Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Review
What We Love. The price is certainly right with the inexpensive Canon Rebel T7 DSLR. It has a solid build quality for such a low-priced camera, and its ergonomics are better than we expected. Image quality is a strength of the T7, giving it a significant advantage over its predecessor (the Rebel T6)
What We'd Change. Unfortunately, outside of an upgrade in resolution, the Rebel T7 is basically identical to the Rebel T6. It looks and operates almost exactly like the T6. Its feature set and performance level trail other entry-level DSLRs by a bit too.
Pick This Up If... You are looking for an extremely inexpensive way to start with DSLR photography. If you already own the Rebel T6, you'll receive a bump in image quality and resolution with the T7. As an additional benefit, you won't have to relearn how to use the buttons and controls, because the two cameras are nearly identical on the outside.
| 55 mm | F/32 | 1/100 | ISO 800 |
Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras is well-known, dating back to the days of film SLRs. (If you remember Andre Agassi TV commercials for selling Rebel film cameras, give yourself a point.)
The Rebel line of cameras has remained popular during the shift to digital photography with several different models created over the past couple of decades. One of the latest entry-level Rebel DSLRs made with beginners in mind is the Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR.
Unfortunately, if you're someone who already owns the Canon T6 (the predecessor to the T7), you probably are not going to find much of a reason to commit to an upgrade. These two cameras look identical and perform nearly the same too.
The T7's image quality is the one area where it clearly outdoes the T6. Canon gave the T7 24 megapixels of resolution in the image sensor versus 18 megapixels in the T6.
If you're just looking for a first entry-level DSLR that will give you solid performance, the Canon T7 is a nice choice. But if you want the best features in a similarly priced, entry-level DSLR, there are better options available. And if you already own the T6, we can't recommend upgrading to the T7.
- 24.1MP, APS-C sensor size (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
- 3.72 µm square pixel unit
- 3:2 aspect ratio
- Canon EF lens mount
- JPEG and RAW 14-bit
- Eye-level SLR viewfinder with fixed pentamirror (95% coverage)
- TTL autofocus with 9 AF points
- 63-zone metering sensor
- ISO range 100-6,400 (12,800 expanded)
- Shutter speed range 1/4000 to 30 seconds
- Exposure compensation: AEB -/+ 3 stops in 1/3 increments
- Flash exposure compensation: -/+ 2 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 increments
- High-speed continuous shooting: 3 shots per second
- Maximum full HD video resolution, 30 fps
- 3.0-inch LCD, 920,000 pixels
- Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
- Size: 5.08 x 3.99 x 3.06 inches
- Weight: 15.06 oz. (body only)
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
- Camera body
- Battery Pack LP-E10
- Battery Charger LC-E10
- Wide Strap EW-400D
BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN
Considering its low price, the build quality on the Canon T7 is very good. It doesn't have loose parts or any areas that feel like they'll break under rough treatment.
It's pretty clear that the T7 has a primarily plastic construction. Still, this camera should yield a good performance level over time without giving you anxiety about breaking it under normal usage conditions.
The size of the buttons on the back of the camera are a good size, allowing you to press them easily. The shutter button is well-positioned near the front of the right-hand grip, so you can find it easily when looking at the scene through the viewfinder.
We were disappointed in the layout of the mode dial. The T7 has the four primary manual control shooting modes clearly marked (P, Av, Tv, and M).
But there are 10 other icons crammed onto the mode dial. Nine of these other 10 icons represent various automatic shooting modes and scene modes. The 10th icon is for shooting movies.
Having so many small icons on the mode dial will just be confusing for the majority of beginning-level photographers. It'd be better to allow photographers to pick their scene modes through the screen and create a far less cluttered mode dial.
The power switch surrounds the mode dial. This is a convenient location, making it easy to turn on the camera when you're in a hurry.
This isn't the smallest DSLR camera on the market, but it's smaller and lighter than the majority of advanced DSLRs. It's a good size to carry for a full day of hiking or sight-seeing.
If you have experience shooting with the Rebel T6, you'll be able to jump to the T7 without any learning curve required. The button functions and layouts are exactly the same in both cameras.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the ergonomics in the Canon EOS T7 are very good. The right-hand grip is large and well-designed, so you can hold the camera one-handed and shoot. And when you're able to shoot normally with two hands on the camera, you can create great photos without worrying about camera shake.
