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Canon 77D vs 80D: Which Should You Buy?

The new Canon 77D is a remarkably capable camera, matching or besting the older (and more expensive) Canon 80D in several ways. However, the 77D is still basically a souped-up “Rebel” rather than a true member of the mid-level line (like the 60D, 70D, and 80D), built on a “Rebel” chasis. Does it matter? Let’s take a look at where the cameras differ, and who will benefit from buying the 80D rather than the 77D.

Overview

Before we look at anything in depth, take a quick look at how the numbers compare for these cameras.

 Canon 77DCanon 80D
Body Price
(current Amazon)
$749.00$1,099.00
Body + 18-135mm Lens
(current Amazon)
$1,149.00$1,499.00
Rear LCD1,040,000 pixel
Touch Sensitive
1,040,000 pixel
Touch Sensitive
Sensor Resolution
(Megapixels)
24.224.2
ProcessorDigic 7Digic 6
ISO Range100-25600
+51200
100-16000
+25600
Shutter Speeds30-1/400030-1/8000
Flash Sync1/200th1/250th
Max. Frame Rate6 fps7 fps
Max. RAW Burst21 or
27 (w/ UHS-I)
20 or
25 (w/ USH-I)
Max. JPG Burst
(fine)
190 or
Unlimited (w/ UHS-I)
77 or
110 (w/ UHS-I)
Autofocus Points
(All Cross Type)
4545
Anti-FlickerYESYES
AF Sensitivity-3 - 18 EV-3 - 18 EV
Autofocus For VideoYes, Dual Pixel CMOS AFYes, Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Touch Screen AFYESYES
Electronic Image Stabilization
(For Video Only)
YESNO
Video Resolutions1080p @ 24, 30, 60 fps
720p @ 30, 50, 60 fps
1080p @ 24, 30, 60 fps
720p @ 50, 60 fps
Card Slots1 SD (SDXC)
UHS-I Support
1 SD (SDXC)
UHS-I Support
ConnectivityWi-Fi
NFC
USB
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
NFC
USB
Battery Life
(CIPA)
600960 shots
Size131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm139.0 x 105.2 x 78.5mm
Weight
(CIPA)
540g730g
Viewfinder TypePentamirrorPentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage/
Magnification
95%
.82x
100%
.95x

Image Quality

Let’s get this out of the way: the Canon 77D and 80D should give you identical image quality if you shoot RAW. As far as we can tell, the image sensors in the two cameras are identical, with the same resolution and capture characteristics. So, if you’re taking portraits or landscapes with these cameras and shooting RAW, then you shouldn’t expect your pictures to look better with one camera or the other. The new Digic 7 processor in the 77D may improve its high-ISO noise handling if you shoot JPG, however.

No matter what camera you use, if you shoot JPG, then you’re throwing away 98%1 of the data that is captured by the sensor,  and there may be differences in the 2% the camera decides to keep. That will be dependent on your camera settings and the camera’s firmware, among other things, but it’s possible that the 77D will have a modest improvement in noise handling when shooting JPGs at high ISO.

Both cameras will benefit from anti-flicker technology when shooting under rapidly flickering artificial lights (such as LEDs, some fluroescents, and some HID lights) that are commonly found in sports arenas, gyms, and stages. With anti-flicker enabled, the shutter will release exactly when the light is at its brightest, giving you the best possible exposure. The 77D’s new exposure metering system (which makes this possible) is very similar to that found in the 80D, both based on a 7560 pixel RGB+IR sensor, though the 80D uses an 18×12 zone grid while the 77D only has a 9×7, the difference will be minimal.

The last few generations of Canon DSLRs in the x0D and Rebel lines. Note that the 77D is actually a descendant of the “Rebel” line, not part of the x0D line.

Shooting Sports & Action

When it comes to shooting sports and action,  autofocus and speed are both very important, and the 80D and the 77D are both excellent. In fact, the two cameras share the same autofocus system, both with 45 all cross-type focusing points, and both optimized for use in low-light environments2.

