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Touchscreen interface

The Canon EOS 700D features a well-designed and integrated touchscreen interface that may go a llong way towards making users upgrading from compact cameras more comfortable with the DSLR handling experience.

Virtually every aspect of the EOS 700D's operation can be controlled via its touchscreen. The aperture setting display shown here is accessed through the Quick Control display in A and M modes; you simply drag the scale to change the aperture. Note that this image shows the near-identical EOS 650D.

Rather than opt for just a few features like AF point selection or shutter activation, Canon has made just about everything controllable through touch. In live view you can set the focus point, fire the shutter, zoom and scroll through the preview. In addition, you can access the Quick Control screen which - like in the EOS 600D - provides easy access to image shooting parameters. Touchscreeen functionality even extends to all of the camera's menus and submenus.

The screen itself is of a capacitive type - like a smartphone - which means it is contact, rather than pressure sensitive. The upside is that the screen is very responsive to even the slightest touch. This also means, however - as any iPhone owner knows - that you can't operate it with traditional gloves, which presents an issue when shooting outdoors during the winter months. Wiping the screen with a lens cloth or a shirt sleeve will activate touchscreen controls, however. Here in the dpreview office, we've found that the fabric needs to be folded on itself in at least a 3-ply layer to avoid inadvertent touchscreen operation.

Integrating touchscreen control is one thing. Designing an interface which is both easy and efficient to use is quite another. We're happy to report that Canon has done an outstanding job of combining form and function, with a clean, intuitive interface that in many instances lets you accomplish tasks faster than using external controls. And rest assured, that if touchscreen operation holds no appeal for you, you can simply ignore it and use the physical buttons as you always have.

You have the option to completely disable touchscreen operation via the setup menu, enabling the 700D to perform much the same as the entry-level 600D.

As you can see here, the menu tab icons across the top of the screen are closely spaced, which can make them a little tricky to select by touch.

It should be clear already that we're quite impressed with Canon's touchscreen implementation on the 700D (we liked it in the EOS 650D and it hasn't changed with that model's replacement). The screen is responsive, supports common smartphone-style gestures and has been integrated with the icon design in a way that makes touchscreen use both intuitive, and in many cases more efficient the the camera's traditional controls.

By default the camera beeps at every press of an onscreen icon. On a less responsive system where you're frequently wondering if your press has registered, this may make sense. Because the interface is so well-designed, however, the audible confirmation feels unnecessary. Fortunately you can mute this sound, while retaining the AF confirmation beep, which we do find extremely helpful.

We wouldn't mind seeing such well-implemented touchscreen interfaces from other DSLR cameras in the near future. If we have any complaint, it's that the main menu icons, particularly the tabs along the top are a bit small and too closely spaced to accurately activate by touch. It takes more concentrated effort than we'd like to press say, the third Setup menu tab instead of the second one. In these situations we often find ourselves reverting to the main control dial and 4-way controller.

Overall though we can't help but applaud Canon for taking such a committed approach and implementing it so successfully. Even if you're not a smartphone aficionado, the touchscreen can, in many instances offer a faster way to work.

Quick Control mode

In the sections that follow, we're going to look at what we consider the touchscreen's greatest strength; its integration with the Quick Control menu, a feature that in and of itself is not new to the Rebel lineup. In combination with touch-sensitive buttons, however, it is one of the operational highlights of the 700D.

Quick Control menu in viewfinder mode

In the traditional through-the-viewfinder shooting mode, the information display shows the status of nearly all shooting parameters you'd likely change between shots. Once you press the 'Q' button, these settings (and a few additional ones) become touch sensitive, as indicated by the round-cornered boxes surrounding each of them.

This is the rear screen information display for normal eye-level shooting. By default, only the 'Q' icon at the bottom corner is touch sensitive, as indicated by the round edged rectangle. Tap this or press the camera's external 'Q' button, however... ...and the entire screen activates. You can then either navigate functions with the 4-way controller and change them with the rear dial as before, or tap an onscreen function button...
...to bring up a screen of options displayed as well-spaced, easily selectable touch buttons.

The 'back button' icon at the bottom returns you to the previous screen.
Parameters that fall along a range of values, such as aperture, can be adjusted either by pressing the onscreen arrows, dragging your finger along the scale or by simply touching a specific value. The 4-way controller and main dial can still be used as well.

Wide ranging parameters such as aperture (shown above) and shutter speed are displayed using a horizontal scale. Making a selection on designs such as these is a bit fiddly, particularly when trying to set in-between values. From these screens though you are still able to use the main control dial which we found to be more precise when moving in 1/3 stop increments.

For nearly all other settings though, using the touchscreen to change Quick Control settings is very fast, requiring no separate confirmation step. You press your desired setting value and you're done. One thing that can slow you down considerably though is the Feature guide, which is enabled by default and provides very basic tips on the selected image setting. All but the most inexperienced shooters would do well to turn this feature off for a more fluid touchscreen experience.

