canon has stuck with 1080p on this model, leaving rivals an opportunity to plow ahead with 4K, because this is otherwise their best budget video camera.
In the end, the 77D is an excellent mid-range DSLR for those looking for an upgrade over other entry-level bodies without the back-breaking effort demanded by a pro-level camera. While this camera is technically positioned just below the 80D, it makes for the better of the two cameras in the vast majority of cases. It inherits many of its successful elements and essentially delivers the same photo and video quality, autofocusing in a light and more affordable body. Not only that, but it’s also complemented with an updated processor and better connectivity. And even years after its initial debut, it remains one to watch going forward and a competitive option for beginning creators.
Design to sit roughly between the entry-level and the mid-range, in many respects, this is a refreshed updated to Canon’s acclaimed 80D. The 77D is a lightweight, compact, and well-built camera with excellent performance that makes for a compelling choice for first time DSLR users. And for the performance it delivers at such a bargain price, it provides serious value for the money spent.