A couple of years ago, Canon launched the EOS 750D and 760D at the same time. While the two cameras were virtually identical to look at and sported pretty much the same internal feature set, the 760D offered more body-mounted controls and a small LCD display on the top, designed to appeal to more experienced users.
Fast-forward two years and Canon has done the same thing again, launching the Canon EOS 77D alongside the even more beginner-orientated 800D. Things are a little different this time, though. The EOS 77D may share the same inner features as the EOS 800D, but Canon has opted for a more distinctive and slightly larger design for the 77D to differentiate the two models.
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Canon EOS 77D: Price
If you look under the skin of the EOS 77D, it’s pretty much identical to the EOS 800D. That means it gets the new 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which uses Canon’s latest sensor technology based on the same on-chip analogue-to-digital conversion tech as seen on the likes of the EOS 5D Mark IV, thus producing cleaner images at higher ISOs compared to the older sensor in the 750D and 760D. If you look under the skin of the EOS 77D, it’s pretty much identical to the EOS 800D.
Canon EOS 77D Specifications
Sensor: 24.2Mp APS-C (22.3×14.9mm) Dual Pixel CMOS AF
• Image processor: DIGIC 7
• AF points: 45, all cross-type
• ISO range: 100-25,600 (51,200 exp)
• Max image size: 6000×4000 pixels
• Metering zones: 63
• HD video: 1920×1080 up to 60fps
• Viewfinder: Pentamirror, 95% coverage
• Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS I
• Shutter speeds: 30-1/4000 sec, Bulb
That means it gets the new 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which uses Canon’s latest sensor technology based on the same on-chip analog-to-digital conversion tech as seen on the likes of the EOS 5D Mark IV, thus producing cleaner images at higher ISOs compared to the older sensor in the 750D and 760D.
Canon EOS 77D: Build and Handling
If the EOS 800D and more enthusiast-orientated EOS 80D had a baby, the EOS 77D would be it, sitting neatly in between the two in the range. The build and finish of the EOS 77D is most closely related to that of the 800D, though, with a similar combination of aluminium alloy and polycarbonate resin – in fact, it only weighs 8g more than the 800D.
It shares the 800D’s ultra-smooth finish on the majority of the exterior, which feels quite plasticky to the touch and at odds with the camera’s price. That said, the grip is comfortable and the textured finish has a nice tactile feel. The number of body-mounted controls is where the real differences between the EOS 77D and 800D become noticeable, starting with the top-plate LCD display, which the cheaper camera lacks.
It’s smaller than the top-plate LCD about the EOS 80D, but still provides a handy quick reference point for a host of key shooting information, including ISO setting, aperture and shutter speed, exposure compensation, battery level, Wi-Fi activation and the number of shots remaining.
In front of this display are dedicated controls for ISO and AF, as well as a button to illuminate the LCD in poor light. The positioning of the LCD screen means the Mode dial moves to the left of the viewfinder, and unlike on the 800D it features a locking mechanism; you’ll need to press and hold the central button to spin the Setting dial around to the desired setting.
Moving around the back, there’s a dedicated AF-On button for back-switch focusing, which can be really handy if you regularly shoot using continuous focusing. Rather than the 800D’s four-way control pad, the EOS 77D features a multi-directional handle pad encircled by a scroll wheel; this mirrors some higher-end EOS DSLRs, enabling you to quickly toggle key settings, and it’s handy when the camera is raised to your eye.
Then there’s the EOS 77D’s touchscreen interface. We may have liked to have seen something a bit larger, and/or with more resolution, but there’s no quibbling about its functionality. It’s nicely integrated into the camera’s interface, works really well and is one of the most polished examples we’ve seen.
There’s also an optical viewfinder with 95% coverage; this is typical for an entry-level DSLR, but with the EOS 77D having loftier aspirations it’s a little disappointing, especially with similarly priced rivals offering 100% coverage. While it might not seem that much of a difference, you’ll be surprised at how unwanted elements can encroach on the edges of the frame when you review your images.
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Canon EOS 77D: Performance
Like the EOS 800D, the EOS 77D can rattle off shots at 6fps – anything faster would risk the new camera treading on the toes of the EOS 80D’s 7fps. Battery life is good at 600 shots, although you’ll want to keep a spare handy if you plan to shoot predominantly with the rear display activated, as this will see battery life drop to 270 shots.
Also like the 800D, the EOS 77D takes advantages of Canon’s new clean-looking graphical interface, which is designed to help inexperienced users get to grips with some of the camera’s key controls. Where the cameras differ is that you have to turn this feature on in the screen settings of the EOS 77D, whereas it’s the default mode of the 800D.
The EOS 77D sports Canon’s tried-and-tested 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, which we’ve seen in numerous Canon DSLRs (it’s also in the EOS 800D), with 63-zone Evaluative, Partial, Centre-weighted and Spot metering options.
For the most part, the Evaluative setting will be the one you’ll be using, and it does a good job. As we’ve found with other EOS digital cameras though, because the system is weighted to the active AF point you can run into issues in high-contrast situations, as simply shifting the AF point can throw up two different exposures – some of our shots were a little overexposed for our liking.
The white balance system performs very well, while the option of an Ambient Auto White Balance mode has its uses, delivering slightly warmer results that can be welcome, as the default White Priority can deliver clean, neutral results even under artificial lighting.
Canon’s new 24Mp APS-C CMOS sensor, as we’ve seen with the 800D, performs very well. Resolution is pretty much identical to the results from the older 760D – which is hardly a surprise when you consider that they share the same pixel count – but it’s elsewhere that the new sensor design shines, particularly the way the camera handles noise.
At lower sensitivities shots appeared very clean with good levels of saturation, but it’s when you start increasing the ISO that the EOS 77D’s sensor really impresses. Looking at Raw files edited in Adobe Camera Raw, our test images looked very pleasing to the eye, even at ISO6400. Granted, there’s some luminance (grain-like) noise present, but it’s well controlled and has a fine structure. There’s hardly any chroma (colour) sound present, and while saturation suffers a touch at this sensitivity, the overall result is really good.
Knock the sensitivity up another couple of notches, to ISO25,600, and saturation and detail deteriorate, while noise becomes extremely noticeable. We’d avoid using this setting where possible, although images will still be just about usable if you have to shoot in poor light and it’s your only option.
Dynamic range is better than we’ve seen from the older 760D, and the EOS 77D delivers satisfying JPEG colours, though they can perhaps look a little muted when up against rivals with punchier colour output. If you want to give your JPEGs a little more ‘bite’, opt for one of the picture styles, or shoot Raw for complete control.
Canon EOS 77D: Key specifications
- 24MP sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
- The 45-point all-cross-type phase-detect autofocus system
- Digic 7 processor
- 3″ fully-articulating touchscreen LCD
- Top plate LCD for shooting information
- Dual control dials
- 6fps continuous shooting
- 1080/60p video capture with microphone input
Canon EOS 77D: Conclusion
The EOS 77D is a very capable DSLR. It does a lot of things well: image quality is very good, while the Live View performance is the best we’ve seen in a DSLR. There’s also polished touchscreen controls, a helpful interface, and a decent 45-point AF system. However, there’s no 4K video capture, the viewfinder offers only 95% coverage (and it’s a cheaper pentamirror design as opposed to pentaprism) and the plasticky finish doesn’t quite chime with the price right now.
the EOS 77D risks being caught in a kind of no man’s land – if you want an entry-level DSLR the Canon EOS 800D – or even one of Canon’s older but still current models – might be the one to go for, while those looking for something more advanced should spend the extra to get the EOS 80D.