Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon EOS 77D
Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(22.3mm x 14.9mm)
Kit Lens: 7.50x zoom
18-135mm
(29-216mm eq.)
Viewfinder: Optical / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 - 51,200
Shutter: 1/4000 - 30 seconds
Max Aperture: 3.5 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in.
(131 x 100 x 76 mm)
Weight: 37.2 oz (1,055 g)
includes batteries, kit lens
Availability: 04/2017
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon 77D specifications
24.20
Megapixels
Canon EF/EF-S APS-C
size sensor
image of Canon EOS 77D
Front side of Canon 77D digital camera Front side of Canon 77D digital camera Front side of Canon 77D digital camera Front side of Canon 77D digital camera Front side of Canon 77D digital camera

Canon 77D Review -- Now Shooting!

by
Preview posted: 02/14/2017

Last updated:

Updates:
03/21/2017: First Shots posted
03/31/2017: Performance posted
05/16/2017: Field Test posted
09/18/2017: Video Features & Analysis posted

For those looking for our detailed product overview, complete with specs and features, click here for our Canon 77D Overview.

 

Canon 77D Field Test

Rebel in Disguise

by Jaron Schneider | Posted 05/16/2017

The Canon 77D was announced alongside the T7i, and these cameras share a lot in common including the DIGIC 7 image processor, 45-point all cross-type phase-detect autofocus, and the same 24.2 megapixel sensor. In fact, the two cameras share so much in common on paper that it might be confusing to consumers what the differences are, and what makes the 77D worth the additional $150.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art (31mm eq.), f/3.5, 1/640s, ISO 200.
Click for full-res image.

Canon 77D Body and Ergonomics

The Canon 77D has the exact same body size and general exterior design as the Rebel T7i, save for a few minor tweaks, the addition of a top-panel status LCD and the addition of a rear dial. Aside from the relocation of a few rear buttons to make room for the lock switch for that aforementioned dial (which is a necessary add-on and common on all Canon cameras that feature a fully rotating dial in that position), the only other major difference between the two cameras is the relocation of the mode dial from the right side of the camera to the left (as viewed from the left) to make room for that LCD.

Basically, from a physical standpoint, the Canon 77D body adds a scant few features and controls (which are expounded on in detail below) that make it look more like the higher-end DSLRs in Canon's lineup. It is otherwise largely identical, weighing in at only 8 grams more than the T7i.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

As mentioned, the mode dial is located on the left of the camera (when viewed from the back), with the power switch accessible just below it and technically on the backside of the 77D. This allows you to access the switch quickly with your left thumb even if you are shooting, as opposed to the location on the top of the camera like on the T7i.

The option to switch between still and video mode is on that same switch, with OFF, ON, and VIDEO. This isn't the most desirable button arrangement, in my opinion. It is very easy to switch into video mode by accident, as pushing the switch from "off" all the way over to the next farthest option is normally how you switch the power "on" with any other camera or electronic device with a physical trigger.

The mode dial has the same knurled outer rim that all modern Canon DSLRs have and is easy to turn, despite being locked in place by a center button which must be pressed to rotate the dial. Some users will find the auto-locked dial to their liking (as it prevents accidentally changing the shooting mode) while others will find it to be a nuisance or inconvenience (since adjusting the mode takes a noticeable effort and finger dexterity). Since mid to pro-level Canon cameras all have this auto-lock dial, it is likely viewed as an advantage over the Rebel series (the T7i's mode dial does not have the auto-lock feature).

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

On the right side of the top panel of the camera you will find the status LCD screen, which is common on all higher-end DSLRs and is the first major visual difference you will see between this and the T7i. The screen allows you to quickly see shooting settings like aperture, shutter speed and ISO as well as battery level, shots remaining on the card (estimation) and whether the Wi-Fi is on or off (the T7i has a dedicated Wi-Fi LED on the left top deck). As a note, once a photographer has a camera with one of these status LCDs, it's hard to go back to not having it. Seeing it on the 77D is then, therefore, quite welcome.

