“Canon T7i Review — First Impressions
by Mike Tomkins
Preview posted 02/14/2017
Almost two years ago, Canon launched its new Rebel T6i and T6s DSLRs, a duo which shared many features with each other. They also blurred the line between the top end of Canon’s entry-level EOS Rebel lineup, and the bottom end of the enthusiast and pro-oriented EOS lineup. Now, the company has launched the 24-megapixel Canon Rebel T7i, and that division between entry-level and enthusiast DSLRs blurs even further.
The new Rebel flagship is essentially an EOS 77D-lite.
The Rebel T7i slots into Canon’s lineup directly above the earlier T6s (which remains on sale) and T6i (which, now that the T7i is here to follow in its footsteps, is no longer current). The next rung up the ladder from the T7i, meanwhile, is the simultaneously-launched EOS 77D. Take a look at the specs of the Canon T7i and compare them to that camera, and you’ll find it’s much quicker to list the features which differ between the two, rather than those that they share. These two cameras are very closely related indeed, even if only one bears Rebel branding.
And since it shares so liberally with the higher-priced EOS 77D, the Canon T7i marks a number of firsts for the Rebel line. It’s the company’s first Rebel model to feature a 45-point all cross-type autofocus system, as well as its first with Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus. It’s also the first Rebel model to feature Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor.
Some important differences between the Canon T7i and its EOS sibling
Of course, the Canon T7i has a Rebel-class pricetag as well, where the EOS 77D is a little bit pricier. That being the case, Canon has not surprisingly reserved some features for the more expensive model. If you opt for the Rebel T7i, for example, you’ll find that it lacks the top-deck LCD status display found on the EOS 77D, with its Mode dial instead assuming this location on the top deck.
The Canon T7i also lacks the AF-On button of its EOS sibling, as well as that camera’s Quick Control dial and locking switch. And in the absence of a top-deck status display, it uses what would be the LCD illumination button as a display control for the rear-panel LCD instead. The rear-panel button layout is also a little different from that of the EOS 77D, since the Rebel T7i has a bit more room to spare as it lacks its sibling’s Quick Control dial and switch.
The Canon T7i also has one less custom function than does the EOS 77D, and has a total of ten less available settings for custom functions, and so won’t prove quite so customizable as its higher-end sibling. It’s also just a touch lighter, though, which may prove handy if you want to keep your load to a minimum, especially when traveling. (The difference in weight isn’t huge, but if you’ve got a lot of gear to bring along on a trip, every little bit helps.)
In other respects, the Canon T7i offers most of its sibling’s features at a significantly lower price
Beyond those main points — and doubtless some more minor differences elsewhere — the Canon T7i gives you most of what’s offered by the EOS 77D for a good bit less cash. Both cameras share the same 24.2-megapixel, APS-C sized image sensor, for example, and use the same DIGIC 7 image processor.
This provides an identical sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents for the pair, and also yields the same burst capture performance for both. Like the EOS 77D, the Canon Rebel T7i can shoot at six frames per second in single-servo AF, while enabling continuous-servo AF provides for a choice of either 3.5 or 4.5 fps burst capture.
Both cameras also rely on the same pentamirror viewfinder design as each other, and feature the same 45-point, all cross-type autofocus system complete with viewfinder indications. The pair also both feature Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, allowing a manufacturer-claimed minimum time to focus lock of just 0.03 seconds.
On their rear panels, both the Canon Rebel T7i and EOS 77D share the same 3.0-inch, vari-angle, touch-screen LCD monitor. And both models also share the same selection of in-camera Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Near-Field Communications radios for quick and simple image sharing.
They also share a friendly new guide system which offers both text and visual confirmation of what the effect on your photos of different camera modes and features will be. One slight difference here, though, is that the guide system is enabled by default on the Canon T7i, but disabled by default on the 77D. Incidentally, you can separately enable or disable the system in two parts: One for the Mode guide, and another for the Feature guide.
As well as stills, the Canon T7i can also shoot movies at up to Full HD (1,920 x 1,080-pixel) resolution with a maximum frame rate of 60 fps. In addition, the T7i can record HDR and time-lapse movies at Full HD resolution with a fixed 30 fps frame rate.
Canon T7i pricing and availability
Available from April 2017, the Canon T7i is expected to ship at a retail price of around US$750 body-only, approximately US$150 less than the EOS 77D.
Two kit versions will also be available: One with the new, smaller Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens for US$900, and the other with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for US$1,300. Interestingly, while the T7i 18-55mm kit is also some US$150 less than its EOS 77D equivalent, the 18-135mm kit is a full $200 less expensive than the 77D 18-135mm kit, making it an especially good deal for potential T7i buyers.
Canon T7i Review — Technical Info
by Mike Tomkins
“Canon T7i Review — First Impressions