However, the Canon 80D generally has the speed advantage, though it is not a dramatic one. First, the 80D has a higher top shutter speed: 1/8000th of a second, which is twice as fast as the 77D’s top speed, and the 80D’s top flash sync speed is slightly faster (1/250th of a second rather than 1/200th). The 80D also has a higher frame rate, shooting seven frames per second while the 77D shoots only six.

More experienced photographers may also notice that the Canon 80D feels more responsive, with a shutter lag3 of approximately 0.06 seconds, although Canon claims that the 77D’s lag is only 0.07 seconds, a very minor difference. The entry level Canon T6, on the other hand, has a shutter lag of 0.12 seconds… double that of the 80D.

But there are two areas in which the Canon 77D has the apparent advantage, though it’s easy to over-state their significance. The first is the camera’s buffering system, which allows the 77D to shoot full-size JPG files at top speed until your UHS-I card is full. When shooting JPGs, the 80D is limited to about 110 shots in a row before the camera will slow down to write to the SD card. How significant is this? I can’t think of a single time in my career as a photographer that I’ve shot (or wanted to shoot) more than 25 shots in a row, much less 110.

Similarly, the 77D can shoot 27 RAW shots in a row before the buffer is full, while the 80D can shoot only 25. This is a relatively small difference to begin with, and it becomes less impressive when you remember that it’s the consequence of the 77D shooting those shots at a slower speed than the 80D, so it has more time to clear the buffer. Stated another way, after 3 full seconds of shooting, the 77D will have just finished its 18th shot, while the 80D will have reached its 21st shot. I suspect that most action photographers would prefer to get the shots up front.

The second area is ISO, where the 77D’s top setting is 25600 and the 80D is rated at 16000. At best this is a difference of only 2/3rds of a stop, but unfortunately, this may not actually translate into better noise handling… so there may be no advantage at all. It is likely that the 77D uses the exact same sensor as the 80D, so it’s unlikely that the RAW files will really be any different; it’s more likely that the higher ISO numbers on the 77D reflect better noise processing for JPGs afforded by the new Digic 7 processor, so if you shoot RAW and do your noise reduction in your computer (where you’ll have more options and more powerful processing), this advantage is not very important. However, until RAW files are available from a production Canon 77D, this is just speculation, and we should assume that the new camera may have a slight advantage here.

Canon 77D and 80D top views.
The 77D and 80D both have a camera-top LCD display, although they don’t display exactly the same information.

Video

For the past year, the Canon 80D has been among the best SLRs available for shooting video, primarily because of its excellent dual-pixel AF system. Now that the T7i and 77D have also been given dual-pixel AF sensors, their performance should at least match that of the 80D. In fact, Canon has also implemented 5-axis electronic image stabilization for video (with a slight sensor crop) in the T7i and 77D, giving them a leg up.

However, the Canon 80D can shoot with either IPB (interframe) .MP4 compression or All-I (intraframe) .MOV which produces a much larger file size. The 77D, on the other hand, can only shoot video as IPB MP44.

Most casual video shooters prefer IPB MP4 files because the files are so much smaller than All-I. For example, at 30fps, IPB files take up about 216 MB of space per minute, while All-I shot on the 80D takes up 654MB per minute: All-I will use up three times more disk space than IPB.

Beyond the recording formats, both cameras can shoot the same frame rates, though the 80D can only shoot All-I up to 30 fps, and the 77D can shoot 720p at 30fps (the 80D can’t). They both shoot 60fps 1080p with IPB compression.

It’s also worth mentioning that the 77D does not have a headphone jack.

The Body & Handling

Unlike the T7i, the 77D has most of the body features that have long been standard with the 80D and other mid-lineup cameras. Among the most important of these are the camera-top LCD display and the rear body thumb-wheel. The 80D’s “movie mode” switch is located on the “record” button, while the 77D has moved it to the camera’s main on/off switch, but the 77D does have its own dedicated wi-fi connection button.