The other buttons available on the top of the camera are the autofocus area mode, ISO adjustment and LCD backlight illumination. The ISO button specifically has a raised bump, which is helpful in identifying it from the shooting position or in the dark. Speaking of the dark, the LCD backlight illumination button is of course handy when shooting where ambient light is minimal. The button can be pressed again to turn off the illumination, or it will shut itself off automatically after five seconds.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

The Canon 77D also has two command dials, one located on the top of the camera just behind the shutter button, and one accessible by thumb in the lower right corner of the back of the camera. Depending on your shooting setting, each dial does something different. While in manual mode, the top command dial adjusts shutter speed while the back dial adjusts aperture. While in program, aperture priority or shutter priority, the top dial controls the priority option while the back dial can be used to adjust exposure compensation. These controls are identical to how the pro-level bodies handle, and are a perfect step for beginner/intermediate photographers to attain a grasp of how a larger and higher-end camera will operate.

Differentiating itself a bit from the T7i, the Canon 77D adds the AF-ON button, which by default in any camera mode will activate continuous autofocus for as long as the button is held. It can also be customized for the camera's autofocus activation (rather than or in addition to a half-press on the shutter button), a feature that many seasoned shooters swear by (using back-button autofocus assures that a given focus point will not change when using the shutter button, which is ideal for some landscapes and architecture photography).

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

The Canon 77D has the extremely handy and bright flip-out articulating screen, a style of rear screen that I find to be superior to the simple tilt-only LCDs common with other camera manufacturers. The tilt/swivel nature of the screen allows it to be viewed from more angles, and Canon's design here is easy to control and feels solid and secure.

This flip-out LCD also has a touch sensitive overlay. You can use the typical "Menu" and "Set" buttons to navigate the menu, or you can simply tap anywhere on the screen to get to where you want to go. It is without a doubt faster to navigate with the touch screen, and it is both very responsive and very accurate.

Using the touch screen is even more beneficial in live view photo and video mode. While in live-view photo mode, you can tap an option in the lower right hand corner of the screen that will allow you to use "tap to shoot." In this mode, you can tap anywhere on the screen and the camera will immediately focus there and capture a frame. The speed at which it does this is quite impressive, even in lower-light environments: it is less than a second between tapping a location and the frame being captured in focus.

If you instead opt to not use "tap to shoot," when that mode is not selected, tapping the screen will focus the camera to the tapped point. As was the case with "tap to shoot," the speed and accuracy of this feature was extremely quick and nearly always accurate. I did however find it may not always be as specific as you want and may require multiple attempts to get exactly what you were wanting in focus. This is likely due to the size of the somewhat large focus area box or perhaps the size of my finger tip relative to the screen size.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

The pentamirror viewfinder offers 95% coverage of view with an approximate 0.51x magnification (35mm equivalent) and a 19mm eyepoint; the same as the T7i. It's a little small and doesn't offer full frame coverage, but that's typical of the class. What you see is almost what you get with this camera, with just a bit more actually appearing in photos than what you could see in the viewfinder.

Overall, the Canon 77D is light in weight but not on features and options. After handing it to a friend of mine who is just getting into photography, she commented on how good it felt to hold and thought that its light weight was a huge advantage. She also appreciated how it was laid out pretty much the same as my 5D cameras that I had given her a few days before to try out.

The Canon 77D also adds an eye sensor over the viewfinder, something the Rebel T7i does not have. To set the stage on what this feature does, firstly you have to know how the 77D reacts when the rear screen is visible. When visible, the 77D's rear screen defaults to showing camera settings in more detail than the small status LCD gives. You can see everything from shutter speed and aperture all the way through your metering and image size/quality. You can directly access any of these features with the touch screen by pushing the "Q" button directly to the screen's right on the back of the camera (if you try and adjust any settings by going straight to the touch screen, the camera will prompt you to push that Q button). I imagine the "Q" button step was deemed necessary to avoid accidental settings changes thanks to the very sensitive touch screen.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

The only thing that the eye sensor does is that it turns off the rear screen when your eye moves to the viewfinder, and this only works when the camera is in its standby mode and it will not automatically close you out of the menu or image playback (if you tap the shutter button, that does remove you from any menu and therefore puts the camera back into standby, where the screen will then darken if your eye is near the viewfinder). In live view or video mode, the sensor does nothing.

