Canon EOS 800D - Video, Image Quality and Verdict

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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.

 

Resolution

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

Noise

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 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.

Related: Best cameras

Verdict

A great entry-level DSLR, with notable improvements on Canon’s previous offerings.

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Design 8
  • Image Quality 9
  • Build Quality 8
  • Performance 9
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