With a relatively low price point (entry-level DSLRs can be noticeably cheaper than a lot of compacts and bridge cameras), these are the cameras that traditionally introduce new users to a brand, with manufacturers hoping it’ll be the one they stick with as they expand their knowledge and grow as photographers.
While the EOS Rebel T7i (EOS 800D outside the US) is Canon’s more premium entry-level offering, the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D is aimed at the more cost-conscious user who’s prepared to sacrifice a few features for a more affordable price. But is the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D a compromise too far?
- Main features unchanged from T6 / 1300D
- New 24.1MP sensor replaces 18.1MP chip
- Still no touchscreen or 4K video
The only major difference between the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D and the EOS Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D is the sensor. Out goes the now very old 18MP sensor in favor of a newer 24.1MP chip, although it’s not the latest-generation chip that’s impressed in the likes of the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D, but an older variant that we saw in the EOS Rebel T6i / EOS 750D.
While Canon is now onto the eighth incarnation of its DIGIC image processor with the arrival of the DIGIC 8 unit in the EOS M50, the Rebel T7 / 2000D sticks with the DIGIC 4+ that was in the Rebel T6 / 1300D – a processor that was already looking pretty dated when that camera was announced a couple of years ago. Native sensitivity remains the same at ISO100-6,400, expandable up to 12,800.
Other headline features remain unchanged: the modest 9-point AF system remains in the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D (with no sign of Canon’s brilliant Dual Pixel CMOS AF system for brisk Live View focusing), while the flush-sitting 3.0-inch display maintains the same 920k-dot pixel count, and foregoes touchscreen functionality.
There’s also a 95%-coverage optical viewfinder (pretty standard on entry-level DSLRs); while that might not sound like you’re missing much, it’s worth paying particular attention to the edges of the frame when reviewing images, as you may find unwanted elements creeping into you shots.
Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity are present, but there’s no Bluetooth Low Energy option, as in the likes of the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D.
With the exception of the EOS 5D Mark IV, Canon hasn’t seen fit to include 4K video capture on its recent DSLR releases, so it’s no surprise not to find 4K on the Rebel T7 / 2000D. Instead, it offers Full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording, with 30, 25 and 24fps frame rates available.
Build and handling
- Plasticky feel overall
- Logical button placement
- Lacking Canon’s new graphical interface
So the changes on the inside are minimal, and there’s not much new on the outside either. In fact, scrub the badges off the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D and the older Rebel T6 / 1300D and it would be impossible to tell them apart, thanks to their identical button placement and finishes.
The textured coating on the chunky front grip and rear thumb rest feels nice to the touch, but the smooth finish on the majority of the exterior means the camera has quite a plasticky feel overall.
The rear button configuration is easy to understand and navigate if this is your first ‘serious’ camera, while the ‘Q’ (short for Quick Menu) button enables you to quickly access and adjust commonly used settings.
While Canon has introduced a clean-looking graphical interface on its EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D and EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D, it hasn’t carried this across to the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D, which seems an odd decision – being targeted at new users, the Rebel T7 / 2000D would really lend itself to this more accessible interface.
That said, Canon has given the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D something of a halfway house interface-wise, with a simple in-camera feature guide (swap between shooting modes, for example, and you’ll get a brief synopsis of what each one does), but we can’t help feeling it’s missed a trick here.
- 9-point AF system feels dated
- Coverage biased towards center of frame
- Sluggish performance in Live View
Like the processor, the 9-point AF system in the EOS Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D was looking a little dated back in 2016, so it’s disappointing to see this fairly limiting diamond arrangement retained for the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D.
With the AF points clustered in the center of the frame, be prepared to re-frame your subjects if they’re off-center. Performance-wise, with a single (and more sensitive) cross-type sensor at the center of the diamond arrangement the system will be fine for general shooting, although it may struggle as light levels drop.
As the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D doesn’t feature Canon’s brilliant Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, focusing speeds in Live View mode (using the rear screen rather than the viewfinder) are sluggish to say the least.
In a nutshell then, the autofocus system on the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D comes up short – rival mirrorless cameras offer better coverage and snappier AF, although you’ll probably have to sacrifice a viewfinder.
- One of the slowest DSLRs out there
- 4:3 aspect ratio display at odds with sensor
- Good battery life
Burst shooting has never been a strong point of entry-level DSLRs, but the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D’s paltry 3fps continuous shooting rate makes it one of the slowest cameras out there. If you’re looking to shoot action, or simply to capture something in a brief burst, this camera isn’t for you.
With the rear screen having a 4:3 aspect ratio it’s at odds with the camera’s 3:2 sensor format, so when reviewing images or using the camera’s Live View mode you can’t take advantage of all the screen’s real estate, with black bands running along the top and bottom of the frame.
Metering is handled by a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor (not the newer 7560 pixel RGB+IR sensor used in the Rebel T7i / 800D), with Evaluative, Partial, Centre-weighted and Spot metering options available. Despite this being the older module, we found the Evaluative mode did a solid job when used it most conditions; it did have a slight tendency to underexpose shots, but that’s no bad thing in bright conditions when you want to preserve highlights.
The white balance system on the Rebel T7 / 2000D performs well, and it’s nice to see an optional Ambience Priority auto white balance mode – this is designed to retain a warmer look in shots, which can sometimes be lost as the camera attempts to produce a neutral result.
At 500 shots, the quoted battery life is quite a bit less than that of the camera’s main rival, the Nikon D3400, which is good for a staggering 1,200 shots. That said, the Rebel T7 / 2000D compares very well to similarly priced mirrorless cameras.
- Detail rendition greatly improved over Rebel T6 / 1300D
- Delivers solid noise handling performance
- Dynamic range is good, but not class-leading
The good news here is that the level of image detail produced by the upgraded 24.1MP sensor is a huge improvement over the 18MP Rebel T6 / 1300D.
Despite the more densely populated sensor, the extra six million pixels don’t mean that noise control is sacrificed over the older model, with the EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D delivering solid, although not class-leading, ISO performance. If you’re shooting JPEG files you’ll see some softening of detail at higher ISOs, thanks to the camera applying noise reduction; this is apparent from around ISO3200, while raw files display noticeable luminance (granular) noise as well as chroma (color) noise, although finer details hold up better.
As with noise performance, the camera’s dynamic range is good but not great. If you’re shooting raw files it’s possible to recover some lost detail in the shadows and highlights, but not as much as from the raw files of some rival cameras.
With the only real difference over the Rebel T6 / 1300D being the upgrade of the sensor from 18MP to 24.1MP, the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D is a hard camera to get excited about.
It’s pitted directly against our current favorite entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D3500, and doesn’t offer anything to recommend it over that camera.
Rather than designing the camera to a series of budgetary requirements, Canon could have leapfrogged Nikon by adding a few extra features to the Rebel T7 / 2000D. By simply offering an improved and up-to-date AF system (including Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF) and touchscreen control, along with a beginner-friendly graphical interface, Canon could have made the EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D a much more appealing entry-level DSLR.
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