Canon 77D and 80D back views.
Compared with the Rebel series, the differences between the 77D and the 80D on the back of the body are very minor. Importantly, they both have a thumb wheel for quick exposure compensation.

However, the 77D still has a smaller body. This can be an advantage for those who wish to travel light, as the 77D body weighs abot 25% less than the 80D, and the body is also smaller (8mm narrower, 6mm shorter). This also means that the battery compartment (and thus, the battery) is smaller, and instead of using an LP-E6 battery, it uses an LP-E17 battery and has only about 62% the battery life of the 80D.

Conclusion: Which Should You Buy?

For most people, the Canon 80D is still the better camera for most purposes, but my general advice is always this: buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs and the best lenses that you can afford. With current rebates, if you order the 80D with the 18-135mm STM lens, it’s the same price as the 77D with that lens, which makes the decision easy (if you were planning on a kit), and the 18-135mm is the lens I’d recommend. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to buy the 77D instead:

Buy the Canon 77D if:

  • if you expect to shoot a lot of hand-held video and it doesn’t need to be All-I, get the 77D. It has digital stabilization.
  • if you shoot JPG and shoot lots of long bursts of photos (more than 100 shots per minute), get the 77D. It can shoot JPGs at full speed until your card is full.
  • if you’re a hiker and want to carry the lighter camera SLR (though the Canon M5 or M6 are lighter options with better performance)
  • if you’re a traveler and want a more compact camera, or if you have small hands and find the smaller body more comfortable, buy the 77D
  • if your budget is tight and you’re only buying a camera body, go with the 77D; the differences are minor

Buy the Canon 80D if:

  • your eyesight isn’t great, the 80D has a larger, brighter viewfinder with better coverage
  • you shoot action and need the fastest shutter speeds, the 80D offers speeds between 1/4000 and 1/8000th sec.
  • you shoot production quality video and want All-I compression
  • you’re planning on shooting long events (like weddings) and don’t want to worry about changing batteries, the 80D has much better battery life
  • you have stabilized lenses or shoot from a stable rig and don’t need the electronic stabilization in the 77D

These are surprisingly similar cameras, and they’ll both allow you to create amazing photos and videos.

Questions? Comments?

As usual, I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have below in the comment section. Still need some advice about which camera to buy for your particular needs? Let me know, and I’ll do what I can to give you a recommendation.

  1. This is on a per-channel basis. JPGs carry 8-bits of data, or 256 tonal levels per channel. Canon RAW files contain 14-bits of data, or 16,384 tonal levels per channel.  256 is about 1.6% of 16,384.
  2. In more technical terms, both can focus in light levels as low as -3 EVs, and they can focus reliably with lenses that only have a maximum aperture of f/8
  3. This is the time between pressing the shutter button and the shutter actually releasing.
  4. …though it can shoot time-lapse as All-I .mov format files
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22 Comments

  • Hello Matthew,

    I am looking for a dslr mainly for portraits. My budget is around 1500 € but it doesn’t have to be that pricy camera body either as long as it meets my needs. I would love to reach professional level portrait pictures without paying 3000 € for 5D Mark IV. I am not going to take lots of videos and 80D seems to be good for pretty much everything. Is 80D the strongest choice for my budget even I am not that much into making videos, or should I buy something else? If so, what would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance,
    Nick

    • Hi Nick,
      When it comes to portrait photography, it’s really the lenses that are most important. The 80D isn’t going to give you any advantage in image quality over the T7i or 77D, but it will give you micro-focus adjustments for your lenses if you need it (which is sometimes important if you’re shooting with large aperture lenses for portraits, and getting the near eye in focus is so important). So, my advice would be to get the 80D as long as you’ll have enough leftover for a good portrait lens or two, or if you already have a good lens. If not, then get the 77D and a lens like the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART or 50mm f/1.4 ART, or if that’s going to be too expensive, then the Canon 85mm f/1.8, which is also a wonderful portrait lens. That is, of course, if you want a traditional portrait lens… I tend to shoot portraits with a 70-200mm f/2.8, which is more flexible.
      – Matthew

