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Review: Canon 750D (Rebel T6i)
3:00 am | June 4, 2015

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Comments: None

Review: Canon 750D (Rebel T6i)

Introduction and specifications

With the introduction of the EOS 760D and 750D as upgrades to the 700D (which is set to continue for the time being), Canon now has five cameras in what it likes to call its beginners’ range. The new 760D and 750D, known as the Rebel T6s and T6i in US territories, sit at the top of this group above the 700D, 100D and 1200D. The 760D is the uppermost model.

In many respects the 750D seems the more logical upgrade to the 700D and it sits immediately under the 760D in the line-up. It is aimed at novices, while the 760D is designed with more experienced photographers in mind, having a few features from cameras higher up in Canon’s DSLR range. Inside, however, the 750D and 760D are near identical and both have the same sensor and processing engine.

This review concentrates on the 750D, but with comparisons to 760D. If you’d like to know more about the slightly more advanced camera, just follow this link to the Canon 760D review.

Read: Canon EOS 760D/T6s review

Specifications

Although they have a slightly different target audience, the 750D and 760D are essentially the same camera as they share many components. They both have Canon’s new 24.2-million-effective pixel APS-C format CMOS sensor, a Digic 6 processing engine and a 19-point phase detection autofocus (AF) system.

Canon EOS 750D

Canon EOS 750D

This AF system is available for use when images are composed in the viewfinder rather than when Live View mode is activated and the screen on the back of the camera is used. The choice of AF point can be left to the camera to decide in 19-point AF mode, or it can be set manually in Single point AF or Zone AF mode. In Zone AF mode you have the choice of five groups of points for selection, whereas in Single point mode all 19 points are available for individual selection.

When Live View mode is in use and images or videos are composed on the 750D’s screen, Canon’s new Hybrid CMOS AF III system (with Face detection, Tracking AF, FlexiZone-Multi and FlexiZone-Single modes) is available. This is an improved version of the Hybrid CMOS AF II system found in the Canon 100D, having a greater number of focusing pixels arranged in a more regular array than in the past. Canon says it’s about 4x faster than version II and two generations ahead of the original Hybrid CMOS AF system in the EOS 700D.

Unlike the 760D, the 750D doesn’t have a Servo autofocus option in Live View mode so there isn’t an option for focus to adjust continuously while the shutter release is held down and subject distance changes. There is, however, a Continuous AF option in the Live View section of the main menu. When this is activated focus is adjusted fairly slowly when the shutter release isn’t pressed. It’s designed for use in video mode and to pre-focus when shooting stills.

Inside, the 750D has the same 24-megapixel CMOS sensor as the 760D (and the new Canon EOS M3 compact system camera).

In Tracking AF mode the focus box shifts as the subject moves around the screen, but focus only adjusts when the shutter release button is first half-pressed, you need to lift your finger and press again to readjust.

In a first for Canon DSLRs, both the 750D and 760D feature Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to enable them to be connected to a smartphone or tablet for remote control and image sharing. It’s even possible to connect two cameras just by touching the NFC logos together and then transfer images wirelessly.

Despite the step-up from the 18 million pixels in the 700D, the 750D keeps the older sensor’s native sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800. There’s also an expansion setting of ISO 25,600 for very low light conditions. In movie shooting the maximum native setting is ISO 6,400 and there’s an expansion value of ISO 12,800.

The 750D can also shoot continuously at up to 5fps. This may not seem fantastic by current standards, but it’s still very useful when shooting sport. Plus, the burst depth has been increased from the 30 JPEG or 6 raw files of the 700D to a whopping 940 Large/Fine JPEGs or 8 raw files.

