What is the Canon EOS 800D?

Canon’s triple-digit EOS range has long been a popular option for those seeking either an upper entry-level or step-up DSLR. In recent years, Canon has muddied the waters somewhat by offering not just one triple-digit EOS model at a time but two. In 2015, this approach resulted in the launch of both the Canon 750D and the more advanced Canon 760D.

Fast forward to 2017 and Canon has introduced two new models to succeed the 750D and 760D: the 800D and the 77D. The 800D serves as the successor to the 750D, while the 77D is intended as more of a 760D replacement that is positioned under the enthusiast-grade 80D.

Also referred to as the Rebel T7i for the US market, the 800D shares the same key specs as the 77D, although in keeping with the 750D/760D differences outlined above, gets a simplified control scheme in order to enhance its appeal with first-time and novice DSLR users.

Nb. The Canon EOS 800D is also known as the EOS Rebel T7i (US markets), EOS Kiss X9i (Japan)

Canon EOS 800D / T7i – Features

The 800D is built around a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor – as used inside the more advanced 80D (£840 body-only). While the 750D/760D also sported 24.2-megapixel sensors, neither encompasses Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology, so while effective resolution remains identical to the 800D’s sensor, it represents a fairly big step forward.

Likewise, the 800D also employs Canon’s latest generation DIGIC 7 image processor, as opposed to the DIGIC 6 chip found inside the 750D/760D. Canon claims that the DIGIC 7 is able to process data 14x faster than its predecessor, which not only enables the 800D to provide a higher maximum burst speed of 6fps (compared to 5fps on the 750D/760D), but also to fire off a higher number of consecutive images when burst shooting.

Canon EOS 800D

In addition, the new sensor and processor pairing also allows the 800D to offer a higher maximum native sensitivity setting of ISO 25,600, along with the equivalent of ISO 51,200 in expanded mode. By way of comparison, the 750D/760D both offer a maximum native sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800, with the equivalent of ISO 25,600 available in expanded mode.

Perhaps the most notable enhancement the 800D enjoys over its predecessors is the addition of Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology. Introduced with the EOS 70D in 2013, Dual Pixel AF is the name given to Canon’s proprietary on-sensor phase-detection technology.

In practical terms the main benefit of Dual Pixel AF is that it greatly speeds up focus acquisition times when the camera is being operated in Live View. The way it works is that each pixel on the sensor’s surface is split into two individual photodiodes – one left and one right. Each of these can be read separately, thereby allowing them to be used for phase-detection AF purposes.

Prior to the introduction of Dual Pixel AF, Canon DSLRs relied on contrast-detect technology and were renowned for providing fairly sluggish AF performance.

Canon EOS 800D

The move to Dual Pixel AF therefore represents a big step up in terms of performance. Indeed, Canon claims that its latest iteration of Dual Pixel AF is the fastest on-sensor phase-detection technology currently available to DSLR users. Until now, the technology has been confined to models higher up in Canon’s DSLR range – the 80D and 7D Mark II (£1250 body only), for example. This is the first time the technology has trickled down to Canon’s mid-range models.

In addition, the 800D’s viewfinder-based phase-detection AF system has also seen a major revamp and now employs 45 individual AF points across the viewfinder, all of which are of the cross-type variety. This is a notable improvement from the 19-point system employed by the 750D/760D.

In terms of exposure modes, the 800D is well served by a generous range of options including the standard PASM quartet for more experienced users, alongside Scene Intelligent Auto mode and 10 individual Scene modes (some of which can be selected directly from the Exposure mode dial) for point-and-shoot duties.

Canon EOS 800D

Those wanting to get creative in-camera can take advantage of ten built-in digital filters (including old favourites such as Toy Camera, Miniature effect and a trio of HDR options), or choose one of nine Creative Auto settings, each of which is designed to capture images with a unique ambience.