On cameras with electronic viewfinders, this sensor tells the camera where to display the preview, in the EVF or on the rear screen. On a camera like the 77D with no electronic viewfinder, such a sensor finds itself with much less to do. It is almost superfluous, but I can appreciate the screen going dark eliminating glare when I'm trying to shoot, especially if I'm trying to capture night scenes. It probably also saves some battery life. Speaking of battery life, the 77D's has been amazing during my time with the camera. I have not ever recharged it and through all my testing and use the battery level didn't even gone down one bar.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art (31mm eq.), f/3.5, 1/1600s, ISO 200.
Click for full-res image.

Canon 77D Shooting Features and Experience

Shooting with the 77D felt pretty good, especially considering its place in the hierarchy of cameras Canon offers. Like we found in the T7i, the 77D does apply a heavy dose of contrast in camera to images taken in JPEG, but I don't find it to be off-putting. For landscapes, the colors became more vibrant and the differences between highlights and shadows more defined. For portraits, skin tone pops stronger with red/orange tones and colors in general feel more "realistic." Overall, the argument on if Canon's choice in JPEG rendering is good or bad is rather moot, as it can be adjusted in camera to your liking, and most who will shoot with the 77D will be looking to adjust the RAW files in post rather than fiddling with the JPEGs.

Speaking of color rendition, I was particularly impressed with how the Canon 77D captured colors across the spectrum, more so than I generally have been with Canon cameras in the past. Though greens and blues are not as vibrant as perhaps you will find on a Sony camera, the nuances in color and contrasts between them are well represented. Reds and oranges in particular look spectacular, which is not surprising given the Canon sensor, but they work extremely well when cast against blue, green or dark surroundings. Sunset colors against crisp clear blue skies look beautiful, skin tones are excellent and overall colors feel more pronounced than I expected.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 69mm (107mm eq.), f/5.0, 1/250s, ISO 100.
Click for full-res image.
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 50mm (78mm eq.), f/5.0, 1/320s, ISO 100.
Click for full-res image.

ISO performance is about par for the course when it comes to modern cameras in this segment. Below you can see a 100% crop from a photo taken at each ISO increment starting at 100 and going all the way up to the expanded 51,200. You can view and download each file in either JPEG or RAW in the Gallery here.

Canon 77D ISO Comparison
100% crops from Fine JPEG images with default settings. (Click for full-size images.)
Canon T7i Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100 Full Scene
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100
ISO 200
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 400
ISO 800
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 6400
ISO 12,800
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 25,600
ISO 51,200

In my opinion, the image is relatively clean all the way through ISO 800. ISO 1600 starts to introduce some noise, but it's very minor and the image is still quite usable. After that though, we start to see some noise appear across the frame and serious sharpness degradation occur. The default maximum of ISO 25,600 is not particularly good, and I wouldn't recommend going that high. Needless to say therefore, it's pretty unnecessary to even activate, let alone shoot at, the expanded ISO 51,200.

The actual shooting experience is pretty great with the 77D, thanks largely in part to that DIGIC 7 processor. Though it might not write the images to cards super quickly if you're shooting in both JPEG and RAW, it will stack a decent buffer so that it doesn't interfere with your shooting rhythm. Canon specs claim that the 77D can fire unlimited frames at 6 frames per second in JPEG format when using a fast UHS-I card, and up to 27 frames in RAW format. If you are shooting in JPEG+RAW, they say you can expect 23 shots before the buffer slows you down. In our lab testing we confirmed the burst rate of 6 frames per second no matter the file type, however we found somewhat shallower buffer depths: 167 JPEGs vs unlimited, 23 frames in RAW vs the claimed 27, and 21 frames in RAW+JPEG vs the claimed 23 when using one of the fastest UHS-I cards on the market. (See our Canon 77D Performance page for details.) The target we use for testing burst mode in the lab was designed to be difficult to compress, though, so typical real-world scenes should result in buffer depths that agree with Canon's numbers.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 62mm (96mm eq.), f/5.0, 1/500s, ISO 200.
Click for full-res image.

