Canon T7/1500D Review

Introduction

Initially released in the spring of 2018, Canon’s Rebel T7, also known as the 2000D or 1500D, marks another installment into the entry-level DSLR segment and Canon’s Rebel series. The Rebel lineup is acclaimed for making affordable and capable DSLRs, and this camera aims to continue the trend. Officially, it replaces the previously released Rebel T6 or 1300D and is a camera that Canon aims at first-time DSLR users looking to upgrade from a smartphone or point & shoot camera. It’s also here to give cost-conscious users another option that’s capable but affordable.

On paper, it seems only to promise a single update, which is a desperately needed upgrade in the predecessor’s resolution. Otherwise, it appears to be mostly the same. Canon aims this camera to compete with Nikon’s D3500, Sony’s a6000, and Panasonic’s G7, which on paper, all have arguably stronger specifications. Is this single update enough in such a competitive arena to make the camera relevant in today’s age and better than the competition? Today, we assess its strengths, weaknesses, and answer whether or not it’s still a worthwhile option.

canon-rebel-t7-specs

What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Canon T7?

Pros:

Image Quality

It features a 24.1MP CMOS sensor with an optical low pass filter and the DIGIC 4+ image processor. Finally, Canon’s ditched the predecessor’s long-standing 18MP sensor. Overall, while it’s not the latest-generation of this sensor used in their current cameras, it does provide a modest improvement in image quality. And the 14-bit RAW images produced are sharp, well-exposed, and deliver the pleasant Canon aesthetic. The dynamic cameras range is also good, though not industry-leading by any means. The photos offer some ability to recover lost in details, but not to the same level as the competition.

It provides continuous shooting speeds of 3 fps, which, while on the slower side, it offers quite a substantial buffer. In this case, 70 JPEG and 10 RAWs.

Video Quality

It shoots 1080p Full HD video up to 30 fps in the highly friendly MOV format, for easy sharing and smooth post-processing. The camera supports basic editing, like trimming, in the playback mode as well. Overall, the video quality produced is acceptable for this class, videos are generally sharp, and color reproduction is accurate.

Low Light Performance

It features a native ISO range from ISO 100 to 6,400, further expandable to 12,800. The camera’s DIGIC 4+ processor, while a bit dated compared to the eighth iteration of the processor, remains capable. The increase in resolution hasn’t sacrificed noise control either compared to the predecessor, and performance remains quite good, though not class-leading. Users can expect usable images up to ISO 3,200, where noise is well controlled, and details are generally intact.

Focusing Performance

It uses a 9-point autofocusing system, where the central-most point is cross-type compatible, the same system as the predecessor. While a bit dated here as well, focusing using the optical viewfinder remains precise and works well for general shooting.

Display & Viewfinder

It features the same optical viewfinder as the predecessor, which has a magnification of 0.8x and 95% coverage of the image area, standards for this class. Since it doesn’t provide 100% coverage of the field of view, it’s worth paying attention to the edges of the frame when reviewing images in the playback mode, as you may find unwanted elements in the corners.

User Interface

The user interface remains true to Canon’s logic and the design used on many of their SLRs up until this point. However, the camera now offers the feature guide mode, which displays a simple description to explain various functions and how each applies to the shooting situation. Helpful. Otherwise, the menus and user interface are simple, straightforward, and easily mastered.

It also features the customizable My Menu, allowing users to save and access six most-used settings on a single page.

Physical Layout & Ergonomics

Physically, the layout and button configuration remains virtually identical to the predecessor. And the build quality, finish, and design stays true to other Canon rebel series as well. It provides a rather plasticky build, but it’s sturdy enough and features a large enough grip for comfortable use. Overall, it’s on par with the standards expected at this price-point.

Niche Features/Extras

It features a built-in pop-up flash.

It features Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, which allows the camera to transfer images to a paired device wirelessly or remotely controlling the camera.

Cons:

Video Capabilities

It lacks any slow-motion video recording in the form of 60 fps when shooting in 1080p.

It lacks 4K UHD video recording, though it is quite a rare feature to see at this price-point.

