Virtually identical for the most part to look at as well as sporting pretty much the same feature set, the T6s offered more body-mounted controls and a small LCD display designed to appeal to more experienced users wanting more control.
Fast forward two years and Canon has done the same thing again, launching the EOS 77D alongside the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D.
Things are a little different this time though. The EOS 77D may share the same features as the T7i, but this time Canon has opted for a more distinctive and slightly larger design to separate the two models.
Costing $1499.99 / £1199.99 with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (Australian pricing still to be confirmed), let's take a look at what extra you get for your money over the T7i.
- APS-C CMOS Sensor, 24.2MP
- 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
- 1080p video capture
As we've touched upon, look underneath the skin of the EOS 77D and its pretty much identical to the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D. That means it gets the new 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor that uses Canon's latest sensor technology.
This should mean that is uses the same on-chip analogue-to-digital conversion technology that we've seen on the likes of the EOS 5D Mark IV. If this is the case, it should produce cleaner images at higher ISOs compared to the older sensor in the Rebel T6i and T6s.
Regardless of this, images promise to be cleaner at higher sensitivities thanks to the arrival of a new DIGIC 7 image processor, with a native range of 100-25,600 that can be pushed another stop further to an ISO equivalent of 51,200. As well as this, the DIGIC 7 chip is also said to improve AF performance over the DIGIC 6 processor.
Like the Rebel T7i / 800D, the EOS 77D uses a 3.0-inch, vari-angle touchscreen display with a resolution of 1,040,000 dots, while there's an optical viewfinder with a 95% coverage.
As we've seen with mirrorless rivals like the Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85 and Fuji X-T20, 4K video capture is becoming more of a standard feature on cameras, so it's disappointing to see it omitted on the EOS 77D.
Instead, you get Full HD capture up to 60p, while the EOS 77D also sports Canon's new 5-axis image stabilization system for shooting hand-held footage.
This in-camera system is designed for videos only - this isn't Canon ditching its lens-based IS system, but these optics will be able to work in tandem if you want.
The EOS 77D supports both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, while there's also the option to set up a low-energy Bluetooth connection so that you can always be connected to the camera. This enables you to remotely wake the camera from its sleep mode (provided you haven't turned the camera fully off), as well as browse photos and operate the camera remotely from your smart device.
Build and handling
- Aluminum alloy and polycarbonate construction
- Design features a top-plate LCD
If the Rebel T7i / 800D and 80D had a love-child, then the EOS 77D would be it.
Proportionally larger than the T7i, it's not quite as large as the EOS 80D, sitting neatly in-between the two in the range.
The fit and finish of the EOS 77D is much more closely related to the T7i's though, with a similar combination of aluminum alloy and polycarbonate resin present - in fact, it only actually weighs 8g more than its more compact sibling.
Like the T7i though, there's the same niggle about the ultra-smooth finish on some parts of the exterior, which does feel quite plasticky to the touch. That said, the grip is comfortable and the textured finish has a nice tactile feel.
The level of body mounted controls is where the real differences between the EOS 77D and T7i / 800D become noticeable, and none more so than the top-plate LCD display.
Smaller than that found on the EOS 80D, this handy display provides a quick reference point for a host of key shooting info, while there are dedicated controls for ISO and AF upfront.
Moving round the back, and there's a dedicated AF-On button for back-button focusing, which can be really handy when shooting with continuous focus a lot.
Rather than the T7i's 4-way control pad, the EOS 77D features a multi-directional control pad that also sports a scroll wheel running round the parameter of it.
This mirrors some higher-end EOS DSLRs, allowing you to quickly toggle key settings and handy when shooting with the camera raised to your eye.
- 45-point AF, all cross-type
- Sensitive down to -3EV
- Dual Pixel AF for Live View
Just like the Rebel T7i / 800D, the EOS 77D takes advantage of a 45-point AF system with all cross-type sensors. These are sensitive in both the horizontal and vertical planes to deliver much more accurate focusing.
This also means that the autofocus system is sensitive down to -3EV, so when light levels drop, you should still be able to lock focus on poorly lit subjects, while 27 focus points as sensitive down to f/8.
While this might not be a key selling point of a lot of users, this can handy if you're shooting with a lens that has a maximum aperture of f/4 and you've paired it with a 2x teleconverter, as you'll still be able to take advantage of those 27 AF points for focusing.
For Live View and video recording the EOS 77D uses Canon's proven Dual Pixel AF technology, which sports a 80% coverage of the frame.
We've seen this system in a host of recent Canon cameras like the EOS 5D Mark IV and EOS M5, and haven't failed to be impressed by how well it works, and it looks like things shouldn't be any different with the EOS 77D.
- 6fps burst shooting
- User guide on camera
- 600-shot battery life
Just like the T7i / 800D, the EOS 77D can rattle off shots at 6fps - again, we'd have liked to have seen this be even quicker to match mirrorless rivals like the Lumix G80 / G85 (which is capable of 9fps), but then it would risk treading on the toes of the EOS 80D's 7fps.
Battery life is very good though at 600 shots, but you'll need to be a bit cautious if you plan to shoot predominantly with the rear display as this will see battery life drop to 270 shots.
Just like the T7i, the EOS 77D takes advantages of Canon's new clean-looking graphical interface that's designed to help inexperienced users get to grips with some of the camera's key controls.
Where the two differ is that you have to turn this feature on in the display settings of the EOS 77D when you take it out of the box, whereas its the default mode of the T7i's.
It was easy to overlook the EOS Rebel T6s / EOS 760D. It looked the same as the Rebel T6i / 750D but with a few more external controls, most people ended up plumping for the T6i / 750D thanks to the more attractive price.
With a more clearly defined design, the EOS 77D should carve out a bit more of a niche for itself. Most people will probably still opt for the Rebel T7i / 800D, but the EOS 77D is now a more logical stepping-stone up the Canon EOS range.
There are the same similar niggles we have with the Rebel T7i / 800D though. There's no 4K video, burst rate is a little stingy and the finish could feel a little less plasticky in places, but those issues aside the EOS 77D has a quite a bit going for it.