One technical cap worth noting is that the 77D does limit your maximum shutter speed to 1/4000 of a second, which is what is expected of the Rebel series cameras (and is what the T7i is capped at, and every other Rebel in my recent memory). The next step up, the Canon 80D, is capable of 1/8000 of a second. Flash x-sync speed is also lower at 1/200 versus 1/250 for the 80D. So although the 77D is designed to look like a step up from the Rebel, that step up is mainly in body design and additional buttons/options like the top-panel LCD and does not extend to most shooting functions. The 77D does however include interval timer and bulb timer functions that the T7i does not.

Strong Autofocus Performance

The Canon 77D uses a 45-point, all-cross-type autofocus system that does a pretty good job at tracking and keeping subjects in focus even in dim lighting environments. Canon states that the 77D's autofocus system using a central AF point (as opposed to face tracking or zone AF) is capable of focusing down to -3.0 EV, which is impressive. There aren't many configurations for the autofocus points in live view, just the three mentioned above (central, face tracking/tap area and zone). There also aren't many choices for general AF configurations either, with just single AF point selection, zone AF with nine zones, large zone AF mode with three groupings, and a fully automatic mode. There may not be a lot of options, but for the target market of the 77D, these should suffice.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 135mm (210mm eq.), f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 200.
Click for full-res image.

Using the viewfinder, the autofocus on the Canon 77D is more than adequate, reacting quickly and snapping with high accuracy to focus. I tested it in low and harshly varied lighting conditions (with strong shadows or backlit images) and did not find it to particularly struggle to focus in any condition I threw at it, though it would occasionally miss a frame or focus on the foreground instead of the subject. Only in very dim settings trying to focus on the reflective objects therein did it fight me a little, but this is to be expected.

I was able to follow a bounding jackrabbit as it made its way across the dunes in front of me, and most of those 30 shots are in focus. It's not the best autofocus on the market, but for its price tier, it does a very good job.

In live view shooting mode, the camera switches to rely on the Dual Pixel AF image sensor, and the focusing doesn't seem to give up much in return. Though ever so slightly slower than focusing through the viewfinder, the Dual Pixel AF was incredibly reliable in any of the three aforementioned modes. Of course, the darker the environment the more the camera has a chance to struggle, but this is to be expected. Even in those dim environments, however, I thought the camera performed quite admirably.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 135mm (210mm eq.), f/5.6, 1/1600s, ISO 200.
Click for full-res image.

As a note, the Dual Pixel AF is great, but only as good as your optics. I tested on the Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and it performed very well. I imagine that any STM lens would be even better, and most modern quick-focusing lenses will likely also do just fine.

Canon 77D Shooting Modes

The Canon 77D offers nine shooting modes in what the company calls the "Basic Zone" on the mode dial, plus the usual program (P), aperture-priority (Av), shutter-priority (Tv) and manual (M) shooting modes you'd expect on a DSLR in the "Creative Zone." The Basic Zone contains positions for Scene Intelligent Auto, Flash Off, Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Special Scene and Creative Filters.

The Creative Auto mode offers the ability to shoot images with a "specific ambiance" like vivid, soft or black and white. The options within simply change how the camera saves the JPEG. The other settings, like the "background blur" slider, simplify what the photographer might want to happen instead of relying on their knowledge of how f-stops work. It's actually a pretty nice way to present the idea of what photo someone might want to take, and having the camera do as much as possible to achieve that without getting too confusing to newcomers.

Canon 77D Review -- Mode Dial

The Special Scene mode lets you choose among a set of possible scenarios and aligns the camera settings for the highest chance to succeed with them. The built-in options are Group Photo, Kids (specifically when they are in motion), Food, Candlelight, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control (which takes three shots and combines them to better preserve highlights and shadows in high contrast scenes).

