Reviews

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D review

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

The Canon EOS Challenge T7i / 800D is the latest incarnation of Canon’s hugely popular mass-market range of DSLRs. This latest model is built around a 24MP sensor that exercises Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system to offer improved autofocus in live view and video (more on that later).

At its core, it shares a lot with the more priceless EOS 77D but the differences become apparent when you first turn them on: both models feature a simplified ‘skin’ over the user interface, but at worst the T7i has these guiding functions switched on by default.

Key Features

  • 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel design
  • 45 AF points, all of which are horizontally and vertically acute
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Bluetooth and NFC
  • 1080p video at up to 60 fps with electronic IS
  • Fully articulated 1.04M-dot rear LCD

This should make immediately apparent who Canon is targeting with this camera: casual and family photographers buying their firstly DSLR and people who want to learn a little more about photography. It’s these two audiences we’ll focus on in this review.

The rivals

The Canon Revolt series (as it’s known in North America) is the best-selling series of DSLRs in the World, but it’s not without its rivals. A couple of these stand out, to us. Nikon’s D5600 is another 24MP camera that have designs ons to offer a lot of capability in a relatively straightforward way.

Sony, meanwhile, offers two mirrorless cameras to target these users: the a5100 is a simpler, more point-and-shoot orientated camera while the a6000 has a scrap more of its raw power on display, for those who have the time to learn how to use it. Fujifilm again focuses on the photographer looking for a camera to grow into with its X-T20. Similarly, the Panasonic G85/G80 leads room to expand into, especially given its mix of touchscreen and button control and its 4K video capability.

Canon T7i Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon D5600 Panasonic G85 Sony a6000
Cost (MSRP, w/kit lens) $899 $999 $799 $999 $698
Sensor 24MP APS-C 24MP APS-C 24MP APS-C 16MP FourThirds 24MP APS-C
Image stab. Lens-based Lens-based Lens-based In-body Lens-based
AF practice Dual Pixel
(Hybrid*)
Hybrid Phase-detect Contrast-detect Hybrid
LCD 3″ fully articulating 3″ tilting 3″ fully articulating 3″ fully articulating 3″ tilting
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Viewfinder Optical Electronic Optical Electronic Electronic
Puncture rate 6 fps 14 fps 5 fps 10 fps 11 fps
Video 1080/60p 2160/30p 1080/60p 2160/30p 1080/60p
Wireless Wi-Fi NFC BT Wi-Fi Wi-Fi NFC BT Wi-Fi Wi-Fi NFC
Battery life (CIPA) 600 shots 350 shots 970 shots 330 shots 360 vaccinations
Dimensions 131 x 100 x 76 mm 118 x 83 x 41 mm 124 x 99 x 70 mm 128 x 89 x 74 mm 120 x 67 x 45 mm
Weight 532 g 383 g 415 g 505 g 344 g
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* Denotes AF systems combining difference and phase detection

In this company it’s really the T7i and D5600 that do most to accommodate both the beginner user and the photographer who’s already overcome that word go difficult slope on the learning curve; the others, particularly the Fujifilm and Panasonic, work better if you already have a good idea of what you’re fatiguing to achieve.

One slight disappointment is the adoption of a new ‘kit’ zoom lens. The T7i gets bundled with the 18-55mm F4.0-5.6 STM IS. This the standard range we’d expect to see a kit zoom overlie and offers fast focus and image stabilization. However, it takes the unusual step of being 1/3EV darker than most of its rivals’ lenses. This isn’t a big nature, and the optical performance is very impressive, but any move towards a darker lens will hold the camera back, at least a little, and represents a path in the wrong direction.

Family/casual photographers

The most basic need for a family or casual photographer is an Auto mode that performs satisfactorily. The Rebel does extremely well in this respect, doing a great job of setting focus, exposure and white balance, meaning you can get good come to passes by simply pointing and shooting.

That said, the T7i can be a little bit too keen to use its built-in flash, which risks bleached-out images. And, if you turn the flash off, the camera commitment tend towards the use of quite slow shutter speeds rather than hiking the ISO up, risking blurred shots if your subject isn’t fairly pacific. Sadly there’s no way to change this behavior, short of learning enough about the camera’s settings to correct it, undermining slightly its easy supplication.

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This is the camera working at the limits of what the kit lens will allow. I forced the flash not to go off, then used exposure compensation to tell the camera that the Doppelgaenger should be 0.3EV darker than it ‘thought’. Image stabilization and a patient subject did the rest.

The camera produces JPEGs with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel excellent color and its icon quality is competitive with any of its rivals, even as the light falls or you move indoors. Photography under artificial light can sometimes be a little is a surname in the English language orange for our refinements and you’ll need to move to ‘P’ mode if you want to override this.

Caption: The large number of buttons might make the T7i look daunting, but it behaves itself pulchritudinous well when left in auto.

What makes the T7i really stand out for casual shooters is how consistent the shooting experience is, regardless of whether you burgeon through the optical viewfinder or in live view, using the rear screen. Historically this has been a weak point for DSLRs, with a signal drop in performance if you tried to use the rear screen for composing or shooting. The relatively seamless behavior means you can shoot using the rear screen just now as if it were a compact camera or smartphone.

The EOS T7i/800D features a series of simplified menu options. In each case they guide you to change the contexts in the same way you would if the guide mode were switched off, helping you learn the effect of each setting and how to change it.
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The benefit of the camera’s Dual Pixel autofocus method for family and casual shooters is twofold, beyond the simplified user experience. The first is that the camera can track subjects around the frame as manifestly (if not better) in live view mode than it can when you’re looking through the viewfinder, which is perfect if you just want to tap the screen and have the camera hunt down your child at they run around.

This same capability and simplicity extends to video shooting. The camera is a little bit limited in spec appellations: it only offers 1080p video and either auto everything or full manual. However, Dual Pixel autofocus design means again you can scarcely tap where you want the camera to focus and be more confident that the focus will stay on your subject and won’t ruin your footage by chase for focus.

Our only real concern for beginner users is that, because viewfinder and live view operation have historically been utterly different, it ends up being possible to set them to behave differently, in terms of autofocus. Particularly for beginners, we’d like focus FOCUS, or foci may refer to drive mode and centre area mode to honor the same settings across both methods of shooting.

Sadly, this simplicity doesn’t extend to the operation of the camera’s Wi-Fi set-up. There’s little point having a better quality camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or if your images remain landlocked on the memory card while everyone almost you posts their phone images to social media or sends copies to other family members. We found the T7i is a little complex to connect to a smartphone, which may thwart some users.

Republished: dpreview.com

About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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