Student/developing photographers

The other key audience Canon has always aimed this series of cameras at is a person who wants a camera they can learn and grow into. This is a difficult balance to strike: the more camera and capability you offer for developing photographers, the more you risk over-complicating the camera for those users who don't necessarily want to learn every function.

The T7i does a great job of striking this balance. Its guided and simplified user interface acts like training wheels, supporting you until you can live without it. Once you've done away with it, you're left with a camera that offers a good level of direct control and a well-worked Q.Menu that lets you change some of the less-obvious settings without menu diving.

Canon's JPEG color is among the most popular. Here we've set the white balance to 'Daylight' to capture how orange the late evening sunshine was.

Again, the highly capable autofocus, particularly in live view mode and video shooting help set the T7i apart as your photography develop. It means you can spend a little money on a better or more specialized lens, after shooting the camera for a year, rather than feeling the need to move to a more expensive camera.

There are a couple of odd omissions that you might find yourself missing as your knowledge grows, though. The lack of in-camera Raw conversion option is frustrating, for instance. It's now a commonplace feature unless you're shooting Sony or low-end Canon (it's offered on the 80D and upwards). The option to re-process a Raw file with other settings such as lifted shadows, corrected white balance or a touch more contrast is hugely useful if you want to Wi-Fi and post to social media.

The camera's Auto Lighting Optimizer lifts the shadows to balance high-contrast scenes. Sadly, there's no in-camera Raw conversion option to let you apply more or less of the effect, after you've shot your image.

Another disappointing limitation is the simplistic Auto ISO implementation. You can choose the highest ISO the camera should use, but there's no way of telling the camera whether you're more concerned about camera shake or subject movement, so it won't necessarily get you the photo you want. Canon has a more sophisticated system, but has chosen not to include it here.

Overall, these are minor concerns, though. The balance of features and image quality make the T7i an excellent choice for someone just getting into photography or hoping to develop their skills and understanding. That said, the more expensive but very similar EOS 77D adds an extra control dial for faster operation, while maintaining everything that makes the T7i so attractive.


Conclusion

The Canon Rebel series has long been a safe bet: not necessarily the best camera available, but usually competent and competitively priced. Looking around the comparison table above, it might look like that story has been repeated: there are cheaper cameras with competitive specs, faster cameras and cameras that shoot better video. Yet the T7i stands out as the best Rebel I've ever used.

It's not got the best specifications we've ever seen, but the new kit lens is really quite capable.

Guide modes are pretty common on cameras of this type but I've rarely seen one that helps with learning how the camera operates beyond guide mode, rather than leaving you stuck in a simplified mode forever. This, combined with the consistency of performance between shooting through the optical viewfinder and rear screen (in terms of both speed and effectiveness), makes the T7i one of the easiest DSLRs to use if you're not familiar with their operation. It also means it's one of the easiest cameras to capture video with.

It's not perfect: the video is only 1080 and is a little soft, settings aren't always consistent between live view and viewfinder shooting and the supposedly simple Wi-Fi system is perhaps too clever for its own good. Overall, though, it's a great camera for its intended audiences.


Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
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Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D / Kiss X9i
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 Rebel T7i/800D is arguably the best ever Rebel. Its Dual Pixel autofocus allows it to offer similarly fast performance whether you shoot through the viewfinder or in live view mode, helping make it one of the most accessible DSLRs we've ever encountered.
Good for
Casual and beginner photographers looking for an easy-to-use and relatively easy-to-learn DSLR.
Not so good for
Enthusiast users, who will eventually hit the camera's limitations. Dedicated video shooters have better choices for the money.
80%
Overall score