What I like about the Special Scene mode and Creative Auto mode is that when you navigate to them, the camera doesn't just explain in words what each setting is good for, it provides example images of what a scene might look like that you are trying to capture. For any new shooter, this is incredibly helpful. You may not know what settings your camera is using, but the 77D can do all the calculations internally so that you don't miss the shot. These modes won't teach you why they work, but they will assure that you don't miss what you wanted to capture. In the end, that's all many people will care about.

Additionally, the Canon 77D also offers multiple Creative Filter modes that apply select filters on images you take. There are ten here, and they are:

  • Grainy black and white
  • Soft focus
  • Fish-eye effect
  • Water painting effect
  • Toy camera effect
  • Miniature effect
  • HDR art standard
  • HDR art vivid
  • HDR art bold
  • HDR art embossed
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Water Painting Effect: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 115mm (179mm eq.), f/7.1, 1/400s, ISO 200. Click for full-res image.

Each of these modes produces images that are, in my opinion, pretty heavy handed. The aforementioned contrast that the 77D adds to JPEGs is ramped up yet another notch, especially in the miniature effect. The modes with low contrast like the water paint effect and soft focus are also rather strong, and I can't seem to think of a use for the water paint look.

Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Miniature Effect: EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 85mm (132mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/400s, ISO 200. Click for full-res image.

Bear in mind that shooting with these modes will prevent you from recording a RAW file. For those who actually like these kinds of effects, it may be smarter to do this in post in something like Photoshop than to rely on the camera, as there are many downsides to doing so.

These are generally "fun" ways to shoot, and the HDR modes will actually take multiple exposures to create one finished image in camera. Anyone without experience with Photoshop might find these useful, but those who are more advanced will likely shy away from them.

Wireless Features

The Canon 77D features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, and is strikingly easy to operate from my iPhone 7+ running the latest OS (10.2.1). The Canon Connect app does a very good job at walking you through steps to connect your device, with Bluetooth being the easiest and quickest, and Wi-Fi taking a bit more time (at least on Apples since they don't support NFC for automated pairing), but offering more functionality.

Speaking of that "more functionality" bit, though Canon says that images can be accessed and transferred to a mobile device via Bluetooth, I was unable to do so. It also didn't allow me to do any camera control without sending me a Wi-Fi connect prompt. The only function that I was able to operate with Bluetooth was "location services," which I assume will allow the camera to embed location into the EXIF data of images. When I tried to get to images or camera control however, I was instructed to connect to the camera via Wi-Fi. I was able to quickly and easily do this, but therefore found the addition of Bluetooth to the 77D underwhelming. It doesn't really expand much on what you could do with Wi-Fi, and is in most cases pretty useless unless you really care about embedding geotagging in images (which you can also do via Wi-Fi).

That said, using Wi-Fi, the wireless control is really handy for setting up a camera in a hard to reach location, or even holding it above your head in a crowd to get a higher-angled shot. The speed and refresh rate of the app is really pretty amazing, and there is very little lag between where you move the camera and what is shown on the app.

You can also use Wi-Fi to send photos from the camera to your smartphone, and it does this remarkably fast. It takes only a few seconds to send a high resolution image directly from the camera to your smartphone for social sharing. This feature was expressed to me to be high on the list of "wants" from friends who this camera is specifically designed to cater, so the fact that it does so rather quickly and painlessly is a huge plus.

As a final note on wireless features, I found the app, connecting and interacting with the 77D to be overall, painless. I have no complaints about the app itself, despite the very much "hand holding" nature of the prompts that regularly come up, and would trust it often to transfer images or take remote control of the camera.

Canon 77D Video Features

Click here to read our Canon 77D Video Features, Specs & Analysis

Canon 77D Field Test Summary

What I like:

  • Very light and easy to handle
  • Omni-directional screen is always welcome, and the brightness and clarity of that screen very good, enough to use even in bright sunlight.
  • Autofocus performance is good
  • Live-view shooting in video and photo is excellent thanks to the Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Shooting and operating the camera feels snappy thanks to that DIGIC 7 processor
  • Quality of images is pretty impressive for such a small DSLR
  • Top-panel status LCD

What I dislike:

  • I wish the ISO performance was better, as starting to see image quality degradation as low as ISO 1600 is lackluster.
  • No headphone jack
Canon 77D Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 56mm (87mm eq.), f/5.0, 1/500s, ISO 100.
Click for full-res image.