JPEG processing options extend to Canon’s proprietary Picture Styles, of which there are eight presets and three User Defined slots to customise as you wish. In addition, the 800D also provides a range of in-camera lens-correction tools for minimising unsightly effects such as purple fringing and distortion, alongside the company’s longstanding Auto Lighting Optimizer tool to auto-correct image brightness and contrast.

Canon EOS 800D – Build and design

As with previous triple-digit Canon DSLR models, the 800D is a compact, lightweight and neatly styled DSLR. While it does feel a little plasticky (a common trait of entry-level Canon DSLRs over the years), overall build quality is actually pretty much on par for a camera of this price and specification.

Canon EOS 800D

Inside the polycarbonate outer shell, the internal electronics of the 800D are protected by an aluminium alloy chassis. This should provide ample protection against the kind of gentle knocks and accidental scrapes most cameras experience at some point in their lifetime.

However, unlike models further up the EOS range, the 800D’s body isn’t weather sealed – so you’ll need to keep it as dry as possible when shooting in wet weather.

For a DSLR of such modest overall proportions, we found the 800D’s handgrip to be surprisingly deep and pronounced. With our averagely sized hands we were comfortably able to wrap three fingers around it, while the contoured thumb grip on the back of the body offers something to brace your thumb against for a secure grip.

Canon EOS 800D

With the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens attached, the 800D feels exceptionally well balanced too. The camera’s physical buttons and controls are all clearly labelled, well spaced and have a reassuringly responsive ‘clicky’ feel about them when pressed.

This review was originally posted on Trusted Reviews

Canon EOS 800D – Viewfinder and screen

The 800D’s optical viewfinder employs a pentamirror design that provides 95% scene coverage at 0.82x magnification – exactly the same as the 750D/760D. The viewfinder itself isn’t overly large but it does provide a pin-sharp view through the lens.

Below the main viewfinder window, the 800D displays a range of key settings including shutter speed, aperture, ISO and a metering/exposure compensation bar.

Canon EOS 800D

Below the viewfinder, the 800D’s 3-inch, 1040k-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD panel is also carried over from the 750D/760D models. The Clear View II TFT screen is of very good quality and displays captured images with great clarity, showing vivid colours and good levels of contrast while the camera is being used in Playback mode.

The touchscreen is nice and responsive, too, never missing a beat when it comes to inputting commands through the screen with your fingers. As with previous models, the screen is side-hinged to allow it to be extracted fully 180 degrees from the camera body, from where it also rotates through 270 degrees. This enables the screen to be positioned so that it faces the rear of the camera for regular shooting as well as the front for self-portraits and suchlike.

Canon EOS 800D

Naturally, you can also rotate the screen to accommodate overhead and hip-level shooting. One small improvement the 800D does enjoy over the 750D/760D is the addition of an electronic level that can be used to get perfectly straight horizons when using a tripod. This is activated via the Info button that sits just to the left of the viewfinder.

Canon EOS 800D – Autofocus

While the introduction of Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology represents a significant step forward for those who like to work in Live View mode, the D800’s viewfinder-based phase-detection AF system also sees notable improvement from previous triple-digit EOS models.

More specifically, whereas the 750D/760D both used 19 cross-type AF points, the 800D inherits the same AF system used inside the 80D, which benefits from 45 cross-type AF points across the central portion of the viewfinder. While there’s still a sizeable gap around the edges that isn’t covered, focusing remains speedy and precise, with a working range of -3 to 18EV at ISO 100.

Canon EOS 800D

Switching to the 49-point Dual Pixel AF Live View system, the working range drops slightly from -2EV to 18EV. Either way, that’s still pretty good and enables the camera to attain focus even in dim conditions. My only minor gripe is that the new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens can be quite noisy while focus is being adjusted. If you’re shooting video in a quiet environment then you can expect the 800D’s built-in microphones to pick up on this.

