Conclusion

Pros Cons
  • 24MP sensor brings Dual Pixel AF and dynamic range improvements
  • Digic 7 processor improves Live View autofocus tracking
  • Good touchscreen interface and responsiveness
  • Updated 45-point autofocus system with all cross-type points for better accuracy
  • Twin control dials offer more hands-on control
  • Top plate LCD provides shooting settings at-a-glance
  • Microphone port for better audio during video recording
  • Built-in interval timer for time lapses
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with NFC for image transfer and remote control
  • Video image stabilization is very good
  • Easy-to-use and dependable AF in video
  • iTR AF subject tracking still unreliable
  • Somewhat plasticky build
  • No in-camera Raw processing
  • Auto ISO implementation too basic
  • Dynamic range still lags behind peers
  • Lacking 4K video
  • No autofocus microadjustment (AFMA)
  • Limited button customization
  • Pentamirror viewfinder on the small side (smallest ever in an XXD-series Canon)
  • Burst shooting speed lags behind peers
  • No zebra highlight warning
  • No headphone socket

Overall conclusion

What's in a name? The EOS 77D may, at first glance, appear to be a new entry for Canon to slot between their Rebel T7i and EOS 80D. But dig a little deeper into the specifications and you'll see that the differentiators between the 77D and the Rebel T7i are about as significant as those between the older Rebel T6s and T6i, respectively. To us, it appears that this re-naming is evidence that Canon is possibly aiming this successor to the 's' line of Rebels at a higher market segment; ordinarily, that would be annoying. But here, it seems pretty justified.

The EOS 77D is a remarkably well-rounded and capable camera at its price point. For a pretty big discount compared to the EOS 80D, you get that camera's sensor and autofocus system, plus you get a newer processor to boot, which has a meaningful impact on Live View performance. Not too shabby. 

The articulating screen plus fast and reliable autofocus in Live View means far less crouching for low-angle shooting. Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM
Processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw | ISO 100 | 1/200 sec | F5
Photo by Carey Rose

Of course, this camera is still pretty plasticky. It's still a black hunk of DSLR. It's not going to win any beauty contests or elicit 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from strangers on the street, or your friends at the bar with their retro-styled mirrorless cameras. But if appearances don't matter to you, and if you want one of the best Live View experiences on the market as well as an optical viewfinder and a fleshed out lens ecosystem, the EOS 77D should be on your shortlist to check out.

Body, handling and features

The EOS 77D looks thoroughly ordinary. It's got a lightweight, plasticky build without any claimed weather sealing, though despite this, it feels solid. The buttons all have decent feedback, the dials are great and the articulating screen mechanism feels robust.

Compared to the Rebel T7i, the EOS 77D gains twin-dials, an AF-ON button, a top-plate LCD and an eye sensor to shut off the main screen when you raise the camera to your eye. In other words, it's geared more towards enthusiasts than its Rebel sibling, which is as we'd expect.

If it's too bright for Live View, there's always the OVF. Canon EF 70-300mm F4-5.6 IS II USM
Edited and cropped to taste in Adobe Camera Raw | ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F5.6
Photo by Jeff Keller

Handling is a strong point overall. While the optical viewfinder is fairly small and dim (it's the smallest to grace an XXD-series DSLR and the first time a pentamirror has been used), controls are easily accessible by feel with the camera to your eye. Using the EOS 77D in Live View is very similar to using a large-ish mirrorless camera. You still have a ton of controls accessible with your right hand, and you can control the Q menu and autofocus with your left while cradling the screen. We do wish there were more options for button customization, though.

The EOS 77D isn't big on new and novel features. You get scene modes and 'creative' filters such as toy camera and miniature effect, sure, but there's no traditional in-camera Raw processing. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity is a strong point, allowing for easy download of images and full controls for remote shooting. Auto ISO is very basic, and is fine for casual use, but it offers no option to select or bias the minimum shutter speed the camera selects.

Image and video quality

The 24MP sensor in the EOS 77D (which is also present in the EOS 80D, Rebel T7i, EOS M5 and EOS M6) is a solid unit. It still can't match the market leaders in terms of dynamic range, but it's a huge improvement over older Canon APS-C chips. You'll get typically pleasing Canon color in JPEGs along with Canon's typically lackluster sharpening and noise reduction, particularly at higher ISO values. As you'd expect, shooting Raw will give you the best results.