Quick Control screen in live view

In live view, the camera's exposure settings can be changed via touch-enabled icons. Activating the Quick Control menu provides access to eight additional shooting controls; AF method, drive mode, image quality/size, flash control, WB, Picture Style, Auto Lighting Optimizer and metering mode. It's a bit of a shame that the camera's noise reduction settings are not available here, but Canon has at least seen fit to unearth it from the custom function menu (where it was on the 600D) to one of the main menu's shooting tabs on the 700D.

In live view shooting there are touch buttons along the bottom of the screen for shutter speed and aperture (M mode) exposure compensation, ISO and magnification. The bottom icon at far left enables/disables touch shutter capability. Press the onscreen (or external) Q button and you have access to nine separate shooting parameters. Each is represented by an icon located in one of two vertical rows.
The available options are displayed in a row along the bottom of the screen. Parameters with secondary options, like the Picture Styles shown here, can be adjusted further by pressing the onscreen (or external) Info button.

Quick Control screen in playback mode

Playback mode likewise offers a similar-looking touch-sensitive Quick Control screen. Not to be overlooked is the ability to use two fingers gestures in playback mode for more efficient image review.

Here you get the option to protect, rotate, resize, or rate your images (0-5 stars), and apply Creative Filters in post-processing. Among the seven Creative Filters along the bottom of the screen is a Toy Camera option. Pressing the Set button (either onscreen or external) gives access to the three toning options, all selectable by touch. You also get an immediate preview of the final result.
You can also configure the 'image jump' setting. Options shown here include image count, date, folder, movie files, still images and rating. Once configured, you trigger the 'jump' either with a two-finger swipe, or more conventionally, by rotating the main dial. If you're in the habit of rating your images, you can setup the camera to jump to any rated images or even just those of a specific rating.
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Comments

Total comments: 9
Kishore Pratap Sanghvi
By Kishore Pratap Sanghvi (1 week ago)

I am graduating from a bridge camera to a DSLR. Have been a hobby photographer for many years primarily doing landscape photography but I do it only when on a vacation that would be twice a year. I was a little confused whether to buy a Canon 700D or a Nikon D5300. I have always used Canon cameras before and after going thru many reviews comparing the two cameras I am not wiser. I also understand that once one buys a DSLR one continues to buy cameras of that family so that it can save money on lenses. Assuming that the quality of photos is not much different in the two cameras is the touch screen in 700D so useful that I should buy a Canon or the WIFI-GPS so important in the Nikon. As there anything else that help me decide between the two. Your advice would be most helpful.Tx. You can reply directly on my mail - drkpsanghvi@gmail.com

0 upvotes
ravi pratap
By ravi pratap (3 weeks ago)

canon 600d or 700d ?
i have been carefully seeing 1000s of photos taken by 600d and 700d on flickr and other review sites including this top cam site, in review images 600d looks better on most parameters notably sharpness and color but on flickr photos 600d pix looks a bit less sharp to 700d pix which is more evident on night landscapes shots.
Especially a few shots on 700d plus canon 18-135 of hongkong night landscape is very sharp with great color...which none of nikon, sony or pantex match...i m in dilemma , can the 600d with 18-135 canon match 700d?
experts are requested to clear the doubt, thanks!

0 upvotes
tophy42
By tophy42 (1 month ago)

its very great camera and the new design is beautiful
my bro buy one yesterday and till this moment never stopped shooting

Really great product

0 upvotes
Neo111
By Neo111 (5 months ago)

An outstanding review as usual. I just wish camera makers would let cameras be cameras and camcorders be camcorders. All I want is a camera. Take away the video mode gubbins and we would see a big drop in price. I can buy a pocket camcorder if I need urgent video. Why stick it in a camera at all? Better buffers could be included and also better features by knocking out the video stuff. Well, that's what I think anyway.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
rinkos
By rinkos (5 months ago)

blah blah blah ..cannon stays cannon ..all the new shiny freaks will rush on buying a camera that is basically the same as the one they had 3 years ago .
no true innovation from cannon for a long while now .

just for once i wish they would atleast try to innovate something new

1 upvote
Dave Smith Trelawnyd
By Dave Smith Trelawnyd (5 months ago)

A nice camera that replaced my 600D after it ingested yellow steam on a volcano!
The camera does everything I ask of it including astro photography, and the touch screen is used far more than I thought it would be, all in all an excellent camera.

0 upvotes
Pepe Le Pew
By Pepe Le Pew (7 months ago)

The Rebel series are getting worse and worse every year

3 upvotes
PDBreach
By PDBreach (5 months ago)

How so? This is an upgrade..

0 upvotes
cor ela d obe x6Ps6
By cor ela d obe x6Ps6 (4 months ago)

@pepe... then, what is the best DSLR?

1 upvote
Total comments: 9