A dedicated 7,560-pixel RGB and Infra Red (IR) sensor is provided for measuring exposure when the viewfinder is in use. As with the 700D’s iFCL metering system, these pixels are grouped into 63 segments (9×7) with the usual options of Evaluative, Centre-weighted, Partial and Spot metering. However, the partial (6.0% of viewfinder) and Spot (3.5% of viewfinder) coverage is a little more precise than in the 700D (9% and 4% respectively) and pixels on the sensor each have their own RGB-IR filter and are read independently. This is a similar system to the one in the excellent 7D Mark II and Canon claims it’s more accurate than the 700D’s with improved colour detection. However, it’s worth remembering that even in Evaluative mode the metering is linked to the AF points, so the brightness of the subject could have an impact upon overall exposure.

Canon EOS 750D

In Live View and video mode the same metering options are available, but the cameras use the imaging sensor to supply the information and Evaluative mode uses 315 zones, Partial metering covers 10% of the scene and Spot 2.7%.

Like the older 700D, the 750D has a 3-inch 1,040,000-dot Clear View II TFT screen that’s touch-sensitive. It also has an aspect ratio of 3:2 to match the uncropped ratio of the imaging sensor.

One feature that 750D lacks in comparison with the 760D is an electronic level. On the 760D this can be displayed on the screen on the back of the camera, or in the viewfinder, to help keep horizons level.

Build and handling

Although it has a different control layout, the 750D feels very similar to the 760D in your hand. It’s not quite as solid as the full frame Canon 5D Mark III (or the same price), but the 750D’s aluminium alloy and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre chassis gives it a pretty durable feel for entry-level DSLR. Reassuringly, it doesn’t creak when it’s gripped tightly.

Textured coatings on the deep grip on the front and the small thum bridge on the back help to make the camera feel comfortable and safe in your grasp.

Anyone with a 700D will find they are on very familiar territory with the 750D as the control layout is almost the same – there are two extra buttons on the top-plate. The 760D, however, is more like the 70D above it in Canon’s DSLR line-up.

The two new buttons on the 750D’s top-plate are the Display button and AF Area selection button, which sit either side of the sensitivity button. Pressing the Display button brings up a non-interactive version of the Quick menu on the rear screen (more about the Quick menu later). Pressing the AF Area selection button once allows the navigation buttons to be used to set the desired AF point. Pressing it multiple times toggles through the AF-point selection modes (Single-point AF, Zone AF and 19-Point automatic selection AF). There’s also an AF point selection button to the right of the thumb rest on the back of the camera, but this doesn’t allow you to toggle through the selection modes. It would be nice to be able to set the AF point on the screen while composing images in the viewfinder as you can with some Panasonic cameras and the Nikon D5500.

The viewfiner uses a 'pentamirror' design that offers 95% coverage.

Following the design of other Canon DSLRs, the 750D has a Quick menu that is accessed by pressing the Q button. This gives a quick route to some key features for adjustment. Setting adjustments can be made using the physical buttons and dials or by touching the screen. If you’re not used to using a touch-screen camera you may find that you start out using the buttons and dials, but gradually you start using the touch-screen because it’s so intuitive.

Being a DSLR, the 750D has an optical viewfinder. Canon has used a pentamirror design rather than the pentaprism versions found in more expensive cameras like the 70D. This shows approximately 95% of the scene (the 70D’s covers 98%) so you may need to take care with composition to avoid including unseen elements around the edges of the frame.

As the screen is on an articulating joint it can be seen from a wide range of angles. Reflections are an issue in very bright light, but it is usually possible to see enough detail to compose images. In Live View mode it’s especially helpful to use the screen to set the AF point, or even set the AF point and trip the shutter when composing images at very awkward angles. It’s at these times that you miss the electronic level offered by the 760D, as this would be useful for getting the horizon straight.

Canon EOS 750D

If the screen is on, a half-press of the shutter release or the display button turns it off. This is done automatically by the 760D as it has a sensor just above the viewfinder to detect when the camera is held to your eye.

Arguably the biggest handling difference between the 750D and 760D is that the 760D has a Quick Control dial around the navigation buttons. The 750D relies on an exposure compensation button instead. In manual exposure mode this button needs to be pressed while rotating the dial near the shutter release to set aperture, in the semi automatic modes it’s used with the dial to adjust exposure compensation. It’s a quick and easy task, but the Quick Control dial on the 760D makes these adjustments a little faster.

