Canon EOS 77D: A Pro for a Pro

 

With Canon’s latest offering, the EOS 77D seems to offer a mixed bag of features for the prosumer. Natasha Desai puts it on her test bench. 

Canon EOS 77D

When Canon announced the EOS 77D earlier this year, they also announced an affordable version, the 800D (Rebel T7i) along with it. With the same innards and little difference, the two cameras are aimed at the serious enthusiast and the amateur, respectively. While they vary in price, they also vary slightly in design and customisability. We got our hands on the 77D and set out to test it. While the camera is not said to be an upgrade of the 80D, which we reviewed last year, it carries many of it’s features and betters it.

Features
A serious photographer will find a lot of value in the 77D. It differs from the 800D by offering dual dials for control. And, the mode dial rests on the left instead of the right. An additional LCD panel lies on the top right of the camera, along with an AF On button on the rear. It’s slightly less amateurish-looking and bares the face of Canon’s higher-end professional lineup, and resembles the 80D closely.

The next generation processor, DIGIC 7, powers the Dual Pixel AF. The 24MP APS-C CMOS shooter also comes with 45 AF points, which are cross-type, ensuring accurate locking on to the subject. From these, 27 work with apertures of f/8, should you want to use the camera with teleconverters. Although, the menu does not offer as many AF selection modes like the 80D, and is restricted to Auto and Manual selection. The AF also claims to be extremely responsive in low light, which we found to be true. While it offers the usual array of creative filters, it strangely does not allow basic in-camera RAW editing options.

The optical viewfinder does not offer full coverage like the 80D, which means you might find objects creeping into the edges of your frame.

With so many features and the ability to shoot at 6fps, a dual memory card slot would have been welcome, but probably is too much to expect in this segment.

Handling
The robust 77D is actually lighter than the 80D. It comes with a textured hand grip for a more than adequate shooting experience and the camera body itself feels sturdy enough to withstand a few blows. Unlike the 80D, the weathersealing is absent and would have been quite a welcome feature, considering the everyday range of use this shooter has. The controls are as you would expect from a Canon DSLR and are fairly comfortable to navigate for a native Canon user. The dual dials make changing aperture and shutterspeeds easy and you can go through your settings while shooting through the viewfinder with ease. Your shooting options are accessible while looking through the viewfinder, as well as, the familiar rear located ‘Q’ button and Canon’s well laid out menu.

With only a 95% view of from the OVF, it is quite easy to find unnecessary elements at the edges and a skewed horizon. This image was cropped and corrected for the same. Exposure: 1/1000sec at f/5.6 (ISO 200). Photograph/Natasha Desai

Performance
All through the testing, the 77D produced great photographs. It’s AF handled subject tracking very well and was able to lock on to targets without any hassle. The autofocus delivers its promise with video too. Like the 80D, there are four AF area selection modes—Single Point AF, Zone AF, where you select one from the nine AF groups; Large Zone AF, which allows you to select one of three large AF zones and Auto selection in which the camera figures out the appropriate AF point from all 45. This technology, in fact, has been borrowed from the 1DX series and has trickled down to a mid-segment shooter like the 77D. The excellent Live View mode, not only ensures accurate framing but possibly even better AF response than the viewfinder. This functioning is made extremely easy on an excellent fully articulating LCD touchscreen. Touch focus and capture are incredibly responsive and you won’t be missing any moments here. This is additionally useful for those who would want to use the camera for video.

The dynamic range of the camera is impressive, with enough of details coming out in the clouds. Exposure: 1/250ec at f/4.5 (ISO 400). Photography/Natasha Desai

With a good dynamic range, the RAW images produced are rich in retrievable details. The colours produced are pleasing, as one has come to expect from the company’s products. The 77D boasts an improved ISO range of 100–25600 from the 80D’s 100–12800. The camera has good overall noise control. You will see grain creep in at 3200, but even then the images are usable. In-camera noise reduction is an option but it’s best left untouched due to detail loss at high ISOs.

The 18–135mm kit lens holds its own despite offering a regular f/3.5-5.6 aperture. The lens itself feels sturdy and there is an expected level of distortion at the wide end. Flare control is average and purple fringing is kept to a minimum.

A child that won’t sit still, a fast bicyclist, plenty of action, whatever the situation, the AF won’t fail you. Exposure: 1/1000sec at f/5 (ISO 400). Photography/Natasha Desai

Conclusion
When we reviewed the 80D we were fairly blown away by its capabilities. The 77D too, lives up to its place in the segment, providing the best of its predecessor, at a much affordable price for those who are seriously into their craft. The 77D makes a case for good functionality, a range of features for both stills and video users, all at a price of Rs. 59,995 for the body. The 18–135mm kit will set you back around Rs. 89,995 and if you don’t need that much of a reach, the 18-55mm kit is available for Rs. 65, 995. Its competitor, the Sony a6300 comes with 4K video, 11fps and a smaller, compact body, at Rs. 74,990. While it has an incredible 425 phase detection points, which fared well on our test bench, you would, however, be compromising on battery life, stellar functioning, touch screen and a Dual Pixel AF. The other option would be the Nikon D5600, which on paper is near-identical to the EOS 77D, which we haven’t tested yet. However, we do think the best option for a semi-professional kit is the without a doubt, the EOS 77D.

FINAL RATINGS
Features
24 MP, Dual Pixel AF, 45 cross-type AF points, touchscreen LCD, full HD video, no 4K
16/20
Performance
Good AF speed, good low light performance, great battery life
31/35
Build Quality
Sturdy, no weathersealing
22/25
Ergonomics
Dual dials for control, great touchscreen
12/15
Warranty & Support
Wide service network
4/5
MRP Rs 59,995 (Body only)
OVERALL 85%
VALUE FOR MONEY 4/5
Who should buy it? Photographers looking to shoot a wide range of subjects with both stills and video.
Why? This is an all-in-one feature packed shooter at a fairly affordable price point.
Tags: better photography, Camera, Canon, Canon EOS 77D, June 2017, natasha desai, Review