  • Hi Matthew,
    Thank you for the detailed comparison. I’m looking to upgrade from my 60D (my main use would be regular photography, and videos, so I want something with AF for video), and can’t make up my mind between these two. I wouldn’t mind body-only, since I have half a dozen lenses including the 18-135 already. Which of these would you recommend for a hobby-YouTuber? Thanks muchly!
    Best,
    Renu

    • Hi Renu,
      It sounds like the Canon 77D (body only) would be a great choice for you: its video and auto-focus capabilties are just as good as those in the 80D, and it will cost significantly less, so you can spend the difference on another lens (if you need one), or something else that will make a difference to your vlogging/photography. Of course, if you’re also frequently a sports photographer, there’s short argument to be made for getting the 80D, but it sounds like that’s not your focus. Is there anything in particular that’s making the decision difficult for you?
      – Matthew

      • Hi Matthew,
        Thanks so much for replying – looks like I’m getting the 77D! My main problem is struggling to focus while standing 3′ or so in front of the 60D. With all that button-pressing and stretching, either the tripod-and-camera or I end up toppling over, or my video turns out blurry and needs reshooting. Ideally, I want a Canon (because all my lenses are Canon) where I can go to the video mode, press the start button, move into my position, and it automatically focuses on my face, even if I move a bit.

        What has made the decision difficult is this: since 80D seems to be the “next higher up” version, will 77D be outdated, and replaced with an upgrade, sooner than the 80D? There’s a bit of a conflict between features-for-the-price vs the higher model.

        Thanks again for your quick reply and for the help!
        Best,
        Renu

        • Hi Renu,
          Actually, the 80D was announced by Canon back in February of 2016; the 77D is a newer model, announced in February of 2017, so it’s the newer camera.

          The x0D line (60D, 70D, 80D) have generally been released every 3 years over the past decade, while the T7i, T6i, and T5i have been released two years apart, and the 77D is a member of that line (it should be called the T7s).

          So, if that pattern holds, a 90D and an 88D will be announced at about the same time.

          If you wanted to switch brands, there are some other good options, but you’d have to spend a lot of money on new lenses :-)

          Good luck!

  • Hi Matthew, Thank you so much for this informative article. I am a photographer in Kenya and I have been doing photography on part time with a canon T3i and 8-55mm & 75-300mm lenses. I have since had so many requests for work to cover events such as weddings, sports and portraits. I would like to upgrade to a better camera and would therefore appreciate your advise on this. I like to use canon for a fact. I am looking for a camera at a range of not more than USD1500. Kindly advise on the best choice that could come with at least a speed light and the best lenses. I stick to your comment ”always to buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs and the best lenses you can afford”

    • Hello Hawi,
      The T3i is a pretty good camera, and since you understand the foundation for my basic advice, we need to start with the question: what are your needs? What do you want to do that your current camera can’t do? In the meantime…

      Normally, my advice would be this: stick with the camera you have, and buy a new lens or two. My favorite lens is a 70-200mm f/2.8, so I usually start there… the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 G2 is awesome, and much less expensive than the Canon. But you’ll have to decide based on your needs: Do you want a great portrait lens? Buy a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART, or a Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM, and you’ll get beautifully professional results. If you prefer working at the wide end of the zoom range, then Sigma’s 18-35mm f/1.8 ART or even a super-wide angle lens like the Canon 10-18mm . This would all increase your abilities with your current camera, or expand your options for getting different shots.

      So, I’ll wait to hear from you about what you feel that you want in a new camera, and then we’ll see what is left for a new lens, if anything.