The exposure mode is set using the dedicated dial on the right of the 750D’s top-plate – this is on the left on the 760D. Unlike the 760D there’s no lock on the dial, but it doesn’t get knocked out of position easily and it provides a route to the same same exposure modes including program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual as well as options such as Full Automatic (Scene Intelligent Auto), Creative Auto (which allows you to take control with simple instructions using non-photographic terms) and a collection of user-selectable scene modes, including some within Special Scene (SCN) mode.

As mentioned earlier, the 760D and 750D both have Wi-Fi and NFC (near field communication) technology and these are activated via the menu as there’s no dedicated button. I found it easy to connect the 750D to another NFC-enabled device. This could be useful when the Canon Connect Station CS100 becomes available as it should make wireless image transfer and storage simple.

Canon EOS 750D

It’s also straightforward to connect the 750D to a non-NFC smartphone like an iPhone, although there’s no helpful QR code display so you have to enter the password the first time you make a connection. Once connected, Canon’s free Camera Connect app can be used to download images or control the camera remotely. In remote control mode the phone can be used to adjust exposure (shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity) and the set the autofocus point and trip the shutter.

As the 750D doesn’t have a secondary LCD screen like the 760D, there’s a dedicated light that illuminates to show when the Wi-Fi system is active.

Performance

As they have the same sensor and processing engine it seemed very likely that the 750D and 760D would produce the same image quality and, not surprisingly, or tests have confirmed that they do. We saw an occasional exposure variation, but this can be explained easily by slight differences in the composition (resulting from the different lens position) and/or the location of the active AF point. We found that the two cameras produce the same colours, capture the same level of detaiI and control noise in the same way.

The 750D, 760D and EOS M3 all use Canon’s first 24-million pixel sensor, so naturally everyone is keen to find out how much detail they can resolve. Well it’s good news – the level of detail in images is a huge leap up from that from the 700D, but noise levels are about the same despite the extra 6 million pixels on the sensor.

Canon EOS 750D sample image

Click here for a full size version.

Canon EOS 750D sample image

Click here for a full size version.

Interestingly, our lab tests reveal that the 20Mp 7D Mark II can match Canon’s new 24Mp cameras for detail resolution at the low to mid sensitivity settings, and beat them at higher settings. The most likely explanation for this, apart from the different design of the sensor, is that the dual Digic 6 processors in Canon’s top-end APS-C format camera enables it to run more advanced noise reduction algorithms. After all, the 7D Mark II has a higher maximum sensitivity setting than the 750D of ISO 16,000 in the native range and a ISO 51,600 expansion setting.

Viewed at 100% on-screen, the 750D’s high sensitivity JPEGs look softer than simultaneously captured raw files, but even at ISO 12,800 some look good at around A3 size (16 x 12inches). The ball of red wool in the brighter side of the ISO 12,800 JPEG images of our sensitivity test scene, for example, lacked detail and looked like a bright amorphous blob at A3 size. The raw file is much better.

As usual, when all noise reduction is turned off the raw files have more visible noise at 100%, but it’s fine grained and there’s no banding, so it’s possible to produce images that have a bit more ‘bite’ than the JPEGs.

Chroma noise only really becomes obvious at 100% in raw files captured at ISO 1600 and above (when all noise reduction is turned off). Meanwhile the softening of detail that tends to go hand-in-hand with noise reduction in the default settings becomes apparent at 100% in JPEGs captured at ISO 3200, though it’s not really an issue until ISO 12,800.

When using Live View mode I found the 750D is capable of getting subjects sharp quickly, so it’s possible to compose images on the main screen when hand-holding the camera. However, it’s not really fast enough to use it to shoot moving subjects, and there’s no servo option, so it can’t adjust focus as subject distance changes when your finger is on the shutter release.

Canon EOS 750D sample image

Click here for a full size version.

Canon EOS 750D sample image

Click here for a full size version.

Canon EOS 750D sample image

Click here for a full size version.