Both the right-hand grip and the thumbpad on the back of the camera have a rubbery coating that will help you grip the camera securely.
MENUS & DISPLAYS
Canon's T7 provides both a viewfinder and an LCD. This LCD doesn't quite have the features found with some other entry-level DSLRs, but it's an adequate display screen with a 3.0-inch size and 920,000 pixels of resolution. Unfortunately, it doesn't have touch or tilt capabilities.
One oddity with the LCD screen on the T7 is that it has a 4:3 aspect ratio, while the image sensor (at maximum resolution) creates photos at a 3:2 aspect ratio. This means as you're lining up photos in Live View or when reviewing photos you've already recorded, they won't occupy the entire screen. You'll have black areas above and below the images.
Canon makes good use of these black areas by placing data about the current shooting modes in this area, but we'd rather see a 3:2 aspect ratio LCD to match the image sensor aspect ratio, so images can occupy the entire screen.
The optical viewfinder provides 95% coverage, which is similar to other DSLRs in this price range. It'll work nicely most of the time, but if you're framing a scene where the subject will be near the edge, you may want to double-check the aim of the camera through Live View mode on the LCD (so you can see 100% coverage).
SPEED & AF PERFORMANCE
| 25 mm | F/5.6 | 1/320 | ISO 100 |
Canon skimped a bit in terms of the image processor; this same DIGIC 4+ processor was also used in the Rebel T6. Considering Canon's most advanced cameras are using the DIGIC 8, we're disappointed to still have the DIGIC 4+ here. This image processor produces performance speeds that are adequate for inexperienced photographers, but it'll be a disappointment for intermediate or advanced shooters.
You're limited to 3 frames per second when shooting in JPEG burst mode with this model, which is below average compared to other entry-level DSLRs.
The T7 uses a 9-point autofocus system, which will work nicely for beginners. However, having only 9 points of AF may frustrate more experienced photographers.
Because the 9 AF points are clustered in the middle of the scene, if you want an off-center subject to be in focus, you'll have to recompose the scene after setting the focus point.
You may notice some problems with the camera properly dialing in the autofocus when shooting in low light situations. But the AF system works nicely the majority of the time.
| 18 mm | F/5.6 | 1/500 | ISO 100 |
The T7 doesn't have the same metering sensor as is found on the T7i. meaning its metering features and performance levels aren't quite as strong as what's found in the T7i.
Still, the Rebel T7's metering performs at a level that's comparable to other entry-level DSLRs. As long as you don't ask the metering sensor to do too much with highly contrasted scenes, it should perform nicely.
When the metering system misses, underexposed shots are more common than overexposed shots, which is preferable.
With the T7's 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor, you'll have access to spot, evaluative, partial, and center-weighted metering modes, all of which are standard on entry-level DSLRs.
STILL IMAGE QUALITY
| 55 mm | F/5.6 | 1/500 | ISO 100 |
The biggest upgrade from the T6 to the T7 occurs in the image sensor. The Rebel T7 will deliver about 33% more resolution than the T6, as it features 24.1 megapixels. This is a similar image sensor that's found in the Rebel T6i.
And the upgraded image sensor makes a difference. The EOS Rebel T7's image quality is strong, delivering accurate colors and sharp images when the lighting is good. As with most DSLR cameras in this class, the image quality dips a little bit when the lighting isn't perfect.
Sometimes when manufacturers increase the resolution of an image sensor from one model to another, they introduce noise. However, we did not notice a noise problem when shooting with the Canon T7 under regular conditions. So if you are considering an upgrade from the T6 to the T7 to gain better image quality, you'll appreciate the results.
As with most entry-level cameras, the EOS T7 loses some detail in the shadows in highly contrasted scenes. However, if you shoot in the RAW image format instead of JPEG for this type of photo, you can recover quite a bit of this detail in post processing.
As is common in entry-level Canon DSLRs, the manufacturer included multiple special effect shooting options in the T7. These are fun to use, but there's nothing here that you can't replicate with good post processing software.
For flash photography, you can use the popup flash located on the top of the camera. If you just want a quick snapshot, this built-in flash will give you adequate results.
The Canon T7 also has a hot shoe on the top panel, so you can add an external flash. However, this hot shoe will not work with the majority of third-party flash units. You'll have to stick with a Canon-made external flash.
