Two years is a long time in camera world, but that’s how long it’s been since Canon announced our then favourite beginner DSLR – the 750D.
Since 2015, a whole army of mirrorless cameras have stormed the entry-level barracks and become our picks for anyone looking for ‘my first proper camera’.
Not that DSLRs are giving up the fight. The Canon 750D (which can now be picked up for under US$600) is still going to be available for bargain-hunters, but Canon has now built an 800D to wrestle back some beginner snapper cred from the likes of Fujifilm.
It’s going to be available for around US$970 (body only) from April 2017. Should you save up for it? Here’s what’s new...
1) It’s even more beginner-friendly
Like its predecessor, the 800D has a sharp, 3in touchscreen LCD that makes it easy for smartphone snappers to swipe around its settings.
But what makes it particularly good for anyone wearing DSLR armbands is its ‘guide’ interface, which takes the best bits from Canon’s companion smartphone app and puts them in the camera.
Not quite sure what effect shutter speed will have on your cat photos? It’ll show you a contextual graphic showing what the jargon means for your snap. And your cat will be mighty impressed.
2) It has super-speedy autofocus
The 800D has much-improved autofocus that (on paper) more than matches its entry-level rivals. This is partly thanks to the new Digic 7 processor, which improves focus tracking and helps brings down JPEG noise.
There’s also a new 45-point autofocus setup (up from the slightly dated 19-point job on the 750D), which gives it what Canon claims is the world’s fastest live view autofocus. Yep, even quicker than the Sony A6300. We look forward to timing that with our atomic stopwatch.
3) It’s better at video...but can’t do 4K
The 800D is an entry-level camera, so video isn’t exactly a priority. But it is now capable of shooting 1080p at 60 frames per second (up from a measly 30fps on the 750D) and shoots in HDR too.
There’s no optical stabilisation (just digital) and the 800D can’t do 4K video, but that is similar to other beginner DSLRs like the Nikon D5600, so we’re not giving it a ticking off for that.
4) You can buy it a fancy remote
Remote shutters and companion apps are nothing new, but Canon is now offering a handy new one for the 800D called, inventively, the Remote Controller BR-E1.
This promises to give you 5m range from all directions to help boost your selfie game, along with lots of controls including focus and zoom. Which will be handy for zooming in on that wildebeest that’s running up behind you.
5) It still has surprise wireless powers
It wasn’t long ago that extra features like Bluetooth and NFC were novelty acts on more expensive cameras, but the 800D has them both – and they’re actually useful too.
With a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone you’ll be able to wake the camera in your backpack and browse its photos, while NFC lets you share photos by bumping your phone and camera together. Careful, though, in case your smartphone gets jealous of your new photographic friend.