The phase detection AF system that’s available when composing images in the viewfinder is fast and accurate, even in quite low light with the kit lens mounted. It means it’s a much better choice when shooting sport or action. In 19-point mode it does a pretty good job of identifying the subject, but Zone-AF and Single-point mode are a better choice provided you can keep the active area over the right part of the scene.

Canon’s new metering system in the 750D is also very good, even managing to produce good results in conditions that are traditionally very challenging. As with the 700D’s iFCL metering system, exposure is weighted towards the subject under the active AF point, but it seems to do a better job of producing a balanced exposure in high contrast situations. The compensation control is still required occasionally, but only in situations where you’d expect to need it.

Lab tests: resolution

We’ve carried out lab tests on the Canon EOS 760D across its full ISO range for resolution, noise (including signal to noise ratio) and dynamic range. We test the JPEGs shot by the camera, but we also check the performance with raw files. Most enthusiasts and pros prefer to shoot raw, and the results can often be quite different.

We’ve also picked out three of its chief rivals so that you can compare their performance directly.

Canon EOS 700D: Until the launch of the 750D and 760D the 700D was Canon’s top beginner’s DSLR. So how does its older 18-megapixel sensor compare with the 24-megapixel sensor in the 760D?

Nikon D5500: The first Nikon SLR to have a touchscreen, this 24-megapixel model has no AA filter over the sensor for better detail resolution than the 760D/750D.

Pentax K-S2: This 20-megapixel DSLR is weatherproof so you can use it even if it starts to rain. There’s also a vari­angle screen (not touch-­sensitive) and Wi­Fi connectivity for sharing images.

Canon EOS 760D resolution charts

We test camera resolution using an industry-standard ISO test chart that allows precise visual comparisons. This gives us numerical values for resolution in line widths/picture height, and you can see how the 760D compares with its rivals in the charts below.

Canon EOS 750D lab test charts

JPEG resolution analysis: While it can’t quite match the Nikon D5500 for detail resolution, the 750D captures significantly more detail than the 700D. The D5500 is probably helped in this respect because it doesn’t have an optical low pass filter over the sensor, whereas the 750D does.

Canon EOS 750D lab test charts

Raw (converted to TIFF) resolution analysis: Apart from at the highest sensitivity setting, where a lower pixel count helps with noise control, the 750D captures significantly more detail than the 700D. Again it comes close to, but doesn’t quite match the D5500. The Pentax K-S2 performs well considering its filterless sensor has ‘just’ 20 million pixels.

Sample resolution results

This is the chart we use for testing camera resolution. The key area is just to the right of centre, where a series of converging lines indicates the point at which the camera can no longer resolve them individually. We shoot this chart at all of the camera’s ISO settings, and here are two samples at ISO 100 and ISO 6400.

Canon EOS 750D resolution chart

ISO 100: Click here for a full size version.

Canon EOS 750D resolution chart

ISO 6400: Click here for a full size version.

Lab tests: dynamic range

Dynamic range is a measure of the range of tones the sensor can capture. Cameras with low dynamic range will often show ‘blown’ highlights or blocked-in shadows. This test is carried out in controlled conditions using DxO hardware and analysis tools.

Noise and dynamic range results explained

Read: Noise and dynamic range results explained

Dynamic range is measured in exposure values (EV). The higher the number the wider the range of brightness levels the camera can capture. This falls off with increasing ISO settings because the camera is having to amplify a weaker signal. Raw files capture a higher dynamic range because the image data is unprocessed.

Canon EOS 750D dynamic range charts

Canon EOS 750D lab test charts

JPEG dynamic range analysis: The 750D has good, but not competition-beating dynamic range until sensitivity reaches around ISO 800. The 750D captures a wider range of tones than the other cameras at higher sensitivities.

Canon EOS 750D lab test charts

Raw (converted to TIFF) analysis: The 750D and 760D capture a wide range of tones, especially at sensitivities below ISO 800. They are about 0.5EV better than the 700D at the highest sensitivity settings. However, they can’t quite match the Pentax K-S2 which captures the widest spread of tones.

