Review: Canon 77D

The logic behind the Canon 77D is one that in some ways doesn’t really make sense to me. But if Canon believes that it will get them sales, then so be it. However, with at least three Rebels, two mid tier, and one high end tier APS-C camera there’s a lot of head scratching to do. I mean, why not do something similar between the 5D series and the 1D series? Or between the Canon 5D and 6D? Either way there are surely a number of really interesting things about the Canon 77D such as the 24MP APS-C sensor, the interestingly pleasant ergonomic controls, the autofocus that almost never missed a shot, and Canon’s incredibly simple and straight forward menu interface that I wish everyone else would get half as right.

Though to be fair, it shouldn’t be this expensive.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Pretty decent image quality if you’re not pixel peeping, or printing large above ISO 800
  • Fantastic autofocus
  • Incredible battery life
  • Solid feel yet lightweight
  • If you’re a Canon user, the controls are intuitive
  • WiFi, NFC, and beaming to Canon’s printers
  • Interesting approach to the on/off switch
  • Mode dial is an interesting yet subtle nod to the retro ergonomics that Canon has been fighting so hard
  • Tilt and swivel LCD screen is beautiful
  • Canon continues to have a great menu system

Cons

  • I wish it had more direct AF point control
  • I seriously wish that Canon would have made a full frame version of this camera instead of yet another APS-C camera. In fact, this camera deserves a full frame sensor
  • Pricey for an APS-C sensor DSLR, especially when there are fantastic deals on the Nikon D5000 series cameras, the Sony a6000, and the Fujifilm X-T20; which are all arguably better in some way or another.

Gear Used

We tested the Canon 77D with the 18-55mm kit lens and the Adorama Flashpoint Zoom Lion Flash.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from our original blog post

  • Weather sealing: no weather sealing
  • Other movie modes and Codec: MP4 and previous movie modes
  • Lens options: 18-135mm STM new.
  • 3.5 inch LCD screen
  • Under an 80D and over a Canon Rebel T6s
  • Main dial
  • Quick control dial
  • Fully articulated Screen
  • 24MP APSC
  • DIGIC 7
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 45 point AF with all cross type
  • 6fps viewfinder, continuous Af servo live view at 4.5 fps
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF
  • 1080p 60p
  • WiFi, NFC and bluetooth low energy
  • WiFi quick access button
  • 500 grams 1.1 lbs body only

The Canon EOS 77D is scheduled to be available in April 2017 for an estimated retail price $899.99 for the body only, $1,049.00 with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens and $1,499.00** with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens respectively.

Ergonomics

The Canon 77D is an interesting camera. It isn’t quite mid tier, it isn’t quite entry level – it lives in this weird spot in between. Yet in many ways, it adheres to Canon’s formulas for making cameras. There is very little in the way of ergonomics controls on the front.

Move to the top of the camera and what you’ll find are a number of other controls. There’s the locking mode dial on the Canon 77D, AF point selection, ISO control, exposure control, etc. Between all this is the hot shoe.

Rebel and 80D users alike will understand this mode dial. Also note that the LCD screen is a flip-out-tilt-swivel.

Turn to the back of the Canon 77D and what you’ll find are more controls around the screen. The On/Off/Video switch is new and Canon has added in new features like the WiFi direct access button. Ergonomically speaking, a lot of this makes sense.

Build Quality

While Canon is specific in stating that the Canon 77D doesn’t have any sort of weather sealing, it should be noted that the company created a very solid feeling camera body while keeping it lightweight. In fact, in certain areas the camera feels hollow–like around the grip. Yet the Canon 77D still has a solid ergonomic structure to it.

Ease of Use

If you’re a veteran Canon shooter, a lot of the controls and menus will be like coming back home. Canon’s implementation of the touch screen is arguably some of the best in the industry especially in regards to navigating the menus. There simply is no other faster option on the market right now.

Autofocus

In single autofocus point selection mode, the Canon 77D is very accurate with the 18-55mm kit lens–which Canon believes most people will never upgrade beyond. Similarly, if you’re using the wide area AF system, Canon’s AF algorithms are pretty smart in regards to picking and locking onto an area. Combine this with Program auto, and you’re not going to have a whole lot of reason to complain.

Metering

In our tests, the Canon 77D adheres to Sunny 16 standards by +/- a third of a stop. That’s pretty standard in the digital photography world. With that said, I wouldn’t expect street photographers, who are most likely to worry about Sunny 16 to even use this camera a whole lot. But travel photographers and hobbyists surely would.

Image Quality

I found the overall image quality of the Canon 77D to be satisfactory for most people. But at a certain point I couldn’t do a whole lot with the color processing and the high ISO output when compared to the offerings from other manufacturers.

JPEG Quality

First off, what you’ll really like about this camera is the JPEG output. It’s punchy, clear, bright, and pretty beautiful. I’d have no problems beaming an image from the camera to my phone to post online or to Instagram.

High ISO Output

On the idea of using an image for the web, that’s pretty much all that I’d do for the high ISO output. Beyond ISO 800 I probably wouldn’t print the images from the Canon 77D but the high ISO output is decent for the web.

RAW File Versatility

Original

Above you can find the original file, which in Lightroom and when using the camera’s faithful color profile it pretty nice. But look what’s possible in the image below.

Edited

Now if you’re not a complete noob at editing and messing with color channels then you should know that it’s possible to get quite a bit of extra results from the highlights and the shadows. Again though, this as always depends on how you’re metering your image.

Extra Image Samples

Conclusions

Likes

  • Small size
  • Autofocus
  • Battery Life
  • Solid build
  • Controls

Dislikes

  • Price
  • Should have been full frame, this could have been on my absolutely highly recommended list if so. In fact, a full frame Rebel would be even better
  • Lack of direct autofocus controls

The Canon 77D is a great camera for a lot of people out there. But at the price point, there are also a whole lot of other great cameras. Where the 77D shines is the light weight, simple user interface, and autofocus in many ways. Personally though, I’d prefer to reach for the Fujifilm X-T20 at this price point yet the Canon 77D still surely does have a lot going for it.

The Canon 77D wins four out of five stars. Want one? Check out the latest Adorama listing for more.