  • Great article Matt. After getting to play with the 80D and 77D I ended up getting the 80D…partly because I got a refurb from Canon for $799. The only downside is I ended up th 18-55 kit lens; I had forgotten that I not only had one from when I bought my trusty 2i, but an earlier version from when bought my original rebel XT. I like how the 80D feels in hand compared to the 77D and I do like that better viewfinder. Weight is not an issue for me though I probably need to do some strength training for when hike with my 400mm attached to the 80D.

  • I can see that the 77d with 18-135mm lens is approximately the same price as 80d with a 18-55mm lens which one should i buy .which is one the best deal that you think is worth the purchase.please respond

    • Hi Kishore,

      The Canon 80D is still a better camera, but the 18-135mm is a better lens. I’d probably buy the camera with the better lens, especially when the cameras are so similar, like the 77D and 80D, in terms of performance. It will also depend on what you’re planning on doing with it, but my advice is always to buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs and the best lenses you can afford, so I’ll go that route this time, too :-)

      • Hi Dan,
        The 77D is not weather sealed, while the 80D does have some weather sealing. Personally, I don’t trust the weather sealing on any non-Pro camera (really, the 7D, 5D, 1D series), but the 80D will be better than nothing.

        Whether that is an important factor to you depends on how you shoot, and what lenses you plan on using. Most lenses are not weather sealed, and many are still more expensive than camera bodies… or at least expensive enough that you won’t want to place them at risk. If you don’t shoot out in the weather, or if you don’t have weather sealed lenses, then it’s not a big deal.
        – Matthew

  • I have read various articles from you and this one was the one to promt me to write.
    I own a canon 70d. It is weathered now so I have been studying the market for a replacement but since the introduction of the canon 80d, which is the next model up from mines I have been advised to wait for a 90d..!

    Canon have put out a few models since the 70d. I know I am not ready for full frame but would the 6d ii not be the next step for me?

    I shoot lowlight, point and shoot, concerts, and travel photos as a hobby.
    I also have canon 24-105 f 4L , 50mm f1.8 , 70-200mm f4L and sigma 20mm f1.8 lens.
    Many thanks for great articles.

    • Hi Rich,

      Over the past few years, Canon’s updates in the x0D line have been modest, and the same is true of the 6D Mark II. In fact, many people are considering the 6D II a step backwards in terms of image quality compared to the original 6D; it has less dynamic range and doesn’t handle noise as well as the 6D. It does have a better autofocus system, and frankly the difference in image quality is minimal, but if you think you can work with the features of the 6D, it might be a more cost effective option. And I think EVERYONE is ready for full frame :-) Alternately, the 5D III (if you can find a good one used or new old-stock) is still an awesome camera with an excellent AF system, as long as you don’t need AF for shooting video.

      But the differences between the 70D and 80D are modest. The AF system in the 80D is better in low light (-3 EV, better than the 70D’s -0.5 EV) and it has more AF points (45 vs 19), and of course, a modest increase in resolution. If you need a new camera, there’s nothing wrong with the 80D. If you can keep using your 70D, there’s nothing groundbreaking in the 80D… so I’d keep using it. In fact, my general advice is always this: buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs, and the best lenses that you can afford. So if you can, improve your lens collection rather than buying a new body.

      Good luck!
      – Matthew

  • Hi Matthew
    This review of yours has helped me so much, but still… I can’t make a decision.

    I got Canon 650D and M3. Unfortunately M3 has disappointed me very much. I love 650D as It was my first DSLR that my father bought me on my birthday. Later I found that It’s a little bit big to go around with, so I jumped to M3 and feel like falling from the cliff. Not only slow focusing, but I think I need viewfinder in my life.

    So now It’s time for me to get a new camera and my choices are 77D, 80D and EOS M5. I can’t really decide which one to go with for using 2-3 years. I shoot fashion and wildlife most.

    I heard M5 improved a lot from M3 and also built in viewfinder. But how about the focusing? Is it fast enough to capture a bird flying in a good day light?

    Thank you so much
    Ps. Sorry for my English.