Autofocus Performance

Overall, autofocusing performance when composing using the rear screen in Live View is painfully slow and very sluggish, as was the case with the predecessor. This camera does not feature Canon’s brilliant Dual Pixel AF. So, sadly, the camera often hunts and questions its accuracy, which leads to both unusually slow and inaccurate focusing in Live View. Autofocus is even worse when shooting in low light, making it quite difficult to capture any images as the light levels drop.
However, do know, slow live view autofocusing is an issue plagued by several other entry-level SLRs, so we expect this. Nevertheless, it’s best to compose using the optical viewfinder. Also of note, when recording videos, manual focusing is the best option, as there’s no continuous autofocus during video recording. Therefore, you have to focus before recording or use manual focusing only.
The 9-point AF system used clusters all of the points in the center of the frame in a diamond configuration. While this is fine for general shooting, be prepared to re-frame and focus recompose if your subject is slightly off-center. An increase in AF points would have been nice to see here.

Battery Life

It uses the same LP-E10 battery as the predecessor. Canon rates this battery to deliver 600 shots per charge, which is below average for this class of camera and lower than it’s main rival, the Nikon D3400.

Display

It features a 3.0-inch rear TFT LCD, which is both fixed and lacks any touch functionality. Not only that, but it also maintains the same resolution of 920K dots as the predecessor. Thankfully, it is generally sharp enough for image review and Live View. But the overall versatility provided here is just lacking.

Ergonomics

The battery and SD cards are housed in the same compartment underneath the camera, which makes quickly changing them tedious when the camera is mounted on a tripod.
Lacking Features

It lacks a microphone input.

It lacks a headphone input.

It lacks bluetooth for more advanced wireless functions available in more recent cameras.

The camera lacks a self-cleaning sensor unit. Therefore, cleaning the sensor from dust will be solely manual.

Is this a good beginner camera?

Yes.

It makes for an excellent beginner camera, though it does have a few drawbacks in comparison to the competition. However, know that this is only an incremental update over the T6 and a somewhat insignificant one. And considering the predecessor wasn’t particularly revolutionary, we expected a bit more considering the recency of this release. But, as it is, like the predecessor before it, Canon has played it safe once more and holds onto many of its tried elements. Thankfully, like the T6, it manages to remain capable and affordable enough for the market it aims.

What are the best lenses & bundles for the Canon T7?

General Photography: 

EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Macro Photography:

EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM

Landscape & Astrophotography Photography:

EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Portrait Photography:

EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Sports & Wildlife Photography:

EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM

Product & Still Life Photography:

EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Extra Batteries:

Canon Battery Pack LP-E10

SD Cards:

SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB

Is this a good camera for you?

Possibly.

For aspiring videographers looking for a capable video-centric camera or to vlog, this is not a great choice. Its main drawbacks are, namely, a lack of 4K video and microphone input, coupled with its fixed rear screen and poor focusing. Consider some of Canon’s higher-end cameras in this range instead, for example, the SL2 or T7i. It only makes sense for this purpose if you are willing to use manual focus and an external recording device, otherwise, there are better options available for slightly more. 

It makes an excellent choice for someone looking for a stills camera, not a video camera. While it’s capable as a basic video camera, it’s better suited for photography alone. Though bear in mind, it’s burst shooting is not an especially strong point, and it’s not well suited for shooting action. 

In the end, while a bit outdated in features, the 1500D remains capable and a solid option for a budget-friendly and straightforward first DSLR. As a whole, it’s mostly the predecessor packaged with a desperately needed new sensor. But, otherwise, the two cameras are virtually identical, which is a bit of a disappointment and quite underwhelming. In many respects, all of the competition make better alternatives to this camera, considering their price similarities. Nevertheless, like the predecessor, it’s a simple camera. But, it delivers the core features needed for beginners to learn and master the basics. From there, you’ll find plenty of more advanced options in Canon’s lineup to upgrade. And while not the strongest camera in this price range, it does deliver a better package than what a smartphone alone can provide. And it’s a good option if this is all you can afford right now. 

Overview
  • Image Quality
  • Video Quality
  • Focusing Performance
  • Low Light Performance
  • Dynamic Range
  • Battery Performance
  • Display & Viewfinder
  • User Interface
  • Physical Layout & Ergonomics
3.2

Summary

In the end, the 1500D remains capable and a solid option for a budget-friendly and straightforward first DSLR. As a whole, it’s mostly the predecessor packaged with a desperately needed new sensor, which is a bit of a disappointment and quite underwhelming. But while not the strongest camera in this price range, it does deliver a better package than what a smartphone alone can provide. And it’s a good option if this is all you can afford right now.