The Canon 77D is a very slight step up from the Canon T7i, but offers a few improvements and "prosumer" features that make it stand out for some users. As mentioned, the biggest differentiators between the 77D and the Rebel T7i are the top-panel LCD, a second command dial, button additions, and an eye sensor, with most every other feature looking to be a carbon copy of the Rebel T7i. This is not a problem as the Canon 77D is only a $150 upgrade over the T7i, but those who pick up the 77D might feel like it's not quite as powerful as they had hoped. As such, it doesn't give you what its bigger brother the 80D does such as a more robust body with weather sealing, a larger 100% pentaprism viewfinder, faster burst rate, more physical controls, headphone jack, increased battery life, optional battery grip, AF microadjustment, etc. But with nearly identical image quality and very good all-around performance, the Canon 77D stands as a good go-between for those looking to get out of the Rebel line even if only in name, without breaking the $1,000 mark.

I would still absolutely qualify the Canon 77D as an entry-level DSLR, but meant for those who might have more faith that their photography hobby will blossom into more than just capturing snapshots of the family.

 

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Best Lenses for the Canon 77D

What lens should you buy?

 

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Canon 77D Review -- Overview

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Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

Sandwiched between Canon's entry-level Rebel series and their intermediate-to-enthusiast-level 80D camera, the new Canon 77D hits a sweet spot of advanced functionality and features with a sub-$1000 price point. In other words, the Canon 77D is like an upgraded Rebel T6s, with similar styling and controls, but with many of the 80D's performance and imaging capabilities. With these feature updates, the Canon 77D breaks out of the "Rebel" family and into the "XXD"-class of EOS models, between the 70D and 80D. With the new Canon 77D's mix of amenities and price point, it's quite the enticing option for advanced amateur photographers wanting to upgrade to a more feature-rich DSLR beyond the entry-level category.

Canon 77D is a multimedia DSLR aimed at advanced, step-up creators

Like the 80D and the 70D before that, the new Canon 77D is very much a hybrid, multimedia-focused DSLR, with features that, such as its flip-out screen, make it a great choice for both photographers and videographers. As expected, the Canon EOS 77D also utilizes Canon's high-speed Dual Pixel CMOS AF focusing system, which provides on-sensor phase-detect AF for live view focusing. Unlike the contrast-detect autofocusing used on most earlier live-view-capable DSLRs, on-sensor phase-detect systems like Dual Pixel CMOS AF offer very fast and precise focusing -- acquiring focus is a little as 0.03 seconds according to Canon -- making live view AF quick and capable for stills and video, even with moving subjects.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

77D pairs a 24MP APS-C sensor with a faster DIGIC 7 processor

Again, following in the footsteps of other recent Canon cameras, the 77D's APS-C-sized CMOS sensor packs in 24 megapixels and a fixed optical low-pass filter. While this new model gets an upgrade to the faster DIGIC 7 image processor (whereas the 80D used a DIGIC 6 chip), the 77D maintains a similar ISO sensitive range of 100 up to a maximum of ISO 25,600, though you can expand it up a full stop to ISO 51,200.

Shutter speed range, however, is different than the higher-end 80D, with the 77D topping-out at 1/4000s for its quickest shutter speed, whereas the 80D offered a faster 1/8000s. In typical usage, this is perhaps not a major downside, but if you like to shoot with fast-aperture lenses in bright conditions, you could find yourself running out of shutter speed in order to get a properly exposed photograph. On the slow end, the 77D allows for a 30-second exposure and a Bulb mode, just like the 80D. Maximum flash sync is 1/200s, while the 80D offered a 1/250s flash sync speed.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image
Continuing the trend with Dual Pixel CMOS AF

We already mentioned the Dual Pixel CMOS AF feature for Live View autofocus, but for those utilizing the optical viewfinder, traditional phase-detection AF, the new Canon 77D uses a similar 45-point all-cross-type autofocus system that we saw in the 80D. Furthermore, like the 80D, the 77D gains their 7,560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. In addition to its metering capabilities, the metering sensor data also works in conjunction with the AI Servo AF II autofocusing system to provide skin tone and color detection for better facial recognition and subject tracking.