When used in Live View mode you can set the active AF point via the rear touchscreen, simply by tapping on the subject on which you want to focus. Canon also provides a Touch Shutter function that takes things one step further by automatically capturing an image once the camera has attained focus on the chosen subject.

Servo AF is also available in Live View mode for shooting moving subjects alongside One Shot AF for stationary subjects.

Canon EOS 800D T7i – Performance

The addition of the newer DIGIC 7 image processor certainly makes a difference as far as burst shooting performance goes. With a 16GB SanDisk Extreme Pro Class 10/U3 SDHC card inserted into the camera, I was able to record approximately 25 consecutive Raw images at the maximum 6fps with AF-S employed. By way of comparison, the 750D could manage only eight frames at 5fps before slowing down.

Canon EOS 800D

Switching to Raw+JPEG capture, the number drops to around 22 images. In JPEG capture there appears to be no upper limit, aside from the size of your memory card and the amount of battery charge remaining of course.

JPEG image quality is, as we’ve come to expect from Canon DSLRs, very good indeed. Even with the camera set to its “Standard” Picture Style setting, colours are deep and vivid, with good levels of contrast. Of course, if you want to boost saturation then there’s a “Vivid” Picture Style to choose from, whereas if you’re looking for something flatter, the “Neutral” option will give you precisely this.

Canon EOS 800D

Matrix metering from the 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor proves consistently accurate in all but the most extreme high-contrast situations, resulting in evenly lit images that are neither too dark nor too bright. Likewise, Automatic White Balance also serves up consistently accurate colour.

Canon EOS 800D – Guided User Interface

Another new feature for the 800D is the addition of a Guided User Interface. This is a purely optional feature that can be accessed and switched on/off via the Display Level tab in the main in-camera menu.

Once the Guided UI is activated, the rear LCD panel will change from a standard display of key camera settings to a more animated one that also provides some basic information and practical advice specific to the exposure mode selected.

Canon EOS 800D

For example, with  aperture priority mode selected, the rear LCD shows an intuitive slider graphic that displays whereabouts in the aperture range the aperture is currently set to, along with a brief description of what kind of photo the chosen aperture value would best suit – and with how much it will blur or bring into focus the background behind the main subject.

The information and advice supplied by the GUI doesn’t go into any great detail, but should nonetheless prove useful to those users just starting out with a DSLR who may be unsure of how changing key camera settings will affect their images, and on that level it’s certainly a welcome addition.

In addition to using the Guided UI for shooting duties, it can also be applied to the in-camera menu. Here it essentially just simplifies the standard in-camera menu, by grouping all four sub-menu tabs – Shooting, Playback, Function and Display Level – together on a single introductory screen, with a brief description of what you can expect to find within each.

Canon EOS 800D – Video

While it may come as a surprise to some that Canon has decided against the inclusion of 4K video capture, this is something that all other entry-level or step-up DSLRs on the market have yet to offer. This includes all of the 800D’s nearest rivals, including the Nikon D5500/D5600, Sony A68 and Pentax K-70, all of which are limited to 1080p Full HD capture.

That said, Canon has improved the video capabilities of the 800D over the 750D/760D, bringing it into line with both the 77D and the 80D via the inclusion of 1080p Full HD video recording at 60fps. The highest video setting on the 750D/760D was 1080p Full HD at 30fps.

Canon EOS 800D

Even more impressive is the 800D’s introduction of in-camera image stabilisation. This is only applicable to video recording and can’t be used for still image capture, but it can be activated to ensure smoother video capture when shooting handheld.

There are three settings to choose from: Off, Regular IS and Enhanced IS. The Regular setting can be used to counter basic handshake, while the latter is intended for use in more extreme circumstances. Either way, the difference is clear to see, not just in recorded footage but also in the rear LCD panel while recording is in progress.

As with previous triple-digit models, the 800D also sports a dedicated microphone jack in addition to the twin stereo microphones on the front of the camera body.

