- Impressive noise control
- Good video capture
- Responsive touch screen
- Lightweight body
- Limited AF points and buffer hamper action performance
- Body can feel a touch plasticky
- Not a big upgrade from 650D
- 18MP CMOS APS-C sensor
- Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
- ISO 100-12,800 (extendable to ISO 25,600)
- 1080p at 30, 25 and 24fps
- 3-inch vari-angle LCD, 1040k-dots
- Manufacturer: Canon
- China Price: $299
Canon’s triple-digit DSLR range has long been one of the most popular series of affordable DSLRs. The Canon EOS 700D arrives as a replacement to the EOS 650D, hitting a $299 price tag at launch. It’s also the large, better-featured alternative to the Canon EOS 100D – Canon’s new ‘smallest DSLR in the world’ rival to Compact System Cameras (CSCs). Although it appears that little has changed, the range’s popularity is such that the 700D is sure to gain admirers.
CANON EOS 700D – FEATURES
Let’s start off at the very core of the Canon EOS 700D, namely its sensor. While many of its competition have of late increased the resolution of their sensors, the 700D maintains the same 18MP resolution that has been present in previous generations of the triple-digit series.
The sensor has a native ISO range of 100-12,800 – extendable to ISO 25,600 – in addition to a Hybrid AF (Auto Focus) system on the sensor itself that promises improved AF performance through the combination of contrast and phase-detect technologies.
Paired with the sensor is the latest DIGIC 5 processor which, although not the new DIGIC 5 version found in more advanced Canon DSLRs, still promises a respectable level of performance.
The sensor at the core of the Canon EOS 700D also offers Full HD 1080p video capture at either 30, 25 or 24fps – with 60 or 50fps available at the lower 720p resolution – while a pair of stereo microphones also feature on the camera’s top plate.
Although the 700D’s optical viewfinder only offers 95% coverage of a scene, the eye-catching 3-inch, 1040k-dot LCD screen on the camera’s rear is in the 3:2 aspect ratio, and thus stills fill the whole frame in capture.
The 700D’s LCD screen itself is of the vari-angle variety, so can be pulled away from the body and rotated about an angle for both high and low angle shooting – it’s one of the key differences between it and the smaller Canon EOS 1100D.
The 700D includes a 9-point diamond AF arrangement that is the same as that found on the 650D. Although the nine points are far less than some rival cameras, the good news is that all are of the more sensitive cross-type variety and are thus sensitive to horizontal and vertical subjects and movements.
One welcome new feature with the 700D is the ability to preview the camera’s Creative Filters at the point of capture. Previous Canon DSLRs featuring Creative Filters lacked this function, while there’s now also the option to save an unaltered image alongside the filtered shot.
Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly considering the proliferation of the technology in recent releases, the EOS 700D doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi for transferring files and remote control using a smartphone or tablet.
It ships as a body only or as part of a kit with the 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6 IS STM lens; an update on the USM version found on the 650D with a 4-stop stabilisation system and a step focus system for silent focus during movie capture.
CANON EOS 700D – DESIGN
The EOS 700D has a stainless steel chassis accompanied by a polycarbonate resin shell, with the shell itself featuring a new external finish that is more akin to Canon’s mid-range DSLRs and the manufacturer claims is more robust and durable than before.
The finish itself is a combination of rubberised grip areas around the body, and areas of matt finish. It’s a success, on the whole, but it can feel plasticky on certain parts, such as around the flash housing.
As the triple-digit series from Canon has many years of heritage to draw from, it’s hardly surprising that it’s a well-designed camera. For example, although the handgrip is relatively small, it still allows for a secure grip over the camera no matter what size lens you use.
There’s very little to mark the 700D out from its predecessor, the Canon EOS 650D, with regards to design. One of the few standout improvements is the mode dial – the shooting settings are now embossed, while the dial itself now features 360-degree rotation as opposed to the limited rotation found previously.
As you’d expect for a triple-digit Canon DSLR, the 700D’s buttons are intelligently laid-out. An ISO button and a handy control wheel that handles a host of general shooting settings combines with the mode dial to make it a breeze to use.
On the rear of the camera sits a further collection of buttons that offer quick access to shooting settings, including a Live View button that doubles up as the video record button, as well as an exposure compensation dial that controls shutter and aperture in manual shooting mode.
CANON EOS 700D – PERFORMANCE
The EOS 700D is all-round performer. One particular highlight is the speed of focus, which is extremely snappy thanks to the nine cross-type AF sensors that surpass the number found on similar price rivals. One negative with the AF design, however, is the tight grouping of the nine focus points. This means that the 700D doesn’t offer the same level of continuous AF performance as some of its rivals.
New STM technology in the kit lens improves focus performance in Live View and video capture mode, while focus tracking is now possible in video capture mode.
Canon quotes a continuous burst rate of 5fps, and during testing the 700D generally met this mark. We captured six Raw files during testing at this speed before the buffer filled, although when switching to JPEG-only we managed a much more respectable 22 frames.
The 700D’s LCD screen offers a pleasing level of saturation and contrast, with balanced lighting displayed and a viewing angle as wide as its OLED rivals. And the LCD screen continues to impress when it comes to the performance of the touchscreen, with a level of sensitivity that will seem instantly familiar to smartphone and tablet owners.
The touchscreen lets you select a focus point when shooting in Live View by simply touching on the desired point on the screen (you can even set the 700D to fire the shutter at the same time), and the ability to pinch and zoom on images when reviewing.
If the touchscreen isn’t for you, the good news is that you can avoid it all together should you want to. The button and control layout of the 700D is such that the camera’s main functionality all falls simply to hand, with items such as the Quick Menu display aiding this user experience.
CANON EOS 700D – IMAGE QUALITY
The EOS 700D has the same iFCL 63-zone metering system as found on a host of other DSLRs in Canon’s EOS series. It’s a proven performer that rarely fails to capture the true nature of a scene. Any instances when the metering system might offer an incorrect reading only result in a slight overexposure, an error that’s easily remedied with exposure compensation.
There’s also the option to employ either Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimiser or HDR Backlight Control technologies should a scene with particularly high contrast confront you, leaving you wanting to capture more detail. In general, though, we found Raw capture and adjustment after the shot was more than enough.
Click for full-res test gallery: 1/500 sec @ f/8, ISO 100. AWB, Center-weighted metering
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6 IS STM
In general the 700D’s Auto White Balance performance is also good. Colour depiction is very much natural and in keeping with the colours in the scene. On the odd occasion where artificial lighting was involved results could appear a little cool, although this is nothing out of the ordinary and easily remedied.
Although the 700D lacks the ability to set colour temperature numerically, there are a host of presets to choose from. There’s also a range of picture styles to apply to a scene, although their effects are more subtle.
Click image for full test shot gallery
The 700D handles image noise very well. Images captured at the lower ISO settings are completely devoid of image noise, with texture noise only really noticeable above ISO 800.
Despite the appearance of noise at ISO 800, the higher settings remain usable right up to ISO 6400, although we’d recommend shooting Raw at the higher end as fine detail in JPEGs does begin to suffer from aggressive noise reduction.
The Canon 700D is an excellent DSLR at a good price. It’s not a massive step-up from the 650D, but anyone looking to upgrade from an older model should have it high on their shortlist alongside the smaller Canon EOS 100D.