According to Canon's specs, the 77D's autofocus system, at least using the central AF point, is capable of focusing down to -3.0 EV, which is quite good. AF point configurations aren't as numerous as those on Canon's higher-end models, but the 77D allows for single AF point selection, Zone AF with nine zones, Large Zone AF mode with three groupings, and a fully Automatic mode in which the camera with automatically select the appropriate point from the full 45 available points. AF microadjustment is unfortunately not supported.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image
The Canon 77D shown here kitted with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.
Not as speedy as the 80D, but a much better buffer depth

Regarding still image performance metrics, the new Canon 77D offers similar, if not ever-so-slightly slower continuous shooting rates compared to the higher-end 80D. Spec'ed at up to 6fps with traditional viewfinder shooting (aka non-Live View) in High-Speed Continuous mode, the 77D is just a hint slower than the 7fps claimed by the 80D (in our review, the 80D got just shy of that spec, at 6.8fps). Not the speediest, but 6fps should do quite nicely at capturing fleeting moments for general-purpose sports, action and other moving subject matter. The camera also offers a slower 3fps continuous mode for times when you don't need to fire off such a quick burst of frames.

Buffer depth does appear to have a leg up against the earlier DIGIC 6-powered 80D, according to Canon's specs. With a UHS-I SD card, Canon says the 77D can continuously shoot best quality JPEGs until you fill up the card. With the 80D, Canon's specs put JPEG buffer capacity with a UHS-I card at just 110 frames. With RAW+JPEG or RAW-only, you get a maximum of about 23 or 27 frames, respectively, with the 77D, whereas the 80D should get around 22 or 25 frames based on Canon's specs (however, our lab tests for the 80D showed slightly lower numbers).

Like the 80D and the 7D Mark II, the Canon 77D includes an Anti-Flicker option, which can detect the subtle flicker of certain artificial lighting sources and react to adjust the timing of shots including bursts. Doing so, this helps eliminate the fluctuations in light levels and color casts over the course of a sequence of shots.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image
Capable 1080p video recording, but lacking a lot of bells & whistles

On the video side of things, the Canon 77D very much takes after the 80D and 70D cameras, incorporating the video-centric flip-out articulated LCD touchscreen and a 3.5mm microphone input. However, there is no headphone jack, unfortunately, like there is on the 80D. In terms of video recording features, the 77D, again, includes many of the same specs as the 80D. Despite the faster DIGIC 7 image processor, however, the EOS 77D is yet another Canon camera that does not offer any 4K video recording capabilities and tops out at 1080/60p.

Video file formats are a bit more limited on this camera compared to the 80D, with MP4 being the primary video format and IPB the go-to compression setting. With the 77D, .MOV ALL-I video is only available for 1080/30p Time Lapse Movie mode; all other video recording formats, even 1080/60p, use IPB compression. It should also be noted that continuous video recording, with any resolution or framerate, is limited to 29 minutes, 59 seconds, at which point recording will stop and must be restarted manually.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

Canon 77D Walkaround: Familiar design blends T6s with 80D

The physical design of the new Canon 77D doesn't offer much in the way of surprises or radically new features, especially for those already familiar with EOS DSLRs. The 77D follows Canon's traditional DSLR aesthetic and control layout, and overall, follows closely to the T6s, though there are few features borrowed from the bigger 80D model, however weather sealing is not one of them.

Starting at the top deck, the slightly boxier shape of the handgrip and number of controls up top closely follows that of the earlier Canon T6s. Like higher-end EOS cameras as well as the unique Rebel T6s, the 77D features a top-deck LCD info panel, and while it's slightly larger than the one on the T6s, it's smaller than the 80D's.