Canon EOS 800D – Image Quality

Overall, the 800D produced a solid set of test results. Resolution was the clear standout, with the sensor returning an excellent set of images despite Canon’s decision to retain an optical low-pass filter. While JPEGs returned decent enough results, I found that using Adobe Camera Raw to sharpen raw images ourselves yielded better results. Dynamic range has been improved from the two-year-old 750D/760D models, too, with the 800D returning slightly higher figures than its predecessors across the camera’s sensitivity range.


Using Adobe Camera Raw to sharpen raw images produced much better results than leaving the 800D to sharpen JPEGs in-camera. For example, at ISO 100 JPEGs processed in-camera returned a figure of 3,400l/ph, whereas with some careful sharpening of raw images, I was able to stretch resolution to 3,600l/ph. This trend continues as you move up through the sensitivity range, and while JPEGs dip just below 3,000l/ph at ISO 1600, raw resolution figures remain above 3,000l/ph up until ISO 6400.
Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 100. Multiply the number below the line by 200 for the resolution in lines/picture height

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 3200. Multiply the number below the line by 200 for the resolution in lines/picture height

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 12,800. Multiply the number below the line by 200 for the resolution in lines/picture height

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 51,200. Multiply the number below the line by 200 for the resolution in lines/picture height

Dynamic range

At ISO 100, the 800D returned a dynamic range of 12.5EV, which is nearly a full stop higher than the 750D’s figure of 11.6EV and almost identical to the 80D’s 12.6EV.

It performs well against the Pentax K-70 (12.3EV) and Sony A68 (11.9EV), although the Nikon D5500 produces the best results of all with a maximum dynamic range (at ISO 100) of 13.3EV.

Moving up through its ISO range the 800D remains a strong performer, with figures of 11.7EV at ISO 200, 11.3EV at ISO 400 and 10.4EV at ISO 800. Beyond this figures start to drop off, with 8.5EV available at ISO 3200 and 7.4EV at ISO 6400.

Canon EOS 800D


As with resolution, our testing revealed quite a difference between in-camera JPEGs and manually processed raw images. Raw was again the clear winner, with manually processed images showing noticeable gains in image quality over in-camera JPEG processing.

While JPEGs do display very low levels of noise all the way up to ISO 3200, the effects of in-camera noise reduction led to a noticeable loss of fine detail. While this isn’t quite so apparent at ISO 100 and ISO 200, by ISO 400 the effects of in-camera noise control begin to produce a smearing of fine detail. With careful raw processing, however, it’s possible to retain this fine detail.

That said, for most users, the overall image quality of JPEGs remains pretty good and is eminently usable until about ISO 6400.

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 100

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 6400

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 25,600

Canon EOS 800D
Canon EOS 800D, RAW, ISO 51,200

Should I buy the the Canon EOS 800D?

Canon has a long history of producing excellent upper entry-level DSLRs through its triple-digit EOS range, and the 800D is no exception.

While the differences between the 800D and 77D are primarily limited to how advanced the two camera’s control schemes are, the differences between the 800D and its two-year-old predecessors – the EOS 750D and 760D – are more pronounced.

Far from being limited to a new sensor and image processor, the 800D also sees notable improvements in several other key areas. This is especially true of its focusing systems, both through the viewfinder and especially when using Live View.

Canon EOS 800D

While the 800D provides a good range of features and is capable of excellent image quality, it’s by no means the cheapest upper entry-level DSLR on the market. That said, it’s easily able to match all of its main rivals, and even surpasses them in certain areas such as video capture and Live View AF performance.

My only minor gripe is that build quality can feel a little plastic next to more expensive DSLRs, which poses some question marks over its longevity. Unlike the Pentax K-70, the 800D also lacks weather-sealing.

Overall, though, the 800D / T7i provides an excellent gateway to Canon’s extensive range of DSLR lenses, and could be used as the starting point to build up a collection of specialist optics. For many newcomers to DSLR photography, this is likely to be a major selling point.