Lab tests: signal to noise ratio

This is a test of the camera’s noise levels. The higher the signal to noise ratio, the greater the difference in strength between the real image data and random background noise, so the ‘cleaner’ the image will look. The higher the signal to noise ratio, the better.

Canon EOS 750D signal to noise ratio charts

Canon EOS 750D lab test charts

JPEG signal to noise ratio analysis: Like the 760D, the 750D’s signal to noise ratio is similar or slightly better than the 700D’s. This indicates that the images have a similar level of noise despite the increase in pixel count and detail resolution.

Canon EOS 750D lab test charts

Raw (converted to TIFF) dynamic range analysis: The 750D, puts in a good performance with a signal to noise ratio that beats the Nikon D5500 indicating that it produces slightly cleaner images.

Sample ISO test results

The signal to noise ratio charts use laboratory test equipment, but we also shoot a real-world scene to get a visual indication of the camera’s noise levels across the ISO range. The right side of the scene is darkened deliberately because this makes noise more obvious.

Canon EOS 750D ISO test

ISO 100: Click here for a full size version.

Canon EOS 750D ISO test

ISO 6400: Click here for a full size version.

Verdict

Like the 760D immediately above it in Canon’s SLR line-up, the 750D has a 24-million pixel CMOS sensor that’s likely to appear in future Canon cameras. This produces high quality photographs that have a nice balance of image size and file size as well as image detail and noise visibility.

The 750D is designed to appeal to less experienced photographers than the 760D is intended to attract. It lacks the secondary LCD screen on the top-plate, the Quick Control dial around the navigation buttons and the electronic level display. Dedicated Live View shooters may also miss the Servo autofocusing of the 760D.

Canon EOS 750D

Canon EOS 750D

As the 750D has a vari-angle screen which allows key settings to be seen from a range of angles, I don’t think the secondary screen is a major loss. However, I miss the ability to adjust exposure compensation by just rotating the Quick Control dial (rather than pressing the Aperture/Exposure compensation button while rotating the Main dial) and the level’s reassurance that the horizon won’t be wonky. I think these aspects make the extra cost of the 760D worthwhile. The handling of the 760D is unlikely to baffle novice photographers any more than the 750D’s.

We like

Like the 760D, the 750D is very comfortable to hold and use. All the controls are within easy reach and the touch-control is very well implemented, allowing you to navigate the menus and make setting selections with you a few taps. It’s also very handy to be able to pinch-zoom into images to check sharpness. I particularly like having a vari-angle screen because it makes it easy to compose images at awkward angles and encourages you to be creative. It’s also helpful to be able to set the AF point and/or trip the shutter with a tap on the screen.

We dislike

Being an SLR, the 750D has an optical viewfinder. This is a decent unit, and many photographers still prefer optical viewfinders, but it has the disadvantage of not being able to show the impact of setting changes. The image in the viewfinder stays the same when exposure, white balance or Picture Style are adjusted. This means that the appearance of the captured image can come as a bit of a surprise to inexperienced photographers who are learning about setting exposure and the like. This is a characteristic of DSLR design in general, though, not the 750D in particular.

As a vari-angle screen encourages users to shoot from different angles it would be handy to have an electronic level to make it easier to ensure that the horizon is straight.

It’s also worth pointing out here that because the viewfinder only covers 95% of the scene, you need to watch out for things being included in the images that you can’t see in the viewfinder.

Verdict

The Canon 750D (and 760D) is capable of capturing far more detail than the 700D and noise is controlled well throughout the native sensitivity range, even at the top native setting. Colours are also generally very good straight from the camera and the white balance system can generally be relied upon to produce a decent result in its automatic setting. In addition, the touch-screen is detail-rich (in all but very bright light) and is very responsive. Plus, the Live View autofocus system is good enough to allow hand-holding of the camera with stationary or slow subjects. All this, combined with excellent phase detection autofocus and metering systems, adds up to a very nice camera.



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