The number of physical controls on the top of the camera is also more limited compared to the higher-end models and follows the same layout as that of the T6s. In front of the status LCD, the camera offers an AF point selection button, ISO setting shortcut and a backlighting button for the LCD. There's no AF mode or a Drive mode like on the 80D, nor is there an extra button up next to the front control dial. The locking Mode Dial over on the left-hand side offers an array of scene mode shortcuts and other entry-level shooting modes in addition to the standard PASM options. However, unlike the 80D, there are no Custom slots for user-assignable shooting mode setups.

As with both the 80D and T6s, the 77D sports a built-in, pop-up E-TTL II flash with a guide number of around 39.4 ft. (12m) at ISO 100 that can act as a master to remote slave flash units, as well as a hotshoe for external Speedlite flash units or other compatible accessories.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

Moving down to the back of the camera, again, the Canon 77D shares a very similar layout to the T6s, including the rear control dial. There are minor design tweaks to certain button and switches, but it's mostly familiar territory for those that have used EOS Rebel cameras before. There are a couple of nice additions, most notably a dedicated AF-ON button, which is perfect for those who want more control over autofocus operation, such as with back-button AF. This button, seen on higher-end EOS cameras, is absent on Rebel-series models. The other new addition to the 77D is a Wi-Fi connection shortcut button, allowing for quick access to wireless connectivity settings and to quickly pair the camera to a smart device.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

The Canon 77D's viewfinder is similar to the T6s' smaller pentamirror type, with ~95% coverage, ~0.82x magnification, 19mm eyepoint and an eye-sensor. The 80D has a larger and brighter pentaprism finder with ~100% coverage, ~0.95x magnification and a 22mm eyepoint, however it has no eye sensor.

The 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD features a fully articulated flip-out design, making it fantastic for video creators, especially vloggers, but also for photographers shooting from low, high or otherwise awkward angles. The screen itself has around 1.04-million dots of resolution, offers seven levels of brightness adjustment, and has both anti-smudge and anti-reflective coatings.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

The sides of the camera are pretty standard fare for a DSLR. The right side houses the single SD card slot (compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC cards with UHS-I support), while the left-hand side features a pair of covers over the various ports and connectors. The 77D includes a 3.5mm microphone input jack and a wired remote port as well as Mini (Type-C) HDMI and USB 2.0 ports. Of course, like most modern cameras, the Canon 77D offers wireless connectivity as well with remote control capabilities. The camera features Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, as well as new Bluetooth capability to maintain an always-on connection to a paired smart device.

Speaking of Bluetooth, Canon has also announced the new BR-E1 Bluetooth remote which is compatible with the 77D and the T7i. This new remote allows users to capture images from within a 5-meter/16-foot radius of the camera, and does not require line-of-sight like IR remotes do. In addition to a shutter release, the BR-E1 includes an AF button and separate W/T buttons for use with power zoom lenses. Retail price is estimated at US$50 with availability around the same time as the camera.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image

For power, the Canon 77D uses the smaller LP-E17 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack -- the same one used in the Rebel T6i and T6s cameras as well as the EOS M6, M5 and M3 mirrorless models -- rather than the larger LP-E6/E6N batteries used in the 80D and other higher-end Canon DSLRs. Despite the smaller battery, Canon's CIPA rating predicts decent battery life, at up to 600 shots per charge with the optical viewfinder and 270 or thereabouts with Live View (under optimal temperatures). The T6s with the same LP-E17 battery as the 77D offers just 440 (OVF) and 180 (Live View) shots, however the 80D with the LP-E6N is rated significantly higher at 960 (OVF) and 300 (Live View) shots.

Canon 77D Review -- Product Image
Price & Availability

The Canon 77D started shipping in April 2017 and is available in three configurations, starting with a body-only option at a list price of about US$899. Paired with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens, the combo is priced at US$1,049, while a longer zoom kit with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is priced at US$1,499.

 

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