Friday 17 November 2017

Canon launches three new cameras as it spruces up midrange offerings

Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Canon has announced three new interchangeable lens cameras as it spruces up its midrange offerings.

In a sign that the company isn’t taking competition from Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic lying down, it has unveiled the 77D (€1,079), 800D (€1,019) and Eos M6 (€989).

The 77D (€1,079 body only) will sit just below the company’s semi-professional 80D model, with a 24-megapixel sensor. Canon is describing it as the world’s fastest autofocusing camera in the category of interchangeable lens APS-C models.

CAnon 77D.jpg
Canon 77D

The 77D’s beefed up Digic 7 processor means that it can lock onto moving subjects and track them to a professional autofocusing level, the company says. The extra processing power also means a slightly higher six frames per second with no buffer limit for jpegs (and a 27-shot limit for Raw images).

The 77D has a flip-out touchscreen and an LCD display on top, allowing for professional-grade control of setting up images. However, it stops short of offering 4K (‘ultra HD’) video recording. Canon says that 4K involves too many compromises on battery life and the potential heat of the 77D’s physical body. In this context, it says, it is reserving 4K for the bigger, more professional models in its range. This leaves Canon out almost on its own -- similarly-priced rivals from Fuji, Panasonic and Sony all offer 4K video recording on their mid-range models.

Nevertheless, the 77D will have ‘full’ HD video recording at 60 frames per second.

The 77D is differentiated from the 80D a little on size and specification. It’s smaller and lighter than the 80D. And while it has a flip-out variable touchscreen that helps for video, it doesn’t have a headphone jack like the 80D. Headphone jacks are considered to be important for videographers as they give a real time indication of whether the recording video’s audio levels are properly set or not.

Canon has also launched a new 800D, which has very similar specifications to the 77D with the same 24-megapixel sensor, Digic 7 processor and flip-out touchscreen. However, it doesn’t have some of the pro-grade controls, such as the LCD monitor at the top of the camera. As such, it’s designed to sit at the top of Canon’s entry-level DSLR range and is laid out in a less intimidating way for more basic camera users. It is marginally cheaper (€1,019 body only) than the 77D (€1,079).

Canon 800D.jpg
Canon 800D

Canon has also announced a new mirrorless interchangeable model, the Eos M6 (€989 body only). This is designed to work with Canon’s seven Eos M range of lenses, varying from wide-angle zooms to telephoto (up to 320mm equivalent).

The M6 has a similar (though not identical) 24-megapixel sensor to the new 77D and 800D models. It has a 3-inch semi flip-out touchscreen and can shoot seven frames per second on autofocus or nine frames per second if focus is fixed.

The M6 is designed to replace the company’s current M3 model, which is aimed at quick photos and for people who want to point and shoot with a little more quality than compact cameras. Canon claims that the camera is popular with video bloggers who want something quick and of reasonably good quality.

 

However, it has no viewfinder at all, relying on the rear screen for framing shots. (A viewfinder is available on the M6’s sister camera, the M5, which is slightly bigger.)

€1,000 (or between €1,140 to €1,470 if you want a lens with it) for a mid-range mirrorless camera sounds like a fair whack. However, this is about the going rate for a new model. You can get cheaper cameras that do roughly the same things as the Eos M6 (such as Panasonic’s GX80 which costs €700 with a reasonable kit lens) but they don’t quite have the latest technology under the hood.

To coincide with the M6’s launch, Canon has also announced a new external electronic viewfinder accessory, the EVF-DC2 (€279) that is compatible with the camera.

The 77D, 800D and Eos M6 are all expected to be available in Ireland from April.

And what of the company’s plans at for new entry-level full frame cameras? Its 20-megapixel 6D model has been around for almost five years and is starting to look dated compared to rivals. A Canon spokesman said that while there is nothing to announce on a replacement, Canon “brings out new cameras every six months” and that the company is aware of the 6D’s

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