Bottom line: Even though the Canon Rebel T7 lags other beginner-level DSLRs in quite a few areas, its image quality is comparable.
| 55 mm | F/5.6 | 1/8 | ISO 3200 |
As with quite a few other aspects of the Canon EOS Rebel T7, its ISO performance range ranks behind other entry-level DSLRs. It has a native ISO range of 100 to 6400, although it's expandable to ISO 12,800.
As we mentioned earlier, the Canon EOS T7's image sensor doesn't generate a lot of noticeable noise under normal shooting conditions. This carries over to low ISO settings, where the performance is comparable to other similarly priced DSLRs.
Noise begins to be noticeable at ISO 800 and 1600, but only when making extremely large prints. At ISO 3200, noise becomes noticeable at all image sizes.
Using ISO 6400 results in quite a bit of noise. If you want to try the expandable ISO 12,800, you can, but the results will not be great.
We shot a variety of photos at different ISO settings during our testing of the Canon Rebel T7. Visit our sample photo gallery to judge this camera's ISO performance for yourself!
It's probably not a surprise considering its price point, but the Rebel EOS T7 does not have 4K video recording capability. It's limited to full HD recording at a maximum 30 frames per second. (Some other entry-level DSLRs provide 60 fps in full HD.)
The Rebel T7's movie performance was a pleasant surprise. Its autofocus is fast and accurate, even when moving a zoom lens back and forth. Hand-holding the camera perfectly steady is a challenge, but the video quality is still pretty good.
Sound quality from the built-in microphone is adequate. You may notice a bit of wind noise, but it's not overwhelming in most cases. You can add an external microphone if desired.
| 18 mm | F/8 | 1/40 | ISO 200 |
Canon gave the Rebel T7 both WiFi and NFC connectivity. However, it doesn't have Bluetooth as an option, which is a disappointment.
You can use these wireless features to control the camera with your smartphone. You can send photos to from the camera the smartphone too. However, you cannot control the majority of the camera's settings through the smartphone connection.
Battery life is another disappointment for this model, especially compared to similarly priced beginner-level DSLRs. It's good for about 500 shots under typical usage conditions, which is well below competitor DSLR cameras. So if you choose to use WiFi quite a bit, you'll notice the poor battery life, as WiFi will drain the battery faster than general photography does.
PROS & CONS
| 33 mm | F/5.6 | 1/250 | ISO 100 |
- Better than expected image quality
- Limited noise in images
- Realistic colors and excellent sharpness in the scene
- Includes a popup flash unit
- Good ergonomics
- Solid build quality
- Autofocus in videos responds well
- Button layout and size are good
- Position of the power switch is well-designed
- Reasonable weight for carrying on a trip
- Doesn't have a feature set that matches other entry-level DSLRs
- Limited speed in burst mode
- Not enough upgrades from its predecessor
- LCD screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, while the image sensor's aspect ratio is 3:2
- No tilt or touch features on the LCD screen
- No 4K video resolution option
- Maximum native ISO setting is limited to ISO 6400
- Too many icons (14) crammed on the mode dial
- Battery life is below average versus other entry-level DSLRs
- Only 9 AF points available
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a solid entry-level DSLR delivered at a desirable price point. Its performance level and feature set certainly are not going to meet the needs of experienced photographers, as the T7 is squarely aimed at beginners.
Unfortunately, Canon missed some chances to make the Rebel T7 a better entry-level DSLR for beginners. The LCD screen is not tiltable, and it does not have touch features. The screen's quality isn't as good as some other entry-level DSLRs, either.
In fact, the Rebel T7 lags other similarly priced DSLRs in quite a few categories. Its burst mode performance is a disappointment. It does not offer a Bluetooth connectivity option. Its battery life is below average versus other DSLRs (although it does compare favorably to mirrorless cameras).
However, if you're just seeking an entry-level DSLR that delivers good image quality at a low price, the Rebel T7 is a nice choice. In fact, the T7's image quality is the one major area where it outdoes its predecessor, the Rebel T6. There are a few other entry-level DSLRs on the market that we like more than the T7, but it's still a good camera, especially if you can find it at a bargain price.
Our recommendation: The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a nice camera. Importantly, its image quality is its best feature and the area where it offers the biggest performance boost over its predecessor, the Rebel T6. However, most of the T7's other features lag similarly priced DSLRs. The T7 contains too many older components, causing it to trail others in the entry-level DSLR category. It's a good beginner-level DSLR, but there are better options available for a similar price.
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