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM
Processed to taste from Raw | ISO 100 | 1/800 sec | F2
Photo by Carey Rose

Our unit shipped with the EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM kit lens. It offers a good zoom range, lightning fast autofocus, and great build quality. Our copy also tended to be pretty soft throughout the zoom range. As a casual all-round lens it's fine, but for best results we'd recommend picking up an inexpensive EF-S prime or two.

Video recording tops out at 1080/60p, and the detail capture is somewhat lacking. However, Dual Pixel AF and surprisingly good 5-axis digital image stabilization make it remarkably easy (and even fun) to shoot in-focus, stable hand-held video. Canon's implementation of face detection is among the best we've seen. We wouldn't really recommend the 77D for serious use, but for casual clips, vlogging or family movies, it's more than competent.

Performance and autofocus

The EOS 77D operates with typical DSLR swiftness that also carries through to Live View to make for a really polished user experience, regardless of how you shoot. Burst speeds come in at 6fps with the optical viewfinder, dropping to between 4 and 5fps in Live View. Battery life is good at 600 shots using the optical viewfinder, but consider an additional battery if - you guessed it - you're frequently using Live View.

In terms of autofocus, the EOS 77D inherits the exact same 45-point all-cross-type phase detection system from the more expensive EOS 80D. In Single AF shooting this system is reliable, and the autofocus coverage in the optical viewfinder is generous. Continuous autofocus with a single point will get you plenty of keepers, but Canon's iTR subject tracking through the viewfinder continues to be disappointing. Besides telling the camera to use color information to aid tracking, there are no autofocus custom settings whatsoever. Worse, the 77D loses the 80D's ability to adjust your lenses focus accuracy via autofocus microadjustment (AFMA) for viewfinder shooting. This last point borders on inexcusable for a XXD-series camera, making it feel more like a Rebel than anything else.

Canon EF 40mm F2.8 STM
ISO 640 | 1/80 sec | F2.8
Photo by Carey Rose

It's in Live View with Dual Pixel AF that the EOS 77D really shines. It will track with a single area just as well as the traditional phase detection system, and actually gets you more keepers using subject tracking, if you can get along with the lower burst rate. In keeping with Canon's claims, we've found that the new Digic 7 processor in the 77D (and Rebel T7i) has meaningfully improved Live View subject tracking.

Lastly, face detection in Live View is just as excellent as it's been on the last few generations of Canon cameras, making it exceedingly easy to shoot candid solo or group portraits, events and the like.

The final word

Like previous members of Canon's Rebel line, since this essentially a rebadged Rebel, I don't expect the EOS 77D to set the world on fire. It's not so much a camera to be coveted or drooled over; it's a camera to simply be used that will reward the user with pleasing results day in and day out. And at first, I was a little put off by Canon's new naming scheme for this successor to the Rebel T6s, but I've come around.

Canon EF 40mm F2.8
Out of camera JPEG | ISO 100 | 1/400 sec | F4
Photo by Carey Rose

Many newly released cameras are aiming ever further up-market. Part of this comes down to that market shrinking, but also, cameras have broadly become so good in recent years that there isn't much room for more than two tiers of so-called 'entry-level' Rebels. Perhaps that's what Canon was thinking, because for a camera that's this capable and well-rounded, it would seem a disservice to bestow upon it a moniker that's synonymous with the company's more basic and pedestrian of interchangeable lens cameras.

In truth, the EOS 77D stands alone. There just isn't another option in the marketplace at this price that offers a decent optical viewfinder, a polished Live View experience and this level of control. So while the EOS 77D may not catch everyone's eye, it is nevertheless a compelling, reliable and relatively affordable jack-of-all-photographic-trades - as long as you don't need 4K video.

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Canon EOS 77D / EOS 9000D
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The Canon EOS 77D is a well-rounded and well-sorted camera. The ergonomics are great, Live View performance is superb and Dual Pixel Autofocus continues to impress. The viewfinder is a little on the small side and it still doesn't shoot 4K video, but as an all-around package for the enthusiast photographer, the EOS 77D deserves a look.
Good for
Enthusiasts and amateurs who are looking to take more control over their photography, and those looking to capture video with ease.
Not so good for
Sports and peak action shooters, videographers who must have the highest quality footage.
82%
Overall score

Sample Gallery

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