    • Hi Nathan,

      I used the M5 pretty briefly… just played around with it for a few hours… so I can’t really give you an opinion based on a solid review. However, in my use, I was very impressed. The AF was nice and fast, though that will depend on the lens you use. With a good lens, though, it certainly seemed fast enough to focus on a flying bird.

      Another option would be the Sony a6000 series cameras. I’ve used them enough to be able to say that they can easily handle fast moving subjects, although selecting an AF point can be a little awkward and slow. But they’re compact, like the M5, and the image quality is wonderful. Of course, if you’re already invested in Canon lenses, or don’t like Sony’s handling, then it may not be an option.

      Sorry I can’t give you any better information!
      – Matthew

  • I’ve used the Canon EOS cameras for 28 years. Most of my photography is of family, scenery and hobby level photo shoots. I am not a trained photographer, but I do decent work and have done some professional shoots (weddings, senior pics, family photos and pet photos). On a trip abroad last year, I broke my Canon EOS 40D, came home and sent it in to get fixed, used it for a photo shoot and realized it really wasn’t the same. I needed to take some prom pics for my daughter and her friends, so I quickly ran out to get another camera body. I was talked into purchasing a 77D rather than an 80D. I did the photo shoot that afternoon and was not pleased with the focusing. I thought perhaps it was me, so I did another photo shoot yesterday, and again am not pleased with the focusing. My eyesight has gone down significantly, so I have used the autofocus rather than manual. Though I used to shoot in manual mode more than autofocus, I have never had this much difficulty. I really haven’t taken the time to look into adjusting the camera, as I have not been well, and have been rather busy. Though people have been happy with the pictures, I am not at all. I can’t seem to get the focusing right. I have thought about trying to exchange it for the 80D, but not sure if that is necessary. I am shooting with my older 28-135 lens with the stabilizer on. I did some shots with my 70-300 lens with the stabilizer on, and had the same issues. Do you have any advice for me as to any adjustments I need to make with my camera? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Robyn,

      We can probably get to the bottom of this, but let’s start here: what kind of focus problems are you having? Is the camera consistently back-focusing or front focusing? That’s the kind of thing that could be fixed by using micro-focus adjustments… which the 77D does not have, but the 80D does.

      In fact, it’s worth taking another step back. It sounds like you’ve been shooting for long enough that you may already know the difference, but it’s possible that you haven’t stopped to think about it yet, so I’ll ask anyway: are your images out of focus, or just blurry? As you know I’m sure you know, blur can be caused by several different things, and focus is not even the most common. Could we be looking at camera movement, subject movement, or lens problems that were not visible in the lower-resolution images from your 40D?

      Here’s an experiment to try to rule out some of the problems. Mount your camera on a sturdy tripod, and turn on the self-timer (the short one is fine). Take a few shots of something at a distance similar to where you’ve been having problems. Then, take a picture of your hand (just to keep the images separated, later), then switch the camera to live-view mode, focus on the same subject and take a few more photos. Then compare the two photos and see if either one is better than the other. The 77D (like most DSLRs) uses a different autofocus system to shoot live view and through the viewfinder, and the chances are slim that you have problems with both (though this was a better test when the live-view was only contrast-detection AF).

      Of course, the problem is that if you find that there IS a difference, there isn’t anything that you can do about it… you’ll need to return the camera or have it serviced under warranty. However, if putting the camera on a tripod fixes the problem, or if you find that neither one is sharp, then you can start to rule out that it’s a problem with the AF system.

      Good luck! Let me know, and we can take it from there.

      – Matthew

  • Hi,
    Which one is the best professional camera Canon 77D! or Canon 80D! Please let me know about it.
    Regards
    Beryl

    • Hi Beryl,

      Ultimately, the Canon 80D is still the better camera for a professional photographer (for the reasons listed above) unless they specifically need something that is lightweight. The 77D is a newer camera, though, and has some minor advantages, so it’s worth thinking about whether you’d need any of them.

      – Matthew

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